Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Foot Ball Fever.

Indians cannot boast to be a football crazy country or of a great football past, we have nothing to boast of except that around half a century ago the Indian Football Team qualified for the World Cup finale's. They couldn't attend it though for one of the wierdest reasons, yeah they didn't have money to buy shoes and they were used to playing bare foot!!!. Isn't that amazing, just imagine if they could have afforded to buy shoes or someone would have sponsored that, we might have had a different foot ball history and culture.

Anyways, there's still a big bunch of enthusiasts who are crazily waiting for the World Cup to start. I don't qualify to be one of them, as it has been a very long time I left watching TV though I keep tabs on my favorite players and teams in some way or other. But when even a not so crazy football enthusiast agrees to buy in a new TV set with his room mate and best of all to buy a dozen football jerseys so that we can wear them throughout the World Cup!!!. Yes guys we decided that we would be buying enough jerseys so that we can wear them through the World Cup. The fever is certainly taking us over.

Apart from that, we have a shoot at sight order in place for all GLTian's during the world where we are supposed to shoot at everything that is round, made of leather and is of number 5, something like that and all. Add to this a host of other competitions and prizes, I hope they put put live matches on Friday evening on big screen instead of the usual movie.

The party pooper to all this is that the cable wallah's are threatening not to air ESPN/Star. Sure would kill a few if they do it, keeping my fingers crossed.

So guys what so crazy that you are planning to do this World Cup.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Predictions for the World Cup

Since, the world cup is just days away, it makes sense to pay favourite-favourite :-)

Yep, its that time of the year when you can make predictions and all. Also, you can lay bets on ur fav team. So, here I go.

For me, the below three teams have a wonderful chance of laying their hands on the trophy.

1) Brazil (Expected)
2) England (Best Team Till Date)
3) Argentina

More elaboration as to why I consider them the favourites to win will follow. Till then, keep kicking :-)


Monday, May 22, 2006

Football and more of it.

The League titles have been decided, Football fanatics have had their moments of elation, excitement, despair and doom as the fortunes of their favorite teams and players swayed across ends. While fans of Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool had a great time with their teams winning their country leagues or other glories, The fans of Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid etc were not so lucky.

The three teams boast together some of the best players in the game, with half the Real's line up being star studded, but when it came to team play they didn't quite match up. United was almost thrashed by Chelsea, though it still has more starry line-up than its rival, Arsenal the loosers, though played well in the league final against Barca, never really looked like the champs that they were a couple a years ago, finishing fourth!!! in the league. The biggest disappointment was handed over to its fans was by Real, with players like Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo, Carlos, Robinho, Guti one could not expect anything less than titles, but none were to come.

The team that changed the rules of the games has been Chelsea, when they won the title last year, not many were still sure of their quality and persistence. But they have proved well enough that they are the kings and their last win wasn't a flash in the pan, the likes of Lampard, Drogba, Arjen may not yet be the stars of the likes of Ronaldo and Zidane but surely make up a team that has an incisive attack and rock solid defense. One more thing that they prove is that money does matter but, well used it can do wonders, So 90 million euros ($113.9 million) spent by Real madrid last year could get them only a second place in Spanish La Liga and Roman Abramovich's millions assured successive titles for Chelsea.

The football fanatics are eagerly waiting for the World Cup which promises to be the biggest sporting extravaganza on the face of the earth, mean while the player market is hotting up with deals falling in place one after other, one can only wait to see the composition of next year club lineups.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Barca Rulezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So, the expected happened. Barca became the UEFA Champions. As the season progressed this time, it was becoming more and more apparent that Barca were the team to beat this year. And coming into the finals, Barcelona were poised to lift the Champions Trophy. But, one team Arsenal was determined to make history and promised an entertaining match to the fans.

I spent the better part of the night waiting for the match to start. Dad started getting a bit restless seeing me awake beyond midnight. And the old taunt of never staying late to study surfaced. But, yesterday everything was taken into the stride. Even gave a brief introduction of the Champions League to him. Finally, he slept murmurring something about 22 players fighting for a ball and all. But, I digress..

Anyways, coming to the match, Arsenal were aggressive right from the beginning which was not quite surprising actually. In the pre-match analysis, the pundits were discussing about the fact that Barca might just be wary of the Arsenal strikers. And in the first few minutes, Arsenal showed us just exactly why. Lehmann was looking quite confident while thwarting the stray strikes by the Barca strikers on the goal. But, then Lehmann tripped Eto just outside the box. (Hope Lehmann doesn't show such stupidity during the World Cup now that he is the first-choice goalkeeper for Germany). The tripping saw Lehmann being sent off and Pires being replaced by Manuel Almuni which in a way was very sad. The sight of Lehmann being sent off and Pires being replaced secretly made an Arsenal-baiter like me also pray for an Arsenal victory.

A free kick which should not have been given gave Arsenal a opening in the game. Campbell's header put Arsenal in the lead and Arsenal went into the break with their heads high after being 1 up with a 10 man team.
A lot is being made of the refreeing and I don't think Arsenal fans should be complaining much. IMHO, the free kick was just not on. But, the simulation worked and Arsenal striked. All this talk of biasedness should be taken with a bag of salt.

After the break also, the ball possession was more with Barcelona. But, their normal incisiveness was missing primarily because Ronaldinho was playing far below at its best, to put it mildly. Ronaldinho missed around 3 free-kicks which is very much unlike him. Things were just drifting with Arsenal content to defend and players diving left and right. Even Henry wasn't entirely free of guilt as he also got involved in delaying of the game with the constant scuffles and dives.

But, then Larsson was introduced in the game and that just changed the entire match. A first feed to Eto, which seemed like marginally off-side equalized the scores and there and then, Arsenal left the game. Within some minutes, Larsson provided Beletti a scoring oppurtunity and that sealed the match. The remaining minutes were just a countdown to Barca lifting the trophy.
Overall, the match was good. Definitely tense but yes, if Arsenal had 11 players on the ground, I suspect Arsenal would have been crowned the champions. Simplay, the way they started was heartening. But, anyways looking at the whole tournament, Barca were the deserved winners.

Hopefully, Chelsea bring the Champions Trophy back to England. Here's Cheers to that!!!


First Post

Just created this blog for all the madness related to the most beautiful game on this planet 'FOOTBALL'.
I would like a variety of people to contribute to this blog and hence, as a first step would invite some of my blog friends to contribute on this blog.

So, I would not like to take much of blogger space and ask anyone free to contribute to this blog.

So, Let the ball roll!!