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Coventry City FC

August 12th, 2013 Comments off

There will be about 8 of my twitter followers that will care about this. To everyone else I’m sorry, go to my other blog and look at pictures of Reykjavik.

I’m a Coventry City supporter and former regular at Highfield Road. No idea how I ended up looking for CCFCs results first when they start rolling in on a Saturday morning, but I do. I lived in Coventry for a few years and strongly believe your football club chooses you, not the other way round.

Coventry City Football Clubs current “issues” are well publicized, one thing I know is there is plenty of blame on both sides. The problems go back to the former chairman Bryan Richardson leaving the club close to 60 million in debt when he moved on after relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2001 season. Since then they have been on the brink of administration. 15 managers in 25 years shows the problems run deep at this club.

It all came to a head last winter when they owners of Ricoh Arena, their “current” ground, requested the administrators were brought in. There are plenty of sources that cover this better than I can, and if you care you know all about this already.

During my 20 years as a Coventry fan there has been little to celebrate. There have been plenty of decisions, players, managers and owners I’ve not agreed with, but I’m no different from any other football fan.

While Sundays “home opener” sounds like great game that ended with a 5-4 win for Coventry, but it should have been played in Coventry, not 35 miles away in Northampton. I’m not sure why the league caved to the owners, Sisu, and allowed it to happen, but they did.

As I said there is plenty of blame to go around, a significant part lies at Sisu feet. The owners of Ricoh Arena is ACL, and their decision to initiate the administration process when investors who were interested in buying the club were in Coventry is inexplicable.

I believe the team has an appreciation for the situation the supporters are in. The Coventry captain Carl Baker said he understands the position that the fans have been put in, and added that the players don’t want to see the club move away from Coventry.

If ACL and Sisu had come to their senses a bit earlier, we wouldn’t be in this mess and significantly more than 2200 people would have seen a classic 5-4 win against Bristol yesterday. Played where it should have been, in Coventry.

Sounders-Montreal

March 4th, 2013 Comments off

It took a great goal from Davy Arnaud to mark what was otherwise a very forgettable game. However the season has started and an evening watching football, and enjoying good beer with friends will always time well spent.

RBP pregame

RBP pregame

ECS tifo prior to kick off

ECS tifo prior to kick off

 

Normal service is resumed – Sounders 3, Toronto 1

March 18th, 2012 3 comments

Last night was the Sounders first league game, another big night under the lights against a decent team. Midweek tonight’s opponents Toronto booked a place in the Champions League last four. They did this by doing something Seattle has yet to manage, beating LA at the Home Depot Center.

Coming off a 6-1 hammering in Mexico Wednesday night there were questions about what Seattle Sounders we would see. We need not have worried; this team was over the Champions League elimination and opened their league season in style.

Last week David Estrada scored against Santos, tonight he got his first league goal. And quickly followed that with two more tonight to complete the routing of Toronto 3-1. It was a very solid performance from Seattle.

The Alonso-Evans-Fernandez-Rosales midfield looked extremely confident and was in control all night. This team played a great game all over the field, at the back JKH was back to his usual steady self after a horrible game in Mexico.

It’s difficult to find any real issues, Montero was perhaps a little quiet and struggled to find space. With Zakuani and Eddie Johnson still to come back from injury, this team really could be special this year. I’m just not sure who moves aside to make way for them.

It was a very solid team performance, play like every week and there is no team they should be scared off. Next up is Houston Friday night.

What is there to say?

March 15th, 2012 2 comments

Some games are bigger than others, and some losses mean a little more. Seattle getting hammered by a good Santos side feels like a big loss. It was the quarterfinal of a huge tournament, it was big game and Seattle were well beaten on the night.

There is no real way to put a positive spin on the result. JKH had a bad night, Leo Gonzales had no answer for those running at him on the left and they never had any control in the middle of the field.

Coming into the game 2-1 up after the home leg the Sounders lost two early goals, came back and going in at half time the game was level on aggregate. Then Seattle gave up 4 goals in the second half and we saw just how big the gulf between Mexican and MLS sides are.

