Thursday, December 29, 2011

Transfer talk - part 3

Following what we’ve already covered about some of the Premier League's top clubs (part 1 and part 2), and now have a look at some of Europe’s elite, and most active in the market, Football clubs.

FC Barcelona

Figo29: The major concern is in the attack as David Villa is ruled out for the season. Rumor has it that Chelsea are willing to swap Fernando "I Fire Blanks" Torres for the young trio of Cuenca-Roberto-Montoya. However, they will be looking for a striker with experience AND eligible to play Champions League. Bids are already in place for Abidal (PSG) Keita (Milan) and Maxwell (Arsenal), while Mario Götze is on Barca's radar. I recommend Maxi Lopez for a second spell or someone who is a real number 9. p.s. Forget about Neymar, please!

TFS: Despite Villa being ruled out, I just can’t see Barca buying anyone significant during the middle of their season. Basically, the way I think of it is – why fix something that isn’t broken? To be fair Villa hasn’t had the best of seasons and regardless of his presence, Barca will still be successful and beating teams for fun. So, no signings here in my opinion, but maybe a new name from their youth ranks.

Real Madrid

Figo29: Mourinho still has at least six months before we witness a new exodus and a wave of signings. Albiol, Higuain, Benzema, Khedira, Diarra, Kaka and Ozil are all rumored to be leaving but that's not likely to happen soon, not at least for most of them. New additions are coming, so expect to see Neymar, Bale, Gotze, Tevez, or even Hulk. I take no gambles with Real Madrid.

TFS: I can’t see them selling anyone in the transfer window. Anything could disrupt the fragility of their title challenge. Mourinho is never a big spender in January, nor are Real Madrid. If a signing is made, it’ll be in the summer and it will be another huge "galactico" signing. So for now…nada.

AC Milan

Figo29: Galliani says it is either Tevez or no one. Don't trust him. Pato and Robinho are unsettled, so is Taye Taiwo. Maxwell and Keita are probable reinforcements, and a surprise Kaka return might be on the cards. Maxi Lopez, Domenico Criscito, Riccardo Montolivo, and Ganso all expressed their love to Milan, and Milan needs all of them.

TFS: They’ve got to buy Tevez. If not to bolster their striking options, then simply so that we (the football fans) can stop hearing about Tevez moaning about what he likes and dislikes (weather, food, golf...). Taiwo could be possible departure and I never  thought about it – but Old Trafford would suit him, as United do need cover at left-back.

Internazionale Milano

Figo29: Expect another round of useless transfers including a change of the coach, too. Inter has an aging squad and a mad millionaire who will bid for anything this winter. Milito, Motta, Chivu, and Sneijder may not stay and some footballers' lookalikes will join.

TFS: I bet Sneijder is cursing himself for not pushing to leave during the summer. I doubt they’ll buy anyone significant. Their transfer activity in January won’t do much I believe. Alejandro Gomez (Catania), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen - and a legend in the game Football manager) and Juraj Kucka (Genoa) have all been linked. Wouldn't be surprised to see Krasic jump the boat from Juventus to Inter either.


Figo29: Antonio Conte is gaining the fans and the board's trust, and no one will argue with him if Vincenzo Iaquinta, Eljero Elia, Fabio Quagliarella, Luca Toni, Amauri, and Miloš Krasić are placed on the transfer list. Yet, do not expect big names to replace any departing player. Angelo Palombo is a probable signing, while Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertongan are tempting enough for the Old Lady.

TFS: Rumor has it that 2 moves are in the works for January – Martin Cacares (a loan from Sevilla with an option to buy) and Marco Boriello (another loan from Roma with an option to buy). Juve have been lethal this season, and I wouldn't doubt the effect that Conte’s signings could have on their title challenge. 

Paris Saint-Germain

Figo29: A rich club wanting to be among Europe's biggest names in no time, so you do the math. Carlo Ancelotti will lead the overhaul, and he might sign his previous favorites: Malouda, Pato, and Alex. Beckham is one name bigger than the club and can bring the media to Paris, while Tevez might be a shock signing.

TFS: The equivalent of Manchester City in France, they’re linked with pretty much everybody. Some of the names being spoken about are quite ridiculous but I wouldn’t put it past them to make the moves – Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, Kaka, Pato, Malouda, Alex, David Beckham, Higuain….and of course, Carlos Tevez. Let’s see which of these will happen, but I don’t expect Pastore to be the lonely megastar in that team for long.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Transfer Talk - part 2

As we continue to preview the transfers that might or might not happen in the January transfer window, and are discussing once more some other potential moves.

For part one click here.

Part 2 will cover England’s Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and Liverpool:

Tottenham Hotspur

Figo29: The math is simple: a rich midfield and a scarcity in attack. Confirmed exclusive news by Les Ferdinand to says that Roman Pavlyuchenko will surely leave the club, if not this winter then by end of season as he “is a hard man to deal with and of a strange character.” Ferdinand also revealed that the club cannot afford Adebayor on the long term and there is no chance he stays by the end of the season. Rumor has it that Leandro Daimao is on the Spurs radar so is Nilmar. Giovani Dos Santos, Niko Kranjcar and Steven Pienaar could all leave as they are looking for regular playtime. Modric is still an uncertainty, and Manchester United will be happy to receive him.

TFS: As much as he denies it, Redknapp is a great negotiator in the transfer market. Whether or not he can bolster his squad in January is another question. I do think they need re-enforcements. They're very close to become serious title contenders, and the only two positions I believe they should improve are the left-back spot (Assou-Ekotto isn't that great) and up front. They probably won't buy in the January window, but with Pavlyuchenko probably on his way out, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see a striker coming in. Someone completely unexpected to support Adebayor - Amauri? Or someone much bigger...

Figo29: Arsene Wenger will make up his mind on Thierry Henry soon while Hugo Rodallega and Luka Podolski are on the Frenchman’s agenda. He is looking for cover upfront while van Persie is the only survivor. With Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson, Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs are all injured, rumor has it that Alex from Chelsea and Wayne Bridge from Manchester City are on their way to the Emirates. Arshavin and Chamakh may not last beyond the transfer window and Lassana Diarra or Lucas Biglia could help the Gunners into a Champions League spot.

