another week in football

17 09 2007

Joke of the week :

Ronaldo, Luis Figo and James McFadden

Goal of the week : Riccardo Zampagna

Blog of the week :

Story of the week : 76-year-old granny who embarked on a one-woman pitch invasion

It’s My Bawl

“I think she was offside – the linesman put his flag up.”

Grinding it out… same old, same old.

16 09 2007

Ever since that someone posted a comment that this site lacked Man Utd content, I feel that I have to contribute at least once every two weeks or be crucified by the… numerous(?) United fans who visit this site.

What can I say? I have really been disappointed with United’s football thus far. For a team that has invested 50 big ones in the summer, you’d think they’d be anything but short of cover in certain positions. After this past week of internationals and last night’s game, we now have ONE striker and ONE left back.

I don’t know if this whole no out-and-out striker = lack of goals is justified. I mean, I saw Saha come on for the last 20 minutes or so against Sunderland and Everton and the flow of the match didn’t really alter dramatically. The only similarities I saw were: Vidic’s great defending, lack of creativity, Scholes’ horrendous tackling, Wes Brown’s impressive tackling, United’s desperation, and a winning goal off a near-post corner.

Wanna stop United from scoring? Work on defending those near-post balls.

Oh yah, one more thing I noticed… Rio Ferdinand is a completely different player once he gets the captain’s armband. Give him two and he’ll probably be the best there ever was.


Lest I get crucified for being the most critical, sarcastic and skeptical United fan ever (I am a Man Utd fan, really!), I must say that I am ‘content’ that they are at least grinding out results. Jose Mourinho would have key-messaged us to death on ‘champions are those that get three points even when having out-played’ – and I think this is pertinent. I mean, to be performing this poorly and still be only two points adrift is a massive achievement. The teams who are in form would probably want to be build a bigger lead before the off-form teams kick into gear. Because eventually, they will. And when that happens, watch out!

There’s my two cents of positivism. 🙂

I love BBC Quotes of the week

12 09 2007

“I got out of Bolton quick. The weather and English football were not for me. The forwards used to tackle me, a defender. I did not understand.”
As Vincent Candela announces his retirement, he reveals why he left Bolton in 2005.

“Good name for Scrabble.”
Mark Lawrenson, commenting on Israel’s left back, Yoav Ziv.

“Twiddle the knob around until something new comes up.”
Jonathan Agnew when telling listeners how to listen to cricket commentary on digital radio (during the final ODI).

“I dont think it was a high tackle, I just think Dominici was low.”
ITV commentator in the France v Argentina game.

“God told me to sign for Hull.”
Jay-Jay Okocha on why he went to the KC stadium.

“Batman is a Kopite.”
Liverpool fans in the Kop as two bats circled and darted in and out of the stand during the Toulouse game.

“Mr John Smith your wife is waiting under the scoreboard, it’s your turn to feed the baby.”
During Leicester Tigers match.

More found here.. 

internationals week = boring ><

10 09 2007

BBC’s Quotes of Last Week

“It’s a bit like a marriage. You want to do things in life but if you don’t have anyone to share it with then it’s just not as fulfilling.”
Gareth Southgate takes an original line in trying to lure the crowds back to the Riverside Stadium.

Yaya Toure Slaps Xavi And Blaming Someone else 🙂

Another week in football

29 08 2007

Imagine your Premiership Managers in a class. Hilarious.

The managers – premiership parody

Literally kicking your opponents ass. Cheers Baldini!!


RIP Rhys Jones & Antonio Puerta 😦

Spur-ring on, United finally win.

28 08 2007

Second-last in the Premier League table is not a position Man Utd are accustomed to. Yet there they were sitting majestically above Derby before the clash with Tottenham on Sunday. To put it plainly, losing – or even a point – would be catastrophic even at this stage of the season. I guess it does put into perspective how competitive the EPL has been since Chelsea became a force.

Martin Jol’s team were not exactly flying high themselves and with the recent flak he was getting, it was imperative that Spurs got a result at Old Trafford. Not the easiest of things to do considering their poor record there – Spurs’ last win was in Dec 1989. All the hype and statistics seemed to point towards an intense, open, attacking fest. Well, there was plenty of ‘goal-mouth action’. Unfortunately, not the kind of action neither United nor Spurs fans would be relishing.

Most of the game was played in midfield with both sides striving hard for penetration. With Tevez up on his own, the trio of Carrick, Scholes, and Hargreaves proved ineffective in getting anywhere beyond Spurs’ resilient back-line. Only Nani provided that bit of flair and industry and hopes of any ‘magic’. At the other end, the ever-immaculate Berbatov was wrecking havoc for Vidic and Ferdinand; his two well-crafted chances in the 2nd half requiring heroics from Brown and Ferdinand to keep United in the game. Both chances also substantiated valid claims for penalties though neither was given, thus inviting a flurry of post-match controversy.

Berbatov put on a masterclass performance – even with lack of service

Former United target Gareth Bale started his first match and impressed. Playing most of the match on the left of midfield, the 17-year old was more than a match for Wes Brown and his dead-ball pedigree nearly gifted Ricardo Rocha a goal. Unfortunately, the defender fluffed his chance and sent the ball wide.

At the end, the scoreline was settled by a spectacular effort by Nani – though Carlos Tevez’s intervention may have proved more vital than it appears. Only Paul Robinson knows if it mattered.

Tottenham were the better team at Old Trafford. However, like Chelsea, it is important for potential champions to grind out results when least likely. Chelsea did it against Portsmouth and United had to against Spurs.

I’d hold the celebrations for now…

Indeed there’s a lot to be happy about, but Ferguson will not be celebrating considering his team were outplayed for the first time this season. Ironic, eh? With Solksjaer’s immediate plans to retire, the Scots will probably have to reconsider his decision not to purchase a striker before January. Suddenly, that seems like a long time away.

Man of the match: Dimitar Berbatov

Play of the day: Berbatov collecting a high-ball, pulling it behind him on his foot between Vidic and Ferdinand before attempting to bend it top right corner. Van der Sar was grounded.

Controversy take: 1) Vidic had eyes on ball, no obstruction. 2) Hit Brown’s chest. Even if arm, too close and after Rob Styles’ case, was unlikely to be given.

Sunderland 0 – Liverpool 2

26 08 2007

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon had a good game could do nothing more to let in two goals as Liverpool overpowered Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

There are a lot of positives to take from this game. Notably the squad coped with the game in the absence of Steven Gerrard, and even after losing both center halves to injury.

Hyypia broke his nose and had to go off as early as the 15th minute. Agger didn’t get the rest he was supposed to get. Carragher had some trouble with his ribs and had to go off in the 75th minute. Arbeloa filled in well in his place.

Momo Sissoko score his goal in his Liverpool career.. and what a goal it was! You wouldn’t bet on him scoring a goal, what more a goal like that!

He had a good game overall. I think he improved drastically from last season in terms of positioning, passing, as well as avoided giving silly fouls and getting booked. Let’s hope he continues his development and fulfills to his potential.

Voronin scored the second goal late in the game. It was a finely worked move from the rest of the team and he finished well after doing well to make space for the shot. He played well despite making a lot of mistakes in promising situations. Afterall it is his first full Premier League game. I am impressed with him overall as a good squad player.

Is it me or does he look like Triple H ?

Babel wasn’t particularly effective on the left wing. Being right footed, he tends to cut infield a lot and run into a lot of trouble. Again, let’s hope he improves as well and settle be the star everyone is tipping him to be.

Torres played well too. Alongside Voronin, they didn’t give the Sunderland defenders one moment of rest and I won’t be surprised if any of the defenders have nightmares of them tonight.

The Liverpool duo worked hard to hassle and force mistakes from the Sunderland defence. Torres has a few good chances to score but it just wasn’t his day.

I shall leave you with this video as a tribute to the good job Roy Keane is doing at Sunderland. I present to you .. Roy Keane .. & Roy Keane..

flavour of the week

23 08 2007

Picture of the week.. from theredcauldron :

Compare this..

to this..

Here’s my pick of last week’s Quotes of the Week.

“I think I have a naive team. They are naive because they are pure and they are clean. We don’t have divers, we don’t have violent people.”
Jose Mourinho on his clean-living Chelsea boys, following their dodgy penalty against Liverpool.

“If Chelsea are naive and pure then I’m Little Red Riding Hood.”
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez disagrees.

My pick of the week before that:

“I was excited and it takes a lot to get me excited… ask my wife!”
Roy Keane is so excited – and he just can’t hide it after Sunderland’s opening day win over Spurs.

