Wrapped In A Box

Today’s news roundup is brought to you by the ever-so-delicious Charlize Theron and her perfectly photoshopped bod. So what if they airbrush her wrinkles and cellulite away? The dream is often all you need…

By the way, before (or after) you read this, please go to the Soccerlens Awards site and VOTE for your favourite football websites of 2008. We’ve got something there for everyone (for hot babes you’ll need to go to … the hot babes section, duh).

On to today’s most interesting news:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo is the 08 Ballon D’Or winner. I’m glad that justice is done, but there’s one United fan who has gone over and above the call of duty to collect the best moments, in video, of Ronaldo’s fabulous year (not rear). Props to you mate, keep up the good work.

2. The irresistible TSG Hoffenheim take on the mighty Bayern Munich this weekend in one of the most anticipated matches of the year. Or month. Or something. It promises to be a cracker of a build-up, you can hope for a spectacular game (but be prepared for a damp squid) and take heart in the knowledge that the game won’t mean much in the overall scheme of things.

Unless Bayern lose, of course. That would be the end of civilization as we know it.

3. Chelsea have settled out of court with Lyn Oslo over the Mikel case. Financial crunch forcing them to cut down on legal costs, hmm?

4. Kieron Dyer is on his way to the shops to wrap himself up as a Christmas present for West Ham fans. Hammers in return can be excused for saying ‘who the fuck is that’ when they see him (unwrap him sounds gross), because I can’t remember if he’s played for them, ever. Still, if he can a) get fit and b) NOT break a leg, that’s a good way to end the year.

5. Who’s your favourite African footballer of 2008? The Beeb’s got a poll going and the race is tight between Adebayor, Drogba, Zaki, Eto’o and Aboutrika. Apparently if you play in the Premier League you get picked automatically, because Drogba was invisible in the second half of Chelsea’s 07/08 season and has been mostly injured at the start of this season. Ade’s been banging in goals but don’t even get me started on his attitude, Eto’o and Zaki have only really shone in the second half of the year and the one man who’s done a lot but will eventually be overlooked is Aboutrika.

Ade v Aboutrika, ladies and gents, and my vote is NOT for Ade. What about you?

6. Kenyon says Chelsea will be ‘self-sufficient’ by next year. Presumably this also involves a cut in the wage bill, their single largest expense item, because I don’t see how cutting spending on scouting and infrastructure development can cover a lost of 70m+.

To be honest, best of luck to Chelsea in this target. I don’t think they’ll make it, but if they do it will be an embarrassment for all those who have pointed to Chelsea as an example of how money and football do not mix when quite evidently they mix really well.

There’s still the small matter of Chelsea’s ‘loan’ to Roman, I’m thinking he might start asking for it in a couple of years’ time.

7. Manchester will bring home the title! Or so says Sir Alex. It’s about as ambitious as Kenyon’s ‘self-sufficiency’ statement, but like Kenyon, Sir Alex does have a point (this time about fixture lists). It’s all talk and hot air until next year comes, so let’s wait and see, hmm?

8. Scolari’s record at Chelsea so far is poorer than Avram Grant’s and way, way poorer than Ranieri’s and Mourinho’s. My guess is that the Premier League has now caught up with Chelsea in terms of playing ability and tactics, and like United found out in 2003-2006 and Arsenal found out post 2004, what worked 3 years ago doesn’t work today, and it especially does not work if you don’t have the same players any more.

And yet more people love Scolari than they love Grant. Shame really, the man was roasted by the Brit press and never given a fair chance.

9. Robinho says Manchester City players have a ‘loser’ mentality, that they need to start thinking like a big club and aiming for the title.

Great. If the hype around Man City wasn’t enough already, Robinho is making sure he pushes Tottenham firmly in second place and establishes City as the kings of ridiculous expectations.

Then again, he’s right – you don’t win the title if you don’t aim for it. Methinks the players aren’t good enough, but that’s for Manchester Dhabi’s owners to fix.

10. Cesc Fabregas has done almost everything he everything dreamed about as a kid in a short period of time. What’s left? Winning the Premier League (as a first teamer, I know he was there in 03-04 but come on, that’s not his title is it?), win the Champions League and…well, Studs Up has the latest on Fab’s to-do list.

Odds on him finishing the list (sans PL or CL titles, that is) by 2010? Not too shabby 🙂

That’s all for today folks, thank you for reading, apologies for not posting individually about all these great news tidbits since many deserved their own space, I’ll catch up with you guys on the weekend and until then there will be some very interesting articles popping up on porn and injuries (not related, thankfully) and of course, you need to haul ass and vote on the 08 Awards.

Who got the song reference in the title?

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