Apologies as i have sort of neglected this blog due to work commitments and add to that, im taking night classes which means the amount of time that i have to blog is getting lesser.

I haven’t lost the passion to write which is why i am back!

Think the issue that brought me back here today is the issue that has been dominating news headlines today and yesterday. The brawl between Young Lions and Beijing Guoan Talents.

Before i get started, let us take a look at a video that was posted online,

To be honest, i wasn’t at all surprised when i heard the news. I mean this isn’t the first time a team from China is involved in such controversy. All the way back since Sinchi FC, these china teams has been nothing but trouble. You would known the term once bitten, twice shy but not the FAS i think. Someone do need to educate them on a bit of english.

Many of us were very disappointed at the start of this S-League season when the FAS decided to approve the application of another china team over the Super Reds, a team that is made of locals this time round. And well, three quarter of the season has been completed already and clearly the Beijing “Talents” are not justifying their inclusion. And now, comes this episode of violence from them.

I will say this first, the Young Lions are not without fault. We can see clearly in the video that of them did retaliated and one or two did throw the first punch, possibly out of anger and the urge to defend their teammates. But clearly, the main aggressors here are the “Talents”. In the video, one of the Young Lions player, which was later identified as right-back Faritz Abdul Hameed, was kicked or rather volleyed in the head by a Beijing player while he was on the ground. And we can see the Beijing players throwing kungfu kicks at the players as well as the officials. Kungfu Hustle part II!

I hope FAS really get their act together after this latest incident. How many times must they be bitten before they finally realised that these china teams are not the ones to light up this league. Many eyes are now on the FAS on what they will do next. But something in me is telling that the punishment that is going to be meted out will be insignificant. Well, lets wait and see.

Still wanting foreigners to become citizens SM? Oh wait, that’s is another story =)

Yesterday’s EPL action brought up several interesting topics. First of which was the John Terry and Wayne Bridge saga that has been hogging the headlines for the past week. Will the betrayed Bridge shake the hand of the betrayer Terry. And as you can see from the gif above, the answer was no. Bridge simply couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Just to add abit more on this saga. Wayne Bridge announces his retirement from England duty during the week and this was what he said, ”It has always been an honour to play for England. However, after careful thought I believe my position in the squad is now untenable and potentially divisive. Sadly therefore, I feel for the sake of the team and in order to avoid what will be inevitable distractions, I have decided not to put myself forward for selection”

I personally feel that Bridge is being made to made for more than what he deserved in this entire episode. If there is anyone who should retire, it should have been John Terry. Its a disgrace really at how John Terry is being backed by the staffs and fans at Chelsea. John Terry was the cause of this entire mess and he should stand up and say that he will leave the team instead of Bridge who did nothing wrong. Where’s the logic in that sense? But of course England can afford to lose Bridge and not Terry. With Rio Ferdinard struggling with his back problems and Matthew Upson having a difficult second half of the season with West Ham, England needs Terry more than ever if they are going to life the World Cup this June. Understandably, with the loss of Ashley Cole, Bridge became more important to the team but is he irreplaceable? I don’t think so. Both Leighton Baines and Stephen Warnock are having an impressive season and both deserved a shot to go the World Cup. Kieran Gibbs would have been worth a shout but he too is injured for the season. So my sympathy to Wayne Bridge, who have been made to pay for someone’s else misdeamenour. \

Anyway, Chelsea was soundly beaten by City in last night game. Man City did their neighbour a big favour with that 4-2 victory and as a Man Utd fan, i can hardly complain.

I am sorry for the above picture if is has caused anyone of you any discomfort after seeing it. But that is Aaron Ramsey lying on the ground with a fractured leg after being involve in a bad challenge by Ryan Shawcross which of course resulted in the defender being a shown a first ever red card in his young career. And of course being Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, cue all the ridiculous statements.

Arsene Wenger:
”I’m proud of our game because it was an unbelievable battle from the first minute. We needed to be tough and resilient to win. I’m very proud and of course very sad because of what happened. We know it’s a bad injury. We have to transfer him to London tonight to see if he needs emergency surgery. We don’t know how long he will be out but it’s certainly long term. I’m not very happy with the tackle. We know what we are expecting, a battle everywhere, but we have now lost three players on horrendous tackles and I refuse to believe it’s always coincidence. I don’t believe it when you are hit as many times as we are. I just believe in what I see and when you see a player getting injured like that it’s not acceptable. Commitment is right, but that is not right. All the questions I get in press conferences about we don’t fancy the physical side of it, that’s the result.”
“To be kicked out of the game, it is beyond words. We have lost three players, Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey today to horrendous tackles. It is always ‘coincidence’ and I don’t believe in coincidence. When you see a player of that quality getting injured in the way he did, it’s not acceptable. That is not what I like in the game. I refuse to live with that. Spare me the articles about how nice Shawcross is, please.”

