Football, Manchester United, Sports

EPL2015-16 – Week 27 – 12 games to go

It’s the final third in the Premier League, and as only 12 matches remain to be played, each game is going to be a deciding factor so as to who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League & Europa League and who will fall out of the relegation battle.

First place Leicester City will face Norwich City. It looks that on Saturday Leicester City will forget it’s defeat to Arsenal in the last match and try to widen the gap between them and Arsenal & Tottenham who play on Sunday. Norwich who have gathered only a single point in their last 6 games must try to make a match out of it. Verdict: 3 points to Leicester City and a position on Top cemented

Tottenham play Swansea City on Sunday. Looking at the form table Tottenham will most certainly roll over Swansea, to put pressure on Arsenal & Leicester City (if they lose some points). Tottenham players have played Europa League on Thursday which might have an effect on the outcome of match. Verdict: 3 points to Tottenham

Arsenal play away at Manchester United on Super Sunday. This is a must win match for both the teams. I being a Man Utd fan, would love to see Arsenal beaten. Van Gaal prepares his teams very well when he plays big teams. So I would not be surprised to see Man Utd win the match even though there are quite a few points between these teams. A victory here for Man Utd will ease the pressure a bit on Van Gaal, whereas a loss for Arsenal will mount the pressure on Arsenal. A draw would be a fair result for a neutral, who would then see both the teams losing points. Verdict: 3 points to Man Utd

Manchester City’s match against Newcastle has been postponed as they play against Liverpool tomorrow night. So a victory of other UEFA challengers might mount up the pressure on them. For Newcastle, they will most probably remain in the bottom three irrespective of the result of Norwich.

Southampton play at home against Chelsea on Saturday. Currently, Southampton are enjoying the best form amassing 16 or available 18 points in the last 6 matches. They do have a formidable Chelsea side against them, which has shown signs of improvement in the post-Jose era. I would love to see them share a point which will ensure that there will not be much pressure on my team (Man Utd) and also see to it that Chelsea remains a Bottom half team. Verdict: A point shared

West Ham play Sunderland, which will be the first match on Saturday. If Sunderland come even close to show the heroics like in their last match against Man Utd, it will be positive and help them in their relegation battle. Sunderland have improved in their last 6 games and will likely try to trouble West Ham who are looking to book a place for Europa League next season. Still draw seems to be a fair result for a neutral. Verdict: A point shared

Liverpool’s derby against Everton will also be postponed due to the final between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley. So the people of Merseyside will have to wait for their derby a bit longer.

Watford play at home against Bournemouth on Saturday. Very less to choose from both the sides looking at their recent results, but looking at their position in table, Watford seem to be the favourites. Verdict: 3 points to Watford

Stoke play Aston Villa at home on Saturday in a match that Stoke are favourites to win. A win here for Stoke & Watford in the above match will mount the pressure (for the time being) on Liverpool. Verdict: 3 points to Stoke

West Brom take on Crystal Palace at home which promises to be the anything other than the best match of the weekend. Looking at the recent form, West Brom have a chance to come victorious in this fixture. Verdict: 3 points to West Brom

So the League Table should look something like this on Monday:  Leicester City;  Tottenham; Arsenal; Manchester City; Manchester United; Southampton; West Ham; Stoke City; Liverpool; Everton; West Brom; Chelsea; Crystal Palace; Bournemouth; Swansea City; Sunderland; Norwich; Newcastle; Aston Villa.

So let the game begin…

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Manchester United

The whole world is red

Manchester United

Well I am not an expert on football game and, let’s get this very straight, will never be. Still I am going ahead with this idea of writing something about the game that I love, and the team that I love, football and Manchester United respectively. So please bear with me, if you find me not only wearing my red tainted glasses but also seeing everything red (only for team from Old Trafford that is).

With this view in mind, I hereby get on my journey to Old Trafford, to “The Theatre of Dreams”

 

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Manchester United

Nightmare ends today

Today the season ends, and hopefully it even ends the dreadful time that we had to endure as Man Utd fans. It was a disappointing season, just by the standards by which we played football. There were loads and loads of minutes that we had to watch and suffer the dire state of affairs that our team was in. Most disappointing thing this season was our home form, which didn’t help things at all.

Just like diamonds are unearthed in a field full of coal, there were a few positives to be taken from the season of turmoil.

The performance of Januzaj completely compensated the failure of Fellani. Similarly, Giggs as the Manager for last four matches with the Class of 92 to support overshadowed the days of David Moyes as the Manager. Bringing in Juan Mata in the January window, giving Adnan Januzaj a chance to shine and bringing in Phil Neville & Ryan Giggs along with Nicky Butt to coaching staff were the only things that David Moyes did right this season. I think, his first mistake was to sign for Man Utd, and second, a big one, was not being able to comprehend the gravity of the task at hand. Managing a club of Everton’s size and that of Manchester United’s size required completely different mindset, and that was clearly missing.