TFS: Arsenal have always had the same problems in recent seasons after the New Year. Lots of injuries, some players going to the Cup of Nations, and a lack of depth in the squad. They need to add some numbers to the squad, as well as getting rid of some. Coming in: talk of Thierry Henry returning could materialize, but is that Arsenal's solution? In the short term, with Gervinho and Chamakh off to Africa, yes. But given that Van Persie's only cover, Chamakh, is quite rubbish, they need someone to help him up there on the long run. Podolski has been mentioned and would be a good match for Wenger. The wing-backs are also a problem, so as Wayne Bridge has been touted for the move, I do think Wenger will go for someone unheard of - like Jan Vertonghen of Ajax who is a versatile defender. Going out: Arshavin has surely got to leave now and the previously mentioned Chamakh - both, for simply being pretty useless.

Figo29: The best signings for Liverpool are already concluded: Return of Steven Gerrard and a rejuvenated Maxi Rodriguez. However, the suspension of Luis Suarez will leave a lackluster Carroll alone, and some probable alternatives are Marouane Chamakh, Bobby Zamora, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar or Amauri. In the meantime, Cheick Tioté or Sami Khedira can add some strength in the absence of Lucas, while Raul Albiol might take the advice of Xabi Alonso and join.

TFS: A striker. That's all Liverpool need. Suarez is getting done for 8 matches. Carroll couldn't score if his life depended on it. And Liverpool's missed chances are akin to a midget trying to punch a 6ft5 bouncer. It's just not happening. Given Liverpool's recent transfer activity of signing British players, I wouldn't be surprised if someone like Darren Bent joined them.

Part 3, coming soon...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Transfer Talk - part 1

Few days left before Pandora’s Box is open again. Come January, the transfer window will send its billions flying all around Europe and many footballers on to new roller-coaster rides. The transfer rumors are intensifying and some deals are almost done, but won’t be unveiled until the 1st of January – or so we’re told. and have joined forces to discuss the rumors, speculations, and give a little analysis regarding the potential transfers and will both publish a series of posts regarding Europe’s biggest names. 

Part 1 will cover England’s Manchester clubs and Chelsea:

Manchester United

Figo29: If I were Sir Alex, I would sign an experienced defender, a central holding midfielder and a creative midfielder. He should break all the rules and salary caps and structures to sign Wesley Sneijder. If Sneijder is still an impossible transfer, my options for the Sir are either Henrique Ganso or Adel Taarabt. As for the defensive/holding midfielders, Lassana Diarra or Sami Khedira from Real Madrid may be good loan deals, but the real deal may come in the name of Lucas Biglia. Rumor has it that his agent is already in talks with the Red Devils. On the Nicolas Gaitán news, I do not think he will sign for the team; at least not this season.

TFS: There’s always room for improvements at United. A versatile defender, on a loan perhaps, wouldn’t be a bad idea given that Vidic’s gone for the season. The same could be said about the midfield and while the calls are usually for the creative midfielder, I’d say it’s the midfield spoiler that United lack. One name comes to mind for me and I’d love to see him in United’s colors – Sheikh Tiote of Newcastle United. With Fletcher gone for a long period, not only would he provide cover there, but his arrival would definitely bring out the best in whoever plays alongside him. However, historically, Ferguson is not very active in the January transfer window – so I wouldn't expect any signings until the summer.

Manchester City

Figo29: Mancini says he needs to sell before he buys. I guess it is one of those rare moments where he is talking sense again. Carlos Tevez, Nedum Onuoha and Wayne Bridge are on the way out, and I do not believe that Manchester City needs replacements. However, given the blank cheques by the Arab owners, Mancini will be tempted to sign someone to cover for the Toure brothers while they are away on a three week mission to win the African Cup of Nations. No one will refuse City’s call, and I will not be surprised if Gary Cahill makes a shock move to the blue side of Manchester.

TFS: The only transfers that should happen during the January window are the exits of Tevez and Bridge. If they buy any more players, it will be for marketing purposes and not to bolster the strongest squad in the league. With the Toure brothers bound for a stint away during the Cup of Nations, there’s a perception that Yaya will be missed dearly – though we often forget that Nigel De Jong, one of their best players last season, is waiting to grab his chance. I expect only outgoing transfers.


Figo29: In short, I believe they need to buy a new team around Luiz-Ramires-Torres. Yet, the January transfer window is not the ideal time to buy the ideal players, and big money transfers or big changes should wait till the Summer. Anelka already left, Alex will leave soon, and Drogba is rumored to be on his way to Anzhi Makhachkala. A dream move would bring Javier Saviola, who lost his starting 11 spot in Benfica, to Chelsea. Bolton already gave the go-ahead for talks with Gary Cahill, and Jack Rodwell is in advanced talks to join the London side. If these two join Chelsea, I will not ask for more signings before the Summer. Milos Krasic, whose agent is already talking to Chelsea, will also be a great option. Big money signings will arrive at The Bridge this Winter.

TFS: No transfer window these days goes by without some sort of activity by Roman Abramovich. With Terry’s potential racism charge on the cards, as well as Alex’s exit, a defender is a must. It has already been confirmed that discussions for Gary Cahill are at an advanced stage, so that should be done and dusted soon. Anelka’s gone to China and Drogba will be at the Cup of Nations soon – so the call for a striker is looming; but with Torres, Sturridge and Lukaku, I’d be surprised if one was signed. One defender and possibly a move for a midfielder as well are likely - with Krasic rumored to be on his way, though I don't see why they'd add another attacking-minded midfielder, knowing they've got Lampard on the bench. 

Part 2 will be published in the coming days.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The View - Tottenham vs Chelsea

Another game in London, another old stadium, this time the London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea at White Hart Lane. The stadium dates back to 1899 and has seen some incredible games down the years. Arriving to the ground with a good friend of mine, a Liverpool fanatic, we both laughed at the Anti-Arsenal toilet rolls that were being sold around the ground. The area around the ground is empoverished and is quite far off any means of transport stop (tube or bus). Police were well and truly all over the place to divide the supporters of both clubs, as they usually expect crowd trouble when these two sides meet. Our tickets were in the Chelsea supporters section. To be honest, we’d have preferred if our tickets were in the Tottenham end; but we settled for these seats – which, with respect to the view, were amazing. But besides that, both of us knew that we felt very awkward, to say the least, being there.

