Tag Archives: Kerala

A lot happened in the last one month

Well its been a month since I posted on this blog and a lot has happened in the last 30 days in the football world. Not just in England but in Europe as well as in India!!!

Lets talk about about Arsenal first. We got beaten in the CL match against Bayern. It was expected and 3-1 sounds quite harsh. I was on my annual anniversary holiday and so missed this match. But thank god I missed it ūüôā Would not have wanted to see us beaten that badly. And if we thought Europe was bad, we lost to our London rivals Spurs. I thought we might at worst come up with a draw int hat match, but the high line that we left back at the defence proved costly against two of the fastest players in the Premier League – Bale and Lennon. we gotta see if we can make up for the lost points in the next 10 matches and finish on top of the Spurs like we do every season. All I can say is it needs something short of a miracle for that to happen.

In the other Champions league matches, Real overcame a resolute United though under some dubious refereeing decision. But the fact that in that current situation, Mourinho made a tactical substitution and Fergie did not proved costly. United looked like the better team but in the end, it was the Spanish team that reigned supreme. And Real have been having a great 8 days in which they beat Barcelona twice and drew and beat Manchester United. Mourinho will be happy to lift the Champions League once again. So if he does that will be Real’s Decima, yes the 10th one.

Its not nice to talk about your rivals when they are in a crisis. But it looks like Rooney and United are not in the best of relationships. Its strange when you see Rooney not being part of a United game-plan. Ferguson has used the hard working Wellbeck in some of the most critical matches this season along with Van Persie. So it would be interesting to see what happens to Rooney’s future come summer.

In the 67th edition of the Santosh Trophy which returned to the Kerala shores I think after a long time was a heart break for the locals. The team reached the finals after a long long time. I don’t remember any instance in the recent past. We were in the semis last year but that was it. Doordarshan’s programme display screwed up and I got to see the extra time of the match. And honestly I thought we played well during those 30 minutes and had majority of the possession during that period and hence the better chances. We did an Arsenal by not converting those chances and then paid in the end in the sudden death. But I saw3 some promising talents in the team and hope it augurs well for the team and some of them feature in the Indian team

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My World Cup memories

Everyone has their own World Cup memories which they cherish. In India most of us would have grown up seeing the country against country battles fought in World Cups every four yeards before we started watching the League Football. Even I have such memories tucked away somewhere.

The National Broadcaster, Doordarshan ensures that they show all the World Cups free of cost to whoever can buy a TV and fix an antenna. They ensured that the common man was not deprived of the game that millions of people play around the world. And growing up in Kerala you can have a sensible football discussion right from your newspaper vendor to your tea-shop uncle. I was influenced by Brazil because my dad used to support them. And I thought at that time the whole world just wanted to see the World Cup so that their favourite team (Brazil) can lift the cup again. I remember that we bought  a new TV everytime there was a World Cup. Not just a TV, but also a new antenna so that we could catch the signals better.

But my support to Brazil grew as I grew older. Seeing Romario, Bebeto, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and then Ronaldinho the love for the team just increased. Then I think it was some kind of a stagnation which set in. The match in 1994 I think where the Dutch played Brazil in the semis was like an eye-opener, and again the Dutch played some sublime football in the 1998 edition against Brazil in the quarters and then Sweden also had a thrilling WC in 1998 to lose to Brazil.¬†That is when I realised that even other teams can play equally exciting football and sometimes Brazil is plain lucky! So slowly I shifted my support. And in 1998 Zinedine Zidane changed it all. I saw the finals in my 2nd year hostel TV room (Diamond) supporting Brazil and saw them lose to Zidane’s brilliant headers. That is when it changed. And ever since then I have supported different teams – France, Argentina, Netherlands. So this year I will be supporting Argentina and Spain. Spain because Fabregas will be playing for them.

My first memory of the WC was reading about it. My dad used to buy Sportstar¬†the only sports magazine available in India at that time. And he had the copies of the entire 1986 WC. Reading through the columns of football I could journey through the Argentina team as they won the WC. Maradona’s goals in the quarter finals and the semis , his pass for the decider goal in the finals to Burruchaga which sealed the finals 3-2 in Argentina’s favour in the Azteca stadium, it was absorbing reading through the article. It was a World Cup that belonged to Gary Linekar, to Rudi Voeller, to Careca…The best thing is that I have not just the 1986 WC Sportstars, but also of every edition after that. It is now nicely bound and kept with lost of Football posters as well. My prized collection.

My first memory of actually seeing a WC on TV was the 1990 one, Italia ’90. In hindsight, it was one of the most boring World Cups ever played, but since it was the first one that I saw on TV, I was very excited. Schilachi (don’t know¬†the right spelling), Baggio, Lothar Mattheus and Maradona…A whole host of players meemerising the crowd who are watching it in the stadium or on TV. I still remember the pony tailed Baggio scoring a wonderful goal in one of the matches and the very handsome Mattheaus holding aloft the WC.

So here we go again into the next edition in South Africa, where again Brazil are the favourites, followed by Spain, England, Holland¬†and Argentina. Hopefully one of the African teams should make it to the Semi finals atleast. Lets hope there are more goals and many exciting matches in this edition. I will be blogging with Vickerman in MTJAG on the teams before the WC starts and then on the matches. So will try to post some of the articles here as well. Meanwhile, let me subscribe to Sportstar for this edition of the WC ūüôā

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