The Weekend: Old Firms, FA Cups & More

Lots of good ones this weekend.

Couldn’t get around to our five games to watch this week, but Sunday should be a good match-up as Stu Holden and Bolton head to London to face off with Clint’s Cottagers. Gonna watch that one.

Enjoy and get the comment threads going.

Stu vs...


42 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wallace on 2011/02/19 at 1:15 AM

    hate to root against Holden but… GO Dempsey!!


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/02/19 at 5:48 AM

    Blistering pace at the Bridge thus far. Everton are holidng up well.

    Drogba off with a knock. Both teams trying to catch the other one down Everton’s right-Chelsea’s left flank.


  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/02/19 at 6:08 AM

    Tim Howard huge in the early going. Even game, but Howard with two massive saves.


  4. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 6:14 AM

    Makoun is suspended for Aston Villa. Will Houllier start Bradley?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 6:15 AM

      Villa not playing today, sorry.


    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/02/19 at 6:31 AM



    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/02/19 at 6:32 AM

      the french coach will start the american in the next game.


    • On Bradley.
      I’m not sure he starts next week. Reo-Coker I think is a lock to start and it would seem Houllier wants to partner him with someone who is good in possession and has great passing ability. Not sold on the idea that Bradley has proven to his new coach that he can fit that role better than some other options. Bradley certainly did not shine in is debut (though it was one brief appearance in isolation). These next two games are crucial for Villa and Houllier is not going to take too many chances. I suspect Bradley may see significant minutes as a sub but not start.

      All of this comes down to how practice sessions turnout. My money right now would be on Stiliyan Petrov or Barry Bannan getting the start but we shall see. Houllier might take a shot on Bannan who has the passing/creative ability. Once Makoun comes back I think he is a lock to start. Wishing Bradley the best, hope he impresses.


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/02/19 at 5:43 PM

        if bradley starting at avilla comes down to what he does in practice, then that must increase his chances of starting, because one thing bradley is, without question, is a good practice player.

        junior was not outstanding in his twenty minutes in the blackpool game, but he did make a crucial block on a charlie adam shot and he covered a great deal of space for his time on the field. there is no doubt junior was off the pace and to me it seemed like it had to do with the circumstance rather than juniors ability, which i think will be proven in the next game.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 6:37 PM

          How many times have you seen Bradley in training / practice? Not sure how you’d ever qualify a statement like that.


        • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/02/19 at 7:12 PM

          george, honestly sir, what dont you get about the coaches son being a good practice player, i mean really lad?


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 9:06 PM

          I don’t make [silly] comments about things I have never seen. And I have never seen Bradley practice. And I am not about to visit Bodymoor Heath either.


  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 7:43 AM

    Finally, a goal [Chelsea]! You cannot say that they haven’t been the better team.


  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 8:02 AM

    Wow. What a fantastic free-kick. Not sure Everton deserved to be on equal terms though, but that’s life I suppose…


  7. Interesting upcoming USMNT midfield battle royales. Looking forward to more of these VS. posts.

    EPL (possible) midfield battles:

    Feb 26 Aston Villa v Blackburn
    Mar 5 Fulham v Blackburn
    Mar 5 Bolton v Aston Villa
    Apr 16 Fulham v Bolton (Round 3 Demps vs. Holden)
    Apr 30 Blackburn v Bolton

    Including (possibly) Spector….
    Apr 9 Bolton v West Ham
    Apr 16 West Ham v Aston Villa
    May 7 West Ham v Blackburn

    Same bat time (all of these games at 10 am ET or 7 am PT), who knows what bat channel…Honestly wish more of these games would be televised on ESPN or the like.

    And GO Holden! I’m rooting for him individually to shine, though Fulham could certainly use the win.


  8. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/02/19 at 9:11 AM

    Is the Fulham/Bolton match being broadcast in the States?


    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/02/19 at 9:45 AM

      yes, on fsp at 11am est. sunday


      • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/02/19 at 10:15 AM

        dikranovich, thanks for the quick response. I figured it was going to be on FSP since it wasn’t showing up on FSC. Unfortunately, FSP isn’t available on my cable provider yet. Drat!


        • Posted by chris on 2011/02/19 at 4:39 PM

          dish is stilll trying to steal money for FSP.
          $20 per month for ONE CHANNEL!!!


        • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2011/02/19 at 6:37 PM

          Regarding FSP for those that don’t have it, I was just poking around the site taking a look at their online service and it looks like they offer a free 7-day trial. So if you really want to watch the Fulham/Bolton match that might be worth a try.


  9. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/02/19 at 9:51 AM

    did anyone catch jonny heitenga bump into ahole cole before he stepped up and missed his pk? heitenga was third man of the match for that move alone behind baines and howard. and the look of coles face was priceless also when heitenga bumped him


  10. Posted by dth on 2011/02/19 at 12:08 PM

    So: maybe it was a bad idea to splash 9 million euros on a guy who’d never played above the second division in Portugal?

    Maybe Mesut Ozil would’ve been a little bit better? Right?

    Ferguson will, of course, never admit this, even on his deathbed.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 9:23 PM

      Easier said than done. Ozil didn’t want to go to [the city of]Manchester. Not a lot you can do about that. It’s grim up north!


