No support for Blatter’s re-election, Champions League shock results, impressive individual performances and spectacular goals, all feature on this week’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.
Two weeks ago Damon was extolling the virtues of Swiss side FC Zurich after their dramatic away victory against European powerhouse AC Milan. This time around it was Barcelona’s turn to be humiliated as Russian champions Rubin Kazan shocked the holders with a 2-1 victory in the Nou Camp. With Inter Milan being held at home by Dynamo Kiev – that’s 8 games now without a victory in the Champions league for Jose Mourinho’s side – it means that the showdown between two of Europe’s footballing aristocrats will be a significant one next month and of course that Rubin still have a chance to qualify. Good for Rubin and good for the Champions League.
Every week it’s good for some teams who win important matches in their fixture list, like Aston villa beating Chelsea 2-1. You know it’s going to be good for some players, who have cracking games, like David Dunne for Blackburn in the east-Lancashire derby against Burnley, or Miguel De Las Cuevas scoring twice for Sporting Gijon in their 2-1 victory over Athletc Bilbao. What you don’t see every week, or any week, is someone smack a volley into the net from the half-way line. That’s just what Dejan Stankovic did for Inter against Genoa this weekend. Lucky? Perhaps. Amazing? Definitely!
Sepp Blatter the Swiss-born president of FIFA has announced his desire to be re-elected as chief of the world’s footballing governing body as he states that he has not finished his work yet. I can only wonder what type of work he means, after all, this is the man who suggested that female footballers should wear smaller shorts to attract more fans, yet he also campaigned to have players (male or female) booked when taking off their tops to celebrate a goal as it may affect sensibilities of some spectators. He disagrees with the idea that teams can play their home matches at an altitude of over 3000 metres as they may be risky for a player’s health yet at the same time he deals with TV companies that dictate kick-off times in major tournaments when temperatures are way above the recommended level. Let’s not forget his poorly-thought out attempts to promote attacking football with the ridiculous golden and silver goals in extra time. This pandering to TV companies and powerful nations in FIFA was manifested yet again last week when he presided over a rule change concerning the World Cup play-off seedings. Blatter for President? You must be joking! Bad for FIFA, bad for the game of football.
Things seem to be going from bad to worse for Liverpool and their coach Rafa Benitez. Losing to Sunderland at the weekend in bizarre circumstances means that the runners-up from last season now lie in 8th place 7 points behind the leaders Manchester United. They then followed that up with a 1-2 home defeat in the Champions League this week against Lyon which has dealt a blow to their chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages.The calls for Benitez’ head are getting louder.
Well it’s October, which means it’s sack-the-manager time, but it seems a bit harsh to sack Gareth Southgate of Middlesbrough, who sit one point off the top of the Championship. Steve Gibson the chairman backed his manager when they got relegated, but now feels, in October after thirteen games, that the time is right to sack Southgate after supporting him for so long. If they were bottom, I can understand, but sitting in the top four? A bad decision.
extolling the virtues: praising
powerhouse: A strong team with lots of tradition
the showdown: A big meeting (between two powerhouses)
Europe’s footballing aristocrats: Football teams with a rich pedigree. Here it refers to Barcelona and Inter Milan.
have cracking games: Really exciting matches
smack a volley: To strike a ball into the net when the ball is still in the air; a powerful and spectacular shot
in bizarre circumstances: A very strange way
the runners-up: The team that finishes second in the league
has dealt a blow to: Made the position weaker, to damage a situation: a ‘blow’ is a punch
call for (someone’s) head: Ask for someone to resign, want someone to lose their job
harsh: mean, tough, not kind
to back: to support, to help