(Update: The Hull City vs. Chelsea game is now canceled.)
We haven’t spanned the weekend globe lately. So away we go on Thursday…Vasco Da Gama-style. (Note: We add to this column during the day Friday and Saturday.)
• This look like a decent starting eleven to you?
Striker: Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David Nugent
Midfield: Niko Kranjcar, Lassana Diara, Sean Davis
Defense: Nadir Belhadj, Sylvin Distin, Sol Campbell, Glen Johnson
Goalie: David James
(and manager: Harry Rednapp)
That squad escapes relegation, right? With the exception of Nadir Belhadj who is an extremely poor man’s Ashley Cole and still remains, all of these players have either been transferred or loaned out of Portsmouth in the last 18 months.
You have to feel for the fans there as Pompey has failed to pay players on multiple occasions and has 19 owners already this season. (3 owners)
(This game now cancelled due to weather) The Fulham Dempseys–minus Mr. Bobby Zamora’s broken collarbone–welcome what’s left of Portsmouth on Saturday.
Rumor has it Glasgow Rangers are petitioning for Portsmouth’s slot in the Premiership….that’s a joke, but think hard about that EPL officials.
• Might we get another Bingland-USA, USA, USA preview this Saturday as Hull City host the big blue wrecking crew from Chelsea. A post-up chance in the paint for Big Jeezy against John Terry? We’d love to see it.
A lot of chatter out there about Hull selling off strikers all over the place. Daniel Cousin going somewhere, Caleb Folan to Queens Park Rangers, Jan V of H getting returned off loan. Also rumors about bringing some in; Villainous Marlon Harewood among others.
Let’s hope JZA doesn’t get caught up in the starting 11 turnstile. And speaking of Jozy, not only does TSG think we were right on in our current review of his form…but apparently the Hull City faithful agree as well.
Oh and ESPN if you’re going to throw some cash behind 3-D (which I agree with commentors on our site is gimmicky circa 2010) then you need to put some promotional muscle behind this game. College football is over as of this past Thursday–make it happen John Skipper!
Update: Hey ESPN, it’s Thursday and not a peep about ESPN having first place Chelsea on the docket or the side story of Big Jeezy going up against “I used to be” John Terry. What gives?
• Sunderland “entertain” Bolton (this game now cancelled due to weather) at home in a match-up of two of arguably the most boring teams in the Premiership. Why might you care? Sunderland’s Darren Bent is one strike away from joining Rooney, Drogba and Defoe at the top of the EPL scorer’s table. All three of the latter are near regulars on their national team. Darren Bent does not need to plead his case further. Show him some love Capello.
Oh, you might also care to check out Chunh-Yong Lee who now mans the right flank for the Wanderers. Should Burnley manager Owen Coyle end up at Bolton as rumored to be imminent, that’s Iceman Holden’s competition…should he follow Coyle.
• Even more USMNT-related goodness this weekend, as everyone’s favorite Manhattan Beach, CA emigrant makes his way to the Emirates to take on Cesc and company, Van Persie and company, apologies, Arshavin and company. Man, Arsenal offenders are dropping like flies.
If you had asked me in, say, October 2002, I would have suggested that Landon Donovan would be playing one day at the Emirates, but I would have suggested that might have been 2004 or 2005, for Arsenal, as an understudy to Mr. Seattle Sounder, Freddie Ljundberg….not as a reserve on Everton.
My how things have shaken out. Islington and Arsene Wenger play host to the pride of America and Everton Saturday and 10am EST.
What American soccer fan doesn’t want to see Landon rise from the reserve area in the 68th minute and start doing karaokes in a yellow pinny up and down the sideline?
• This one I’m excited for…I just love the way that Birmingham play. They play as one. A few weeks ago over the holiday weekend, they held Chelsea at home, 1-1, now they get Manchester United who are still waiting to volley their first retaliatory strike to their dismissal by Leeds. The matinée game and game of the day. Birmingham is 8th in the table with no big transfers in yet….amazing! The Alex’s battle as McLeish’s Blues take on Ferguson’s Red Devils.
• The Rangers welcome mouthful, not handful Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Cup on Sunday.
Why do we mention this game…because Hamilton were the 1st club in the United Kingdom to import players from eastern Europe…specifically Poland. (Mark and I are of Polish descent.)
Good work….and we’re looking for good work from Maurice Edu in this one after a rough game last week.
• The Coupe de France ninth round will give us a little more info on Captain Carlos, the subject of a recent TSG feature piece. Here is hoping that Bocanegra takes the pitch as Rennes take on Caen at home.