Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

PostHeaderIcon It’s Carrick, You Know

I’m not usually a fan of football chants, but I have to admit I kinda like this one for Michael Carrick, if I’m not mistaken premiered on United’s visit to Loftus Road not a long time ago.

“It’s hard to believe it’s not Scholes, it’s Carrick, you know”

…supposedly to the tune of Pilot’s Magic.

Carrick, apparently, is no longer an unsung hero of the Red Devils. And I personally believe so too. He’s our new midfield maestro.

PostHeaderIcon Scholes Tackles!

The gingerman’s atrocious tackling is as well-acknowledged as his undoubted brilliant vision and passing. Everyone knows that, and it stays that way forever.

Never ever let one moment of pure luck deceive you. Understood? 😆

Just finished the second French test of the semester – let’s just hope for the best, okay?

PostHeaderIcon Berba – Time’s Up

I have always believed in Berbatov, but perhaps time’s up for him.

When Dimitar Berbatov signed a one-year contract extension early this year, I was honestly pleased and relieved. Prior to the signing  rumors were rife that the Bulgarian, who was having difficulties in breaking into the first eleven, could be tempted away from Old Trafford, with Bayern Munich reportedly willing to submit a credible bid. For obvious reasons we wouldn’t want to ship out someone that cost us a club record fee of £30.75 million just after four seasons because of poor form.

Apparently, that was not the case after all. Today Fergie has all but confirmed that the Bulgarian will be leaving United in the summer, with lack of opportunities cited as the main reason for the decision to be made.

For a player of his age and his ability it is disappointing for him that he is not getting first-team footbal,” said the gaffer. Yup, that’s definitely true. Not playing is painful, the player himself once admitted.

Since being left out of the Champions League Final against Barcelona at Wembley, a bit-part role is all that can be afforded to him at United.

In all fairness, his superb footballing skills have never been questioned. His unruffled, laid-back style of play has more often than not allowed him to mix technical ability with elegance and exquisiteness, which I find highly valuable to any football team. He is someone who we can expect moments of pure brilliance from.

Berbatov cuts a forlorn, frustrated figure at Old Trafford.

In fact, the 31-year-old striker’s record in a United shirt is not even half bad: 57 goals in close to 150 games. Even more unbelievable is the fact that he was last season’s joint-top goalscorer at 20 goals, tied with hero-turned-traitor former teammate Carlos Tevez. This season, so far, he has found the net 9 times in 19 games. See what I mean? How could it be possible for him to fall out of favor in such a way?

There’s only one problem with him. His style of play. It doesn’t suit the system, the way United play, it hinders the fast-paced attacking football the fans crave, which may even be the more effective of the various tactical options. While it’s true that he offers a wide dimension of options to United’s attacking threat with his unique, fantastic skills, it just hasn’t worked out well for the team. When he was on the field, his languid, composed body movement made him look lazy and less committed than the others, which of course, didn’t help him either. And I’m accustomed to seeing him getting disappointed and frustrated at his teammates. Especially Nani. 😆

He underperformed, everyone has to agree with that. It seems that the amount of goals he’s scored does not correspond with the expected, required level of performance as a first-team striker.

But I somehow wished he was going to be a legend at United, alongside the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ole Solskjaer and Eric Cantona. Why not? Well, truthfully he simply hasn’t proved that he is really worthy of the £30 million paid to Tottenham. Yeah, four years should be more than enough, but he hasn’t truly delivered. And yeah, time’s finally up for him.

It seems that United extended his contract only to avoid losing him on a Bosman this summer. What a bummer.

PostHeaderIcon Pic: Peeking at the Glorious Pitch

Old Trafford, Manchester.
30 October 2005.

This is probably the closest I could get to the ground trodden by the finest footballers from all over the world. A week later, while we were waiting for the flight home, United ended Chelsea’s 40-match league unbeaten run here, courtesy of Fletcher’s looping header.

