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Eh, someone had to do it... [Champions League]
May 28, 2011 8:49 AM   Subscribe

The 2010-11 Champions League Finals. In two and a half hours, the biggest game in club football will commence (bbc text stream). The Champions League final is likely to be watched by 300 million viewers and features Manchester United (England's best team this year) against FC Barcelona, now sometimes claimed to be the best team of all time (although the Barca coach plays that down). Lineker thinks that Barca just have to 'turn up to win'.

A quick guide to the teams for football newbies.

Team lineup news

Let the football begin.
posted by jaduncan (147 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
i prepared myself for this last night by re-watching the Argentina-US friendly from a few months ago, in which argentina did a great impression of Barcelona, thanks to having messi, mascherano, etc. argentina was terrifyingly, indecently good (and the us quite respectable). watching them was like listening to "Strawberry Fields Forever" for the first time. i do so hope they tear man u to weeping shreds, even though i've got no particular animus toward man u.
posted by Zerowensboring at 9:02 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I usually like to root for the underdog but in this case with the two most famous, richest sports teams in the world I'm just flipping a coin.

And.... Barca it is!
posted by PenDevil at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2011


My wife and I were waiting for a flight in Heathrow in 2008 when Manchester won against Chelsea. The game hadn't started yet and we were killing time at the bar. There were a bunch of fans of both teams there as well and each side stated their case for my allegiance. Man U won because one of their supporters bought me a drink ("Ferguson's Gambit" I believe the move is called), so while we trotted down the terminal to get to our gate, I stopped and bought a Man U jersey.

I have no idea what this jersey represents. I pulled it out of the closet today thinking I might wear it when I go out to watch the game (which is a mark of a bad Liverpool fan, I guess). It's mostly black, has a white left shoulder, and some sort of speckled 90 in the bottom corner in addition to the Nike, AIG, and team badge. I assume it's a training jersey of some type.

As for the game today, it'll all come down to Ferdinand, Vidic, and Van Der Saar to give Man U a chance. They'll have quality raining down on them from the moment the first whistle blows. If they screw up, it's all over.

They'll not only have to park the bus, but also make sure said bus was designed by BA Baracus.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2011


If both sides play to their full capacity I don't mind too much who wins (although I will admit to a feeling that I would prefer the Catalan national side (seriously, it is) who are a co-operative with elections to choose club officers to win over the Glazier-helmed United. I also feel a little tratorous saying that as a British person. How randomly tribalism creeps in)
posted by jaduncan at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the Finals is only 1 match, correct?

All the other Champions Leagues rounds were 2 matches: 1 home and 1 away, so this is kind of weird. Isn't it a little unfair to have the match be in London considering Manchester United is an English team and Barcelona is Spanish?
posted by Cloud King at 9:14 AM on May 28, 2011


The location of the finals is determined long before the teams qualify for it. For example in 2008, Man U and Chelsea played each other in the final in Moscow.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2011


*cough* justintv *cough*
posted by mwhybark at 9:20 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zonal Marking, a blog about football tactics has several articles addressing the upcoming game as well as lessons learned from the 2009 final (which was also contested by these two sides).

Tactical preview
Lessons from the 2009 final (part 1)
Lessons from the 2009 final (part 2)

And also, I honestly consider this one of the most gloriously stirring pieces of music :)
posted by quosimosaur at 9:22 AM on May 28, 2011


I usually like to root for the underdog but in this case with the two most famous, richest sports teams in the world I'm just flipping a coin


I have totally been brainwashed by Barca, I fully admit. Nevertheless, I feel like they are the underdog. Not because they're some impoverished and plucky Lil Orphan Annie, which they ain't, but because their goal, so to speak, is not to score goals, but to play beautifully and selflessly. They're like elves or something. (Totally brainwashed.) Just watch them when they get in the box--instead of blasting the ball at goal once they get within twenty yards, they control the ball and make these tiny, lightning fast passes back and forth for no reason other than that it's fun and hard to do. Whereas Man U, even though they have a lot of talent, is this sort of thick-necked troll that just grinds it out. Man U has no ethos, as Walter Sobchak once said of a certain gang of nihilists.
posted by Zerowensboring at 9:22 AM on May 28, 2011


Isn't this the greatest football chant/anthem of all time?
posted by ericteoh at 9:22 AM on May 28, 2011


I've never been overly fond of Man U to put it lightly, so Forza Barca.

