The SAMBA BOYS came to town!

Woohoo! so i went to watch the Brazil Olympics Soccer team vs a Singapore Selection match at the National Stadium last night. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the likes of Ronaldinho, Pato and Anderson live in actiona and moreover its the LAST match of the National Stadium. With tickets going at half price, we couldnt say no.

So Brazil won the match 3-0 to many surprises because many, including me, expected a goal feast. However Singapore are no pushovers and with superior fitness and home ground advantage, we managed to put in a good fight, almost scoring on 2 occasions. The Samba Boys are good of course but they have to play way better if they are to win gold at the Olympics. Ronaldinho is a fan’s favourite as of Anderson because many were spotted wearing the Man Utd jersey but Ronnie is clearly unfit and need to shed off some fats. He’s the key man for Brazil definitely so all eyes will be on him come August.

Now to EPL action. The first major summer transfer of the season- Robbie Keane to Liverpool! Robbie Keane partnering Torres is mouth watering but where will Stevie plays? perhaps right wing again and that will not favours the Liverpool Captain. Liverpool needs a right winger and unless they do so, they cant get the best of keane, torres and gerrad. Therefore i still cant see Liverpool challenging for the title yet.

So that will perhaps trigger a series of big money moves. Hopefully Man Utd signs a new striker. I cant wait for the start of the EPL!!

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Glory Glory Spain!!

wah i know this post came super late but better late than never right. hee was busy with work, camp and outings. =D

Spain has been crowned European Champions and in my last post i have predicted that this will be Spain’s year and indeed they delivered. Although my money was on Portugal and Croatia, sometimes listening to your heart is better to your head. Portugal’s dismal showing in the quarter final can be due to 2 men- Ronaldo and Scolari. And perhaps Croatia was too over rated but i do hope Luka Modric can shine for Tottenham and give liverpool a run for their coveted 4th spot in the EPL. I cant wait for EPL to start and but the most intriguing part may be the summer transfer. Who will come and go?? Is Ronaldo’s staying?? Who will the big 4 buy?? Your guess is as goodas mine.

However Chelsea is already making an impression in the summer transfer, signing Bosingwa and Deco. Bosingwa will take time to adapt to EPL as well as Deco but what’s the real motive of signing Deco when you already have Lampard and Ballack. After Ballack’s strong showing in Euro08, he’s has shown that he’s one of the best all rounded midfielder in the world. Hence the question “how to accomodate all 3 of them as well as Essien?” Scolari will most probabaly use his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and my guess is either Lampard is leaving or Deco is going to stay on the bench.

Liverpool is also making strong impressions on the transfer market. Gareth Barry arrival means Alonso’s departure but is Barry really a better player than Alonso. In the EPL certainly but in the Champions League Alonso’s experience is surely more valuable. Hence i would not really swop Barry for Alonso. Liverpool needs to buy real wingers and i’m waiting to see how ambitious Liverpool is this coming season.They need to buy,but buy wisely and with some quality also. Another “Torres transfer” will surely help Liverpool mount a more serious title challenge.
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Euro08=Spainish moment?

So Euro08 got underway with the big guns firing all cylinders. Germany and Portugal got off to an early start with 2-0 wins over Poland and Turkey respectively. Well not a surprise to me as I have correctly predicted this scoreline. I’m currently challenging my good friend Mark over Euro08 on his website http://eurosoccerfan.wordpress.com. So far we have been on par except for that opening match between Switerzland and Czech Republic.

Although I have correctly predicted some scorelines so far, it has not tempted me to a trip to pools yet. The reason being its still early in the tournment and anything can happen, especially tonight.

The group of death begins in 2 hours time with France sparring with Romania. Many though Romania will be the whipping boy in this group as Italy and Holland are in this group too. However I beg to differ. No doubts Italy France and Holland are favourites to win Euro08, dont disregard Romania. Romania finished above Holland in their qualifying group and the Dutch couldnt beat them so Romania is not that bad right. Next up one thing to consider is freshness of players. Romania’s players should be fresher than their oppenents although France had a very strong bench to help them. Holland’s suspectful defence will be their main weakness and if Romania can draw with Italy and France and then beat Holland, they stand a good chance to go through.

Who do I think will be Champions of Europe though? The title of my post says Spain. Look at their squad and you will know why. Based on player’s form and squad depth, Spain is the best bet. However there are at least 8 teams who can win this thing, thats why this is going to be one hell of a tournement.  

A night to remember..

This was a night to be remembered, for Ryan Giggs’s record appearance as the all time leading player to representManchester United, for Roanldo’s fananstic header and his 42nd goal of a marvellous season, for Drogba’s stupid red card, for John Terry penalty miss and Edwin Van Der Sarr’s save from Anelka’s spot kick to give Man Utd their 3rd European cup. This was the kinda of european night that all Man Utd fan will remember forever.

50 years ago, a plane crashed in Germany, killing several Man utd players known as the Busby Babes. 10 years since that fatal plane crash, Man Utd won their first European Cup, beating Benfica 4-1 in extra time. In 1999, Man utd beat Bayern Munich 2-1 thanks to 2 stoppage time goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Teddy SHeringham at the Camp Nou in the most dramatic final I have ever seen. 3 years ago, Liverpool staged the most amazing comback in European Cup final coming down 3-0 at half time to win in penalties. I have no doubt Liverpool will win the final that night after scoring the euqualiser. Last night, I have no doubt that Chelsea will win this one in extra time or penalty in the most nail-biting final I have watched so far, after all I’m a Man Utd fan. However, fate put me wrong.

On such a special night, it was fate that won Man Utd the Cup. On the preview of this big match, it was said that Chelsea has the more experience players than Man Utd players but where were them for Chelsea last night? Belletti came off the bench in the last minute of extra so that he can take one of the penalty. Ballack was one of the better player and Carvalho and Mekelele were there. However where were Andriy Shevchenko and Paulo Ferreira? I though Shevshould have take one of the penalty. Rewind to the final between Milan and Juventus few years ago. It was Shev who scored the winning penalty to secure the Cup for Milan. A very big “what if” had Shev took the fifth penalty instead of John Terry. He could repay Chelsea with that single moment and Im quite sure Shev will score.

Now to the 2 individuals that I have said that could decide this match. I said Chelsea would come out top and I think I’m correct. What a way Drogba decide this match ala Zidane at the 2006 World Cup final. It was like Drogba deciding to do what Zidane did for his last match for France and in this case Chelsea. ” I dont want to take the penalty. I dont like the pressure! I’m leaving the club anyway so I dont care. What the fu*k!” he must be thinking so “bang” red card and he strolled away in disgrace. What a relief for him though.

Ronaldo’s a relief man also. After missing his spot kick yet again, he has to thank Terry and Van Der Sarr. After the match, his future is in doubt again. If he does leave, I’m quite sure Man Utd will have a new manager next season. This current crop of Man Utd players has the potential to win many things and Ronaldo’s departure will leave a big gap missing especially since the likes of Giggs and Scholes will not be playing that much next season. Will Ronaldo leave to seek new challenges after being the best player in the world this season or will he stay to win more things with this current batch Man Utd players? We shall see.

Man of the Match: Pete Cech. I was thinking of Frank Lampard too. Lampard was Chlsea best player in this season and he scored a crucial equaliser last night. He even hit the cross bar with a sweet left footed shot. He has been the most consistent Chelsea player, scoring 20 goals for every past seasons. Alot of credit must give to Jose Mourinho who has transformed Lampard into the player he is today. Pete got my nod because he gave a world class performance last night. What a save from Carrick! He kept Chelsea in the match. And he saved from Ronaldo too from the penalty shoot out. In the end its was Terry and Anelka who let him down. Pete Cech no doubt is the best goalkepper in the world and will be for the next decade or so.

Why Man Utd is the European Champion: You could say its luck or fate but I dont care. Man Utd has the better game plan, raiding down Chelsea’s flanks wherever they can, exposing the weakness of Michael Essien but they will not find him there next season as Chesleahas brought a new right back. The second half its was all Chelsea and its was apalling to find Park Ji Sung not even on the bench. After encouraging displays against Roma and Barcelona, he could not received a medal thay he deserved. Park should move to a club that appreciate his efforts more. It was down to nerves in the penalty shoot out and unfortuately, Chelsea had more players that could not hold onto their nerves.

Farewell match: This could very well be the last appearance for some players for their respective clubs. Drogba, Lampard, Carvalho, Mekelele, Belletti are some possibilities for Chelsea and Ronaldo, Van der Sarr, Scoles, Giggs among those playing last night for Man Utd. And of course, both club’s manager.

