Thursday, April 28, 2011
There has not been lack of questions about the 2nd place and the final top 4. After their home 2-2 draw, Harry Redknapp showed how much of a top-notch coach he is. This is one man who does not put any pressure on the players. He puts things into perspective and realistically push players to give their best. This is his reaction in a post match interview.
“It’s going to be difficult but it’s still all to play for. I find it hard that now everyone expects us to be in the Champions League. Tottenham had never been in it before until this season and suddenly it is like ‘we have to be in the Champions League’. Manchester City have gone out and spent God knows what to get above us. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are there every year, Liverpool will be there next year. It’s difficult to get fourth. It has been a great season but it’s not over yet.”
The issue of managers took a centre stage for a moment when people started thinking Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are both heading for the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson once hinted opting out of Old Trafford years back but stayed put. He has not given a hint of leaving and already it’s like Jose will replace him tomorrow. Redknapp and Guardiola have been linked with Chelsea but then it is reported Chelsea have met Andre Villas-Boas’s agent in an attempt to lure the 33-year-old Porto manager to West London in the summer.
The void Mourinho leaves at Madrid is said to be an Arsene Wenger’s space. If Guardiola goes to Chelsea, who takes over at Barcelona? Who will replace Wenger should he go to Madrid and will Redknapp take the England job after Fabio Capello leaves, and who will be in charge at White Hart Lane?
(Originally from http://www.tsendex.wordpress.com/)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
EXTRA-TIME with Vusumuzi Mourinho Ndlovu: EL CLASSICO, To Be Continued ....... .......
The last two El Classicos have been a total different ball game from the first this season. Los Braugrana may be having one hand on the La Liga but the Kings of Spain cup defeat will surely hurt especial ahead of the Champions League semifinals.
After that massacre at the Nou Camp, a Barca fan expressed relief when he said he was happy because Mourinho had no answer to Spanish football but was quickly reminded of
what happened to them in last year's Champions League semis. A renowned local Catalan told me that they won’t lose to a team that is not disciplined defensively.
Against the best passing and most offensive club in world football, Mourinho opted for three defensive midfielders, one playmaker and two wingers upfront in a bid to prevent Barca get into their rhythm and utilise CR7's pace upfront. If there weren't disciplined defensively Barca could have torn them apart within 120 minutes. It took Casillas more than 70 minutes to save a goal bound shot which further highlights how well-organised the Carvalho led defense was. Something very special was needed to break that water-tight defense.
A respected overseas based academy coach was spot on in saying that Mourinho like most tacticians, doesn't lose twice to the same team. A popular sports presenter jokingly said that
Mourinho was the man of the match, in reference to his shrewd tactics that handed Real Madrid their first over Barcelona in three years.
The semifinal El Classicos will be totally different as shown by how Los Blancos controlled the first half followed by Barca dictating the pace after the interval. Guardiola has to find another keys, the locks have been changed.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The English Premiership appears to have been decided as predicted in these shores a few hours earlier. Arsenal needed to win all their remaining matches, and against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, they had a 2 goal cushion they threw away. That is not championship material. Potential champions take matters into their own hands and deal decisively in totallity in a ruthless manner with opponents.
What is only left is a fight for 2nd place with Chelsea. It is a contest with less pressure and matching inconsistancy.They may even find better sparing partners in Spurs and Manchester City for 3rd if they are consistantly inconsistant. Chelsea beat Birmingham City 3-1 to move to 2nd spot and feel more like true contenders now as they did at the beginning. They say, it is not how one starts but how they finish.
Arsene Wenger is experienced and witty enough to know that to say the same things over and over to the same players will not motivate the players any further. It will not be surprising to see key figures leaving the Emirates and a lot more experienced youngsters coming in. It is not hard to see that Wenger can win everything with anyone elsewhere. The same young team he has now can beat any team any day. The pairing, for psychological reasons will not work.
The coach-player relationship is tired and redundant and surely, change is coming to the Emirates.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
You may still recall how a rural witchdoctor from Limpopo who scratched the backs of the players of one team I took to greatness ages ago, how he said he was very popular with Liverpool supporters for his juju. After Sunday’s Liverpool exploits, the confusion is cleared. The sangoma was serious.
