The Third Shift


  1. theworldsgame:

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores his FOURTH goal of the day against England. From an overhead bicycle kick. From 30 yards away.

    Good Lord, that’s just so fantastic it’s almost a shame it was scored in a friendly.

  2. the new, really depressing reality of being a Liverpool F.C. fan.

    It’s setting in after realizing the owners’ refusal to go any higher than £4 million for Clint Dempsey resulted in him going to Spurs for £6 million.

    We’re broke, and we’re not good at being broke. We have to learn how to operate on a much lower budget. (Apologies for the dumb trope of referring to one’s rooting interest as “we,” but I find it more effective as a writing tool in this case.)

    We’re paying for the British Player Tax Dalglish and Comolli happily spent when buying up Carroll, Henderson, Adam, and Downing. Jose Enrique and Luis Suarez have arguably been worth what was paid for them. LFC are banking that it might bring £18 mil or so from Carroll if he eventually wants to stay in East London and the Hammers stay up, but that’s still a loss. Adam was sold at a two mil loss to Stoke and I’m still surprised he was wanted. Henderson and Downing have no value after being acquired for completely stupid transfer fees.

    Aside from the occasional buying of a player like Fabio Borini or Joe Allen, LFC are now going to have to lean on the academy — we’ll learn what the kids are made of, which is good — and figure out how to add good players on the cheap. It’s godsmacking how well David Moyes does in the market despite Everton’s well-documented financial trouble, and it’s clear LFC will have to imitate its closest rival in this way.

  3. 
@SoccerByIves: Andres Iniesta wins UEFA player of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo is Not impressed. pic.twitter.com/3ybj1Ee5

Ronaldo has that face on almost all the time. McKayla Maroney probably owes him royalties.
Post from @SoccerByIves on Twitter (via Scope)

    @SoccerByIves: Andres Iniesta wins UEFA player of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo is Not impressed. pic.twitter.com/3ybj1Ee5

    Ronaldo has that face on almost all the time. McKayla Maroney probably owes him royalties.

    Post from @SoccerByIves on Twitter (via Scope)

  4. Liverpool transfer news: Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea is a target and Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing could be sold to raise funds - Mirror Online
Several reasons why the Mirror is throwing shit to the wall and seeing if it sticks:
Romelu Lukaku is on loan at West Brom. Sturridge is one of two recognized strikers in the squad, the other being Fernando Torres. Ask a Chelsea fan if s/he wants Torres to be the only forward on the roster with the transfer deadline this week.
If Brendan Rodgers thinks he’ll get 15 million pounds from the sales of Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing combined, he’s crazy.
Given some of Sturridge’s brain locks last season (Chelsea fans I follow on Twitter would get livid with his ball-hogging), I doubt he’d play well with Luis Suarez. 
Clint Dempsey would probably be a better fit with this LFC team in a starting XI.
Even if Sturridge was sold and Chelsea money-whipped Hulk or Edinson Cavani in, they’d need another striker.
This is so not happening.

    Liverpool transfer news: Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea is a target and Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing could be sold to raise funds - Mirror Online

    Several reasons why the Mirror is throwing shit to the wall and seeing if it sticks:

    • Romelu Lukaku is on loan at West Brom. Sturridge is one of two recognized strikers in the squad, the other being Fernando Torres. Ask a Chelsea fan if s/he wants Torres to be the only forward on the roster with the transfer deadline this week.
    • If Brendan Rodgers thinks he’ll get 15 million pounds from the sales of Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing combined, he’s crazy.
    • Given some of Sturridge’s brain locks last season (Chelsea fans I follow on Twitter would get livid with his ball-hogging), I doubt he’d play well with Luis Suarez. 
    • Clint Dempsey would probably be a better fit with this LFC team in a starting XI.
    • Even if Sturridge was sold and Chelsea money-whipped Hulk or Edinson Cavani in, they’d need another striker.

    This is so not happening.

  5. Fearless Raheem Sterling shows Liverpool the face of their future | Richard Williams | Football | The Guardian
Joe Allen, Seb Coates, Luis Suarez, and Fabio Borini were big bright spots for the Reds today, but Raheem Sterling is the dude every Liverpool fan wants to see. He merited a starting spot after his work against Hearts in the Europa League on Thursday and already looks a brighter, smarter option on the left than Stewart Downing has in over a year.

    Fearless Raheem Sterling shows Liverpool the face of their future | Richard Williams | Football | The Guardian

    Joe Allen, Seb Coates, Luis Suarez, and Fabio Borini were big bright spots for the Reds today, but Raheem Sterling is the dude every Liverpool fan wants to see. He merited a starting spot after his work against Hearts in the Europa League on Thursday and already looks a brighter, smarter option on the left than Stewart Downing has in over a year.

