Sometimes the Diggity Doc and Wildcard talk to each other...
Diggity Doc - El Wildcardo! A 3-0 loss to Arsenal last week and I think Jurgen Klopp has just arrived in Liverpool, should I re-direct him to Manchester? Hehehehe.
Wildcard - Ah, Doc, it's always a pleasure but sometimes it's like you're trying to wind me up? Nah, Lucky Louis knows what he's doing and he'll learn from those mistakes against the Arse. Theo Walcott can't always play that well. But Klippity Klopp, there's a fella I'm excited to see. Confirmed on a three year deal, he's a lot like Rodgers but way more accessible and also much smarter. As much as I miss Mr Rodgers already, I cannot wait to see how Klopp goes on the Kop. Klopp's Kop, haha. Can't help but feel if he'd held out longer he mighta been able to get a Champions League club though... (sly dig).
DD - The Klopp Kop! Do you think Kloppy will be under pressure to produce the goods asap? Or will he have time to get comfy and build his team?
WC - Being a big name candidate he'll get time, I think. If he doesn't make the Champs League this season they'll just blame Rodgers. But it's tricky coz he comes in with the season already in progress. Klopp won't get the chance to work on this squad 'til January and even then there's only so much you ca do mid-season. It's not like he has a Mats Hummels at the back here like he did at Dortmund either. I reckon he can make something good out of those attacking mids though, guys like Coutinho, Lallana and Firmino should love working with a guy that encourages swift, clever, counter attacking footy. It helps that he's a bloke who, unlike Rodgers (who liked to pretend he was playing an intellectual game), really wears his heart on his sleeve and that'll endear him to the fans pretty quick.
DD - Mate screw all that shit because the A-League is underway and the Wellington Phoenix are back baby! ... Let's just hope they didn't watch the Breakers' first game huh?
WC - I dunno, they might learn a thing or two about playing without your best players if they did. They'd learn more by watching Ireland beat Germany in the football though, bloody 'ell. But the Breakers, like, there's only so much you can do when three of your starting five aren't there. Cedric is one of the two or three best players in the league o he'll do what he does but he can't do it alone. No Corey Webster, no Tom Abercrombie and no Alex Pledger. The latter two are close to returns, especially TA, while Corey... hopefully he's never back. But if he doesn't make it in New Orleans and the NBA then there's a jersey waiting. The Breaks are always better at home though, they get to make their adjustments quick and get back out there Sunday at Vector (vs Townsville). Same day as the Nix, what's your biggest hope and your biggest fear for the Phoenix this season?
DD - She was a hard watch that Breakers game huh? My hope for the Nix rests on the shoulders of my new favourite player #Sarpong who could make this the best midfield in the A-League. My fear? Well if Sigmund and Durante miss a few games the Nix would need to score 3 goals a game to be competitive.
WC - Yeah I think that's right. And those three goals are gonna be tough to find without their top scorer from last season, Burnsy. All hail Roy Krishna, I guess. He's got 10 goals in him, hopefully. Then that hopeful best midfield in the A-League'll need to add in a few but Roly, Sarpong and Wee Mac all have it in them. I reckon there's plenty to be positive about. For the Breakers too, I mean it's much better to get thrashed when you know you've got reinforcements on the way rather than when at full strength. They had a couple nights like that last season too and look where that got them. My humble opinion is that they were mismatched having to play small ball without Pledger's minutes. I have high hopes for Charles 'Catfish' Jackson when they return to the usual rotation.
DD - I think Burns will be easier to replace than people think so I'm not too fussed about that. Mate, everything is a big kerfuffle with the All Blacks as people are either pooing their pants or they are preaching about staying calm. Where do you sit with the All Blacks at the moment?
WC - Easy, casual, calm, serenity. Breathe in, breathe out. No worries. Hakuna Matata. It's all good...
Seriously though, it is. People are just trying to find reasons to panic because otherwise nothing is happening. These early stages are all going through the motions anyway and the All Blacks have the easiest group of the lot. It's okay that we're not playing 100%, who wants to beat Namibia 150-0 anyway, what's the point in that? If we lose in the quarters then they'll blame these games but if we win it'll all be forgotten. All these middle-aged men need to take a lie down, this unnecessary worry is bad for cholesterol.
DD - Amen to that. I have reached the stage where there aren't really any more talking points so I can understand why there's panic and nit-picking with the All Blacks. Me and you are lucky because we can jump to a Kiwis squad or the Breakers and Nix while the rugby loving middle aged man will have his knickers in a twist.
