Something From The Weekend: Guildford drinks and delivers; Bogdan's Bolton battered; Red Sox collapse
The Good, The Bad and The Odd
Monday 03 October 2011
The Good: Guildford drinks and delivers
When it comes to the rugby player's central task, combining boorishness with brilliance, the All Blacks just do it better. Zac Guildford, who scored four tries against Canada early yesterday morning, last month had to admit to drinking "issues" after some enthusiastic refuelling following New Zealand's recent defeat to Australia.
Clearly, though, neither the drinking nor the subsequent sanctimony affected Guildford's performance. The same cannot be said of the England team, who fail to balance the twin demands of the elite game. The crude loutery is there, as shown by more revelations this weekend. But combined with good play as well? Nowhere near, yet.
The Bad: Bogdan's Bolton battered
Before yesterday's game, Bolton had already conceded at least three goals four times this season. A change in goal, with Adam Bogdan in for Jussi Jaaskelainen, might have seen an improvement. But 27 minutes in, they were 0-4 down, with Bogdan embarrassingly negligent for the third and fourth goals.
It was one of the fastest races to four in recent memory – Arsenal did it in one minute less last year – but certainly a data point on the rapid transformation of Owen Coyle's Bolton into Owen Coyle's Burnley. The momentum-haemorrhage that was April's FA Cup semi-final has been damaging, as have long-term injuries to Stuart Holden and Lee Chung-Yong. October meetings with fellow crisis clubs Wigan, Sunderland and Arsenal could be definitive.
The Odd: Red Sox collapse
Despite his reputation for brilliant sporting administration, John W Henry's baseball empire collapsed this weekend. The Boston Red Sox, after the most dramatic and improbable failure to make the post-season in baseball history, have dismissed manager Terry Francona, the man who guided them to two World Series wins. While Henry (and Tom Werner, now also Liverpool chairman) have a reputation for rational and insightful transfers, this season the team was weighed down by the under-performing $142m Carl Crawford. And this is meant to be their speciality. So when Henry and Werner sign off £51m of spending on Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson, perhaps some fierce scrutiny is warranted.
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