Thursday, October 15, 2009

Moved to Wordpress:

Hello there,

This blog has moved to . All further posts will be posted there. Look forward to seeing you on the brand new Rheasport.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Red Shirt Theory

I have a confession to make, I didn't watch the Chelsea match last night. I fell asleep after a terrifying day at the gym (I have a trainer from hell) and didn't hear the alarm go off at KO. Okay, you caught me! Geeez! I did hear the alarm but switched it off.  There, I admit it. I just wish that, that had been my only stupid mistake of the day but sadly I was on a roll. I wore a red shirt. I never ever ever wear a red shirt on a day when Chelsea are playing. But yesterday, keeping in tune with my over-confident, non-superstitious persona, I wore a red shirt after my work-out and fell asleep wearing it. This whole thing about not wearing red when Chelsea are playing came from years of analysing Chelsea's results. I realised long back that Chelsea lost every single game they played when I as wearing a red shirt, and not just tough games. All bizarre match results that they got, games no one expected them to lose were all explained by the dreaded red shirt. 'The Red Shirt Theory" was born.

Never again!

I don't  want to sound too self-important but this red shirt thing, really is freakishly accurate. I admit I have been a bad, bad, bad fan and so, after a long, guilt racked night and a good portion of the day,  I finally managed to catch the replay of the game. Having seen the entire match, I have got to admit, I am still gutted about the loss but also somewhat relieved! I know we lost... We are no longer unbeaten in the league and our magical run has come to an end... it sucks. I mean it wasn't supposed to happen.Wigan Athletic weren't supposed to win(we are the best of the big four goddammit!.. bow down to us NOW!). Wigan were supposed to like they always do, against the big four, drop points. Too bad they've ended their own record (not a magical one by any standards) and they created a moment of magic which I am sure their fans are still celebrating (or dealing with the massive hangover from the all the celebrations).
Fair play to the Wigan Athletic, I think they played their game, weren't very scared of us (boo hoo!) and managed to get a historical result. Well done, you guys. Hope you keep up this great 'big four bashing' form up for your game against ManU (see, how I resisted calling them a specific form of cow dung... taking the high road.. oh yessiree!). Wigan played well, but I can't help but look at the Petr Cech incident as being very instrumental in the Chelsea loss.  I definitely don't think there was   any intent to go for Rodallega,  in Cech's dash forward for the ball. He  was just unlucky and awfully clumsy in that challenge. While I understand that there was contact and it was in the box, the referee really had no choice but to give a penalty. What I have a problem understanding is, why the referee gave Petr Cech, a straight red card?  Rodallega wasn't injured, the referee couldn't have been sure of Petr Cech intent to foul play, so why the horrible red card?  I guess, it wasn't entirely my fault that Chelsea lost the game but a bad judgment call on the part of the referee that crippled Chelsea. A shout-out to Drogba for the 100th goal, yo da main man, man!

PS: I hereby, solemnly promise to never ridicule the god of superstitions and stick to not wearing red on Chelsea match days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manchester City Draw Manchester Derby