On any given day MLS teams can compete and win, but when it comes to overall quality there is a huge gulf to overcome. When an MLS team goes to Mexico it’s not a foregone conclusion any more, but it’s still an upset when they win down there. We still expect the good Mexican teams to win, and for good reason, they typically do.

So what were the highlights? Fernandez getting on the end of a perfect cross by Montero shortly before the half is the only obvious one. Coming out at half time Seattle were still in this game, they still had a chance.

Herculez Gomez (somewhat inevitably) grabbed back the lead for Santos shortly after the restart and that was it. The Sounders were forced to look for an equalizer, and left space at the back. Santos was given too much space and they did not miss much.

They were a good side and put away the Sounders with ease.

Seattle now face Toronto at RBP. The visitors have momentum coming into this game, they beat LA over two legs and move into the last four in the Champions League.

Saturday will be a big night under the lights. The noise, a full house and a chance to start the domestic season off in the right way and put the Santos game behind them.

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Opening Night…

March 8th, 2012 3 comments

For the last few months there has been the twitter hashtag going around “#isitmarchyet”. It’s now march and that means it’s time for a couple of IPA in the Pyramid, a Diablo burger and a lot of laughing at friends wearing the fluorescent third kit (every bit as bad in real life as the photos).  Then 15 minutes before kickoff, the walk to the stadium.

Opening day is special, and a quarter final of the awkwardly named CONCACAF Champions League made this one a little different.

I’ve taken part in plenty of opening days and I think what we have is real. This was a special night and what we share here in Seattle is authentic, every bit as authentic as Highfield Road, Rec Ground, San Siro or White Heart Lane. Really, the atmosphere here is as good as any other stadium in the world.

It can’t be faked.

I love the feeling of walking into the bowl of the stadium. Looking up at the lights, checking out my new seats and on my left the Emerald City Supporters are already pogoing away. Its match day at RBP, and the atmosphere is as good as any other stadium in the world.

Last night was a big game, and the Sounders played to match the occasion. I thought Seattle could come away with a win, but always felt Santos Laguna were favorites.

The result was a credit to the club and staff. Seattle clearly prepared well during the pre-season and from the kickoff too the game to the visitors. The 2-1 win at RBP sets up the second leg wonderfully, everything to play for and clearly Santos Laguna will have to look for the win. It should be a great night and I can hardly wait.

The links at the bottom of the page tell the story of the game better than I can.

I liked what I saw, they were a club able to play a good possession game, hold the ball and then attack quickly. If this is how they play all year, there is no one they should be scared of in MLS.

This could be a special year, and I know every fan talks like that on opening day, but it really could be.

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Revisiting Boxing day

February 9th, 2012 1 comment

I got sent a like to this today on YouTube. , it’s the game highlights of the Boxing day fixture of Woking hosting Farnborough Town. It’s not the beautiful game at it’s finest, but pretty typical of non-league football in England.

Midnight Lights

February 2nd, 2012 3 comments

I got sent a link to Joshua Mayers Sounders FC blog (excelent reading by the way) and this video. It was done at Century Link Field (also known as Royal Brougham Park) by Bodega Studios. I thought it was rather cool and interesting.

The high res version is here at Bodega Studios

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Sounders schedule anounced, and I like it!

January 5th, 2012 2 comments

The 2012 MLS schedule was published this morning. A couple of nice surprises, a little disappointment, but over all I think it’s a good schedule for Seattle.

Prior to the MLS schedule we have the Champions League quarter final home and away legs. That has the potential to really open the season up in a big way. Win over the two games and it’s into the last four and that is a big deal. additionally, in August through October there is the group stages for the 2012-2013 Champions League that the Sounders have already qualified for, no play-in game this year. and somewhere in this there will be open cup. A fourth US Open cup in a row would be tough, but they are holders until someone knocks them out.

The league has given us a schedule that supports Seattle being successful in this competition, and that’s huge. They have a bye weekend between the two quarter final legs, and no east coast travel after the NYRB game in July.

What else do I see as good.

