Monthly Archives: July 2014

Decoding Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal


Take two! Like a setting from a film set, with the director angry at the acting in the just shot scene, the post-Ferguson era at Manchester United is at its second take.

The first take was disappointing. David Moyes arrived at Old Trafford and the ridicule seemingly followed him in. Previous highs crashed to mediocre levels. It came as no surprise when he eventually crashed and burned out.

Louis van Gaal has replaced him. His managerial CV includes Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona (twice), AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich and the Netherlands national team (twice). His titles include a Champions League trophy, league titles and cup wins in Holland, Spain and Germany.

Described by Jonathan Wilson as red-faced and dogmatic, van Gaal’s managerial career has developed steadily. The older, the wiser. His strict and stubborn approach to his philosophy in his early managerial years have now given way to a mixture of Read the rest of this entry

Germany: The Best team in the World


Apt that in the World Cup that Spain fell, Germany rose to replace them. Indeed, there was no other national team worthy of the prize of world champions.

For nearly half a decade, no two national teams have been run so well. To an extent, both countries epitomise Read the rest of this entry

The Netherlands World Cup journey is bound to continue into the future


Crisis brewing, egos clashing and a deference to arrogance. That has always been the story told of the Netherlands. An international football team which is prescribed on its own philosophy rarely lives up to the expectations demanded. The ambitions have only ever been met in 1988. Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten added international glory to Rinus Michels’s CV at the European Championships in Germany.

They have never gotten as close again.

Indeed, maybe they have. At the 2010 World Cup, they were in the final and were four minutes away from Read the rest of this entry

Brazil’s nightmare semi-final


It was not as heart-breaking as 1950, neither as regrettable as 1982. Brazil’s 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany was downright embarrassing.

Indeed, a stadium and a nation endured a harrowing experience. The rollercoaster of emotions flowed one way — downwards. Shock turned into despair, gasp, and finally a delusional reality. Was Brazil really that bad? Was the weight of a nation too much of a burden to carry? In the end, it was a little of both.

Not only was it the weight of a nation; it was also the scales of history. The most successful nation in World Cup history had not won the World Cup on Read the rest of this entry

A Tale of Kings

by Dennis Odera




Prior to the World Cup, there was a lot of fuss about two players: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Other players like Frank Ribery and Neymar da Silva had stirred and shaken the football waters but these two have caused hurricanes for different reasons.

For the first time in years, there were questions raised as to whether Hurricane Messi was the best player in Read the rest of this entry

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