Mayhap I might have been a bit harsh on the fickle crowd of yester-Monday.
Barcelona should definitely be in panic mode.
The Catalans were kicked out of champs league by a ten men Chelsea at the Nou Camp after John Terry was sent off in the 37th minute.
Torres scored a screamer of a goal in the dying seconds of stoppage time to end the match two all and to make the aggregate Chelsea 3 Barcelona 2.
Messi missed a penalty and failed to find the back of the net though he did come dangerously close a number of times.
All in all it wasn’t the Barcelona we have come to know.
I do take offence when people say that the english game is the best in Europe. I’m not so convinced. I dont see how Chelsea will win against either Bayern or Madrid. Madrid is in stellar form but even they were cut down by the clinical german performance of Bayern.
But the commentators curse is real. We just have to wait and see what tonights game has in store and that the final in May will hold.
Viva le football !
Quick Rant- For those of you who haven’t heard, El Classico yielded a surprise result. Barcelona 1(Alexis) Real Madrid 2 (Ozil and Ronaldo) at the Nou Camp
The media is always on about the greatness of Messi and Barcelona. Two back to back losses and the ever quick sport journalists are writing about the downfall of the team and the player.
All accolades of past games already forgotten. The fact the Leo has scored 41 la liga goals hasn’t even been mentioned. All anyone wants to talk about is the fact that he failed to make a shot on target during the match and managed one shot off target in the 90 mins played.
El Classico— It seems to not matter that in the last 8 matches in 9 meetings Barcelona have violated Real Madrid in the worst ways possible and repeatedly. One bad match and all are boding ill on the team.
Shouldn’t we rather be looking to Pep? Was he so complacent that he didn’t work around his team to try and see what he could do to make sure los blancos would not win? Obviously the special one realized doing the same thing over and over was a recipe for constant defeat and decided to mix it up. I’ve never seen a more calm display by Madrid against their greatest rivals- and they managed to keep all their players on the pitch- what a feat!
But the moral of the story is, every team has a bad game. So do great players. Let us not be so fickle as to count any team out after a bad session of play!
I hate on Mario Balotelli but truth be told the guy is rather entertaining! That “why always me” shirt was classic. Had me seething for days but at the back of my mind I had to admire the cheekyness.
The man can be a football genius when he wants to but his shenanigans keep him from making any real progress. Just last week in the match against Sunderland our boy Balotelli (ours by virtue of his african-ness) was nearly in an on pitch tussle with his fellow team mate Kolarov over the taking of a free kick. At half-time he nearly went head to head with Yaya Toure.
Even Mancini is getting fed up with his antics and that says a lot. Mancini has always indulged and delighted in Balotellis fancy’s.
‘I don’t like it when he plays like this. Mario has everything to do his job well but he doesn’t understand very well his situation. In a game like this, the striker should be the difference. Not in the last two or three minutes, but before’
Balotelli scored two amazing goals to help his team draw against Sunderland; the bogey team that beat them earlier this season with one goal scored in the dying seconds of added time.
I fancy Balotelli to be a great footballer. I think all the greatest footballers I know have had some crazy and irrationality in them. Take for example, Diego Maradona, certified mad man; Paul Gascoigne- who boozed and took cocaine; George Best and the liquor induced antics included missing practice on numerous occasions and joy riding… there are many and all those many are and were great!
it seems madness is a pre-requisite for greatness in any field…
But Balotelli? Special Boy, Special Genius but he definitely has Special needs!
PS- in my dreams when Man United play Man City, Rooney scores a goal and the rest of the players lift their shirts in celebration. The vests they reveal read “Not Always Yew!” hahahahahaha! I’m done
If you are a Man United fan or a regular English Premier League match watcher then you know who Dimitar Berbatov is; But lemme refresh your memory anyway just in case you have forgotten his recent accolades.
Dimitar Berbatov- the Bulgarian who I fondly call the assassin (the hair, the face, the demeanour)- was the leagues top goal scorer last season along with Tevez-the argentinian mad man who took an illegal 4 month holiday.
