Gameday 3: ManU (0) vs. Liverpool (1)

Wonderful start to the season continues. Fantastic game by Liverpool even tough we just about held on with a lucky early goal.

Cautious optimism, yes but three 1-0 wins with each game having 60mins of defending and not crumbling shows something. In this game especially, we did not lose the formation in the second half where we had meagre possession but the fact that there was just one shot on goal proves how well the back 4 are working and this without Kolo Toure.

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Game Day 1: Stoke (0) v. Liverpool (1)

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Another season, great expectations and a promise to return the club to the heights that they truly belong at. All optimism aside, its not going to be a easy season and we are not going to win the league and all we should look forward to is to play some good possession football, make no mistakes and look for some luck to push up to the top 4.

If the stoke game is anything to go by – the passing was excellent in spurts in the first half. We put up 15-20 pass clutches 2 or 3 times and one of them led to a goal. But if we are truly going to be in the running for top 4, we need that all important second goal in the first half and not give away the ball cheaply. And Agger style mistakes are what we really need to avoid.

We will loose on the road to the likes on Man U, Man City & Chelsea and we will drop points on those winter nights at Villa or Sunderland but if we can close out Anfield games with 2 goal margins and then keep the ball and not make mistakes in our half; the points are only ours to loose. Big clubs do this well and they do this consistently and a 2 goal lead will shield us against the mistakes that are bound to be made. We are a Big Club!

Good start; scrappy at times but good start.

League of two

Game day 1 in la liga and the score lines read a 6-0 win for Madrid and a 5-0 win for Barca. And there are 37 game days left. Begs to be asked, what’s the point of the spanish league anymore?

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Yes there is hope that one of these teams will slip up once or twice and there is a chance for one of the better teams like Valencia to make an impact but when you see Villareal who has qualified for Champions League concede 5 goals, why would you even bother to watch? 6 goals for Messi already this year so is it all about better 53 that he made last year? Or for Ronaldo to break 40 goals again?

The la liga money allocation is a joke at best. Yes, the top two teams bring in the most audience but there surely an audience for other teams too? Last year Athletic Madrid had Aguero and Forlan, now one is in City and the other is about to leave for Italy. To keep afloat, if the teams have to sell there star players, why would you even bother? And the strike was about players compensation when surely the club owners need to be one to strike to maintain some semblance of competition alive in the league. There is an urgent need to hand these clubs proceeds from TV revenues otherwise there is a real chance that the league may shrink as the years progress.

This is really bad for the game when the only competitive match this year will not take place till december when Madrid and Barca meet and till then the only reason you tune in is to watch Barcelona display its passing brilliance or Madrid to show their striking powers. Thank god for EPL on television!

Senna, The Movie.

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I never knew Senna except for the fact that Michael Schumacher kept getting compared to him a lot. Bogus. There is no comparison.

During my early introduction to Formula 1, I kept hearing about this legend who was a wizard on wet tracks and a genuinely good guy who jumped off his car mid-way during a race and helped a fellow injured driver.  Problem with Star Sports in the late 90’s was Formula 1 was mostly live and hardly had any footage of era’s gone by. And with Ferrari winning and all (including my bias), whenever I would hear of Senna being the greatest, I always thought it was these McLaren-ites mouthing-off as most of them could not have seen anything more than a montage here and there.

The movie I thought did a good job to refrain from attaching too many adjectives to Senna like the best, the greatest, the fastest which was refreshing, a change from many of the tribute films that are out there. The limited presentation of his life in and outside the sport can only be attributed to the fact that there was a lack of material as the whole fim is either from home videos or tv footage. For that kind of editing and writing, Asif Kapadia & Manish Pandey – hat’s off. I can only imagine how many months these guys must have sat before hours and hours of raw footage!

I left the film feeling bad that I did not get a chance to see this guy live in action. Probably those were really amazing days when there was much less perfection and cars did blow up all the time and there was a chance for other teams/drivers to catch up. Or I could be wrong and this era maybe really one of the best. Look at 2010. 5 Wins for Alonso and Vettel and 4 points is all that separates the two.

That Senna was loved and a genuinely good guy is beyond question. That he helped a lot of poor, needy people in his home country is without question. But isn’t that a matter of chance/fate? Is MS less deserving just because he cannot help a lot of poor people in Germany? Is it for Alonso in spain?

Nevertheless, decent watch. More racing action would have been good. Awesome to see Ron Dennis and Frank Williams speaking so highly of Senna.

Beautiful Games, Dirty Games, Worrying Games

So both of the football teams I support had 2 games so far and the feelings are mixed all around. Madrid played an amazing first game with an intensity that Barca could only break by 2 lucky breaks and flashes of genius. Second game Barca realized who they are and played amazing football only  to go down disgracefully off-field.

What were you thinking Jose? Pep is right when he says the images speak for themselves. Get off your high horse and find a way to beat them otherwise just be graceful in your lose and praise your opponents. Barca is no small team and you are making Madrid even smaller by making great players behave like arrogant kids. And all this before the season is yet to start!

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Now Liverpool is a whole other story. The first 30mins of the Sunderland game got my hopes up! Maybe we can get the 19th this year but there was still something missing in the mid-field. May be Gerrad, maybe Carol and Suarez need time to speak the same language but Daglish has work to do.

And today in the Arsenal game, the kinks came to the forefront. Against a team like Arsenal which probably is going to have the worse season in a decade, we could not keep possession in the mid-field. The right wing was being closed off again and again and we just seem to get the ball holed up there. A crappy win but a win! Hopefully it will get better.

Now time to sing “You will never walk alone”.

Engine Blow-up’s

Watching the Hungarian GP, was just thinking that there are no more of those amazing engine blow-up’s anymore due to amazing engine technology these days and then goes Nick Heidfeld’s car up in flames reminiscent of those old days… enjoying F1 again, wet weather, fire, MSC leading briefly!