Looking at the picture of the Barclays Premier League right now, you will see how United don’t need to do a thing to win the title. That is when I think that the Premiership is faulty. I must say that while Chelsea and Manchester City are the boys that hold the knives and skin during the slaughter of our bull, Liverpool are abandoning their duties of cleaning tripe and offal.
There is no guessing who the actual skinners are here. They will be labouring until the last match of the season. This they do with good course. The seniors in this department are Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Stoke City. They are supervised by iron fisted Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs’ main duties are resigned to making fire for the barbeque/braai.
Of the lot at the top of the table, when the deal is done and it’s time to eat, only Chelsea have at least the dentures. They have always been far more dangerous at their worst than Arsenal at their best. The problem is that their worst spell took far too long for United to worry about. Sir Alex Ferguson knows the title is in the bag, even though The Blues are the only ones with balls to wrest it away. Actually, it was theirs until they lost it.
All remaining fixtures are now academic. We await El Classicos as Jose Mourinho is getting frustrated in his efforts to remain Special.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Playing for many years doesn’t automatically makes you a better player, where was Zizou at 17 and at 37? The case that Giggs played for the same team with the same manager knocks out some points on his side because he didn’t have to settle in and adjust, something you have to do when you transfer to another club with a different coach.
Figo might have had more fans and more influence. However, the opinion of many isn’t always correct, no matter how loud they may be. What’s your opinion: Luis Figo or Ryan Giggs?
Friday, April 8, 2011
Why Does South America Shun Africa?
Despite ignoring Africa on many occasions, I which and hope CONMEBOL give us a chance to parade our talent in this year’s Copa America. Hugely talented and favourites Argentina hosts this year’s South American football showpiece which is set kickoff on the 1st up to the 24th of June.
Due to the fact that CONMEBOL has only 10 nations registered with FIFA, they invite 2 nations who are registered with FIFA from any other federations. This year’s invitees were set to be Mexico and Japan. Mexico have confirmed that they will send their 2012 Olympic team since their senior team will be competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup which is scheduled to take place as from the 6th of to the 25th of June. To be held in USA, no invitees will feature in this year’s Gold Cup.
Reigning Asian champions Japan have stated that they won’t be able to participate in Argentina because of the tsunami and the earthquake that took place on the 11th of March. Japan’s local league is currently suspended but will be in full swing by the time Copa America takes place.
The news of Japan’s withdrawal wasn’t bad news to me. They need time for their J-League which is currently suspended. Their withdrawal presents Africa with a chance to be selected to compete in Copa America. It presents another chance for CONMEBOL to take a look at African talent, perhaps they will see what we are made of.
I’m baffled by the criteria they use to select their invitees. Tougher opponents from Africa and Europe have never been invited, beside the recent they sent to reigning World and European Champions, Spain. Are they satisfied competing with a junior Mexican side or they are just pleased in helping fellow Americans in their Olympics games preparation? Copa America is the most prestigious trophy in South American football and the winner represents the continent in the FIFA Confederations Cup. Perhaps they don’t want an invitee that will go all the way to win the trophy. Unlike CONCACAF which gave us a chance in inviting the Stuart Baxter coached Bafana Bafana in 2005, CONMEBOL continue to ignore Africa.
Though Japan is currently ranked higher than all African countries, Ghana is just one spot behind them. In the top 50, Africa has 9 countries compared to Asia’s 4. Beside South Korea’s extra-ordinary run that saw them reaching the semifinals on home soil in 2002, Africa has had more impact at the World Cups and the Olympics. We even boast of quality players that can not be compared to the Asian stars. Egypt raised the African flag very high in the confederations Cup, but I’m not saying they are the ones that must be chosen.
So talented is Africa such that the legendary Pele was very impressed but became the prophet of doom when he predicted that an African country would have won the World Cup by the end of last century.
