The round of Champions League games gave me mixed reactions. Was happy for Raul, Totts and Shakhtar Donetsk, was unhappy with AC Milan and Victor Valdes. Cesc Fabregas in his post match comments said this Barcelona team was the best in football history. He wasn’t too much wrong. Leo Messi missed an ‘open’ hat trick and on another day this could have been 0-3 and over by half time. Even on this day, Barcelona had enough to keep it to 0-1.
Arsenal barely had decent chances to score and it seemed half chances are what they would get, at best, whole day. But they scored of the last ‘half chance’ they got in the game! RVP managed… err sorry Victor Valdes kept so much of a gap at near post, that a fully loaded shopping trolley could have gone through. From that angle, even Sandra Bullock, just by standing closer to the near post could have ensured that the ball can’t sneak through. There are key moments of a match which overturn the tide, this was one such. Very similar to Samuel Eto’s opening goal (off their first meaningful attack) vs Manchester United in CL final 2008-2009, very similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s thunder strike early in a knock out game vs Porto in CL 2008-2009 – Porto had got a 2-2 away tie and just needed a low scoring draw to progress. But the tide turned. And now Barcelona have to win in Camp Nou to ensure people still keep them in contention of being considered the best ever.
Joe Jordan could be one of the best Scottish footballers, though. After the round of games, there was only one name which made more headlines than the on-field players – Harry Redknapp’s assistant coach at Tottenham Hotspurs, Joe Jordan. For those who still mistake him as senior citizen, wearing glasses, mild-mannered and affable – think again.
This is what made ‘Jaws’ Joe
– One of the most fearsome centre forwards in English football ever, a name you dreaded seeing on the team-sheet when it was delivered to the opposition dressing room.
– This despite the fact that his goals to games ratio was a mere 0.3.
– Was known as “Jaws” during his peak, a pun on the James Bond film character in reference to his lack of front teeth – all lost during playing football!
– Without his teeth in, Joe was a fearful sight. He was of that ilk – would let you know he was there, and what sort of afternoon you were in for.
– His on-pitch persona could not contrast more sharply with how he is off the pitch, where he is as unassuming, as soft spoken a man as you could hope to meet. But once he crossed that white line, he was a different animal altogether.
– Due to this, his achievements and qualities as a player are often forgotten – great in the air, excellent left foot and delicate touch.
– The only Scottish player to score in three World Cups (1974, 1978 and 1982)
– Played successfully for Leeds United in mid 1970s
– One of the rare players who dared to make a switch from Leeds to Manchester United in 1978 (an era when no one from Leeds or Liverpool ever joined United)
– Played for AC Milan and after the club was relegated, his strikes led ACM to getting re-promoted to Serie A in 1983.
– A list compiled by The Times in 2007 ranked Jordan as the 34th hardest man in the history of the game.
Gennaro Gattuso, if you are reading this, here’s one message for you – when you pick a fight, you do not look for Mike Tyson! But Gennaro, incase you missed reading this, don’t worry, I can’t imagine you venturing for round two.
(Credits: excerpts of this article have been picked from Alan Hansen’s piece on Joe Jordan in The Telegraph. The link is http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/tottenham-hotspur/8328943/Alan-Hansen-Joe-Jordan-was-rough-tough-and-aggressive-as-a-player-but-always-fair.html)