Category Archives: Football
One of the most celebrated strikers of the game and legend returns to the club that made him what he became, on loan for 2 months. The fans went delirious seeing him in the bench. And as fate would have it, half way through the 2nd half at 0:0 Thierry Henry replaced Chamakh and all he took was 10 minutes bringing his already glorious tally of goals to 227 for the club. Mammoth isn’t it ? And that was the winner that took Arsenal past to next round.
“It was like a dream,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “It was a story you would tell young kids if you want to tell them a story about football. Sometimes it happens.”
So is the trophies drought for Arsenal going to end this season ? We shall wait and see Arsene. But for now, relive the glorious moment. Regardless of what club You support, there is no denying this is what we all long to see in sport but so rarely happens. So let’s just cherish “what dreams are made of…”
Courtesy: ESPN Star Sports / BBC
Before everyone starts to call me to validate my well being, I’d like to steer clear that the subject line is strictly in reference to the fortunes of the 2 teams I follow in sport and not particularly related to my physical well being. The 2 teams are Manchester United in football and India in cricket. To put it simply, dream start to the new year could’nt be further from the reality. Well atleast as far as the telly is concerned.
In this edition we will look at the sudden sense of vulnerability that has seeped inside the ranks of Manchester United and the personnel that make the club what it is.
Having occupied the 2nd spot in the Premier League for better part of the season, they assured a glimpse of returning to top form which they usually do at this time of the year. & that was the 2nd week of December barely a month back when we managed to finish with scorelines like 4-1 to Wolves, 0-2 to QPR, and raising the bar to 0-5 to Fulham and 5-0 to Wigan. Now just when the stage was set to press the pedal to ascendancy in the table, in our next encounter and what was the Year’s last game facing the lowest ranked team in the league who are fighting their own demons for survival, on our home turf with the biggest support in terms of numbers, we managed to push our carts to a downslide going out in flames losing 2-3. Well as much as it must have hurt; the late surge of equalising after conceding 2 goals to nil reiterated the passion in United. As must have been the case the winner from the opposition came against the run of play late into the game jolting any hopes we nurtured for a come back.
It must have stung deep because the manner we went down to New Castle United that made up for a choke-o-block game week, only suggested that the issues that have surfaced are way beyond just the tip of the ice berg. I do not consider myself an acute tactician of the game having started to follow it religiously not too long ago. But the sensibilities that one accumulates having read, watched, analysed multiple formats of various sports on a thinking spectator’s level, I sense, some immediate changes in the line up is the order of the day. The fact that we still haven’t found an adequate replacement for Scholes’ spot and a season ending injury to main line of defense / captain Nemanja Vidic mixed with a long and ever growing list of injured players, are the reasons that has left us in this precarious position. Make no mistake that as much as the outsiders, the ones inside the camp too believe that Man Utd are still in with a exceptionally plausible chance of winning it for a record 20th time. The only problem is that I still don’t see this to be our lowest low of the season yet, but at the same time what makes it even more fascinating is that I also take heart from my 2nd belief that the best moments and games of the season are ahead of us. GLORY GLORY MAN UTD.
I don’t mean this, in its entirety. It is in reference to what Manchester City’s Manager had to say at the end of their Bayern Munich clash after going down 2-0, in their Champions League tie. Its a result of a revolt by the ever so fussy, home sick striker, Carlos Tevez when he refused to come on as a substitute with the club 0-2 down and around 40 minutes to final whistle. This was in retaliation to the plan of leaving him out of the starting 11 or so we’ve heard.
I have heard and witnessed plenty of stories of players being unhappy about being substituted or being left out at starts but this sounds like a clincher. Its long time coming and one or the other Tevez would and most importantly should work out someway to leave. With this instance aside I’d like to think the club should have read the signs when a player begs to be left. You cannot win trophies like that.
A case in point is Edin Dzeko’s reaction at being replaced. Check the pic out. I mean c’mon there must be more than one thing wrong at the blues camp in Maine Road. Personally this is what happens when You pay money to buy loyalty. It just doesn’t work that way. Its about passion and a sense of belonging. A more passionate player would have tried to prove the Manager wrong by making use of opportunities thrown at him. Mancini summarised it all when he said “I cannot accept this. Can you imagine a Bayern Munich, Milan or Manchester United player doing this?” Yes Sir. You said it. & You’ re right we cannot imagine.
Check out the latest results of the UEFA Champions League, here !!!
Pic Coutesy : Empics Sport / Getty Images
Well its Saturdays like these that we all slog our back sides off, for the first 5 days. Eventually as it happens we go a little numb as the events get underway. Find ourselves reminding that its actually happening and yes I have a day off tomorrow too
The very first thought that flashed my mind on the morning after, as I opened my eyes was the ugly reminder that my team lost. It was a major consolation that Manchester United beat Arsenal ending the latter’s FA Cup campaign (Yessssss). But let me stay away from a non linear narrative and pick an excerpt from the cliche’ starting from where it all began.
Close finishes specially when India is on the wrong end of such results, generally sparks of wild debates about of what could have been. Heck, the Indian television business accounts for almost a dozen of such shows which air prime time debates of such nature and milk the poor middle class Indian’s precious attention. Was it the decision to have Nehra bowl the last over and not Harbhajan, was it the selection of leaving out an extra specialist spinner in Ashwin, or was it the manner in which India’s famed batting line up folded like a pack of cards giving away the initiative and managing a less than average score in Nagpur, are questions that cricket lovers will find themselves asking and answering for a long time now. As we hope that this does not have a denting effect on our overall hopes of making it to the Quarters I cant help but know for a fact that its India’s batting that let us down. Getting all out with more than an over to spare when just 40 mins back we were at 260 odd for 1, is not something that has not happened before in cricketing terms,but may be not to this team. That had a telling effect on the eventual result of the match. However in the manner in which we tightened our screws around in our fielding and bowling which and displayed a much improved performance, it was a heart breaker to have lost at the dying minutes of the game. I urge my country men and cricket lovers to stop blaming Dhoni for it. There is absolutely no guarantee that Bhajji would’nt have leaked those runs either. Let the team learn from these mistakes made in this match, recuperate and smash their way to glory from here on. To Team India…. ALL THE BEST
Talking about glory, I finally managed a smile after a long evening with Man United’s win over Arsenal in their FA cup clash last night with a crushing 2:0 win which could have easily been a 4:0 with some lovely chances created by the frontmen in red. But as most of Red Devils fans will, I will take this 2:0 win over our cocky rivals. Shame on each Gooner who invested their time and energy predicting, expecting and finally praying for a slip up in Man Utd’s form leading to the crucial phase to the Premier League title race.
Well lets just say we are back after 2 forgettable matches. But thats for another day. Let us now just bask in the glory of a wonderful evening where Hernandez, Fabio and Rooney did almost everything right and ensured a telling win shooting the Gunners down (who incidentally are now out of Carling Cup, Champions League and now FA Cup )Arsene Wenger with all due respect does cut a sorry figure in the sidelines for someone who spent majority of the season jumping around like a man possessed. You take some rest now.
Well thats my “straight from the bed post on a Sunday morning, about a Saturday that was” !!!
Watch Harsha’s match round up of the Ind vs SA clash here !!!
For more picture from Man U vs Arsenal game, click here