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Friday, November 18, 2011

Liver n' Onions: Battle of the alleged racists & Liverpool vs. Chelsea

The classic color battle: Red vs. Blue, Hot vs. Cold and in terms of this weekend Liverpool vs. Chelsea. The Reds take on West-London's Chelsea at Stamford bridge where  ex-Liverpool starlet Fernando Torres will clash heads with the new Liverpool regime.

For such a mammoth fixture in the English footballing calendar, the build up to the match has been somewhat of a docile one as off field affairs have somewhat muted the anticipation of  Sunday's match. In this week of International play a lot has gone down off the pitch in regards to Liverpool players, consequently arriving in bitter-sweet form. As the player's were off serving their countries, some more than others, journalists have been praying on the decision by the FA  to charge Luis Suarez with racial abuse directed towards Manchester United's defender Patrice Evra, during their match on October 15th. They have finally decided to act after weeks of dilly-dallying over it, releasing a official statement that reads,


“The FA has today charged Liverpool’s Luis Suarez following an incident that occurred during the Liverpool versus Manchester United fixture at Anfield on 15 October 2011.

“It is alleged that Suarez used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behavior towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules.

“It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or color and/or race of Patrice Evra. The FA will issue no further comment at this time.”

Luis Suarez will face a 6-match ban plus a hefty fine if he is found guilty, which is not comforting to any Liverpool fan as he is the lynch-pin in the Reds attack, the one who makes us tick offensively. Without the Uruguayans influence we are left with a less than clinical Andy Carroll, a solid Dirk Kuyt, and Craig Bellamy to provide the finishing. Not bad options, but in comparison to Suarez's influence pails in comparison. 

Suarez's charge has emerged at a interesting time as his team will face a Chelsea side that fields John Terry, a player also under investigation for racial bashing. Oddly enough these player's will be lining up against each other this weekend, and furthermore could be linked when it comes to a official decision on their charges. Terry could end up being Suarez's alibi. If the FA charges the Liverpool player, they will also have to charge John Terry with the racism claims over his alleged basing of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. As England's poster boy and captain, Terry won't be painted as a racist by the FA, so if they don't charge him they will most likely not charge the Uruguayan. 

One thing that is a fore-gone conclusion is that they will not be comparing similarities at the weekend, looking to win their personal head-to-head. Suarez will be lining up opposite Terry at the weekend in a match that really is anyones for the taking. Chelsea sit 5th behind Newcastle, 3 points atop Liverpool in the league table.  Chelsea have won 4 of their last 6 games, defeating Blackburn a fortnight ago 1-0, where Liverpool have won 3 and drawn 3. All be their defense looking the weak point of the side, Liverpool have let in only 3 goals in the their last 6 matches, having faced teams like Swansea, Stoke Manchester United, and Everton. Chelsea's stats sing a similar song, but to a more dramatic tune. Having scored a fair amount, with 3 against Arsenal, and 5 against Genk on the 19th of Oct. A more telling stat is that they have shipped 10 goals in their last 6 matches, most notably 5 against Arsenal. This paints a picture of two teams that can both score, but in defense are more than suspect. When Liverpool and Chelsea clash it often produces a quality spectacle, so I will go out on a limb and say a 2-3 Liverpool win, even though my conscience says a 1-1 draw.


Along with the guaranteed racism mentions by the match announcers, a huge talking point is former Liverpool player's Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres facing their old club. Torres will be itching to net a goal against his former employers, after he was booed by England fans in Spain's match with England. Much has come out in various media publications about Torres threatening to tell the " real" story over his exit from Liverpool, which in my mind is no more than the Spaniard creating drama, and journalists trying to sell papers. Anyhow, that just adds fuel to the fire in facing your old squad who's supporters publicly burned your jersey after your departure. Scoring 56 Premier League goals in just 79 appearances under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, Torres has struggled to find form after his big money move and Liverpool's replacement Luis Suarez will look to show him how it's done. 

