Juan Mata is the key


One of the key signings in this year’s summer transfer window for Chelsea was Juan Mata. The diminutive Spaniard was the main driving force behind Valencia’s successful campaign last season. Many clubs showed interest in signing Mata given Valencia’s tough financial situation. Chelsea managed to snap him up for around £24m. According to Mata, Chelsea Spanish striker Fernando Torres advised him to join Chelsea rejecting moves to Arsenal and a host of other clubs. He scored a goal in his debut. And his performances for Chelsea have been good so far. Whenever he gets the ball he seems so composed and hardly makes any bad passes. He’s got good range and also loves to dribble past defenders. But he hasn’t been very influential in the Chelsea team that in short of creativity.

The Brilliant Spaniard – Juan Mata

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Carlos “crazy” Tevez


Carlos Tevez

I wonder sometimes, why footballers, who are one of the highest paid people in the world sometimes behave so stupidly and are sometimes very selfish! One such player is Carlos Tevez. His footballing abilities are well documented and admired by friends and foes. Everyone knows how he saved West Ham from relegation in the 2006/07 season singlehandedly. Everyone knows how devastatingly he formed a partnership with Ronaldo and Rooney at Man United which came to be known as the “Holy Trinity of Man United”. Everybody knows how brilliant his goal scoring rate was for Manchester City. And above all everybody knows how high his work rate is, which is often referred to as “bull-dog like approach” by the legendary commentator, Martin Tyler. This involvement of his, with the game and his abilities endeared him to the fans of whatever club he’s played with, be it West Ham or United or City. He had a place in the fans’ hearts everywhere he’s been. But recently his behavior is becoming increasingly disruptive and in a way he is destroying the fan base which he built in England and around the world with his own hands!

It all started with Man Untied. At the end of the 2008/09 season which saw Tevez getting few starts, Man United were unwilling to make his loan deal permanent. Fans wanted him and they called on United to sign him. But no move was made. He became totally angry and when City came calling he swapped the Red half of Manchester for the Blue one. This made the United fans very angry and they were further aggravated when he sponsored a huge banner with the text “Welcome to Manchester” which was displayed when United came to Eastlands for the derby. He lost his hero status with the United fans and this was the first sin of Carlos Tevez!

Welcome to Manchester

But his performances were top-notch as usual for Man City. He was scoring like crazy and his enormous work rate won him more hearts. His first season was a huge hit. But his relations with Man United hit another low as he had altercations with Gary Neville during the first leg of the Carling Cup Semifinal. But he became a fans’ favorite at City and he had put up scintillating high-intensity performances that was very typical of him. He scored around 29 goals for City in his first season. His second season was also great, scoring plenty of goals and winning the Premier League Golden Boot along with Berbatov.

But his problems started again. during December he suddenly handed in a transfer requesting stating that he was not happy with certain people in City. He also said “I want to be close to my daughters in Argentina. I live for my family and its hard for me to stay away from them”. He also told some reporters that he may consider quitting football. But many reported that this was fueled by unwillingness of City to offer a new improved deal with more salary for Carlos. And Carlos’ agent, the infamous Kia Joorabchian was blamed for advising Tevez to make this move. But after talks with the manager he withdrew the request and stated he has committed his future to city! His performances after that also seemed to say that He is committed to City. He ended the season on a high.

Things didnt stop there, he again started his story. In the summer when he came to Argentina for the Copa America, he reportedly said to an Argentine Radio that Manchester is a bad place to live and that he will never go there again. City were clear that Tevez wanted out. And they tried negotiating with him but everything broke down.

Tevez - Argentina

As an Argentina fan, I had a long admiration for Carlos right from his days with West Ham. Who can forget his performance against Spurs at Upton Part where Spurs defeated the Hammers 4-3 in a match filled with drama. That match tipped the tables for West Ham and their march toward Premier League Survival started there! But recent behavior irritated even the staunchest of his fans and I was clearly annoyed and so was Sergio Batista. He decided to drop Carlos at first but for some reason chose to take him back. But that was a huge mistake. Argentina’s failure at Copa America was partly due to Tevez’s half hearted performances. He was unusually selfish in every game he played in.

City transfer lister their star striker and Corinthians came calling and they offered 40 million pounds for Tevez. But they were not able to put the amount together and the deal fell in the last moment and Tevez was tied with City. But Tevez’s superstar status at City was now challenged by the arrival of another like-skilled Argentine, Sergio Aguero. And Aguero’s awesome performances pushed Carlos down into the bench and this made him more and more unhappy.

