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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Football Follies

There used to be a show on television by this name: Football Follies. I don't know; it may still be on somewhere, but I don't watch much TV anymore.

The follies I am talking about today will most likely be the proverbial Greek to my friends who stop by and read this - thank you all for putting up with my love of the beautiful game - Football (soccer).

Folly #1: Real Madrid lose 4-0 in the Copa del Rey...

Third division side Alcorcon laid the lumber on the shiny new $300 million version of the Galacticos in the first leg of the King's Cup - Spanish football's open cup championship. This would be like the Yankees getting beaten by the Pensacola Pelicans in today's World Series opener. Well, not quite, but you get the idea. As for Real Madrid? Serves 'em right. John Lennon and Paul McCartney said it best decades ago: Money can't buy me love.

Folly #2: Relegated Newcastle are winners and losers...

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Newcastle United, an historic football club in the UK with perhaps the most fanatical and dedicated fan base in the world continue to befuddle. While leading the 2nd tier professional league (The Coca Coal Championship), decisions are still being made regarding ownership of the club and the status of their manager. Suffering the indignity and embarrassment of relegation from the Premier League, Newcastle have stepped up and are leading the chase for promotion. But with constantly under-fire owner Mike Ashley taking the club off the market and caretaker manager Chris Hughton being named as permanent, fans are less than overjoyed. Gone are the foreign suitors. Gone is any mention of local icon Alan Shearer returning to lead the Tynesiders. Newcastle is the poster child for a club that's losing even though they're winning.

Folly #3: I'm nervous about my club...

Like Newcastle United, Manchester United are an historic club - albeit a significantly more winning one. After suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of rival Liverpool this weekend, they met lower tier club Barnsley yesterday in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. After a rapacious start with an early goal, United looked in peril from a frisky home side. Free transfer Michael Owen showed why he is still to be considered among the leagues' top strikers with a sublime move and goal to seal the win. So why is this considered a folly? Captain Gary Neville, still struggling to regain his regular place on defense was give a straight red for a poor tackle on Barnsley's Adam Hammill.

Couple this with Rio's horrific play lately and the England mainstay's own injury struggles and United look weak in the back.

Of course, it's when the doubters start cackling that the Red Devils usually come to the fore. I'm pretty sure that Sir Alex can lead his squad to a record fourth consecutive, and 19th overall, league victory. But I'm still nervous.

And that is usually proven to be folly...


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