You might expect to Martin Kelly drafted into the line-up for Liverpool, chosen over Glenn Johnson at right back. Johnson's performance in England's match with Spain was one to forget, as the faults that he is usually accused with where plain to see, and proved to the fence-sitters that he lacks International class.  Having Juan Mata and and Ashley Cole running at you on the left, the last thing Kenny Dalgleish needs is his right back going walk-about. Johnson and the attacking threat  he does provide, will be chosen second to the more disciplined, old-head- yet younger player Martin Kelly.

Not to point out the obvious…Liverpool's Midfield will have to be way more commanding than displayed in their measly 0-0 draw with Swansea in their last Barclay's Premier League match. Against Chelsea, all guns must be firing so the likes of Charlie Adam has to tune his boots to the right pitch and connect some passes. Steven Gerrard, If he starts, will have to look at his opposite number and fellow England International Frank Lampard for some inspiration and motivation.  Possession was poor a fortnight ago, and when defending Liverpool sat really deep against a far less challenging opponent in Swansea City. This cannot be how the game transpires against the Blue of Chelsea, as Juan Mata will be have his cutlery sharpened, ready slice the Liverpool defense.

Looking back a few paragraphs to my prediction, Liverpool see it out thanks to a Carroll header, and a brace from Kuyt. Maxi doesn't get the start, unfortunately, for Dalgleish opts to go with the players he knows/ payed for.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Liver n' Onions as I will review the match, and bring you the latest from Merseyside.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adidas releases Germany's Euro 2012 kit


Adidas released Germany's Euro 2012 kit last week, and was used during the teams matches with Ukraine and the Netherlands. This is the kit that will be worn by Deutschland during their European exploits next summer in Poland & Ukraine.


A video profiling the new kit can be viewed below, and I say it's a cracker. The video features all the heavy hitters such Lokas Podolski, Thomas Mueller, Phillip Lahm and includes a unnamed player, progressing through the ranks. The team trains in their new kit, which I dig minus the old school numbering also featured on Italy's new kit. I'm usually down with the throwback style, but the block numbering is not really my favorite. Anyway the video is a sick one featuring slo-mo, and a is rewound, Check it out.


Puma launches Italy's Euro 2012 kit




Puma has launched the Azzuri's new strip prior their friendly with Uruguay in Rome on November 15th. This kit will be worn at the European Championship's this summer.


According to PUMA:
PUMA today launched the new official playing home kit of the Italian National Football team. Stefano Caroti, Chief Commercial Officer of PUMA SE presented the shirt to the Azzurri captain Gianluigi Buffon and FIGC Marketing Manager Benedetta Geronzi, at the Centro Sportivo La Borghesiana in Rome. The Italian National Team will wear the new home kit for the first time against Uruguay tomorrow in Rome, a game that will mark the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, and in the lead up to and during The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
Mario Balotelli has already been caught not wanting to wear it, emerging for the second half against Uruguay wearing the old kit. 

Oh Mario...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Post match interview's with USMNT after Slovenia game


United States – Edson Buddle 9th minute
Slovenia – Tim Matavz 26th minute
United States – Clint Dempsey41st minute
United States Jozy Altidore 43rd minute
Slovenia – Tim Matavz 61st minute

The U.S. boys notched more goals in this game than they had in the previous six games, total. Slovenia vs. the U.S. is turning into a classic, with this game ending 3-2, and when they met at the World Cup in 2010, it ended 2-2 with a disallowed goal from Maurice Edu that would have made the game 3-2.


Klinsmann started both Edson Buddle and Jozy Altidore up top, after watching his team struggle for attacking impact in their friendly with France on friday. This clearly paid off with Buddle scoring early, and the team creating chances due to the numbers in attacking position.  Altidore had a fantastic game against France, holding the ball up well and making dangerous runs, but not scoring. Altidore scored a penalty in this game to give the U.S. the third that saw out the three points. A well needed three points for the Jurgen Klinsmann reign as coach.