      • Posted by dth on 2011/02/19 at 9:44 PM

        Fair enough. Still: 9 million euros would get you many better players than Bebe will ever be.

        van der Vaart was available….


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/20 at 7:57 AM

          Very true DTH. Sir Alex has made many expensive blunders in the transfer market, but I guess that somewhat goes with the territory when you’re trying to scout young players before their price tag goes through the roof. If you cast your mind back a few years, everybody raised an eyebrow when he splashed out £12M for Christiano Ronaldo, and that didn’t tuen out too bad, did it? And he had a very suspect start to his United career.


    • Posted by Steve Trittschuh on 2011/02/19 at 11:13 PM

      Win some, lose some. Chicharito is looking to be a pretty good investment. Have to take some risks to stay on top.

      I think Ferguson thinks he might be the next Ronaldo (the Portugese version). Maybe he misses Ronaldo? Yes I said it. Who wouldn’t miss Ronaldo (besides Paris Hilton)?


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/20 at 8:04 AM

        Talking of Hernandez (plus Vela and Dos Santos), how do you think the creaking USMNT back four will handle Mexico in the Gold Cup this year? It’s clear that you’re quite strong in midfield…


        • Posted by dth on 2011/02/20 at 8:42 AM

          I only worry about Hernandez. dos Santos and Vela–meh. They don’t really concern me. I’m not even sure they’ll both start in a first choice XI: the Mexican manager seems to like Edgar Pacheco (who I like also!)

          The U.S.’s decided physical advantage and advantage in the central midfield make the match very even.


  11. Posted by Crow on 2011/02/19 at 7:34 PM

    Was Timothy Chandler playing LB for Nuremburg on Friday???!!! Do you see where I am going with this?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/19 at 9:08 PM

      American serviceman father, German mother? I think I may have read about this kid on NYTimes…


    • Posted by dth on 2011/02/19 at 9:43 PM

      Nope. Right back. Nice try though.

      Still needs to be called in.


    • Posted by Steve Trittschuh on 2011/02/19 at 11:20 PM

      Chandler was playing as a flanking mid on the right the game before this one. If the Germans snatch him before we do I say we all boycott Bitburger for a whole year. German bastards!

      Speaking of LB, Goochy has been looking pretty solid there ain’t he???? Not opposed to trying it out.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/02/20 at 8:45 AM

        We don’t really need to worry about the Germans. With the depth the Germans have at every position but striker, they don’t really care if they lose a player or two.

        Everyone presumes the Spaniards have a lock on Euro 2012, but I think the Germans might be slightly more talented in two years’ time.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/20 at 9:15 AM

          I think Euro12 might be pretty tight, but I agree that it’s not necessarily a forgone conclusion for Spain. My issue re. the Germans is that Klose won’t go on forever, and I don’t think Gomez or anybody else will come close to filling his [immense] shoes.

          France are looking interesting under Laurent Blanc.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/02/20 at 10:11 AM

          I think Klose can make it to Euro 2012: his game is premised on good movement, a nose for goal, and hard work. Those things don’t go away with age.

          I’d rank the main Euro 2012 contenders thusly:
          1. Spain
          2. Germany
          3. France
          4. Netherlands

          England might be a contender, but I’m not sure Capello cares. Italy’s talent is meh, unless Balotelli fulfills his potential. Portugal is a possibility, but I’m not convinced by their overall talent. Belgium and Turkey would be darkhorses, but they’ve got a tough qualifying road, and only one of them can make it.


      • Posted by mbw on 2011/02/20 at 12:24 PM

        He apparently did pretty well at right mid — which is a position where he could be more immediately useful to the USMNT, e.g., if Holden plays centrally and Deuce or Donovan plays as a withdrawn striker.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/02/20 at 9:46 PM

        But quickness over 5 or 10 metres, upperbody strength, standing jump, ability to get in front of a player, etc does diminish with age. It would be less of an issue if he was more of a No.10…

        England is an interesting one. Capello really needs to start to pick players on merit rather than their name. But we have to qualify first!


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/02/20 at 12:19 PM

      Chandler has already declared he is more interested in playing for the US than Germany; as premature as that is.

      He can get inline behind Spector , Lichaj and a bunch of other guys as the anointed successor to Dolo.

      I wonder if Dolo is getting a complex about this?


      • Posted by Steve Trittschuh on 2011/02/20 at 3:54 PM

        Yes but if the Germans come around to asking him I have a feeling he’ll go with them. Who wouldn’t?? They’re still Germany and we’re still USA. Germany > USA.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/02/20 at 7:50 PM

          Yeah, but they won’t. Germany has so much depth at every single position that they really don’t care.

          Put it this way: they didn’t care when Jermaine Jones left, even though he’s one of the best DMs in the Bundesliga, and they don’t care that Nuri Sahin–probably the second or third-best player on the team that’s dominating the Bundesliga–is playing for Turkey.


  12. Posted by montana matt on 2011/02/20 at 5:17 AM

    gonna be in the front row behind the goal at craven cottage for fulham v bolton. be jealous. heading out the door from my buddies flat right now.


  13. Posted by s44 on 2011/02/20 at 12:56 PM

    Almost totally OT, but anyone see the recent kung fu movie “Ip Man”? (The sequel is in theaters now.) The Japanese bad guy in that is a dead ringer for Clint, which amused me way more than it should have.


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