Tuesday, April 22, 2008

John Arne Riise's brain diarrhea

Whatever happened to John Arne Riise!? Liverpool was one up against Chelsea on the first leg of the Champions League semifinal; they had been the better team, and a home win would give them a good head start before next week's second leg in London.
But in the 95th minute, in the dying seconds of the match, Chelsea equalized... Well, John Arne Riise did it for them, when he headed a splendid own goal, after a cross towards Drogba.
It wasn't that it actually happens: all players make such mistakes, but it was the timing... Could their be a worse moment to score an own goal...!? Also one cannot help to think, watching the situation, whether Mr. Riise just lost concentration: it wasn't a difficult ball, and it seemed Mr. Riise made great trouble of what shouldn't have been a problem.
Poor Mr. Riise. But for Liverpool, the Champions League final suddenly moved one step away, and they will have a hard time in London.
The mistakes that change football history...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Up and down with Valencia

It is perhaps good I have been away, very far away, to see my dear Valencia stumble, and continue falling. In the end, I was almost giving up looking at the results, as Valencia was losing again and again, and getting threateningly close to the relegation-spots.
Just 4 years ago UEFA and Spanish Champions, and now this...
So it was with happiness I saw that they had made it to the Spanish Cup final, the Copa de Rey, and with more happiness that I saw that they won it, 3-1 against Michael Laudrup's Getafe. Finally, at least a title! This may give the players their faith back, and lead them upwards in the table, and well, next year, again be fighting for the top spots in the Spanish League and a place in the Champions League, where Valencia surely belongs!

But supporting Valencia these days is to live on an emotional rollercoaster: after their Cup-victory, Valencia returned to their nightmarish dance in the Primera División, where they yesterday were thoroughly trashed 5-1 by Athletic de Bilbao.

There is something rotten in Valencia.

Leaving football wasteland

I am leaving northern Mozambique tomorrow. I am not going to talk bad about my job: it has been fascinating and interesting working in some of the poorest and most isolated areas of Africa. But... besides the fact that many youngsters wear Ronaldo or Beckham t-shirts, they have no idea whatsoever about football. I am in football wasteland, and in spite of my football mojo having returned, I have been so unable to follow international football, that I have found it all but irrelevant to post on this site (well, I have also lacked consistent internet access and time...).
But tomorrow, I am leaving: I am driving south, and I am hoping that already tomorrow I will be in a nice place to watch my first CL football match of the year: Chelsea-Liverpool.
And I am looking even more forward to the clash between two of my favourite and most respected teams, Manchester United and Barcelona, where I of course, sway towards the latter.
Two great matches, which I hope will symbolize my return to the magical world of football, after leaving the football wasteland I have lived in over almost a year!