BY RHETT MANUEL
In case you’ve spent the last couple days preparing yourself for the season premiere of “Parks & Recreation” (I’m looking at you Justin,) here’s what you missed in soccer.
– The realest American since Hulk Hogan, Tottenham midfielder Clint Dempsey, made his first start for his new club in a Europa League match again Nazi … err … Lazio. And he scored a goal. Well … almost.
I mean, the ball did end up in the back of the net. But the referee ruled Dempsey onside, which for many may have been a call that found its origin on Planet B.S.
The end result of the match was a 0-0 draw, but one in which AVB spinned into a positive like only Andre Villas-Boas could.
“We played extremely well and we are extremely happy with the effort we put in.” AVB said.
I would also like to note that AVB is still extremely Portuguese, and it extremely bothers me when his dashing 5 o’clock shadow distracts me from good soccer. It gets me extremely flustered, and if you’re extremely disturbed then I apologize. Extremely.
(Editor’s Note: You forgot a trench coat joke.)
– Nuri Sahin has a secret … and he’s not telling anyone.
No, no … this isn’t a women’s deodorant commercial. This has nothing to do with feminine hygiene (and thank God for that.)
But, the Real Madrid loanee (currently at Liverpool) claims he knows where Brazilian veteran Kaka will be moving in the January transfer window.
“I know he had an offer from Turkish football,” Sahin said.
“And I know what decision he is taking in the winter market, but I cannot reveal that.”
So … that’s it? I tell you what Nuri, if you want to give us a secret, give us the secret of you’re impossibly perfect coif. Man, that thing is majestic.
– You guys, EMILE HESKEY IS BACK IN FOOTBALL!
The former English international has agreed to terms with Newcastle. Wait, is that misleading?
You mean you weren’t aware of the Newcastle Jets of the Australian A-League?
“This is an exciting new period in my life and I am looking forward to making a special contribution to the A-League and most importantly to the Jets,” Heskey said. “I hope I can help grow football at the grassroots level and also provide advice to young players at the Jets.”
These are awfully modest expectations for a man who as recently as 2010 lumbered around the field in an England kit in the freaking World Cup.
Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond says he believes that The Powerhouse’s biggest asset will be holding the ball up and playing other players on.
Atta boy, GvE. Taper those wild expectations of five goals right on out of your mind.
Rhett Manuel doesn’t hate Emile Heskey. Just the sight of him on a football pitch. Follow Rhett on Twitter @RhettManuel.
BY RHETT MANUEL
In case you missed yesterday’s news watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” reruns on your DVR, you best redneck-ognize what you missed in the world of soccer.
– Everyone’s favorite competition, the UEFA Champions League, kicked off it’s group stage yesterday. And in the day’s marquee matchup, Manchester City and Real Madrid faced off.
The teams seemed destined for a 2-2 draw. But, then a relative unknown named Cristiano Ronaldo struck with a late-winner to give the Spanish giants a 3-2 victory.
This marginal-at-best player had recently said he was sad. You couldn’t see it in his face after the goal though. This never-will-be ladies man had a look of pure joy as he gave his squad a vital three points in the group and put the Citizens behind the eight-ball as they next face Borussia Dortmund.
– Meanwhile, as the Emirates turn ….
Arsenal is off to a great start this season and have the look of an early title contender in the Premier League. However, one of the club’s more recognizable figures is in a state of limbo with the Gunner fan base.
Theo “Wide Left/Right” Walcott’s transfer fiasco has manager Arsene Wenger “worried.” The long-time Gunner was greeted to a mixed reaction as he came on as a sub during last Sunday’s rout of Southampton.
Add the fact that Walcott becomes a free agent this summer if he doesn’t sign a new deal, and you have the lastest high-profile player to leave the Gunners at their peak?
Wait … did I just make the mistake of believing Walcott to be a consistent game changer? Forgive me …
– Now, for the Captain Obvious statement of the day: Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel said the Blues were “kind of lucky” to win last year’s Champions League.
Calm your laughter. No really … please … for at least a second. Oh, you’re still laughing at Mikel’s understatement? I’ll just have to scream over you then.
BUT JOHN OBI “WAN” (#BermanEPL) MIKEL SAYS HE THINKS THE CLUB CAN WIN IT AGAIN!
But maybe what’s funniest of all is that several football legends are like “Yeah. True, true.” Guys like Gianluigi Buffon and Liverpool legend Graham Souness went with Mikel’s sentiment.
Maybe it’ll take a little more luck for the pea-sized head of Roberto Di Matteo to deliver more magic this year. However …they’re fortunate they don’t do the championship cap thing in Europe. I don’t think they pack children’s sizes for those.
Rhett Manuel is currently obsessed with the Big Sean, Jay-Z & Kanye West song “Clique.” Follow him on Twitter @RhettManuel.
BY RHETT MANUEL
In case you were off watching the Democratic National Convention and raising Facebook ruckus over Michelle Obama’s speech (don’t ask), here’s what you missed in the last couple days of soccer:
– Cristiano Ronaldo is moping over that sad, miserable life he leads. (I mean, beautiful women, fast cars, a chiseled physique, dashing good looks, wealthy and plays professional sports for a living … the horror.) But the question is: Why? No one really knows, but speculation is that he was unhappy over his Real Madrid wages. But, CR7 insists that isn’t it. Or, so he said via his Twitter account.
“I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case. At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected,” said the Portuguese beef cake/striker.
I guess the only question left is … how long before he resorts to listening to Simple Plan as his pregame jam?
– So, C-Ron is sad … and Cesc Fabregas is angry. Just what are they putting in the waters of Spain?
Anyway, Cesc is angry at his recent sporadic play over at FC Barcelona. He has started ALL THREE La Liga games for the club this season, yet was mad that he was pulled from their last game against Valencia after 63 minutes.
“There’s no such thing as a great substitute in the world of football,” said the 30 million pound signing, who came over from Arsenal. “I always wish my teammates well and put a happy face on,” he said. “If I have to take my unhappy face home then so be it, but I would never let my teammates or manager see it.”
Sure Cesc, because airing out your disappointment in being subbed off is putting on a happy face and not letting your teammates see it.
Cescy, try on some happy feels. Dance to Carly Rae Jepsen. Watch Spongebob. Eat Oreos. BRIGHTEN THE WORLD, BRO. You’ll feel better. Promise.
– Now, from the annals of “Oh, so I’m supposed to care?”…Michael Owen has signed a one-year deal with Stoke City, pending English Premier League approval.
The 32-year-old was recently released by Manchester United. But, there’s one snag to the deal — no one is sure if Stoke provided the required documents for the signature of Owen before or after the 4 p.m. deadline.
If he can’t be a striker though, maybe Owen can be a giraffe tamer for the club. With Peter Crouch there, someone must have to feed him, clean him and the like. But for God’s sake, just keep him away from LIverpool, please?
Rhett Manuel is a registered Republican with moderate leanings. He does not support the killing of unborn children, but does think people should love who they choose. Also … he loves to get in the zone, chief. Follow him on Twitter @RhettManuel.