Tevez still had some fans in Argentina – the Messi Haters. But even they were made to hate Tevez when he made a dramatic statement in September when Argentina traveled to India for a friendly. He reportedly stated that it would be a disgrace to play for the Argentine National Team. For me that was the end of the line! That ~love~, I shouted on hearing that. And the timing was even more awkward. He said that when the team were about to start the game in Kolkata. For me watching Argentina gives so much joy and have admiration for every Argentine player. So what he said totally broke my heart and angered most Argentina fans.

Dont relax, it doesn’t end here. He showed he hasnt lost his want for controversy in the Champions League game for City against Bayern at the Allianz Arena. City were behind and Mancini wanted Tevez to come on. But he refused to train and come on as a sub. In plain English, he refused to play! That was the end of his City story! Mancini was totally frustrated with him and said “If I had my way, he would be out of the Club”. And he has had his way! After an initial two week suspension, Tevez now has been placed on gardening leave until the end of his contract (ends in 2014).

And all these are just the highlights of his tumultuous career. He has had many small altercations and fights with a variety of people, from colleagues to managers! Just think about this guy. Youve got a 6 figure salary paid to you every week, youve got great skill, huge fanbase, cult status in both Manchester and Buenos Aires, and yet you decide to be a jerk! I just cant comprehend the behavior of such people. He has forgotten his humble beginnings. In Argentina when a star emerges from the impoverished suburbs of Argentina, he becomes God. Tevez was God like Maradona. And he touched hearts when he said he would like to leave his scar on his face as it is, as it would remind him of his humble origins. And thats why he has more fans than Messi in Argentina. But now his true colors have been exposed. For me, calling him Crazy Tevez is a huge understatement. He is more than that!

Steve

Venezuela 1-0 Argentina [NIGHTMARE]


Argentina were beaten by Venezuela for the first time in history in the second round of the COMNEBOL(South America) World Cup Qualifiers. After a convincing defeat of Chile in the first round, Alejandro Sabella’s men came to this game on a high and everyone expected Argentina to sweep past the Venezuelans. But several mistakes by Sabella in team selection and tactics ruined the flow of the game and Argentina could never get into their stride. A goal by Venezuela and Atletic Bilbao defender, Fernando Amorebieta sealed the win for Venezuela.

Venezuela score
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A historic day for Indian Football


Today, India hosted its first ever FIFA licensed friendly at the legendary Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata, the city of Joy. Argentina played Venezuela in the friendly and it ended in a 1-0 victory for the Argentineans with Nicolas Otamendi getting on the score-sheet. Ever since the announcement was made about the friendly Kolkata and other parts of India were totally immersed into football fanaticism. And this reached high pitch when the Argentine national team arrived in Kolkata. Huge life sized banners could be seen everywhere in every street and every home! People drumming dancing and chanting for the team. And it got even more crazy when Lionel Messi arrived. 3000 fans waited for him at the airport but to their disappointment he was whisked away through the VIP gate. The whole city was “Messi”-merised, as some TV channels put it.

Messi mania in Kolkata

After two days of training it was finally time for the match! Fans from all over the nation flocked in huge numbers to Kolkata. And the stadium was filled with more than 90,000 fans from all over India. There was tight security all round. But the match began with a ridiculous error. It was announced that the Venezuelan National anthem was to be played and the TV crew position the camera in front of the Venezuelan players and to everyone’s surprise the PA system started playing the Argentine anthem! The players gave a weired reaction but nothing big happened. And another funny thing was when the Linesman tried to take a picture of Messi with his digital camera when he came over for the toss. Priceless! Lol. 😀

 

The match began and Messi had Higuain and Di Maria with him upfront and the rejuvenated Lucho Gonzalez, Mascherano and former Velez Sarsfield starlet and Inter Milan player Ricardo Alvarez were in midfield. Demichellis partnered Nicolas Otamendi in Defense. Marcos Rojo and Pablo Zabaleta played in the full back positions. The team played well and Messi was good in particular. There were many chances but Argentina couldn’t finish them. Early chances fell to Angel Di Maria and Messi played the pivotal role in those two chances. After that there were no clear cut changes for both teams. Venezuela were very organized and Argentina were restricted to long range efforts. In the second half, the players began to tire because of the heat. Argentineans are not used to playing in the heat and dehydration was clearly visible. After a short drinks break, which saw Messi drinking Aquafina,  the breakthrough came for Argentina. Nicolas Otamendi finished off a Messi corner to put Argentina 1-0 up. But after that chances were scarce and the players began to struggle. And so the match ended 1-0. After the match the captain of the winning team (Messi) was awarded a trophy and Otamendi (Man Of the Match) was given a trophy. You dont see this in a typical Friendly match. But this is India and we do it different! The match didn’t live upto the hype and the expectations but still it was a historic day.

