Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mercenaries, Money and Buying a Championship

The Sheikh of Manchester Oil and Football Club
I am so sick of reading about Man City, Roberto Mancini and most of all $amir Na$ri.

Man City was purchased by an exceedingly wealthy billionaire sheikh who decided to invest his endless supply of money in to Manchester's long term under-performing second team. Like a kid with a new toy, the sheikh  went on a spending spree purchasing world class players for his team without a thought about the price tag. As anyone could have predicted after the Sheikh's insane investment in talent, Man City went on to win the EPL title this season (do keep in mind that they ALMOST blew it). Okay, great. I am truly happy for the long suffering fans of Manchester City. I can relate to following a team that is forever in the shadow of a bigger and more successful club. Good for them.

Words from the hypocrite
What does sicken me is the arrogance and greed being displayed by the manager and the cockiness of this collection of mercenaries that won a trophy by paying for it. Mancini poaches other teams' players as if he's at an all you can eat buffet. Man City is so out of control, they make the New York Yankees look cheap. Three days after the season ends and Mancini is looking to steal more players from other teams rather than actually doing it the old fashioned way....DEVELOPING THEM.

Beyond being rewarded for being greedy, Mancini also showed what a wimp and flip flopper he is. After Carlos Tevez went AWOL for months after refusing to play for Man City during a Champions League match, Mancini rightfully vowed that he was "finished" and would never play for the club again. Fans were burning his jersey and he became the most hated man in Manchester. So what happens? With the title slipping away, Mancini invites this selfish overpaid jock to come back. Tevez was last seen riding on an open top bus holding up a totally disrespectful sign and celebrating a championship he hardly played a part in.

Then there's that nut case known as Mario Balotelli. An attention seeking idiot and troublemaker, Mancini's "final straw" with Balotelli came in early April during Arsenal's 1-0 victory over City. Despite getting away without a red card for a vicious tackle on Alex Song, the dope then went on to try and break Bacary Sagna's leg twice to finally get sent off. At this point in the season, City's grip on the title looked to be slipping away. Following the match the "boss", Mancini, expressed his frustration with the player and said that he would probably not play again for City and would be sold in the summer.

Well what a shock, Mancini has gone back on his statement and proven that he isn't too good at math as well. If Mancini were a parent, his kids would be having keg parties in the house each night and skipping school every day. The guy has no control over his overpaid brood and lets them run things as they want.

Get up, I got away with that one
The biggest mercenary of all at Sheikh City Oil and Football Club has got to be $amir "it's not about the money" Na$ri. Arsene Wenger brought Na$ri to England and helped develop the player in to a household name in the UK. Given the chance to play regularly at Arsenal Na$ri had a breakout season in 2010-2011.
Of course it's about the money
As often happens when the ugly girl gets the chance to date the quarterback, Na$ri saw dollar signs (or pound signs) dancing in his head as his stock rose in the football world. Showing zero loyalty, Na$ri jumped at the chance to make ridiculous money to live in a crappy city and play for a team being bankrolled by a sugar daddy.

Of course Arsenal fans were upset that one of their players was leaving and that might have been the end of the story. Sadly, Na$ri couldn't just take the money and leave with class. Instead he publicly mocked the club and its fans.

During the season, Na$ri played sporadically, got to know the bench on a first name basis and scored a few goals.  Instead of being one of the core, money boy settled for a bit part in order to grab the loot and be a part of a team that purchased the title. So, what does he do? He again, shows zero class, intelligence or professionalism as he directs  more vitriol to his former club, manager and its fans.

At the other end of the spectrum is Jack Wilshere who took a stand and shot back at this ungrateful part time player. Wilshere knows how to display class and appreciation..

So to all the folks on Twitter wondering why Arsenal fans are angry at Na$ri for leaving.....we are not.  We are angry at him for showing no class or respect to the manager and club that made him as well as the fans that worshiped him and pay his wages. I would love to see a guy like him have to get a real job and work for a living.

Lastly, Joey Barton is a world class dirt bag. What he pulled on Sunday was absolutely insane. The fact that this guy is paid tons of money simply because he can play a game is insulting to upstanding humans everywhere that are struggling to find work and get by. If not for the sport of football,  he would be in jail along with his brother. The FA should ban this guy for good.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Get It Done Arsenal...If The Mets Can Win, Then Surely You Can Beat West Brom

Arsenal's 2011-2012 season has been a tough one. It's either been all good or all bad. This past weekend's 3-3 draw with Norwich at The Emirates was definitely bad. In fact it was inexcusable, pathetic and downright frustrating.  With just 2 games remaining in the season, Arsenal had third place and a guarantee of Champions League football next season all but locked up. They controlled their own their last two games against Norwich at home and West Brom away and this difficult season would end on a positive note. Third place, guaranteed Champions League football and the arrival of the yearly Arsenal holiday known as St. Totteringham's Day.

No disrespect to Norwich, but Arsenal should have bossed this game from start to finish and recorded the win with ease. Less than two minutes into the game and a Yossi Benayoun strike from distance and it looked lilke Arsenal would cruise. Instead, Arsenal had to fight back throughout the match. When Robin van Persie scored his second goal of the day in the 80th minute, the Gunners had regained the lead 3-2. All they had to do was defend their lead for just 10 minutes. They didn't do it. The 3-3 draw let the door open for Spuds and Newcastle to jump Arsenal for third place.

