|photo by jaygooby||via PhotoRee|
Like Ed's thoughts today, for starters:
I'm excited that Borussia Dortmund is in the Champions League finals. I've always enjoyed their attacking style of play, their talented midfielders, and of course Robert Lewandoski. I'm also a fan because I know they're not a big budget team like Manchester United -- just to throw out a name -- a team who last year bought one of their players and if rumors are correct tried to buy two. Bummer to be Shinji Kagawa at this point I guess.
I'm also pleased for Bayern Munich, not so much because I'm a fan, but more because they fought so hard for it and are (regardless of outcome) the best team in Europe this year. The way they pressed high but backed off once beaten, the way they played a physical man-to-man defense on Xavi and Iniesta, they way they countered fast with width -- none of this was that new, but I expect everyone to do it against against the diminutive Spaniards now that we know it works. Plus Bayern were probably unjustly robbed last year when they lost to an inferior Chelsea squad who played above their ability throughout the tournament. I also remember Bayern beating up Manchester City in the group stage. At the time I thought City was weaker than I thought; now I think it was Bayern that was tougher than I thought.
But yet, but yet, despite all of this I'm not that excited about the final. These two teams know each other very well and play each other often. Advantage Bayern, therefore, even though Dortmund has gotten the better of them in the past. Plus, it would seem this battle has already been decided in the Bundesliga (I could say that over and over even though I don't like watching it much) over a 38 game season. Playing it again, even if for a different trophy, just doesn't seem right.
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Wow, was that really Barcelona that Bayern played the other night? I've never seen that team look so positively meek. Some time ago I wrote an article questioning whether it was personnel or tactics that made Barca so good. Well, Barca without Messi and several others looked so very ordinary, it would seem an argument in favor of personnel. That said, their coach missed much of the season, and the team also looked sloppy tactically or at least positionally. Either way, I'm still shocked that Bayern put them out of the tournament 7 to 0. They lost their will and their pride. And now Bayern has their old coach? Egads!
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How bad was Newcastle against Liverpool this weekend? That team looks absolutely horrific this year and is now dangerously close to relegation. This after coming in 5th last year. Did Alan Pardew lose his mind? Did he lose his mojo? Perhaps it's always more about personnel than coaches like to admit. When your good players leave or get hurt you start to plummet fast.
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Dude, I'm seriously thinking of growing some sideburns like that crazy Sunderland coach. Wait, I heard he's some sort of crazy crypto-fascist. Never mind….
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David De Gea in the all BPL team? Seriously? For what, his hair? De Gea is a good shot blocker. So, by the way, is Brad Guzen. But he's about top 40% at best in the BPL. He's definitely not top 1%. Asmir Begovic should have received the award. Hell, Hugo Lloris is also better.
And what about Eden Hazard? There are about a dozen guys who deserve that spot more than he does. If we're looking at midfielders, how about Ya Ya Toure? How was he left off by the way? If we're looking at forwards why not Michu?
Among others that had no business being there: Rio Ferdinand. Really? Did they mix up the 2004 list with this one? By the way FOF, Jan Vertonghen was on the list.
At least Gareth Bale won the award he deserved.
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This is farlieonfootie for May 4.