Other positives included Darren  Fletcher coming back to play for United, and a good partnership developing between Mata & Kagawa. Injuries to strikers throughout the season also didn’t help the situation at Old Trafford. Last season, and even the season before that, United had to strengthen the Midfield area. That activity was not done even in this season. Now, the situation at back also looks grim, with Vidic & Evra looking for football in Italy, and Rio Ferdinand’s age clearly not helping. Due to no proper rotation of strikers, which in turn led to non-availability of matches for the likes of Welbeck & Hernandez, United may now have to dive in the transfer market for strikers as well.

So, there are quite a few areas that United need strengthening next season, and hopefully Ed Woodward will try to get some action as quick as possible. The most important thing is getting the new manager in quickly, and getting into proper shape with a few good signings.

A complete overhaul is not required, but we need to get some individuals who can inspire and by themselves, change the course of match.

Another thing that we had to witness was trophy going to one of the four major rivals. Arsenal, as always, lost the steam towards the end; and Chelsea also managed  to screw things a bit as the season drew towards closure. Of the two most hated rivals, Manchester City for us were the lesser evils, so thank God that it is still 20 for United and 0 for Gerrard.

We have dipped to a new low, and its not a nice feeling. But we need to remember a line from Cristopher Nolan’s Batman Begins;

Why do we fall?
So that we can learn to pick ourselves up…
A new season beacons upon us…a new season, a new beginning…
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They say, a picture is worth a thousand words. But the question is, which of these images would you talk about more…

Manchester United

A picture is worth a thousand words…they say

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Manchester United

A new beginning

After an year now, since I had published It all starts today, we are once again at the crossroads, when a new season begins, and brings with it, all the emotions & surprises, hopes & beliefs, fears & disappointments, reliefs & pleasures, and more importantly, a chance to witness history.

Last season, the new No. 20 had made a promise, a promise that he delivered as the season ended

Robin: “I took the shirt (no. 20) because I’m here to win the 20th league title with Man Utd”

Each year, Manchester United are called a one man team. The good thing  is, that the One man changes, every season. Earlier it was Eric Cantona, then David Beckham, then it was Rudd Van Nistelrooy, then it was Cristiano Ronaldo, then it was Wayne Rooney and last year that One Man was Robin Van Persie. Well, every year, the thing is, for this One man to succeed, there are many others, like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Micheal Carrick, Van der Saar, Park Ji Sung, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Gary Neville, Dennis Irwin, Peter Schmeichel, Rio Ferdinand,Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane, Berbatov, Chicharito, Teddy Sheringham, Cole & Yorke, Solskjaer who relentlessly give everything, their best shot, with just one aim in mind. To win.

Each year, though the One man changed, the team structure changed, the formation changed, the combination changed, the starting line changed, the injury list changed, one thing was always common. That one thing, is gonna change this year.

The One Man, responsible for the success of this team, the Man who delivered on his promise to knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch, the Man who continued with the youth policy that was started by Sir Matt Busby has hanged his boots, for the last time.

The Fergie time has come to an end…

This year will truly define if Manchester United were a One Man Team. Each year, we set ourselves a target. Earlier it was to level Liverpool’s victories, then to shut the noisy neighbours. This time, the target is to show that Manchester United is not a One Man Team.

This time, the target is to win the trophy for another Scott, David Moyes

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Manchester United

It all starts today

After the last minute disappointment, every Man Utd fan was waiting for this day, the day Premier League starts again. For two and a half months, we kept ourselves busy watching the Euros, the French Open & Wimbledon, the Tour De France and the coveted Olympics, but still, deep in the heart, we were all waiting for 18th August, to roll on the new seasons.
Excited as we are, to watch some truly new signings, only time would tell, if Eden, Shingi, Lucas et all would live up to the expectation put on their shoulders by their transfer amounts and wages. This season also brings a new beginning for Torres and Robin. With Drogba gone, Chelsea are expecting that Torres plays like he played for Spain in Euros and Liverpool in his early seasons in Premier League. Similarly, it’s a new beginning for Robin Van Persie, who will wear new colors of a new team, our team, and the loads of expectations on his shoulders has also grown exponentially.
Only time would which of these were amazing signings and which of these will be flops, which of these were acts of desperation and which of these were astute management, which of these take the responsibilities on their shoulders and which of these bend under the pressure; but the most important thing is that it all starts today.

The Dark Knight has risen and he has given all his treasures & belongings to Robin. The Batman might leave soon, but it’s Robin’s time now.

Robin: “I took the shirt (no. 20) because I’m here to win the 20th league title with Man Utd”

 

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Manchester United

JAAF – What a Mach…

It won’t be long when the Stretford end will be singing

Kiko Macheda

Scores Winners like Cantona

Then kisses the Camera

Kiko Macheda

to the tunes of Que Sara Sara, or being more correct, to the tunes of Fredrico “Kiko” Macheda…

I had heard about this wonderkid, firstly due to EA Sports FIFA 09; and secondly, being an ardent fan of, our supersub – 20 LEGENDS, I was having a close watch on the results of  reserves team and checking out the match highlights & goals…

The stage was set for Kiko, being a must win match for both Man Utd & Villa, and due to absence of Wazza & Berba, and a not-fully-fit Tevez returning from “Mars”. As the match progressed, it was more than clear that whenever Evans had excelled, there was a senior partner (either Vida, or Rio) present, to whom he was playing second fiddle to, but yesterday was a different ball game for him. Yesterday, that was not the case, the attack of Agbanlahor & Carew was too much for him & O’shea to handle, and Gary just returning from an injury was no match for the speed of Young.

