Friday, July 14, 2006

Gunners hit the market

No, not the transfer market yet, but they are the first from the Europes football aristocracy to raise funds against revenues from their (new) stadium, which is supposed to appeal to the upper class.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Transfer talk

Silly season is here again as Madrid express their interest in Ribery (GBP 26 Mn), Luca Toni ($25 Mn)and Cannavaro among others.

Gabriel Heinze, Cesc Fabregas are unlikely to move and Alex says C.Ronaldo is not going anywhere thought Ruud might leave.

Chelsea pursues Sergio Ramos and Man U looks to secure the services of shotstopper Casillas

Pirlo expresses interest in moving to Madrid.

Monday, July 10, 2006

So close..

So close....

I couldn't beleive what i saw, France was dominating the second half and seemed well set to get the winning goal. Only a resolute italian defence marshalled ably by Cannavaro, and the genius of Gianluigi Buffon stood in the way.

When madness took over. Although its unbeleivable, it happened. And there was going to be only one result after that.

French radio says Materazzi called Him a terrorist.

This has happened before, in the Serie A, when somebody called Him something similar. Lippi was His manager.

But it was a great story. Not the best ending, but a great story nevertheless... and there was great joy while it lasted.

Domenech surely knows, Les Bleus came so far in spite of him. Not because of him.

Leaving out Giuly, Pires...for Wiltord? Trezeguet?

I cant write anymore right now.

The wounds are still fresh. But they did well. Too old they said. Over the hill. Like the Rolling Stones. Ancient. Wont qualify. He is slow. Past His prime. This is the World Cup of Ronaldinho and Kaka. And Ballack. Lampard is the best midfielder they said.

But they mistook experience for age. And they failed to recognise genius.

It was good. It was a great story.

A sad ending, but a great story.

Friday, March 17, 2006

On the the king..and Arsene

" Zidane's vitality stems from his completeness. In terms of playing style, he is simply peerless. Technically he is superlative: he possesses exceptional ingenuity, awe-inspiring close control, and with one flick can open up the most resilient defense. Moreover, Zidane can shoot with power and unerring accuracy"

read more of this here

And Wenger professes his love for Real

"I love Real Madrid," Wenger told a news conference at Arsenal's training ground on Friday.

"It is certainly, after Arsenal, a club I love because of my childhood. It was the team I admired when I was a kid and I have a lot of good memories for Real Madrid."

So you see Arsenal's beautiful football was inspired by Los Meringues.

and do visit the new improved Allthingsfootie, Jordan is at his best again.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Del Bosque linked with Real return

Vicente Del Bosque, one of the more successful managers at Real, who was sacked by Perez shortly after winning the league for a second time has been linked with a return to the Bernabeu. The fact that Perez is no longer President is sure to help his return. Others linked with the job are Ancelloti

Rumours abound regarding Xabi Alonso's move from Anfield to Madrid. Alonso's current manager Rafa Benitez has reportedly signed up till 2010 with Liverpool. Other transfer targets Fabregas (says no) and Lyon's Diarra

I think they should go after Ballack - but I guess they would rather avoid a bidding war with Chelsea.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Real Inter talk about 4 man deal

the trade winds are blowing again, despite Perez's resignation and there is talk of Ronaldo and Guti moving to Inter with Adriano and another makeweight moving the other way

Friday, February 24, 2006

Messi deserves an award

maybe not footballer of the year yet... though he does show that he will be fighting for it soon enough. but the act he put on against chelsea just shows that there should be a category for footballers at the academy awards..

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Real shot down, Henry strikes for gunners

i am too depressed, tired and zoned out to write anymore..

Monday, February 20, 2006

Gunners face Real test

Well, some of the best players in the world are going to face off this week, as Arsenal play Real in the first knock out phase..

should be a feast of attacking football given their defensive frailty, but the visitors might be happy with a draw.

enough of obvious.

Monday, September 05, 2005

what's wrong with england???

First they got hammered aainst by the Danes. Then they just scraped through with a 1-0 win against Wales. So what is it that is going wrong with the team?