Ok, first things first, Chelsea won and we're still top of the table baby! If you are a Chelsea fan, chances are you haven't stopped smiling this season. We are still unbeaten in the league (God, be praised!) and I hope this phenomenal run of the Blues continues. It was all about two shades of  Blue this week, Chelsea blue and light Blue, hoping for a Manchester City win in the Manchester Derby. The Manchester derby this season had been one of the most eagerly anticipated matches and always seemed like it would be a thrilling game. People couldn't help talking about it from the moment Carlos Tevez had signed on the dotted line for Manchester City till Sunday Kick Off and it looks like they will never stop talking about it. It truly was one of the most thrilling and unforgettable of derby matches. Manchester United came in all guns blazing and were one goal up in the first 5 mins of the game. I thought, that was the end and that Manchester City were going to retreat and it would turn out to be one of those humiliating nights for 'the Citizens' who had dared to question Manchester United 's superiority in Manchester. I was forgetting that they had Carlos Tevez, who looked absolutely thrilled to be back and eager to remind his former club exactly what they had foolishly let go. He had said before the match, in an interview that according to him Ben Foster, was the weakest link in United's team and he proved he was right by poaching the football off of the United keeper for Barry to score the equalizer. City almost took the lead, after Tevez's shot had hit the post and flew out. It was a good pass from Kolo Toure and really should have been converted. It definitely announced to the hosts that City weren't going to go down without a fight, they were there to win. Both teams were a goal apiece at half-time but  Fletcher changed all that with his header off Ryan Giggs curved pass, giving United the lead in the second half. United were in it to win too. This is when I think, the true desire of a team really starts to show, when they are losing 2-1, 50 minutes into the game against a team like United. They either retreat and somewhere give up often beating themselves in their head or they attack and they push harder and try and get that equalizing goal. So, I felt this was the time to truly judge how far Manchester City had come as a team. They did me proud when Bellamy scored a scorcher of a goal and City were back in the game. Manchester United were amazingly good in the second half and that made Bellamy's equalizer even more admirable. Neither team was settling for a draw, it was really 'Game on' after this point and Shay Given, once again proved why he is considered among the best goal keepers in  the league by saving 3 almost unstoppable Berbatov shots. At one point, I thought Berbatov gave Given the 'What you got against me?' look. It just wasn't to be Berbatov's day, as Fletcher, once again scored a goal off of Ryan Giggs pass. Everyone now seemed to believe that Manchester United were going to win after all -everyone, that is except the Manchester City players. Rio Ferdinand, was definitely of the lot that thought  that the game was in the bag and allowed himself to be lazy. Craig Bellamy made him pay. At 90 minutes the game was tied at 3-3, which seemed like the most fair result for a very well played match by both teams. Manchester City had shown everyone, that they were title contenders and you had to  beat them to win. They weren't going to let big names and club histories and brilliant managers scare them. They were there to play and to win. Sir Alex, decided on an added-time substitution brought Michael Owen on. I love Michael Owen and think he is an incredible footballer and really do wish this hard-on-luck player to do well and score loads of goals. This was till he joined United and I no longer wish him to 'score loads of goals'. Now, anyone who had seen the game, would bet good money that no more than a couple of minutes would be added on. The game was played in very good spirit with no bad challenges and hardly any yellow cards. The referee, however held up 4 minutes which was puzzling.

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This however, was just the beginning of the entire jigsaw puzzle which was on its way. The game finally went on into the 97th minute. For a minute I thought maybe the referee had passed out from all the excitement. According to Martin Atkinson the referee, he had added 1 minuted into the added time because of the Owen substitution and 45 seconds (which should actually have been no more than 26 seconds) because Bellamy's celebration had been too long - something that anyone who has seen the match and is not a United fan or Sir Alex will disagree with. So that makes it 5 minutes 35 seconds. The game went into the 97th minutes plus and the winning goal from Michael Owen came in the 96th minute, a full 5 minutes 26 seconds into the 4 minutes added time. Manchester City haven't got the 1 point that rightfully was theirs but they have come out winners.They should write-off the one point as a friendly gift to an annoying neighbour. The good news for United fans is that Fergie's Mythical Magic Watch is alive and ticking. Moral of the story for anyone playing Manchester United and leading or drawing the match, is to remember that  the added time at Old Trafford is always 'as long as it takes.' According to me, Manchester City drew the match they were playing against Manchester United and lost to Sir Alex's Watch.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sinfully Scrumptious Sunday

"Chocolate Brownie!",  that is the thought I woke up with. I am a 'weekend dieter' which basically means that I try to undo the harm done to my body by junk food over the week by going on something of a detox diet of fruit, beer (for those additional anti-oxidants) and to add delusions of a spa-like experience to it all, Wine!  So, I  was mortified to be thinking about a hot, straight out of the oven, really chocolaty chocolate brownie even before I had gotten out of bed.

It didn't take long, after the brownie scored from the penalty spot and a very cuddly lion rejoiced, for me to realise that I was not having a chocolate brownie craving from hell.  It was the mouth-watering Chelsea - Tottenham Hotspur game which my silly sleepy brain had got mixed up with a chocolate brownie! The London derby, Frank Lampard being pitted against his Uncle, a chance to beat Tottenham, who have had a very good season minus the match against Manchester United, a chance to stay top of the table....Yes sirree, it definitely  is a delicious fixture!

