Saturday Games: Hull, Holden…Have At It….

Can you tell me how to to get to Trinity street....

It’s gameday.

As football is winds down and the incredibly exciting sport of baseball winds up, tt’s time for the soccer fans to come and revel in being the best game in town….at least until March hoops madness.


» Ligue 1: Boca starts as Rennes blows up bottom dweller Grenoble, 4-0.

» Chelsea leads 1-0 versus Burnley off a textbook counter-attack. Anelka put home an easy one.

» Nigeria up 1-0 on Algeria in Cup of Nations consolation. Algeria should be applauded on having only 1 pitch ticket today and keeping a full eleven on the field.

» You think Man City would like to initiate a little Joleon Lescott-Wayne Bridge-Kolo Toure for Richard Dunne trade…Man City Mismanagement Award Winner 2009 (not to mention Toddlerho)

Burnley's Robbie Blake about two hours from now?

» Robbie Blake vs. Frank Lampard today as Burnley play Chelsea. That’s like Glass Joe v. Mike Tyson circa the 1990(s).

» Wow! Wow! WOW! Birmingham tie it on a perfect alley-oop cross in the box that is then headed back across by Cameron Jerome for an easy stab into the left pocket. Take heed USMNT at Birmingham’s composure. The Blues steal the draw at home today because of their phenomenal composure…honestly can’t say enough about the EPL newcomer. Simply…amazing.

Question: Did Ridgewell volley the initial ball and then get the goal as well? Scratch that leftback Scott Dan with the box-ball….

I've got a Birmingham team crush going on right now..

I might be fair-weather on Birmingham, but you have to love how this team plays as one.

» Gareth Bale…over-rated.

» Altidore goes 68 minutes and Donovan goes 75 as both Americans leave with their team on track for a draw.

» 9 goals so far in the Premiership today with 2 coming off players on the same team as the keeper who conceded them. Own goals by Hull City and Bolton in their respective contests today.

» Jermain Defoe puts Tottenham ahead 1-0 in the 69th on hockey-like one-timer off a cross that was helped on by a low Crouch header.

» If TSG agreed with commenter MichaelN’s suggestion from the Jozy Altidore Goal Watch piece of awarding Altidore a half-goal per penalty (shots) drawn than the Altidore Goal Watch would come to an end today at 147 day as Jozy drew his second foul in the area on the season leading to a Stephen Hunt goal and 2-1 lead over Wolverhampton.

» Abonlahor holds puts in another despite the protest of a fould on the Englishman by the Fulham defense. Terrific curling shot across the goal that finds the corner of the net.

» Wow! Little Abonlahor holds of Sir Alex’s new recruit Chris Smalling with an authoritative header, Villa and Big Bird take the lead, 1-0 over the Dempsey-less…

» Liverpool and Dirk Kuyt find pay dirt….cue up the chants, “Stu-art Holden!” <clap, clap, clap-clap-clap> “Stu-art Holden.” Wilshere and Weisse look bemused on the bench…kidding.

» Three American keepers on the pitch today. Two pitching a shutout (Big T and Big Bald Friedel). Hahnemann has given up the only goal in the EPL as of right now….but on a inside-out play by Jozy Altidore….the Yanks….are…coming!

Friedel: Today's keeping brought to you by the letter "H" as in "HIDEOUS"

(As I say that Friedel spills a deflection, but Eric Nevland is blinded by Friedel’s Big Bird suit today–you’ve got to see his git-up–and doesn’t arrive a rebound fast enough as Friedel covers.) More hideous keeper kits

» Peter Crouch looking frisky today and actually connecting on some passes. Nice job stringbean.

» More Birmingham…love Cristian Benitez…but he’s shooting like Sacha Kljestan in the middle of the field today. Might have just hit one up-and-out of the stadium.

» Absolutely love Birmingham’s composure. My dad used to tell me “Say hello to the ball” before passing it. Blues follow this to the tee.