Lets see, for the first game most of the goals came when Sven changed the complete side (it was a friendly) and you had players like Glen Johnson defending and David James fumbling with the ball as usual. So while it was a shock loss, I would not have been so worried.

But the scrappy 1-0 win does not give the picture of a world cup winning side for sure. And I always get into a discussion with friends as how this team can play so badly when you look at the side. Its one of the great sides, but its like the Indian cricket team. Most of them would end up playing individually or just have an off day. Unfortunately if you look at sides like the Czech Rep. or Brazil you just cannot do both. Specially if you plan to get your hands on the world cup!

I think the first problem has been sorted out thanks to the Danish drubbing - the goalkeeper. I don't know what Sven saw in James to persist with him for so long. Robinson is a far more accomplished goalkeeper. David James is just rubbish. And for him to say, ' I did not prepare for the game (Danes) as it was a friendly' reeks of unprofesionalism. What did he think - it would be a walk in the park for him!???

The second problem is with the formation. Sven wants to play the diamond formation with Rooney just behind Owen in front. Unfortunately, if do not have a Butt or a Scott Parker, you just cannot play that formation. He instead went on to change it to a 4-5-1 formation against Wales. Why????? Can't he see that even Fergie changed that formation to a 4-3-3 one when he knows thats the best way to win matches. I don't think England can play a holding game like the Italians. They just get too confused and bogged down.

The third problem is that with the left winger. Joe Cole might score goals but don't think he is the person to run up and down the left wing. As such the attack would get narrow and be constrained to balls played up the midfield or from crosses across the right. If you have to beat the best, balls need to played from both left and right and as such attack is more wider. Downing would be my automatic choice.

So my ideal team would be:

GK: Robinson
Defenders: Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole
(Covers: Jamie Carragher, Sol Campbell, Luke Young, Wes Brown)
Midefielders: Becks, Stevie G., Downing
(Covers: Butt, Parker, Lampard)
Forwards: Rooney, Owen, Defoe
(Covers: Wright-Phillips, Crouch)

Sven needs to think about what he is doing. It looks like he is more interested in qualifying than grooming a world-beating team. People's patience is being tested for sure.

What are your thoughts on these?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The season begins...

Its a couple of weeks into the new season (EPL) and there are some early indications.

Chelsea has started off slowly, scraping up two 1-0 wins before demolishing West Brom yesterday. But that was quite expected. The thing is if they play as badly as they did against Arsenal, the title looks like a longshot. But with the money that they have spent their options have increased. They can play the usual 4-4-2 or play a 4-1-3-1-1 formation with Makelele doing the defensive midfielder's role. Duff/Robben/Shaun-Wright/Joe Cole gives Mourinho a lot of options behind Drogba/Crespo/Gudjohnsen. Their forwards are the weakest link I think. Horno is a good buy at left back.

Arsenal has also had a quiet start other the Fulham match last night. But all said and done, sans Viera the midfield looks a bit suspect with Flamini as a second half option for Fabregas. Henry and Pires are still holding up the team; if they have a bad day, so does Arsenal. The good signs are that in form of Van Persie (who is proving to be quite a volatile player) and Hleb (who has fitted in immediately).

ManUtd is actually looking good after the league and UEFA qualifiers. Rooney and Nistelrooy looks to be a good pair up front with the former just playing behind the latter. Park has been quite energetic and gives Fergie more options along the flank. Ronaldo's looking sharp as well. The defense looks more settled with the other Van in goal. Silvestre is still the weakest link i feel.
Last night's qualifier was quite well played, given the state of the pitch. Was quite a professional display and Smithie has shown signs of playing the midfield role pretty well. Richardson sent a scorcher to the back of the net...I feel he is gonna be a regular on the left wing in a couple of seasons. Needs to add a lil' more muscle and get more first team chances, which is why i felt another West Brom stint wouldn't have done any harm this season (even for half a season).

Liverpool's looking a ghost of the side that won the UEFA champions league last time around. Its become a Gerrard show...remember it was an Owen show before that...they rely too heavily on one player; though Alonso and Garcia are doing the part to shine as well. Forwards are a problem here too with Baros leaving, Cisse being a disappointment so far, Owen not looking likely to come back on a loan. Defense reserves is pretty thin too, a long season with injuries can end their hopes.