Is this where I confess that I would also do dirty, dirty things to Pep Guardiola and about half the squad?
posted by romakimmy at 9:23 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks London isn't Spanish hasn't been in London this afternoon.
posted by Devonian at 9:24 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping this one isn't decided by whichever team can manage to keep 11 players on the pitch, but I fear the pressure these teams will put on the referee will be too much. A small part of Barca's magic is derived from the way they can cow referees and Man U are the worst (best?) exponents of referee management in the Premier League (Ferdinand and Vidic in particular).

I feel particularly sorry for Van der Sar (playing in his last ever professional match). There will come a moment when it will be just him versus Messi, and VDS will be forced to take him down. I think there's a strong chance of VDS being red carded off in his final match. But that's the genius of Messi - he's unplayable sometimes.

Barca 2-0.
posted by bright cold day at 9:26 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, for the footie-inclined, we still have teams available in the Metafilter Premier season over on Soccer Manager. Drop me a line of you want in! Liverpool needs fresh meat for the Grist Spire.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:27 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whereas Man U, even though they have a lot of talent, is this sort of thick-necked troll that just grinds it out.

Entirely coincidentally, Wayne Rooney plays for them.
posted by jaduncan at 9:29 AM on May 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can I just take this opportunity for a little pedantry:

Barça is the football team,
Barna is the shortened form of the city
Barca is a boat...

Thank you. You may now go about your business. Oh, hang on - one more thing...

Tot el camp .
és un clam som la gent blau-grana .
tant se val d´on venim, si del sud o del nord,
ara estem d´acord,
estem d´acord una bandera ens agermana:
blau-grana al vent,
un crit valent,
tenim un nom,
el sap tothom:
Barça! Barça! Baaarça!

Jugadors .
Seguidors .
tots units fem força: .
són molts anys plens d´afanys, .
són molts gols que hem cridat, .
i s´ha demostrat, s´ha demostrat, .
que mai ningú no ens podrà tórcer: .
Blau-grana al vent, .
un crit valent, .
tenim un nom, .
el sap tothom: .
Barça! Barça! Baaarça!

VISCA BARÇA!
posted by benzo8 at 9:32 AM on May 28, 2011


Sorry, benzo8, but Giggs put an injunction on the 'ç' being on most American keyboards.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:34 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, part of Barcelona's passing game is also about grinding out a result by sitting back and denying their opponents possession of the ball. Of course, they only really take it to this extreme--defending with possession--once they have already scored the first goal.
posted by quosimosaur at 9:35 AM on May 28, 2011


These big club games often end up as really dull affairs. The best game on in the UK this weekend might not be this weekend at all but Monday -- the Championship Playoff Final pits a white hot Reading team has lost one of its last 12 games (including an 8 game winning streak and a march to the FA Cup quarterfinals where they lost to eventual champions Man City) against Swansea, a team playing a stylish, flowing football that makes British footie writers drool all over the page. Swansea is helmed by Brendan Rogers, whom Reading fired a year and a half ago after the Royals found themselves too close to being relegated.

The winner joins the Premiership, where they will be smacked around by Man U and Man City and get £90M for their trouble.
posted by dw at 9:52 AM on May 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Força Barça!
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:11 AM on May 28, 2011


[Also, I want to put in an additional plug for robocop's MeFite Soccer Manager league mentioned above. We're having a ridiculous amount of fun, and we've got a bunch of unmanaged teams that need human managers, so please consider joining us for the merriment and smack talk.]
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:25 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


MeFite Soccer Manager players: How spammy are the site owners?
posted by jaduncan at 10:28 AM on May 28, 2011


when you look at the business of professional sports—in both Europe and the United States—American sports are virtually all socialistic while the European soccer leagues more closely resemble the entrepreneurial capitalism we Americans fetishize...

To different degrees, Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NBA are examples of European-style socialism among billionaires and Fortune 500 companies. They share revenues, tightly regulate admission to the cartel, and bargain collectively with powerful European-style unions, which act as barriers against reform. Losers not only can prosper, but they get first dibs on next year's crop of talent...