The result, however, was not enough to reclaim the title as Chelsea remained top at the end of the season, eight points more than second-placed United.

Pic thanks to my dad, taken from HERE. 😀

PostHeaderIcon The End of 2011

Another year gone, another year to live.

As 2011 draws to an end I believe people are tempted to take a short journey backwards, remembering how has the year been – the milestones, the significant events, the revolutionary discoveries, the movies, so on and so forth. To actually describe the year in detail would be an ultimately excruciating task. After all, there’s so much that can be done in 365 days.

Mine has been hugely substantial to the course of my life in general. Why? SPM. Go figure. Here, my very personal review of the year!

POST-SPM: Hello MFI!

If I remember it correctly, the results for SPM 2010 were announced on the 23rd of March. Thank God I got a few sweet A’s and A+’s, good enough to apply for a scholarship. Petronas handed me an opportunity at the EduCamp in Tronoh… where I think I failed miserably. Khazanah is not worth mentioning, simply because I knew it all along that it was a long shot. A very long one, really. In the end it was only MARA who approved my application, albeit with an offer to enroll in a Pre-Spain Programme at UniKL MSI instead of  the preferred Pre-France Programme. After weeks of uncertainty finally we managed to find a spot for me in UniKL MFI for the PFP.

THE VOLCANOES: Beholding Anak Krakatau, Scaling Mt Bromo.

We love volcanoes and mountains, that’s not a secret. For me it all started two years ago when I conquered my very first mountain: Mt Marapi, the most active volcano in Sumatra. The activity which I initially regarded with scorn –  climb up, then descend, what’s the point? That was so ignorant of me 😆 – became one I look forward to all the time.

Mt Bromo, Mt Batok and Mt Semeru in the background; Mt Marapi from the town of Bukittinggi; the erupting Anak Krakatau.

In January we visited the highly active Anak Krakatau. The volcano, which erupts continuously these days, has the potential to be as fatally dangerous as its infamous mother Krakatoa. Unfortunately, for some obvious safety reasons, the limit radius was (and still is, I think) 2km from the volcanic island. We circled, and never touched her.

Six months later we flew to Surabaya, en route to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, on my third volcano outing. A 1km limit radius was set up around Mt Bromo too, but it wasn’t taken seriously by the locals and the visitors. Therefore, we were able to climb it. Nice.

AUSTRALIA REVISITED: From Mt Gambier to Bright.

Part I, Part II, Part III. I have somehow, left out the last part – the one where we ascended to Mt Hotham. Just too lazy.

I have no recollection whatsoever of the first visit, about 16-17 years ago. I was, evidently, a hopeless little toddler. The only thing that convinced me that it did actually happen was some old photos.

We landed in Melbourne via AirAsia X, headed west along the Great Ocean Road to Mount Gambier, then back east to Bright, and lastly back to Melbourne. And hey, barring that first visit, for the first time in my life I played snow consciously, at Mount Hotham no less! 😀

Oh Bright, I love that little town.

A NEW HOBBY: Playing Classical Guitar.

In between SDAR and MFI there was a very, very big gap of idleness and emptiness. The terrifying 7-month-plus holiday. It could have been something else, but I didn’t look for job or anything like that. The only schedule that I had to follow was the guitar class on Thursday every week. I’m not saying that I wasted the whole holiday by literally doing nothing – I learnt new things, read some books, did the chores, travelled, etc – but heck I did feel like a big fat sloth. Oh, anyway, learning to play guitar was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, though I admit it would take years for me to really grasp all those musical theories and methods.

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: United Leapfrog the Scousers!

No one could have predicted it two decades ago. Heck, people even started doubting Fergie’s United early in the 2000’s, when the Red Devils lost grasp of the Barclay’s Premier League to rivals Arsenal and then Chelsea. That, coupled with their 2006’s UEFA Champions League group stage elimination (that year they missed out the league title for the third consecutive season) fueled speculations that perhaps, United’s time had indeed ended. How wrong they were. Duh.

