Sports / January 20, 2010

Ups and downs of European soccer

I figured I would try something a little different this week, and give you guys a list of players and teams that either failed or succeeded during this past week in soccer. Sort of like “conventional wisdom” in Newsweek. So without further ado:


Carlos Tevez: Scoring twice against an across-town rival is always an achievement. That achievement is even bigger when that rival is Manchester United and when the Carling Cup is on the line. Bigger so when you are the biggest player ever to move from Manchester United in favor of Manchester City. Good job, Carlitos!

Leo Messi: Scored his 100th and 101st professional goal in Barcelona’s 4-0 bashing of Sevilla. Too bad he couldn’t find the net a week earlier in the Copa del Rey.

Chelsea: 7-2 annihilation of Sunderland keeps the London giants on top of the Premier League.

Landon Donovan: Despite not scoring, Donovan has been shining with Everton, notching an assist in his debut, and getting some impressive chances against Arsenal. The American captain is already considering prolonging his stay.

AC Milan: Has been picking up its form considerably in recent months. From twelfth place in October to second place now should be evidence enough. Now, eight wins in the last ten games have narrowed the ten point lead once enjoyed by Inter to a six-point lead. Ronaldinho, dare I say it, has been picking his form up considerably recently. A hat trick against Siena brings his total to nine goals this season, tied with four others for second most in Serie A. He’s even leading former teammate Samuel Eto’o.


Liverpool: Need I say much about Liverpool? Riddled with injury woes and bad performances, the club now languished in seventh place of the Premier League, a whopping 11 points outside of the top three. Knocked out of the Champions League early, knocked out of the Carling Cup early, and knocked out of the FA cup by a second division team, and, to top it all off, Torres is out injured. Things are looking grim for the reds.

Real Madrid: With Christiano Ronaldo back, Madrid still hasn’t been able to outperform Barcelona in the Spanish League, and after the 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao, they are trailing them by five points. A big disappointment for the most expensive team ever put together.

Barcelona: Any hopes of winning a second Treble have now diminished as Barcelona was knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Sevilla last week. The Catalan giants got their revenge Sunday, however, by beating Sevilla 4-0 in the league.

Robinho: The player formerly referred to as “the next Pelé” has yet to score this season and has been growing more and more out of favor with new Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini. In the teams loss to Everton, he was subbed-in in the ninth minute for injured Roque Santa Cruz, and then subbed out in the 66th minute. As ESPN analyst Richard Jolly put it, “The most expensive player in the history of English football was deemed unsuitable either to start or finish the game.”

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Gordon Barratt

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