Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The Grab: 10.30
Perhaps all is not well at Ashburton Grove, as World Cup and Copa America winner Gilberto has refused to play in central defense for Arsenal's Carling Cup clash with Sheffield United on Wednesday. Coming off of a hectic summer, the Brazilian has found it hard to break into his usual defensive midfield position with Mathieu Flamini playing so well, arguably freeing up Cesc Fabregas to be more of an offensive threat. Is Arsene Wenger's shallow depth beginning to crumble? Or is the much-loved Gilberto listening too much to what Jens Lehmann is saying? Both may be beginning their decline, but if this is the season for Arsenal to get back into some serious contention, the Gunners'll need them throughout the long season.
Gilberto facing Arsenal exit after bust-up with Wenger [Daily Mail]
Boys Being (Little) Boys [SMiA]
Phoenix Suns cager Steve Nash remains interested in owning Spurs, despite their perpetual bad luck and ability to shoot themselves in the foot. And it's not just the porous defense and attacking footie he likes, but the NBA play maker has been a Spurs fan his whole life. Thankfully he's had a great run of success in basketball to take his mind off of the constant foibles of his team. Unless Juande Ramos qualifies for Europe (the real one) sometime soon.
Nash would like to be Tottenham owner [Guardian Football]
In other Tottenham Hotspur news, new gaffer Juande Ramos held a double training session, interpreted in London as "cracking the whip" or "getting down to work" for the former Sevilla man. In other words, JR must have decided to teach the fundamentals of defending twice so it sticks this time around.
Juande Ramos cracks the whip at Tottenham [Telegraph]
While it's fair to say that many elements of European soccer have not made their way to our shores here across the pond (e.g., technical ability, fluent play, flair), one aspect that definitely hasn't is hooliganism (yes, even at Chivas v. Galaxy). Unfortunately, that can't be said for many things soccer-related (Posh, Green Street Hooligans), but former hoolie, RAF man, and distinguished hooligan-lit author Dougie Brimson fears for the US and Canada. I don't really see that happening here in North America, for many reasons, but primarily because nobody really gives a crap over here. Being an MLS fan is typically an afterthought (soccer-playing tweens, Beckham lovers in brand-new Brazil kits, parents in search of cheap family events), what with the Mall of America, Britney Spears, and Fox News all within the same continent to keep us rapt with awe. However, perhaps if the MLS changed from a plodding, sub par league to the style of English footie in the heyday of hooliganism (plodding, sub par), we may see the emergence of the American hooligan (see Oakland Raiders fan).
Ex-soccer hooligan urges tough line on violence [Reuters]