Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Is it the World Cup yet?

The outdoor season started for me on Friday. We played in the rain, I got soaked, and woke up on Saturday with a nasty cold, so I spent all weekend on the couch, blowing my nose and feebly bemoaning the lack of football on TV. It's a pretty slow week for footie news, until the friendlies gear up. (But let me just gloat at the USMNT for losing 1-0 to Morocco. Way to justify your place in the FIFA rankings, guys.)

Meanwhile, the England team took a tour of the new Wembley stadium. Footballers in hard hats and rubber boots are always amusing. But possibly a bit risky, considering the damage that a falling rafter could do to a metatarsal.

Everyone in the England camp is being optimistic, though. Which is all well and good, until you remember that Phil Neville is now on the standby list in place of Nigel Reo-Coker.

And Manchester United's team doctor has quit, just a day before Wayne Rooney is set to have another scan on his foot, after a "difference of opinion" with Sir Alex Ferguson. The club claims, "The difference was over a non-clinical issue and had nothing whatsoever to do with any medical treatment to a Manchester United player." Uh-huh. If you believe that, you probably believe the FIFA rankings, too.

Other than that, there's lots of transfer rumours swirling around as usual. Man United are planning to dump Ruud Van Nistelrooy and replace him with Eidur Gudjohnsen. Doesn't sound like the best swap to me, but then I suppose Gudjohnsen has the advantage in that Fergie doesn't hate his breathing guts.

Shaun Wright-Phillips is also desperate to get off the bench at Chelsea. So desperate that he might be going to Newcastle. And Didier Drogba wants to leave too, because the poor widdle baby is tired of being called a cheat (here's a hint: THEN DON'T CHEAT), and might like a move to, say, Milan. That, of course, is just fuelling the Shevchenko-to-Chelsea will-he-won't-he rumours. Not that I can blame Sheva for wanting to get out of Italy, with the league falling apart around him, but really: does it have to be Chelsea? There's lots of other teams that need strikers and yet are not the embodiment of evil.

Liverpool is planning to get rid of Djimi Traore, unlikely Champions League medal and all, and Fernando Morientes. Or maybe not. They're being linked with just about every striker out there, except maybe Shevchenko. Except to see Michael Owen sending up flares from Newcastle in the near future. Over at Highbury, Sol Campbell might be leaving for Turkey (did he get hit in the head again?). Or he might not. And Arsenal have signed some Czech guy whose nickname is, apparently, "Dumpling."

Yeah, I've got nothing. If you want to pass the time, go read this National Geographic feature on the World Cup instead.


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