So I guess the nickname of the ‘Worthless Cup’ certainly doesn’t fit the Carling Cup anymore. Both semifinals were entertaining and goal-filled, and each underdog made a valiant effort at shocking their top-flight opponent.
Was Wednesday night the night that Tottenham finally woke up? Time will only tell with their league form, but after completely blowing their 4-1 first-leg advantage and facing
a penalty shootout defeat at Burnley, Spurs finally showed that there’s some fight in them with their two late goals to put brave Burnley away. It’s only a matter of time before Owen Coyle gets his step up to the big time, and it may well be with the side that he has already, not one currently in the top flight.
But as we figured we would, we have our Manchester United-Tottenham matchup in the final next month. Raise your hand if you thought Derby had a serious chance to get the result they needed at Old Trafford? Yeah, me either. At least Giles Barnes made things a little interesting at the end with his late brace, and United ended up needing all four of the goals they got, but it was an unsurprising result.
Of course, Manchester United, despite winning the Club World Cup, qualifying for the Carling Cup final, and going top of the Premier League in the last month, have taken a backseat in the headlines to their blue rivals, who have been linked with almost every above average footballer under the sun in the last several weeks. They’ve also been turned down by a few, including one brilliant Brazilian that plies his trade in Milan (and will continue to do so until at least the summer).
The way things have unfolded with the little Kaka mini-saga, if you will, has brought Kaka’s sainthood, if you will, into question, whether you think it’s fair or unfair. It also brings into question how doomed the future of football might be, not just because of City’s wacky transfer dealings, but because of all that is wrong with the game today.
And you also have to wonder who said ‘no’ on the deal. Naturally AC Milan say their golden boy said no, but then there are reports that say Manchester City put the proverbial kibosh on the proceedings. Kibosh…sounds like a delightful treat you can get for $1 from a corner vendor. Just don’t get the peanut butter ones.
On top of getting turned down by Kaka (or turning him down, depending on whose side you’re on), City apparently had to deal with Robinho storming out of training on Tuesday. And as soon as word got out, it was followed by the renewal of gossip linking him to Chelsea. Perhaps he was just sharpening up on his Craig Bellamy impersonations, or maybe someone finally told him he was at Manchester City, and reality was a little tough for him to take.
Frank Lampard may not have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but apparently he doesn’t need a special hotel to make him a smart guy. It does surprise me somewhat that John Terry was in the top three, considering all of the knocks to the head that he’s taken.
It’s always interesting to see another take on what players might be primed for the big time in a given year, so here’s another top 10 list for you to peruse. Solid list overall, though I’d have to argue that the likes of Aguero and Diego are too established to be on the list.
We all should know by now not to believe anything that we see on Wikipedia, but that doesn’t stop people from being able to put nearly anything they want on someone’s Wiki page, such as this lovely reaction on City’s signing of Craig Bellamy.
I’ll take a wild guess that the person who made that update isn’t a West Ham fan, considering they have reason to celebrate. I can’t comment on Bellamy’s sexual orientation, and at this point, I also don’t question how someone’s spending 14m on him right now. Nigel de Jong may be a similarly exorbitant purchase, but at least the update to his Wiki page is a little less insulting and caps-filled.
You can expect some talk from either of those new signings about how much it’s a dream come true to join City and so on and so forth. And while we all have dreams that we’d like to achieve, it’s always good to have a fallback option when one of your career choices doesn’t pan out.