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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Euro 2012 Day 3 (Group C)

Spain 1-1 Italy
A match up of two world renowned footballing nations started the footballing publics' day with reigning champions Spain taking on Italy for the first match in Group C. Many, including Alexi Lalas feels as though Spain have peaked and their unraveling will begin in this tournament. Questions where raised when the starting line-ups emerged with Spain playing with no identified striker. All the talk about who would start up top due to the absence of David Villa, yet no Negredo, no Llorente, and no Torres. A midfield of Alonso, Xavi, and Busquets with Inesta,  Fabregas, and David Silva in front of them. Exercising what's know as a "False nine" in the Biz, these midfielders can rotate, and interchange positions causing headaches to the defensive unit entrusted with stoping them. Did it work? Not really I would say as the attack lacked a focal point, Italy's unorthodox back-line remained un-stretched. 

Danielle De Rossi played a sweeper role in front of a back two, aided by wing-backs Maggio and Giaccherni. Italy has always been renowned as a defensively sound team and it snuffed a few efforts from the outstanding Iniesta which threatened Buffon's goal. Italy started with Mario Ballotelli and Antonio Cassano up-top in which the latter had a fantastic game. Yet it was Balotelli with the clear cut chance to convert when he hustled and hurried Sergio Ramos into making a sloppy back pass to Casillas, that deflected of the Italian's foot falling right into his path. Bearing down on goal Balotelli, eyes for goal took to long and Ramos recovered with a sliding hook clearance. Italian Coach Prandelli amended this squandered chance by taking out the big man and replacing him with Antonio Di Natalie, who scored with literally his second touch. 

Spain's goal came from a combo of those midfielders I spoke of as Xavi touched it to Silva around the arch, who controlled and deftly flicked the ball with the outside of his boot right into the path of the on rushing Fabregas, who powered it past Buffon. This is how it ended -deadlocked, while Croatia made heavy work of Ireland.

Croatia 3-1 Ireland 

Precast as the whipping boys of the group, Ireland took on the team seen as their best chance of picking up three points, Croatia. An early goal to Croatia threw the green army's plan out the window.  Having to chase Ireland got a goal back from a set play, due to their grit and determination. The wingers Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady where fairly anonymous and the likes of Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle had to scrap to get anything in the way of service. Ireland didn't play bad, but suffered from some sloppy play and a run of bad luck. Directly after the half Everton's Nikica Jelavic put his nation ahead after (like I said) a squewd Irish clearance.  Ireland had a shout for a penlty after Gordon Schildenfeld went through Robbie Keane in his effort to reach the ball, a clear penalty for me and the Irish should feel agreived. Croatian strikers Jelavic and Mario Madzukic where immense giving Dunne and St Ledger plenty to think about. With the Irish yet to face Spain and Italy I'm saying it's curtains. Croatia now sit atop Group C

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Euro 2012: Day 1 (Group A)

Day 1: Group A

Greece 1-1 Poland
Having waited with the masses for the commencement of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, one could not hope for a more entertaining match. In front of a ruckus home crowd, the hosts Poland went one up on the Greeks through a thumping headed goal from star striker Robert Lewandowski. The Greeks always solid in defense looked sloppy and in the first half when the rare attacking opportunity presented itself the move petered out faster than you could say "Opa." Second half super-sub Dimitris Salpingidis salvaged the deficit which before the break was compounded by the 44th minute red card to central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos. After leveling, and playing with 10 men the Greeks held it together as the Polish found it hard to challenge the 38 year old deputant in the Greek keeper. This was fortune was well deserved for the second yellow to Papastathopoulos was as harsh as they come. Salpingidis continued his tricky ways as he latched onto a floated ball over the defense, pushing it past the Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny who brought him down, awarding a penalty and earning a strait red. 

Couldn't write this stuff, could you? And hold on it gets better. The Polish substitute keeper Przemyslaw Tyton's first task was to face a penalty kick, that if converted would put his nation behind. Old timer Karagounis with the chance to put his name up in lights flubbed his effort which was handily saved by the substitute keeper, who in turn became the man of the moment, showing his satisfaction with celebratory clenched fists. ESPN commentator Alexi Lalas  brought out the old cliche of "A game of two halves," and apart from its mediocrity as a analytical breakdown, he was right. Having their backs up against it in the first half, the Greeks took it to the Pol's in the second, and should feel aggrieved that they didn't snag the 3 points. 