Cesc Fabregas
”In five years I’ve seen three of them, Abou [Diaby], Eduardo and now Aaron. What can I say. It’s difficult. You could say we are not protected enough. We are sometimes victims. I’m not complaining, football is like that. There are things that are a little too much but three times in five years is a little bit too much.”

Not surprising at all these comments considering they came out from Arsene Wenger. The man who could only see the wrongs of the other teams and not his own. If you look at his quote, you would think that he is saying there is a conspiracy theory among the teams to go out and injured his players. Come on now, if you had looked at the reply of Shawcross tackle on Ramsey, you would seen that that Shawcross went in with no malicious intent at all, his studs was not showing and his leg was not lifted on the ground when he went in for the tackle. It was just that Ramsey was too fast for him and as a result, he was caught in a bad tackle. But did Shawcrosee intend to injure him? Of course not. You can see how distraught Shawcross was when he was coming off the field, he was in tears in fact! If i had intend to go in and injure a player, would i have come off the field crying? I doubt so. And add to that, it was the first red card of Shawcross’s career. His manager has also come out and say that Shawcross is not a dirty player which i believe so.

Of course im not here to defend the tackle. It was horrendous and Shawcross deserve his red card. But my point here is to Arsene Wenger. No one is going out to injure your players. All of these, as oppose to what you said, are all coincidences. We really should recommend an optician to Wenger. I think his eyesight is really failing him. He really thinks that people in England are trying their best to prevent them from winning the league but seriously, he should look at the state of his team before saying this kind of stupid comments. My disgust for Arsene Wenger is growing with each and every comments he made. His team played some beautiful football. But the words coming out of his mouth simply spoil its all.

I hope Ramsey made a speedy recovery from this injury and hopefully come back as the player he is and fulfill the potential that he has in him.

League Cup and EPL

February 24, 2010

2 of my teams were playing last night and i didn’t manage to catch both in action. Which was kinda frustrating for me personally.

First up, The Sengkang Punggol Dolphins were playing against Beijing Guoan Talents at Yishun Stadium in the Singapore League cup. Wanted to make a trip down but alas, due to work commitments, i had to skip that trip. It turns out to be quite a scrappy yet interesting game according to the reviews i saw over at Fish Our of Water. The game ended 1-1 after 90 mins and it was the Dolphins who came up strong in ET with 2 goals to win the tie 3-1 AET. It was good to see the lads coming away with a win to continue their good start to the season. Next up is SAF FC in the next round of the league cup. We could really give the warriors a run for their money i feel as the warriors will be missing their NT players who will all be away in Jordan for the crunch qualifier for the Asian Cup. It doesn’t matter if they lose though as long as they make the warriors work, it will be good enough for me. But its over at Choa Chu Kang though so i doubt i will be making the journey west.

Manchester United also had a midweek game last night as they took on West Ham in a rearranged game due to United’s involvement in the Carling Cup final this Sunday. Midweek game means early kickoff which means im unable to catch it as i got to work the next day. Anyway, Man Utd won 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Wayne Rooney and a third from forgotten man Michael Owen. Rooney’s brace means that he has already score 27 this season. I wouldn’t bet against him hitting the 40 goals mark and beating C. Ronaldo’s haul of 42 judging by the form this guy is in. The way he has improved this season is really astonishing and it could only bode well for United’s quest to knock Liverpool off their fecking perch and of course England’s quest for World Cup glory. Just hope he won’t be burned out by the time the World Cup comes in June. Anyway, his game means that United is now 1 point behind Chelsea although Chelsea do have a game in hand.

Carling Cup Final is this Sunday. Will sure catch it and post up my thoughts on the game here!

Heart wrenching. Absolutely heart wrenching for the young Dolphins as they conceded a goal in the final seconds of the game to allow Etoile to tie it up at 2-2. The score definitely reflected the overall performance of both team but i feel that the Dolphins definitely deserved the 3 points instead of the 1 which they are getting.

My biggest fear before the game was how the Dolphins’ physique dwarfed those of the Etoile players. But thankfully, what the Dolphins lacked in the physique department, they more than made it up with their full-hearted performance. Despite being under pressure early on, the Dolphins stucked to their gameplan of passing the ball on the ground instead of just hoofing the ball upfield. There were really some neat interchanges between the players which had me gushing my praises.

But the star of the first half was undoubtedly Fadhil Salim. He made a string of top class saves to keep the score level. The highlight of those saves was definitely the one which he fisted away a point blank Frederic Mendy’s header and denying him again on the follow up. His handling of all the crosses being put into the box was also very good. One area which the Dolphins suffered last season was in the goalkeeping department but in Fadhil, i think Sengkang has finally found a reliable custodian to count on.

Moussa Keita then stunned the majority of the home crowd when he latched onto some hesitancy from the Etoile defence before sprinting through and slot it pass the keeper with the outside of his right boot. Absolutely coolness. Good to see him opening his account for the season. Hopefully, its the start of flow of goals for him. The Dolphins go into the break 1-0 up with majority of the crowd stunned.

Etoile came out of the second half with all guns blazing and it wasn’t long before Frederic Mendy scored the equaliser. But the Dolphins did not give up and came close to scoring a few times, notably Shahir’s header which the Etoile keeper managed to get a fist on it to keep it from going in. At this moment, you can sense that the next team that is going to score is the Dolphins. And they dult obliged in the 78th minute when Murphy releases Jordan Webb down the right and he raced into the box before putting it past the Etoile keeper from a tight angle for his 3rd goal in 3 games. Deserved second for Sengkang Punggol.

And this moment, you know that Etoile is going to throw whatever they have at the Dolphins. And the Dolphins pplayed their heart out in defence. Making sure they were first to every second ball and went in whole heartedly into every challenges. The Dolphins were proving they were more than a match for their bigger sized opponents in the physical battles. But alas, the ending was not to be as with what was the last kick of the game, Verschave scored from a lapse in the Sengkang’s defence. Absolutely heart wrenching for Aide’s young team.

But it was a impressive performance nonetheless. Shahir Hamzah and Sim Li Ming, 2 rookie centrebacks were pretty impressive in defence. Although they struggled in the opening exchanges to deal with the height of Mendy but they grew in statue as the game wore on. Both of them can really hold their heads up high based on this performance. Fadhil was my man-of-the-match despite conceding 2 goals. Murphy was again impressive in midfield although he needs to stop giving away careless balls in the middle. Jordan Webb is proving to be a real gem after scoring for the third consecutive game. Moussa Keita held the ball up front and opened his account for the season. Mamadou came on and was his usual tricky self. Faizal and Jalal again had good games.

As for Etoile, i still think they have yet to really gelled as a team. But they did show some nice touches and neat interplays. Their defence is suspect to the bouncing balls though and the defenders conceded possesion many times when they were faced with the bouncing balls. Frederic Mendy did not impress me at all. Yes, he scored. But other than that, he was struggling against a rookie defence and falling over at every dribble till the crowd in the stand was stupid frustrated with his inability to stay on his feet. If Etoile had a better striker, they would have won the match as their midfield was definitely impressive.

Once again, gutted for Aide and his young charges. But i hope they can pick themselves up and carry this performance into the game against Beijing next week in the League Cup.

Caught the game between the dolphins and the bulls at Hougang Stadium last night. What a game it was between 2 teams which i always have a kin interest in. Dolphins being the team based at my home area and i have always liked the bulls for their brand of football after watching them on Channel 5 several times last season.

And surprise surprise, the dolphins managed to overcome the odds and came out with a 2-1 victory against the ten man bulls. Definitely one of the best performance i ever seen from the Dolphins. The game was a full-bloodied affair with tackles flying in from all over. And it was no surprise when a red card was pulled out by the referee when Fazrul Nawaz went in with his boot high into the chest of Murphy Wiredu. From then on, the Dolphins started to dominate and thoroughly deserved the victory.

It wasn’t the case from the start though as the Bulls were dominating the early proceedings with the odd counter attack from the Dolphins. But as the half drawn on, The Dolphins started to get back into the game it was really some pleasing football from the Dolphins that i have not seen in previous seasons. They kept the ball on the ground and was patient in their passing. The players all know their roles and the team spirit in the team was evident in the way they covered for one another.

Several players impressed me. You have heard of the big man – small man attack combination. But how about in defence? Shahir Hamzah and Nur Azli, standing at 185cm and 168cm respectively was colossal in central defence. Shahir repelled everything that was thrown at him in the air and Nur Azli went into every tackle with 110%! So impressive was Shahir that he kept the reigning Player of the Year Gabriel Obatola in his back pocket the whole night. Obatola who? Such was Obatola’s frustration that he had to resort to gamesmanship antics. Unfortunately, referee was not fooled by him. Captain Nur Azli was everywhere until he had to come off with concussion. The midfield trio of Murphy Wiredu, Jalal and Faizal Amir impressed me as well. They were everywhere and does not look out of place against the giant Goran Subara. Jalal provided the cross which led to Obadin’s own goal as well. Jordan Webb had an inconsistent game but was alert enough to place Murphy’s mishit freekick into the back of the net for what was the winning goal. Sobrie was pretty much marked out of the game. Moussa Keita was pretty quiet in the first half until Mamadou Diallo came on and both combine to great effect.