Newcastle is just rubbish right now...whome did they sell off?? Lets see...Lauren Robert, Bellamy, Viana...and no one seems to be excited to join them. What was Souness thinking????

The team to look out for this season would be West Ham. They have done well so far, beating the Pompies by 2 goals.

My prediction for relegation this season would be: Portsmouth, Wigan, Sunderland (they look a mess, and they were the champions last season!)

But again, its too early...we will look at this post around Christmas and figure out the realistic chances of the above three.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Facing the music?

A belgian girls team suffered a 50-1 defeat after their regular goalie decided to skip the the match to attend a rock concert!

In other news, Real continued their team building excercise reaching an agreement with Sao Paulo over Cicinho - the Brazilian full back. Cicinho is currently getting his paper work completed to receive Italian nationality so Real won't face a problem for going over the 3 non EU players quota.

And Jonathan Woodgate made his debut for Real in a5-0 thrashing of the MLS Select XI. Beckham opened the scoring before Ronaldo (2), Guti, and Raul joined the party.

They face Cadiz away in their season opener this Sunday.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The King is back ...

Long live the King!

Zidane's return inspired the French team to a 3-1 victory over Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast.

Arguably the best player of this generation, and one of the best of all time, reinvigorated the French World Cup qualifying campaign. France, currently lie 4th and have never qualified for a World Cup since 1986 - Qualified as hosts in '98 and holders in '02 (when they crashed out without scoring a goal!)
Their poor performance in '02 is even more astounding since they had the top scorers from the English League - Henry, Serie A - Trezeguet and French League - Wiltord. But Zidane's absence through injury (missed the first 2 matches - played against Senegal) proved too much to bear.

Hopefully, the return will revive French fortunes.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Chelsea roll on..

The first title of the the new season, the community shield has gone the way of Chelsea with their 2-1 win over Arsenal. Didier Drogba returned to the starting line up with two goals either side of the half-time whistle.

Cesc Fabregas managed to pull one back for the Gunners, but the Blues held firm (as usual) to see the match out.

Arsenal had more of the ball, and kept probing the Chelsea back line but were guilty of over elaborate play with few clear cut scoring oppotunities resulting. Henry, Pires (replaced by Gilberto) and Co were guilty of continuing their search for the beautiful goal - a trademark of their play over the last few seasons, which probably explains their lack of European success. They are able to dominate weaker teams in the Premiership but fail against the more determined defences of teams like Bayern.

Cech made a few good stops, with Makalele continuing to disrupt most of the opposing attacks - why Real sold him is still a mystery to me, they have struggled ever since.

Robben was effective occasionally on the flank, and Drogba used his skill and technique to repeatedly expose Senderos.

On evidence seen so far, the Blues are still the team to beat. Although Man U are the only team to succesfully defend their title.

News from the International Blues - Zizou has announced his return to international football and will captain the struggling french team in their next match. Claude Makalele announced his return too. Qualification should not be too difficult now..

Real have agreed to lower their price for Owen, who scored in their pre-season friendly. (Also on the score sheet Ronaldo, Portillo and Julio Baptista)But will they lose Ronaldo too? Cafu claims they might.

Figo joined Samuel and Solari at Inter, ending his 5 year tenure at Real rather abruptly. One hopes that this move does not come back to haunt the whites. Remember Morientes' goals knocked Real out (while he was on loan to Monaco?)

Transfers continue to make news as the weekend is the deadline for the Premiership. Will the Michaels make it? Hessien and Owen?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Owen to Manutd?

Well that could be good news for ManUtd fans because the ball has not been seeing the back of the net like previous seasons and Rudd really struggling. And stories suggest that money is on the table for Fergie to spend.

But I'm wondering if we need a striker or some one like Essien to fill up Keano's shoes. Or maybe Fergie's gonna make Smithie do that job. Coz that guy does remind everyone of Keano (and he's young as well and i just love when he tackles the defenders!). The talk also doing the rounds is that Ballack could be another prospective target but if I was Fergie I would go pick Essien as he is younger while Ballack is close to his peak now. You wouldn't get any money back from a Ballack sale later while Essien (if he walks out later) could be give a greater return on the investment.

