Match Lookback (Olympics)
So after me bigging up Team GB (they were actually good when I saw them) they crashed and burned in true British style – a penalty shootout in a game they should have won.
Birmingham keeper Jack Butland performed a credible magic trick in making his hands and arms become ethereal enough to allow a ball to pass through as Sunderland’s Ji Dong-Won opened the scoring. GB then proceeded to stumble through the first half while the referee gave us penalties. Ramsey took both, and they both were appalling.
I don’t complain when players have penalties saved by a diving goalie who makes it to the correct corner, but this wasn’t the case. It’s fairly evident through the limitations of the physical and from past footage that there are places goalkeepers can’t (or really struggle to) get to in a PK. Just a little bit off-center bobbling along the ground is not one of these places. The keeper is unlucky he didn’t save them both.
From the hour mark on, penalties looked on the cards. From penalties on, failure looked on the cards. I actually said aloud to those around me as Sturridge stepped up “Don’t do a stutter run-up”. I could see just from the player that he was going to. A flash young player full of arrogance, eager to show off in situations that don’t require it. The stutter comes naturally to some players (C-Ron, Neymar) but to others it should be left alone. You know what’s more impressive that some flash maneuvers? Winning games.
Elsewhere the games were more exciting; Japan finally scored more than one goal, Brazil overcome twice losing the lead to eventually nine man Honduras, and Mexico avoided being scythed long enough to see Senegal’s shocking defence give them four goals.
Brazil v Mexico final with Brazil to win is my two penneth’s worth.
World’s fastest man, consecutive Olympic record breaker, and recent gold medal winner Usain ‘Lightening’ Bolt has once again stated his interest in playing for Man United. He did take part in a training session back in 2009 and rightly says that he would be the fastest player on the pitch, but is there more to it?
You can’t help but think of Theo Walcott, sure he isn’t quite a world class player but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a success. He fields on the right for a top four team in a top top league and represents his country – and a lot of that is down to his pace. Other attributes like vision and finishing have been coached in, but it’s his acceleration that is his selling point. Now I’m not suggesting that Bolt to United is realistic, but to a lower league club… maybe. Daley Thompson did it and it certainly would be great to see.
Short but Sweet – Aston Villa’s Stiliyan Petrov‘s acute leukaemia is in remission. No doubt he faces hard times ahead but there is now a hope that we will once again see him play. And how Villa could do with him.
Portsmouth have just two and a half days to shift their remaining professional players (or practically reduce their wages to nothing) or they face the big bad wolf of administration. The problem being that players like Tal Ben Haim claim they are owed up to £2mil in unpaid wages and refuse to leave. Things look pretty bleak and we all hope that the supporters aren’t left without a club. Check out their team sheet against AFC Wimbledon in a friendly:
Finally, one of football’s more heinous crimes has been solved. In 1984 Spurs had a UEFA Cup semi against Hajduk Split in Croatia. The fans were anticipating the kick off in the stands when a crazed Split Ultra came on the field with a live cockerel (Tottenham’s symbol) and broke its neck. The club was fined but the killer was never found.
Now a 50 year old Lawyer, Anthony Barabbas has fessed up: “I drank a beer, stole a rooster from a bar and ran onto the centre of the pitch and snapped its neck. I realise now (28 years later) I was very wrong and I apologise“. It happens.
The big news is Arsenal have signed Santi Cazorla from Malaga for real money, and he isn’t a child. The versatile Spaniard will be brought into the Gunner’s midfield to inject some creativity but will still leave them needing the steel that, unbelievably, they haven’t regained since Viera left.
West Ham have continue to be busy boys and, although they lost out on signing Andy Carroll, they have signed another big lad in the shape of James Collins from Aston Villa. Now I can’t say for sure, but I don’t they’ll be playing him up front.
As a replacement, Villa have bagged Dutchman Ron Vlaar from Feyenoord. The man with a surname that can only be said properly whilst doing a Dracula impression did look okay during the Euros despite Holland’s poor showing.
Norwich have sold Andrew Crofts back to club they bought him from – Brighton – in a Pienaar-esque move. He racked up around 60 apps for the Canaries but was used significantly less in their most recent Premier League campaign.
AC Milan are ready to put a bid forward for Andy Carroll. The plan is, they sort his ponytail out a bit, put ‘Ibrahimovic’ on his shirt and tell everyone the Swede is carrying a knock.
Video of the Week
I don’t know what this video showcases more; Mark Clattenburg‘s linesman’s incompetence, Pape Souare‘s contention for High Jump next Olympics, or Hector Herrera‘s titanium skull: