Football (see also: Soccer) Roundup: Thoughts on Donovan, Giggs, & Saturday Match Predictions
Aahhhh!! Take a breath at this festive time and a sip of the local ale, sit back and rejoice in a sport that has nothing whatsoever to do with a Mr. Woods and his wood. Not to say that footballers are saints; lager, girls, WAGS, hags, fights and speeding tickets are all but the staple diet of many a Premiership, and aspiring Premiership, player these days. But for now, let’s focus of the sport of kings itself, rather than off pitch exploits.
So the ink is all but dry on the contract that brings dainty little Landon Donovan over to Everton. He will become an
honorary Scouser from January until mid March. Going to be a shock to his system playing at Goodison, certainly not the
sun kissed hills of LA; he’ll get the lumps kicked out of him in the freezing rain. A bit of hard graft never hurt
anyone, might even make a man of him??
The wonderful country of Honduras brought us a peach of a goal last weekend in the Premiership courtesy of Mayor
Figueroa. The mighty Wigan were bumbling along against Stoke when an innocuous free kick occurred. As the players
picked themselves up and the ball lay dead, still five yards inside the Wigan half, Figueroa spied goalkeeper Sorensen
off his line. He nonchalantly hit the ball and it carried 60 yards over the outstretched keeper. Bingo, route one!
It’s tighter than you think at the top of the Premiership with five teams within ten points of each other and Arsenal
with a game in hand. Especially over the hectic Christmas period, it will be interesting to see how the flurry of games
will affect the standings. With games on December 19/ 20th, Boxing Day (a Victorian invention you Yanks may not be
familiar with), plus the 28/ 29 and 30th; there a numerous opportunities for points to be picked up or dropped. Then
the January transfer window opens, with many clubs looking to bolster there injury stricken clubs: fun times ahead kids!
Finally, raise a glass to the fine Mr. Ryan Giggs!! Although I am not a fan of United, Giggs has been, and still is a
truly gifted, special player. At 36, Giggs just signed a year extension to his contract that will keep him at Old
Trafford until June 2011. Having started his career back in ’91, he has played over 800 games for the club, and with 11
Premiership titles and 2 European Cups under his belt, he proves that there is life in the old dog yet; an inspiration
to all us old blokes! He recently won the BBC’s prestigious Sport Personality of the Year Award, not bad for a bloke
[[Editors Note: to learn more about Ryan Giggs, hear the man himself talk about his own legacy of longevity, and if nothing else, to remind yourself of just how beautiful the British General Public is (see also: sarcasm), check out this BBC awards show clip here!]]
This weeks predictions:
Portsmouth V Liverpool
Liverpool romped back to winning ways last Saturday and again midweek against Wigan, with Torres back in the side and on the score sheet. Portsmouth had a good close game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and are a better side than they admit, even to themselves and despite the financial chaos that currently surrounds them. However, I think Liverpool are going to win at Portsmouth, they have a renewed sense of confidence.
Prediction: Portsmouth 1 – 2 Liverpool
Aston Villa V Stoke City
Villa are playing some great football at present, the like of which helped them overcome Man Utd last week. Stoke
aren’t a walk-over by any means, but Martyn O’Neill’s formula has given Villa an unbeaten run of six games. It will
Prediction: Aston Villa 3 – 1 Stoke City
Blackburn V Tottenham
Blackburn are tough, especially at home, and will give Tottenham a work out at Ewood Park. Tottenham are on song and passing the ball with ease, Lennon gives them such pace on the wing. Spurs will edge it.
Prediction: Blackburn 1 – 2 Tottenham
Fulham V Man Utd
Craven Cottage is difficult for visitors. Fulham have been scoring frequently of late, Bobby Zamora has stepped up and
although they are playing Utd, I think they will cause them problems. Both teams can score, but I think a draw is on
Prediction: Fulham 2 – 2 Man Utd
Arsenal V Hull City
Arsenal at the Emirates, job done. They are just too strong for Hull. This could be a walk-over.
Prediction: Arsenal 4 – 1 Hull City
Everton V Birmingham City
Birmingham are seventh in the Premiership, a position that would surprise most. McLeish has done well, but I don’t
think they have the talent or depth to continue this kind of form throughout the season. Everton have been looking
strong and although they have drawn the last two league matches, they will edge this one.
Prediction: Everton 2 – 1 Birmingham