116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Monday, August 20, 2007

Broats, Thugs & Injustice

I was walking down Third Avenue with Jeff, a Gooner who was making the convincing argument that since Eduardo da Silva had emigrated from Brazil to Croatia, he should no longer be referred to as "Crozilian," but rather as a "Broatian." "Doesn't it sound like more of a nationality to you? He's a Broat!" All of this was really cracking me up, and within minutes I was going around calling Eduardo the "Broatian Sensation," which put me in good spirits, considering my earlier frustration watching Liverpool blow numerous chances as well as piss away a good 4 minutes of stoppage time, failing to capitalize on a vulnerable Chelsea squad.
Liverpool's lack of efficiency was nothing, however, compared to the awful, awful, awful marking from Derby County on Saturday against Liverpool. This is where Benny Feilhaber is going to be continuing his footballing education? Yikes. The Rams looked as if they had stayed up all night watching the defensive clinic known as Galaxy vs. Red Bull, and any British pundit who questions the quality of MLS defenders had better take in a couple of Derby matches before casting the first stone.
For those of you saying that newly-promoted Derby cannot serve as an indictment of Premiership quality, allow me to serve you a healthy slice of Blackburn Rovers. About as mid-table as they come (they finished 10th last season), Blackburn gave us some of the most negative, thuggish football I've seen in a while in their 1-1 draw at home with Arsenal yesterday. To compare what happened at Ewood Park with rugby would be at great insult to those league and union professionals. In a continuation of a theme from last season, Rovers cared little to maintain possession, and attacking seemed thoroughly out of the question. They came to maul the Gunners, and while I am certainly not against physical play, it seemed that Blackburn's intent was particularly violent. Arsenal, to its credit, did not back down (well maybe our favorite Broatian shied away from the contact, but he's new to the league), but, in a continuation of a theme from last season, a Jens Lehmann gaffe cost them the three points (his mishandling of David Dunn's screamer only shows that there is little justice in the world; then again, I've been watching a great deal of The Wire on DVD and I might just be cynical).
But how about Man City? They might just be the new darlings of the Premiership (well, except for the fact that everyone hates Thaksin Shinawatra and, well, except for the fact that everyone hates Sven-Goran Eriksson). "It is the natural way of the universe," I explained to Jeff in discussing United's ill fortune so far this season. "If you sneak through a whole season with little depth and no injuries, you better believe you'll get hit hard the next." Perhaps there is some kind of justice, in that case (especially now that Rob Styles, the referee who awarded that egregious penalty against Liverpool after Florent Malouda leaped into Steve Finnan, has been suspended for a week by the Premiership).


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