Advertisements

Tag Archives: Wenger

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City – Manchester is a City not United

The noisy neighbors earned themselves the respect they’ve been yearning for; at last. There would have been no better way for the citizens of Manchester to claim full authority over the city and the league table than the thrashing of Manchester United in Old Trafford by 6 goals to 1. It was like how Micah Richards described it: “It’s what dreams are made of.”

The two teams took the field with Manchester City leading United by two points. Pundits, fans, and the world were expecting a tight game (although I disagreed earlier and mentioned it will be humiliating for either side). What happened on the field was totally amusing. Manchester City held their nerves and were organized in the back trying to take charge of the game gradually. Judging Mancini’s starting lineup, the inclusion of Milner instead of De Jong raised some questions about the Italian’s intentions. De Jong was also spotted frustrated sitting on the bench. Yet, with the display that Milner put on the day Mancini was hailed as a genius. He opted for a more attacking formation with Milner rather than a defensive one with De Jong.

Manchester City’s growing confidence into the game was directly translated into their first chance and first goal. Silva, City’s messiah, cut United’s right flank and provided a ball back to the edge of the area where Balotelli threaded a pinpoint sidefoot into De Gea’s net. The first half ended 1-0 for the citizens and both teams’ dressing rooms were filled with mixed emotions. Then came Evans red card at the beginning of the second half and Manchester United were doomed.

Balotelli Why Always me?

It will always be you, until you stop collecting traffic fines and setting houses on fire, refrain from dealing with the mafia and using your iPad during games, and many other million reasons.

Manchester United held their nerves for the first 15 minutes of the second half after the Evans incident but couldn’t hold on more. Balotelli scored the second and Aguero the third. Fletcher reduced the damage on minute 81 but City scored 3 more goals in the dying minutes of the game; thanks to a Dzeko brace and a Silva trademark. (You can find here a minute by minute report on the match)

Now, what really happened in the Manchesteer Derby? What went wrong? Is Manchester City that powerful? Is money triumphing over history? Well, here are the thoughts and comments:

  • A “derby” has no rules – hold your horses and don’t start celebrating Manchester City’s league title yet
  • Balotelli has proven to be an opportunist with capabilities of being a great – he jumped into the front line when Tevez was done
  • Ferdinand is way past his best – Capello is proving right
  • Anderson is not a Scholes – and certainly not a Keane
  • Evra should concentrate more on captaining the team and defending his flank better – and forget about the media outburst and racism claims
  • Mancini is growing up – even his quotes are maturing “United are still one yard above us and we can only change this if we win the title”
  • Sir Alex may change his mind and spend some money in January – he admitted “It was a bad day, our worst ever day”
  • Manchester City fans may now start attending upcoming games with passion – no need for phone messages to beg them to attend (check the audio in this link)
  • Manchester United still need that missing piece in the middle – if they were thinking of “glory glory…” by the end of May 2012
  • Money can buy titles and build teams – ask Chelsea and question Wenger
  • England has a real chance in Euro 2012 – Capello is the luckiest coach to finally see players like Richards and Milner flourishing just in time
  • The English Premier League proves once more it is the best in the world – Arsenal vs Manchester? Need more to say?

I can go on and on with thoughts and lose myself into useless analysis because what has been done is done. Manchester is now a City not United. The only match I want to watch in the coming days is that of Aldershot Town F.C. in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 against Manchester United. I know that Sir Alex will field his “B-Team” for such an encounter but I want to see the anger of the United players translated into another feast of football and goals.

Full Time Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City

Spot the difference between the two images

Advertisements

2012 UEFA Champions League – Group Stage Draw and the Final Words of Advice

The road to the 2012 UEFA Champions League final on Saturday 19 May, 2012, at the Fußball Arena München, starts today. The draw for the group stage will take place in Monaco, on August 25, 2011, at 17.45CET (15:45 GMT – 19:45 Dubai Time).

32 European teams will be split into 8 groups, with each group having 4 clubs. The draw might see some really tough encounters where the odds of having FC Barcelona and AC Milan in one group, or Real Madrid and Manchester City in another, are really high.

The Allianz Arena

The Allianz Arena, in the north of Munich, will be the venue for the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final

The draw ceremony will also see the presentation of the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, for the first time. A jury of 53 sports journalists representing each of the UEFA member associations selected Xavi, Messi, and C. Ronaldo as the three nominees for the award, based on their performance during the 2010/2011 season for both club and country. (You can check the mechanics of the voting here)

The 32 participants were all busy this summer reinforcing their squads in anticipation of another long and competitive football season. Many have yet to dig further into their pockets and buy more players if they were determined to reach advanced stages of the European Championship. The transfer market will close by midnight on August 31, and here are some quick views on some of the big names:

1- AC Milan: The Italian Champions have just signed Alberto Aquilani on a loan deal from Liverpool with an obligation to buy him permanently if he plays more than 25 games this season. Yet, there are still hopes that there is a Mr. X to join them soon. With an aging midfield, and no real playmaker, one more signing can do them miracles if chosen right. If they don’t, I can’t see them winning this year around.