This season, Dimitar Berbatov has been eating bench… hard! He has had 11 appearances in all competitions, 8 of them he came on as a sub with 9 goals to his name for this seasons campaign.
Now the big question; what did Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov do to Sir Alex Ferguson that made him SOOOO mad that he refuses to let him play?
Yeah there was that FA Cup final where Dimitar cost the team the game but that was one very bad moment out tof some beautiful ones. After that game, Berba was sent to the mines just like the North Koreans and we didn’t see him for a while. Then came that champions league final where he was left out of the team completely! that was bogus and ludicrous. How do you put super sub javier hernandez over dimi b? It’s just ridiculous and rightly so, United lost to Barca.
What did Berbatov say to Sir Alex to make him so mad? What did he do? Was it the christmas party and berba was like to Sir Alex “Yeah that’s right your momma’s a b****?” Or did he kick him in the nads? or something equally against the bro code that he got cut off?
Sir Alex says that the reason behind berbatov’s recent omissions from the team is that he is gearing towards a more fast paced way of play and berba is not one to run; but quality players don’t need to run they need to know where to place themselves. However, I am very biased. i think Berbatov has been treated very unfairly and personally I would really love to know what the real reason behind this cold shoulder is? Especially when we are trying to defend the title against Man City we should be using all the tools in our Arsenal (see what I did there hehehe 8-2 I’m just saying).
Anyhoo- I would really like to know what other people think about this situation.
Try-line exhibition dives are unnecessary, risky, can cause sever injury and can often lead to the try scorer dropping the ball in the in-goal area. But who cares! We love to see them, they love to do them, they are the Bicycle kicks of our rugby.
So we dare all try scorers to ditch the conventional vertical dot-down and go for the pulsating horizontal – 2 meters off the ground – touchdown.
Rugby World Cup minnows have come to the party in 2011.
- all pictures courtesy of Getty Images
After four years of Peter de Villiers at the helm of the Springboks, not many can boast to have figured him out. I’m proud to announce that we have and in the end it has boiled down to one single thing.
De Villiers doesn’t read newspapers, and his dropping of Patrick Lambie from the Bok squad for the Tri Nations home leg is a big zap sign to critics.
You see, after a disastrous attempt at adding depth to the experienced core of the squad, Div needed an act of force to demonstrate his might and remind all observers that he is still in charge.
What better way to show all pundits that - in the end - it is he who controls selection, than to whip out the belt? And as long as we ‘live in his house we will abide by his rules’.
Yes, the Bok squad is not a democratic entity, and why should it be? Where will all the journalists be when his contract is reviewed for renewal (or non-renewal) at the end of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand? Matter of fact where were they when he suffered consecutive losses in 2010 that threatened to cut his pay cheque? Behind their desks typing, that’s where they were.
So Div has to, by all means, run all things Springbok; and if he needs to crack the whip in the process, so be it.
He is a cornered cat desperate for a way out and his only chance of reprieve is to attack.
The problem with his show of muscle is that the time could be better used drawing up tactics - and strategising on how the Boks can play to win – rather the “play to fulfil their contractual obligations and keep the score down” tactic which is not producing the desired results.
All Patrick Lambie has done wrong so far in his career is play rugby during a time when Div is the coach of the Boks. This dreadful error has cost him a place in the squad. Morne ‘Haphephobia’ Steyn has retained his place.
Div recently said - before touring Australasia - that “anyone can pick a Springbok team but the difference between mine and yours is that my team plays and yours doesn’t.”
The man is right.
Or is he?
Lambie is inexperienced and everyone knows this. Francois Steyn had ten test caps before being thrown in as a replacement for the injured Jean de Villiers in the 2007 World Cup. If one is allowed to compare, Steyn was far better off then than Lambie is now, in that he was given chances on the park (to make mistakes and learn from them) with experienced players in the run-up to the 2007 tournament. Lambie, on the other hand, has had to toil it out with his fellow inexperienced fringe players.
With six test caps and none in a squad featuring Fourie du Preez, Patrick Lambie’s chances of a plane ticket to New Zealand (hopefully not on Qantas airways) are looking dim. Is he a good player? Yes. Can he kick? Probably not with the SARS efficiency of Morne Steyn.