It was a season where United were, honestly, below average, but so were other teams. That’s the only reason why we won it. Nothing else to say. United winning is not something out of this world, is it? It’s United 19-18 Liverpool. Err..while Liverpool no longer pose a threat to us, a new one has arisen. The noisy neighbors City. Heh.

THE END OF AN ERA: R.E.M. Disband.

From my point of view, R.E.M. were highly underrated. Seriously almost no one listens to them here. One of the pioneers of alternative rock, it took over 30 years for them to finally call it a day in September. I remember singing the Great Beyond in front of the classroom for God knows what. It was some sort of a test maybe. But oh yeah I sure did sing it. 😆
I just hope U2 won’t do the same just yet.

Some of their best songs, excluding the mentioned above:

Losing My Religion (1991)

Everybody Hurts (1992)

Imitation of Life (2001)

Man on the Moon (1992)

 

MOVIES OF THE YEAR: A Better Life and the King’s Speech.

Nah I will not review movies for I’m not a critic and I just can’t review movies. Don’t know why. But I assure you these ones are excellent, and thus I think I just leave a couple of trailers here…

A Better Life.

The King’s Speech – this one was publicly released early in January 2011. I just watched it last week. 😆

THE DRAGONBORN COMES: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I used to be bla bla bla (like you), then I took an arrow in the knee. What an outdated meme. Anyway, this game is friggin’ gorgeous and highly both entertaining and addictive where one could spend hours of playtime without actually realising it. Set in the medieval world of Tamriel, the story is appealing, and the gameplay immersive, even with those tons of bugs. If you enjoyed the previous series or Fallout 3 and New Vegas, you should play this. If not, then Angry Birds would be fine.

Skyrim Timelapse!

Oh I think I should put the trailer here, too…

GAINING FROM GAMING: Barra’s FIFA 11 Tournament Champion!

Okay. It was a small and low-budget tournament held in July at Barra, a popular eatery in Shah Alam, absolutely nothing like those international ones or even Game Monster‘s for that matter. There were supposed to be 12 players, but only six turned up so I needed to beat just three other contestants to win the first prize – RM150, which I did. 😆

Hey at least it’s the real deal, no?

Well that’s about it I guess, I’m rather sure I’m missing something here. Wanna read about revolutions and life-changing events? Go somewhere else.

And comme d’habitude I’ll end this post with a rendition of one of the best themes ever! 😀

 

PostHeaderIcon Not Much

I have to post something here, you know, just to make sure that this site doesn’t look like a deserted land of the past. 

So here goes.

Quoi de neuf?

Not much. So far it has been the typical perpetual life of an average student, there’s nothing new to share. Oh just in case you’ve missed something, j’apprends le français. Et c’est tout. 😆

Et quoi encore?

The Barclay’s Premier League may well kick-off this coming Saturday, albeit with only 9 games – Spurs’ season opener against Everton has been aptly postponed in the aftermath of the unwarranted riots in London, which has spread to other cities in England including Manchester.

After witnessing how United uncharacteristically reclaimed the championship with overall lacklustre football I’m not quite sure how they will fare this season. The acquisition of winger Ashley Young will provide depth and much-needed pace to the midfield, while the arrival of Phil Jones and David de Gea bolster the defence and compensate the departures of a few veterans this summer. And Tom Cleverley looks good too.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to be a better journey this time. L’équipe est plus forte que celle de l’année dernière! 😆

With the noisy neighbours growing even stronger thanks to the massive amount of cash injected into the club by their Arab owners, I do believe that the days of the Big Four are gone for good. Chelsea, City and Arsenal remain as the serious contenders for the title, while Liverpool and Spurs might have a go too. Whatever it is though, I am as eager as ever for the new season to start! 😀

And then there are corruption, riots, murders, robberies, power abuse..err did I mention corruption?
Cheers!

