the tanner ba'

Odds & Ends: Here’s Your Hat, Here’s Your Coat, What’s Your Hurry Edition

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  • The proverbial “other shoe” dropped this morning when Manchester United sacked manager David Moyes.  I like David- a lot- and I think another club will do well to sign him up, but he never had a chance at Old Trafford.  It’s not that he was unwanted or unsupported by the club, rather, the situation was just untenable.  United won the league last year in perhaps the most unconvincing fashion it it’s history and with no major influx of talent to combat the signings at the other “big” clubs (save Arsenal and their awkward inactivity) and a massive change in culture after centuries and centuries of SAF’s reign it was always going to take more than a year to turn a ship this big around.  Unfortunately, that’s the tough part of taking a job with a profile as big as this one- you don’t get a few seasons- you don’t even get a full one!  So, he’s out and Ryan Giggs is (temporarily) in.  I don’t know who will be brought in to replace Moyes, but whomever it is, they’ll have it a little better as they won’t be replacing Sir Alex.
  • After an absolutely dismal away loss to Hearts last Saturday Ross County F.C. have dropped into the Scottish Premiership’s relegation playoff spot.  I still think two wins from their last four matches will be enough to pull them out of 11th place and safety from relegation, but it really needs to start with a win over Kilmarnock on Saturday.  If this season comes down to a “win or die” final match against Partick Thistle, well, I’m getting older now and I’m just not sure how I’ll handle the stress.  On the positive side, talismanic striker Melvin de Leeuw will be back from suspension for this match.  On the negative side, there are rumors swirling about the club that his strike partner Yoann Arquin was injured in training and will miss the rest of the season.  Gulp.
  • I know I’m late with this item (it was a busy week), but did you see Garth Bale’s goal in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona?!  If you didn’t, please watch.  Somewhere, this morning, Barcelona defender Marc Bartra is still silently weeping and in another somewhere doctors continue to jab giant syringes full of adrenalin into Ray Hudson’s heart, Pulp Fiction-style.  To see a goal like that- and it’s a crime if that’s not the “goal of the year” everywhere– is what being a football fan is all about.  It was magical, MAGISTERIAL!!
  • Speaking of La Liga, are Atletico Madrid really going to do this?  There are four matches left in the La Liga season and they are four points clear of Barcelona and six points clear of Real Madrid.  How nice would it be if they went into the final match of the season- against Barcelona- having already clinched the title?  In case you’re wondering, if they do win the league it will be the first time in a decade since a team other than Real Madrid or Barcelona have done that.  The last club to do it was Valencia in 2003-2004.
  • Yesterday I drove 90 minutes round trip to play 90 minutes of of 3 on 3 pick-up soccer.  There’s something wrong with me.
  • Finally, in what is becoming an annual tradition, I’ll be attending this Saturday’s New England Revolution-Sporting Kansas City match with long-time reader and commenter KC Gunner.  I’ll have to sit with him in the away support section at Gillette Stadium, but it will be well worth it if the Revs can somehow win and give me a reason to silently gloat.  Last year we had to knock ice off our seats and move the Patriots kicking net out of the way before we could watch the dullest, most wind-blown nil all match ever played.  This year can only be better…right?

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