Here are the post match interviews from the US players.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Will David Beckham leave the Galaxy?

With the super nova footballing celebrity that Becks' is it would be no surprise if he was actually  leaving our galaxy to pursue football in Andromeda or some other galaxy yet discovered. But  on second  thought it might be hard to ping those passes without gravity.


Come Sunday the Los Angeles Galaxy will take the field with the Houston Dynamo, to compete for the MLS cup final, in a game that could be the last one played by David Beckham for the LA club. Beckham has been linked, strongly I might add, with the recent economically prosperous French club, Paris Saint-Germain. A club that has come into money recently, being bought by Qatari Investment Authority boasting backing worth 37 billion euros. PSG is building a super club and for their sporting director Leonardo, brand-Beckham is the final piece of the puzzle. 


Beckham is a status symbol, and for a club aspiring for Champions League football, the League 1 title and world-wide notoriety, Beckham's name alone will bring attention the world over. His shirt sales would practically pay his wages. Leonardo managed Beckham during his loan spells with AC Milan so he knows the player, knows what he can bring to the team, the club and the city of Paris, wanting to establish its self as a true footballing city.


Beckham came to the MLS in 2007, and in his tenure at the Galaxy opinions have been mixed over his play and devotion to the club, but in this last season, his devotion and will to fight for the club is apparent to see. A Player of the Year candidate, and winner of the Comeback Player award after bouncing back from an achilles injury, has lead the Galaxy to the MLS cup final with hard work and a un-soiling presence in midfield. 
The 36 year old is not getting any younger, but his fitness and play has barely wained since his prime playing at Manchester United and Real Madrid. Moving to PSG would be a massive move for the all parties included. MLS losing Beckham wouldn't be the biggest thing to happen, as the fanfare has subsided since his arrival at the Galaxy, but it might decrease the interest in those who are so-so on the sport. 


Having seen what he has done to the sport in the US,  I would render a guess that he would do the same for French football.  French football has always played the ugly cousin, so to say, to the Bundesliga, EPL, LA Liga and Serie A, but it is gathering steam. As a growing League 1 fan I would be delighted to see it grow even more.


If Beckham does go I will have deemed this time here as a success and will actually be a bit sad to see him go.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Vans Triple Crown starts today

This morning marks the start of the big wave competitions on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.  An event under the moniker of, The Vans Triple Crown running from the 12th of November to the the 20th of December, tantalizing surf enthusiasts with a trifecta of big wave showcases. 


The Reef Hawaiian Pro starts today at Haleiwa, followed by The Vans World Cup held at Sunset Beach, finished only by the Billabong Pipe Masters comp held at non-other place as the Banzai Pipeline!

Sooo Psyched

Luis Suarez does it for Uruguay with 4 goals


In this weekends South American World Cup Qualifying action Uruguay tonked Chile 4-0, thanks to the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, netting all 4 goals. Having issues with his finishing for the Reds of late , the slick forward seems to have no issues doing it for his country.


Disclaimer: Be aware that the announcers basically yell Gooooooooaaalll...the entire video.



Luis Suárez (41′, 45′, 67′, 73′)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

USA vs. France preview.



The USMNT takes on the French National team tomorrow, Friday @ 2:30 ET on Espn 2, and as American, I am hoping for a French breakdown akin to the one in South Africa 2010. 


This is likely not to happen, as the bad blood has been willed out since the departure of manager Raymond Domenech and the introduction of Laurent Blanc. The former Bordeaux manager has reigned in the respect of the French team, stamping his seal on the team with mixing up the line-up and injecting new blood into the side. This French side is ranked #15, in terms of Fifa's rankings, and with a weakened side most likely played, the U.S. will still struggle to find any joy from the game.


