The Groundsman’s Shed


G’bye Kids! by groundsman
July 6, 2008, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is my 101st post, and it’s just to say “Good bye!” 

Byebye!

Au Revior!

I started this blog to keep track of my articles and reviews for ESPN.com’s Soccernet, eventually expanding to mild analysis and poor punditry, all while making connections and forming online and “real life” friendships with some very amazing bloggers and journos around the world. 

I’m happy to announce that I’ve just accepted a job that allows me to basically do what I’ve been doing here– but for money.   I’m leaving the television news business, and going over to the international sports newsroom- and while it’s a big step, it will be a lot of fun.  Can’t tell you the network (and can’t continue the blog due to the nature of the job), but I’ll definitely be checking out the blogs in my Roll Call section regularly.

Thank you to those of you who have been along with me for the past few months- I’ve learned a lot about many of the people who watch football, love football, and live for football.   Thank you to those of you who contributed to the blog either through pictures, story ideas, notable quotables, ect.   You’ve made me a happy woman and a stronger supporter! 

Cheers,

TheShed

thegroundsmansshed@gmail.com



Germany v. Spain- “May the better looking team win!” by groundsman
June 29, 2008, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Fernando Torres

I’m currently watching the final at work, and I’ve instructed all of the women I work with to watch the match with interest.  After several minutes of silence, only broken by my own girlish screams when Spain scored, one woman said, “Hm, Spain’s players are a lot better looking than Germany’s.  I’m going for them.”

Sometimes, that’s what it’s all about.

In the meantime, it’s halftime of this cracking match which has already seen a bloody Ballack, and if you’d like a bit of company for the second half, please do go to This Is Extra Time, where there’s some live bloggery happening.

I didn’t have time to put in my grand predictions, but several people will vouch that I said Spain will register a 2-0 thumping on the day.



Grounds Clippings: Many Questions, a Few Good Answers by groundsman
May 2, 2008, 3:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

-How can the MLS become a world class league?  Quality starts from root to tip, so player development practices in the U.S. are on the armchair pundit’s list of grievances (and have been for some time now).  Sideline Views takes a look at some of the steps taken to get younger players involved in a higher level of training, and some of the challenges facing youth academies in this country.

In Argentina, the hunt is on for a  wealthy, ice throwing fan after a linesman was hit by a particularly large cube.  The incident happened at a recent Boca Juniors match.  I quite like the quote from the official which says a lot about the luxury seats at that ground:

 “‘We know it came from this area because you don’t find ice cubes of that size in other parts of the stadium.”

Somewhat Shameless Self Promo: This is my latest review of a tried and true footie book on ESPN.com.  Do check out some of the other (mine and others) reviews, and help make the section a bit more involved with your own contributions!

Andrea at Sideline Views says there’s a bit more to the story of a ticket office worker playing in an LA Galaxy reserve game because the team was shorthanded- and she also includes a response from Ruud Gullit.

-Feel a bit dirty buying FHM? … well, we’ll discuss that issue later, but in the meantime you can read STT’s breakdown of Theo Walcott’s WAG’s female-empowering interview, and a pic from her female-degrading photoshoot.



Manchester City: A Shining Example of Sporting Romanticism by groundsman

Sporting Fandom is a truly wonderous thing.

Before, during, and after World Cup 2006- Sven Goran Eriksson was burned in effigy ’round England because he was too “foreign” to manage the team, he didn’t “inspire the Golden Generation”, and despite a record as a good club manager and his ability to make something from a medicore group of overhyped pretty boys, he said to be the cause for the poor yet lucky showing by the England team during the World Cup competition

Let’s fast forward to 2008, where Eriksson is currently being held up as a martyr in the mold of Mourinho’s forced(?) exit from Chelsea, albeit even a bit more elegant and far more subdued.  It’s already gotten incredibly out of control.  The Manchester Evening News says 97% of Manchester City fans oppose Thaksin Shinawatra’s treatment of Eriksson, and the players are said to have planned a walk out in protest of the club owner’s decision to sack the Swede- but Sven calmly told them not to jeopardise their own careers.  

As a neutral in nearly every sense (I’m sorry, but it’s difficult to overlook Shinawatra’s appalling record as a person, much less a football club owner) I do feel bad for Eriksson getting the boot- but I felt far worse for Big Sam, or Lawrie Sanchez, who are blokes who may not see the Premiership (or the EPL’s level of money) for a long, long time.  Sven will be back, just as Mourinho will be back.  The fact that Noel Gallagher of Oasis was on the BBC, plaintively calling for Eriksson to remain, shows just how quickly things can go from the standard irrational backroom firing, to the hysterical black armband wearing frenzy that may be brewing.  The team captain could even pack his bags over this- though the fact that his contract is ending soon kind of takes the spice out of that statement- but believe me Joe Rudd, the press really enjoys your statement of support- if only because it adds to the air of impending doom.

[Photo: AP/Jon Super]