Archive for November 10th, 2007

MISN – Winter Lachine 07-08 game 4 (vs. McKibbins Pub)

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Ricard, unofficial sponsor of MISN Impossible

MISN? What’s this?

Hello MISN,

On Saturday November 10th we played game nº4 of the Winter 2007-08 Lachine indoor league, vs. McKibbins Pub.

After a great start (6 points in 2 games), our season had come to a brutal halt with last week’s 2-3 defeat against El Ahly (Caffè Sorrento). If we we meant to have any serious contention at the champions title in Division 2, we rapidly needed to get back on track. Unfortunately as is often customary in difficult times, bad luck started to fu** with MISN.

Our opponents for the day were McKibbins Pub, which coincidentally was composed of the same players that Marco and Bruno played with over the summer in the Industrial league (ex-Procaps, ex-MyWebber). Their summer (outdoor) season had been close to catastrophic, their team lacking cohesion, team spirit, and teamwork. Indoor’s a whole different ball game though, a sour truth that our MISN players would have to swallow today.


Attendance-wise, once again MISN had a few problems, especially due to some last-minute cancellations (guys, time to stop with that BS please). Eric had some schoolwork to take care of, Santi and Bardia were N/A, and Kevin was away to Toronto. Also, two of what we thought would be regular strikers (Saad and Jonny) will probably be missing out the rest of the season (Jonny said he’s not interested in playing in Lachine anymore, and Saad has disappeared into thin air). Not cool.

To help us out this week, we enlisted the emergency services of Abbes. Danny was also back to play.

1) Absent long-term: Can, Ludo
2) Injured long-term: Tevin, Alex
3) N/A this week: Kevin, Eric, Bardia, Santi

Here was our line-up:

Abbes / Marco

We started the game in the worst possible way: by being late. A variety of factors combined for this one, so bear with me. First, yours truly had some trouble waking up which delayed the car pick up by at least 10 minutes. Then to make matters worse, we decided to take the 720 highway to feed into the 20, but the entrance was blocked. Stuck in traffic, we ended up taking a long detour, getting lost on the way, missing a few exits, and basically wasting a sh**load of time. Meanwhile, our other car (with Nafee, Abbes, and Jon) had fortunately taken a different route (the one Bus 191 usually takes, avoiding the 720) and thus avoided the detour. Still, they were 10 minutes late, which meant that as per Lachine Indoor rules we automatically started the game with a 0-2 scoreline. By the time our 2nd car arrived (Tevin, Marco, Güven, and Danny), our opponents had scored another goal to bring us to 0-3. Not the best way to start.

With a lot of courage, we finally had a full team on the field and worked towards getting those goals back. McKibbins didn’t make things easy however: contrary to their summer roster, these guys had a lot of energy and pace to give out on the field, and sure meant business. Combining with fast 1-2 touches, they created many problems to the MISN defense, and the fact none of us had time to warm up properly and get organized certainly wasn’t helping.

guven_goal_mckibbins.jpgStill, we managed to pull one back about 20 minutes into the game. Marco took a kick-in close to the right corner, and waited for Güven to make a run in the box. Controlling the ball, our Turkish striker slammed a low shot past the keeper to turn the score to 1-3! 

It wasn’t our day though. Our opponents were operating with fast counters thanks to their speedy strikers (their nº10 notably), overlapping well to create space. Their finishing left a little to be desired, but danger was constantly lurking close to Jan’s goal. Minutes before half-time, McKibbins obtained a free-kick close to the box, and one of their strikers sent a precise inswinging shot to the far post, where Jan couldn’t reach. 1-4.

In the 2nd half, we continued our attempts at approaching the net, but there was no velocity in our game. A combination of bad passes and good defensive interceptions from our opponents sent most of our chances down the drain, and even on set pieces our efficiency left a lot to be desired (efforts by Jon, Nafee or Danny being blocked by the wall or sent wide). The few times we took our time on free-kicks in order to spot a dangerous run from a teammate, we managed to create some chances. However, the ensuing shot were either parried away or off target.

Overall, there were really only two good chances in which we could have scored. The first, on a mis-judged defensive pass by the McKibbins keeper, intercepted by Marco who then tried to feed the ball to Güven for the tap-in, but Marco’s pass didn’t have enough power and the chance went begging. The second, late into the 2nd half, in which the ball took a serious of deflections inside the McKibbins box, and despite the repeated attempts of Güven and Bruno to slam it in, refused to cross the line for a goal. Obviously not enough to get the 3 points today.

Our opponents even had a few close chances of their own, sending the ball off the woodwork on 2-3 separate occasions, before our defense had the chance to clear. At the end of the day, we lost the game 1-2 on the field, to which the initial 0-2 scoreline has to be added. 1-4 final score.


1-4 final score


Yellow cards:


Another bad game guys. Aside from the pre-match logistical problems, we didn’t play well today. We rushed our passes, our movement on the field was insufficient, and our opponents generally played better. Despite that, and looking back at our summer season as well, many of the poor matches we played have a common factor: lack of preparation. One of these days, I’d really like to see everyone of us get to the field 15-20 minutes early, and warm up + stretch properly. I think many of us are underestimating how much preparation (both physical and psychological) can affect a game: today we were physically unprepared (no warm-up time) and psychologically, our morale took an early hit (starting from a 0-2 scoreline).

Today, the highway construction was an unexpected event, and eventually the reason why we were late. However, over the past year we have made it a general (bad) habit to get to the game only 5-10 minutes before kick-off (at best!), and personally, considering the way we’re currently playing, that is way too late. When things are bad everyone needs to make an effort to improve on our next performance, let’s start with proper match prep. Also, if you say you’re going to come to the game (you know who you are), please don’t pull a ‘last-minute cancellation’ stunt anymore. Otherwise we end up (like today) with only one substitute (and no time to call others), which is way NOT cool.

