Sunday, October 23, 2011

Numbers 18-20, with Three Bullets

PART ONE: Comic Sans

Who will go down and why. EPL-wise. I have no stake in predicting blowjobs. Nor can I really guess at who will jump up from The Championship. Southampton seems to be rocking it. West Ham? Palace? Celtic? Either way, here are my thoughts on the early-season relegation candidates, set to Public Enemy. Hair is a big factor.

BOLTON: They suck. With Holden and Lee effectively Long John Silver-ed, they have nothing. Who can get the ball to Kevin Davies? Elmander found plenty of opportunities to patchy-beard it across the box but now that he's in Turkey that job is... whose?

BLACKBURN: Blackburn's goals are scored by either a) Arsenal defenders or b) no one. I hope they have the grace to sell the cast-iron Samba to Spurs in the winter. Salgado and Givet do have fun hair, though, and the latter is just built like a stack of encyclopedias. Goodwillie may put in a few but not enough.

WIGAN: Not winning ever makes it difficult to, uh, win. Rodallega's pig-tails become increasingly lonely, and will eventually freeze during the bitter December fixtures. If they all played in suits as nice as their manager's I'd give them more of a chance.

NEWCASTLE: Newcastle are doing really well. They will not go down. They have also become stupidly boring. Pardew has accurately grasped the realities of how to stay up, and this is predicated on a style of play miles away from the Entertainers of the 1990s, not to mention the combustible temperaments of the now-departed Barton and Andy "Glug Glug SPLAT" Carroll. But what's the point? I can see how staying up trumps being boring as shit, but that doesn't mean I'm going to watch Tiote and Peanut-head Obertan prove their functionality for 90 flairless minutes a week. In a few years their stolid, oatmeal-y ethos will put them where Wolves are now.

WOLVES: Jarvis seems to get taken off a bunch. They were only able to salvage a draw hosting Swansea because of Brendan Rogers's suicidal introduction of Wayne Routledge. Routledge, nominally a forward, hasn't scored a top-flight goal in something like 100 games. Why don't they just put Tony Hibbert up front? That's like if I were a plumber and on every job nothing was fixed and people kept hiring me. But I've got a great personality? With Fletcher and Doyle up front, Jarvis scurrying up the flank and O'Hara being bald in the middle Wolves have some decent, in less-than-creative, attacking options. But you can hear the creaking of the old chair that powers their counter-attack, such as it is, and unless Elokobi's massive biceps can provide total cover for their solid lesbian goalkeeper Wayne "Blame It on the" Hennessey their backline looks eminently penetrable. And I don't think they even kick dudes that much anymore. Did Karl Henry find a better gig doing census work or something?

SWANSEA: We've dealt with the Routledge situation above, so let's focus on the Swans' defense. It seems good! They're a team of small men, except Ashley Williams, who may not actually be that tall but looks it. Sinclair is lively but possesses a classic Derek Zoolander "can't go left" problem and Graham isn't up to providing enough top-flight goals. Thumbs up on the boring kits, though. Were Fulham's just too lively? They have the worst chance of the promoted sides to remain up top, but I hope they do and Cardiff comes up so we'll get to see a Welsh derby with lots of silent Ws or whatever.

SUNDERLAND: They can beat the shittier sides but absolutely capitulate in the face of a real challenge. The loss of Gyan was perplexing as well as extremely problematic, leaving the goal-getting duties to Slick Nick Bendtner, a kid who was on Ipswich last year and the equally unproven Ji Dong-Won. Relying on Seba Larsson's scissor-kick skills qualifies as "inadvisable" and how long will Manchester United's ancient castaway defenders last? They've spent a bunch of cash and will be obviously handed a medal for doing so, but I don't see a top-half finish.

QPR: QPR's ground has the personality of a small shovel, and not even a garden trowel that's seen some shit. Why play there? A short list of preferable alternatives: the vacant lot at the end of my street, a toothpaste factory, a mostly-empty swimming pool, on top of my roommate's infernal ukelele, some kind of ladder store. The men who play at their current ground, which I refer to as "The Crap Factory", are probably fine, if largely unspectacular. Barton will likely find himself involved in numerous spitting incidents and Taraabt's fun juggling-and-then-taking-a-dump routing should entertain fans of double vowels, should he decide to stay in West London. DJ Campbell scored a fair amount for Blackpool last season and his neck tats are very becoming.

ARSENAL: RvP has been among the goals, but how long until his body remembers he's Robin van Persie and completely shuts down? Who will score in his absence? Heck, who will play fucking forward in his absence? I see a very charming 4-6-0 formation in the works. I found Chamakh fairly credible in the first half of last season but maybe he ran out of gross hair-glue that gives everyone nightmares 'cause he just stopped being in the team entirely. Gervinho’s movement is slick but he’s incapable of things like passing and shooting. Their defense has certainly tightened, depriving the viewer of hilarious backline mishaps and epic miscommunications between twink Szczesny and irritable power bottom Koscielny. I guess they'll be stupid and stay up but in the bastardy table they'd be propping up the entire Football League.

ASTON VILLA: Everyone wishes. About as interesting as an old plate, except that the plate costs a ridiculous amount of money. They're in the same boat as Sunderland in terms of the expenditure-to-results ratio, though Richard Dunne's fondness for running into things is pretty cool. N'Zogbia has certainly underperformed in taking over for Stewart Downing and they'd do well to give more playing time to the beaky Mark Albrighton. They've helped out Spurs quite a bit by taking Jenas and Hutton off our hands. Who's running their operation, Ed Wade? Given is still a high-quality keeper but the unyielding torpor of Emile Heskey will at least prevent a top-half finish.

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