  6. a completely uneducated 2012-13 Premier League prediction tallywhacker.

    TWO DAYS UNTIL GLORIOUS FOOTBALL.

    1. Manchester City - really only in trouble if Kompany is hurt for any length of time
    2. Manchester United - SAF is buying because he can. I don’t view Kagawa combined with either Cleverley or Carrick as solving the CM issue that’s been staring him in the face. $34 mil for RvP and his one good season at 29 is a bit much.
    3. Arsenal - still solidly 3rd place to me. Turning van Persie into $34 million is good business if they can get another midfielder and a defender before the window closes.
    4. Liverpool - if, and only IF, they hold on to Daniel Agger. They have no chance of CL qualification if Jamie Carragher is making any meaningful appearances in defense but the preseason views of Brendan Rodgers’ style have been positive and one club cannot hit the post that many times again, right?
    5. Chelsea - John Terry is your smartest CB and also an athletic liability. Love the attackers, not sure you’re strong enough on defense with all those quality attack minded players. If it melds together, Chelsea could go all the up to 2nd, if not, di Matteo out by Christmas.
    6. Newcastle - No major changes but the Geordies can’t sneak up on anyone like last year. Remarkable they’ve not been raided.
    7. Tottenham - BUY A GODDAMNED STRIKER FFS. Like the AVB as manager, like Vertonghen and Sigurdsson moves, but who’s finishing? Defoe?
    8. Everton - I would actually put them in the fight for a CL spot if they started better in the first half of the season.
    9. Swansea City - Michael Laudrup’s bought some good players for cheap and most of the squad is unchanged. The Liberty Stadium will remain a fortress; I I think the Swans can do better on their away form this time.
    10. Aston Villa - Paul Lambert’s flexibility will make a huge difference.
    11. West Brom - Steve Clarke is a first-year head coach, sure, but I think he will get more of these things right than wrong because Roy Hodgson left enough in the cupboard right.
    12. Fulham - love Jol, like the team in general, not sure who’s scoring the goals for them this year since Dempsey’s on his way out (hopefully to Anfield!)
    13. Norwich City - generally the same squad, new manager, lotta defensive players from last season gone (mostly to Leicester, apparently). Want them to stay up because Chris Hughton deserves his shot without interference. 
    14. Stoke City - they do what they do and they do it well. Won’t be any fun to watch.
    15. QPR - They’ll flirt with relegation but they’ve bought too many decent (if unspectacular) players to get dropped.
    16. Sunderland - Again, I want to know who’s scoring and they looked dreadful after the initial Martin O’Neill swoon. Here’s your potential unexpected relegation candidate.
    17. West Ham - Sadly, they’re the only promoted team I have staying up because Big Sam’s practicality will save them. Hammers vs. Potters shouldn’t be televised.
    18. Reading - like the signing of Danny Guthrie in midfield, like Pogrebynak up front if he can follow through and score. They could sneak out and stay alive if any of the teams in 13-17 really bite the bit.
    19. Wigan - you can only dance on the head of a pin for so long.
    20. Southampton - waging a lot on lower-level players. Think they’ll do a Blackpool: they’ll go back down, but they’ll be fun to watch.
  7. danleydon:

Dirk’s own brand of football…

Miss you, Dirk. Best junk footballer.

    danleydon:

    Dirk’s own brand of football…

    Miss you, Dirk. Best junk footballer.

  8. GPOYW, RCTID Edition.
Go Timbers, beat Chivas!

    GPOYW, RCTID Edition.

    Go Timbers, beat Chivas!

  9. eclipsed:

‎”The only way Pirlo’s penalty could have been better is if he’d had a cigarette in his mouth while taking it.”

Goddamn Andrea Pirlo, what a fucking cheeky genius bastard. Football will be worse off when he retires. May he have at least two more years in Serie A and a spot on Italy’s squad should they qualify for Brazil in 2014. 
As for England: that Montolivo miss made it worse because it gave England hope. It’s not the despair that kills, it’s the hope.

    eclipsed:

    ‎”The only way Pirlo’s penalty could have been better is if he’d had a cigarette in his mouth while taking it.”

    Goddamn Andrea Pirlo, what a fucking cheeky genius bastard. Football will be worse off when he retires. May he have at least two more years in Serie A and a spot on Italy’s squad should they qualify for Brazil in 2014. 

    As for England: that Montolivo miss made it worse because it gave England hope. It’s not the despair that kills, it’s the hope.