This game, be it a friendly, poses the most strenuous test for Jurgen Klinsmann's yanks, and prepare your self for NO real change what-so-ever. I predict a 3-0 defeat, in which my disappointment will be compounded with John Harke's top-notch analysis, saying, Well...


Brek Shea has announced himself as an International player, showing well on the left side of midfield.


Kyle Beckerman holds the ball well, and is very helpful to the back-line with the added support he provides, all be-it letting in 3 goals.


Michael Orozco- Fiscal is crap, and should not be playing for the USMNT, but in John Harke's words, "He has room to improve." But once again we will see, even if Jurgen doesn't, that Fiscal is not a class player.


Jozy Altidore, struggles up-top by himself, making no impact really, beside maybe one or two good hold up's. He will be removed at the 73' mark, only to be replaced by____ shit? insert the blank, with Agudelo not selected to travel. 


But with all that said, it;s " The Big Picture," that matters.


With Landon Donovan competing in the MLS cup final, the American talisman has not traveled to France, so in this light who's his replacement?  Looks to be the 23-year old Hoffenheim, "German-American" midfielder Fabian Johnson.


Now I present the US Lineup:


The side that will be under the cosh from the start, and will sitting deeper than this image portrays.


For the French side that we ride out to battle will see some refreshment, with on-form PSG striker Kevin Gameiro getting the nod from the start, but not in his usual lone-striker role for his club side, but as a support striker for Karim Benzema, with Marseille's Loic Remy's questionable inclusion.


Influential defender Patrice Evra will not ply for Les Bleus, which for me is not a loss at all. Once the worlds best left-back, the Man United player has been in decline the last couple years,  caught out of position to often, unable to make it back to defend after his marauding runs forward. In all honesty against the US that's not a real big issue, but having the on-form Valencia left back Jeremy Mathieu is better value for your franc's...sorry euros.


Look out for midfield dynamo, Yann M'vila from Rennes to be holding it down in the middle of the park. Somewhat overlooked by media outlets, this Makelele reminiscent player has exploded through the ranks of late, being target by Arsenal for a move to London last summer. Partnering M'vila in the center will be either Marvin Martin or Newcastle newboy, Yohan Cabaye.


We all know what to expect from Franck Ribery and Blanc's favorite Jeremy Menez, who will ask some real soul-searching Q's of Timmy Chandler and Steve Cherundolo.


Here's the French Line-up:




Ouch that hurts!


Line-ups provided by The Shin Gaurdian

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Liver n'Onions: 11 Swans a-singing equals 11 Reds a-Rooing.

Oooh the swans were singing on Saturday at Anfield. Not a tune that Liverpool fans were whistling along to as they watched their beloved Reds tie 0-0 with the Swans of Swansea. This draw pre-empted a massacre of the majestic white birds around the grater Liverpool area. Only joking but it could have been a reality as the frustration of  dropping points  again to a newly promoted team was clearly evident. The old adage of it's a point earned doesn't incapsulate it, nor make it better. It's 2 point's lost by a Liverpool team who should be running riot over this Swansea side. 
Had an outstanding game in goal, using those big Swan wings to parry away all efforts.
In actual fact the newly promoted Swans play some decent football, sitting tenth in the table between co-promtees QPR and Norwich. But Liverpool in sixth, on 19 points should notch a convincing win at fortress Anfield. I'm not sure if you could accuse Liverpool of playing to their oppositions level, but their seems to be a Achilles heel when they face newly promoted squads. Defender Daniel Agger stated it well by saying that Liverpool looked like headless chickens running around.

"This is likely one of the most exciting 0-0 you'll see," the match announcer proclaimed, which is a grand claim, but in terms of 0-0 draws it was a a decent game. As I mentioned earlier this Swansea side do pass, and keep possession well making a good showing of it away from home at Anfield. When Swansea were mounting attacks, Liverpool responded by sitting deeper than I am usually used to seeing them. This is unlike the Liverpool I know, who are usually quick to charge down lose balls in the middle of the park. Without the commanding presence of Jamie Carragher, and Steven Gerrard in the midfield, the team seemed to lack a defensive leader.The same side that won against West Brom last week, looked half the team that marched out on Saturday.

