Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Euro 2012:The Best Edition

Who Will Be The Champion

Due to workload that recently increasing, my time seemed limited. Time for blogging was also hard to reserve. Hope and pray that all my efforts are worth it. I had the liberty to watch the games in Euro 2012 but my body already tired that made me felt sleeping was more important. But I did catch few games and the last one was between France and Spain.

This is a game where Spain showcased their strengths, skills and style of football. Spain showed the world that they were the first team in the world that could play without out and out striker. Just like Barca actually but  the Catalan giant had Messi who could finish any moves created. Their aimed was kept the ball and win  the midfield battle. Spanish midfielders were almost everywhere and most importantly they scored. France seemed had no answer. They tried to match their opponent by putting more defensive players but backfire as this had gave Spain more control of the ball. Spain won 2-0 and advanced to the semi.

Germany was another team that relatively had no problem to advance into the semi. Their opponent Greece gave all they had but still had no match against very discipline, well organize and compact team of Germany. This is the best team that Germany had recently. They also had very in depth team. Just put any player in the field and they will deliver. Greece gave a scare when they equalize but that only sparked more determination inside the German players. They hammered their opponents merciless. Germany advanced into the semi with 4-2 win.

Portugal another semifinalist meanwhile had to broke the stubborn Czech defends in  last minutes before sealed the winner. Ronaldo again in great form. He was almost unstoppable. Running the flanks he mesmerizing the opponents. He had the most try in the tournament. In the games against Czech he had few tries hit the post until finally he scored. Beside that the Selecao also had great players in Nani, Moutinho and Meireles. They  all at best right now. Same also with Pepe and Coentrao. They were rock solid at the back. Since the golden generation of Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Sergio Conceicao, Fernando Couto and Paulo Sousa that  reached the semi-finals of 2000 UEFA European Football Championship and were runners-up four years later, this current team is almost in the same level. Portugal reached the semifinals after beating Czech 1-0.

The final slot in the semi was filled by the Azzuri who beat the Three Lion in penalty shoot out. England had many fans especially in Malaysia. Many Malaysian supported England. I believed this due to the popularity of BPL and English football and teams had been exposed to the Malaysian more than others. I did not support England. Their style is predictable and boring. I only supported  them in 1990 world cup where Gazzamania started. Beside Gazza there were many talented players like David Platt, John Barnes, Chris Waddle, Gary Lineker, Bryn Robson, Peter Shilton and many more that cant remember.

I believed Malaysian if you ask could name all the players in the premier league. From Man United to QPR. But not in Serie A, La Liga what more Bundesliga. Yes BPL is so famous that in 1994 world cup in USA, the organizer was sacred that the tournament will be less interesting without crowd puller England who was not qualified for that edition.

Again in the game against Italy the fare badly. Italy deserved to advance into the semi final.

Now who should win. I still believe it will be Germany.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Man United 2012-13 Fixtures

The opening match is initially scheduled for Saturday 18 August 2012 but like all fixtures, it's subject to change.

Saturday 18 August 2012
Everton vs Man United
Saturday 25 August 2012
Man United  vs Fulham
Saturday 1 September 2012
Southampton vs Man United
Saturday 15 September 2012
 Man United  vs Wigan Athletic
Saturday 22 September 2012
Liverpool vs Man United
Saturday 29 September 2012
Man United  vs Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday 6 October 2012
Newcastle United vs Man United
Saturday 20 October 2012
Man United  vs Stoke City
Saturday 27 October 2012
Chelsea vs Man United
Saturday 3 November 2012
Man United  vs Arsenal
Saturday 10 November 2012
Aston Villa vs Man United
Saturday 17 November 2012
Norwich City vs Man United
Saturday 24 November 2012
Man United  vs Queens Park Rangers
Tuesday 27 November 2012
Man United  vs West Ham United
Saturday 1 December 2012
Reading vs Man United
Saturday 8 December 2012
Manchester City vs Man United
Saturday 15 December 2012
Man United  vs Sunderland
Saturday 22 December 2012
Swansea City vs Man United
Wednesday 26 December 2012
Man United  vs Newcastle United
Saturday 29 December 2012
Man United  vs West Bromwich Albion
Tuesday 1 January 2013
Wigan Athletic vs Man United
Saturday 12 January 2012
Man United  vs Liverpool
Saturday 19 January 2012
Tottenham Hotspur vs Man United
Tuesday 29 January 2013
Man United  vs Southampton
Saturday 2 February 2013
Fulham vs Man United
Saturday 9 February 2013
Man United  vs Everton
Saturday 23 February 2013
Queens Park Rangers vs Man United
Saturday 2 March 2013
Man United  vs Norwich City
Saturday 9 March 2013
West Ham United vs Man United
Saturday 16 March 2013
Man United  vs Reading
Saturday 30 March 2013
Sunderland vs Man United
Saturday 6 April 2013
Man United  vs Manchester City
Saturday 13 April 2013
Stoke City vs Man United
Saturday 20 April 2013
Man United  vs Aston Villa
Saturday 27 April 2013
Arsenal vs Man United
Saturday 4 May 2013
Man United  vs Chelsea
Sunday 12 May 2013
Man United  v. Swansea City
Sunday 19 May 2013
West Bromwich Albion vs Man United

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dag Euro 2012: Portugal 2-1 Netherlands

Goodbye Euro. Talents just not enough. Great performance in the qualifying  should not be the benchmark for the success in finals round. That was the case for the Netherlands. They were shown the exit door in the embarrassing way. Lost all the three group games. Defeat against German and Portugal still acceptable but less people had predicted the Oranje will bow to the Danes.