Now, the world is full of inventive geniuses like the person who invented the 'hot chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream,  topped with chocolate sauce and cookies sundae'. That is what the Manchester Derby does to the Chelsea-Tottenham game. It adds that dressing, the finishing touches, and that extra bit of magic to a perfect treat. Also, I am thrilled that the Chelsea game follows the Manchester Derby 'coz I always like last bite of my sundae to be the brownie. It promises to be a sinfully scrumptious Sunday with no calories... woop woop!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Splendid Saturday

Wow! What a phenomenal day of football it was today. I am so glad I skipped watching 'District Nine' because nothing could have compared... nothing!  I saw Sunderland-Burnley, Arsenal-Wigan Athletic and the West Ham - Liverpool games and can't pick my favourite. I loved that all the teams I was predicting would win .. won. The Burnley match was particularly satisfying because all the pundits and the bums on the street had written off Burnley. They thought Burnley had had their time in the spotlight and were now going to simply fade away. A 'pundit' actually went as far as to say that Burnley would find it very tough to win any games till after Christmas, a little unfair I thought for a team that beat Manchester United and well well well.... they beat Sunderland 3-1. So as is fair, I took my revenge and teased my friends who had ridiculed me when I had predicted a Burnley win... Oh victory is sweet! 

Saturday evening was being very good to me. I wasn't expecting much of a match at the Emirates. I thought it was an easy enough game for Arsenal but was looking forward to seeing the goals, of which I was positive there'd be plenty and as is the trend today I was right. A stunning goal by Vermaelen (and the fact that I might just have a teeny-tiny crush on him) made me wish he was a Chelsea player. Arsenal played their beautiful brand of football which like always was a pleasure to watch (Inter-Milan - Barcelona take note). Strange club Arsenal are and I am not talking about the very obvious body part fixation that they seem to have. I mean,  they have a great squad  of very talented players, a super manager, yet they almost always just fall short of that something required to win the league. Also, their highest goal scorers this season are their defenders and they hardly have a defense. Yep, they are queer but also absolutely lovable.

The saturday football excitement was now at it's peak and I was praying that the last match lived up to the expectations and that Liverpool won. I think the Stevie G and Toress partnership is an absolute joy to watch. Also I admire Liverpool FC for its history and its wonderful fans. They are infectious and before you know it, you are supporting Liverpool (except of course when they are playing Chelsea, when miraculously the same fans become quite irritating). I had predicted that West Ham would probably score a goal but never had I imagined that they would put up such a fight. The first half was like watching highlights and it left me breathless and impatient for more. It was the kind of match that makes you wish there was no half-time interval.  The Toress goals especially the one in the first half was brilliant and my favourite goal for the day and perhaps the best goal of the season(right behind the Drogba goal against Stoke City). Poor Jamie Carragher had one of his rare off days at the office but the penalty was uncalled for and according to me Diamanti did touch the ball twice. Even though West Ham played very well, I felt Liverpool deserved to be leading. The game sorta evened itself out and  a Liverpool win by one goal was a fair result of an incredibly entertaining well- fought match. I really wish Fernando(Isn't Fernando a real fun name, it simply transports you to the middle of a narrow street, with flamenco music playing in the background as you run from a charging bull and for some bizzarre reason refuse to let go of the extremely ripe red tomato! sigh... Where was I? Oh yes, I really wish Toress (no more calling him by his first name, barely survived the bull, the last time) had gotten his hatrick for old times' sake. 

It's days like today, when Chelsea aren't playing and are comfortably (and rightfully) top of the table that I realize that football is in fact relaxing. If today was any indicator, then I guess everyone should cancel everything they are doing tomorrow because missing the Manchester and the London Derbys surely can't be risked. Sunday promises to be quite a treat. I can't wait!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Alex Factor