As we waited for the teams to appear onto the pitch, the Tottenham fans found their voices to sing their famous chant “when the Spurs go marching in” and I must admit to getting the goosebumps when I witnessed that. That was an incredible sight for someone going to White Hart Lane for the first time. In addition to the Chelsea fans singing their songs, the noise at the start of the game in particular, was incredible – but I’ll mention more on the chants and songs later. The game kicked-off with both teams, in typical fashion, going for it. Tottenham looked the more threatening though. With Van Der Vaart, Modric, Bale and Adebayor creating problems for Chelsea’s defence, led by captain John Terry, it took only 8 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Gareth Bale, who was the outstanding player throughout the game, went on another of his mazy runs before teeing up Adebayor who got a touch of the ball ahead of Cech or Terry to glide it into the back of the net. 1-0 to Spurs and the momentum was with the home side.

The Chelsea fans alongside us began showing support for their side with their chants – which I must admit – are a bit dire. Not only are there barely any witty lyrics, like other clubs’ chants, but the songs are either all repetitive, or are simply things which involve “the lane” (a reference to Spurs’ stadium). That’s it. Some other chants just repeat the same words over and over again (according to my Liverpool mate, they even “stole” the Torres chant as well). Then I noticed that Spurs fans, apart from the “Come on you spurs” and “when the spurs go marching in”, which create an incredible atmosphere for a minute or so, have got almost no chants. It’s either that or they just decide to stay quiet for large chunks of the game, unless John Terry touches the ball, then boos go ringing around the stadium. Nevertheless, they were surprisingly quiet. So I came to the conclusion that southern clubs are not as creative or noisy, when it comes to chants, as northern clubs – who usually have witty, long and various chants for all players and opponents.

Anyways, back to the game and the entertainment carried on. Chances going both ways, with Bale being the most impressive player in a Spurs shirt, whereas for Chelsea, Juan Mata was conducting everything that was blue. His shot created an opening for Sturridge who somehow blasted it over the bar. But he made amends later on when Ashley Cole, who appeared to handle the ball, crossed in for Sturridge who tapped it in. 1-1 and game on. It was end to end stuff at an incredible pace. As the half went on, Chelsea grew in confidence and were getting more into the game with Spurs now on the back foot, especially when Drogba had a fantastic chance which he blasted onto the post. At the other end, everything Tottenham threw at Chelsea was being dealt with by a man I can’t stand, John Terry. Considering the trouble he’s facing, he performed very well (I still hate the b*****d and feel dirty saying that he had a good game). Half-time duly arrived, with both sides looking to regroup, especially Chelsea who lost Mikel and Ivanovic through injuries.

I thought there’d be more goals in the second half. But it wasn’t to be. Chelsea were in the ascendency for most of the second half, with Tottenham going forward in spells. Friedel stopped everything that came his way from Chelsea, whereas Tottenham fans felt aggrieved by an Adebayor goal that was ruled out for offside, when replays showed that it was a harsh decision. Mata was still pulling the strings for Chelsea, and when you see him playing, it’s evident that he’s not a very fast or pacey player, but he’s an intelligent one. He picks out passes with such class that he’s a joy to watch. He created a few chances for Ramires, Terry and Drogba, who all missed them. However, as the clock was ticking and nearing towards the final whistle, we all felt there was one more goal in it and that almost came when Bale found his way, again, through a sea of Chelsea shirts to give Adebayor a golden opportunity to win it, only for Terry to somehow get his body in the way.

The final whistle came and it ended 1-1. An entertaining affair. Chelsea’s players, Terry in particular, showed their respect towards the Chelsea end and threw their shirts into the crowd. Terry gave his shirt to a Spurs fan, which was rather strange, as his fate is going to be decided soon with regards to the racism row that has put him in trouble once again. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The View - Fulham vs Manchester United

This was my first visit to Craven Cottage. Waiting outside the ground and looking at the stadium itself, you get the vibe of just how old the stadium is (since 1896). Fulham’s fans waiting in small numbers as their players, unlike at other bigger clubs, arrived to the stadium separately in different mini-vans; all of whom gladly took pictures with the fans and signed autographs, living up to the “family spirit” that Fulham Football Club is recognized for having. The arrival of Manchester United’s team bus however, provoked both sets of supporters to crowd up the entire entry to the stadium. Whereas everyone was trying to get an up-close glimpse of the players, as well as creating havoc, I had ran into Pete Boyle (the man behind the majority of United’s chants) and took a picture with him; unlike Mark Bright who refused to take a picture with me – as he later told me via Twitter that he had “an important phone call”. (Ha! “celebs”)

The Christmas spirit could be felt everywhere. Popular Christmas songs were being played in and around the stadium as I took my seat amongst the United away fans, while admiring the oldness of Craven Cottage. I went to the game on my own, so I ended up randomly talking to a bunch of other United supporters who were all incredibly friendly. As I walked down to the first row of the away fans section to watch the United players warm-up, two things happened which I feel proud of (one, much more than the other): firstly, and more importantly, I feel privileged and lucky enough to be able to say that I shook Sir Bobby Charlton’s hand (while ridiculously asking him to “shake” – don’t blame me I was star struck - also forgot to call him "Sir"!) and secondly I was able to get both United Keepers, Anders Lindergaard and David De Gea to wave to the camera (click here for the video). Lindergaard in particular seemed really sociable, as he kept conversing with fans who would ask him things while he warmed up!

United’s record at Fulham in recent seasons has been poor (1 point out of a possible 9), so I was expecting a tough game initially. But that didn’t happen thankfully. The game got underway and United’s fans were rocking; as were the team. An explosive start was made with Nani, bursting down the left wing before pulling the ball across for Danny Welbeck to side foot it into the back of the net with only 4 minutes played. Fulham looked hopeless as United piled on the pressure. Ryan Giggs, in particular, was outstanding yet again. Chants of “Giggs, Giggs is going to Amsterdam” and “He shags who he wants” kept going around the United fans as the Welsh legend proved once again, that despite his age and off-field problems, he is still the best player on the pitch when called upon. He provided the assist for United’s second goal when his short corner was whipped into the box for Nani to score with an uncharacteristic header. Giggs kept rolling back the years when he scored United’s third, when he was provided with a pass from the right flank by Nani, which he converted, via a massiave deflection, over Fulham’s goalkeeper David Stockdale. Giggs has now kept up with his record of being the only player to ever score in every Premier League season since its inception in 1992-93. The first half was incredibly one-sided and some of the Football on display was breathtaking. Movement down the wings, combined with a determination to win the ball back – there could only be one winner. Lindergaard was barely called into action and was often seen lurking up high towards the middle of the pitch and discussing with Patrice Evra while waiting for Fulham to conjure up something.

Half-time arrived. The wind was now blowing stronger than ever and a call for some beers was justified – as the chants carried on around the refreshment outlets and even in the toilets.

