Tag Archives: Mainz

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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Bundesliga's back and Dortmund still rolling

The Bundesliga's winter break is over and Dortmund picked up where it left off, beating any and everyone in its path.

By Jonathan Gold

I do love a romp through the collected online bounty of sports punditry that accumulates – like that weird scaly stuff in the shower – with mechanistic regularity. There’s plangent mockery, high-flown rhetoric, and the occasional genuinely insightful analysis to be had. (The latter is mostly at Zonal Marking, from some of the Guardian’s guys, and, of course, on this illustrious site.)

Of course, there’s also woefully dumb crap like this, in which Peter Staunton says it’s somehow a bad thing that moneyed powerhouses like Bayern are occasionally undone by less-wealthy competitors, pointing to Dortmund’s struggles in the Europa League as evidence of the terrible damage that can be done when the likes of Mainz and Hannover get ideas above their station.

This is, as I’ve said, crap. Staunton’s idea is that, by gearing themselves solely to take on heavyweight domestic sides like Bayern and Schalke, teams like Dortmund, Mainz, and Hannover are essentially one-dimensional and unable to compete with serious European heavyweights like Barcelona and Chelsea. News flash – NO Bundesliga teams can stack up to the big-time powerhouses right now, period. I for one would much rather see exciting teams like BvB go out there and take a swing at Real Madrid than watch “perennial Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich and thank God they’re there because they’re the only German team the commentators know anything about” crap out in the first knockout round.

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Bundesliga Bringing the Boom

Young German starts Philip Lahm (left), Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira defend a free kick in the World Cup this summer against Argentina. (Photo Courtesy sdhansay)

By Jonathan Gold

Quick, no thinking allowed: What’s the most entertaining soccer league in Europe? I guarantee you just got that wrong.

The Prem? Overpaid, overexposed, overcapitalized.

La Liga? If you’re not a fan of the endless financial pissing contest between Barca and Real, then you’re out of luck.

Serie A? Corrupt, slow, predictable.

Ligue 1? Sorry, too many racist shithead fans (at some clubs), the national apparatus is in utter disarray and all the talent goes to one of those other three leagues about 0.00145 seconds after it gets discovered.

Why didn’t you say the Bundesliga? Vas ist deine probleme? (Apologies, I’m 99 percent sure that doesn’t mean “What’s your problem?”)

All that aside, you should be watching German soccer. Yes, you. Particularly since the Revs season is over.

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