PostHeaderIcon Love United

This song popped into my head while I was driving yesterday. Not sure why. Over 30 professional footballers are featured in this song and it’s kinda amusing to see the likes of Figo, Blanc, Barthez, Veron and Djorkaeff singing together. No kidding. Still, it’s a beautiful song worth listening to 🙂

We will live for love united
Come together undivided
We will stand up
For all the people of the world

*this song has nothing to do with Manchester United, okay?

PostHeaderIcon Curse No More

Chelsea 0-1 United, 6 April 2011

The wait is over, and the curse has been broken.

The last time United won at Stamford Bridge was way back in April 2002, the year that saw United finish 3rd behind Liverpool and Arsenal. We were at Air Papan at that time and I was very surprised when I received the news of the victory. The previous reverse fixture ended with the same scoreline but different winners.

And only after a good nine years did United win again at the Stamford Bridge. Rooney’s goal, 23 minutes into the game, was enough to hand United a vital advantage ahead of the 2nd leg tie at Old Trafford.

Though United could have easily conceded a penalty late in the game after Evra brought down Ramires, I have to say it was an impressive, deserved victory. Oh Torres, he was a miserable lad again on the field. Twice he dived, rather blatantly, in the box and was booked by the referee in the dying minutes of the game for the second attempt. 😀

I’m delighted, geddit?
Cheers!

PostHeaderIcon Bad Luck

The last time Arsenal won a major trophy was way back in 2005 when they beat United 5-4 on penalties in the FA Cup Final. United outplayed and outclassed the Gunners in every department throughout the game, yet they managed to hold on until the final whistle of the extra time. Midfield maestro Paul Scholes was the one at fault in the shoot-out, blasting the ball into the path of Jens Lehmann. United failed to capitalise on their dominance in the game, and they paid the price.

The Wembley Stadium, by Landscapes of England

Yesterday in Wembley, Arsenal looked set to end their 6-year trophy drought as they faced Birmingham City in the League Cup Final. An early Nikola Zigic goal served as a wake-up call to the boys in red, and they responded brilliantly. Arsenal took charge of the game soon after and equalised through Robin van Persie. From then on a victory seemed so certain for the Gunners, until they self-destructed in the 89th minute. A mix up between keeper Wojciech Szczesny and centre-half Laurent Koscielny resulted in the keeper fumbling the ball over to Obafemi Martins who slotted the winner. Arsenal failed to capitalise on their dominance in the game, and they paid the price.

It was such a familiar sight 😛

Anyway, after weeks of gruelling sessions with the driving instructor… I’ve finally got my P license! Yay! 😀

Come on, a song for a happy occasion!

Birds are singing, you by my side
Let’s take a car and go for a ride
Hey, hey, hey, it’s a beautiful day

Sunday, Monday, who cares?

PostHeaderIcon Accidental Passion

I remember watching my brothers playing FIFA 1999 on our PC. With 11 players each team, plus one referee, the sight of 23 men on the pitch made me think that football was an irritatingly confusing game. I preferred Blood, Duke Nukem or NFS III Hot Pursuit, not that silly football game.

Well, people change.

I can’t remember how exactly did I start to love football, but my, FIFA 1999 was such a fun!

I began to really support United on the day Liverpool beat them in the FA Community Shield in 2001. Ayi was not pleased, of course, but I’ve been a loyal fan since then 😉

Abat introduced Match Magazine to us in 2001, and we regularly bought the magazine every week until a few years ago when it became too dear for us. Initially it cost us (*my dad) RM9 per copy, but now the price is around RM16! The last one we got was in 2006 if I’m not mistaken.

Match is the best football magazine for English Premier League fans I tell you! Go and get a copy while you still can afford it 😛

Through Match we came to know Football Champions and Subbuteo TCG, first issued in 2001. The production of the EPL version was ceased at the end of 2002-2003 season, meaning that the game only lasted for around 2 years! Awful, the game was. 😀

Not much info can be found on this relatively unknown game.

Oh, and here’s my season review collection (the 90’s are all Yi’s)

We could have saved a lot if we didn’t buy these things!