The second half was a different story as Fulham came into it with more aggression and determination. They looked much better. A few opportunities were squandered or brilliantly saved by United’s keeper, particularly down the troublesome left flank, which has become a source of most of United’s conceded goals. But that’s all it was. Pressure. Few chances. Nothing more. For every Fulham attack, United would counter-attack effectively to create chances. Like Jones, who got injured during the first half, Ashley Young also got injured and was taken off – thus pushing Valencia to right-back alongside Nani on the same flank. That created quite a few problems for Fulham as their pace was difficult to deal with. Valencia in particular has looked like his former self with another outstanding performance. Meanwhile, the Anti-Suarez, Anti-racism and of course, the Amsterdam chants, starting ringing in full throttle. This made the atmosphere all the more fun. As the second half went on, the result was never in doubt. Easily keeping possession of the ball, it was only a matter of when the referee would blow the whistle, however with 3 minutes left to play, Wayne Rooney blasted a shot from outside the box which made it 4-0. When was the last time Rooney did something like that? An absolute beauty! It was about time Rooney decided to have a go from outside the box! A couple of minutes later another sweeping move, deep into injury-time, was finished classily with a Berbatov back-heel to make it 5-0. Fulham’s biggest home defeat against Manchester United.

This was probably United’s best performance of the season so far. Especially during the first half. The control was fully in United’s hands. Apart from the obvious performers Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck and so on, credit has to be given to the defenders as well who also looked a class apart. Smalling was absolutely immense at the back. Evans looked good as well! A sign of things to come? Let’s hope so. Either way, it was a great victory with an even better least in the United end.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The greatest team of all-time debate

(picture taken from BBC)

As FC Barcelona were crowned “World Club Cup” Champions on Sunday, the compliments started flooding in and rightly so. Barcelona have now won pretty much every trophy there is to win, some twice, over the past 3 years; making them rightly recognized as the best team in the world…at the moment. I say “at the moment”, because I’m reading and hearing people everywhere trying to compare this Barcelona side with other legendary teams from the past - in order to try and figure out the answer to the age-old question of “which team is the greatest team of all-time?”. Here’s my answer and the justification of it:

You cannot compare different teams from different eras. It is impossible. Football has evolved so much over the years and there are too many differences between the footballers we see today and those of the past; between the game we loved then and the game we love today. Two different “animals” as some might say. The basics of Football will always remain the same, but the surroundings, the gameplay and everything else will always evolve and change. There is no “greatest team of all-time”, but rather a number of great Football teams that have played in different eras and here are my reasons for believing this.

1 – The pitches
Watch videos of the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s and so on; have look at the pitches. The players back then used to play in mud sometimes and still managed to get through the games. That was then, this is now - watch any game in any top league and have a look at the pitch – there has never been grass so green and well-cut as there is today. The grass in this day and age makes national parks look like a mess in comparison. What players have today in this aspect, has never been rivaled and allows players to play better and obviously, avoid injuries.

2 – The balls
Not those balls, you perverts reading this. The actual balls that the players play with nowadays are much, much, lighter than what players played with before. Evolution. That’s what happens, I’m not saying one is better than the other, but it is a fact. Balls today are much lighter than they were in the past. In the past, they used to be made of leather. Leather! Can you imagine Cristiano Ronaldo heading a leather-ball nowadays? Not a chance! He’d probably fall on the ground worrying about his haircut. To make you realize the difference even more, and the impact of the previous balls, whenever it rained, the ball got filled with water in it. Again, just imagine…

3 – The boots
When Adidas create a boot so advanced that it can keep count of how many steps you take, your heartbeat, which foot you’re better with and so on, you just know that the players today are privileged. This is as advanced as it can possibly get. Players back then had to clean their own boots and used the same one for an entire season! Nowadays, per game, players are lucky enough to have 3 or 4 different pairs, with different studs, in different colors – suiting all their needs, making it easier to perform as they choose fit. Different times, different eras.

4 – The different leagues
I say this because, again, different leagues have got different characteristics. The English league is the fastest, the Spanish is the most technical, the Italian & German leagues are the most tactical and intelligent. The leagues, like the teams in it, are very difficult to compare (hence why the European competitions give a good idea of who’s at the top and who’s not – something that this Barca team are proving quite exquisitely). Does winning La Liga now differ from winning it 50 years ago? Of course it does. Back then, when you look at the statistics, teams could lose 7 or 8 games a season, in all leagues, and still be crowned Champions. Nowadays, that will never happen. It is not because the standards of the leagues have improved, but because the gulf in class between the teams at the top and bottom of all leagues has become more evident. For various reasons (mainly money-related), at the start of any given season these days, it is easier to predict which teams will be competing for the league title at most “top” leagues in Europe. Whereas in the past, in England for example, you’d have a team like Aston Villa competing for the league title one season, and fighting a relegation battle the next (we still find this in France, however). Thus backing up my point of the difference in eras even more. The game has changed. Now, we already know who the “elite” are. Every single season. Which brings me to my next point…

5 – The injuries & squads
In Football nowadays, thanks to all the medical equipment and advances, players are able to recover from injuries quicker than ever. You might laugh this one off, but it’s a big factor in the difference of eras. For instance, if we take Marco Van Basten (a key member of Milan’s successful side in the late 80s/early 90s), who retired aged just 28, because of ankle injuries and then compare to the injuries suffered by Djibril Cisse who broke his legs (yes, both of them at different times in horrific incidents) and was able to recover fully – we have got to appreciate that footballers nowadays are very well taken care of. But despite these great medical advances, if injuries occur to members of a team now, they are easily replaced, as teams now have up to 25 top players. Football used to be a team game (starting 11, plus 3 subs), now it’s a squad game. The bigger the squad, the higher the chances of success. This has allowed players to rest more and stay fitter than in previous times - not to mention that players are now under strict diets which focus specifically on their body demands. Considering this point, one must say that Barcelona have been “lucky” (or blessed) when it comes to injuries…or rather the lack of injuries. Their star players have not gotten injured for long periods of time during this phase of glory in their history. But I do believe that has as much to do with “luck” as it does with their style. I’m tempted to say that given La Liga’s style of play, which focuses more on skill and finesse rather than the gung-ho approach we find elsewhere, the players in the league don’t get tackled around often. The evidence of this point comes in the shape of Arsenal – who play a similar style to Barca by keeping the ball on the ground – but get a load of injuries every season, simply because their Premier League opponents and peers, go into tackles at every given opportunity, which leads to a number of injuries. Unlike Barca. Unlike in Spain. Unlike in the past.