A possible game dictating situation fizzled away as fast as it came about, when Andy Carroll rocketed a quasi- sitter off the bar from 6-yards. The missed chance from a low teasing cross from the Liverpool left, paved the way for the nail bitting, "almost", type of game it would conclude to be. Carroll was removed in the 75th minute, responding by walking strait down the tunnel in frustration for his failure to put his team ahead.

Liverpool ran the show in the early minutes but as the game rhode on, the midfield of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Lucas got out played. Charlie Adam is proving hit or miss in games, either brilliant in his distribution or invisible in the center of the park. Lucas is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, improving immensely from his first couple seasons at the club, but in this game lost his way a-bit. Henderson I though was a tad disappointing, looking slightly unfit. Meandering into 50/50's made it hard for him to keep possession in the midfield, and his passing radar seemed to be jammed. So bringing him off at halftime, for Dirk Kuyt  was a no-brainer for Dalgleish. I have heard cries for the return of Maxi Rodriguez to the starting line-up. Is he the answer? I'am not sure, as he also can be an all or nothing player, but I think it's about time he got a shot. I also look at the work that Joe Cole is doing at Lille in League 1, and wonder if we could  benefit from his services now that Gerrard's injury seems to be more involved than was first thought. 

Liverpool looked the most dangerous on the wings, with much joy came for Liverpool down their left with Downing and the ever- impressive Jose Enrique ripping the back line of Swansea to shreds. With some of their newest signings in question against Swans, Enrique once again proves to be a class act and his ability to hold on to the ball is something to behold.

Swansea tested Reina a few times, and both sides looked as though they could make the break through, but both men in goal performed heroics to keep the game level. Swansea keeper Michel Vorm ripped a page out of John Ruddys textbook on how to keep a clean sheet against  Liverpool, denying some gilt-edged chances towards the games climax.  All in all their was a  fair amount of shots on goal, Liverpool registering 25, doubleding Swansea's 12, yet the Reds had only 2 more than the Swans when it came to shots on target. It's becoming clear to see that Luis Suarez will create more chances than a forward could wish for, but when it comes to finishing he less clinical. He's like a kid in a candy shop when running at defensives but when it comes to buying a lollipop, he lacks the maturity.
This draw makes it eight consecutive games undefeated for Dalgleish's Liverpool, but what I see is four dropped points against  two newly promoted sides. Hardly the results that the Liverpool faithful are looking for in a year that a coveted top four position is fathomable. 
In other news this week, Liverpool Football Club have confirmed the signing of Marc Pelosi a U17 United States International. The midfielder was captain of the United States U17 team who participated in this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament in Mexico. signed from the DeAnza Force Club in California, the player Pelosi has featured 28 times for the U17s against other national sides, scoring eight goals.
Liverpool's Academy director Frank McParland said: ”We’re determined to identify the best possible talent globally and I’m delighted we’ve been able to to bring Marc in to the club.”
Bringing such a young American talent to a club like Liverpool, you hope that he flourishes in the system, ultimately progressing in to the first team. Which is would be a big step forward for American soccer players. Clint Dempsey performs for his club side Fulham, week in week out, and as an American player abroad should be a role model for players such as the young Pelosi, who has a bright future ahead of him.
In a fortnight from the fore-mentioned draw Liverpool takes on Chelsea at their home of Stamford Bridge. I will preview this in the next edition Liver n'Onions to supplement your Liverpool needs during the International break.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ricardo Montolivo caught chuckling during a moment of silence


There has been a huge uproar in Italy over the images of Fiorentina's Ricardo Montolivo getting all giggly during a minute of silence in honor of the six that were killed during flash floods in Genoa, Italy. This has not gone down well with in Italian media and the player has made a statement combating the claims:

"I am ashamed of my smile during the minute's silence,'' Montolivo told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It's a gesture that I don't remember but it's inexplicable and absolutely out of place.
"I didn't realise the minute's silence had already started and the tension ahead of the game can sometimes make you do things that you would not do otherwise.
"However, there are no excuses for that and hence, I apologise to all the people that felt offended by it and I send my condolences to the families of the victims of the flash floods.''
I think we all know how it feels to get a bout of laughs at an inappropriate time, I sure as shit do. To have this blown up in a massive way is unfortunate for the player. I have heard reports that he claimed that team mate Alessandro Gambarini farted during the ceremony, which made the midfielder crack a smile. Anyway check the vid below and tell me what you think.


Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham= thoroughly gripping entertainment

The latest London Derby to take place follows suit in the trend of these derbies being the most exciting games to take place all year. Arsenal's 5-3 win over Chelsea last weekend, Fulham's destruction of QPR and now the thoroughly exciting Tottenham vs. Fulham game. Complete with an own goal, injuries left, right and center, ridiculous goal mouth saves...and a late nail in the coffin from Jermain Defoe. Here is how the scoring broke down.
Tottenham Hotspur: Gareth Bale (10′)
Tottenham Hotspur: Aaron Lennon (45′)
Fulham: Younes Kaboul (og 57′)
Tottenham Hotspur: Jermain Defoe (90′)
My pick for the game of the weekend.






Friday, November 4, 2011

MLS Playoffs bracket- Road to the final

It's getting down to the wire in MLS, as American soccer fans salivate over the next round...the Conference Championships. After last nights win in the Home Depot Center defeating the NY Red bulls,  the LA Galaxy have progressed to the Western Conference to face Real Salt Lake.


Teal Bunbury and Sporting Kansas City have looked deadly, and in their battle against Brad Davis and the Houston Dynamo, I give them the advantage.  Defeating the Rapids of Colorado 4-0 on agg, I expect to see a Sporting KC vs. Galaxy final as they look tough to stop.

Samir Nasri's Blacked-out AdiZero's or...the D5's?

Usually when you see a player wearing a "Black-out boot,"it means they are testing the boot out and taking in to account Adidas soccer's new release of the AdiZero MiCoach, Nasri was giving them the Ol' run around. Personally I'am not a fan of the bright, fluorescent boots that players regularly rock in this day n'age (Lionel Messi's MiCoach) so when I saw these boots I naturally dug them due to their classic/simple style.


I have also read that these might actually be the yet to be released Adidas D5, set to be unveiled next year. It's tough to tell as they are clearly black, but the point of this post is just so show how sick these are in all black.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Laurent Blanc's French Squad to face the USMNT on Nov.11


The French side that will face the U.S. National Team on November 11th in Paris:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cédric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
DEFENDERS (7): Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Matthieu Debuchy (Lille), Jérémy Mathieu (Valencia), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Adil Rami (Valencia), Anthony Réveillère (Lyon), Mamadou Sakho (PSG)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Alou Diarra (Marseille), Florent Malouda (Chelsea) Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Marvin Martin, (Sochaux), Samir Nasri (Manchester City)
FORWARDS (6): Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (PSG), Jérémy Ménez (PSG), Loïc Rémy (Marseille), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier)

Team Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics

Come the 2012 Olympics being held in London, The first collective Great Britain soccer team since 1971 will compete for gold. The team will be managed by Stuart Pearce will include players from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.