Some higher power must be a Gooner as Arsenal were given a gift today. The mercenaries of Manchester's Oil City United defeated Newcastle 2-0 and miraculously Spuds only managed a draw with Aston Villa.  So, with one game left....just one, Arsenal again have their destiny in their own hands. A win next week and the job is done. This is not only a winnable game, it is a must win. Hopefully, the next blog entry will be a positive one as we put the most frustrating and unpredictable EPL season in recent memory to bed. GET IT DONE ARSENAL.
Better late than never

Meanwhile in Queens, New York the Mets put a stop to their own run of inept play and actually won 2 out of 3 from the Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, I actually got to witness one of those wins as I attended my first Mets game of the year. A friend gave me a pair of tickets he couldn't use and the only catch was that I had to bring back the Tom Seaver bobbleheads that were being given out at the stadium that day.

The Tom Seaver bobbleheads as promised
Despite the late afternoon start and the free giveaway, the "crowd" at Citi Field was still pretty sparse. Just another sign of the times for the New York Mets.

In a rather unexciting game, the Mets finally rewarded Johan Santana by scoring 4 runs and actually holding on to the lead. 4-3 was the final and Santana had finally notched his first win of the season.

R.A. Dickey followed Santana's great outing with one of his own today. Dickey pitched 8 scoreless innings and the Mets' came away with a 4-1 win.

So one team that should have won, didn't and one team that shouldn't win did. Here's hoping that next Sunday will be victorious for Arsenal and St. Totteringham's Day will be celebrated all across the world!

Finally, The Mets' earn a win for Johan Santana

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Quick Rant as Arsenal's Season Nears the End and the Mets' Season Looks Over Just as it Begins

This is a quick one. With 2 games left in the EPL season Arsenal's grip on third place is, shall we say, precarious. The team's 1 point lead over Spuds and Newcastle is slight and the only guarantee Arsenal have for third place and definite Champions League football next season is to stay in this position.

In the past, victory over Norwich and West Brom was pretty much a done deal. In this season of mixed form, however, every Arsenal fan is filled with anxiety and fear. If Arsenal win both, it doesn't matter what anyone else does. Spuds will play Villa away and Fulham at home while Newcastle have two tough game remaining at home versus Mercenary City (a.k.a. Man City) and away to Everton. Ideally it would be great to see Arsenal secure third and Newcastle fourth with Tottenham missing out. However, at this point, I'm just concerned with the Gunners.

Torres and Chelsea hardly look like European Champions
One possible snag in the top 4 finish is Chelsea. Currently in 6th, it's going to take close to a miracle for Chelsea to finish in the top 4. However, despite playing like crap for large portions of the season, Chel$ki have somehow made it to the Champions League final. If they actually go on and win, they will automatically get one of the four spots despite finishing outside the top 4. This pisses every EPL purist off as Chelsea couldn't even win at home today to Newcastle. They played like crap and hardly look like potential Champions of Europe. I cannot see Chelsea beating Bayern in Munich, but stranger things have happened. It would be so undeserved, but again, Arsenal don't have to worry about Chelsea if they just go out and take care of their own business. Their destiny is in their own hands and I expect them to take advantage of this!

One great bit of news out of the Arsenal camp is the signing of German international Lukas Podolski who comes to North London with his own catchy little song.

Outside of Arsenal, the recovery of Fabrice Muamba and his return to the Reebok Stadium before today's game is truly inspirational. The guy is a walking miracle!


As for the Mets...It might as well have been April Fool's Day for the entire month. The no name bankrupt Mets actually played some decent baseball during the first month of the season. After starting off 4-0 the Mets finished April with a respectable 13-10 record. The cracks were definitely starting to show, however. Take for example last week's 18-9 loss to Colorado. Not only did the Mets give up 11 runs in one inning,  they committed 6 errors in what the Daily News eloquently called a "debacle".

On the good side, Johan Santana looks like the Johan of old. David Wright is off to a hot start and Lucas Duda is showing signs of becoming the slugger the Mets have desperately needed.

On the bad side, Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey getting hurt and being out, actually improves the team. That pretty much sums it up. I'm a die hard fan of this team and even I don't know who half the guys are that the Mets put out on the field every day.Who the hell are Chris Schwinden, Jordany Valdespin, Zach Lutz and Mike Baxter? When you're running out Scott Hairston and Mike Nickeas on a regular basis, you know that you are supporting a horrible team. Even the good brings with it some bad. Daniel Murphy has proven that he is a solid hitter and has come through at the plate on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, as the Mets play in the National League, Daniel Murphy is required to play defense as well. He is currently on pace to finish the year with 34 errors.
Daniel Murphy makes another error
The best surprise has been the discovery of outfielder Kirk Neuwenhuis. The kid has been impressive at the plate, in the field and on the bases. He looks and plays like a young Lenny Dykstra and is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, the new Mr. Met
As April turned to May, the Mets began a series in Houston against the "lowly" Astros. They lost a heart breaker on Monday 4-3 and were then humiliated on Tuesday and Wednesday. I suppose I shouldn't care as the team is just living up to its expectations.

Meanwhile, the new "fiscally responsible" New York Yankees are looking a bit shaky themselves. They are also twisting the facts on their new budget managing skills as this Global Sports Salaries report shows. Check out number for the least the club's drop from 30 to 63 shows that they are lousy for a reason. (Thank you Bernie Madoff).