In Europe, the successful and rich teams grow richer. (For assembling and stockpiling talent, the New York Yankees have nothing on Spain's Real Madrid.) The poor get poorer, some teams fail entirely, and those intent on self-improvement have an opportunity every year to rise above circumstances. To quote another great middle-brow American intellectual (John Cougar Mellencamp): "Ain't that America?"
Why Soccer Is More American Than Baseball
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:31 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was born in Barcelona and I am a Barça supporter (there's another city team, much less powerful), of a mild variety perhaps, but since Guardiola has been the coach I have regained insterest in futbol matters, maybe only because he's such a straightforward honest dude.

Força Barça!
posted by samelborp at 10:34 AM on May 28, 2011


MeFite Soccer Manager players: How spammy are the site owners?
Not spammy.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2011


Not spammy.

Awesome. You have an extra manager.
posted by jaduncan at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2011


You fill up my senses
like a packet of Walker's
like a glass of sangria
like a color-blind ref
like a night out in Zurich
like a greasy chip butty
like a bribe from FIFA
Come fill me again!


EVERYBODY!
posted by eriko at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2011


The television broadcast just came on here on Fox TV in America. It looks like it's being handled by the American Football tv team. It had Fox's NFL bumper music. Easily the best part so far has been the hilari-bad goofy video explaining the differences between soccer and football. Now they're explaining that London is a city in the European Union.
posted by BeerFilter at 11:12 AM on May 28, 2011


The best game on in the UK this weekend might not be this weekend at all but Monday

History says otherwise. Arguably the richest prize in football for the winner makes for nervy, grinding encounters. Penalties will decide.
posted by i_cola at 11:15 AM on May 28, 2011


I was born in Barcelona and I am a Barça supporter (there's another city team, much less powerful), of a mild variety perhaps, but since Guardiola has been the coach I have regained insterest in futbol matters, maybe only because he's such a straightforward honest dude.

Not a culé then? :-)

I lived in Barcelona for five years (and then moved to Spain, to Granada) and it always felt to me that Espanyol was a club more for the "working man", supported by people from Hospitalet and Badalona, whereas Barça was more the team for the city and the middle classes in Barcelona itself.

I was never a socio, but I know plenty and regularly got spare seats in Camp Nou. They are now my second team - my first being a small third division club back in London!
posted by benzo8 at 11:16 AM on May 28, 2011


Poor Brad. He looks so patient up there, like an indulgent uncle listening to his niece rattle off facts about dinosaurs.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:16 AM on May 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, they not only have the Fox NFL music, they have the hyper-masculine sound effects. It's hilarious.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:30 AM on May 28, 2011


I have come to an Accord with the NASCAR Fan at the bar. He can have his Tv, I'll have mine.

We glower at each other, then look down to our beers.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:40 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


They had the Grenadier Guards carry out the cup. Heh.
posted by eriko at 11:43 AM on May 28, 2011


BeerFilter: "Now they're explaining that London is a city in the European Union."

we live in scientifictionist times.
posted by mwhybark at 11:47 AM on May 28, 2011


If you need a stream check the header of this Reddit match thread.
posted by BeerFilter at 11:48 AM on May 28, 2011


Isn't someone supposed to have said "Rooney, you wanker!" by now?
posted by eriko at 11:55 AM on May 28, 2011


Sorry, I was too distracted by the unexpected shot showing the outlines of David Villa's underpants.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:57 AM on May 28, 2011


[and the fact that Rooney can't seem to get a touch]
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:02 PM on May 28, 2011


1 - 0 Barcelona by Pedro
posted by BeerFilter at 12:13 PM on May 28, 2011


First Barca goal reveals allies in bar. NASCAR fan asks for check.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:15 PM on May 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


So conflicted. I love Barça, I love Barcelona, but I would also love Chicharito to be on the winning team. His grandfather an mine played in Chivas. Mine sucked, and there has not been any athletic talent in my family ever since. We live vicaroliously through Hernandez.

