LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – With the RWC coming up, it seems that October is on everybody’s minds. However it is August and the beginning of football season is going ignored. When I say football, I mean association football, or futbol… or soccer, as some know it. It seems that in this day and age football is maligned as a chavball sport or a sport for knackers, especially with Rugby fans – who seem slow to give the respect due to the father of rugby.
There is a lot we can go back and forth on but the main problem rugby fans have with footballers can be seen in the video at the bottom. They are not know for their toughness and determination. I am here today to recap some of the major happenings in the season’s brief few weeks:
Shamrock Rovers of Ireland qualify for UEFA Champions league group stage. With their 2 leg ( read home and home series) win of Partizan Belgrade a combined score of 3-2, the semi-pro outfit for Ireland have qualified to play with the big boys. Now, these boys aren’t semi-pro to the extent that they all have day jobs. However, they all do have side gigs. Despite how good the Irish national team is they don’t have a professional league in Ireland. Most of the players play in Scotland and England. This is a major achievement for the Rovers, with money to come. As American and Canadian Rugby fans can agree, whenever you beat a fully pro side, it is a reason to celebrate.
In Spain, Jose Mourinho (pronouced Joe-zay), head coach of Real (re-Al) Madrid is now in hot water – reportedly after the Supercopa Match (the regular season champs vs. the club cup champs). Apparently, after a loss filled with questionable calls, Barca players were dropping at every touch like there were snipers on the pitch. Real Madrid players got Red-Carded and the Real lost. Considering that this is two of the richest clubs in the world and they have a terminal hatred of each other, tempers were going aflare. Then, after Mourinho stuck his finger in Tito Vilanova’s ear, the Barcelona assistant was understandably somewhat put out and he gave the Real Madrid coach a clip round the ear. See the rather unflattering pic.
Finally in England, the motherland of Football and Rugby, defending champions Manchester United are still top of the table. With an impressive 3-0 win over last year’s fourth place team Tottenham (the area of London that was on fire), Man U look in good shape. They fielded the 2nd youngest team ever in the 18-year reign of Manager Sir Alex Ferguson. So, it is another case of the more things change, the more they stay the same.
See you on the pitch sports fans, and remember anything can happen after kick-off!!