Thursday, February 28, 2008

Interesting Turnaround in Spain!

Few weeks ago, Real Madrid were sitting comfortable at the top of the table with up to 8 points advantage and looking very convincing to win the Spanish title. However, the circumstances now have changed as they suffer 3 consecutive defeats in just a week. They suffered a 2-1 defeat to Real Betis and they slumped to their first home defeat of the season as they were surprisingly crashed 1-0 at home to Getafe few days ago. In between, they also lost 2-1 to AS Roma in the 1st leg of the Champions League last 16 as their progress into quarterfinal looking uncertain.

In the other hand, Barcelona are in red-hot form after after they crushed Levante 5-1 and stretch their unbeaten run to 15 matches. The win put them only 2 points behind leaders Real Madrid and gave them a realistic hope of overtaking their rival in the League. They now appear to look fresher and to have less doubts about themselves with their star players like Messi, Eto, Ronaldinho, Henry and Xavi all on fire and scoring goals for fun while Madrid look to have problems.

As the situation became more complicated, it is interesting to see whether Madrid can overcome their problems or Barca will continue their streak. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And Finally Spurs Got It Right!

They looked like a hopeless team who got off a shaky start early in the season under Martin Jol in the beginning of the season. However, they have now transformed into a great team and produced some giant-killing feats in the Carling Cup, which includes 2-0 away win at Man City. 5-1 demolishing of Arsenal and finally, the dramatic 2-1 victory against Chelsea in the final. Let us take a look at few reasons that bring to their success:

  • The man behind their success- Manager Juande Ramos. Since the arrival of Juande Ramos the improvement has been dramatic, and was capped on Sunday by Wembley glory in the Carling Cup final when they came from behind to beat holders Chelsea. Known as a cup specialist, he has transformed his team into a new look team since taking over at the club thanks to a tireless attitude towards chopping, changing, encouraging and haranguing.

  • Keane + Berbatov = best partnership in the league?-These 2 strikers had produced some impressive performance this season. Not only the number of goals they have scored, but number of times they combined well and helped each other to score. We have seen many times- Keane to Berba, Berba to Keane..... With these 2 deadly striker playing together, there never seem to face any problem in scoring.

  • Arrival of Jonathan Woodgate- A great deal.He has kept their defence very solid against Chelsea and suprisingly, scored a vital winning goal that made the difference.

  • Full of creativity and pace in midfield. With players like Lenon , Jenas , Malbranque and Zokora, they are capable of creating loads of chances even against great oppositions.

Monday, February 25, 2008

First silverware goes to Spurs!

The Mickey Mouse Cup to be won at the start of the Year of Rat? The 'cup king'- Juande Ramos's Totenham Hotspur came back from 1 goal down to stun last season’s winners Chelsea 2-1 in the Carling Cup final, which went into extra time, at Wembley on Sunday. It was a major boost for Juande Ramos since taking charge of the north-London club in October 2007.

In the regulation time, Spurs made most of the attacking in the opening period, it was the Blues, who took the lead through their powerful forward Didier Drogba from a free-kick where it looks like a perfect return for him to the team. In a more equally-contested second half, Dimitar Berbatov restored parity to the scoreline from the penalty spot after a handball by Wayne Bridge.In the 30-minute extra time, Spurs got the goal early through an unlikely hero- Jonathan Woodgate. Spurs hang on and win their first trophy after nine years.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Full of Drama in Saturday's EPL!

Saturday's Premier League features three of the EPL big 4, while Chelsea playing Totenham in the Carling Cup Final a day later. Liverpool and Man Utd manage to overcome their opponents 3-2 & 5-1 respectively. Though they are impressive and full of goals, I decided to turn the attention to the early kick-off - Birmingham vs Arsenal.

3 minutes in, whoooop........,Arsenal's Eduardo is down, the refree shows a red card to Birmingham's Taylor. After that, Eduardo cound't find his way back on his feet in that match and was stretchered off and rushed straight to hospital. Indeed, his injury is worst then expected as we can see from the above pictures. The Croatian international is certain to miss the rest of the season, as well as the European Championships. For such a horrendous tackle, maybe a double or triple red card will not be enough and after the game Wenger suggests that this guy(Taylor) should never play football again.

For football fans like you and me, regardless which team we support, we would never want to see this kind of horrible injury occurs to any football player. It is a massive disaster for a football game. So, let us pray hard for him and hopefully he can recover as soon as possible.