Mr X (shared via @beckyy27)

Searching for Mr. X should never stop with the capture of Alberto Aquilani

2- FC Barcelona: The European Champions finally welcomed their son back to the Camp Nou; the former Arsenal Captain Cesc Fàbregas. They also signed the Chilean sensation Alexis Sánchez to strengthen their attack that boosts having Messi in it. However, with their Captain Puyol sidelined, and his companion Pique also injured, the Blaugrana might jump into the market to find a world class defender as a cover for their backline. It is true that the midfield and powerful attack can do miracles for them, but if they do not reinforce their defense I can’t imagine a happy ending of the 2011/2012 campaign.

3- Chelsea FC: Dubbed as the new Mourinho, newly assigned manager André Villas-Boas has a lot to ask from the management. He has just signed Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata to reinforce a somehow sterile attack. Yet, Mr. AVB knows that his real problem lies in the midfield. He has already lost Essien because of a lengthy injury, and knows that Lampard is not at his best. Signing an attacking midfielder, say Luka Modrić for example or Kaka, will prove crucial as the season progresses.

4- Manchester United: Sir Alex is already celebrating more than 25 years with the English Champions. He started introducing young talents this season after losing a couple because of retirement. The Sir knows well that he has a wealth of experience and talent in his squad, and also knows that he needs the cherry on the top if this squad is to know European glory this season. A Sneijder can be the missing piece, but knowing the Sir well we should anticipate a sudden move towards another unthought-of of figure; Kaka perhaps?

5- Real Madrid: Jose Mourinho is serving his second season with the “Whites”. He already missed out on most of the trophies last season and yet the management still believes he is “The Special One.” He even managed to become the Head of Football Operations at the club. With Mourinho’s increasing powers and big spending over the summer, expect one more signing in the attack department.

6- Manchester City: Many might argue that the citizens should not be among Europe’s elite, at least for the time being. It is true that they have not participated in the competition since 1968, but they return this year with heavy artillery. Having secured the signings of Samir Nasri and Aguero recently diminishes the possibilities of buying anymore talents. However, managing to keep the unsettled Carlos Tévez within their squad might boost their hopes of advancing to the final rounds of the competition.

Could City face Messi in the Champions League?

If you want to be among Europe’s elite, you don’t promote fear of one player on your official website!

7- Internazionale Milano: In 2010, the Italian giants won the competition. Since then, everything fell apart. To add to their misery, Samuel Eto’o has just left them for some thousands of dollars per hour. The squad is aging, unorganized, and in dire need of reinforcements at all levels. Targeting the likes of Diego Forlán and Carlos Tévez will not be the answer to all their problems. Massimo Moratti should act fast within the next week if he wanted to forget last season’s disasters.

8- Arsenal: Monsieur Wenger has just silenced his critics on the last day of the play-offs and managed a qualification. His strategies and “weird” ways might have served him well until yesterday. Still, it has been six years since he managed a title and five years since he reached the competition’s final. If the Gooners are to shine this year, the French Professor should run like a headless chicken in the coming few days to get himself some defenders and a couple of midfielders to replace the recently departed Cesc and Nasri.

Whether you agree on the above or disagree, whether you have better things to say or worse, here is a hint: let me know and convince me with your comments below.


Diego, Champions, and more

The first half of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 has seen the following qualify: Shakhtar Donetsk – Tottenham Hotspur – FC Schalke 04 – and FC Barcelona. The waiting list includes some big guns like last year’s winners Internazionale Milano and the Reds of Manchester. Looking at the odds of each team in the quarter finals, it is still early to judge and guess but we might see some mouthwatering encounters.

Everyone seems happy to have reached this stage, but the only man worried about what’s next is Harry Redknapp who wants anyone but Barcelona. I am dreaming already about such an encounter. Call me an airhead or a fool or a novice, but I see a lucrative moment in the Champions League history if Spurs play Barcelona. It will be the game to watch. A Bale – Alves encounter? Modrić – Xavi runs? A Messi show at White Hart Lane? Trust me, it will be EPIC!

 

Barca of Yemen

The only Barcelona Harry would want to meet (copyrights: Khalid AlMarri - @khalmarri)

  1. Luc Castaignos is Inter’s most recent acquisition. He will move to the Nerazzurri by the end of the 2010-2011 season. A Thierry Henry resemblance they say, let’s hope it is not the Henry of Juventus 1999.
  2. Enzo Francescoli believes that Messi is better than Maradona. Well, everyone with such a statement is looking for a football comeback; nothing more.
  3. Wenger is looking for a loan replacement for Wojciech Szczesny after the latter has been injured blocking Dani Alves’ freekick. Now we know why Almunia let three goals in.
  4. Cedric Enjorlas has been banned for six months by the French Football Federation for submitting a bid to lure Messi into his FC Borne, a second division club that plays in the Haute-Loire league. I wonder if such a ban would be sanctioned against Moratti.
  5. Harry Redknapp is rumored to be frustrated with his strikers and is looking to sell them all for an overhaul in the frontlines. Let’s see the math: Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, and Crouch have scored together 9 league goals in 28 matches. Van der Vaart alone scored 10. Does Real Madrid have anymore?
  6. Bojan is the hottest target on top of Wenger and Redknapp’s list. If it were for Wenger, he loves them young, if it were for the Spurs then two words: Remember Giovani dos Santos.
  7. Rumors are floating about Diego Maradona learning the Ukrainian language in preparation to take over as the First Team Coach. The man who managed to make Martin Palermo score in a World Cup can certainly remind people who Andriy Shevchenko is.

    Diego Maradona in World Cup 2010

    Don't you miss those better moments from South Africa?


%d bloggers like this: