Football – as it happens

08 Sep
                              I know that its already a week past Transfer deadline day.
It’s a bit late for giving out any information or even submitting predictions for the season.
Well unfortunately, you will have to bear with me as I have always been like this, right from my kinder garden days. I will restrict myself with just few lines about each club so that way you need not find yourself in ‘agony’ for more time than What you would have taken, if Pepe or Joey Barton had ‘accidentally’ hit you.
Now let’s see what has happened in the football world…
Recently we can hear mumblings about failures of Sachin and Federer (who has now lost in his US Open QFs match couple of days before) and many people asking them to retire (with dignity) etc. Guys you must understand one thing, if these guys retire, its not just a person who retires, but an ERA with them. Many (including yours honourably Myself) might stop watching the respective sports once and for all. It may not be the end of the world for the sport, but definitely an end of a charming world for millions of fans. Why would someone want that to happen?
 Same way we have our own football players facing such a situation. The first stupidity is from Milan for letting go of their ‘Legends’, leave out Ibra and Thiago Silva who were sold as a combo package to P$G. That may be for adjusting their Balance sheet or their financial position, but why the Legends, ie,Seedorf, Nesta, Gattuso, Inzhagi, etc (with Pirlo also leaving them to Juventus last season). Why can’t they learn from Manchester United or Barcelona? 
Also the same goes for Juventus, who did not renew their Favorite Son’s contract,Del Piero, who is now an Australian (he claimed so, what a pity).
 Football is not just about winning guys. this is a Religion. And these are the stars who bring harmony, class and most importantly RESPECT from everyone to the club.
Then, here comes the curious case of Michael Owen. No doubt he is one of the lethal strikers and one of the best talents England has ever produced. Quite happy that he has joined StokeCity, a one last try won’t ‘hurt’ him hopefully, given his relationship with injuries (which is still a better story than Twilight 😉 ).
The new wave has crossed the EPL – in the form of SWANSEA. They might become number one in Europe, if they continue with their style for few seasons from now. Though they have parted with Allen (to Liverpool) and Sinclair (to City), the signing of Michu has done wonders to their results. With Dyer, Routledge and Vorm also in top form, they may possibly make it to Champions League (at the minimum) next season.
And once again we saw Arsene Wenger proving that he doesn’t need his star players by selling them out (what choice he had anyways ;P). Last season we saw Fabregas departing to Barca, and this season Song goes to Barca and Mr. Arsenal, The top scorer in EPL, RVP has joined united. With Master.Wayne out for a month coz of injury, Robin has taken the lead role in United (Curiously, In Batman Part 3 – Wayne retires and Robin takes over his place) Hmmmmmmm, something fishy guys. With Kagawa joining United from Dortmund (Bundesliga Champions) SAF looks all set to take back the crown from his rivals.
Now back to Arsenal, with Mr. Arsenal renaming himself as Mr. United, Gunners did struggle to find the net in their first two matches, but the new signings have reaped, with Stylish – Santi Cazorla and Podolski scoring against Liverpool for their new club. Maybe they can take Gunners to a title atlast, with Diaby also back into business. Also rumour has it that Vermaelen might leave the club next season and yes I can see that he is now their Captain ;p.
And ofcourse historical Liverpool, with another poor start  I wish there should be no further ‘flop’ signings for the club. Come on man  they have had enough. With Borini in, Carroll is now loaned out – WTH is Rodgers thinking, Loaning out a 35 million guy? You wither sell him or play him as a backup – but why loan him? uh. With SteVG, Borini, Suarez, Allen and Sahin I wish they end up in a better table position this time.
Now to the biggest spenders this season – CHELSEA.
Chelsea boss Roman had already planned, after their Champions League Success that, this year he will have two teams ready, the already existing “Old Guards” and the “Fresh Bloods”. With the signings of Hazard, Moses, Marin and Oscar, we can say that Chelsea’s near future looks good, but not safe given the Roman’s history for merciless sacking even though he may end up with a loss (financially too ;P). With Torres back to form and Lampard looking good, the new entries are fighting for their places, with Hazard already sealing his position in the pre-season and Oscar’s pace ready to outrun the likes of Mata and Sturridge. But this season is going to be extremely pressurizing for RDM, the head coach. Last season he was just filler for AVB, but this time he has everything that a coach needs. And this may be a reason why we can see him roam and yell like Mad-eye Moody, especially if Chelsea fails to win in 2 consecutive matches (Already they have have lost the European Super Cup 4-1 to Atletico Madrid and Community shield to Manchester City)
P$G – Ancelotti has bought a whole new squad with Ibra, T. Silva, Lavezzi, Moura, Van der Wiel and Veratti in, they may look like a great squad. But, I guess there cannot be any better example for the proverb – “Appearances are deceptive”. They are a team of good players, but not a great team, yet. It may take atleast a season to bring the squad together and work out chemistry within them. Jeez, hope Ancelotti won’t be sacked until that time ;p.
Moving onto La Liga, Barcelona have got the brilliant left back Alba from Valencia(as a replacement for Abidal) and a CDM from Arsenal in Alex Song (as a replacement for Keita). With David Villaback it should be an easy walk for the Catalans and with them the Best Player in the World – Lionel Messi and two other Magicians Xavi and Iniesta. Off late Pedro is looking good, sealing a place in the starting XI. But there are 3 issues that has already poped out in Camp Nou.
1)  Even with the promotion of Monotya, Muniesa and Bartra, Blaugranas are still in trouble when it comes to counter attack by the opposition. They should have bought a proper CB, given Puyol’s age and injury concerns, who will stay put in front of Valdes and show bit more aggression than Pique and Mascherano. This was pretty much evident in their Supercopa defeat to Real Madrid.
2)  Tito is no Guardiola. So he must not just stick to his Mentor’s style. He has already lost supercopa and narrowly won against Osasuna and Valencia, with their pre-season statistic is also not looking so good. He must have a plan B at his disposal.
3)  Cesc Fabregas – Rumors have already started that he may come back to Arsenal. First of all, that’s not going to happen. Cesc will never dare to leave Barca once again and become a villain at amp Nou. Secondly, he is just off form (with two glorious misses against Valencia and poor playing against Osasuna), not off football. He will be back soon. You must see that he competing against Xavi and Iniesta for a place, not some Tom, Dick, Harry, Arshavin and Oxlade Chamberlain ;p. But he must soon find his rhythm, as the likes of Thiago and many more B Team players are raring to go.
Over to Real Madrid, the main issue being KAKA.
You just cannot simply ignore a player of Kaka’s quality.
To speak the truth Kaka never really fit into the team, I guess he was simple bought to get more fans for the club. Real Madrid’s style off late (esp, after The Only One’s arrival) is ripping the defence of the opponents with counters, not the classy way it used to be. Hence Kaka was a misfit here. With the arrival of Modric and Essien, he is now down the lane to get a start, not that he got many starts in the previous seasons. Atleast now knowing that he is a misfit in the squad, a player of his caliber should be loaned off, if you can’t get him sold. Milan was close to signing, but tax problems caught them off from signing him. Let’s just hope he goes to a place atleast in the Jan transfer window to a club that suits his style of classy play.
Also a new problem has cropped up. CR7 is uncomfortable staying in Madridand he wants to go back to United. Let me tell you this, The rumour is just a rumour. Even last season everyone spoke about Madrid having internal probs, Portugese don’t mix up well with Spaniards, Mourinho having fight with Iker and Ramos, etc. All these are just to seek attention (and who knows these maybe part of the Mourinho’s Plan too ;p).
In Germany, Borussia Dortmund might look bad without Kagawa (already drawing a match in Bundesliga), but I guess Marco Reus is a good replacement and can bring more trophies to Dortmund. But Bayern looks stronger than last season with their much awaited signing of Javi Martinez from Bilbao.
Zenit has made the costliest signing of the season – Mr. HULK. Lets see how much distance they can go in the European level.
Last but not the least, the Skill King,Ronaldinho Gaucho and Free-kick SpecialistDavid Beckham have been scoring Classic goals and producing Vintage performances. Donot miss those actions as well.
Now to my predictions,
EPL – Chelsea looks like clinching this, after a superb start, but I wish Swansea or Newcastle to win it, more so to prove that money ain’t everything in football.