There was another defining moment in the match, that everyone seems to have missed, which shows Tevez’s commitment level (as if he needs to prove anything to anyone). Tevez was charging on Villa defender, who had the possession of the ball; trying to do everything possible for him, to get the ball from the defender. At last, Tevez realised, that a tackle was required, and as Tevez’s balance was not perfect, it was not possible for him to slide. What the bloke did, was that instead of sliding his legs, he did a complete reverse tackle, by sliding with his head, can you believe the commitment level. And this was not any goal saving tackle that was the need of the hour, but a general tackle done in Villa half, just because he couldn’t stand Villa having possession.

Another defining moment was to follow. If anyone thought, even for a second, that CR7 was the culprit for the second Villa goal, he silenced all his critics with a second goal, that had a positive impact on the whole team. Everyone believed that now the scores are level, one point is not sufficient now, but what is needed, was a victory. Welback came in for Tevez, and got very close to getting the final third, if I can say it that, and anyone who has seen the clinical finishing of Welback would tell you that the ball should have gone into just one place, the net. But there was something else written in the script. The day belonged to someone called Macheda.

Brilliant first touch, sending defenders in the opposite direction by stopping at the last moment, and the most wonderful finish, that even Eric the King Cantona would be proud of, giving Scousers their own medicine, and telling them that whatever you do, we can do better – the young 17 year old lad became a man…

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Manchester United

JAAF – Just an ardent Fan

As the Premier League moves towards it’s final third, the most incredible & unpredictable English league in a decade, is becoming more & more interesting, with each team fighting for something. Though “Nothings over till the final whistle is blown by the referee” feels like just another buzz line, the current state of BPL is more or less, justifying it.

With Manchester United, Liverpool & Chelsea are fighting for the TOP spot, after Man Utd has, with a couple of blips, got Liverpool & Chelsea back into contention. Arsenal & Aston Villa are fighting for the fourth spot, that vital Champions League position, with Everton catching up, not far away from both.

West Ham, Wigan & Fulham have got there eye for the UEFA Cup, which is going to be renamed soon. And six points separate the next eight teams including, Man City, Tottenham, Bolton, Stoke, Hull, Blackburn, Portsmouth & Sunderland.

Along with the above eight teams, that have chance to play in UEFA Cup if they play well, also have the relegation axe on their heads if they play badly. Giving these eight teams, a time to breathe, are the last three teams, New Castle, Middlesbrough & West Brom, but with another four to five good games, even they can bounce back.

So each game, that is being played is very important for each team.  No one knows, which result can promise them their Promiseland, or Neverland.

Blackburn Vs Tottenham

Under Harry Redknapp, Tottenham has moved up, away from the dreaded Relegation Zone, but with 10 minutes to go, when they were thinking of putting pressure on the teams eyeing the Cup spot; Sam Allardyce got the rabbit out of the hat, with two goals in the last ten minutes, Blackburn turned the tables on Tottenham, and moved another three points away from the relegation zone.

Bolton Vs Middlesbrough

With each match a must win for Middlesbrough, instead of improving, they are cracking up, as was shown by a brilliant performance by Bolton. With a 4 – 1 thumping of  Middlesbrough, Bolton moved to 37 points, 8 points clear the relegation zone.

West Brom Vs Stoke

Even a miracle is too little to save West Brom from being relegated, but the same miracle has happened to Stoke City by way of Beattie. What a prolific goal scorer he has been for Stoke, every time they have demanded a goal – Beattie has delivered

Hull Vs Portsmouth

A point shared between the two teams, still under the threat of being relegated.

Arsenal Vs Manchester City

A brace by Adebayor helped Arsenal humiliate Man City and put the pressure back on Aston Villa who play Man Utd on Sunday. As of now, there is a six point gap between Arsenal & Villa who are contesting for the fourth spot for the Champions League.

West Ham Vs Sunderland

A 2 – 0 win for West Ham helped its ongoing cause of securing a place for the UEFA Cup, but another defeat for Sunderland means that the relegation axe is still not far.

New Castle Vs Chelsea

This game was the game when Shearer was back for New Castle, this time as a Manager, not a player. But a spirited Chelsea performance guranteed that the first 90 minutes of Alan were not the most terrific minutes as a Manager. This win for Chelsea put the pressure back on Man Utd & Liverpool.

Fulham Vs Liverpool

Liverpool, with a win had a chance to go back to the TOP of premier league, as Manchester United was playing Aston Villa on Sunday.  Another Injury time win for Liverpool ensured just that, when everyone was feeling that the goal post & cross bar was going to put brakes to the Liverpool run. So the whole pressure is back on Manchester United

So enough matches for Today, I’ll be back with the remaining two matches of the premier league…

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