Barcelona has become the measure of success these days, it seems. Football clubs want to emulate them. After all, half the Spanish team that won the World Cup seems to play for them. And almost every one of those clubs secretly dreams of having Pep Guardiola as their gaffer. Jose Mourinho may be the Chosen One. But given a choice between the two, Pep would be the one that most would actually choose. If England weren’t so hard-assed set on having an “English-Man” as their new gaffer ((Code word for Old White Guy Who Recently Dodged A Tax Evasion Charge )) to replace the recently deposed Fabio Capello, I’m quite sure they would offer the gig to Pep and pay whatever is on the tab ((after, they DID pay Fabio Capello 6.5 mill for a whole lot of nothing)). What’s a few million quid more if it gets England a little further along by the time Brazil 2014 rolls along.
So Barcelona it is then. Well…next up anyway for F1 which just completed it’s first round of 4 day testing at Circuit de Jerez. The new cars, well…there’s work to be done despite some dashing speeds. As expected, the set-ups for the new designs will need some tweaking before the cars take the track in Barcelona for the 2nd round of 4 day testing on Feb 21st. But a nice glass of sherry for one and all. And a toast to the return of Kimi Raikonnen. The prodigal son has returned.
And he owes it all to NASCAR!!
As some of you may recall, Kimi Raikonnen showed up at KBM (that’s Kyle Bush Motorsports for you Canary Fans over in Norwich UK who, like me, are celebrating our 2-3 trompage of Swansea today) with cash, a sponsor, and basically told Kyle, “Son…I’ll be drivin’ that truck over there for awhile.” Well…Kimi put it bit more eloquently than that. But that was the gist of it. Having raced in World Rally Championship after F1 slammed the doorknob in his ass, he had no false illusions that the Camping World Truck series would be anything like F1. He knew better, and in the process of acquitting himself with a certain style, he discovered something he’d been missing.
The contact, the banging that’s part and parcel of NASCAR reminded him how much he missed the visceral and direct physical competition with other drivers. NASCAR and Kyle Busch brought that back for him, and with that, the dice were cast for his return to Formula 1. He is now the lead driver for Lotus. This was the Renault team for the last several seasons, not to be confused with the Lotus Renault team of Heiki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli who are now the Caterham Team this season. Renault sold out at the end of last season….a season to forget for them as lead driver Robert Kubica was out all season with an injury suffered in a rally crash. Kubica is still out for awhile this season recovering from his injuries and Lotus test driver Romain Grosjean will drive the second car.
Not taking anything away from Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso. Not to slight the mighty talents of Jenson Button and Mark Webber. But Kimi Raikonnen’s return to F1 should give Sebastian Vettel a bit of pause. He might be glancing in his rear-view mirror a bit more, metaphorically speaking.
“The Iceman is fuckin’ coming for ya, Son.”
Everton 2 Chelsea 0
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1
Well I’d be remiss if I didn’t find some cliched metaphor to sum up this morning’s matches. So from top to bottom we have…wait for it……drumroll please……The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. *ba-DING!*
Norwich, thanks to a brace by Grant Holt, became only the second to beat Swansea in their house this season. If the new gaffer for England doesn’t tap Grant Holt for the squad, it would be a shame…as the England squad needs players who actually give a fuck. Grant Holt does. And I will give props ((there’s another cliche for y’all keeping score in frigid Barneveld Wisconsin this Saturday)) to Swansea’s Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair…two other lads who give ya their best. A lot of EPL teams could learn a thing or two from Norwich and Swansea. Neither one needs the keys to Barcelona, that’s for sure.
Chelsea, thanks to stupid and indifferent play, became the 2nd of the top 4….no scratch that, top 5 now, to be taken down by Everton at Goodison Park. I’m too numb and disgusted to be even pig-biting mad about this one. If ever a team needed the keys to Barcelona, the Blues surely do. But I’m not sure they would quite know what to do with those keys. A team that bases it’s attack off Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa from the wing is doomed. As much as I disdain Man U, their attacks on the wing came from their mid-fielders, Giggs and Valencia. Where the fuck were Chelsea’s mid-fielders? Where the fuck were they?
And as for the ManU/Liverpool hate fest, well it started off with Suarez refusing Evra’s handshake, Ferdinand then refusing to shake Suarez’s hand, and 25 seconds after the kickoff, Suarez chases a loose ball and in the process takes out both Evra and Ferdinand. At halftime, there was a fight in the tunnel, and at end of the match, Evra got the crowd wound up but also strayed towards the path of a despondent Luis Suarez and tried to get him wound up. Evra was restrained on the pitch until Suarez was down the tunnel and into the dressing room. After the match, both Sir Alex and King Kenny were full of blather. Ugliness all round. The only thing that would have made this even better, that is, even more ugly, would have been if Suarez gotten the late equalizer which he came almost dangerously close to doing, despite how shite Liverpool played the second half.
Hmm. Maybe Barcelona should be handed the keys to Barcelona before today’s tilt. Not the result one would have expected. Of course, Pep kept Iniesta and Xavi on the bench, with a Champions League tie with Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday looming. So it’s understandable on a certain level. But it sort of takes the bloom of the rose ((*sound the cliche warning*)) for the sake of my argument here. Barcelona wants to field their strongest squad for the trip to Leverkusen so they can get valuable away goals. I know that…but geez, just when I showcase them for metaphorical effect, they have to go a lose to facking Osasuna. Dammit all anyway.
So let’s see what we actually determined here:
F1 introduces new cars and outlaws blow diffusers.
Kimi Raikonnen will win the F1 championship this season IF Lotus can come within striking distance of living up to the Lotus name of old.
Chelsea will not qualify for Europe next year if they keep playing the way they do. Norwich City will if they keep playing they way they do.
Patrice Evra, Luis Suarez, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson, and King Kenny Dalglish can all go bite the bag.
If Sebastian Vettel does not win the F1 Championship this season, he can very easily blame it on Kyle Busch. in fact, everything should be blamed on Kyle Busch from here on out. The john Terry Racism Scandal. Fabio Capello’s failure as the England coach. Andre Villas-Boas’ apparent failure as Chelsea’s coach. The Packer’s loss to the Ginats in the playoffs. It was all Kyle Busch’s fault.
I think that just about covers it.
As for me, I don’t need the keys to Barcelona, I just need a cold beer. I’ll be down at the pub in 15 minutes. I’ll buy you one if you care to join me.