When there’s just too much.
FIFA has squashed one-time FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam like a bug. He’s resigned from football governance and, in the words of their press release, which notably doesn’t offer much in the way of background, “will never be active in organised football again.” This all references this business, in case you were wondering.
Some analytics business here: Infostrada’s Simon Gleave makes the pretty reasonable case that Chelsea are definitively, for all time, out of the 2012-13 Premier League title race:
The reality is that Chelsea needed to improve their 2011/2012 points total by at least 21 this season to have any chance of lifting the Premier League trophy. The last nine Premier League titles have all been won by clubs getting 85 points or more and there is no reason to think that this season will need fewer points than that, particularly as a total of 85 would be four fewer than last season as it is. Such a turnaround in points has not happened at all in the Premier League era. The last title winners to increase their points total by so many was Arsenal in 1990/1991 (+21).
Newcastle cancelled their Christmas party because they suck. Writes the Daily Mail:
The Magpies’ 3-1 home defeat by champions Manchester City at the weekend was their sixth in seven Barclays Premier League outings, and they head into Saturday’s clash with QPR in desperate need of three points.
As a result, the players’ customary celebration – they have travelled to Dublin and Glasgow as a group in recent years – has been called off.
I’ve never understood this. Couldn’t a Christmas party be a way to make players relax, feel a little more at home, enjoy themselves a bit? Couldn’t there have been prizes for charity, or something? Aren’t parties a way you shore up your team and give everyone a morale boost?
I suppose the fear would be all the players spilling out into the street wrecked out of their minds fueling tabloid garbage, but then you punish the players by providing non-alcoholic eggnog, flavoured with hot sauce or something. Come on, I don’t even work in HR and I know how this works.
Leonardo Bonucci dived for Juventus, very, very poorly. So poorly some adventurous soul was moved to make this video:
Finally, in Major League Soccer news, Juninho—the one who played for Lyon until 2009, and most recently with Vasco da Gama—has signed for the New York Red Bulls. The good news for MLS haters is he isn’t a DP, which would have been a minor (very, very minor) PR fiasco. The dude’s 38 years old, man, which is why NYRB is really underlining how he’s a dead ball specialist. He scored 11 goals in 50 appearances, so, yeah. It was Brazil, I guess?