Russia 4-1 Czech Republic

Really not much to say about this one except for: my how far have the Czech's fallen from grace. Ranked second in the world going into the 2006 Cup in Germany, my word six years has done a number on the squad. They looked terrible, but before I praise Russia too much I'm not sure if it's a case of Russia as a force to be reckoned with or, the Czechs' being a force to be wrecked. No matter, the Russians where rampant looking like the team of the last Euro's. Starlet Alan Dzagoev notched two in their route to victory. For my money they'll be top dogs in Group A.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

AdidasPredator Lethal Zones vs. The Deadly Challenges

RVP, Casillas, Dani Alves, Sandro, David Villa, Di Maria, and Xabi Alonso fitted with the New Adidas Predator Lethal Boot Line, face the deadly challenges that test the integrity and grit of their fancy footwear. Pitted against water cannons, rotating turbines and fluorescent tubes these players' make heavy weather of their challenges. 


Dexter Season 7 & 8 Announced.

Anyone who has followed this blog since its conception knows that I have given mad love to Showtime's Dexter.  Now everyone's favorite serial killer emerges for a 7th season that will premiere Sunday, September 30th at 9pm ET. Below is the first teaser that has been released, yet doesn't offer much in the way of  visuals. With the emergence of this trailer comes news of some cast add ons and that a large plot point will have to do with a stripper and the owner of a gentleman's club played by Jason Gedrick. With the announcement of Season 7, Showtime has reportedly signed on for another one, which will be the penultimate season. Should be flesh biting fun...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Liverpool x Warrior Release The New 2012-13 Away Kit

 I was super excited when the Warrior made Liverpool home kit  emerged this summer, and with the release of the away kit I maintain my delight on the result. I've heard some say it looks like a wetsuit, and it kind of does, yet I like the style. I heard rumors it might be purple and I can say with 100% assurity that I am more please with this result.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Liver n 'Onions: Brendan Rodgers named new Liverpool FC Manager

To say it's been a topsy turvy couple of weeks' for Liverpool FC would be a mammoth understatement. Having last week departed with club idol and current manager Kenny Dalglish, the new manger charade began with a fury. Names like Roberto Martinez, Andre Villas-Boas, Louis van Gaal, Fabio Capello and Frank de Boer hit the ears of Liverpool fans eagerly awaiting a new appointment. This wait concluded Wednesday when Liverpool announced the appointment of their 18th manager in the clubs history, ex-Swansea Manager Brendan Rodgers. For me it's the antithesis of a climactic decision.Yes he deserves acclaim for guiding a newly promoted side to the eleventh spot, achieving this playing attractive football to boot, but is taking on the current mess that is Liverpool a job to much for the thirty-nine year old? Liverpool FC is in a hot mess at the moment, and the appointment of a big name like van Gaal, or AVB sparked hope, yet the set-up being implemented forced Liverpool down an alley with limited options. 

A trio of footballing directors will oversee the players purchased based on how they will fit into the system. This leaves the manager to work strictly with the team, and utilize the players according to that philosophy. With a big name like AVB or say de Boer, that just won't work. Clash of ideals and falling out between manger and higher-ups is a familiar complication at Anfield as Rafa Benitez fell out with Rick Perry and his purchase of Robbie Keane. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers I fear was a last resort as the bigger names denied the position. According to a statement by Ian Arye on the Liverpool website, Rodgers was Liverpool's " first choice,"which I find highly suspect. For Rodgers the difficulty of getting current players, and any potential new signings to perform at their bast is key, after a lackluster season that saw the majority of the squad under perform. Looking at how new signings will be assessed by "signing by committee type of procedure an 'analysis by committee'. It will be a whole range of people bringing together a whole range of skill-sets to go out and find and identify what we need and Brendan will have a big input in that." 

Owner John Henry and Fenway Sports Group sent Dalglish packing after he guided Liverpool to an eighth place finish, four points behind club rivals Everton. Wholesale changes seem to be in the offing this summer for the Merseyside club, as the higher-ups look at last year's sub-par results and ponder solutions. The signings that Dalglish made with the help of Damien Comollli, now formally of Liverpool, did not pan out on the whole. Yet with the latest injury to Frank Lampard ahead of Euro 2012 sees Jordan Henderson make the England squad, joining four other Liverpool players on the roster….go figure. I guess this is the time to touch on it because a requires mentioning. Downing had a terrible season, Carroll came decent a month before the end of the season, Glen Johnson underperformed, and now Henderson strikes me as a stretch from the England Manager Roy Hodgson. The season that Liverpool had does not warrant having four players in the squad.

Now I want to take you into the Oniony side this piece, after all it is silly season. Reports have linked Liverpool with Barcelona's Ibrahim Affellay who could be available for around six million Euro's. What Liverpool need is sure up the Midfield and get some quality wingers. For me the player I want to see at Anfield next season is Adam Johnson.

Surplus to requirement at Manchester City, Liverpool should be able to sign him for a decent price, which for under ten million pounds would be a snip for a player would could beat any fullback with his tricky and direct play. Judging on Brendan Rodgers style of play at Swansea, he likes playing the ball on the floor utilizing tricky wingers to open defenses. Both of the aforementioned players' would fit well into the system that he would like to implement.