La Liga – It will be another Barca vs Real fight. But I think Barca will retain it, (Reason – 1. They lost supercopa early, so they would have become all the more serious now, 2. Real Madrid is off to a poor start already and are trailing by 5 points in just 3 Game weeks.)
Bundesliga – Given Bayern’s sudden off mode in their performances, I would bet on Dortmund to retain their title this season.
Serie A – Napoli to win it, as the Milan teams enter a new era and Juventus posing the only threat. Last season Juventus did not play in champions league, but this season they are pitted with Chelsea. So there is more chance ofNapoli doing it, despite the departure of Lavezzi  –  Cavani, Hamsik and Maggio has what it takes to win the Scudetto.
Brasilian Serie A – With Ronaldinho on song, Atletico Mineiro will win it easily.
Champions League – Barcelona, the final is also in Wembley, so I guess they will just go for it once again, with main threats this time being – Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Europa League – I think Atletico Madrid will retain their title, given their record for playing awesome in Cup competitions with main threats being – Napoli, Liverpool (again a great cup-performer), Newcastle and Inter.
The major debate that every season starts with is the “Signing of the season”one. I guess this time it is Not RVP, Not Hazard, Not Kagawa, Not Cazorla, Not Alba, Not Modric, Not Martinez, Not Hulk – It is MICHU. After having the most impressive starts among all of the debutants, he is now the heart of Swansea and everything has started revolving around him and only time will tell how stupid it was for Rayo to let him go and how unfortunate for the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool to miss out a player of his quality.
Ballon D’or – On a personal note, I would say Pirlo or Casillas deserve it, for their contribution to both club victories and Country’s. OfcourseSpain won it, but Pirlo was awesome until the finals, without him Italy would have been knocked out easily. But given the situation, with 3 players once again from La Liga, Messi, Iniesta and Ronaldo, I would prefer Iniesta to win it (he did win the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award) for his performances for his country and almost leading Barca to its Champions League and La Liga titles. But then anything can happen. I would just say never go by statistics of goals and assists alone.
Top Scorer – Messi or CR7, there is no doubt about it. I would opt for Messi. But who knows, anything can happen in football. Lets just wait and see.
Last but not the least,  Who will get most red cards this season – PEPE vs BARTON (uh, I would prefer to answer Pele vs Maradonna ;p).
Keep laughing and enjoy the sport 😉
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Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Sports


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