WC - That's the whole reason why it happens though, I reckon, coz there isn't anything else to talk about. But that's not our problem. So, that Kiwis squad... didja get what you wanted from it? I didn't because no Benji. Pretty sure he'd not have played due to injury anyway but Kearney's comments made it sound like he's dropped, which is weird. Bit of a John Mitchell/Christian Cullen situation. Still, I dig the double captain Luke/Blair thing (well deserved for both) and I dare anyone not to shiver at the sights of TTT. I'll leave you to elaborate on Triple T.
DD - I understand your pain and any confusion from our readers about Benji's non-selection but I never really felt like he would be selected. Only a few people on this planet know what the issue is between Kearney and Benji, but there is clearly an issue. Ah TTT!! Aka the three beastliest forwards in the NRL - Taumalolo, Taupau and Taukeiaho. Taukeiaho is the man and the calibre of these other new faces - Nikorima, Kahu, Rona, Lolohea and Liu is super high. This isn't a case of drawing names out of a hat as they are all great young players at the best NRL clubs ... kinda.
WC - Yeah it's gotten to the point where it must be personal between Kearney and Benji which is a shame. There was a time when you could've said it was a clash of playing styles, with Benji prone to some silly errors now and then but he plays for the most conservative team in the NRL now so that's hard to believe. Ah well, nothing to be done about it. He's injured anyway. But looking at that team, it's not all that under-strength as it felt like it would be. The halves are gonna be fresh and vulnerable but everywhere else is stacked even still.
DD - That is the issue el Wildcardo is that people will only look at who is missing and not who is playing. The fact that this is a strong squad despite those sexy names missing shows what a great spot the Kiwis are in.
WC - They're not all stars for their clubs, not all of them are even definite regulars, which is a bit frustrating to me. I don't really like players given responsibilities for their country that they haven't had yet for their club but, like, that's international rugby league for ya. It's still a very good team. Here's a slightly demanding question for ya: Who's gonna win the NBA this season?
DD - Yeeeeah I can't co-sign that from you el Wildcardo especially as there is a tinge of youth in this team. Ah matey who knows and I won't start even contemplating that until the new year. I love the NBA but it is such a fast moving beast. The Lakers will obviously shine thanks to Kobe and Corey Webster might make me change allegiance to the Pelicans. Besides them and Big Kiwi Steve I don't really care. What about you? ... Mavs Mavs Mavs?
WC - Ah, no. Certainly not the Mavericks. And even more certainly not the Lakers. The Pellies though, they're a distant possibility. I asked because the more I look at it with the season on the horizon, the more I'm starting to think the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the verge of something. Which means Big Kiwi Steve in playoff games next year, that'd be great after those bloody Aussies hogged the spotlight with their lower-rotation battlers. But of course the Cavaliers, Spurs and Warriors are gonna be back up the top of the title odds again.
DD - Would I be right in saying that the Thunder are currently sneaking in under the radar?
WC - I think you'd be dead right in saying that. All the focus will be on the finalists from last season (who were definitely the two best). Not a bad place to be for the Thunder, though Kevin Durant's free agency next year is gonna be a distraction, plus they've got a new coach. But Golden State won with a first year coach last time out so it can be done.
DD - How's your sporting weekend looking?
WC - Umm, not as packed as last weekend but it's up there. No English footy though, so unfortunately I might have to spend some wasted time sleeping. Hey, but we do have both A-League and ANBL arriving, as well as some NFL, the MLB Playoffs, Rugby World Cup of course... I reckon I'll get by. Won't be long before the cricket season's here either.
DD - It's awesome how the higher profile on the A-League and ANBL now gives us a few more summer options. And cricket, what's your overall cricketing thought to leave with our gracious readers?
WC - The ANBL especially with all the new Fox Sports money they're getting. Noticeable difference as down under basketball tries to catch up with those other team sports. An overall thought? Don't follow leaders and watch your parking meters.
DD - That's very cryptic sir. I had to turn Cairnsy's request for peptides down, can't have the business associated with that joker.
WC - I still miss the Cairnsy of old, back before he went all Walter White on us. Ah well, heroes eventually fall, right? Maybe not with peptides though. Adios Doc.
DD - I think I need a dose of peptides myself because I have come to realise that I hold no positive emotions or thoughts with regards to Mr Cairns. Over and out.