Maradona to the EPL


List of interesting incidents, missed amidst the snow and freeze!

Owners Gesture, Bearers Torture: Liverpool’s new owners Tom and John decided to allow upto four kids to enter Anfield, free, with every adult paying ticket for last week’s dead rubber Europa Cup game vs FC Utrecht. This was aimed to let kids to get a first hand feel of the Anfield atmosphere and begin to love Liverpool even more. Problem was that the message never went to the players who jogged out a boring, insipid 0-0 draw. For sake of the kids, wish it had been a 3-3 draw.

Waste of Money, More dis-harmony: My series of swipes at Mario Ballotelli is far from over. When Yaya Toure opened the scoring at Upton Park last weekend, one could not help observe how the nine Man City outfield players hugged the younger Toure and on the corner of the screen Ballotelli was trudging back towards the centre line. Later in the second half when he was being substituted after a listless performance, West Ham supporters broke into a chorus “What a waste of money”.

Defenders out in the snow: Europa Cup defending champions Atletico Madrid got knocked out when they drew 1-1 in a must win game vs Bayer Leverkeusen, played on (terrible conditions) what seemed a carpet of snow. Kun Aguero & Diego Forlan missed scoring from point blank range. Zenit St Petersburg have looked the most impressive team in that competition, so far.

Bundesliga beat Serie A: Must have been when UEFA decided to remove the 4th team slot from Serie A and add it to the three teams from Bundesliga for Champions league. Many arguments and theories are floating around, but it didn’t help when defending champions Inter Milan lost 3-0 vs Werder Bremen in a match where Inter had to win to top the group and Werder had nothing to play for. Bremen played for the fans and Benitez’s team played into UEFA’s hands.

Sun(deep)land: True the Black Cats play with three strikers, but what about defending so deep? It almost seems as time ticks on, the defenders get deeper and deeper. The fans have their hands in their mouth for most games between the 80th and 90th min – a phase when Sunderland have dropped ten EPL points this year. But Steve Bruce still gets the kudos for keeping nine clean sheets so far, more than what they did in entire 2009-2010 season.

No more chickening around: Blackburn’s new Indian owners have made their presence felt. The Rao brothers took the unpopular decision to sack Sam, but backed up with talk and plans of getting Rovers to top five. The unconfirmed rumour was that they approached (my) god of football, El Diego, for the manger’s post or any supporting role. It’s no secret that Diego realizes only coaching in a top league will get him back what he enjoys most – in front of the flashlights, cameras and newspaper pages! He tried his luck with Aston Villa and it’s a matter of time before an eccentric tycoon owning an EPL club invites him.

If that happens, it will be a mutually benefitting handshake, that too a big one! Diego’s work-in-progress coaching traits will go through a massive learning phase, the cameras will turn on him (from Man City training grounds, I guess) and the television ratings of EPL will touch the sky. La Liga, Serie A can then safely stop even dreaming to compete with EPL. For them, it may be easier to ask the Milan teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid to play in EPL as guest teams!

While on Barcelona: They beat Espanyol saturday….yaaawn!; They scored five…. yaaaaawn! Messi didn’t score…Whaaaaaaaaat???????

Inter won the World Club Cup Championship vs a team, I don’t recall the name of. I just hope and pray that both the teams play in the same tournament next year too.

Bayern Munich won an eight goal thriller yesterday…maan wish football was always like that!

Real Madrid won.. vs Sevilla despite being reduced to ten men in 64th min. Yet again another of Mourinho’s fresh imports scored the winner – Di Maria. How does he get things so right?

Merry Christmas!





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