6 – Trophies & competitions
Trophies are the principle indication of a team’s success, but that’s not enough though. If trophies were the most important factor when debating the “greatest team of all-time”, then Real Madrid’s team of the 50s would easily be the greatest ever because of how much they won (5 European cups in a row). But there's much more to it than that. Like with every other point I’ve made in this article, Football has evolved – the trophy may stay the same, but the competitions formats have changed. A lot! For example, the European Cup back then was easier to win than it is now if you look at its previous format (home & away ties), 16 teams only in the competition, made up only of the Champions of each European nation (well, most of them) during Real Madrid's dominance period in the 50s. In fact, I’d say in the entire history of the competition, the toughest format ever was during the 1999-2003 seasons, which Real Madrid, Bayern Munich & AC Milan won, when there were actually 2 group phases to go through before reaching the last 16. The competitions are always changing and evolving. This makes it hard to classify whether a Champions League victory in the 2000s has the same value as one in the 1950s.

There are many more differences which could emphasize my point further, but these are the main ones I believe. Things have changed in Football over the years, over the decades, over the eras – making it IMPOSSIBLE to select a “greatest team of all-time”. The funny thing about this endless debate, is that about 7 years ago, before this Barcelona team came to the fore, I recall having a great conversation with a Barcelona supporting friend of mine. We sat for hours talking about the cycles that exist in Football; how teams endure success in cycles. In every league and in Europe, there’s always a dominant team for a period of time – then the tide changes, just like with everything in life. And right now, at this moment in Football history, nobody comes close to FC Barcelona and their style makes it all the more admirable. You may not agree with this, but most rational Football fans possibly will. While the newbies to the Football world won’t. To them, I’ll just say, give it 10 years, if you’re still watching Football by then, because not only does the tide turn as always in our beautiful game, but what goes up must come down. Take nothing away from FC Barcelona, they are an incredible Football team, one of the best ever, but they are not the greatest team of all-time. There is no greatest team of all-time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Football clubs musicians support

If there’s one language that breaks boundaries as much as, if not more than, Football - it’s music. Actually, I’d say it unites people a lot more than Football does, simply because I've heard the sentence “I hate Football” quite often, but never in my life have I heard someone say “I hate Music” - and if I did, I’d be questioning the sanity of the person saying it. Some of the Musicians that we've come to love and admire also happen to be big Football fans; and most of them, of clubs we support. One thing I've learnt to differentiate is between the teams that my favorite musicians support and the team that I support - I simply don't mix them; because if I hated every musician/band/artist who didn't support the same club as I do, than I'd be missing out on tons of incredible music!

So today I’ll share with you a list of artists that I've come up with. Having done some “extensive” research (i.e: using Google for long hours during a day), I was able to find some musicians - some I love, some I don't - who are also Football fans. I was lucky enough to find pictures of some of them, whereas for others it was much more difficult and there was no real evidence of them being Football fans; so I’ll leave them with a special mention at the bottom. You’ll notice that most of them support English clubs – that’s simply because the greatest musicians have either come out of the United Kingdom and/or spent a large chunk of their peak during their careers on British soil, and therefore began following English Football clubs - mainly from the regions where they grew up or lived.

(Let’s not even try and get into the debate about the greatest musicians being from the UK. It’s a fact. If you feel like disputing that we can open a debate elsewhere).

Anyways, Here are the Musicians who support Football Clubs:

Brian Johnson (AC/DC) – Newcastle United
The legendary AC/DC frontman is a “Geordie” at heart and has been since a child. He has made his love for Newcastle United very public on many occasions.


Fatboy Slim – Brighton & Hove Albion
One of the world’s most popular DJs, Quentin Leo Cook, better known by the name Fatboy Slim, is an avid Brighton & Hove Albion supporter as it’s his home town club. 

Rod Stewart – Celtic 
Despite being born and raised in London, Stewart has always been a fond follower of Celtic F.C. He also claims to have a soft spot for Manchester United as well.


Kate Perry – West Ham
I’m not sure of how she’s become a West Ham supporter. She’s American. She’s lived there her whole life. She’s only 27 years old, so she’s never really seen a time when West Ham were successful. Oh that's right...she married Russell Brand, who's a huge Hammer! Anyways, she's gained herself some respect by saying it out loud (click here) and by posing in West Ham lingerie:


Mel C – Liverpool
I feel old thinking about her. She was “Sporty spice”, a member of the ex-girl “band” (haha, band) the Spice Girls. She was the one I hated the most as a kid, simply because she always wore her Liverpool jersey everywhere.

Robbie Williams – Port Vale
Contrarily to what some believe, that Robbie Williams supports a London-based club, he’s made it very well known that he’s obsessed with his home town, Stoke-on-trent based, club. His father was a licensee of Port Vale F.C  Social club, which obviously led to Williams becoming a huge fan.

Oasis – Manchester City
Despite the fact that they are no longer together and have very publicly expressed their hatred for one another (even though they are brothers) Noel & Liam Gallagher still  regularly show and express a huge amount of love for Manchester City. They’re very noisy about that. Noisy. City fans.

Kasabian – Leicester City
Not only are they massive Leicester City fans, all four of them, but a song of theirs is played after every goal at the King Power stadium (unsure if they still do that). They’re not bad at playing Football either. Have a look at this shot by guitarist Serge Pizzorno on Soccer A.M. (click here)

Ian Brown (The Stone Roses) – Manchester United
The lead singer of The Stone Roses is one of Manchester United’s most popular fans. He’s often spotted at most home games sitting on the famous Stretford End at Old Trafford where he, apparently, has a season ticket. A famous Stone Roses song "this is the one" is always played just before the players walk out of the tunnel at Old Trafford.

Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) -  West Ham
The only member of Iron Maiden who has stuck with them since the very beginning, the famous bassist has always had a West Ham United crest stuck on his bass guitar. Apparently, Harris trained for West Ham as a schoolboy and still plays Football on a regular basis.


David Gray – Man United
Despite growing up in Wales, the discreet singer and songwriter claims to be a big Manchester United supporter and goes to a few games whenever the opportunity arises.

Chris De Burgh – Liverpool
His childhood was led between Argentina, Malta, Nigeria and Zaire, as he never really settled in one country until adulthood. That didn’t stop him from becoming a keen Liverpool F.C supporter. He’s often seen at Anfield with his children, who also support the Merseyside club.