» Goal Hull: VofH scores. Altidore with the assist after posting up his man….and sliding a pass through….sorry Marcus…

» We’ve got a David Bentley sighting today at St. Andrew’s. Will the former England darling ever reclaim glory? (Playing well I might add.)

» Shot of Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands at the Fulham game…is he looking for more defenders to loan?

» 7am PST: ESPN 2 has off-form Fulham vs. Aston Villains in 2 minutes. FSC goes Tottenham v. Birmingham at the same time.

» Big Jeezy in the 11 at the whistle up top with Jan VofH (of all players) this morning. Hahneman in between flagpoles looking to keep Jozy out of the net as well.

» Spector starting for the Zolas. Donovan and Howard on the pitch for Lanverton. Friedel keeping the wicket for Aston Villa.

» New transfers Jack Wilshere and Vlady Weisse make the 18 for Bolton against Liverpool, Stu Holden does not.


This morning finds the following news as we settle into the couch:

• Stephen Hunt…the streaky winger for Hull City….who looks like some actor that I can’t remember….has put in a transfer request. Is this his last game in Jozy’s neighborhood?

• Is it worse than first thought for England nattie winger Aaron Lennon? A hernia problem?

• The Iceman playing wingman? Vladamir Weiss has impressed in his short time at the Reebok….now word that Jack Wilshere will be in today’s squad at Liverpool? Yikes.

• Think Wayne Rooney hasn’t either stepped up his game this season or shined in Ronaldo’s absence. Consider this as you take in tomorrow’s match against the Fabregases….Wayne Rooney is averaging .83 goals per game this season. With 15 games left, including the Emirates game Sunday, that puts Rooney on pace for 31….or exactly the same amount that Cristiano Ronaldo had during his glorious 2007-08 campaign…wow.

• The John Terry situation is bad for England…we’ve got a little too much class to post it here…but for the Brits…not the way they want to go into World Cup 2010.

On to today’s game…comment below and we’ll add to this piece as we get going….

23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/30 at 8:40 AM

    Friedel looking like Big Bird with a buzz cut out there today as Fulham starts to come alive.


  2. Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/30 at 8:42 AM

    1) I didn’t see Matthew’s Big Bird comment first

    2) Just as I said Fulham started to come alive Abonglahor scores on a header….although it looked like he shoved the defender out of the way to get to the ball.


  3. Posted by Marc on 2010/01/30 at 9:27 AM

    Does Jozy get half a goal for drawing a converted penalty?:) If so he’d be up to a whole one now…


  4. Posted by KL on 2010/01/30 at 3:45 PM

    Well clearly it’s been a big day for our boys abroad. Good to see that Jozy was able to get some solid minutes and contribute. I understand he had an assist, but unfortunately I won’t be able to see it because I don’t have Satenta. If anybody happens to catch it this evening, it would be great to see some commentary on how he looked after, what I’m sure was, an emotional trip.

    Also, can’t wait to see Landon in the replay on FSC. Question, though, why is he being subbed out in the 75th minute? I can understand for the first few games, simply due to fitness, but surely his stamina is not failing him now. According to everything I have read, Landon’s production is not in question (I’m sure we would all agree on that). I guess I would just like to see him go a full game more often especially with some heavy hitters coming up on the schedule.

    Also, I’m hoping that the iceman gets some minutes with the wanderers. Kind of doubt he will since their midfield is fuller than a japanese commuter train…..refer to this link

    Yes, the video is real.

    Well, done with my study break.

    GO USA!!!!!!


    • Posted by Kevin U. on 2010/01/30 at 4:33 PM

      haha that video is hilarious


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/30 at 8:36 PM

      He didn’t get subbed like for like. His replacement (Anichebe) is more of a centre forward, so I feel it was a tactical change as it was 0-0 at the time.


  5. Posted by KL on 2010/01/30 at 5:10 PM

    Not gonna lie, pretty much the biggest honor ever. Thanks guys!

    Well, Landy just started playing on FSC and those kits are ridiculous! It looks like something from Hollister. I’m more an A&E guy myself. HaHa.