Cya next week.


2007 ‘Rich List’: Richest Players & Club Owners of English Premiership Soccer

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

The Four Four Two page with the 2007 ‘Rich List’

Note: This is the same article I published on, which you can find here.

Yes, I’ve said it before: it’s ‘Top 100 Ranking’ time. Fresh of publishing their Top 100 footballers list last month, English magazine FourFourTwo just released their a list of the Richest players and club owners of the English Premiership, sort of a “2007′s Billionaire’s club” if you will. As the editors eloquently put it, the key message of this year is that “British football is getting richer, and the rich are getting richer“.

The most striking particularity of this list, is not so much the fact that the football business is growing every year (as can be expected), but rather the abyss that separates the earnings of players from those of club owners. Indeed, if it is true some of the players’ salaries can sometimes reach astronomical values (“obscene”, as UK Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe defined them), they absolutely pale in comparison to those of the people writing the paychecks. Indeed, the first player in the Top 100 list (David Beckham of course) is only 45th with a fortune of £112m (€160m), divided with co-branding wife icon Posh Spice. Peanuts in comparison to the £10.8b (€15.4b) in the personal fortune of Roman “Scrooge McDuck” Abramovich, patron of Chelsea. Not only that, but only FOURTEEN players make the Top 100.

Club owners

According to FourFourTwo, investors with a staggering combined value of over £11 billion have become involved in British football for the first time over the last 12 months. Half of the top ten in the Rich List are newcomers to football, and reinforce the attraction of the English Premiership to multi-millionaire businessmen. Also, 8 of them qualify as BILLIONAIRES.

Aside from Abramovich, the newcomers are headed by another Russian, Alisher Usmanov, whose personal fortune is said to be £2.76b and F1 Racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone, said to be worth £2.5b and who took over struggling QPR with Renault team boss Flavio Briatore. Other new entries are Mike Ashley at Newcastle United, Stanley Kroenke at Arsenal, and Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft who bought 42% of Watford.

Other high-profile new entries include Thaksin Shinawatra (16th), who has taken over Manchester City and has a personal fortune of £640m and said to be the 18th richest man in South East Asia, as well as American Tom Hicks (21st), who took over Liverpool with his friend George Gillett (31st), and has a fortune of £500m. The pair bought the Anfield club in a £220m deal pledging a new stadium at Stanley Park.

New TOP 10:

1 Roman Abramovich, age 41 Roman Abramovich Chelsea £10.80b
2 The secretive Joe Lewis hasn’t been photographed very much Joe Lewis Tottenham £2.80b
3 Alisher Usmanov, age 54 Alisher Usmanov Arsenal £2.76b
4 Bernie Ecclestone, age 77 Bernie Ecclestone QPR £2.50b
5 Mike Ashley Mike Ashley Newcastle £1.60b
6 Dermot Desmond, age 57 Dermot Desmond Celtic £1.60b
7 Malcolm Glazer, age 79 Malcolm Glazer Man Utd £1.25b
8 E. Stanley Kroenke, age 60 Stanley Kroenke Arsenal £1.20b
9 Trevor Hemmings Trevor Hemmings Preston N.E. £980m
10 Lord Michael Ashcroft, age 61 Lord Ashcroft Watford £950m

Top 10 New Entries:

Alisher Usmanov Arsenal nº3 £2.76b
Bernie Ecclestone QPR nº4 £2.50b
Mike Ashley Newcastle nº5 £1.60b
Stanley Kroenke Arsenal nº8 £1.20b
Lord Ashcroft Watford nº10 £950m
Michael Spencer Ipswich nº11 £850m
Thaksin Shinawatra Man City nº16 £640m
Bjorgolfor Gudmundsson West Ham nº18 £593m
Tom Hicks Liverpool nº21 £500m
Lord Harris Arsenal nº27 £300m



Two new players on the list are Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (96th) with a £14m fortune and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo (100th), who props up the list with a bank balance of £12.25m.

Top 10 Players:

. Player Age Club Fortune
1 David Beckham, age 32 David Beckham 32 LA Galaxy £112m
2 Michael Owen, age 27 Michael Owen 27 Newcastle £37m
3 Robbie Fowler, age 32 Robbie Fowler 32 Cardiff City £30m
4 Wayne Rooney, age 22 Wayne Rooney 22 Man Utd £30m
5 Sol Campbell, age 33 Sol Campbell 33 Portsmouth £28m
6 Andriy Shevchenko, age 31 Andriy Shevchenko 31 Chelsea £25m
6 Rio Ferdinand, age 29 Rio Ferdinand 29 Man Utd £25m
8 Ryan Giggs, age 33 Ryan Giggs 33 Man Utd £23m
9 Michael Ballack, age 31 Michael Ballack 31 Chelsea £18m
10 Steven Gerrard, age 27 Steven Gerrard 27 Liverpool £15m

FourFourTwo Editor, Hugh Sleight commented: “Our list shows what a magnet the British Premiership and even clubs outside the Premiership have become to wealthy foreign businessmen. It remains a mystery why British businessmen do not seem as interested in investing in our clubs. While there is a current debate about the wages of players being too high this list proves beyond doubt that there is buckets full of money floating about in football and you have to spend big money to get the best and stand a chance of winning trophies.

My question to you is the following: are we right in defining these large sums of money “obscene” (as labeled by the UK Sports Minister), or in the end are we just a teeny bit jealous?

For those of you interested in the subject, you might want to take a look at my 2007-08 Player Salaries of Serie A article.