Monthly Archives: November 2012

LIONEL MESSI AND DAN CARTER : THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE OF THE NUMBER 10

 (Guest Writer Dennis Odera, @m_oyo  to those of you who live on twitter, compares the two best players of their generation in the two differing sports of football and rugby)

Genius at work. Lionel Messi (right) and Dan Carter (left) ***images courtesy of zimbio ***

In 1863, the rules of the game we now know as Football (or Soccer, depending on which side of the Atlantic you lie), were codified as the Football Association was formed. This had been arrived at through a lot of compromise.  But not all were happy and felt the compromise had not been enough. So, just as William Webb Ellis had done 40 years earlier when he unthinkably held a football with his hands and ran with it towards the goals, some clubs broke away and formed Rugby Union.

So much like Isaac and Ishmael, who shared the same father in Abraham, but whose descendants became fiercest of rivals, rugby and football share an ancestry but loathe each other. That however has not meant that comparisons can’t be drawn. For where football has Lionel Messi, rugby has Dan Carter.

La Camisa Dez

The whole world considers the number 10 jersey a prestigious one. It is the number every kid who plays sport dreams of wearing. In Brazil, the jersey has taken such significance that they have a name for it, ‘camisa dez’.  This means that the holder of the ‘10’ jersey is the de facto best player of the team. He carries the team on his shoulders, Read the rest of this entry

ENGLISH CLUBS IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

The most coveted trophy in European Club Football *** image courtesy of bbc ***

The tide may be shifting. Since 2004, at least one English club has reached the semi-final of the Champions League in every season since. In fact, in 2009, 3 of the 4 semi finalists were English. Only 2004 and 2010 saw them not having a finalist. In 2005, 2008 and 2012 they won it.

This has meant that England’s UEFA co-efficient has been relatively high. The UEFA co-efficient system is what determines how many clubs qualify for the Champions League from each country. England’s high co-efficient means that UEFA grants them 4 spots, the maximum that any association can have. They, along with Spain and Germany, are the only countries to have this.

That has also meant that for fans of English Premier League, the Champions League has become a matter of right. Familiarity has bred expectation.

The money it provides also means that mere qualification for it is now almost considered a trophy. Read the rest of this entry

MANCINI, MAN CITY AND THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

A guest post written by Steve Mogaka.

Read on, and after the article, remember to follow him on twitter on @otivo_hype for more on his football musings, as well as for the best in Reggae/Dancehall music that you will find on this planet…

Roberto Mancini (right) and Carlos Tevez (left) at a UEFA Champions League Pre-Match Press Conference before Manchester City’s penultimate Group D game against Real Madrid *** image courtesy of zimbio ***

29th of August, 2012. The UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw comes to a close in Monaco. The excitement of Champions League nights for soccer enthusiast across Europe and the world over is at a high. As is the norm with many cup draws, all the talk is about the clichéd ‘Group of Death’. Fittingly this year, it is ‘Group D’,  which the draw has pitted mouth-watering clashes between English champions – Manchester City, Spanish Champions –  Real Madrid, German Champions – Borussia Dortmund and Dutch Champions – Ajax Amsterdam.

Our focus though shall be Man City. Read the rest of this entry

HAS ARSENE WENGER OUTLIVED HIS USEFULNESS?

Is the sun finally setting on Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal regime? *** image courtesy of whoateallthepies.tv ***

The problem, as Jonathan Wilson writes, is that Arsene Wenger can be frustratingly quixotic at times.

A man of ideals, Arsene Wenger is a genius in his own right. Two doubles and an undefeated league campaign attest to that. He has also been a pioneer in more than just tactics. Pre-game squad preparation and selection, youth development, aspects of scouting (in particular international scouting) and player nutrition were all pioneered in England by the Frenchman.  Indeed, it is sometimes said that Wenger’s successes at Arsenal opened the door for the influx of foreign managers into the English game as English clubs became more trusting of their methods.

But now, his revolutionary methods are no longer his advantage. Read the rest of this entry

JUVENTUS INVINCIBLE NO MORE

Juventus players dejected after defeat to Inter *** image courtesy of fu6bol ***

The screaming headline on the front page of Turin based newspaper, Tuttosport, summed it all up.

Juve INTERrotta ,

Which translates to,- Juve INTERrupted.

For that is exactly what happened on Saturday in Italy’s Serie A. For the first time since Antonio Conte took charge of Juventus. For the first time since Juve became the first, and still, only club in Italy to own its own stadium. For the first time in 50 Serie A matches, Juventus had to endure the bitter taste of defeat.

And there was no club more appropriate in Italy  to inflict it upon them.

Despite not coming from the same city, Juventus FC vs FC Internazionale is one of Italy’s fiercest rivalry. This rivalry divides a nation, sets hate among two families, and even once caused Parliament proceedings to be stopped, the bickering and shouting occasioned by a debate concerning a Juve-Inter match causing the Deputy Prime Minister to Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: