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Showing posts with label Soccer Discussions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soccer Discussions. Show all posts

Feb 12, 2018

Paco Alcacer at the Camp Nou

Signed back in 2016 from yo-yoing Valencia, Paco Alcacer looked set to be the next home grown player who’d work his way into the starting line-up at Barcelona. Luis Enrique was in charge when he signed for the club, with it trending in the traditional ideology of only bringing certain styles of players from a select few nations, with Spain obviously being the primary option, but the transfer of this forward always looked like an arguably pointless one.

Sep 28, 2017

- "Messi" (CC BY 2.0) by jeroen_bennink -

When the final whistle blew at Montilivi it was after another Barca master class as they ran out 0-3 winners against Girona. Two own goals and a Luis Suarez strike was enough to keep Barcelona top and stretch their unbeaten run to 6 games this season.

It is 6 wins from 6 and all the early signs are ominous for the chasing pack including bitter rivals Real Madrid. Barca look as fluid as ever and are a real threat going forward. Teams will be scratching their heads and wondering how to stop Barca picking them apart and running riot. It often turns into a rout once they get to 5th gear.

The glimmer of hope for the rest of La Liga will be the fact that Messi was contained last night after being man marked for the entire game. His threat was snuffed out by defender Pablo Maffeo as the youngster didn't give Messi a moment’s rest. The on loan defender from Manchester City stuck to his task and was able to negotiate the mastery of Messi.

Sep 14, 2017

Before he moved to one of the world's largest football clubs, French prodigy Ousmane Dembélé was already being hailed as a future Ballon d'Or winner by pundits. Commenting on the young star's early career at Borussia Dortmund, Bleacher Report's Dean Jones not only suggested he'd win the coveted trophy but that he's better than Cristiano Ronaldo was when he was 20. Pointing to his decision making abilities and, importantly, consistency, Jones rated Dembélé as one of the top young prospects in the world and certainly one to watch.

Mar 10, 2017

Neymar Celebrating victory over PSG

- Man of the Match Neymar Celebrating with Fans -

If they can score four goals against us, we can score six. We have nothing to lose and a lot to win. Luis Enrique

As Luis Enrique and Luis Saurez said, we will score six if we need to; that came true at the end of a magical night at the Camp Nou. It was an impossible task, from every definition. The UEFA statistician who gives the probability of each team to progress pinned Barca's hope for a turn around at 0%. No one can blame him; it's never done; it's never imagined either! But in the end he will be sitting in front of his laptop with egg on his face for making the most astonishing prediction ever. The team to which he gave 100% chance is booted out by the team who had 0% chance. It was that kind of a night, one where "The Impossible becomes the Possible". Two days have passed since the memorable night; still everyone I spoke with is struggling to find words to describe it. It was a night when the Grit, the Determination, the Desire and the Will of the Barca players propelled the club to greater heights. In a strange sense many pundits were ready to declare the end of this Barca era which already have spanned 12 years on Wednesday; but instead are left to wonder at the magic produced consistently by the Golden Era Barca Club.

Mar 1, 2017

It is not just the players this summer that is going to have a lot of speculation wrote about them changing club but also the managers. The most likely move at the top of the EPL is Arsene Wenger with the fans wanting a change so that the history of Gunners players bottling it at crucial times stops. It remains to be seen if a new man in charge will be able to stop this trend, especially if the club loses both Ozil and Sanchez in the summer transfer window. If Arsenal does change managers the hot favorite for his job at 12bet is Massimiliano Allegri. The manager is now in charge of Juventus who sit at the top of Serie A and seven points clear of nearest rivals Roma. It has been reported by Spanish media though that Barcelona is keeping tracks on the head coach with a view to signing him this summer.

Feb 3, 2017

Lionel Mess, Luis Saurez and Neymar with Champions League Trophy

T he first knockout stage of the Champions League is less than a fortnight away, and once again, Barcelona are heavy favourites to lift the “big ears” at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff come June.However, Luis Enrique’s side haven’t been at their best this season. Their performances have fluctuated from brilliant one day to abysmal the other, hence pinning hopes on Barça winning their fourth Champions League in nine seasons might be a bit premature at this stage. If you are going to place your bets now, it would be prudent to opt to signup via Betting Expert to William Hill or any other bookmaker and take advantage of the best betting bonuses available.

Feb 2, 2014

Sometimes a small signature could make the biggest change. And this our chance. Sign the petition to STOP STAR Sports exploitation. Please spread the word too..

Jan 2, 2014

"Greed is so destructive. It destroys everything. - Eartha Kitt "

Football fans in India had experienced this feeling before, especially La Liga fans - The feeling of being non-existent in the Grand schemes of things. We La Liga fans faced it some years back when one fine morning Star Sports announced that they won't be telecasting the Spanish League anymore. What shocked us that it happened in the 2009-10 season, when Football's greatest current superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo all were playing in Spain? Majority of the footballing superstars were playing in Spain, but still Star Network deemed it not necessary to pursue the rights to telecast La Liga. The next season Dubai based Ten Sports bagged the rights and La Liga fans were pretty happy with the continued coverage(even though their pre-match analysis program tortured us a bit). Last season STAR SPORTS once again jumped in the pool and won the rights for La Liga for the next three years. Followers of this blog will do well to remember that I did warn you to get ready for Step Motherly treatment of La Liga over EPL. But it looks like that warning was nothing compared to what STAR SPORTS had in store for us!

Dec 3, 2013

  • FIFA Ballon d’Or has been mired in many controversies, there is no stoppage this time around.
  • A small change in the voting method will make the process efficient and proper.
Lionel Messi with his thre FIFA Ballon d'Or Awards

"Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it. - Oliver Holmes "

F IFA is no stranger to controversy! Everything they does ends up in controversy. Some years back they decided to find the "Best Player of the Century", hope none of you haven't forgotten the controversy it created. FIFA's intention could not have been doubted, but the method they employed definitely landed them in soup; that too in a matter which always was very controversial in footballing circles. Learning from their mistakes is something FIFA hates to do and they seldom do. So they continued with their time-honoured fashion of creating one controversy after the other. The controversy surrounding Ballon d'Or is the latest in a series of unfortunate events (Check out the Odds on this year's Ballon d'Or winner at football coupons). Having the "King of Fools" ,Sepp Blatter at the helm definitely helps in achieving the job faster. Now Sepp Blatter is no fool, he is just acting as one.

Jul 31, 2013

UEFA Financial Fair Play(FFP) Regulations, was the much touted idea of UEFA President, Michael Platini to sort out the precarious financial situations in which most of the clubs in Europe find fully immersed in. When introduced as an idea, one have to admit there were a genuine fear about the regulations and many clubs started taking steps to be compliant with the regulations. What are these regulations? Simply put(quoting from Wikipedia), "Only a club’s outgoings in transfers and employee benefits (including wages) will be counted over income from gate receipts, TV revenue, advertising, merchandising, sales of players and prize money is included in the assessment. Any money spent on infrastructure, training facilities or youth development will not be included." Like many football fans, I also believed wrongly that this will get the entire European League back on financial stability. Even though, I did have some reservations about smaller clubs being at a disadvantage. I did write about the same earlier in two of my post which can be found here - and Spending Cap, Is it Fair?.

Jul 30, 2013

Or, more appropraitely put, Why on earth would Chelsea sell David Luiz to any team? Isn't that an interesting question. In one of my previous post which detailed about Barca's transfer targets, I did indeed raise the same question, about the need for Chelsea to sell a player so integral to them. But none of those reasoning has stopped the Barca press in building this up. Today SPORT has broken a new development in the never ending saga - Bayern is no more interested in the player. Now was Bayern ever interested in the player, one needs to ask the Daily Mail correspondent who created that rumour. SPORT is not to be left behind. So they have reported to day that the negotiations with Chelsea is in advanced stage and an important development will happen this week itself. If that interesting development ends up as an official declaration by Chelsea that the player will not be sold, don't get surprised then. SPORT some days back has put Thiago and Villa in the same boat to Manchester in anticipation of the ship carrying His Highness Wayne Rooney; only to see David Villa jump out and hit the shores at Madrid.

Jul 24, 2013

Gerardo "Tata" Martino has been officially appointed as Football Club Barcelona's Coach for the next two season. One have to be excused if he end up reading the first line with a familiar expression - "Tata Who?". And it's a fact! No one knew Martino before a week or so. He was virtually unknown to majority of Barca fans and almost whole of the European football fans. Can't blame the fans? You hardly track news about a guy who has never managed anywhere in Europe. Even his Spanish football experience is limited to a single season with Tenerife. In his prime as a player in Argentina, Martino could only muster up a single appearance in the National colours. Hence the virtual anonymity in Europe. Even then he was voted as the Greatest Player of the Newell's Old Boys by their fans. The legendary status is reinforced by taking the club to the top of "Torneo Final" last season. But Why did Barca go with someone who has no experience in Europe and all his success and experience has come in South America?

Jul 11, 2013

There has been unanimous agreement among football pundits and fans across the World about where Barca needs reinforcements this season. After getting thrashed 7-0 by a brilliant Bayern Munich side, naturally the focus was on defense. But there was enough recognisation that even the attack needs some add-ons; and in Neymar they hope that they have the perfect weapon. But there was no doubt in anyone's mind that the area where the maximum focus needs to be placed is in defense. It is a nice thing to see Football Club Barcelona trying to iron out the issues that plagued them throughout last season. The single minded pursuit of Thiago Silva and even keeping the David Luiz option as a back up shows how important the management see the need of reinforcement. But in this huge transfer saga going on, with details changing every day; one has to ask oneself whether an aquisition of either Thiago Silva or a David Luiz really gonna solve our issues?

Jul 9, 2013

  • Cancellation of Los Angeles Friendly draws ire of US Media and Fans.
  • Even Chicago Friendly has landed in serious controversy.

Things are not going well for Lionel Messi, at least on the Public Relation front. First it was the tax avoidance allegations, then came the cancelled friendly in Los Angeles and then came another disaster after the Chicago Friendly. To be honest Messi has nothing to do with any of this mess. The tax situation could be a bit of legal tussle; since his attorneys have stayed firm we could assume the case is strong on his side. The LA Friendly cancellation have somehow squarely landed on his head. This is happening even when there were other star players scheduled to play in that; Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero and Boateng all were supposed play in that and all are in United States presently. But when the organisers decided to cancel the event they placed the entire blame on Lionel Messi.

Finally yesterday, I received two great news which I have waited for since the start of Transfer Window. First was the signing of David Villa to Atletico Madrid and then it was the signing of Eric Abidal at AS Monaco. It wasn't like I didn't want them to stay at Barca; but it was better for them to go to a club where their services will be seen as adding values rather than an obligation or charity. Of the two, the Abidal signing brings in more emotions one could explain in a blog post. He has gone through a lot in the last two seasons. In his own words, it has changed the way he looked at life and what he hold as valuable in life. If we were this emotional, think about Eric Abidal. What he was going through while signing the deal was perfectly captured by Abidal's measured words - "It's very emotional, it's huge. After what I've been through, it wasn't easy to find a club with confidence in me." Hidden in those words are a serious feeling of hurt at the way may be Barca dealt with him. AS Monaco has given him a one year deal with an option to extend it further the next season; something we could have offered.

Mar 7, 2013

  • With consecutive defeats to Milan, Real Madrid and again Real Madrid, Barca has endured the most difficult week in recent times.
  • With innovation coming from strategy or tactics, the team appeared completely lost on the field.

When Adriano was brought down by Ramos in the penalty box in the dying moments of the La Liga encounter at Santiago Bernebeu, every Barca fan shouted Penalty. But that wasn't the case to be. The referee Miguel Perez waved off the penalty claims. That was a penalty, a stone cold penalty. But every Barca fan should stop shouting and thank Miguel Perez for denying that. One could measure a bit of injustice in the decision(hence the Valdes reaction), but how our season will shape this season and may be coming season depended on that decision. Thank God for not giving that penalty. Had it been given, Cules would have gone back justifying the 2-2 draw as a just result. The bottom line was that not even in a single one of the recent defeats - 2-0 against Milan, 3-1 against Real in Copa and 2-1 against Real in League, we looked like a team which can claim as the "Best in the World". We looked static, tired, devoid of ideas and passion and more dangerously looked seriously disinterested. A 2-2 result would have masked all these problems once again. Many were dismissive of the Copa defeat, saying that Copa was a not so important cup. The danger signs were already there but we failed to see it, or simply put Messi was masking the entire fault by his own virtuoso Performance.

Dec 17, 2012

If there is an apt title to describe last night's clash against Atletico Madrid, then it has to be this headline. Thirty minutes into the first half most of the Barca fans were a bit scared. Falcao has already scored once, he had hit the post once and almost came close to scoring another. This all happened even with Puyol doing his very best marking the most sought out center forward in the World. Atletico Madrid came out with a plan and was executing the plans with near perfection. They stayed compact in the midfield, closed down our midfield and double marked Messi out of the game. Forget shot on goal, we didn't even have a shot at goal for so long last night. Watching the proceedings it was clear that we may require a bit of individual magic to see us through this match. But from where will it come? Messi was made completely ineffective by the brilliant marking of Atletico midfield. The next option had to be Iniesta who also was struggling to run at the back four. To make matters worse we had Pedro and Sanchez competeing with each other to find out who had the worst game of the night. So the only hope was to somehow reach the half-time with no more new damages done.

Sep 12, 2012

  • Finally after 23 years, the Authorities accepts the truth.
  • It's become clear that the Police inaction could have cost 41 lives.

All those lies, all those damn lies, finally have been proven wrong. The allegations of drunk fans responsible for the loss of 96 lives on that fateful day in 1989, has been proven wrong. The release of documents related to the disaster has clarified and proven what the families of victims and the Red fans has been saying for all these 23 years. Now it's officially accepeted that the disaster was a result of collosal failure on the part of Police and other related authorities. But the real disaster or tragedy was the cover-up and the shifting of blame after the disaster. It took 23 years, yup 23 long years to know the truth or should I say for the officials to accept the truth. It was clear from today morning that those related to the authorities knew the truth from the very first day. It was no coincidence that 23 years later Sheffield Wednesday chose to apologise for the disaster. The better use of word would be "Forced to Apologise". For a person sitting miles away from England, the Hillsborough disaster was at first just yet another sad disaster day. That was until I started to read about the cover-up that followed. This is not only a failure of the Government organisation but also the Justice system who should have given these families peace of mind years earlier. Instead they failed them, not only that they rubbed more salt into those bereaved families.

Jan 31, 2011

The upcoming Real Madrid defender David Mateos was banging heavily on hercules hurting FC Barcelona on the Saturday night. The truth was Hercules definitely tried, they played well, were very organised but this Barca side was too muchb for them to handle in the end. But the question in everybody's mind is whether the newly promoted recruit from Real Madrid B team was expecting too much from his senior side to keep on the tail of this exceptional Barcelona side. I have been to a particular Real Madrid blog sometimes back and it looked like they were banging heavily on Kaka's return to instill the momentum to take the quest forward. But at this moment his return looks like has done more damage than good to the side from the Capital.

Dec 9, 2010

If the story put up by is to be believed, FC Barcelona would be sporting a commerial advertisement on the very much reverred Blaugrana jersey in the near future. Considering the coziness between daily and Sandro Rosell administration, this has to be seen as a definite indication to the public about the inevitable. May be Rosell is looking to measure the response of the Barca fans, or the Catalan fans in particular by putting up such a story and a survey linked to the same. By going by the latest result of the survey, only 38% of those voted are in support of the idea. FC Barcelona members has in the past rigorously opposed any move of this kind. Considering that, a 38% vote should represent a go ahead signal for Rosell to implement his latest reforms.

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