It seems CONMEBOL just wants to add two teams to make them twelve and create 3 groups, so they will continue selecting teams like the Mexican U-23 and those Asian countries that won’t give them any problems in beating. Even though Africa and South America were attached to each other, as some Geographical sources say, South America continue to shun Africa.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Like Barcelona, they will enjoy the support of the former 'men in black' especially at crucial times. Chelsea were victims of that mild incident against Barca when Didier Dogba made a polite statement about his humble opinion on the referee. While it became a lsesson to a lot of teams, The Blues did not take notes, and will continue to sing the blues.
Some teams are created great. Other teams achieve greatness. These have greatness thrust upon their shoulders. It may just happen that Real Madrid may find themselves in the same situation as Chelsea. Crying will not win the Cup. Usually, the referees make money in 90 minutes, while the coach has so much work to do until match day. If there is anybody who cares less about the resources and families of coaches, it is the referees. The just destroy these lives with a blow of the wind.
Barcelona registered a 5-1 win at home. We await the 2nd legs eagerly.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Spurs have been a force in English football for just 2 years now, and their prowess has been limited to sporadic domestic shows and stunning revelations in Europe. For all their antics, it all boils to this week's challenge. The moment has come, but not Spurs.
Spurs have beaten Inter and AC Milan to reach this point, but all that is almost forgotten. They may beat Madrid and even dispatch Manchester and/or Barcelona along the way. Even then, unless they lift the Cup, no one will remember them.
It has always been inability to balance domestic league, Cup and International form, that has been their achilles. While there are these big names ahead standing between them and glory, we all know that betting against them is a risky affair. Nonetheless, while the road may end here and now, Harry Redknapp has bigger fish to fry. Gary Bale, Rafael van der Vaart, Steve Pienaar, Aaron Lennon and the rest of the gang, want to play at the same level next season. They are however not seen to be working towards that.
The Barclays Premier League is experiencing confusion that may work in their favour. No one has seen such regular inconsistance in football. The league is so unpredictable, that Man United always win even when they are not playing. As for the rest, I guess they play, but never win. That's a topic for another day, but as it stands, Spurs are risking being a distant memory in the near future if they they lose it now and fail to secure the spot for next season. They can actually do both under the circumstances.
Monday, April 4, 2011
God is for Roy Hodgson and all of us. The former Liverpool boss was given just £7.3 million pay-off after being fired by Liverpool at the beginning of 2011, grossing £8.8m in that short stinct, or earning an average of £320,840 a week. If this guy can earn this money, you and I can. Not that there is nothing special about the man, but we can be as special.
The Special One at Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho is said to be rated at £228,000 a week and the same report according to Eurosprt, classifies Messi as earning £210,000 a week, Wayne Rooney on £200,000 and Cristiano Ronaldo on £191,000. The charismatic David Beckham gets £120,000 weekly.
These monies do not include endorsement deals or other incomes not classified as salaries. It goes on to show that earning big is now a small task. Keep checking my name (and yours) on the Forbes' Rich List. It's called faith, but faith without deeds is dead.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
If this trend is anything to go by, then there is certainly a method to ensure that you never hit a dry spell talent-wise because you can always import players you may need for particular positions.
Article 18 of FIFA’s Laws reads: Any player who is a naturalised citizen of a country by virtue of that country’s laws shall be eligible to play for that national or representative team of that country. FIFA does not care if a nation grants citizenship on basis of parentage, regardless of place of birth. If a player is deemed citizen under a particular country’s law, he is eligible to play for that country.
Players with dual nationality, who had already played for a country’s national team at junior levels were only allowed to switch loyalties until the age of 21. The age limit has been removed but players who have played for the senior national team are barred from switching.
The Azzuri capitalised on Dunga’s reluctance to select Motta for Brazil and hooked him up. They probably dangled a sweet juicy carrot in front of him. Who knows? With the absence of Andrea Pirlo, Motta may form a formidable partnership with Danielle de Rossi in the engine room. Cesare Prandelli, the Azzuri coach recently said, “Motta has maintained the Brazilian technique and acquired a European mentality.
As to how Motta plays for Italy after playing for Brazil remains a puzzle that can only be solved by the Zurich based Sepp Blatter led federation.