There is something about Manchester United. It's like the whole world conspires to help them win. A lot of people would argue (the sort that has read ‘The Alchemist’), that the whole world helps when you want something bad enough. I won't argue with that and Manchester United players certainly want to win every match, every time, but so does every other team in the Premier League. Agreed some, don't have the luxury of having gifted footballers like Rooney, on their teams but the top five or six English Premier League clubs certainly have top quality players. So how it then, that Manchester United have been winning the premier league for the past 3 seasons despite having lost more games than second place Liverpool last season? Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Manchester United aren’t a great team. They are or rather were, the perfect mix of talent, youth and experience and had till the last season perhaps the best player in the world at the time in Cristiano Ronaldo who hit unbelievable form. His magic seemed to rub off on the team and they were unbeatable on their day. On their off-days however, they like any other team always had a touch of green. But on such days luck was with them. It was like Lady Luck favoured them above all the rest. Understandable, because ‘Luck’ wouldn’t be called ‘Lady’ if it remained unaffected by the charm of the talented Cristiano Ronaldo! But now that Cristiano has finally moved to Real, I was hoping Lady Luck would follow him there, going by the ill-fated Derby match which looked like it's already doomed, it seems like Manchester United are still the favourites with ‘her’.
I can't help but feel bad for Manchester City, who spent so much money on bringing in top (may be slightly overpaid) players with the one of the aims being to beat Manchester United in the derby matches. Carlos Tevez, Robinho and Roque Santa Cruz, very talented players, capable of beating Manchester United are all injured and unavailable for the ‘doomed derby’. Like, things weren't bad enough for Manchester City, their in-form striker Adebayor did what he did last week and now has to serve out a well deserved 3 match ban. Does this sound like the world conspiring to help Manchester United to win? Manchester United have evened out the odds already and they haven't even played City yet. It’s like the curse of the Red Devils!
Surely, there has got to be more to this than just luck. Luck can't always work. I have a feeling; maybe it has something to do with the aura around Manchester United. Their ‘never-say-die’ spirit; try-till-the-end reputation and push-the-limits image that they have worked very hard to acquire and maintain, definitely has something to do with their incredible record. No one, goes to Old Trafford to play 11 men in red, they go there to play Manchester United - the Champions, the Legends, the unspoken Kings of the Premier League headed by the best manager in the world Sir Alex Fergusson. This image and spirit of Manchester United has remained at the core of the team’s self esteem even when individual player have come and gone. Sir Alex really is a genius. He has managed to create a Loch Ness monster of sorts in Manchester. It exists because you buy into the hype, or else it’s just a myth. If you believe the hype, even for a second, it takes control of your psyche. Too bad, most teams buy into the whole 'Nessie' of Manchester and, either get too over-awed or too pumped up about playing Manchester United. Sir Alex knows how to use the rival club's fear as well as their enthusiasm to beat them. It's not Lady Luck, its Sir Alex. I hope Manchester City go to Old Trafford to play 11 men (some of them past their prime) in Red and not the 'Champions', 'The Red Devils', Manchester United.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good News - Bad News

Wow! It's turning out to be quite a month for me. First it gets me in the dumps and then something extremely pleasant and wonderful happens. Almost starting to 'want' something not so pleasant to happen, so I can get to the pleasant stuff quick. Started off with FIFA being dumb, and then Chelsea went and played that exciting game at Stoke,winning all 5 of their matches so far and being top of table. Then there was the Drogba ban from the past that came back to haunt me last night, but it was followed by the news of Joe Cole being back and on the bench for the match and then Chelsea won against Porto. So there you go, bad news...good news. I thought we were doomed for a few minutes (seemed like an eternity) when John Terry went down in the first half, but he saved me from turning a scary shade of blue (the Chelsea blue isn't a very flattering colour for the face), when he got up and in true JT spirit got back to business. It was raining so heavily at the ground, that the 'non-believer' in me thought, that some silly error was going to cost Chelsea the game. It was crazy rain and Chelsea, lets face it aren't the luckiest of teams, like say Manchester United. A shout-out to the grounds men at Stamford Bridge! Thanks to them, what a field we've got, absolutely top class. Speaking of top class, the Anelka goal was just that. We had so many scoring opportunities but it had  to be a top class goal for Chelsea (guys, seriously, your fans love the excitement and the unpredictability of your matches, but we don't mind predictablity once in a while).They played so well, if only the finishing had been a little better, I reckon we would have won by 10 goals. Petr Cech, you are the ultimate and I hereby, promise to look a little more kindly to your occasional faux pas (as long as  you promise to keep them occasional and limited to exhibition matches that don't really matter). No offence to Porto supporters, their team played very well too(see how nice I am, provided my team wins). All in all, a top class pitch, a top class goal, a top class save, and a top class result for a top class club. Go Blueees! Just got the news about Peter Kenyon leaving the club. Thank you for what you've done for our club and we'll miss you Peter. I guess pleasant news is on it's way.... can't wait for the Tottenham match on Saturday.