Next up Argentina travel to Dhaka to play Nigeria. The experience in India over the week was like none other! For a football fan in India like me its a dream come true to have an International Friendly between two top teams in India! I hope more people start following the game and bring about a revolution in the Indian football front.

Steve Robinson

Fantasy Premier League


Hello people!

For the upcoming season I have decided to start a private league in the Fantasy Premier League website! The name of the league is Indian Premier League. If you have played or if you are thinking of playing it please join my league!

If you aren’t already registered  then you can register at http://fantasy.premierleague.com.
Once you have logged in and entered your team, click on the ‘Leagues’ link at the top of the page. On the Leagues page:

1. Select the ‘Join a league’ option

2. Choose private league

3. Now enter the code 221012-212470 to join the private league.

Its gonna be a really nice season this time. And there will be atleast one more week before the league starts because its bound to be postponed due to the Britain Riots.

On that thought, please pray for the peace in England. Things are getting way out of control. The images Im seeing on TV is very disturbing. Young kids 14, 15 and 16 year olds looting shops. This is utter nonsense and clearly copy-cat crime which must be punished! Lets hope things end soon for the sake of the safety of the innocent civilians and the British economy and the sports as well!

Regards,

Steve.


Kun joins City


Yesterday, Argentine hot shot Sergio “Kun” Aguero’s move to English side Manchester City was sealed with the striker signing a 5 year deal with the club which is backed by the wealthy Abu Dhabi Royal Family. Its a really good move by city to bring in Sergio since Tevez is a Time bomb waiting to explode. Anything can happen to him. And moreover city do need some flair in the attacking third and Aguero has lots to offer.

AFAIK he’s the best finisher at the moment. He can chip the ball, blast it, volley it, roll it through the goal keepers legs, round the keeper and slot it into the empty net. He can do everything. Moreover he’s got a very low center of gravity and excellent dribbling skills which make him even more deadly.  At his previous club Atletico Madrid, he formed a deadly partnership with Uruguay star and Golden Boot winner at the 2010 World Cup, Diego Forlan. And the duo played a pivotal role in Atletico’s Europa League success in the 2009-2010 season. Aguero saved Argentina from defeats in the Copa America this year. His goal against Bolivia in the opening game was an example of what he is capable of doing. (His goal video).

He is also the son-in-law of the Argentinian legend Diego Maradona. He was nicknamed “Kun” because when he was young he resembled a Japanese Cartoon character called  Kun. The city team looks really talented. If Mancini can find a way to gel all the players together, City will become a formidable force in the next season.

Here is Aguero’s first interview with City TV. He talks about himself, England, Man City, his teammates among other stuff. Wonder why he talked only to Zabaleta. He could have talked to Tevez right? lol. Carlos might now want to leave the club for sure.

Good luck Sergio!

U-20 World Cup Preview: Argentina


After dismal performances at the 2010 World Cup and this years Copa America, fans of the Argentine National team will be looking for some consolation. So there will be massive expectations on the young Argentine side that will take part in this month’s U-20 FIFA World Cup. Historically we have the best record in this tournament with a total of 6 Titles (979, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2007). The team managed by Walter Perrazo will be looking to take the glory for the 7th time. All eyes will be on  the team which will put unprecedented pressure on the young crop of talented individuals.

There are a lot of talented youngsters in the squad. But the two players who will be watched closely by everyone are Erik Lamela and Juan Iturbe. The duo have just stepped into European Football, the former having signed for AS Roma and the latter for Porto. They will  be trying to announce their arrival to the world using this competition. Ironically 5 players from the River Plate, who got relegated this season also feature in the squad. Definitely the team will have plenty to offer. Atleast they have a good and proper coach unlike the Senior team! Continue reading