Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why did Manchester United lose the Champions League?

Still no club has won the Champions League twice in a row. Manchester United should be proud of coming so close but it was not to be. Barcelona were great and I guess that they deserved it.

So where did it all go wrong for Manchester United. One of the main problems were the errors. Manchester United simply didn't play as well as they can. Vidic who has been player of the season was the one who missed Eto'o! Evra's mistake led to the second goal. It is had to criticise these players as they have been so good for Manchester over the years.

Manchester were playing well at the start, but after Vidic made the mistake it allowed Barcelona to maintain possesion. Everyone knows that Barcelona love to do this. Even when they took corners they would pass it back rather than cross it in the hope of scoring.

This is all very well, but Manchester panicked and then chased the ball. The reason that Chelsea got the better of Barcelona was that they just sat back and waited for Barcelona to play into the danger areas and took the ball of them. Because of the eagerness of Manchester to win and the fact that they fell behind, they chased and tried to get the ball back and then opened up a lot of spaces.

The other error of tactics from the manager was the introduction of Berbatov. I have no complaints about a manager who has brought 11 league titles, but this time he got it wrong. I can understand the idea of wanting to attack more, but having 4 strikers is not attacking. The attack comes through the team, from the defense up, it can even start from the goalkeeper. For a team that was getting overrun in midfield, one cant afford to have 4 strikers. After that Barcelona were free to do as they liked as Berbatov is hardly going to win back the ball.

In the end the time of possession was fairly even, and Ryan Giggs felt that Manchester had more chances, but it was just not their day. Congratulations though to Barcelona, it is very difficult to win the trophy, even though they won in very dubious circumstances against Chelsea - to win the European cup takes a lot of good fortune as well as skill. Also congratulations to their midfield of Xavi and Iniesta who were absolutely superb, but it will be a different story next year we hope.

The thing about sports is that someone has to lose. There can only be one winner. Fortunately in life things are not so absolute.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Messi the best of all time?

Someone has finally said it. Antonio Cassano the gifted Italian footballer has been the first one to come out and say it. I know that one of the recent entries to this blog has tried to identify some flaws in Messi-dona, but the truth of the matter is that he is a a phenom.

I have speculated on this subject before Cassano, but when his comments came out recently they did not even raise too many eyebrows. Of course it is impossible to know who is the best - Pele has been retired for many years as has Maradona. Messi has not even won anything, no world cups, no Champions leagues (barring the one that he was injured for), however his level of performances may be of a greater level than we have ever before seen.

When Mill House rose to prominence in the 1960's - people had never before seen a horse like him, he was massive and dark, and was miles better than all the other horses at the time. There is little doubt that he would have probably gone down as the greatest chaser of all time. Sadly for his legacy, Arkle emerged very soon after. They had many titanic battles that were contested miles ahead of the field - but Arkle always won.

We will never know how Messi would have done against these great football players of yesteryear. People say that Roger Federer is arguably the best tennis player of all time. He doesn't look like it now that Nadal has arrived. And they say that he has to win more titles than anyone else. So people say that Pete Sampras is still the greatest. But at some point in his career Sampras had only won a few grand slams, we didn't know he was 'the best ever', someone may have speculated it at the time though.

And so this is me speculating that Messi may be the best ever. I personally dont believe it, but I have never seen such close control. Messi attributes it to when he was a child he was so small that he had to keep the ball close at all times.

For those of you who don't even know who he is!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Police have confirmed......

that two Premiership
footballers have had their houses burgled
on the same night last Tuesday.

Ryan Giggs had 70 welsh caps, 11 premiership
medals, 2 champions league medals, 5 FA cup
medals, 1 league cup medal, 2 world club
cup medals, 8 charity shield medals and 1
super cup medal stolen.

Emmanuel Adebayor lost a kettle and a toaster.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is Messi a choke artist?

Some would have you believe that the ballon d'or has already been decided for this year. And the winner goes to - Messi.

For thise of us that have been watching the game it has been astonishing to see 'the flea' consistently running around defenders with the ball attached to his feet. He scores a lot - not as much as his strikers but when he is at he is at his best it is a thing to watch.

He has been doing this against teams in Spain. For years Spain dominated the UEFA cup and people thought that this prooved the Spanish league was strong thoughout, perhaps it was, but the simple fact is that where were the Spanish teams this year? Certainly not in the latter stages of the UEFA!

The only other player that can realistically challenge him for the title of the worlds best player is Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has lived with the label of 'choke artist' for years. Despite scoring in the Champions league final and in all the big matches so far this season. So the question falls - what the hell happened to Messi against Chelsea? What happened to him in the last Copa America final? Where was he during Argentina's 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Bolivia recently? Perhaps he is a choke artist afterall, because it seems that when the tough gets going - Messi goes - literally.

This could all be speculation, and there is no bigger match then the one coming up against Manchester United in the final of the champions league. Perhaps there we will discover who the real choke artist is...