December 7th, 2010

Nice | Digard forehead

Ramos + Iniesta Being Good People. Now, With Pictures!


Remember these videos of Spaniards being sweet and perfect with children? (I don't, and they've been taken down now, but I'm doing my best to imagine. If you, too, missed them, imagine with me.) Well, here are non-moving pictures of the blessed event, mostly of Iniesta looking terribly awkward in his own, pasty way. [source]

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JT's birthday :)

Our Captain Fantastic has turned 30 today. Human, player, leader. Someone who is already Chelsea legend and most of all - amazing person. Hate, him, love him, but he is a true Chelsea lion. Post your fave JT's pics. I know you got some :) Let's celebrate! <3

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tom hardy bb


Hardball in Liverpool
New American owners might find these soccer fans a pretty tough crowd

Two months ago, Red Sox owner John Henry and his partners in New England Sports Ventures purchased Liverpool FC, historically one of Europe’s greatest soccer teams. Obviously, Henry, who admits he knows nothing about English soccer, is hoping to turn a few quid in the globalized sports marketplace.

So far, Henry’s brief stewardship has been uneventful. The team is having a bad year under a mediocre coach, but its problems redound to the previous, despised American owners. Tom Hicks and George Gillett generated huge debts, public relations debacles, and no Premier League championships. For now, the Red Sox PR machine is pumping out happynews about Henry’s visits to grotty Liverpool — Worcester without the glitz — and about his wife’s inane Twitter messages to the fans, e.g. “Wow! Anfield [the team’s stadium] really is a special place!’’

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This was brought to my attention by duskyblueskies earlier, and I'm horrified that someone could write something like this. I'm honestly so angry someone can say SO many terrible and hurtful things to such a devoted fan base. What do you think?

Footballers and Their #1 Fangirl: Chad Ochocinco

This is Chad Ochocinco, a receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. He is one of the most epic twitterers among pro athletes, not just because of his long (and supposedly fake) pigeon story and concerns about his grandma having a boyfriend, but also because he often tweets footballers to fangirl them or talk about his feelings.

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film • and i choose kill

Do you think about me now and then? Do you think about me now and then? 'Cos I'm coming home again.

ok hi not gonna lie I just wanted to do an ontd_fb entry wherein I quoted my fave song of all time as the title ;)


Chelsea's Didier Drogba expecting emotional return to Marseille
Chelsea's trip to Marseille may be a dead rubber, but it has special significance for former darling of the Stade Vélodrome

Chelsea's domestic predicament makes a midweek excursion to the Stade Vélodrome feel like an unwanted distraction. Their final Champions League group game is little more than a nuisance of a dead rubber when time would surely be better spent back at Cobham working out how to deal with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Yet, for Didier Drogba, the motivation is clear: this is the homecoming he has craved for six long years.

The bond between Drogba and l'Olympique de Marseille is remarkable when one considers that the Ivorian played for the French club for only one season. That campaign, 2003-04, was marked by 19 goals in the league, five in the European Cup and six en route to the Uefa Cup final, and ended with his hero status among the most fervent supporters in French football established. The locals saw him as the natural successor to Rudi Völler, Alen Boksic, even Jean-Pierre Papin, and still thrill at the memory of the rampaging display and the two goals that knocked Sir Bobby Robson's Newcastle out the Uefa Cup semi-finals.

Although the striker still owns a property on the bay here, this will be his first competitive return since his £24m transfer to José Mourinho's Chelsea in the summer of 2004. Indeed, he has not trotted out on the turf at the Stade Vélodrome since tearfully taking one final look round the ground after his farewell press conference that summer. "I've always been angry with myself for not saying goodbye to those wonderful fans, for not having thanked them one last time," he said.

Les Phocéens are not always the most accepting of fans, so achieving talismanic status over the course of a 12-month stay was no mean feat. Those on the virages will bellow his name again on Wednesday night. "The feeling between the fans, the city, and me was unbelievable," said Drogba. "I gave everything and they gave it back to me as well. The atmosphere that night against Newcastle … it was like the Bombonera [Boca Juniors' ground] . This is a meeting I've been waiting for ever since I left Marseille. I'm coming home."

It might have all been so different. After making waves at unfancied Guingamp, where he first burst in to the public consciousness in a prolific second season, the suitors queued up to lure him away. Lyon was the likelier destination. The president, Jean-Michel Aulas, sent his wife flowers in a bid to turn his head. "After the last game of the season, which we won 4-1 at Gerland [Drogba and Florent Malouda each scored two], the Lyon midfielder Juninho came and spoke to me and said: 'Come and join us at l'OL. I'll set up loads of goals for you here,'" said Drogba. "When a player like that speaks, you listen, especially if you're playing for a small club like Guingamp who'd been in the second division 18 months previously.

"But when Marseille came in for me, I couldn't turn them down. I remember the first call I took from their manager, Alain Perrin, asking me to join l'OM. He wanted to play me up front with Djibril Cissé, who Marseille were trying to sign from Liverpool at the time. That would have been an amazing partnership. My former agent Pape Diouf [then just installed as Marseille's general manager] was wary of getting me in because he knew how hard it is to settle at Marseille. I actually had to convince him that I should join."

