Weekend Rewind

Some thoughts on this weekends action.

First, the Manchester derby lived up to the hype. There have been a lot of detailed explanations for the two extra minutes. Yes, Bellamy celebrated a goal just as the board went up and there was also a substitution. But there is a reason managers make substitutions at the very end of games – it is to waste time! It’s a common tactic that works and officials rarely take that time into account – if they did why would they care if players stall while going off the field and furthermore why would players stall! I am not saying that slack time keeping is a good thing, but match officials are almost never that eagle-eye about added time. Hence the suspicious letter of the law interpretation. The Guardian in a great piece of investigative sports journalism concludes – yes, Man U. do get more stoppage time.

Additionally, British commentators show at times a maddening level of pro-English bias. A common refrain now heard is that Carlos Tevez runs around like a “headless chicken.” Hmm… His work rate caused a Ben Foster mistake and a city goal. Could you just imagine the praise that would descend down if that were Wayne Rooney.

Second, Spurs lost to a better Chelsea side, but definitely didn’t get any breaks. Tottenham had a bright start but didn’t convert despite many chances. They can also feel aggrieved at another poor decision by Howard Webb, who wasn’t brave enough to call a clear penalty. After last years game at Old Trafford, where with Man U looking horrible Webb intervened and gave them a farcical penalty (which he later apologized for) – a Spurs fan clearly felt justified in writing on his wikipedia “Officially hates Tottenham Hotspurs F.C” But nothing really went their way, and with King going down 2 minutes into the second half, Drogba was always likely to get the better of Corluka. Drogba and Essien were the best players on the field and are going to be sorely missed during the African Cup.

Third, Beckham looks like he has finally come to play. Perhaps realizing that he is now on the outs with the England squad, he decided to up his game. Since his return Beckham has really not looked world class and I am sure Capello and his team have noticed Beck’s rather blah performances. Against Toronto he finally showed the tireless work ethic he has been known for and scored and set up a goal. MLS is praying he brings it come playoff time.

Fourth, Michael Bradley not playing is very very worrisome. Bradley has not looked in form for the U.S. lately, so its definitely not good that he is not getting time for his club. He had a bust-up with his coach after being subbed at half time and got benched the next game as a result. Hopefully, this is just a minor bust up and after a 4-2 loss to Hoffenheim his coach will realize that they need him badly. Goal.com reports the Monchengladbach coach saying Bradley is “an option” for the midweek German cup game. Well I would hope so!

Fifth, Gooch making the bench for Milan this weekend is a good sign that the world has not come to an end. As I wrote last week, he will get his shot – yellow cards, injuries, etc.

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