Monday, November 08, 2010

Says who?

Oh, yeah?!  Well, what about drinking beer and watching football and watching the Brazilian Grand Prix at the same time, huh?

I tell you, it's all go around here.


Hopfrog said...

Brilliant striking by Torres, where has he been? Didn't think Liverpool had a chance going in.

Was glad to see that Vettel didn't let Webber by which would have set up a more realistic challenge to Alonso. Sadly, I had to agree with Webber's post race statement that nowadays the race is often won in qualifying and the first turn. Brazil is probably my favorite track on the circuit and its a shame that strategy and driver tactics play less of a role in today's F1.

Froog said...

It's a nice return to form - after looking like a complete donkey for most of the last six months. You wonder if Torres isn't one of those players from classic British kids' comic stories who typically used to play like shit until half-time and then rediscover their 'talisman' - a set of "magic boots" or whatever, stolen or hidden by one of the opposing team - at half-time, and then singlehandedly retrieve a 5 or 6 goal deficit in the second 45 minutes. (This reference might pass you by, HF - I think 'Hurricane Hutch' was the prime example, but there were many others.... leading to the modern Viz parody 'Billy The Fish'!)

Chelsea definitely have their vulnerabilities. Without Lampard or Drogba they are a much less imposing team, and I suspect that they will - if not exactly implode - find their massive early lead rapidly eroded during the next third of the season. These days I root for the Arsenal, although I've been impressed by the football of Manchester City and Blackpool(!) as well this season.

Froog said...

Poor old Webber looked mighty pissed off at the after-race interview. I'm amazed there were no surreptitious team orders from Renault in that race. Maybe Vettel just refused to accept any? I would imagine that in the last race, at least in the latter stages, if Alonso is still running, they would expect him to let Webber through. You have to expect that, barring accidents or mechanical failures, it's going to be the same 1-2-3 in Bahrain. If Vettel wins and Alonso's third, Alonso wins the championship; if Webber wins and Alonso's third, Webber wins the championship - the team have got to want to win the driver's title as well as the constructors', surely?

It's a real pain that the sports bars here hardly ever play the commentary (or, if they do, it's too quiet to hear properly), and NEVER give you the pre- or post-race analysis.

Alonso has done amazingly well to even be in the hunt in a Ferrari which is obviously quite a bit slower than the Renaults. However, but for a few reckless mistakes, and some mechanical misfortunes (esp. for Vettel) Webber or Vettel could have had a comfortable lead by now. Vettel looks to have a clear edge in raw speed - at least in qualifying, maybe not so much during a race - but I would think Webber is a more well-rounded driver at the moment, and probably a more deserving champion this year (damn, that mistake at Suzuka is going to haunt him if he finishes second by one point!).

At this point, though, I think I'd have a little bet on Alonso.

Froog said...

Bahrain?! Abu Dhabi! It's all oil country, isn't it? I get confused...

Hopfrog said...

The comic book reference did pass me by, but I got the gist and a laugh.

I think Chelsea is a bit deeper. Anelka, Malouda, Cole, Terry.... seems more than just a two man show. I think they are fine without either Drogba or Lampard, but not both.

Arsenal are the only ones I see posing a real challenge. Man U is loaded with talent but I am sensing some chemistry problems that will cost them down the stretch. Man City, eh, when you name your star player as captain to help him 'feel the love' and he still needs to fly home and see his mommy, eh, I don't fancy their chances. I think the team lying in wait are the hotspurs. Garreth is looking like England's Messi. Showing real signs of brilliance that one. And after a dreadful start my Toffees are looking like they could make a steady climb up the charts.

Its a shame you can't get the F1 commentary. Here on the speed network we get to hear all the pertinent radio chatter and there were no team orders given that I heard. I think with Sebastian still being in the hunt it was only fair to let him give it a go. With regards to the pissed off look on Webber, I noticed it as well and one of the things I always find awkward in F1 is the podium ceremony, I don't know how many times I have watched a ceremony and felt uncomfortable knowing "oh gee, 1st place hates 3rd place, and 2nd place was taken out by 1st place two races ago, and now they are gonna spray each other with bubbly"... I think they should do it like we do in the states and just have a celebration for the winner.

Froog said...

Ah, but that 'soap opera' dimension of the podium celebration is most of the fun! And the post-race interviews are almost always more revealing for what is not said than for what is.

It's a real pain that Mr Bale chose to be Welsh (unhappy reminiscence of Mr Giggs' perverse choice of national orientation!): if he hadn't, I think we'd be playing him on the left side of midfield, and looking a much more frightening prospect in the international arena. Apparently he was so good even as a youngster that his PE teacher at school tried to make him play right-footed all the time, just to give the other kids a bit of a chance.

I would love to see the Arsenal come out on top this year, but I fear the squad's still just a bit too thin, especially up front - you can't rely on Chamakh or Bendtner, or even Van Persie, to get you heaps of goals. Fortunately, they get tons of goals from midfield. But they're rather too dependent on Cesc to make them tick; if he's injured or out of sorts, they start haemorrhaging points.

Hopfrog said...

Lol, yank mistake, that's a shame, England could use some young talent.

Froog said...

Well, easily done, HF. When I first noticed Bale a year or so ago, I assumed he was eligible for England and would soon be putting Ashley under pressure for the left-back spot. I was gutted to discover he'd decided to be Welsh.

The thing about Giggs that particularly broke English hearts was that he'd played international football for England at schoolboy level but then reverted to being Welsh as a teenager (after a rapprochement with his estranged Welsh father, I believe), just as he was breaking into the big time with Man Utd. England's international record through the later 90s and on into the noughties might have been a whole other story, if his dad hadn't come back into the picture.

Froog said...

I'm guilty of more than a few lapses myself lately. It was Korea rather than Japan where Webber managed to spin out on the opening lap, wasn't it?

I do find it really hard to remember things clearly if I haven't been able to hear them spoken about as I'm watching (or even, as often as not, to read much about them afterwards). It's one of the major problems of having to watch so much sport here without commentary or analysis.

I wonder if this is a common foible of human memory, or if I am especially afflicted by it because I'm such a 'verbal' person?

Froog said...

Presumably, with the supposed ban on 'team orders' now in place, and open access to the pit radios for the TV stations, any instructions to Vettel in the last race will have to be carefully coded... Sebastian, we're think you're getting low on fuel. Drive to conserve fuel..." That kind of thing.

Hopfrog said...

rofl, great example, but I didn't hear anything that sounded like veiled orders.

I'm just proud that, as an American, I can generally tell the difference in names of those from Scotland, Ireland, and England. The names from Wales always escape me though, I always think their English. As an Englishman are you able to readily identify Welsh names and is there a distinct Welsh accent? I spent many a year as a croupier here in Vegas and have dealt with all nationalities and could pretty readily tell the difference between many of the UK accents and eventually stopped assuming everyone from Australia was British and picked those out as well. The Scots were easy, if you couldn't understand a friggin word that was being said, they were generally Scottish.

Sadly, America is so ethnocentric and our school system has gone to such shat that I think if you pulled 100 people off the street at random, you might find 1 that could tell you the different factions that make up the UK.