Elton John – Watford
Not only is he a huge fan of Watford F.C, but he was elected the Chairman and director of the club in 1976. However, he sold the club in 1987 and bought it back in 1997, before finally stepping down in 2002 – though he has continued as president of the club. He still contributes to the club financially and often goes to games at Vicarage Road.

Richard Ashcroft (The Verve) – Man United
Originally from Wigan, the Verve’s singer has never kept it secret that he supports Manchester United, even though he is very close friends with Manchester City fanatics, the Gallagher brothers.

Dido – Arsenal
North London born and raised, Dido (whose real name is so long I'd rather not to write it) has been an Arsenal fan since being a child. She also dated Sol Campbell for a brief period when he was at the club.

Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) – Wolverhampton Wanderers
I bet not many Led Zeppelin fans out there knew this about the legendary singer. He’s a huge Wolves fan. He claims to be a fan since the age of 5. In the summer of 2009, he became the club’s third Vice President and is often seen attending home matches. If you’ve don’t love Plant, you’ve got issues (expand the pic to spot the legend).

Snoop Dogg – Liverpool or Manchester United or...?
I’m not too sure about this one. Snoop Dogg once claimed to be a Liverpool supporter and was seen wearing their jersey at one of his concerts in the city. Then, he was seen doing the same in Manchester wearing a United jersey; then in Glasgow wearing a Celtic jersey; then in Barcelona…etc. Can anyone clarify this?


Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) – Manchester United
Raised in Stockport, the redhead is a fond supporter of United, as they’re not too far away from his home town (Who's the odd one out in the pic? Ah...).

Morissey (The Smiths) – Manchester United
The man, the myth, the legend. He grew up in Manchester and is apparently a big United fan. There are no sources about this, but this picture is enough for me.

Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) – Chelsea
The genius behind Blur and Gorillaz, Albarn often goes to Stamford Bridge to watch his beloved Chelsea. He’s also been seen sporting other clubs jerseys while keeping a Chelsea beanie on his head – just to remind everyone who he supports.


Michael Jackson – Exeter City
I’m pretty sure this was just a publicity stunt, but the late great Michael Jackson was named as a Club Honorary in 2002. He was seen wearing the club’s scarf a few times and sources claimed that he once said “he knows nothing about the club, but he absolutely loves it”. (click here)


Shakira – Barcelona
Besides the fact that she was dating Gerard Pique, it seems before that she was already a “cule” as that was her club of preference (apparently). Now that she’s no longer with Pique, I wonder if she still supports them.

The Beatles – Liverpool & Everton
I’ve left the best for last. Simply for one reason. There is no proof who any of them supported. I’ve read in places that McCartney supports Everton and not Liverpool. I’ve read that some of the members supported both clubs in the city. If someone can send me something about this, I’d be grateful.

Special mentions go to:
David Grohl (Foo Fighters) – West Ham
Rabih Salloum (Slutterhouse) - Real Madrid
Lilly Allen – Fulham
Cheryl Cole – Newcastle United
Julio Iglesias – Real Madrid
Luciano Pavarotti – Roma
Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran) – Man United
Gavin Rossdale (Bush) – Arsenal
Sting – Newcastle United
Eric Clapton – West Bromwich Albion
Robert Smith (The Cure) – Queens Park Rangers
Slash – Stoke City
Jamiroquai – Manchester United
Keith Flint (prodigy singer) – West Ham United
Shania Twain – Tottenham Hotspurs (wait...what?!)
Chris Rea – Middlesbrough
Thom Yorke (Radiohead) – Manchester United
Bryan Adams – Chelsea
Joe Strummer (The Clash) – Chelsea
Bono – Celtic
Fran Healy (Travis) – Celtic
Arctic Monkeys – Sheffield Wednesday
Chris Martin  (Coldplay) – Exeter City 
Ozzy Osbourne – Aston Villa
Joss Stone – Liverpool
Phil Collins – Tottenham Hotspurs
Bob Marley – Tottenham Hotspurs
Jimmy Page – Chelsea
Leonard Cohen – Chelsea

(P.S: the majority of these pictures were taken from,, and a bunch of other websites - none of these pictures belong to the blog in any way. Google just helped me out and I'm not claiming the ownership of these pictures)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Competition - Win an International jersey of your choice!

Hello All!

As you’ve all failed miserably at other competitions (yes, I’m taking a considerable amount of pleasure in mentioning that), this one will be incredibly simple – and the prize will be even better. This one is a Christmas special for you all. Santa style and all that…

Your chance to win a National Team jersey of your choice!

(Unfortunately, I’m not including Club jerseys; only International team jerseys – at your requested size. Names & Numbers are not included.)

Basically all you have to do is the following:

1) Like The Football Supernova page, if you haven't already (click here). You must be a member of the Facebook page if you want to participate (Yes, I will check if you're on it - hohoho! - Santa laugh).

2) Post a Funny Football-related picture on The Football Supernova's facebook page.

3) The picture with the most “likes” wins. So spread the word and make sure you get your friends to like the picture you've posted.

That's it. Simple as that! You've got to admit - it's pretty easy.


December 22nd, next Thursday, at 20h00. You've got a little over a week to get the likes flying onto your pics. 

I’ll make sure the winner is announced and I will ask for his/her contact details.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Nicolas Anelka - "Le Sulk" is off to China

(photo AFP)

So it has been confirmed. Nicolas Anelka will be leaving Europe’s shores next month to join Shanghai Shenshua in China.

At 32, the club will be the 9th club (and 5th league) that Anelka has represented in a career that started back in 1996 at Paris-St-Germain. Since then, the Frenchman also played for Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbache, Bolton and Chelsea. The move is likely to earn him almost double than what he currently earns at Chelsea, despite being on the fringes of the first team in recent times. Apparently, Anelka will be cashing in € 234,000 per week; earnings that would make Samuel Eto’o proud all the way in Russia.

Wherever Anelka has played, two things have almost always been certain: firstly, he’s always done the job. He’s always scored, assisted, or performed to a certain level on the pitch which guaranteed that he was always considered a threat by opponents. Regardless of whether he is liked or not, as a footballer, he’s always done what he gets paid to do…and well; secondly, he has always sulked, complained and argued. He earned himself the nickname “Le Sulk” back in his Arsenal days when he was agitating for a move to Real Madrid (which ended up being the worst period of his career). His obvious lack of interest in staying at Arsenal, and developing himself under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger, made sure that the nickname stuck wherever he went…and rightly so.

