Tag Archives: David Villa

Notes from a spaced out soccer fan, Feb. 22

By Jonathan Gold

(Note: I have officially banned myself from writing about Arsenal – Orient on the advice of my physician. I have absolutely nothing to say about a team that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world one day and then draw with Leyton goddamn Orient, or why so many good players at Arsenal are out of form or…takes drugs)

Aah, fine. Away we go.

SPAIN

The mighty Sid Lowe over at the Guardian thinks the goal scored by goalkeeper (!) Dani Aranzubia to rescue a point for incredibly dull relegation candidates Deportivo is the biggest story of the La Liga weekend, and he might be right. It was the first scored by a goalkeeper from open play in the history of the league, after all. Personally, I like his name enough that I’ve been going around saying “Arrrranzubia!” to friends and co-workers and that’s the extent my my interest in the matter. Hats off to him, though, big goal.

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Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid to Take Top Spot in La Liga

The Catalonians weren't disappointed at the Camp Nou with Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid. (Courtesy Aldas Kirvaitis)

By Kevin Koczwara

El Clasico was billed as the Messi and Ronaldo show, but we (the media) should have known games aren’t decided by two players on opposite sides. Nope. Games are decided by teams and the individuals on those teams. Barcelona’s 11 men were superior, far better, than Real Madrid’s. The 5-0 win for the Catalans was as easy as that.

Madrid couldn’t handle Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the middle of the Barcelona midfield, and most teams can’t. The two World Cup winners control tempo, don’t give up the ball and eliminate opposing teams attacking players by not allowing them to ever touch the ball. Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were lucky to touch the ball in the first half. The only chances for Madrid came when Angel di Maria smashed a shot directly at Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and at the end of the half when Ronaldo took one of his two free kicks and missed just wide of Valdes’ post. Other than that, it was a forgettable night for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho and company came into the Camp Nou with a one point lead over Barcelona in the table, and now, they leave with a two-point deficit and a big time humbling.

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Valencia, Atletico Prep for Key Match

By Joe Meloni

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan's future with the club may be decided by its success in the first half of 2010-11. (Photo Courtesy Alvaro Felipe)

By season’s end, Atletico Madrid’s key contribution to the 2010-11 season may be sidelining Barcelona dynamo Lionel Messi for a couple weeks. The Argentine left Sunday’s match, which Barcelona won 2-1, in the final minutes after a challenge from Tomas Ujfalusi.

Failing to pull any points from Barca cost Atletico a chance to continue its early season success. Currently, los Rojiblancos are in the obligatory late-September, four-way tie for fourth place with Barcelona, among others. Three days from now, Atletico will meet current table topper Valenica, which, even with former talisman David Villa roaming the Camp Nou, has handled its three games with as many victories. While the triumphs came against middling sides Malaga, Racing Santander and Hercules, securing maximum points from these fixtures is key to winning La Liga.
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La Liga Preview: Mourinho leading Real

Jose Mourinho took over as manager of Real Madrid days after leading Inter Milan to victor in the Champions League final. The questions of whether or not anyone can be Barcelona and whether or not Mourinho can win anywhere will be answered about nine months from now. (Photo Courtesy: APasciuto)

By Joe Meloni

Visions of Spain captain Iker Casillas proudly brandishing the nation’s first-ever World Cup trophy two months ago are still fresh in the mind of soccer fans around the globe. Surrounding him on the podium were his teammates, including the likes of Barcelona stars David Villa, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. While the group celebrated the championship together, it all ends once La Liga begins its season.

The stars of los Galacticos and the leaders of l’equip blaugrana don’t have much to celebrate together in most season. Last year, Barca edged out Real Madrid by three points and hopes to win the league for the third consecutive time.

There are, of course, other clubs in the league. But it always comes down Madrid and Barca when the season’s approaches its conclusion.

