Football // Soccer

The perennial debate! This time in Australia. The answer, is right there on the post.

Personally, I prefer “football”, but find myself using the “soccer” in my conversations more often than not. Old habits die hard. Whether you call it “soccer”, “football”, “kicky-kicky-round-thing”, or “wogball” this is a debate that looks likely to continue.

Read. Here.

To add, this is something I’d like to go and check. I loved ‘Football / Soccer with the Enemy’, it’s one of my favourite football books. I bought it int he US, so my copy is the ‘Soccer with the Enemy’ copy. Will have to go and check – didn’t notice while I was reading, honestly.

Which cannot be said of some other books. I own an American copy of Simon Kuper’s Soccer Against the Enemy. The word “football” has been cleansed from the book, autocorrected to “soccer” by the editors.

Even when Kuper is writing about American football – as in gridiron – his words have been changed to “American soccer”, which is just downright confusing. Taking the silliness to another level, Cameroon is described as “the most successful soccering nation in Africa”, surely one of the greatest grammar crimes in sports writing ever.

Whoa! Funny.

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US Open ’08

If it goes according to plan, Dinara, Venus, Dementieva, Jankovic will be the semi-final line up. And that would have been my prediction before the tournament started.

And now, it goes funny. Who will win? Form says Safina, logic says Jankovic, common sense says Venus, and the heart says Dementieva. Would not really mind if any of the four win, I like them all… but would really lke the bridesmaid stage for Dementieva to end.

And of course, there is Serena to put a spanner in the works. If she beats Venus, and if she is really in the mood, she can brush aside the opposition and win in a canter.

Question, how good, really, is Juan Martin Del Potro? An Argentine who prefers the hard courts to dirt? That’s new. Oh, and super name! Same with Kei Nishikori, who he beat in the roud of 16. Hmm, well, I don’t know really. Maybe either names are as plain as , say, James blake, in their respective countries.

If not now, then when, for Andy Murray? he faces Del Potro.

If not now, then when, for Mardy Fish? Really like the guy, and he has got real game for a journyman. But then, alas, he faces Nadal.

Can Nole face the power of Roddick, who, it seems, is back? If I were a betting man, I would have put in a few quid for Roddick in that match.

And really, the journeyman of all journeymen, Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, is in the quarters. He actually managed to beat Davydenko. But then, all that he has is a big serve. And that will surely not be good eough to beat Federer.

Who will win? Nadal, if he is not too tired by the end of it all. Else … tough to say. Let’s see. My listing is Murray Federer Roddick. But you never know about Federer. His aura is gone. The lower ranked players don’t mind having a go at him these days, in the hope of an upset. Nadal, I’m sure thinks that he is beatable five times out of five… but how about Roddick? He has eternally been in Federer’s shadow… can he really believe? I doubt it. And let’s not forget, Federer is still a very, very good player.

Jerk off…

andy gray

Andy Gray is not pathetic as a commentator, but as the days progress, his complete inability to pronounce any name more difficult than, say Semak or Lahm, is getting extremely irritating…

Bilyaletdinov? Forget it.

Arshavin? A whole nation will pronounce it as Ashravin….

Xavi? Sczjhavee!

And disastrously, Zhirkov.

(p.s. Julie Foudy isn’t great, but isn’t bad either. Derek Rae is good, and that Scot guy Smyth, why does he go threatening people?)

The two best names in men’s tennis

1. Stanislas Wawrinka! And what a fascinating nickname too… ‘The Swiss who loses’! Well he is in the top 10, so he does not lose often for sure….

2. Ernests Gulbis! Two plurals in the same name? And from Latvia too!

And both are doing surprisingly well in the red clay of the Roland Garros…

(p.s. Paul-Henri Matthieu comes in third, if for anything, the way the name is pronounced. Puu-Onri-Ma-too… Hmm, the French!)