His stints, long or short, with the numerous clubs he played for always proved that the man has always been an awkward character (just ask the French national team). Generally described as moody and difficult, his problems with coaches, management and other important members of clubs, as well as the French Football Federation, have been well documented. Going to China, joining a club that recently finished 11th in the league, in a country where he doesn't speak the language, with team-mates who probably don’t speak any language that he speaks, where the league’s standards are much lower than what he’s used to – will "Le Sulk" be sulking again soon?

It’s bound to happen. He’s complained about everything since the beginning of his career wherever he’s roamed. The weather, the position he plays in, the salary, the manager, the league, the club’s jerseys…everything. But with this move, Anelka will find himself in a position of such power that, in one of the world’s biggest economies, he’ll find himself complaining about much more than we’ll expect - which is obviously a hobby of his. Sooner or later, we’re going to hear and read stories of Anelka being unhappy and complaining about something in China - the pollution perhaps. Or the overpopulation. Either way, "Le Sulk" will no longer be mainstream news. In an attempt to make this sound dramatic, we could say “it’s the end of an era” when speaking about Anelka’s time in Europe; but for those who’ve followed his career from the start, "good riddance" is a better way of putting it. A good move for a player his age and for that salary (considering he's barely starting any more), he can't be blamed for it. Oh well! Can’t wait to hear some sulking in Mandarin soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Manchester United...out of the Champions League

(I'm referring to United as "we". And I'm sure some United fans will disagree with this post. But I feel I need to rant)

As a United fan, waking up this morning knowing that we’re out of the Champions League is still difficult to accept. Actually, waking up knowing we’re in the Europa League is what’s worse. Manchester United in the Europa League. It doesn’t even sound right. Over the past 3 nights before last night's game, I had told a friend that I kept having nightmares that we’d lose and go out – which we both laughed off. The nightmare came true. Basel beat us 2-1 last night and we, deservedly, are out of the Champions League. Here are my pointers:

1 - This is not a transition phase as some United fans are putting it. This is not even a phase. There’s no transition nonsense. It is simply a reminder that there is something very wrong with this Manchester United side and Ferguson hasn’t realized it yet: the team is simply not good enough. His comments before the game are evidence of that: "we have a strong squad and that squad will see us go through without question". 

2 - The Vidic injury is almost as painful as being knocked out. 

3 - Did anyone else shit on themselves when they saw Johnny Evans coming on?

4 - I’m reading everywhere things downplaying Basel’s victory as a one-off. Mediocrity succeeding. Can somebody please give that team credit? They’re a good team and this victory for them is probably one of the greatest results in their history, so take nothing away from their achievements. Just because they are not part of Europe’s “elite” clubs, doesn’t mean they’re a bad Football club.

5 - No club has a god-given right to win. Some Manchester United fans seem to believe that just because we’re “Manchester United”, we must always win. Football isn't like that. Names don't win games. We were shit last night and during the entirety of this competition so far and we paid the price.

6 - If we can’t qualify from a group that contains Basel, Benfica, and Otelul Galati – then we deserve to get knocked out. Even Stoke City would have provided a better fight than we did. 

7 - I personally would have preferred if we got knocked out a-la 2005, instead of like this. Meaning I'd have preferred if we ended up bottom of the group and not 3rd with the Europe League to deal with on Thursday nights. I've never seen us play in that competition before and it'll be very strange. However, I do hope Ferguson treats that competition in the same manner he treats the Carling Cup - playing the fringe players. Simply because the focus has to be solely on the Premier League now. 

8 - A Champions League without Manchester United in the latter stages is simply a weaker Champions League. Love us or hate us, you know it’s true. 

9 - This exit, and the subsequent reactions, reminded me that United are still the most hated team in all the land. Some find it stupid; I think we should take it as a compliment. I know I do.

10 - This has nothing to do with Manchester City going out as well. Their exit not a consolation. This is their first season in the tournament, they can use that excuse. They're still a small club in my eyes (just with a shitload of money). United are seasoned professionals at this level and stumbling at this stage of the competition goes to show how poor this United side have been. What's our excuse?

11 - For all the summer rumors about United needed a creative midfielder and so on, the ball-winner in the centre of the park is what has been missing. The sort of player who’ll bust a gut to get the ball back. The midfield looked lame every time possession was lost. Yesterday provided further evidence of that, but throughout this season we've seen it occur numerous times.

12 - Wayne Rooney is a fantastic Footballer; but he’s a not a fantastic striker. He also must be the most fragile Footballer I’ve ever seen. Anytime the slightest miscue happens off the field, Rooney goes ballistic and/or loses his form on it. This is not an overreaction. Correct me if I'm wrong. Rewind one year ago when there was the whole “cheating on his wife” fiasco – he went almost 3 months without a goal (that's without mentioning the transfer request). This season, his father got caught up in a betting scandal and the press are all over him – he gets sent off for England (stupidly) and hasn’t scored in almost 2 months.

His efforts on the pitch are incredible but if there’s no end product, then it’s pointless. If history has proven anything with Rooney though, it’s that he scores in bulks. He’ll go missing more 2 months and then score a heavy load for 2 months – allowing the fans to forget his inadequacies in front of goal. Let’s hope he does that again…soon. Not blaming him for this, collectively United were poor (I'm insisting on that).

13 – I’m calling on all United fans to look through every single goal we’ve conceded this season, and count how many of them have come either directly from an attack that was down our left-hand side and/or the player that Evra was supposed to be marking. Where has the real Patrice Evra vanished to?

14 – I wonder how much Europa League tickets are going to be valued at. If it’s anywhere near the £50-60 mark, we’ve got a problem.

15 – Such is the usual success that United fans, and the team, are used to, that we all looked beyond the group stages when the draw was made and believed it was a foregone conclusion before a ball was even kicked. Looking at Fergie’s line-ups throughout the competition, we can say – he thought the same.

Back to reality and back to square one...

United have no one else to blame but themselves. Poor, poor, Football is being played by our boys and it’s time for some big changes to be made. We're all pretty disappointed, upset and what not - but we'll bounce back. That's the way this club works and that's why we love it. Win, lose, draw, struggle - always show your support! Onwards and upwards and as always...

We’ll keep the Red Flag flying high!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Javi Poves - the disillusion of Football

This story took place in August earlier this year, but it didn’t make huge headlines because it obviously didn’t involve a big-name player or a big-name club. It made the news in some places, but should have gotten more exposure as it somewhat demonstrates the sad state that Football finds itself in through the eyes of lower league professionals that are often ignored.