DRAMA PART 2-Birmingham later stunned Arsenal by taking a 28th minute lead after Flamini blocked McFadden on the edge of the area at the expense of a free-kick. McFadden curled the ball superbly over the wall and into the top corner of the net. Yes, is true that as 10-man Birmingham took the lead over Arsenal but Arsenal dominating most of the possession.

PART 3 - Arsenal stepped up their gear in the second half by scoring 2 goals in 5 minutes, thanks to the brilliance of young Theo Walcolt. As they continue to dominate the match, Birmingham could hardly find even a shot at Arsenal's goal whether is on target or off target.

PART 4 - With seconds left to play, Arsenal look as if they could win the match, Arsenal's Gael Clichy needlessly conceded a penalty after a lapse of concentration, bringing down Stuart Parnaby.McFadden coolly stepped up to hammer a last-gasp equaliser from the spot. Arsenal captain William Gallas lost his cool at the dramatic late turn of events, displaying poor leadership by kicking a hoarding in anger near the halfway-line. People are wondering wheather he will 'whack Clichy' after the game for his costly mistake.

In my opinion, after this dramatical match, the title race has opened up and this 2 points drop by Arsenal could be a costly fumble in their title chase this season. Do you agree?

Friday, February 22, 2008


2007 World Player of the Year- Kaka

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, born in April 22, 1982 in Brasil, better known as Kaká. He is currently playing for AC Milan and wearing no. 22 shirt. He is widely recognised as the best player in the world. To add to his honour, he was the recipient of the prestigious Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007.

Kaká added the Champions League title to his trophy case for the first time when Milan defeated Liverpool F.C. 2–1 in Athens on May 23, 2007. Although he went scoreless, mainly due to the impressive display by Liverpool defensive midfieilder Javier Mascherano who keeps him fairly quiet on that night, He proved his class in the semifinal match against Man Utd, scoring 2 crucial away goals in the first leg and the opening goal in the second leg, thus helping Milan to reach the final and clinch their 7th Champions League title.

Subsequently, he became the tournament's top scorer with a remarkable 10 goals and he was named as the UEFA Champions League Best Forward: 2006-07 and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2007. Throughout his career he has also won the Serie A Footballer of the Year: 2004,2007 and European Footballer of the Year 2007.

Kaka's talents on the pitch always brings fears to many defenders, with his dazzling run and powerful and precise shot. A normal footballer may dribble past 2 or 3 defenders but this guy seems to glide past opponents like a skier on a slope, and then putting the ball into the net in a coolest way. He can score goals with either feet and score bucket loads of goals from open play or set piece and is also an excellent provider.

SUPERSTAR FOCUS (1) - Steven Gerrard

Before I kick start to my new blog, I would like to enlighten you with 2 of the currently best and most influential footballer in the world. I believe no football fans in this world will feel strange towards these 2 outstanding player.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard MBE, born 30 May 1980, Whiston is the captain for Liverpool where he wears the no. 8 shirt. In England, he wears no. 4 shirt. He is regarded as an inspirational captain for his club and an influential and versatile midfielder in the world. He is well known for his lightning bursting run, long-range shots and defence-splitting passes that are capable of terrorizing any stubborn defence.

Throughout his career he has won the PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Player of the Year, European Midfielder of the year, Premier League Most Valuable Player (twice), and UEFA Most Valuable Player. He has also been awarded the MBE for his outstanding contributions in both the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2006 FA Cup Final in which he greatly inspired his team's comeback.

As the faithful Liverpool fans sing another heartfelt and dedicated rendition of " You'll Never Walk Alone" and the reds walk out onto the pitch at Anfield, Steven Gerrard leads the way, carrying hopes and dreams of thousands of Liverpool fans with him. An inspirational captain and hero to the fans, Stevie G is undoubtly one of the brightest talents in football today. Wherever he goes, Gerrard also can be considered a model professional off the field and will be idolize by many people for years to come.

Stevie G with CL trophy

In the talisman Gerrard, Liverpool have a reliable skipper who can not only lead but turn a match around incrediblly at the most critical moment. For instance, he leads Liverpool in the dramatic final against AC Milan where that match is regarded as 'The Greatest Comeback" in football history. A year later, when most Liverpool fans get frustrated in the FA Cup final match where 'The Reds' were losing 2-3 to West Ham until the final minute. In the middle of nowhere, Stevie G fires a tremendous long range strike into the bottom corner to level up the score. Liverpool eventually won the match in penalty shootout. The FA Cup Final also branded as "The Gerrard's Final" for his superb performance.