Video of the week :

We’ve got the best midfield in the world…

I didn’t comment on the Liverpool – Chelsea game as there’s nothing to be said. As usual, Liverpool played well but did not get what they deserve. The ref made an idiot of himself and Chelsea got away again. Oh well.

I hope Liverpool continue their good form at Sunderland!

– sca1lywag

Cannonball start to season? I think not.

22 08 2007

There was a whole lot of talk about Man United scorching the paces of the EPL and leaving their opposition in their wake. Heck, even Carlos Quieroz had to get in on the act claiming “We’re all confident” a day before the season took off. Now, call me a pessimist, but I’ve always believed that self-ra-ra (or in this case, over-postivism) is the chief ingredient for crash and burn. They really should take a page off the Bible and remained humble about being champions. After all, last season was no stroll in the park.

trudge I suppose that the acquisition of some “high-profile-youngsters” at exorbitant fees didn’t help the cause but the underlying fact is that they are youngsters bought at significantly overinflated prices. Of course back then, all media was gushing over the prospects of United’s four signings in Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves and ultimately Tevez. Of the four, only Hargreaves had the potential to fit into the team acclimatised and bolstering it. Tevez remains an interesting study, but only when Rooney and him combine will we be able to see if similarities breed synergy. And we’ll have to wait ’til Christmas for that.

Of all the signings, this United fan is actually most excited at the prospect of Ben Foster returning from injury and seeing how he deals at the highest level with the most pressure.

Now, away with ‘prospect’ and ‘potential’. What matters is ‘now’ and ‘results’. And United are simply not delivering – the results, that is. After three games, it would be harsh to say that they aren’t playing good football… because they are. As many claim, they do seem to be lacking the cutting edge finishing in the 18-yard box. But really, is that a good enough excuse? Will a 12mil pound signing of Anelka solve the problem?

In my humble (and humble it is) opinion, signing Anelka would merely create a psychological impact on both United and their opposition. This impact being the “ahh, we now have a centre forward and our goal-scoring problems are over” and/ or “oh no, now they have a striker and we’re doomed” factor. In all reality, Manchester United have been and are ever capable of scoring from anywhere on the park on any given day – with or without Rooney and Ronaldo. Statistics do speak for themselves; that United have controlled possession in all their games and created the majority of scoring opportunities. A missed chance should not be attributed to a missing striker but rather to individualistic flaws/mistakes/loss of concentration or whatever. Instinct is not an excuse.

And let’s face it, a defence that leaks soft goals against (forgive me) lesser opposition in Man City and Portsmouth is only escaping scrutiny due to the seemingly “more shocking” lack of tooth upfront. Let’s not forget that last year’s title was won on the foundation of having one of the best defensive records in the league.

I’m not even going to bother with the red card and injuries because these things take place in the natural course of football. Deal with it.

After all that’s been said and done, United have to do it the hard way again. I take heart that the season is not lost (yet) but its time to ditch that ‘champions’ mantle and put the hard work back into football. At least all this is making up for an interesting 9 months, aye?

– JT 

Change, but for the better….

14 08 2007

Last Sunday’s game against Fulham summed it all. It was a crazy game, the mishits, the crazy Warner and the lucky headers and off the liners….

But Arsenal persevered. And wave after waves of attack finally paid off, creating a penalty and 2 goals only to bring all 3 precious EPL points back for Arsenal after what seemed like a story from last season again.

Like Arsenal is, the change which was made also was important. Without Bendtner up front, we did not have much physical contact inside. That masterstroke by Wenger really made the difference when Bendtner had hussled around with the outstanding Zat Knight to make the comfortable Fulham backline, disturbed in distress. He did not have much of a part in both goals, but what he did was to open up the defence, mix them up a bit, which led Hleb to be free and score the winning goal.

So in short, if the magnificent Henry isn’t around this season, I don’t see a problem, because he didn’t show up last season either. If we could play to the fourth spot last season. i predict better this season, yes, even without much big name salvaging.

However, do watch out for the indomitable Newcastle, who impressed last weekend, not because of their players, but because of Big Sam. Another team i’ll tip is Man City, who do not look like a typical Premiership side, but play their football in a more continental style, which did tear West Ham apart.

Great season ahead? YOU BET!

– Kar Heng