    (via emmanuelnegro)

  10. Yeah, that’s me and Cobi Jones. Full writeup on the Fox Soccer Mobile Party Viewing to come after today’s Euros on TWG.

    Yeah, that’s me and Cobi Jones. Full writeup on the Fox Soccer Mobile Party Viewing to come after today’s Euros on TWG.

  11. thanks to the generosity of a friend who won four free tickets…

    …I’ll be enjoying Monday’s Spain-Croatia match on the Fox Soccer party bus when it comes to Portland.

    Photos and a write-up for The World’s Game are likely.

  12. Thanks to bubbaprog, we have proof DEUCE is a fan of WWE. I mean, that’s a People’s Eyebrow that would bring a tear to the Rock’s eye, jabronis.
(via Oh yes. RT @edsbs Clint Dempsey’s bitchpleaseface right now: STRONG.)

    Thanks to bubbaprog, we have proof DEUCE is a fan of WWE. I mean, that’s a People’s Eyebrow that would bring a tear to the Rock’s eye, jabronis.

    (via Oh yes. RT @edsbs Clint Dempsey’s bitchpleaseface right now: STRONG.)

  13. tovaritching:

    thethirdshift:

    Liverpool want to talk to Brendan Rodgers about manager’s job | Football | The Guardian

    That’s all well and good but after Swansea signed Gylfi Sigurdsson to a full deal, I’m not sure why Rodgers would want to leave. Essentially he has full control of the players and the team and just nailed one of this best players — if not the best — from last season down.

    Let me say that I would be very, very surprised if Brendan Rodgers leaves South Wales for Merseyside. FSG should have interviewed Andre Villas-Boas as well, but it will probably be Roberto Martinez, which I would be more than fine with.

    Too true.

    Gylfi has admitted he only initially came here on loan because of Brendan. He won’t sign if Brendan’s leaving because he doesn’t want a repeat of what happened at Hoffenheim.

    It’s people with big egos - speculation junkies if you will - shortening the odds and people take it in and bam he’s favourite. They don’t call this silly season for no reason.

    And anyway, we are, maybe I’m looking through rose tinted glasses but right now I think that we are actually a better team than Liverpool. It’s too much of a step sideways, or, dare I say it, backwards, for Brendan to go there.

    Right now Swansea is definitely a better footballing side than Liverpool. The Reds went around a lot of last season without a clear philosophy of play outside of “watch Suarez destroy a defender” or “unleash Craig Bellamy late.” FSG don’t have as much money available as Sheikh Mansour or Roman Abramovich (hell, even the Glazers), but it’s not so much a question (to me, biased toward Liverpool as I am) of who’s a better team now, but the highest level each club can reach with its resources — that’s the question every manager probably asks himself when dealing with a big money move.

    Swansea would be thrilled with a Europa League spot. Champions League at this point would be out of the question with what it spends. Liverpool can still spend enough to fund a CL spot challenge — but I would argue FSG must take a page from the Newcastle book and find its Graham Carr, because it’s not going to outspend Chelsea, Man City, or Man United — and a lack of a coherent philosophy leaves it behind Arsene Wenger, who is apparently going to spend this summer and hope he can keep van Persie. 

    The real question for Rodgers re: the Liverpool job is whether he believes he can replicate his work at Swansea at Anfield and do so quickly enough to earn Champions League qualification. It’s really about how high his ambition goes right now. I like his philosophy but I think he would be insane to take the Liverpool job if offered it. He has a better setup right now within its more limited financial parameters, and a lot of the groundwork done at Swansea City is also thanks to Paulo Sousa and Roberto Martinez, the latter being his likely competitor for the LFC job. I see the incentive for Martinez to leave — every year he loses his two or three best players and has to rebuild the squad again with loans to save it from relegation. Loyalty to Dave Whelan can only get you so far; Lancashire clubs have taken a major hit these days.

    But that hasn’t happened at Swansea yet, and board has coughed up the pounds to bring Rodgers’ best player into the squad full-time instead of on loan. Barring some mass exodus of sales, I have no idea why Rodgers would want to leave now. Maybe 2-3 years down the line if the Swans are still up, but not right now.

  14. ☛ Liverpool want to talk to Brendan Rodgers about manager's job | Football | The Guardian

    That’s all well and good but after Swansea signed Gylfi Sigurdsson to a full deal, I’m not sure why Rodgers would want to leave. Essentially he has full control of the players and the team and just nailed one of this best players — if not the best — from last season down.

    Let me say that I would be very, very surprised if Brendan Rodgers leaves South Wales for Merseyside. FSG should have interviewed Andre Villas-Boas as well, but it will probably be Roberto Martinez, which I would be more than fine with.