    Thanks again guys.


  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/30 at 5:44 PM

    Not nearly as funny as you guys, but every time I see those downright terrible uniforms I think of Sears Profile Studio….or taking pics in my private Catholic school days.

    Mini Tim Cahill:

    By the way….since I’m not going to ever have a time to use this and it’s been sitting around for months….it could be worse….for Hull:


  7. Posted by KL on 2010/01/30 at 5:59 PM



  8. Posted by Joamiq on 2010/01/30 at 8:55 PM

    Gareth Bale over-rated? His work on the goal today didn’t impress you? Offensively, he’s a beast for a left back, and he’s adequate defensively.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/30 at 9:11 PM

      My bad…I should have qualified the comment.

      He was supposed to be the next great Welshman….I don’t see it–I think he’s talented and still young…but all world…or the next perennial all-star….not seeing it…Aaron Ramsey will trump him.


  9. Posted by Joe on 2010/01/31 at 12:17 AM

    Matt, I cant believe you think Bale is overrated. I would pay 20 mill to have him on the US team. 20 yrs old, runs the line like a beast. Hes a monster.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/31 at 12:57 AM

      Alright — maybe I’m just catching his bad games…I like his offensive skill, but it seems he’s also just a little “wrong” on defense.

      The USMNT just trotted Marvell Wynne out to start a game in a World Cup year…I’d easily take Gareth Bale on the States. :>

      *I must add too that I qualified remark in that he’s was the next Welsh Sliced Bread…he’s a good player…no doubt…but not a world-beater….at least not yet.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/31 at 1:15 AM

        Okay, now you guys are in my head…

        I’ll have to go back and look at Bale…

        For the record…I’ve been wrong on a bunch over the past year…I thought Gareth Southgate’s managing was overrated and now look at Middlesborough.

        After looking at some games, I found out I was off on Rico Clark’s ball striking prowess…

        Also didn’t think that Conor Casey was going to start against Honduras in October….


  10. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/31 at 6:50 AM

    He was supposed to be one of the bright stars of Welsh football (along with Aaron Ramsey and Adam Matthews), but perhaps the pressure and expectation got to him. I am not sure whether he has been injured but have no clue why he hasn’t been loaned out to further his development. I understand that he is still only 20. Considering he’s been training at Spurs and playing international football for Wales for a few years now, one has to question his positional sense, his general dedending, the opponent’s ability to easily stretch, and some of his decisions as to when to attack from the back. And don’t get me started on his distribution and final ball not clearing the first man. Of course he can have the odd good game, but I am talking about an extented run of games.

    Just because people would rather him on the US squad rather than Marvell Wynne, doesn’t mean that Bale is very good – just better than Wynne!

    And the chances of him playing in the finals at the World Cup or European Championships is very slim. Do you know why? Because he’s Welsh – they haven’t qualified for a major tournament since 1958! (Sorry, got a little carried away there!).

    As for Southgate, I genuinely think he’s one for the future. He was desperately unlucky to get the sack. I’m a little bias perhaps (Palace connections), but feeljustified as Strachan hasn’t done any better – in fact Boro were in a play-off play a couple points off automatic promotion.


    • Probably the best shot Wales had at major tournament was the mid-90’s side that featured Giggs, Rush, Hughes, Saunders, and Southall. Is there hope for this current group that features Gabbidon, Bale, and Hennessey?


  11. Posted by Joe on 2010/01/31 at 12:35 PM

    From watching Bale you can tell hes got the goods. He may be shaky at some points but hes still only 20 years old. Is that even a question that hes better than Wynne??! that should go unsaid. Im just saying that give him a 2 years and he should be a beast. They will work on his defensive lapses and he will learn to choose the best runs. Hes got the goods.


  12. […] you haven’t checked out TSG’s commentator KL’s take on the “State of the Bolton midfield..“…well you definitely need […]


  13. […] – TSG’s commentator KL’s take on the “State of the Bolton midfield..“…keep pushing […]


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