  • Midweek games: I love big midweek games under the lights, it creates a special atmosphere.
  • We host LA and Salt Lake twice, and only play at their place once each. Will this finally be the year we give LA the spanking they deserve?
  • The three opening league games are Toronto, Houston and San Jose at home. Three winnable games and a chance to banish the slow start we’ve seen for each of the last two seasons.
  • Then next home game is Colorado, I hope it’s a Seattle team that’s on a roll and a loud building that welcomes Brian Mullan (if he makes the trip this time) to Seattle.
  • In May there is a series of tough home games. LA on a Wednesday night, Philadelphia three days later and then Salt Lake the following weekend. By the time we get to the middle of that month we will see what this Sounders team is made of, if they really are the contenders we believe.
  • Final two games of the regular season are doozies, hosting Dallas and then away at LA. I assume the league hopes this could be for the Supporters Shield, dare we dream?

Disappointments are few.

  • The obvious one is playing Vancouver and Portscum twice away, but only once at home. I’m interested to see how the supporters groups determine what counts for the Cascadia Cup this year, all games or just one home and one away.

A few games got circled on the calendar today and other than the Cascadia games, I think this is a great schedule for Seattle.

    • Sat. March 17 Toronto FC
    • Fri. March 23 Houston
    • Sat. March 31 San Jose
    • Sat. April 14 Colorado Rapids
    • Wed. May 2 L.A. Galaxy
    • Sat. May 5 Philadelphia Union
    • Sat. May 12 Real Salt Lake
    • Wed. May 23 Columbus
    • Wed. June 20 Kansas City
    • Sat. July 7 Colorado Rapids
    • Wed. July 18 Real Salt Lake
    • Sun. Aug. 5 L.A. Galaxy
    • Sat. Aug. 18 Vancouver Whitecaps
    • Sat. Sept. 8 Chivas
    • Sun. Sept. 23 San Jose
    • Sun. October 7 Portland Timbers
    • Sun. October 21 FC Dallas
    • Sun. October 28 at L.A.

The dog has been the best defender for Ireland!

December 29th, 2011 1 comment

i got sent a link to this. Galic Football is an entertaining game to watch, this is an Ireland (home of the game) Australia game where a dog not only gets loose on the pitch, but joins in the game. The commentators are having fun, worth 4 minutes of your time.

At 1.40ish, “The dog has been the best defender for Ireland in this game!” I was amused.

A Big Year in Football

December 29th, 2011 4 comments

2012 is a big year in football, Euro2012 in Poland and the Ukraine is the big international tournament. So my big question is what sort of summer is it going to be for England and Capello? Redemption for the humiliation against the Germans in Bloemfontein, or will we have it confirmed that the idea of the foreign mercenary manager, however good their resume, is over.

For Fabio Capello and the FA the answer will be known by the beginning of July, and there will be little interpretation required.

South Africa in 2010 was a disaster, Capello said he learned from what went wrong and that Euro 2012 will be approached in a different way. Unfortunately, the legacy of the lackluster world cup campaign is that I don’t think the country believes in Capello or this team.

Will anything other than glory in Kiev see Capello considered a failure?

I hope that’s not how it’s measured, as piling on more unrealistic expectations is not going to help anyone. Managing England is called “the impossible job” for good reason, but Capello knew that before taking on the challenge.

I think we need to see progress from where we were two years ago. I want to know lessons have been learned and the last two years (and around $40 million of the FAs money) have not been wasted.

Progress is not only where the team finishes, but the style in which they play. You sense that this is a team that does not have a lot of confidence, and I get why. The expectations are huge, unreasonably so, but that’s the burden of playing for and managing England.

But it’s not only Capello at fault, England were stagnant long before Capello arrived on the scene. Capello was given free range to do what ever he needed to achieve one thing, win. That was the expectation set when he was given the job, and it’s not changed.

As bad as South Africa was, the decade prior was not exactly glory filled.

  • Euro 2000 – Group stage (disaster)
  • World Cup 2002 – Last 8, loosing quarter finalist
  • Euro 2004 – Last 8, loosing quarter finalist
  • World Cup 2006 – Last 8, loosing quarter finalist
  • Euro 2008 – Did not qualify (the sky really is falling)
  • World Cup 2010 – Last 8, loosing quarter finalist

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