They tipped to shine in this tournament. They were runners up at 2010 world cup where many people would agree that Spain had the lady luck on their side. In qualifying round the Netherlands was very impressive winning nine games and lost only one. They topped the table with 27 points, scored 37 goals and conceded only eight in the process. Klaas -Jan- Huntelaar was the top scorer with 12 goals while Dirk Kuyt and Van Persie in third with both scored six.

Very impressive indeed but what when wrong with this talented squad. Surely the first to blame would be the coach Bert Van Marwijk. His tactical and game plan surely under fire. Most people questioned why he put two defensive midfielders in Van Bommel and De Jong. Thus put the burden solely on Wesley Sneijder to create opening and supporting the lone striker Van Persie. Although there were also Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Affelay, their roles somehow did not support Van Persie. Both very quality players and in all the games they did show what they had but there still a missing jigsaw in the team.

Greece, again, against all odd advanced to the quarterfinal. Obviously they were not  star studded team. Against Russia they still the underdog. But I believed what they had was the desire to win and believed they can achieved that for their beloved country. The Greece crisis had threaten not only Europe economy but also the world. This what people of Greece needed right now. They, the player and supporters and even the country prayed and worked as a unit in this Euro. Again the unity of the players was the main thing.

Maybe the Dutch were to cocky or maybe over raw by their own reputation. Coupled with wrong tactical and game plan thing went bad to worst.

Against Portugal they started brilliantly and took the lead from brilliant effort by Van De Vaart. But after that the Dutch lost  everything. Their concentration, work rate, vision and most importantly confidence. Cristiano Ronaldo tormenting the whole team. His brace sank the Dutch. His first goal was superbly crafted. He anticipated well the inch perfect pass that splitting the Ducth defence. He made not mistake in the six yards. The second was much better. A  great counter attack from the edge of Portugal penalty box. Two passes reached Nani who then swung the ball to Ronaldo on the opposite flank. Ronaldo showed his master class by calmly control the ball and skipped a defender. And cool as you like he slotted home.

So again we had to wait another two years to see how the Oranje performed. For me as my hope for Netherlands already gone, I picked Spain and German in the finals. This time German will be the champion.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Euro 2012: German 2- Netherlands 1

The Non Flying Dutchman

Flying Dutchman  originally referred to the myth or fictional of the famous ghost ship by that name. The legend has it that a ship called the Flying Ducthman was trying to round the Cape of Good Hope in the 1600s by flying into the teeth of a storm. Despite appeals from passengers and crews the captain stubbornly ignored all. Maybe due to madness and drunk or just plain arrogant, the captain  tried to steer the ship. Things got worse with mutiny on board. But the captain still refuse to turn around. He killed the mutineers and worst he cursed and swore the gods and said he rather sail until doomsday then sit out from the storm. The when the storm ceased a shadow appeared ( evil or satan maybe) and cursed the captain. The legend states, that because of this, he was forced to sail the seas forever and was never able to put into port. It is said that if you are unfortunate enough to see The Flying Dutchman, something terrible will happen to you.

Some people said the captain name was Flying Dutchman but some people had few news for the captain such Davey Jones a character in Pirates of Caribbean film.

Ok enough said about the legend. Nowadays the Flying Ducthman nick was given the person that excel or had big name in sport especially from Netherlands.

So what happen to Netherlands team in Euro 2012 definitely can't be called the Flying Dutchman. They were beaten 1-2 by the German in the second group game. It was hard game where only win that matter. Again the Dutch started brilliantly. The had more ball and made a lot of running. But against a discipline team like German that surely not enough.

Two great goals Mario Gomez stung the Dutch. Still they moved forward believing that they could emerge victorious. A superb goal by Van Persie put the Dutch back on the game. But the German stood firmed until the final whistle.

The Dutch really like to play with the ball rolling. They passed and moved. Sometimes too much with the ball. While Germans as usually like to hold the ball. The stopped before making any passing. Very quick closing down their opponents while the Dutch like an open play. This gave a lot of room and time to the German. The patience build up by the German did made the Dutch angry and thus lost the composure. And dodgy defense  by the Dutch been exploited well by the Germans.
Well although all hope might be gone they still had an outsider chance to advance. They needs to defeat Portugal with big margin and hoping that the German also had a big win against Denmark. If not the Oranje lovers will had to wait another years to see this team lift any trophy. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nick Powell: I Dream of Devils

'Dream come true' for Powell as Man United snap-up £4m Crewe youngster
13 June 2012

Manchester United have completed their second signing of the summer with highly-rated Crewe youngster Nick Powell joining on a four-year deal.

The 18-year-old England Under 18 international is considered one of the nation's hottest prospects and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has beaten off the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City for his services.

The deal is believed to be in the region of £4million with £2.75m being paid up front to the newly-promoted League One side.

It is understood that Blackburn are interested in allowing Powell experience in the Championship next season on a short-term deal but Ferguson is likely to reject that offer and put him on a fast-track into his first-team plans.

Ferguson told the club's official website: 'We have scouted Nick for months now. He is an exceptional talent and has been schooled well at Crewe.

'I’m delighted he has chosen to come to United. He has a lot to offer and we are all looking forward to working with him.'

Powell described the move as a 'dream come true' after following Japan international Shinji Kagawa as the club's second summer arrival.

'It really is a dream come true to be signing for Manchester United,' he said.

'I have had a great time at Crewe and I would like to thank them for helping me to develop as a player over the past 13 years.

'I’m excited about continuing my development with Sir Alex and the world-class players in the squad.

'The thought of making the step up to the Premier League next season is an exciting prospect. I can’t wait to get started.'