Cool Brew: Schneiderlin and Carvalho still drip drip drip

Here in Tacoma the temperatures have finally reached 33 degrees and like a famous painting by Dali everything here is lobster telephone.

For those of you who are like me and addicted to coffee this time of year you have very few options to get your fix while also staying cool. And by cool, I mean both temperature and also cool in the same way that Snoopy became Joe Cool.

To be really cool take four cups of filtered water, pour it over 1 cup of ground coffee (medium course grind) and let that steep in the fridge overnight. Yes, today you will have to drink hot coffee or maybe iced coffee with a little simple syrup but please don’t stoop to getting an ice cream sundae coffee from Starbucks. But tomorrow, you will have liquid delicious.

The next day you simply filter your cold brew coffee, I like to use just a sieve because I like cowboy coffee (it has grit in the bottom) but if you’re more refined take a coffee filter or butter muslin and pour the brew through there.

Make sure you serve the cold brew over ice, because this stuff is very strong. Also, make sure you bring your spirit guide and know your dosage, I don’t want to be held liable for you ingesting too much caffeine and having a bad trip.

At this point, I was going to transition into a post about the dangers of the transfer market and how fans want players who are then busts (see: Liverpool offloading 11 players this morning, how many of them did you want at Arsenal; see Tottenham offloading 10 players this morning, how many of them did you want at Arsenal?). But I discovered something in my research that made me pause and I have to go ask some questions.

Since that will be a bit of an unsatisfying way to end this blog, let me leave you with this: I read the headlines about Schneiderlin and Carvalho this morning with interest.

The Schneiderlin one is that Southampton want United and Morgan to finalize the deal but that something is stalling. Rumor has it that United’s offer was short of what Southampton wanted but the thing that haunts me here is that I know Schneiderlin is keener to move to Arsenal than to United — I know because Phillipe Auclaire said so — the problem with Schneiderlin isn’t the player, it’s his agents.

So, when I read on ESPN that the Schneiderlin to United deal has stalled a tiny part of me is fantasizing that Morgan is telling his agents to work things out with Arsenal. It’s probably not the case, but I can dream.

I dream because Arsenal haven’t stolen a transfer from under United’s noses since the Aaron Ramsey deal fell through. And because I really like Schneiderlin.

As for the Carvalho story, I read that Arsenal made £20m bid for Carvalho this morning. It’s from an unreliable source so I don’t believe it. However, I do have some information on the Carvalho link which I can share.

I have, for a while, felt like the Carvalho interest was agent generated but after a conversation with someone named Sport Witness on twitter, I feel like maybe Arsenal have been interested for a few years.

Apparently in Portugal, scouts apply for match tickets in much the same way the press do. Thus, they have to register their names with the clubs and clubs, in turn, publish this information. In other words it’s easy to confirm that X scout from Y club went to Z match. And according to the clubs, Arsenal have been to a lot of the Sporting Lisbon matches over the last two years. Arsenal don’t do as much scouting in Portugal as they do in other places, so apparently, when we do, there are a lot of people who take notice.

They could be watching someone else, or they could be watching everyone and just looking for talent. They could also be looking to confirm that Carvalho is worth the price.

Personally, I still have reservations about this deal and I think Arsenal do as well. It could just be simply a matter of trying to ensure that the price they pay matches the value but it seems to me that Carvalho is not really high on Wenger’s list.

While he’s been scouting Carvalho, Wenger has made bids for Gustavo and Schneiderlin. Perhaps Carvalho is just as good as Wenger’s first choice, but that seems unlikely. And historically, Wenger won’t just bid for bodies to fill imaginary roster spaces — no matter how many times people beg him to buy Shane Long because he’s better than Sanogo.

But hey, I was wrong about Cech (I still can’t believe that Chelsea let him go to Arsenal) so, I guess that means Arsenal are signing Carvalho on Monday. You heard it here first! World Exclusive!

