Friday, October 15, 2010

Carny Folk and Organ Grinders

Not a lot going on in advance of a return to real football: after a two week hiatus, the EPL and other domestic footie leagues are back in action starting tomorrow, and I for one will be well pleased. Chuffed, I think the Brits might say, but that sounds slightly dirty to my American ears, so I'll leave it at pleased and move on.

photo by ForsterFotovia PhotoRee

Rock of Gibraltar.  Chelsea's stingy defense is looking a bit shaky in advance of this weekend's away trip to Villa Park.  If John Terry is unable to recover from the back injury he sustained in training for England last week, Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira would get rare starts, given that Terry's regular center back partner Alex is already ruled out with a thigh injury.  As this would represent Bosingwa's first start in almost a year, my guess is that Terry will play on Saturday whether he can walk or not.  He certainly can't run anymore, even on a good day.  Unless it's after a teammate's wife, in which case he's still apparently very quick.

Carnival Time.  In honor of the Oktoberfest dinner I attended last night, I thought it appropriate to link to a great article that appeared in the New York Times a few days ago about der surprise leaders of the Bundesliga, Fußball-Club Vorwärts Orient Mainz e.V  (or, for those of you who read this blog in English, FSV Mainz).  [Ed. Note: And the Bundesliga wonders why it's popularity lags behind that of the other European leagues.  Perhaps they should start by renaming their teams.  Just reading their team names makes understanding a German wine label seem comparatively easy.]   

Regarding the dinner, yes, I know Oktober should have a "c" rather than a "k" in this part of the world, and I further know that the "real" Oktoberfest is celebrated in Germany in September, but I'm going to do it my way: with a "k," but in its proper month.  That being said, the Gray Lady's article is well worth a quick read.  Among other things, I learned that whenever Mainz scores a goal (which they're done quite often this year), their fans break out into this little ditty, which is a traditional German carnival song.  [Ed. Note: I wonder if German Carny folk look like the ones here in the US.  Just askin'.]  I'll be hoping to hear some carny music on Saturday as Mainz go for their eighth consecutive win, and set a Bundesliga record for the most victories to begin a season, as they face off against ex-red Ruud van Nistelrooy and Hamburg.   

Fits Like a Glove.  Nice article in ESPN on  my boy @stuholden.  The kid's fit right in at Bolton, and managed to avoid the overseas woes experienced by many American players, including Oguchi Onyewu and even @Landondonovan in his first two Euro stints.  [Ed. Note: We won't even mention Freddy Awho?  Last I checked he had no club to play for after Thessaloniki in Greece, Benfica in Portugal, and even Sion in the Swiss league all cast him off.  Talk about a fall from grace, but we'll save that for another column].  Holden's already made a believer of Wanderers' bossman Owen Coyle, and now he's set to make a believer out of you.  You show 'em Stu -- you're a true talent.

I'm a fan, and I'm farlieonfootie for October 15th.

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