Javi Poves was a 24 year old defender, playing for Sporting Gijon's B team which plays in Spain's lower leagues, when he decided to quit the game and call time on his career. Retiring at 24 from Football isn’t something we hear every day. It wasn’t because of an injury or any illness whatsoever; it was simply for ethical reasons. According to Poves: “Professional Football is just money and corruption; it is capitalism, and capitalism is death. The more you know about Football, the more you realize it is all about money, that it is rotten and this takes away your enthusiasm. What point is there in earning 800 or 1000 euros if you know that you are obtaining it through the suffering of many people”. His disillusion with the game is cited as the main reason for his decision as he felt the game was no longer morally correct. He refused to have his salaries transferred to a bank account so that banks don’t speculate with this money, and he also refused the keys to a car that was given to him by one of the club’s sponsors. Unthinkable acts in the modern age of Football and especially given Europe’s current financial climate.

His decision to retire for such a reason can be viewed through two different aspects.

On one hand, socialists might view him as a hero. A down-to-earth young man making a stand against a sport that is slowing becoming corrupt by the money that surrounds it. Poves’ decision can be seen as further evidence of how much Football has changed; a claim which has been well-documented by pundits, writers and all those living in yesteryear when it comes to our game. They call it “a sign of the times”, amongst other names. This retirement by a young footballer in the lower leagues demonstrates once more how overwhelmed by money the game has become that those below the elite few are being completely disregarded and slowly sinking away. It may be a little extreme, but it isn’t completely wrong for Poves’ act to be seen as such. Seeing the rich clubs getting richer must be a bitter pill to swallow for lower league sides, and especially for lower league players who have the ambition to make it “big”. The gulf in talent between the clubs has become so huge nowadays, that it isn’t difficult to imagine players at a lower level realizing that there’s no hope for them to go further. With advertising, billionaire-owners and prima-donna footballers all getting a bigger piece of the pie since Bosman’s ruling (click here), there are those in the background being forgotten and Javi Poves has reminded us all that something is very wrong with the way Football is being “played”. The fields of play are no longer even.

On the other hand, Football modernists, who have moved along with the new-found era and accepted the changes within the game as positive ones, can simply view his decision as an acceptance of failure. A refusal to accept the competitive nature of Football, as well as its global surroundings and demands. Football has become a business, we all agree, but at the end of the day it's still 11 players vs 11 players in 90 minutes, and anything can happen. Perhaps for Poves the knowledge that this was his peak and it wasn’t going to get any better than this for him at 24 years old meant that he would rather "burn out than fade away". Maybe even a refusal to push himself, as an athlete and a footballer, to the limits knowing that there could be a possibility someday in the future to make the grade and join a “bigger” club; or that maybe someday his club could climb up the league ladder. But some Football modernists might simply just see this as a lazy statement; one of falling out of love with the game. Just like with any relationship, that between the player and the game does have its ups and downs and Poves' didn't want to deal with any conflict. He ended the relationship. With the knowledge that unemployment in Spain, alongside the current crisis which engulfs the continent, is reaching ridiculous levels, how “gracious” is it that a footballer quits his job? A job that could well open the doors to many financial opportunities in the future. It's a topic that's open for debate.

In a parting shot at other footballers, Poves stated that “there are certain personalities at a World level, Pele, Ronaldinho, Messi, who are ambassadors for UNICEF and who on the face of it are very good, but they could do much more”. It’s hard to disagree with that, knowing the salaries that footballers and other iconic figures in the game are earning, they surely could do much more. But footballers don’t have any moral obligation to do that, though we are told the opposite. It is admirable that some of them do help and, as Poves says, could do much more – but are the acts, or rather the lack of them, of those at the top level of the game a reason to end your career? Shouldn't being on the same field of work as these individuals motivate a fellow professional to strive to reach the same level? A lot of questions could be asked about Poves' decision as it is remains a perplex, yet admirable, one. One thing that might happen though is that he might just have opened a window in the skies to encourage others who seem to have lost the love for the beautiful game to look for greener pastures away from the green grass we've come to love.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Win a FREE copy of the movie MARADONA BY KUSTURICA

Here's your chance to win a FREE copy of the movie MARADONA by Emir Kusturica.

Here's the trailer of the movie about The God that is Diego Maradona. Check it out:

To participate all you have to do is follow these simple steps:

1 - Like The Football Supernova Facebook page (if you're not already on it) by clicking over here:

2 - Click "attending" on this event:

3 - Guess the minute when the first goal will be scored, by either team, during the Champions League clash between Chelsea vs Valencia on Tuesday, December 6th. Write your answer on the wall of this event. The correct answer wins it. 

It shouldn't be that hard, should it? ;).

If several people guess the correct answer, then a draw will be made and the winner will be selected at random - but I doubt that will happen :). 

Should the unlikely scenario of a 0-0 draw occur, then nobody wins. But again, we all know, that won't happen given what is at stake for both clubs.

Whoever wins it, will just have to send me their contact details, and I'll mail the DVD to them. 

Enjoy and Please share this event on your walls, twitter accounts and so on!

Thank you!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Brian Clough - very few words

Can anything be said about Brian Clough that hasn’t already been said? It’s extremely difficult to sum up his career in a nutshell without going into the details of Clough’s persona. One thing is sure though, he was bloody brilliant. Unfortunately, I never got to watch his sides during their, and his, prime years (only started watching Football during his last years in charge of Nottingham Forest), but having read a lot about him and watched all sorts of documentaries depicting his character - I know that he deserves the upmost respect and recognition from everyone involved in Football today.

Successes as a manager at Derby County and in particular Nottingham Forest (one of the rare sides to defend the European Cup/Champions League title in back-to-back seasons, in its old format) proved to be the high points in what was a fantastic, controversial and illustrious career. One day I’ll conjure up enough material, energy and effort to write something that’ll somewhat provide a better insight to the man.

But for the time being, here’s a little summary (by Espn, via Youtube) about the Legend. His interviews were one of a kind. His arrogance would make Mourinho look like a gentle man. His certainty, honesty and straightforwardness would make “the man on the street” feel proud.

If you haven’t got the time to watch these clips, make the time to watch them.

Mr Clough, one of the greatest managers of all-time, I salute you.

Part 1: 

Part 2: 

Even the greatest boxer of all-time Muhammed Ali heard about him!

(P.S: You should all watch the movie “The Damned United” which tells the story of Clough’s 44 days in charge at Leeds United. It’s a fantastic movie)