From the fore-mentioned countries, minus England the idea has received some negativity for fear that if they collaborate they will lose their Fifa status. In reading a report, David Beckham was asked what he thought of the idea and he said this,


" I'm an East End lad and being English born and bred, it would be something I'd be very honored to be part of.”
In this quote he says 'English,' not British. Which may be picking peanuts out of poop, but  the fact is that the other countries involved aren't sold on competing under the same banner as England.
For fun I'm going to make a mock line-up of who will walk out for their first game come 2012. I will take into account that the European Championships will be happening the same summer, so having the likes of Wayne Rooney competing in two competitions may be a bit over kill. So here it is:



   Davie Goodwille(Scot)   Craig Bellamy(W) 
  
                                                                                  
                           Gareth Bale(W)       Aaron Ramsey(W)       David Beckham (Eng)        


    Charlie Adam(Scot)


          Chris Smalling(Eng)    Craig Cathcart (N.Ire)     Jonny Evans(N.Ire)    Phil Jones (Eng)

Wayne Hennessey(W)


As you can see it's a pretty even split with 4- Welsh, 2- Scots, 2- Northern Irish and 3-English players. You could probably expect to se players like: Danny Welbeck (Eng), Ben Foster (Eng), Ryan Giggs(Wales), Alan Hutton(Scot), Darren Fletcher(Scot),Chris Brunt( N.Ireland) and a host more on the roster or their abouts.





The Rum Diary: Hunter S. Thompson's Nightmare.

WARNING: If you haven't seen it yet maybe turn away or just don't read what I write below.

Having waited with baited breath for the movie to come out after finishing the book 5 months ago, I expected something akin the the film rendition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but got nothing close. Another film adapted from the ink of Hunter S. Thompson, with Johnny Depp playing main protagonist Paul Kemp, boasted plenty of potential.

Truth is I was majorly disappointed. The movie lacked any plot what-so-ever, seemingly keen to drag on without any direction, ending fittingly with an anti -climactic sail off into the sunset. Having loved the book for what it was, I am disgusted by the attempt to parlay it to the big screen. Major elements where left out for no apparent reason...It's not like the book is that long. I often don't  advocate the stance that the book is always better than the movie, as I love films, but in this case the old adage holds water. When the credits start to role they have a short tribute to the Author Thompson, who passed in 2005, and all I could think about when this was happening was...He would role over in his grave.

This was a feeble attempt, and even associating with the book should be prohibited.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No joy Roy, and the conceivably consistent Carroll.



No joy for Roy as Ex Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson and his West Bromich Albion boys faced off against the Reds at the weekend. A fixture that the lovable uncle won last year as both the Liverpool and West Brom Manager. When at the helm of Liverpool, Roy cut a frustrated and often marooned character, given the short end of the stick in terms of transfer funds, and his ability to mold a team suffered from it. In his six months at Anfield Roy was un-successful in stamping his mark on the team, and a string of bad results frustrated the Liverpool faithful, when expectations where higher. Aging was sped up in those six month's, as his hair grayed in frustration and  hits fits of writhing on the bench spoke volumes of the issues at the club, issues- that he couldn't not change. On the ESPN Soccernet website written under his profiles picture, the caption reads

 "The much-travelled English coach Roy Hodgson has effected a change in philosophy wherever he goes."This was not true during his tenure on Merseyside, plain and simply put.

It didn't take long for his temples to smoke and the writhing fits to start on his return to Anfield, when right on cue, Luis Suarez and his slippery eel style was body checked  in the box by West Brom's Jerome Thomas after he was nut-megged in the ninth minute. Seemingly soft, a penalty was awarded to the Red's aided slightly from the roar of the home support. The match commentator didn't seem convinced, and personally I thought the easy-over Suarez got a bit lucky, but to use an old cliche he does put himself about, and the tricky customer that he is paired with his Shakespearean dramatics makes it a job and a half to ref him.

With both Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher not playing, Charlie Adam stepped up to the spot to take the penalty, and finished in the composed Gerrard- manor, in leu of his captain's absence. On that note the camera pans started showing Roy on the West Brom bench tugging at his overcoat, flush in the face as though something crawled up in it. 