With every losing test (8 of the last Tri-Nations encounters have ended in defeat) it becomes harder and harder to predict whether the Boks will front a determined challenge for the Webb Ellis trophy. One thing is for sure though, Div won’t be listening to me, you or anyone else with a rugby opinion leading up to the tournament.
Chester Williams – “The critic assassin” 1995 – South Africa
He wasn’t even picked for the World Cup squad and few had faith in his ability. Many a critic have admitted to being unsure about Chester’s ability before his industrious performance during the World Cup but later warmed up to him when they saw he could deliver. An injury to Peter Hendricks meant that Chester had his big break. He went on to be one of the Springbok heroes of all time and his try-saving tackle – with James Small – on Jonah Lomu will be remembered for eternity.
Jannie de Beer – “Make Naas Botha proud” 1999- England
With a year to go before the big showpiece in England, no one knew which country de Beer was going to play for – South Africa or Scotland. He had signed a contract with London Scottish and many saw that as a Bok snub. With only 8 Springbok caps to his name he was somewhat of a saviour in the flyhalf position. He grabbed his opportunity by the nuts and dropkicked the hosts England into resentment and out of the World Cup at the quarterfinal stage. De Beer accumulated the third-most points of the tournament, 97. He was composed for most of the tournament even when exchanging dropkicks with Stephen Larkham of Australian in the semi-final. We know who eventually won that contest.
Francois Steyn – “Birth of the X-factor Springbok” 2007 – France
An injury to Jean de Villiers days before the start of the tournament meant that opportunity had come knocking at the 19 year-old’s door. He had the X-factor and could play anywhere in the backline. He could side-step, punt a distance and drop-kick a long way too. Steyn’s performance – and incredible demonstration of maturity – could have paved way for other young players to earn a wild-card place in the World Cup in New Zealand starting in September (i.e. Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo).
The Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Women’s Championship concluded in Zimbabwe last week, with the hosts beating three-time champions Banyana Banyana to win the fourth year of the competition.
I only heard about this on Banyana Banyana’s Facebook page, because the tournament was never televised.
The World Netball Championships were held in Singapore earlier this month, but the only coverage I saw was a nib in The Times announcing the commencement of the competition. Yet again, not televised.
I have a bone to pick with broadcasters (not you, DStv, I loved your coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany).
Why is it so hard to broadcast women’s sport when any premier (male) football and rugby match will be covered, even if the prize is just a container of yoghurt?
Our broadcasters can send teams to cover the (frankly pointless) Vodacom Challenge between Tottenham Hotspur, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, but won’t bother covering international, important events like the World Netball Championships.
South African boxer Noni Tenge knocked Daniella Smith’s lights out to secure the International Boxing Federation’s women’s welterweight title in June. Was it televised? Nah.
Even sports minister Fikile Mbalula feels my pain.
“It’s a shame that a fight like this one, when we produce a world champion, is not televised,” he told reporters after Tenge’s triumph.
Why does women’s sport get shafted so much? In a bid to answer this question, I went to the library (yes, I use the library). This is what I found:
In an article for the Sports Illustrated magazine, Frank Deford argued that sports coverage was dictated by what people wanted to see, read and hear about.
“Unfortunately, women don’t support their sisters playing games nearly as much as men watch their brethren in athletic pursuits,” he said (somewhat patronisingly).
But Deford’s protestations are countered by the Women’s Sports Foundation; a non-profit founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King in the US. I’m forced to use US data because I can’t find any such data in South Africa. This says A LOT.
A study conducted by this foundation found that nationwide US data indicated that women make up 38-42% of all sport and physical activity participants. Yet, these sportswomen receive approximately 6-8% of the total sports coverage.
“Research by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles shows that the primary factor in determining what sports get covered in newspapers is the sports interests of the sports editor. Many sports editors grew up in a time and culture in which the abilities of women to play sports were devalued,” the foundation says.
Deford spoke off the cuff, the foundation is backed by solid research. The foundation wins this argument.
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