Unlike last season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry won’t be able to help Barca to the title. And Jose Mourinho will be calling the shots in the Spanish capital.
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Top Transfers of the Summer, So Far

By Kevin Koczwara

David Villa — Before the World Cup Barcelona made one of the biggest splashes in the transfer market of the summer. Villa’s move to Barcelona could be the best deal of the summer for both player and club. Villa’s asking price would have sky-rocketed after he helped Spain win the World Cup with his team leading and competition-tying five goals, but the Catalans got him for a fair price from Valencia. Villa will fit into the Barcelona squad with ease — I mean it consists mostly of Spain’s World Cup and Euro 2008 winning side that he helped lead.

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The FIFA 2010 World Cup final should be an absolute classic.

By Denis Heptonstall of The National Game

The FIFA 2010 World Cup final should be an absolute classic.

Holland and Spain will meet at the Soccer City stadium on today in what promises to be a fascinating match, where Spain are bookies’ favourites at a measly 2-1.

Presumably they have taken a lot of early money on Spain and are seeking to balance the books. Either that or they fear that Paul the psychic octopus, (now on a roll) may be correct again, and his selection might attract a lot of interest from the horoscope brigade. Well you would place a bet on Spain because a mollusk-brained cephalopod appeared to pick them, wouldn’t you?

A female senior manager in the office where I carry out my day job suggested Spain will win the World Cup because “they are better looking than the Dutch.” Do mollusc – brained cephalopods live out of the water also?

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Who Will Win The World Cup?

Courtesy alexloth.com Picasa

By Kevin Koczwara and Ryan Fleming

Ryan and I talked about a lot of stories we could write about who could and who would win the World Cup over the last few months. I have rattled my brain over and over again trying to make arguments for players and teams I like, but only one team stood out from the rest for me — it was almost the new look Brazil team lead by Dunga. Ryan thought about who could win the World Cup, especially on style points — so not the new look Brazil. He kept coming back to a certain color, a certain team that has had bundles of talent, but only one major trophy. Our picks are similar in this way. We each picked a team that has never won a World Cup, but has certainly had the talent to do so. We both picked teams that are about attacking their opponents, not sitting back and waiting. We picked teams that as Americans turn us on to the beautiful game.

Let’s take a look…

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World Cup Preview Pt. 6: Group H

By Kevin Koczwara

This will be the final entry into what was suppose to be a four part series on the group stage of the World Cup, but it has turned into a drawn out 6 part series. After this post I will write up a quick post with all of my predictions for winners of the group stages and let anyone disagree with me.

For this final entry I will talk about Group H — the last group. This may be the easiest group to predict. Continue reading

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Two Small Strikers with Injury Problems: Michael Owen and Taylor Twellman

Twellman has a great strike rate in the MLS but his game has not transferred well to the international stage. (Courtesy Jarrett Campbell)

Twellman has a great strike rate in the MLS but his game has not transferred well to the international stage. (Courtesy Jarrett Campbell)

By Kevin Koczwara

I have been thinking about Michael Owen ever since he signed with Manchester United. I just don’t know what it is about that story that keeps me coming for me. Michael Owen bothers me for some reason. He just makes me think about how great some players could have been, or were but no one really noticed. He was under appreciated at one time, and for a while he was overrated, and washed up. He scores goals, yes. But he doesn’t seem to have that winning edge, or that cutthroat play.

And today, while mowing the lawn and thinking about what I would write tonight, it hit me. Michael Owen reminds me of Taylor Twellman for some reason. And hear me out on this.

I am not saying Twellman is the equivalent to Owen, Michael has more talent and has faced stiffer competition throughout his career. But the way their careers have unfolded is what got me thinking.

Taylor Twellman Michael Owen
1980                                                            1979
5 ft 11 in                                                     5 ft 9 in
International Scoring Rate: 0.21    International Scoring Rate: 0.58
Club Scoring Rate: 0.60                      Club Scoring Rate: 0.50

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