There were to be no regrets as Drogba duly ran riot. The 11 goals in European competition, in particular, singled him out for hero-worship status at a club which so longed to return as a powerhouse in elite competition. Valencia would prevail in the Uefa Cup final at Marseille's expense but, at the close of that debut season, the forward envisaged a title challenge to come. "Then Pape came to visit me in Cameroon, where I was playing a World Cup qualifier, and told me Chelsea had made a massive offer," he said, the implication being it was too good to turn down. "That knocked the wind out of me. I didn't want to leave. Full stop. I'd only just signed a one-year extension to my contract, and here was Pape telling me that this was a deal that would set me up for life.

"Chelsea didn't mean a whole lot to me back then. I'd watched their Champions League semi-final against Monaco that season, and I was on Monaco's side. I knew Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Claude Makelele and Gianfranco Zola. They were great footballers, but it wasn't my team. It wasn't my l'OM. I just didn't have any desire to be part of their team. That's just how I felt." Drogba went further in his autobiography, admitting he thought it was "a joke" when he heard Chelsea, of all clubs, were his suitors. "Marseille had brought me happiness, excitement, passion," he wrote. "What could lure me away? I was like a king on his throne, just without the crown."

It was not until the build-up to his farewell press conference that Drogba truly understood why the club were so willing to allow him to leave, with Marseille salivating over the fee they would receive and wary that a previous reluctance to sell Daniel van Buyten had cost them millions in a potential transfer fee when his form subsequently nose-dived. "[The then club president] Christophe Bouchet told me: 'A while back, we could have sold Van Buyten for a lot of money but we decided to keep him … But then his form dipped and we ended up losing out on quite a lot of money.'

"When he told me that, their thinking was obvious. Clearly, some people at the club thought my form that season had been some kind of 'accident'. A one-off. That hurt me. I was really down after that final press conference. I went off into the dressing rooms on my own for the last time and I broke down. I cried and cried. I went out on the pitch for the last time and, again, I was in tears."

There will no doubt be tears again on Wednesday night as the hero returns. Deschamps, now the French club's coach, has already said he believes Drogba will end his career back at the Stade Vélodrome. "He really wants that," said the Frenchman. "The crowd is thankful for what he has done because, even if Didier has been at Chelsea for six years now, he was always honest and always said Marseille was his club at heart." The visitors must hope being back in familiar surroundings brings the best out of the striker.


Footballing homecomings give the ultimate bittersweet feeling. I hope Didi has a good one tomorrow before we lose at the weekend to Spurs

PS. To y'all who are doing Secret Santa this year, I expect to get your gifts in the next 10 days e-mailed me! :))) The ones that I've seen already have been epic win.
cesc slippers
  • san

Newcastle Jets v L.A. Galaxy

Okay so like, belated report!
Two Saturdays ago, on the 27th of November, L.A. Galaxy from the MLS came down to Australia to play one of our A-League teams, the Newcastle Jets in an exhibition match. Very exciting! I flew up to Sydney, and with two of my buddies, celeste_sky aka Buddy A, and Buddy E (both of whom are fabulous), we drove over to Newcastle for the game.

- The final score: Newcastle Jets 2 - L.A. Galaxy 1. A bit of a surprise score, given that Newcastle Jets weren’t doing all that flash this season! I guess they wanted to impress. :) (Yes, you played very well this match, Jets.)
- The pre-match entertainment would. Not. Shut up. About. David Beckham. I mean sure, he’s world-famous, he’s awesome, and many fans would’ve gone to the match just to see him, but after a while, hearing the emcee-ish-people rambling on and on about him (and to a lesser extent, Landon Donovan) became really embarrassing.
- Total attendance was 23,317 spectators. Might not be a lot to some of you, but for us, that’s pretty good! It was almost a full stadium. :D
- Buddy A made an AWESOMEEE banner (see below)
- The evening was rather marred by some drunken bogan Newcastle fans (“bogans" being chavs or rednecks... ‘douchebags’ works too). They didn’t seem to like our banner. We didn’t wave it often, but when we did, they threw chips and swore at us. Buddy E almost got into a fight with them. (We spent part of our drive back to Sydney discussing torture methods for bogans, natch)
- In happier news, we had an epic Mexican wave that took a few tries before it finally ignited and it went around the stadium several times. That was fun. <3

And now, onto the picspam!
All but one of the stadium photos are mine, and the rest of the photos (the nice ones) were taken by Buddy A (photographer extraordinaire) with a ridiculously awesome zoom lens. Credit to Buddy A!

(PLAY NICE, KIDS. I don’t know what your thoughts are about the recent World Cup bid stuff [concerning Landon], but that’s unrelated to this match, so please keep the comments wank-free. No hating on anyone. Or I will sic our koalas onto you. Yeah. Take that!)

Our awesome banner! Buddy A painted it, I’m so proud. :’)
(that’s my legs to the left under the banner, and that’s the awesome Buddy E holding the other side)
We don’t think Landon actually saw it. :( Buddy A and I even tweeted it to Landon’s twitter but he never replied. :( :( :( <\3

(Warning: there are about 60 photos under the cut, but they are a reasonable size. Hey, don’t give me that look, there were originally more than 240 photos ok. ;-;)

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Tyfyt! :D
And thanks L.A Galaxy for coming down! Hope your stay was awesome and hope our beer was good. :D