Finally, when I worked bars in London Man U fans would pay my monthly rent in a day of tips.
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:16 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


OH, hey there's Rooney.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:19 PM on May 28, 2011


Rooney with the equalizer, 1 - 1 in 33rd minute
posted by BeerFilter at 12:19 PM on May 28, 2011


Rooney, you wanker!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:19 PM on May 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Calm down, calm down...
posted by i_cola at 12:21 PM on May 28, 2011


Valencia, you wanker!
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:26 PM on May 28, 2011


Correction: Calm down, calm down...
posted by i_cola at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2011


i_cola: You appear to be mistaking Liverpudlians for Mancunians... HTH.
posted by benzo8 at 12:30 PM on May 28, 2011


Rooney is a Scouser.
posted by i_cola at 12:40 PM on May 28, 2011


Oh, OK then! Carry on...
posted by benzo8 at 12:44 PM on May 28, 2011


MESSI!
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:55 PM on May 28, 2011


Nice.
posted by safetyfork at 12:56 PM on May 28, 2011


If I were Edwin van der Sar I would be livid. How the f*** was Messi allowed to shoot from 25 yds dead centre? Spectacularly poor.
posted by bright cold day at 12:57 PM on May 28, 2011


Reds fans across Asia now crying into their drinks. (where is Barça's bar chain?)
posted by Winnemac at 12:58 PM on May 28, 2011


Van Der Sar's fault. Classic goalkeeping mistake – bobbing. He was actually off the ground when Messi hit the shot and of course you can't push off towards the ball until you've landed and by then it's too late.
posted by i_cola at 12:59 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Valencia have the ref's dog held hostage somewhere? How has he not been carded yet?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:01 PM on May 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was thinking the exact same thing.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:01 PM on May 28, 2011


Messi blocked by Van der Saar's crotch.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:05 PM on May 28, 2011


I don't watch a lot of soccer but isn't the other team supposed to get the ball every once is awhile? Man oh man Barcelona is quite good, aren't they.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:07 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poor David Villa, he's having a tough day.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:10 PM on May 28, 2011


OH WAIT NEVER MIND.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:11 PM on May 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Honestly, Manchester United is the second best team in the league? Because this appears to be nearly Harlem Globetrotters / Washington Generals level disparity.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:11 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh. Something tells me this won't be like '99.
posted by jaduncan at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2011


what a shot!

and what a move from Messi to get past Nani.
posted by sauril at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2011


Oh what a goal by Villa! Barça 3, Man U 1... Que golazo!
posted by benzo8 at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2011


Heh.
posted by safetyfork at 1:12 PM on May 28, 2011


Oh, hey David. What are you doing here?
Oh, just standing here, waiting for someone to pass the ball to me.
Should I get out of your way, then?
Please.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:13 PM on May 28, 2011


Honestly, Manchester United is the second best team in the league? Because this appears to be nearly Harlem Globetrotters / Washington Generals level disparity.

They are in different domestic leagues (the Champions League is, confusingly, a cup competition) but yes, by common consensus this is the right final.
posted by jaduncan at 1:13 PM on May 28, 2011


To be fair ManU is playing - for all intents and purps - the World Cup Champions plus the best football player in the world.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:14 PM on May 28, 2011


Rooney can't seem to get a touch.
OH, hey there's Rooney.

Poor David Villa, he's having a tough day.
OH WAIT NEVER MIND.


Hey, Dr. Zira, do Park next.
posted by Winnemac at 1:14 PM on May 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


That Korean ball of energy is unstoppable.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:15 PM on May 28, 2011


you're not singing,
You're not singing,
Youre not singing anymore!

posted by eriko at 1:16 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair ManU is playing - for all intents and purps - the World Cup Champions plus the best football player in the world.

Yeah, I'm not trying to slag ManU so much as I'm just shocked how good Barcelona is. They are just going wherever they want and hitting perfect passes. Fun to watch, would be cool if ManU could keep up.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:16 PM on May 28, 2011


Man U has been reduced to Stoke levels of strategery.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:17 PM on May 28, 2011


You should have seen Arsenal's win over Barca earlier this season. It was one of the most fun games I've ever watched.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:18 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


How is Valencia still playing?
posted by sauril at 1:21 PM on May 28, 2011


Oh, for fuck's sake Valencia.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:21 PM on May 28, 2011


Finally, Valencia. Do your worst to the dog.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:21 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


He finally earned himself a yellow card by body slamming Messi.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:22 PM on May 28, 2011


From the Guardian:

81 min: Valencia is booked for his 498th minor infringement of the evening. That has been coming.
posted by sauril at 1:25 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I wonder if Berbs is just sitting on the sidelines seething?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:25 PM on May 28, 2011