Was really impressed with the Dolphins last night. One of the thing that i can see in this team that was lacking in previous was the team spirit. Its obvious that the players were playing for each other. Every mistake was covered by a team mate and everyone defended together as a team when it matters. Credits really to Aide for moulding a young team into what it is now.

Hopefully the Dolphins can build on this victory and go on and perform well for the rest of the season. Maybe, just maybe, they won’t finish in the bottom 2 this season!

EPL Weekend

February 8, 2010

The Barclay’s English Premier League weekend saw 2 high profile games in the merseyside derby as well as the top 4 clash between Chelsea and Arsenal.

In the merseyside derby saw Dirk Kuyt scoring the solitary goal in what was a highly charged contest with 2 red cards. Sotirios Kyrgiakos saw red for going in with a 2 footed challenge on Marouane Fellaini. Not that Fellaini was without fault as well as he too went in 2 footed on Kyrgiakos but the referee saw fit to give the red to the Greek international instead as Fellaini came out the worse of the 2 in the challenge. The entire game saw plenty of tackles flying in and it was a miracle that the second red card only came in the dying minutes of the game when Steven Pienaar was sent off for a second bookable offence. Which is why i feel the referee, Martin Atkinson had quite a poor game. Throughout the entire game, he was falling for Liverpool players’ diving antics and awarding free kicks to them.

Kuyt scored the winnier via a Steven Gerrard’s corner but the blame has to go to Tim Howard. The ease at which Kyut brushed him aside before nodding in the goal was definitely his fault. This fault sure characterised why he failed to make it at Manchester United. However good a goalkeeper is at shot stopping, if he cannot command his area and the aerial balls, he will never be a top class goalkeeper which i guess is the main reasons why he was allowed to leave United. So with this win, Liverpool are back in the hunt for fourth place but with Spurs, Villa and especially Man City breathing down their necks, they will have to keep this run going if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Did not manage to catch the Chelsea Arsenal game as it was a late kickoff and i had to work today. But from what i read and heard, both teams were of a even match to each other but Chelsea was the one that manage to finish their chances. 2 goals from Didier Drogba who seems to have pick up where he left off when he left for the African Cup of Nations. With this win, Chelsea regained their lead at the top of the table, leading Manchester United by 2 points. This title is getting more and more interesting it seems.

What about my beloved Red Devils. They definitely had no problems whatsoever and commemorated the anniversary of the Munich Disaster with a thumping of Portsmouth at Old Trafford. 5-0 the final score and out of the 5 goals, 3 were scored by Portsmouth. Comical you would say but thats hardly a wrong term to associate with Portsmouth nowadays. Mr Wayne Rooney scored his 21st league goal this goal and who’s betting against him getting 30 with the form he is in now. Seriously, i hoped for Man Utd sake and England, he can keep himself fit for the rest of the season.

There’s a round of midweek fixtures for the Premier League this week and some interesting clashes includes, United visiting Villa Park hoping to avenge the early season defeat and Arsenal entertaining Liverpool at the Emirates hoping to get their season back on track after consecutive losses to Man Utd and Chelsea.

That’s it for today folks.

The darkest day: Feb 6th 1958

February 6th will forever be circled on the calendars of everyone connected with Manchester United.

On that day in 1958, the darkest day in United’s history, 23 people – including eight players and three members of the club’s staff – suffered fatal injuries in the Munich air crash.

Flying back from a European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade, the team plane stopped in Germany to refuel. The first two attempts to take off from Munich airport were aborted; following a third attempt, the plane crashed.

Twenty-one of the people on board died instantly. Aeroplane captain Kenneth Rayment died a few weeks later from the injuries he sustained while Duncan Edwards – one of the eight victims from the team – passed away 15 days after the crash. The tragedy is an indelible part of United’s history, as is Sir Matt Busby overcoming his injuries to build another great team which won the European Cup 10 years later.

Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Mark Jones (24), David Pegg (22), Tommy Taylor (26), Geoff Bent (25), Liam Whelan (22) and Duncan Edwards (21) all died, along with club secretary Walter Crickmer, trainer Tom Curry and coach Bert Whalley.

Eight journalists died – Alf Clarke, Tom Jackson, Don Davies, George Fellows, Archie Ledbrook, Eric Thompson, Henry Rose, and Frank Swift who was a former Manchester City player. Plane captain Ken Rayment perished, as did Sir Matt’s friend Willie Satinoff. Travel agent Bela Miklos and crew member Tom Cable also died.

We will never forget.

Quoted from manutd.com

Since its 6th Feb today. Just thought i will pay tribute to the people who died in the Munich air disaster of 1968. All Manchester United fan will be familiar with that date and that was the day where a part of what was a very talented squad perished in the cold weather. But it was also from this disaster where the Manchester United legacy began and the survivor of the crash went on to become the first english team to lift the then European Cup.

To those who perished on that fateful day, Manchester United fans will never forget you.