What’s next: Chelsea is going to rebulid. I would like to see Chelsea playing 4-4-2 next season with Essein and Ballack flank by Cole and Malouda. Anelka and a new striker probably David Villa or Klass-Jan Huntelaar. The defence of course consist of Cole, Terry, Micah Richards and Bosingwa with Cech in goal. If Ronaldo leaves, a new winger will arrive. Ricardo Quaresma seems like a good choice. If Ronaldo stays, the midfield should be alright and a new striker and perhaps at least 2 new defenders must arrive especially some defenders will be leaving but expect more of the same from Man Utd.

The Club season is over and now its time for Euro 2008. It quite sad that I will be missing some of the latter matches which most probably pit the better teams against each other due to school. My money is on France and Italy but watch the underdogs and a certain Ronaldo.

The big Match..

So the end is near. Is Moscow going to be a sea of red or river of blue comes tmr night? Its going to be a tight affair. Its Manchester United versus Chelsea in the Champions League Final.

Mindgames has already begun before a ball has been kicked. Rooney and Vidic are using what Rafa Benitez did and how the Liverpool Boss failed. So why did Rooney and Vidic do it again? I guess the best way to distract the opposition team is to distract their best player which is Drogba in this case. It will work either wonderfully or fail miserably. However the spotlight is not only on Drogba, Lampard, Cech, Carvalho, Avarm Grant and a host of Chelsea players are in the newspapers for possible transfer in the summer. How about Man Utd? The biggest news of all is of course Ronaldo but that was the only negative news Man Utd had before this game so Ronaldo was basically putting all the spotlight onto himself so that the rest of his team mates can focus on this game fully. Man Utd 1 Chelsea 0.

Chelsea had more Champions League winners than Man Utd. Man Utd on the whole are still a young team wheras Chelsea had a team full of winners. So advantage Chelsea? No I dont think so. Its useless to have a team of winners if you have a “loser” manager. Avram Grant is not bad but compare to Sir Alex Ferguson? Man Utd 2 Chelsea 0.

Players for players i think both team are on par. Both team has a mean defence and this match could come down to a moment of magic or a moment of foolish-ness. Chelsea looks in danger after they gave Man utd the equaliser from a mistake from Carvalho and Babel also scored from a mistake from Cech. Man Utd’s attacking players can provide a moment of magic anytime anywhere but Chelsea players are more efficient. Therefore, Chelsea having a better squad overall gives them an edge here. Man Utd 2 Chelsea 1.

Hence thats my prediction for this match but dont ever rule out a boring 0-0 draw. Remember that match bewteen Man Utd and Barcelona at the Camp Nou just weeks ago? Buy big on 1,3 goals and 1-1 on the exact score ticket if your hands are itchy. Anything could unfold in this match though.  

who’s in who’s out??

I knew what I’m writing right?? Pls refer to yesterday’s newpaper backpage and my last enrty regarding Ronaldo! He’s staying till Sir Alex Ferguson is gone. haha i can forsee the future.

Here are somemore players that i missed out whom I think are rather hot in this off season transfer.

Peter Crouch: This Liverpool stirker wants first team action and Liverpool is not that club that will give him out. With his England future on the line, he needs to move on. I dont think he wants to move aboard so he will be staying in England. None of the Big Four should be interested in him and Crouch wouldnt be interested in them too. He will join one of these 3 clubs- Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Newcastle. However, Pompey is my bet as they are in Europe and they have Harry Redknapp. Defoe and Crouch would be an interesting partnership. Watch out!

Daniel Alves: This Brazilian player is the perfect full back for any team wanting to play attacking football. Regarded as one of the best attacking full back/wing back in the world, he is the next Cafu(my favorite right back). Chelsea though to have him but having signed a new right back in Bosingwa, so Chelsea is out. Alves has a few choices, Barcelona has the biggest chance but Milan and Inter are also on the lookout. Dont forget the 2 Red teams from England though. What a signing he could be for Man Utd! Any club with the cash to splash and looking for a right back should look at this guy from Brazil.

Micah Richards: One for the future. A star in the making. Man City needs to keep him if they are to progress but sacking Sven Goran Eriksson, one of the best managers they had, is not going to convince Richards. He’s replacing Neville at England level already, not why at club level too. However its going to take one hell of courage for him to move to Man Utd so i think Chelsea most probably, espically if Chelsea is to rebulid next summer.