Wondering if any of the Manure players are going to go Bynum before the final whistle...
posted by i_cola at 1:26 PM on May 28, 2011


He's not even on the sidelines, according to ITV.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:26 PM on May 28, 2011


This has been fun to watch and follow along with you. The skill level is just tremendous all around, despite that possession % showing how Barca has been dominating. I can't wait to go see them play in DC on July 30!
posted by gemmy at 1:27 PM on May 28, 2011


Do you think Man U will get back the 30-something million quid they paid for Berbatov when they sell him this summer?
posted by bright cold day at 1:28 PM on May 28, 2011


So far it looks like, to use an American idiom, Man U has been taken to the woodshed by Barca.
posted by dw at 1:28 PM on May 28, 2011


Man of the Match? I vote David Villa's soul patch.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:29 PM on May 28, 2011


Puyi's abs warming upon on the sidelines.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:29 PM on May 28, 2011


Seriously. I bet David Villa owns the most perfect denim jacket on earth.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:30 PM on May 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't it be fantastic if Puyol could score one with a header in the last minute?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:31 PM on May 28, 2011


Only if he heads it right at Van Der Sar and the goalkeeper explodes into dust and fireworks.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:33 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what would be awesome? If the flower in Fergie's lapel were a trick flower that squirted Josep in the eye when they shook hands.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed the match.
posted by safetyfork at 1:37 PM on May 28, 2011


AND THEN HE BECOMES TWO FACE. WE MUST WRITE THIS SCREENPLAY.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:37 PM on May 28, 2011


Man U is playing the Sounders this summer. Last time a Champions League finalist came through was Barca in 2009, a game more remembered for the kit choices than the football.
posted by dw at 1:38 PM on May 28, 2011


Oh, my. Peach is not Messi's color.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:39 PM on May 28, 2011


Heh. That was...one sided.
posted by jaduncan at 1:40 PM on May 28, 2011


I'm seeing Man U play the Revolution this summer too. Kinda wish I took my folks up on their bribe to bring my son down to them in MD in return for Man U/Barca tix.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:41 PM on May 28, 2011


Kind of puts the Premier League in perspective ...
posted by bright cold day at 1:42 PM on May 28, 2011


Any news on the Arsenal US tour?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:43 PM on May 28, 2011


Have not heard anything yet. I'm still convinced there will be Something at Fenway during the All Star break. Liverpool is out due to the Asia tour, but I'm not sure if another Premier team would play at Anfield West.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:47 PM on May 28, 2011


Can Dani Alves get a post-game yellow card for unnecessary making out with the trophy?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:48 PM on May 28, 2011


He'd prolly make out with the card too.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:51 PM on May 28, 2011


Next Halloween, I'm going to buy some shag carpet and go as Puyi's hair.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:52 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I should have been watching with you guys. My ex will be happy; when Barcelona came to visit a couple years ago, she had a shirt made up that said "I <3 PEP (i am very fond of josep guardiola)".

Zira, I'd expect it not to be until next summer at the earliest, they would have announced dates before now if it were this year. But I would expect that Wenger will take the Euros into account and wait until 2013. He's like that.
posted by Errant at 1:52 PM on May 28, 2011


Brad Friedel has a 20s themed murder mystery dinner party to attend after the match.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:54 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dammit, by that time, Fabregas will probably be back at Barca.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:55 PM on May 28, 2011


They've been training all week at Arsenal's facilities. He's already back at Barca.
posted by Errant at 1:56 PM on May 28, 2011


He's just got an LA Noire cosplay thing afterwards.
posted by Errant at 1:57 PM on May 28, 2011


Don't you have to be in the case of Mad Men and/or John Noble to be in LA Noire?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:59 PM on May 28, 2011


[cast of Mad Men. Grr.]
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:59 PM on May 28, 2011


If you look back to Season 1, you can see Brad in a few flashback scenes to Don's upbringing.

He' the guy holding the opossum.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:00 PM on May 28, 2011


Maybe Grunberg did him a solid in exchange for some mass market Indian chicken.
posted by Errant at 2:02 PM on May 28, 2011


RING AROUND THE TROPHY A POCKET FULL OF RYAN GIGGS' LAWYERS....
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:02 PM on May 28, 2011


Chris Sullivan is back on the FSC postgame show dressed as the Joker and is giving Brad a run for his money.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:03 PM on May 28, 2011


3-1. that seems pretty fair
posted by Zerowensboring at 2:04 PM on May 28, 2011


Is this the thread where I thank FSC for finally dumping the human air raid siren that is Max Bretos?