That’s all for today, it’s a slow day. Hope you get to go outside and enjoy the summer before football comes back next month and ruins everything for us again.


What Hollywood needs is a quota system like the Football Association, to keep the Canadians out

By Tim Todd, Real American

Happy first of July. Did you know that on any given day there is an official holiday? Yep, so, like today is American Zoo Day, Balloon Animal Day, Second Half of the New Year Day, and probably the most obscure “Canada Day.”

What is Canada Day? It’s the one day of the year when Canadian actors make their annual migration to Hollywood and take away jobs from real Americans.  Do you know how many Canadians that have made this trip? It’s a pretty incredible list: Dan Aykroid, Justin Beiber, Jim Carrey, Michael Cera, Rae Dawn Chong, Cpt. Kirk — Kirk was such a fraud that he even gave a great speech about “We the People” on Star Trek convincing many young, impressionable minds such as my own, that he was, in fact, a USA American, but he isn’t… he was born in some French sounding place in Montreal —  Michael J. Fox, Donald Sutherland, Seth Rogan, Natasha Henstridge, Eugene Levy (he was the star of the movie “American Pie”, what is more American than American Pie???), the list is almost endless.

The tricky thing about Canadians, or “ice backs” as Garrison Keillor once called them, is that they look and sound just like USA Americans. And they are really good at acting like real Americans. Michael J. Fox even played a convincing Reganite Republican in his very first role on TV. So, when they cross our border, our ICE agents have a hard time sussing them out. Well, to be fair, USA customs agents are terrible at stopping things coming through our borders: when Homeland Security tested itself, it failed to detect 95% of the weapons that undercover agents smuggled onto planes.

I digress. Today is Canada Day and I think something needs to be done to protect America’s last real homegrown industry: entertainment. If we’re not careful, these Canadians might even take over our reality television and that would be the most boring thing to happen since The View.

Now there are some interesting ideas floating around in the world today, for example, The Donald wants to make Mexico pay to build a wall between American and Mexico, but I don’t think a wall is going to work for us to keep the Canucks out, because we still need that Alaskan pipeline between Sarah Palin and the United States. The Palins are having another bastard child and I can’t miss out on the reality television broadcast of the naming of that little brat: my guess is that they’ll name it Jailin, Jailin Palin.

No, I think quotas. Affirmative Action for American actors. That’s the way to go forward. The English Football Association has been doing quotas over there and it has worked so well that they want to do MORE quotas!

Yeah, the FA wrote this “homegrown” rule, which sounds a lot like a legalization of marijuana thing, but it’s not. The homegrown rule simply states that teams can only have 25 players and 8 slots have to be for players who were trained by an English team for three years before their 21st birthday. It’s worked so well that Manchester City have THREE homegrown players: English national team ‘keeper Joe Hart, 37 year old third string ‘keeper Richard Wright (not to be confused with the author of Black Boy, though they are about the same age), and French international fullback Gael Clichy.

Morgan Schneiderlin, an Alsacian, is counted as homegrown and that only boosts his transfer value! Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong was born in Cameroon, but he counts as a homegrowner. Another Frenchman, Francis Coquelin and his Welsh buddy Aaron Ramsey joined his Polish teammate Wojciech Szczesny in the homegrown group.

And Chelsea FC are another team that really hit the Homegrown rule, they have three players as well, aging racist and former captain of the English national team John Terry, his buddy Gary Cahill, and Spanish World Cup winner Francesc Soler Fabregas.

Yep, this homegrown rule has been a rousing success — it’s been so good that they want to increase the number to 12! Man City will have to find twelve 37 year old goalkeepers to keep on their roster — and that’s how England is going to win the World Cup!

That’s why on this Canada Day, I’m announcing that I am running as a Republican for President of the United States of America! My only promise to the USA Americans is to make a quota system for Hollywood: all Hollywood movies must have at least 8 actors who were trained in acting by an American acting troupe for three years before the age of 21. Also, I promise more guns. So, I have two promises. More guns and more Americans on TV!