David Villa: Another top striker on the move. He will not come cheap though. He may follow Torres footstep to England but certainly not Liverpool. Chelsea looks his most likely destination in England but a move to Italy or Barcelona is not ruled out too.

Tottenham wants to buy Eto but Eto would rather plays for Arsenal. haha if its true Berbatov is surely leaving just like what I have wrote in my previous entry. It’s just the beginning..     

Around the world..and summer transfers

Woohoo the Serie A season has ended and what a finish!

Roma was trailing Inter by a single point and they were topping the table until Inter scored late in the second half. If Roma had clinched the title, it would have been the most astonishing comeback i have ever seen since i started watching soccer but too bad its was too little too late for Roma but what an effort!

AC Milan will not be playing Champions League football next season. Fiorentina will be playing though and Milan had the “best” player of the world in Kaka! I forsee major changes at AC this coming summer just like a certain Bayern Munich. Milan to win Uefa cup next season?? Dont buy against it.

There are rumors that Ronaldo will be going to Spain after the Champions League Finals. In my honest opinion, there is no point having a player who have no desire to play for the club so if he wants to go, den please. The money from Ronaldo’s sale could bring in at least 3 world class players and there are quality players out there who can step into Ronaldo’s shoes. However my guy feeling and heart told me that Ronaldo will continue wearing the same jersey he had been wearing for the past 5 season because of 1 man- Sir Alex Ferguson. He will persuade Ronaldo to stay and until Ferguson retires, I dont see Ronaldo leaving at all.

There are alot of rebuilding jobs for some major clubs this off season. Barcelona, Chelsea and AC Milan are the most prominent and I believe these 3 clubs will be trading players. Mourinho buying players from Chelsea so there are a few players who will be leaving. Barcelona’s players who are leaving are good players so those clubs with ambitions should keep a lookout for these players. Therefore it will be a busy off season and below are some players that i think major clubs should look out for.

Gareth Barry: Liverpool is the fore-runner for the Aston Villa Captain and I think Barry definitely needs to leave if he is to reach another level. Arsenal would be a good choice also as he will be guarantee a place next to Fabregas and it will be a dream partnership. Chelsea if Lampard leaves. Man Utd no chance i think.  

Ronaldino: The forgotten man in Barcelona. He was once the best player in the game and I think he’s the major rseason why Barcelona flopped. Any club who can bring the best out of Ronnie will be a force to reckon with. Ronnie almost joined Man Utd in 2002. If he had played under Ferguson, Ithink Ronnie would have shone longer. Any club that buys him will be a risk, but a risk worth taken. Liverpool should consider, but most likely he is going to turn up in Italy next season at San Siro too but not sure which Milan team.

Karim Benzema: A good showing at Euro 2008 should see him leaving for a big club. Any big club should be interested in him if they are looking for a excellent and young striker. He will blossom into one of the great player and he could be the next Torres in the EPL if he chooses to come to England but I think he will end up in Spain at the Camp Nou. I will cross my fingers that he chooses the champions of England.

Klass Jan Huntelaar: Another hot property in Europe just like Benzema. Should join one of the big club too. There is also a possibility that he and Benzema will be playing at the same team next season. I will be the most surprise if both of them choose to stay at Lyon and Ajax.

Samuel Eto: One of the best centre forward in the game. If Drogba leaves for AC Milan, I think he will do better than Drogba for Chelsea. If Adebayor leaves Arsenal, Arsenal’s fans will hope Eto is the new man to lead the Arsenal attack next season. Dont rule out Italy though but definitely he would not be playing in spain next season.

 Dimitar Berbatov: Another player which I think will be playing somewhere else next season. A proven player at the biggest stage, the best player to play outside the Champions League, it will take big shoes to replace this guy. Chelsea and Man Utd will suit him because he will want to win an EPL title before moving aboard for another challenge. Therefore I could see Bertatov playing in England next season. I hope he stays at spurs though so that spurs can challenge the big four next season.

I forsee Man Utd to be the least busy of the big 4, Chelsea to be the busiest, Arsenal depending on the number of players leaving and Liverpool adding quality instead of quantity should be their priority. It’s time to splash some cash man!