We're glad Christmas is behind us and we can march forward to 2013. If you celebrate that holiday, we hope it went well for you and you're not stuck on the tarmac or on the highway staring at this:
If you don't celebrate that holiday, hopefully you were able to get some time off to do whatever you wanted to do.
The only people playing any soccer of note right now are in England. The EPL does not have a winter break (quite the opposite), so the action continued as we hung our stockings with care. The long and short of it is Manchester United have opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the table after a barnstorming win against Newcastle yesterday. The match included Sir Alex going nuts at the referees, but don't worry, he won't be punished. Shocking.
United's neighbors City couldn't score against Sunderland and went down to a goal from their old boy Adam Johnson. Hah! Hah! You know Mancini is covering his scarf with spit as he unloads a barrage of Italian invective. Have your Ten Talking Points, why don't you?
Everyone is talking about Berbatov's t-shirt. "KEEP CALM AND PASS ME THE BALL". Makes perfect sense to us. Elsewhere, Liverpool lost to Stoke and Bale grabbed three against Villa in Tottenham's victory. Poor Yank Abroad Brad Guzan. Dude's had to get the ball out of his net 12 (12!!!) times in the last two matches.
Speaking of Bale, my mate Mr. Dependable considers him to be superior to Wayne Rooney at the moment. We took an informal poll here at SSN Headquarters and nobody agrees with Mr. Dependable. So what do you think? Would you rather have Rooney or Bale? We simply think Rooney brings far more to a side than the swashbuckling winger that is Bale. We'd love to know your thoughts. Speaking of thoughts, Peter Berlin has FIVE. And here's a link to the table while we're at it.
So, are United clean and dry? Will they blow it? Here are some "expert" opinions.
Right. So what else is up? Grant Wahl has 10 favorite soccer stories from 2012 that he would like to share with you. They include U.S. TV's soccer splurge, U.S.A. women vs. Canada, and, quite simply, Lionel Messi. Check it.
The Transfer Window will open in five days! For some absurd reason, The Mill went on vacation. Thankfully, we have a Plus One.
Thank The Lord AC Jimbo and crew haven't bailed on us for some sort of holiday. They've provided a lovely podcast. On today's festive Football Weekly Extra, AC Jimbo has Jacob Steinberg and debutant/débutante Daniel Harris in the pod - as well as a cameo appearance from a late, soaking wet and bedraggled Barry Glendenning - to look back on all the action from Boxing Day, including Manchester United's dramatic 4-3 win over Newcastle and Gareth Bale's barnstorming display as Tottenham tonked Villa. Plus, they discuss Stoke's surprisingly stylish victory over Liverpool, wonder who'll be taking over at Nottingham Forest after Sean O'Driscoll was sacked, and ask which Premier League is the tastiest in a fight.
One more thing about the recent action in the EPL. Chelsea's David Luiz is now playing in the midfield. Tim Vickery is in South America and he reckons the move boosts Brazil's World Cup hopes.
Sweden. Bikini Teams. Dragon Tattoos. Zlatan. Sweden has added the verb ‘to Zlatan’ to their national dictionary. Indeed, the Swedish Language Council has approved the term, since it has been increasingly used in conversation by Swedes referring to an outlandishly talented action. How about that?
We'll finish by acknowledging that they are playing football in Turkey. Sort of...