Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm Back!

It was a hectic weekend here in Erie, but one that I wouldn't mind living again. I posted early last week that I'd be taking a brief leave of absence to get situated at college, which is what I've been doing for the past few days.

Clearly I've missed a lot in the soccer world with the transfer deadline having come and gone and a whole round of fixtures played. I won't lie; I was only able to watch bits and pieces of a couple games so there won't be any analysis here of all the action -- my weekly All-Star Team will be back when the Premiership restarts after this international break.

The England national team returns to the limelight with its first two World Cup 2010 qualifying games, at Andorra on the 6th and at Croatia in nine days' time. I haven't agreed too often with the roster inclusions of manager Fabio Capello and that won't change with the 23-man squad he picked for these two games, but I was pleased to see him call up Fulham's talismanic midfielder, Jimmy Bullard. Bullard is presumably replacing Steven Gerrard, who will miss the next two weeks after having a minor groin operation. Where’s Peter Crouch? Where’s Darren Bent? Where’s Ashley Young? Theo Walcott?? Wayne Bridge?? Paul Robinson?? Please.

England absolutely has to beat Andorra, and I think anything they get in Croatia would be considered a bonus based on Croatia's talent and how well Slaven Bilić's team plays at home (Croatia is undefeated in competitive matches on home soil since 1994). I don't see that record changing, though England may able to squeak out a draw in this game.

It's good to be back, obviously. College has been great so far but nothing really compares to the beautiful game. I'll be going back to a regular posting schedule from this point forward (hopefully).

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