And Friedel is getting in some decent analysis. Maybe he's angling for that West Ham job.
posted by Errant at 2:07 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Twenty Jack Wilshires Agree....Barca is the Dream Team.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:16 PM on May 28, 2011


Can someone in the know pls explain Alex Ferugson's displeasure with Berbatov?
posted by Zerowensboring at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2011


Can someone in the know pls explain Alex Ferugson's displeasure with Berbatov?

You mean other than the fact he doesn't show up half the time (even when he's actually at the stadium)? I think Sir Alex must feel trapped in a bad marriage, wishing there was a Lemon Law for players. I know the dude split the Golden Boot this year, but (from my cursory watching of the EPL), it's like he scored 80% of his goals off-camera in meaningless games or something.
posted by yerfatma at 2:34 PM on May 28, 2011


Is he just jealous of his matinee-idol eyelashes?
posted by Zerowensboring at 2:34 PM on May 28, 2011


I'm seeing Man U play the Revolution this summer too

If you promise to be this funny in person, I propose a Mefi get-together. Planning on attending with my sister and BiL. Because he's English. And thus must love sokha.
posted by yerfatma at 2:39 PM on May 28, 2011


You're SHIT--AAAAHHHHHHHH
posted by grubi at 3:16 PM on May 28, 2011


Ha HA! Sissy European lisp thingy.
posted by A dead Quaker at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2011


I wonder what Xavier Sala-i-Martin is wearing.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2011


Obligatory (and current!) XKCD.
posted by persona at 4:12 PM on May 28, 2011


yerfatma: it's like he scored 80% of his goals off-camera in meaningless games or something.

Well, except for the few games he won single-footed. Berbatov is a great player, though he hasn't always been a good fit for this Man U team. I think he'd probably blossom at Redknapp's Tottenham if he went back. God knows they could use a striker like him.
posted by Kattullus at 6:03 PM on May 28, 2011


I have to think Berbatov is leaving in the summer, similar to how Pires left Arsenal after being subbed in the 06 final. Being left out of the biggest match of the season has to be as big a vote of no confidence as there could be. I could see him going back to Spurs, but maybe not if Redknapp leaves, and I'm not sure they need another inconsistent striker. Maybe Chelsea, I could see him partnering a returning Sturridge to provide experience. It's maybe more likely that he'll go back to Germany, though.
posted by Errant at 6:56 PM on May 28, 2011


Berbatov doesn't play well with Rooney, whereas Hernandez does. Berb tries to drop too deep, into Rooney's position. Not that he's bad, he just doesn't fit the team, unless he replaces Rooney. Wonder if Ferguson will give him a chance in place of Rooney, but suspect he will probably be sold.

Re some earlier comments. United aren't even the richest team un Manchester, never mind the world. And while Barcelona can play some beautiful football, they can also spend an entire game diving, faking injury and yelling at the ref (see their semi final games against Madrid). Thankfully last night they focused on the beautiful football, and won the game through retaining possession and pressing United to deny them time on the ball, forcing united's players into hasty, inaccurate passes.

I watched the game at a music festival in Barcelona, which was quite bizarre. Locals all sat down for the entire game (in England, everyone would have stood). They were pretty quiet too, until it was obvious they would win. On the other hand, there wasn't any violence or anything, other than a few bottle tops thrown at united supporters when Rooney scored.

Good game played in the right spirit, and the ref was good too, let the game flow and got nearly everything right (Valencia maybe got the benefit a few times, but his fouls weren't bad ones)
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:10 AM on May 29, 2011


Berbatov doesn't play well with Rooney, whereas Hernandez does.

