Friday, July 11, 2014

Suárez From Liverpool To Barcelona, Sánchez From Barcelona To Arsenal, Final Previews, Screetch Cuts His Hair

What? It's not OK to call you "negrito?" 
And there goes another week, folks. How about that? All eyes are firmly fixed on Sunday, (where are you watching?!?! OMG?!?!?) but other stuff is happening since the Transfer Window is still firmly ajar. The big news is that the deal to send Luis Suárez to Barcelona is finally done. The Cannibal is off to Catalonia. The other big news is that Barcelona have sent Alexis Sánchez the other way. He's been signed by Arsenal. You want articles? Do it.

Luis Suárez

Alexis Sánchez

So the World Cup has been pretty great, right? Right? Wait. Has the World Cup been that good? Nick Hornby thinks that it has. And has not.

On to the previews! It all comes to an end on Sunday (we're ignoring the match tomorrow, even though Jeff Carlisle has a few solid reasons why we should not) when Germany and Argentina go at it in Rio. Tune to ABC at 3pm EDT to see how it all plays out.

Germany vs. Argentina
Philip Oltermann: The View From Germany
Marcela Mora y Araujo: The View From Argentina
John Brewin: Five Storylines

And finally... he cut his hair, folks.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

It'll Be Argentina vs. Germany, More On Brazil's Horror, Winners & Losers

What up? Not the best of matches yesterday, sadly. Penalties were pretty much in the cards from early on. Regardless, the South American team defeated the European team and they'll battle it out on Sunday. Here's what happened in Brazil on Wednesday and here is the breakdown from Argentina's victory:

Holland 0 - 0 Argentina (aet 2-4 pens)
Grant Wahl: Three Thoughts

As we know, Brazil has quite the footballing history. Loads of stars. One of them is Zico. Zico is a legend. Zico is livid. And what next for the Dutch? Raphael Honigstein checks in on the future of the Oranje.

More trouble for Nigeria. They've been suspended from international football by SPECTRE FIFA. Again.

So. It's almost all over. Who were the big winners? DeAndre Yedlin? Indeed. Who were the big losers? Samir Nasri? Indeed. And you know what we missed in the otherwise wonderful World Cup? Yes! The Zlatan!

And finally...An analysis by the Fare Network of racist and homophobic activity during the tournament in Brazil found it to have reached double figures ahead of this week’s semi-finals.
None of those incidents were sanctioned by Fifa, despite it having been made aware of the majority of them by Fare or through the media. According to the Fare report, which has been seen by Telegraph Sport, they include “homophobic” chanting by Brazil and Mexico supporters, far-right banners displayed by followers of Germany, Russia and Croatia, racist attacks instigated by England fans and discriminatory costumes and make-up worn by visitors from a number of countries. Fifa’s disciplinary committee did consider taking action in several of those cases but controversially decided none of them constituted breaches of its rules.



Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Holy %#*&()@$$^*$, Argentina vs. Netherlands

Oh, the humanity!
Did you place a bet on Germany to defeat the host nation of Brazil by a score of 7-1? No? Neither did we. Holy moly, though, that was fun to watch. Karma certainly is a bitch, eh Brazil? Let's get to the fun!

Brazil 1 - 7 Germany
Fernando Duarte: A haunting defeat
Grant Wahl: Three Thoughts

OK, OK, OK. We know you're all wondering, "What if Milton Did Post-Match Analysis For Germany-Brazil?" Well, guess what?

There is another one today, folks. Argentina and the Netherlands go at it in Sao Paolo at 4pm EDT on ESPN. Here's what you need for that one:

Argentina vs. Netherlands
Marcela Mora y Araujo: The View From Argentina
Bart Vlietstra: The View From Holland
Grant Wahl: Video Preview
Gabriele Marcotti: The Final Push

Man. We still need to tackle the Silly Season. Here we go: The Mill. Plus One. Plus Plus One.

