A Conversation With…Phil Schoen

Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson have thrilled U.S. audiences with their La Liga commentary for many years. As a team, they have been prolific in their art and undoubtedly have become the voices of La Liga Stateside. Whether you are being dazzled by the brilliance of Barcelona or wooed by the tenacity and strength of Real Madrid, Phil and Ray paint a picture so beautiful, you wished every single game lasted longer than 90 minutes plus injury time!

Lightning won’t strike twice…

If you are a football romantic, then Andre Villas Boas to Tottenham could end up being one of the potential feel good stories of the new season. If you are a skeptic, then every single sign says Villas Boas will crumble more than an England player during a penalty shoot out.

The former Chelsea and Porto manager certainly has a point to prove on his return to the Premier League. His failure at Chelsea leaves many unanswered questions about his overall ability to manage a team at that level. Many would argue winning the treble with Porto is easier than winning the Premier League with Chelsea. Either way, there is an evident gulf between the two leagues but surely people can respect winning the treble at any level is quite an achievement.

The Damned Truth…

I watched The Damned United again last night and couldn’t get something out of my head.

Footballers, managers and celebrities in general are always so afraid to speak their mind to the media. And why would they when it could cost them a major dip in popularity or affect their bulging brand. Cash is king these days and image is everything, but that doesn’t make it right. Or does it?

Even with the power of social media, the moment a person in the public eye Tweets something that is deemed uncouth, the apologists appear in abundance. It was a little different back in the day.

Did Inter Milan park the bus..?

Football really is a funny old game. Whether you win, lose or draw, as an owner, manager or player, at some point, what you say or how you play can always come back to haunt you. Always!

Just a few seasons back when Jose Mourinho was manager of Chelsea, he made this comment following a Premier League game against London rivals Tottenham. “As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal. I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid £50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend. There was only one team looking to win, they only came not to concede – it’s not fair for the football we played.”

What’s up with Europe’s big boys..?

Rafa_Benitez_280x39_921611aThe Champions League is proving to be really weird this year people. Barcelona struggled to beat a team that sounds like a really delicious sandwich. Liverpool need to get their prayer mats out and hope for a miracle. Bayern Munich do not look like German giants. Inter Milan are not so special. Real Madrid really need Ronaldo back. And Manchester United should look into cloning Rooney 10 times, despite moving closer to the knockout stages.

Did one of you rival fans put something in their nutritional beverages? Or could it be the clocks going back? That always messes with one’s alignment. Whatever the problem is, these teams need to snap out of it and fast.

The Penalty Gods punish Arsenal…

zeus-greek-mythology-687267_1024_768They say you reap what you sow. And the Gunners can tell you it’s true. Not even a Godly strike from Arshavin could save Arsenal. They lost to Manchester United in a game they absolutely should have won. They gave away a costly penalty and some might think it was the Gods punishing them for Eduardo’s dive against Celtic earlier in the week. Were the Penalty Gods trying to put the world right at Old Trafford on Saturday? Did Arsenal deserve at least a point for their efforts? Will they bounce back in their next game against Manchester City? Do you think Wenger could play up front after showing his water bottle kicking skills?

Liverpool like Glen Johnson…a lot…

johnson_280x390_489834aLiverpool jumped into the transfer hot tub and closed the deal for Glen Johnson. They had to fend-off the advances of Chelsea and Manchester City , but eventually they got their man for 17 million pounds. Johnson will now need to find ways to spend his whooping 80,000 squids a week. Be sure to save a little a month Glen. You never know what can happen!

This is a superb deal for Johnson. Even Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez admitted they paid over the odds for him. Only a couple of seasons ago he was banished to the Stamford Bridge sidelines by then coach, Jose Mourinho. And, after that dreadful period at Chelsea, he moved to Portsmouth where he rebuilt his reputation as one of the Premier League’s most talented right backs. 

Inhale…exhale…Chelsea have a new coach…

FBL-ENG-ITA-PR-CHELSEA-ACMILAN-ANCELOTTINot that I want this to become a Chelsea blog…but news is news people! Carlo Ancelotti was today named as the successor to Guus Hiddink. Do you think Chelsea hired Ancelotti because he looks a little like Guus? Check out the picture of Guus with the F.A. Cup below and judge for yourselves. Perhaps the owner and executive team hired the Italian master so the players can feel “comfortable” with a familiar face in the dressing room! 

Chelsea sack Scolari…

dunn_516x596_22280a-750654Chelsea have sacked Phil Scolari as their manager. After only seven months in the job, the big Brazlian is out and I for one am not surprised. This time, Roman Abramovich has got it right. Managing in the Premier League is very different to being an international manager. The job comes with such intense pressure and the daily grind is tough, tough, tough, even for a coach from Brazil. I laughed when Scolari said in a press conference, “you think this is pressure. No this is not pressure. This is such a small country, there is no pressure. Brazil is pressure.” Really Phil?