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Bad Boy Becks Is At It Again

FC Dallas
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This hasn’t been the best of seasons for David Beckham. He began the campaign by fighting with his own LA Galaxy supporters, and now he’s gone after FC Dallas player Daniel Hernandez. In just two season in the MLS, Becks has turned from classy English gentleman to hard man. Methinks an apperance on Monday Night Raw is next for Mr. Posh Spice.

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Home (Not So) Sweet Home Depot Center

David Beckham
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Unfortunately for 'Fecks' there's no place like home.

Unfortunately for 'Fecks' there's no place like home.

David Beckham is probably happy that the LA Galaxy won’t play at home again until the middle of next month. The Home Depot Center fans welcomed the English underwear model ‘home’ with a chorus of boos and some less-than-friendly signs. Mr. Spice said post-match that the incessant booing didn’t bother him, but his reaction to the crowd after a patented Beckham corner that resulted in the Galaxy’s second goal suggests otherwise. At least he had some of his A-List friends in the crowd to support him. I might be going out on a limb, but I think Beckham and MLS will be more than happy when this season ends and they can go their separate ways. zapatillas air max zapatillas air max

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Don’t Let ‘The Duck’ Walk

Alexandre Pato
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Ligue 1
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San Siro
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This is how many titles AC Milan will win if they sell Pato.

This is how many titles AC Milan will win if they sell Pato.

Monday is the day AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi will announce to the world where superstar Kaka will be playing next season. With reports already circulating that he has reached an agreement with Real Madrid, and with Chelsea submitting a very hefty last-minute bid, it seems eminent that the Rossoneri talisman will be playing outside of Italy next year. And the reason for his departure is, as AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani himself admitted, ‘solely economic.’ This transfer is yet another blow to the once dominant Serie A. But the move that could damage the Italian top flight even more is if Milan lost teenage sensation Alexandre ‘The Duck’ Pato to Chelsea.

While Milan supporters may be, and rightfully so, angry and disappointed by the departure of Kaka, it’s a harsh reality of today’s world that there are few clubs who can afford to turn down €70m for a player. And the fact of the matter is that Kaka is 27-years-old and spent much of the past season injured. It’s true that he’s only two years removed from being named FIFA World Player of the Year, and he still has some very good years ahead of him, but it wouldn’t be blasphemous to say that he’s on the downside on his career. And what AC Milan, and all of Serie A, desperately need is a massive infusion of youth. And €70m can buy a lot of talented youth.

That’s why losing Pato would be a massive loss, to not only Milan, but all of Italian football. The 19-year-old has a more than respectable tally of 23 goals in 51 appearances for Milan and is becoming a Brazilian national team regular. ‘I have seen him in training and on the pitch,’ says David Beckham, ‘He is only 19 years of age and I think he can become one of the greatest players in the world.’ Not small praise from someone who has played with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Eric Cantona. The Duck is exactly the type of player that you build a team around, not sell—especially if you’re AC Milan.

The Serie A may not have as much money to throw around as it did in the late 80s and early 90s, but it’s far from broke. In fact, according to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance 2009, Serie A enjoyed the highest one year growth in revenue of all the big five European leagues. But its wages/revenue ratio was 6% higher than that of clubs in England and Spain. If you combine that stat with the fact that the Serie A generates less total revenue than its English counterparts, it means that English clubs have €27m more to spend on players. If you have less money to spend you need to make shrewd purchases. Instead of spending €24m on a flop like Ricardo Quaresma, wouldn’t it make economical sense to find, develop and play less expensive youngsters?

Milan has already lost one talented youngster in midfielder Yoann Gourcuff. After appearing in just 18 games (14 of those as a substitute) for the Rossoneri in 2007/08, the 22-year-old was loaned to Bordeaux. He went on to start 35 matches for the Ligue 1 champions this season, and all he did was score 12 goals and assist on 11 others. Fed up with his lack of playing time at the San Siro, he recently made his loan move permanent and signed a four year deal with the French club. He only cost Bordeaux €10m. That’s the same amount AC Milan paid the LA Galaxy for 32-year-old David Beckham.

If every player were Gary Neville or Paolo Maldini, fans wouldn’t have to deal with their heroes leaving their club for another. But the reality is that player’s move around—a lot. And at 27, you can’t blame Kaka for wanting to play in another country or make more money. He’s also helped to bring many trophies to the San Siro, and fans should appreciate him for that. He should be allowed to leave if that’s his wish, but to let The Duck walk would be a devastating mistake. If Milan and Italian football want to be back on top, it’s talented, affordable young players like Pato that will lead the way. air max mujer air max mujer

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Playing The Blame Game


When a massive club from a mammoth league gives up two away goals to a big club from a lesser league, then you know that the next day’s papers will report that the sky is falling and play the blame game.  In case you didn’t notice, that happened in yesterday’s Manchester United v. FC Porto Champions League quarter-final match. Of course there’s other news to report, but it’s not as sexy as a team in crisis. (Remember Arsenal earlier in the year, and Liverpool soon after?)

Let’s jump right into it. Whose fault is it that United wet the bed against Porto? If you ask Sir Alex, it’s his fault. Edwin van der Sar blames the leaky defense. Darren Fletcher takes a different path and actually gives Porto credit for playing a good game. So obviously it must be all his fault.

Former crisis club, now best in the world, Liverpool could lose goal scoring machine Fernando Torres to Italy or, gasp, Germany. Not one to let anything go unremarked upon, ‘Facts’ Benitez is holding a press conference about it. Just kidding, but don’t be surprised if he does.

Remember Chelsea? Just last year they playned in the Champions League final and are currently just four points behind league leaders Manchester United. It seems nobody else does, considering the coverage Liverpool and United have been receiving this year. It might actually be a good thing, since captain John Terry revealed that he used to be scared of Anfield, but he’s not anymore. He’s also not scared of the boogie man or the monster in his closet anymore as well. Maybe he needs another pep talk from Avram Grant to help him out. Or just Jose Mourinho back.

Did Manchester City’s ear just perk up? It seems Kaka hasn’t completely ruled out a move to England. Which, of course, means he must be going to City?

In lesser, but more curious transfer news, Villarreal is reportedly interested in non-goal machine Bobby Zamora. If I were Jozy Altidore I would be so pissed right now considering in his last two matches he’s scored as many goals as Fulham’s non-striker has all season.

And in much lesser news, David Beckham’s AC Milan teammate Christian ‘Bobo’ Vieri wants to join him and play for the LA Galaxy.  And they said Becks isn’t helping MLS grow. canada goose frauen canada goose frauen

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Let’s Get Ready To Rumble


What a wild Wednesday in the BPL. Cristiano Ronaldo got into a fight with Newcastle’s Steven Taylor. West Ham’s Carlton Cole scored a goal and got sent off–all within three minutes. And John Pantsil claimed he was ‘abused’ by a Hull City player. It’s enough to make Ashley Cole want to drink.

I’m sure everyone has heard that Cashley was arrested last night on a charge of disorderly conduct after leaving a nightclub at 5 am. I just can’t imagine that someone as nice as he is would yell at a police officer. It looks like he needs a move to Spurs. That is, of course, if the offer is right.

After a horrible tackle which should have seen Taylor sent off, Ronaldo called him “rubbish.” Taylor responded by calling him “ugly.” The World Player of the Year then showed him his pay stub and photos of the women he’s bedded.

That wasn’t the only bust up in the match. Obafemi Martins elbowed Nemanja Vidic, leaving the United defender bloodied. Vidic licked the blood, laughed and then said, “I must break you.”

Over in Italy, the fists aren’t flying, but Francesco Totti has accused Inter Milan wunderkind Mario Balotelli of “ugly football.” He also suggests that the young man needs a good slap on the face. Which Totti will deliver when he’s recovered from his latest injury.

At least one fight is over and a winner has been announced. Didier Drogba’s agent has revealed that Chelsea had to decide between keeping his client or retaining Big Phil Scolari. After winning that battle, Drogba reaffirmed his desire to stay at Chelsea and see out his contract–which runs all the way to 2010. If only I can live that long to see that happen. No one can say Didier isn’t a long term planner.

Meanwhile, Manchester City continues to attempt to bring every great player to the City grounds. The latest player to turn down City is Lionel Messi. They are also waiting to be spurned by Arsene Wenger for the managerial post. But maybe there is hope for the Citizens to overpay for someone as they’ve been tracking a Recreativo Huelva player that no one has heard of.

Speaking of losing fights, LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena expects David Beckham to return next week. I expect Federica Fontana to call me back, but that ain’t gonna happen either.

It looks like AC Milan players will have to fight for their money. Chairman Silvio Berlusconi has said that Milan will cut its budget by 30%. He also said the Galaxy will get nothing for Beckham and they’ll like it.

One man with an apparent love of getting the snot kicked out of him is Kevin Keegan. It’s been reported that the Messiah wants to return to the Newcastle bench to help them on their way to the Championship. More amazingly, owner Mike Ashley nixed the idea. I guess he wants to be remembered as the only one responsible for completely ruining the once-proud club.

