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World of Football

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have not had a spare minute to myself….with the semester in full swing, I’ve been attending meetings, writing papers, applying for internships, and all sorts of other things.   My technical training has taken a hit due to this business, but I have still been playing soccer every week.  In addition, I’ve been running training sessions for gaelic football and hurling with the BCGAA, keeping me pretty well fit.

The intramural season is off to a rocky start.  We lost the first game 3-1 and drew the second 1-1.  I’ve played pretty well, but the problem has been a team-wide issue with possession.  We give up the ball on stupid passes way too many times, missing out on a lot of would-be goal scoring opportunities.

My footballing world has been further upset by Arsenal’s continuing spiral, topped off by a loss to Sp*rs this weekend.  Let’s not talk about it.

Promise I’ll be posting more frequently as London draws closer…Cheers.

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Wenger Set to Stay at the Emirates

“Arsene Wenger is not broken. To see him portrayed as an idiot is damaging – not to him or the club but to the game… [Sacking him] is a route we are not going to go down.”

– Ivan Gizidis, Arsenal Chief Executive

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/14977442.stm


Deadline Day

As the clock ticks down on the summer transfer window, Arsenal have already come up big with some noteworthy signings.  Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, André dos Santos from Fenerbaçhe (never heard of it?  me neither, but he’s Brazilian and has real international experience), and Park Chu-Young, the South Korean captain.

Down to the wire?  Certainly.  More to come?  Possibly.  I’m following all the Arsenal deadline day news from Arseblog news.  It’s a live, auto-updating feed of all the info that gooners need to know.

Victoria Concordia Crescit – Up the Arsenal


More Success

Another scrimmage, and more good news to report.  My footwork and crosses were dead on, which helped me net several goals and assists while playing man down (4 vs. 3) on a small field.  Playing today after moving out of my apartment (back home for a week and 1/2 until my new lease), I’m pretty exhausted, but it’s the good kind of exhausted where you know you accomplished some things.

On a sadder note (but good riddance nonetheless), Arsenal sent Samir Nasri to Manchester City today.  I didn’t care for his attitude of late, but his presence will definitely be missed in the midfield.


In the Studio

Yesterday, I was invited to go on BC Sports Saturday, a radio show on 90.3 FM Boston (wzbc.org).  Though the main reason for my visit was to discuss the BCGAA, I also got to talk football (American and Soccer) and the start of the Premier League’s 20th season.  Coming off an Arsenal loss that morning, I wasn’t in the best mood about the sport, but I had a good time in the studio.

Later that night, my buddy Paul and I met up with the Boston Gooners, the local Arsenal Supporters group, at Gillette Stadium for the Revolution vs. Red Bulls match.  Supposedly, Thierry Henry was going to meet with us after the match, but unfortunately he wasn’t in attendance.  To add insult to injury, the Revs threw away a two-goal lead, finishing with a 2-2 draw.


O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain!  My Captain!  The season’s far from done.

The fans think Arsene is a quack; no new signings have we won.

Euro is near, the fans do fear, while for the worst preparing

For silverware seems far away, and you seem a tad uncaring.

 

But O Cesc!  Cesc!  Cesc!

O the shade of Arsenal Red

Where on the floor lies kit number 4

Abandoned, cold, and dead.

 

O Captain!  My Captain!  Why did you head to Spain?

For those annoying friends of yours who’re really quite a pain?

Though pretty passes ignite the masses and make the Nou Camp roar

The tricks and cheats of Barca’s club can hardly be ignored.

 

Here Cesc!  Dear captain!

The Gunners that you led;

They are a dream that on the pitch

You left now that you’ve fled.

 

My Cesc he does not answer, his lips are closed and still.

While Arsenal falters in the prem, lacking depth and strength of will.

The season starts again anew, its voyage setting sail,

With injuries, and discontent, and Nasri whining without fail.

 

Exult, O Barca, and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,

Watch the club my captain left,

When away to Spain he fled.


Quotable

Just read this on Arseblog this morning, the writer referring to Barcelona’s attempts to get Cesc away from the Emirates.  I had to pass it on…it actually made me laugh out loud.

And finally, as Xavi sits on a rock, his nipples glistening in the sun, his siren call bleating through the air to lure his one true love back to Barcelona, Denilson has told Sky Sports he thinks Cesc is going to stay. Something something sideways pass something something blah blah blah. Yeah!

Compelling imagery.   More updates to come, stay tuned.


WWC Aftermath

The US Women’s team loss to Japan in the world cup certainly put a damper on the soccer weekend, but at least I got an interesting point of view of the matches.  I started watching on my laptop on ESPN3, then in the car on my iPhone using the Watch ESPN app, and then on a huge screen outside Gillette Stadium, where I went with my dad to see the Revolution take on the Union.  The finishes to those matches were lacking, but I thought I got a pretty good view:

Watching on my iPhone...good quality!

View from my seat at Gillette Stadium...row 19

Sunset over the stadium

It’s a shame the US ladies couldn’t take home the cup, but they should certainly be proud of their accomplishments.  They had an excellent tournament and brought a lot of attention to the game back home.  We’ll just have to take the silver lining on this one.

On a personal level, my training continues.  I had a full field 11v11 scrimmage yesterday, where we played with several varsity BC players.  I had a few good passing plays with Conor Fitzpatrick, a midfielder who happens to share my last name (no relation).  In what I think was a 6-5 loss, I had one assist and one shot that just cleared the bar.  Frankly, there were fewer opportunities to be had with the varsity players running the show, but it was a fun game nonetheless.


An Excellent Week

I’ve had a week full to the brim of football.  I’ve played for hours and watched a lot of good matches.  Let’s review.

Monday:  Footy training…shooting and left-foot drills.

Tuesday:  Scrimmage match, 9v9.  Played well, B+/A- self-rating.

Wednesday:  Arsenal – WIN, USWNT – WIN, Revolution – erm, well we expected that from Man United, didn’t we?  Either way, I got to watch the first two matches at work.  Always a good use of time.

Our meeting tv screen put to good use

Thursday:  Scrimmage match, 11v11 WITH an audience (6 people in Alumni Stadium…just hear the roar of the crowd), I scored a goal and sent in some beautiful crosses for 2 assists in our 5-4 win.  My touch and dribbling were dead on in this game as well…for the first time this summer I’m giving myself an A rating for the match.

Also this week, Forbes has ranked Arsenal as the 7th most valuable sports franchise in the world.  With the New England Patriots at number 6, the gunners are in good company.

This Sunday, I’ll be enjoying the finale of the Women’s World Cup with some friends before heading down to Gillette Stadium to watch the Revolution take on the Philadelphia Union.  I got tickets for my dad and me as a Father’s Day present, I’m sure it will be a good time.

For some good reading, check out this review of yesterday’s Arsenal game from Arseblog.  That’s all for now.


Training with the New Boots

Today, for the first time, I laced up my new boots for training.  At the risk of being a bit over-the-top, I’ll say this:  I’m in love with them.  Though I liked the old ones, the T90s are magnificent.  Touch is great, and I find it much easier to put a curve on my shots.  They also seem to have decent ankle support, something important for someone as injury-prone as I am.

Training today felt good, but it was tough in the heat, which was in the 90s on the pitch at Alumni Stadium.  Barring thunderstorms tomorrow, I’ll be out for another scrimmage.

On a side note, Arsenal officially welcomed Gervinho to the squad today.  Great move by Mr. Wenger.