We're going to end with Jim White of The Telegraph. Here's his headline: Brazil's embarrassment was the ultimate reckoning for a World Cup tournament built on a lie. Yup.



Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Brazil vs. Germany, Alfredo di Stéfano Is Dead

Back to business today as Germany and Brazil clash at the Estadio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte (ESPN at 4pm EDT). Before we explode into that with previews aplenty, let's shed a tear and spare a moment for Alfredo di Stéfano, who died yesterday at the age of 88. Tim Vickery claims he's the most influential footballer ever. And the always reliable Louise Taylor has a nice article on a man who was ahead of his time. Meanwhile, Ben Lyttleton maintains that he was the foundation for Real Madrid's success. RIP di Stéfano.

"Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance."
Right. On to this afternoon's battle. Most of the staff at SSN Headquarters are in the German camp for this one. Brazil have been rough, petty, arrogant, and annoying. Bellicose. Here's your lot:

Brazil vs. Germany
Gabriele Marcotti: The mind games have begun
Grant Wahl: Video Preview

Ahhh, Russia. How we love you so. Is the World Cup a homosexual abomination? It is according to this guy. Cue the "thank you" letter from Putin.

Amy Lawrence has picked out four dudes (one from each of the remaining teams) she thinks are key and can make all the difference today and tomorrow. She's got Germany’s Sami Khedira, Brazil’s Oscar, Argentina’s Javier Mascherano and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder as those dudes. Solid choices.

So that's that. OK.
We'll leave you with this. It's Gazza and Redknapp. Together. Oh, dear...



Monday, July 07, 2014

Weekend Review, Transfer Madness, Prepare For Tuesday And Wednesday

Neymar signs off...
And a very pleasant Monday to you and yours. The World Cup continued to provide plenty of fun and games on Friday and Saturday. What a way to spend the Fourth of July, huh? Can we do this every year? Let's look back at the action from The Quarters:

Germany 1 - 0 France
Jonathan Wilson: Three Thoughts
Raphael Honigstein: Hummels finds harmony at last

Brazil 2 - 1 Colombia
Grant Wahl: Three Thoughts

Argentina 1 - 0 Belgium
John Brewin: Three Thoughts

Netherlands 0 - 0 Costa Rica (4-3 pens)
Ben Lyttleton: Three Thoughts

Uli Hesse is looking forward to the Germany/Brazil clash, as you might expect. He's reminded of the epic battle back in 2002 when Oliver Kahn screwed up and allowed Ronny to tap home the winning goal. Speaking of 2002, Where Are They Now?

Meanwhile, Gabriele Marcotti says (rather ominously): And then there were four

Paul Doyle is playing the role of spoil sport by claiming 2014 has got nothing on 1982. He's worried that this one is in danger of petering out. Whatevs. We're more in tune with Paul Hayward of The Telegraph who thinks things are just getting ready to explode with this killer semi-final lineup.

Ashely Cole to Roma? All of Southampton's players somewhere other than Southampton? Suarez to Barcelona? Lazar to Liverpool? The Mill. Plus One. Plus Plus One.

Like a rock...?
You want a complete guide to the semi-finals from The BBC's Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty? Good. So do we. Here.

You want the view from Germany ahead of tomorrow's match? Well, that can be provided by Philip Oltermann. He's in Berlin and says ..."Four World Cup semi-finals in a row, two of them down to Joachim Löw, but the knives are still out for Germany’s manager." Ouch.

You want the view from Brazil ahead of tomorrow's match? Well, that can be provided by Jonathan Watts. He's in Berlin and says..."Neymar’s tournament-ending injury dominates the national mood, which is also starting to show a darker side." Scary.

We haven't heard from Guillem Balague in a while. Let's check in, shall we? What? Messi, Neymar, Krul and semi-finals? Great! We're all ears!
Damn! That's harsh.
We're going to roll with all of that. But first, the World Cup's 10 Funniest Moments.