Hello and as CBC Radio One host Jian Ghomeshi is prone to saying “Happy Monday”. Welcome to a shorter than usual edition of The Soccer List, thank you International Break! Rest assured SC101 universe I’ll be throwing up a celebratory “Zlatan is in the World Cup” edition Wednesday morning, or if that doesn’t happen, the edition where I’m sad because all the girls in my co-ed soccer circles will be stoked for the “Puppet Ronnie” still being on their teles next summer. But put the kettle on and lets dive in shall we!
1. Puppet Ronnie 1 Zlatan Nil
Leg One of the Battle of Mercurial Vapor Hill took place Friday afternoon at Estadio de Luz in Lisbon, and suffice to say I had all of my eggs firmly placed in the basket of a player I’ve called “The Ridiculous One” since THAT GOAL against England last winter. But then again I’ve been a quiet fan of Ibra since he and fellow Swedes Kim Kallstrom and Kennedy Bakircioglu dragged my beloved Sheffield United kicking and screaming into the Champions League waaaaay back on Championship Manager 2000-01 (the forerunner to the current Football Manager series).
But back to the Battle of Mercurial Vapor Hill. Like all great battles the Sweden and Portugal match was the subject of quite a bit of hype. I mean you had two of the worlds best going toe to toe for a spot in the World Cup. It’s not as though “The Ridiculous One” and Puppet Ronnie are unknown quantities. Sadly, I was at work and beINSPORT only has CAF and CONMEBOL broadcast rights so I couldn’t even stream the match. So here’s what I know. Going into Tuesday’s match in Sweden, Portugal hold a 1-nil lead thanks to a late header from the face of the Mercurial range, Puppet Ronnie himself. I’m hopeful that Zlatan will be able to bag himself a couple of goals in front of the home crowd on Tuesday and it’ll be Swedish Meatballs all around!
2. “Go Home Lino, You’re Drunk?”
One from the “What the H?” files. The FA Trophy was in action this weekend. If you’re curious, the FA Trophy is a knockout competition undertaken by Semi-Pro Non-League clubs in England.
The “What the H?” incident in question comes from the third qualifying round match between Welsh side Colwyn Bay (managed by former Reggae Boy Frank Sinclair) and Altrincham. For those curious both sides partake in The Skrill North Division, one step below The Skrill Premier (Conference National). With seven minutes to play, up 2-nil and absolutely battering the Welsh side, according to Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley, the assigned referee went down with injury. As no fourth official was assigned to the match, a call was put out to supporters in the ground seeking a qualified official (on an unrelated note my grandfather once ran the line in a reserves match in the UK under the same circumstances) to fill in on the lines while one of the assistants took over for the final seven minutes plus added time.
Now here’s where the story goes a bit Pete Tong. Altrincham happened to have a Level Five qualified official among their support, and much like my Granddad and English commentary legend Jimmy Hill, he was willing to step in and see out the last seven minutes. Buuuuuuuuut, the man who offered his services, had apparently been indulging in a pint or two (as you do) during the match. Cue, Colwyn gaffer Frank Sinclair, “You can’t just have any Tom, Dick or Harry come in and finish the last 10 minutes of the game.” Desperate to see a resolution Altrincham coach Ian Senior offered to see out the remainder of the match, but he has no officials badges to speak of so his offer was rejected out of hand. Personally, I think Colwyn Bay were angling for a complete replay, which is specified under the FA’s rules, but then again I wasn’t at the match with a breathalyzer kit, so I can’t be sure. If you want the full details, check out the story via BBCSport.
Thankfully, we were spared an incident like what happened in Belarus the other year:
3. New Reviews!
Kevin dropped in with a review of the Adidas Predator LZ 2. Interesting fact about Kevin, is that he’s a box to box midfielder on a Scottish amateur side who are so good that their sanctioned by the Scottish Football Association! So he definitely knows what’s going on the with the tools on his feet. So check out his take on how lethal the Lethal Zone’s were.
Our future professional, Ethan Edwards drops back with a review on what the old man in me thinks is a very pretty boot, the Diadora Brasil Classic, did the Brasil’s live up to the expectation of SC101’s next professional? Take a look and see for yourself!
I was working a bit of overtime this week (gaffer, how do I claim that on my income tax?), as I’ve had the Diadora Italica K Pro MG 14 up at SC101’s Canadian HQ for a wee while. So why not give us a read and see if the classic styling was for me?
Finally, our friends at Warrior dropped some HAWT info on the market, in the form of the Superheat! The gaffer as always was johnny on the spot with the latest developments from the Warrior crew. Check out details on the Warrior Superheat.
4. Blades Blunted At Home
BBC Radio Sheffield commentary had me pulling out whats left of my hair (word to the wise, it isn’t much!). My beloved Sheffield United were at home and entertaining a visit from recently minted Gillingham manager Peter Taylor (he managed England once!). The Blades went behind early on, on the flukiest goal I’ve ever had described on the radio. Central defender Harry Maguire (leading goalscorer) played a poor back pass back to goalkeeper George Long, who managed to beat striker Danny Kedwell to the ball, the only problem was his clearance hit the Gills striker square and the ball rebounded into our goal to see the Gills hop out to a 1-nil lead early doors! The Blades were quick to peg back through Chris Porter, who can now score goals from corners with his head! Adding to his skillset of penalty taking and running around a lot. Despite having the lions share of the match, we were level heading into half time.
However, it wasn’t to last, as Gills Cody MacDonald got his noodle to a ball which had ricocheted all over the Blades 6 yard box, and managed to loop it over George Long, for the match winner. The loss saw the Mighty Blades slip to 23rd in League One, after 16 matches, and on this form I might be digging out a plane ticket back home and offering my services in the centre of midfield sooner as opposed to later!
So that does it for the shorter version of The Soccer List, I’ll be back Wednesday with the results of Zlatan v Puppet Ronnie. But until then, make your passes clinical and may your goals be worldies!