- Dec 16, 2010
Not sure if this makes me feel better or worse about my own physique & playing ability...
Man, they’re gonna take a beating this season.
It's dumb that England has national leagues all the way down to the fifth level. They should regionalize the 4th and 5th tiers, save on travel costs, and have more local rivalry games.Yeah I saw the Macclesfield Town news yesterday, horrible story. It also looks like Southend United is in serious trouble.
Yes, and the NYC management look bad also. Shitstorm.David Villa looks really bad in this article:
Love a solid report from outside of UEFA/CONMEBOL territory.General purpose Iranian national team update, starting with legendary manager Carlos Queiroz being axed as manager of the Colombian national team.
I pine for Queiroz back as coach of Team Melli, especially after the mercifully short reign of thief / charlatan / overall fat fuck of a clown Marc Wilmots - but I'd imagine Queiroz knows better than to return to a federation whose payouts are controlled by a combination of US sanctions and Islamic Republic fuckery.
The greatest generation of Iranian football is likely to go by the wayside in terms of international accomplishments due to the coaching instability, as well as the urgency for Iranian players to seek financial security over playing time. Some examples of this include Alireza Jahanbakhsh taking too big of a step up at Brighton to become their record signing after one good year at AZ Alkmaar, Mehdi Taremi signing for Porto after a show-me season at Rio Ave where he owned part of his transfer rights - only to be benched, and defensive stalwart Morteza Pouraliganji habitually taking the money in China / Qatar over European offers for the past 5 years, etc.
Iran's current hopes for success on the European continent are:
- A resurgence / rebirth at Brighton for Jahanbakhsh - he was a key player over the festive period in '19-'20 (including a bicycle kick against Chelsea that is without a doubt the pinnacle of Iranian footballing achievement in Europe), but has had a series of muscle injuries and is benched in favor of uninspiring players (to say the least) in Potter's 3-4-2-1 these days
- Sardar Azmoun progressing to a bigger club than Zenit - though he and Artem Dzyuba have formed an impressive partnership, and he has a linguistic / footballing bond with his Turkmen manager Sergei Semak (Azmoun is from Gonbad Kavus, abutting Turkmenistan in northeast Iran). With the dip in Jahanbakhsh's form, Azmoun is our biggest hope - I think he would do an outstanding job in a physical, Raul Jimenez-type skilled target man role.
- Mehdi Taremi unseating Moussa Marega for the starting spot as Porto's #9 - Marega has been awful this season, so I'm cautiously optimistic Taremi and his penalty-winning ways will earn him into the first team squad
- Milad Mohammadi progressing beyond Gent, where he has starred at left back - there was smoke around him moving to Leeds in the summer, but Stuart Dallas has stolen the show there.
- Alireza Beiranvand playing his way into a starting role at Antwerp - I rate him extremely highly and am surprised he hasn't earned the spot yet, but some obvious bias at play there
- The Charleroi boys Kaveh Rezaei and Ali Gholizadeh continuing to play regularly and well enough to earn a Ligue 1 / EFL Championship move, though Gholizadeh is rapidly approaching Reza Ghoochannejhad status given he's already 28
- Saman Ghoddos avoiding eating his way out of top-flight football - he's just transferred to Brentford after serving a 4 month suspension with (now Ligue 2 side) Amiens stemming from a complaint filed by SD Huesca following his transfer from Swedish side Östersund, but he is looking and playing like he's been consuming kabab nonstop for 9 months
Iran lost their matches to Bahrain and Iraq earlier in qualifying, the former being a particularly humiliating 1-0 defeat, the latter a 2-1 heartbreaker with Alaa Abbas scoring in stoppage time to secure the three points for Iraq. There are four matches remaining for qualifying, with the return legs against Bahrain / Iraq as must-wins for Iran to at least achieve 2nd in the group of 5 (along with Hong Kong and Cambodia).
In short, a ton has to go right for Team Melli to turn around and remain a powerhouse in Asia. We were so close to advancing out of the group of death with Portugal, Spain, and Morocco in '18, with payment to the team being withheld all the while due to sanctions. At this point, we are looking unlikely to qualify in '22 barring some unexpected results under Dragan Skočić, in large part due to Wilmots treating Team Melli with the same care as a day-old plate of moules-frites for his disastrous months in chage.
I hope there is an opportunity for Iranian football to progress beyond this point in my lifetime, but I'm not all that optimistic given both the direction the Iranian economy is taking, and the proclivity for diaspora players to turn their back on the national team (looking at you, Daniel Arzani).
Liga MX matches could probably do even better if the media rights were not so fractured. For example, the first leg of El Súper Clásico is not on the list, because it aired on Telemundo, who have the rights to all Chivas home games. All seven other quarterfinal matches were on Univision networks. Fox Sports has Xolos and Monterrey, plus ESPN Deportes also shows some matches.Liga MX TV ratings in the US:
A reliable source who replied to this tweet claimed the América-Chivas game was the highest-rated soccer game in the US all year.
And a FA cup winner in 2013.https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/sep/16/wigan-in-danger-of-being-wound-up-like-macclesfield-administrators-warn
Wigan administrators are struggling to find a bidder, asking 3.3M (including stadium, training ground and club) which is needed to clear creditors, 2M if you are willing to take a 15 point deduction.
This was a mid-table Championship side last year, a PL team as recently as 2013, and it looks likely that they will cease to exist.
I have posted this more than a few times, but seems most appropriate here (from the Pawson’s Arms, a Palace pub.).You just know Millwall fans were waiting five months to boo players kneeling to start the game:
https://www.espn.com/soccer/china-chn/story/4256882/chinese-university-team-forfeit-game-due-to-hair-colourA Chinese university women's soccer team was forced to forfeit a match after a player's hair was deemed to be "not black enough," local media reported on Tuesday.