Honestly, I spent most of the match decrying the fact that my club bought Vela instead of Hernandez. And that was with Hernandez doing nothing other than being offside the whole game. Hernandez will be a major player in the next few seasons of the Premier League.
posted by Errant at 2:34 AM on May 29, 2011


Most amusing line read elsewhere: "Ryan Giggs spent all that money on trying to be anonymous to no avail, then achieved it for free in the Champion's League Final."
posted by Abiezer at 3:47 AM on May 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I came here too late needing to ask you folks this: will the ManU-Revolution game at Foxboro stadium be worth seeing? My dad's been a United supporter since the 1940s and I'm thinking of taking him, but if it's gonna be distant views of ManU's B team pounding hell out of a bunch of Americans we can just save the money...
posted by waxbanks at 6:15 AM on May 29, 2011


Well, last year the same tour featured Chicharito's debut, so who knows what early summer signings could roll out.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:40 AM on May 29, 2011


Man U has been reduced to Stoke levels of strategery.

NOW YOU WAIT ONE MINUTE MISTER!!!

This is patently unfair to Stoke. I am a fiercely partisan supporter of The Potters and I think that Man U could have benefited from a few things that Stoke does really well.

1. Defense. It's hard to think that a Huth/Shawcross pairing would have done worse than the donkey show Man U's defense put on.

2. Speed on the wings. Pennant and Etherington are fast and creative.

3. Rory Delap. Throwing the ball like an absolute madman to an giant dude who can head it in.

The Guardian has an ongoing joke in the comments section about Barcelona v. Stoke with the punchline being something along the lines of "They are great and all in the Mediterranean, but could they do it on a cold night in the Potteries?". The answer is "very very very likely" but I do think that Stoke City could play Barcelona and not necessarily be totally shown up.
posted by josher71 at 7:26 AM on May 29, 2011


That quote is a paraphrase of someone, I believe Sam Allardyce, explaining why he thinks Rooney is better than Messi and why he's a better manager than Guardiola. So, yes, it's funny, but it's also very very sad.

I do agree with you, though, that Stoke would have earned at least one corner. And, certainly, once Shawcross Shawcrosses someone, they tend to stay Shawcrossed, so I like your chances there.
posted by Errant at 11:50 AM on May 29, 2011


How come Nigel De Jong never gets the same treatment Shawcross does?
posted by josher71 at 4:31 PM on May 29, 2011


My theory is that when put his foot into Xabi Alonso's chest during the World Cup, he unlocked the curse of a 1,000 year old Spanish mummy.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:08 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because de Jong is smart enough to only break the legs of Americans. Although if your argument is that de Jong doesn't have a bad reputation, I'm not sure what to tell you.
posted by Errant at 7:53 PM on May 29, 2011


No, I'm aware he has a bad reputation, I just think that Shawcross gets more shit than De Jong for pretty much the same behavior and because Shawcross is on Stoke he's looked down on it more.
posted by josher71 at 9:22 PM on May 29, 2011


Perhaps I've spent too much time at the Arsenal supporters bar.
posted by josher71 at 9:32 PM on May 29, 2011


Meanwhile, 3 yellow cards already out in Reading-Swansea.

Swansea's now 2 up - 1 on a penalty, the second like 2 minutes later.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:24 AM on May 30, 2011


Amazing game so far. I stand corrected on the first half of my statement from yesterday.
posted by i_cola at 8:23 AM on May 30, 2011


Well, I'd say that Shawcross just has a bad rep in England, while de Jong has a bad rep the world over. But, y'know, breaking a few legs will do that to anyone. Shawcross is no El Hadji Diouf, either.

What a promotion final that was. Congrats to Swansea, the best passing team in English football.
posted by Errant at 9:26 AM on May 30, 2011


I think Arsenal might lay claim to that title.
posted by i_cola at 9:37 AM on May 30, 2011


josher71: No, I'm aware he has a bad reputation, I just think that Shawcross gets more shit than De Jong for pretty much the same behavior and because Shawcross is on Stoke he's looked down on it more.

De Jong gets plenty of hate. And Mark van Bommel is probably the least liked hardman in modern football. Between the two of them they've almost managed to destroy the stellar reputation of the Dutch national football team.
posted by Kattullus at 9:44 AM on May 30, 2011


I think Arsenal might lay claim to that title.

You'd have thought so, wouldn't you? But check this out. Swansea average almost 100 passes more a game than Arsenal, boast the same average possession time as Arsenal (61%), average 83% pass completion, did not drop below 50% possession in any regular-season game, and set the British season-high pass number with 756 in one match. Obviously we'll see whether they can keep that up in the top flight, but it's quite a show those lads are putting on. Hopefully they'll keep playing this way in the season to come, it could be very entertaining.
posted by Errant at 4:03 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


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