I would like to end with a fond farewell to Boris Isayev. The Russian man died after winning a pancake-eating contest. Apparently no one can beat 43 banana and cream pancakes. Sad news indeed, but it does make me hungry. cgparka cgparka

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Love Is All You Need


It might not yet be spring, but it appears that love is in the air. All around the land of football, people have been paying compliments to their rivals, professing their love of their club and, in some special cases, expressing their love for former employers. Of course, there’s that flip side of love. Hate. There’s also been plenty of that this week. But I don’t like to think of it as hate. I like to think of it as hyperlove. You know, just like how Klansmen don’t hate black people, they just really love white people.

I have to give credit where credit is due. I fully believe it was Arsene Wegner that started this whole love thing when he complimented longtime nemesis Sir Alex and Manchester United. Not only did the French fawner concede the league to Fergie’s boys, he also branded them ‘untouchable.’ And I don’t think he meant it in an Indian caste system kind of way.

What kind of love fest would it be without that randy Swede, Sven-Goren Eriksson? While he amazingly still holds on to his job in Mexico, he still wonders what went wrong at Manchester City. At least he has fond memories of former chairman Thaksin Shinawatra.

Of course love can also come in the form of biting criticism−just like mom used to give. Ajax manager and ex-AC Milan great, Marco van Basten has such great memories of his time there that seeing his former club in the UEFA Cup fills him with great sadness. But hey, he’s just being honest because he cares too much.

Add Harry Redknapp to the list of those that aren’t enjoying Europe’s second-tier competition. Seems old Harry isn’t none too pleased to be making the ‘short’ trip to Ukraine in midweek, especially considering that it will be the first of three matches in ten days for Tottenham. If only UEFA would follow Rafa’s suggestion that Alex Ferguson be in charge of scheduling.

But let’s get back to the love, shall we? LA Galaxy fans love their club so much they wanted to show David Beckham just how much. I hope David remembers that people wouldn’t burn him in effigy if they didn’t love him.

Juande Ramos may not have been in charge of Real Madrid for long, but he is already fully in love. Continuing to add fuel to the fire started by Rafael van der Vaart in the buildup to the matchup of the two most successful, history-laden clubs in Europe, the world, and all known galaxies, Ramos let’s Liverpool know they ain’t got no history.

If only people could enjoy the simple joys in life like Guus Hiddink does. He recently spoke of his childhood on the farm and his love of animals. He loves animals so much that he wishes he would have chosen another profession just a little less foul than the situation he finds himself in at Stamford Bridge.

All of this talk of love has me feeling all warm and tingly. Just like the time I got tasered by that girl I was ‘dating.’ Apparently no really does mean no. And tasers really hurt. airmaxschuh airmaxschuh

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Back to Life…Back to Reality


The celebration of great men is now over and it’s back to work for most us of. (My apologies to those Bob Cratchits that didn’t get the day off.) But luckily we have the daily reality show that is football to keep our minds off of our TPS reports. And just like our favorite reality shows, there are certain characters that get more air time than others. And while we really didn’t intend to make this a Rafa Benitez website (though that might not be a bad idea for a spin-off); the “fact man” is at it again. If sports are a live action soap opera, the most real of reality shows, then Rafa is Tila Tequila. So let’s start our roll call of random things filling our brain in that wackiest of places−Liverpool FC.

Keeping up his infatuation with all things Manchester United, the jellybean with a goatee has this to say, “We’ve made a team that can compete with them but economically we’re inferiors and can’t afford the players they can. I have enough data to bore you.” Rafa has data? Bore us? C’mon Rafa, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a grown man read from a well organized list of childish complaints.

Read the full story

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Let Him Go!


Enjoying life in Milan

Enjoying life in Milan

And the greatest love affair the world has ever seen continues to blossom. Hardman Rino Gattuso is the latest AC Milan player to line up at the Beckham kissing booth. Recently proclaiming that, “(Beckham)’s always there, he scores and makes himself available. We hope he stays for Milan to reach its objectives.” At this point the LA Galaxy has to feel like the husband who agreed to “open up” his marriage, and is now helping his wife move into a new guy’s apartment. Or like Jennifer Aniston during the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. But I don’t mean to compare Jennifer Aniston to the LA Galaxy. That would be insulting to everyone’s favorite Friend. The truth is that David Beckham is too big for the MLS. There will never be a Bend It Like Buddle movie. Read the full story

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