The problem that Liverpool have on a consistent basis is the failure to get that all important goal against the weaker sides, but the penalty allowed the LFC boys to work the ball around, with Jose Enrique looking a peach on the left side, arriving in good areas on the wing. The balls launched up to Andy Carroll looked less an act of hope and desperation with the one goal cushion, and the interchange in the midfield was silky.  The Liverpool manger Kenny Dalgelish commented after the game saying,

"I thought we played really well, we thoroughly deserved to win the game and some of the football we played was fantastic.”

Liverpool thoroughly outclassed West Brom and to add they looked to have the luck of the draw. The 50/50 tackles and referee decisions  all  seemed to go in favor of the Reds. The private battle  of Andy Carroll against West Brom's center back Jonas Olsson, was one to relish, as both personified physicality. 

It's has been a rare site this season to see Suarez start with Carroll up-top, and the hope of the deadly big man-small man attack has been anything but fruitful this season. Watching this game, I can see no reason why this partnership wouldn't work. Carroll and Suarez are the exact opposites of one another. Suarez operates from a bit deeper, linking midfield with attack, creating his goals and others. We all know what Carroll is there to do, but with restricted chances- from being unfit, and out of form- has made it hard for the Geordie striker to command a place. What the pair needs is time to cement a partner ship, which could be in the cards. The potential is there, Suarez looks deadly and Carroll is gathering steam, but the telepathy is not their yet. 

Carroll is gathering steam having scored in the Merseyside Derby a few weeks back netting  and for Liverpool's second goal against the weekend opponents. Carroll looked like a locomotive chugging as he barreled down the heart of the pitch to slot it home. The goal was created by a poor back pass from West Brom, in which some beautiful one touch passing from Lucas and Suarez, put Carroll in behind, to which in true nerve-racking style took a heavy touch , yet recovered quickly with a nifty toe poke past Ben Foster. The best part of that goal for me was when the camera cut to Dalgleish with a brimming smile so large and cheery he could have been an advertisement for trident. Most different from the sulking Hodgson down the touchline, the comparison of the managers couldn't be more apparent.

As the game progressed to its climax Liverpool looked to add onto their 2-0 lead with Suarez wriggling his way threw the shaky West Brom defense on multiple occasions. I would gather the Uruguayan is mother at Tetris, seemingly able to fit the ball and himself in the tightest angular spots, it's pure geometric brilliance!

Downing came the closest to making it 3 when he hit the post, which is the 10th time Liverpool has hit the post this season. 

When the final whistle sounded, I felt a sense of comfort from the confidant win, extending Liverpool's unbeaten streak and squashing West Brom's. Liverpool sat in 5th place for the day until Spurs defeated Queens Park Rangers on Sunday seeing the merseyside club drop into 6th.

Liverpool face Swansea City at the weekend and I would expect that unbeaten run to continue against the newly promoted side. Captain Steven Gerrard will not be fit for the game at the weekend as he is undergoing treatment for an ankle infection. Having the constant injury problems that he does, would have proved  a mammoth problem in years past, but Dalgleish has made the necessary moves to ensure that the Reds have not just back-up but quality back-up. Gerrard is not the player he was just a couple years ago, with his injuries progressing his decline, but when fit still is a top drawer player. The fact that he is out so often is less of a worry  knowing that  Lucas, Adam, Henderson and Suarez can step right in and do the job.


Rise and Shine: The Jay Demerit story in film.

A true life Rocky Balboa, if he played Soccer. Jay Demerits story is as rag to riches story of how the  Green Bay native, struggling to make a name for himself in the pub leagues of England made it to a senior U.S. international, who no more than a couple of years would line up, against the likes of Wayne Rooney and the  rest of the England National team last summer in South Africa. Now playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS, Jay's story is an inspiring one. 

Read the interview by the San Francisco Chronicle

Check the trailer below and will come to the Metreon in San Francisco on November 3rd. Or go to jaydemeritstory.com to check for screenings.