Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End Thoughts

I’m not a Reds supporter and have never really liked the team. But this season I wouldn’t mind them winning the league. There are two reasons for this.

For one, I had mentioned to friends last season that if someone like Rafa is given 10 seasons in charge, he will definitely win the league at least once (was building a case for giving managers lots of time in the job). So I would be very pleased if the one title was over and done with and I can do some told-you-sos (it’s another matter that no one may remember I told them...).

Secondly, it is obvious that Steven Gerrard wants to win the league more than any other player. While Gerrard is a great midfielder with a couple of world beating skills, there are and have been many better midfielders. But no one else carries a team like Gerrard. And every time he wins a game all by himself, I think well it’s just one game. Now it’s been one game many times over and that has regularly included cup finals. But can he win a league all by himself? We’ll know the answer in a few months but if Liverpool have to be Champions, Gerrard will have to come up with magic moments again and again and again. Will this be the season to separate the Gerrard from the Lampard?

It sucks that La Liga games played so late in the night. Have seen so little of the good stuff that it feels like I’ve never known any football other than the English. Barcelona in their current form must be framed and stored for eternity. The pessimist says that one day this form and flow will be gone and even champions will be made of half the stuff that this Barca team is made of. The optimist believes that for years and years to come, Pep and his pipers will play on. Messi for sure will. I asked my then boss to get me a Messi jersey from Barcelona in the beginning of 2006. Everyone else wanted Ronaldinho. But I felt then that he would be the greatest and he is. And whatever anyone says, I’m in no mood to listen and try and justify his greatness.

Not all my friends agree with me on the importance of the manager on team performance in a game. My answer is Mourinho who seems to be playing the game on PlayStation. Every team just like the other doing just enough to win. Having said that, the Champion’s League will be the real show of strength time. If Inter can eliminate Man U then it will boost the self-obsessed one’s ego no end and will be quite a remarkable feat. Rational thinking though, heavily favors the English to win all three of the CL matches against the Italians. It won’t be as easy as the rational English press have made it to be, but it does seem the most obvious outcome. Unless you have actually seen Juventus play – on their day they can hammer anyone. Beware Chelsea!

Today we were taught a lesson in football in a 4 a-side game. The other team treated us like dirt and I felt that I was in a non-league team playing in the premiership. Sobering thought for 2009!


anshu bora said...

I like that you were taught a lesson. That's the only way to learn - Get beaten till you draw the match and then eventually beat them. :)

Thought today we were at par. Even though they had a far superior squad. Happy start for 2009?

jham said...

Now if only I could trap, pass, shoot, finish and move while playing would have been a much happier start.