Down with the syrup slurpers!


*Hey guys, four weeks until Arsenal play real football again.

Arsenal end interest

William Carvalho has had an outstanding U21 Euros with Portugal this summer. He has won two man of the match awards and was dubbed “imperious” in Portugal’s 5-0 win over Germany. He has an easy style, very relaxed on the ball, and combined with his huge frame he has looked like a man among the boys.

If he was a normal player, I would be excited by any mention of him coming to Arsenal. But he’s not a normal player, he has an absurd €45m release clause. That’s £32m on today’s exchange and unless the Euro takes a massive dive, there is no way Arsenal are paying that amount of money for a meat shield. Actually, it looks like no one is going to pay that much money for Carvalho as ESPN are reporting today that there have been “no bids” for his services.

I love transfer stories.

Couldn’t literally every team make a statement like that? Hey, did you know that there have been no bids for Tomas Rosicky? It’s true. No one has asked Arsenal about Rosicky. There have also been no bids for Ramsey, Gibbs, Szczesny, Giroud, or pretty much anyone on the Arsenal first team. It’s amazing. We just don’t understand why there have been no bids!

But back to Carvalho, £32m? No wonder there have been no bids. That’s a ludicrous transfer fee. That’s what Arsenal paid for Alexis Sanchez. Morgan Schneiderlin, who has proven himself in one of the toughest leagues in Europe and who counts as “home grown” which adds value to his transfer, is “only” £24m. Why on earth would anyone pay £32m for Carvalho?

The dearth of bids for William (as he likes to be called) is actually telling. If he was the kind of super-top-talent that would command such a price, he would have been snapped up by now. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, someone would have bought him. And don’t think for a second that all these teams haven’t scouted him, he’s been watched, probably hundreds of times. The reason no one is bidding that much is because he’s simply not worth it.

My other favorite type of transfer story is the one where a player is no longer wanted by a team. Their “interest is cooling”. This is supposedly what happened with Arsenal and Arturo Vidal. There never was any Arsenal interest in Vidal. Never. I didn’t even come close to believing reports that Wenger was after him and that was confirmed when Tim Stillman tweeted me this:

That was the Telegraph who got suckered and Jeremy Wilson who was forced to save face. That article is a jumbled mess. Wilson claims that Wenger’s “absolute priority” is DM but that Coquelin has maybe changed his mind, but hey remember Schneiderlin? he’s still there too, and Wenger could maybe still bid for Vidal because he has a £50m warchest, which he has to spend on players and wages, and which he’s already spent £15m on Cech. Oh and hey, remember Lars and Sven Bender? Yeah, let’s throw them in there too! Incredible stuff. And finally, Arsenal were after Morgan Schneiderlin, Schneiderlin wanted to come to Arsenal, but according to Phillipe Auclaire the deal has been halted by trouble between the player’s agents and Arsenal. We don’t know what the trouble is but we do know that Schneiderlin’s agent is also Gervinho’s agent which leads to speculation that there is bad blood between them. I think the last thing that Gervinho was quoted as saying about Arsenal is that he hates us.

It could also be that his agents are nuts. Apparently, they tried to get Gervinho a private beach and a helicopter during negotiations for a transfer to Al Jazira. Why stop at private beach and helicopter? If I was Gervinho, I’d ask for a private beach, a helicopter, and that every night I dreamed of lions on the beach in Africa. I don’t know how they would implant those dreams in me but I’m sure they’ll find a way. Also, I want a fishing trip where I catch a giant marlin, but NO SHARKS. I don’t want to have to fight off the sharks because that is like a soul crushing metaphor for youth eating away at my corpse. Or something.

Anyway, Arsenal did sign Petr Cech and I think we can all agree that was a good piece of business. Still riding high off that!