I would even stick my neck out to ask for a good defender because I don't give too many points to Silvestre...Brown's better. Neville's struggles to run back and he's not getting any younger. Two young kids have gone on season long loans who I would assume I would see a lot of in the first team in the next year or two. Spector has the speed and toughness for a full back (needs to get more first team exposure and gain some muscle..which he would get in his loan term). Chris Eagles would also benefit in his role as a winger from his loan. He could then be made to use as a backup to Ronaldo/Park in the years to come and he could surprise us all by pushing for a first team place himself. But all said and done, the defense was not a problem (we let in a few more than Chelski) scoring goals was. So I would not be suprised if Fergie gets Owen instead of Essien/Ballack. Lets see....season starts in less than a fortnight...Aug 13 is near!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Cancerian World Eleven

As a fanatic crab, it is my duty to announce the Cancerian World Soccer 11.

1) Dida
2) Helveg
3) Jaap Stam
4) Paolo Maldini (C)
5) Ruben Baraja
6) Ludovic Giuly
7) Zinadine Zidane
8) Patrick Viera
9) Frank Lampard
10)Ruud van Nistelrooy

12)Fabien Barthez
13)Christian Abbiati
14)Hernan Crespo
15)Christian Vieri
16)Gianfranco Zola
17)Paolo di Canio
18)Patrick Kluivert

Manager - Gianluca Vialli

on the whole, slightly long in the tooth and weaknesses in defence, but what a midfield!! and with strikers to match - with Raul/Crespo partnering Ruud, Zidane in the hole behind them. Giuly is the only genuine wide player - would prefer to play Baraja/Viera/Lampard as the three across midfield.

we've got a game on?

I guess i had to write something to get this going...and the first thing that comes to my mind is the transfers market...gone are the days of Zidane's huge transfer deals...the biggest is that of Robinho's to Real Madrid from Santos.

Chelski is shaping up to do a Real in the English premier league by throwing money at anyone who is interested and get them to the club...they got Kezman last year...offloaded him...Drogba's gonna go soon...they are looking for a new striker...owen doesn't wanna come there as of yet. Shaun Wright is and will be giving company to Robben...could be the best wingers on either side in the league.

I'm still gonna root for ManUtd and Ronaldo & Park to shine this season. What they lacked was a hard working mid fielder (with age catching up with Keano and Scholes) and Park could be the answer and I'll stick my head further and say Smithie is a good option...he reminds me a lil' of Keano with his never say die attitude, sharp and furious tackles (love him when he tackles the and sprints up and down the field. I prefer Van the man in the goalpost than Howard anyday...hope he comes good!

Liverpool's shaping up quite a good team with Gerrard staying and Reina, Zenden, Crouch adding to the rosters...but I'm still wary about their defense....not too much bench strength there. But its my bro's fave team and I've rooted for them all the way in the CL last season. So lets hope they put up a good show.

Arsenal may have missed a trick by offloading Viera this season. While Fabregas was improving he needed one more season with Viera to come even close to be a rock like him. The team looks a bit disgruntled from the reports I have been reading. Ashley Cole's episode would have left a bitter taste in the mouth...Pires has been refused an improved contract this season...Henry looks like the only guy who can pull this team through with Ljungberg looking like a lighter shade of pale with every passing season. If Arsene can get the 'Beast' he might beable to solve his midfield problem.

Newcastle's been like a selling club recently but Scott Parker should bring a good shape to the midfield with Dyer signing an extension to his contract and Jenas improving every season. Their problem is the attack with Shearer not enough to finish in the top 5 at the end of the season.

Everton i admire because of what David Moyes has done with the side (even after Rooney left) and I hope it wasn't a flash in the pan. CL would be tough with Gravesen moving to Real but Moyes is shopping too. Simon Davies and Kroldrup have been added and Arteta's move is permanent now after his last season loan from Real Sociedad.

Dunno about the other teams...hope they are more than also rans...would be watching Robbo's West Brom and Big Sam's Bolton closely.