Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Father's Day

I know this is rather late but to all Fathers out there, Happy Father's Day.

But i got to say something. why does it seem that fathers all around the world seem rather unappreciated? Especially when they are compared to Mothers.

Take my family for example. On mothers' day, we all went for dinner to some place which my mom wanted to go. But for Father's Day, we stayed home for dinner. We didn't even eat lunch together as they bought back food for Brian and i.

Around the island, on Mother's Day, numerous food offers are available. "Mother's Day high tea", "Mother's day buffet", "bring your mom and you get her to dine free with purchase of 3 adults", the list goes on.
But for Fathers Day, you only get offers for maybe 50% off.

Old people all around me always tell me to "get your mom something for Mother's Day" Or they tell me not to forget that its Mother's Day tomorrow. My Dad even gives me money to get my mom a gift. But i can't remeber the last time somebody scolded me for not wishing my dad Happy Father's Day, let alone forgetting to give a gift to him.

People always tell me to tell my mom how good the food is, or how nice her new hairdo looks, or how she helped me with something, because that is what their role is.
But anyone ever thanks their Dad for making sure the lights work, or the water to bathe?
Dad's are supposed to put the food on the table, but even that is taken away from them. we don't say "thank you for the food on the table". We thank the mother for making the food good.

The entertainment industry reflects this too. So many songs about mothers. Mama this, mother that. Latest songs include "hey mama'' by Kanye West has him paying tribute to his mom. While "Cleaning out my closet" by Eminem has him apologising to his Mom.
I can only think of one song, just one, that talks about a dad is "papa was a rolling stone"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Robben is the linchpin

i feel that the Netherlands' style of play uses Robben too much. But if you think of it, they do not have much of a choice. Van Basten plays a 4-3-3 system which is very relaint in wingers. If you look at their wingers, only Robben can dribble the ball as Van Persie and Kuyt are more forwards than wingers who cannot dribble as well as Robben.

If they face a team such as France which has Thuram as their right back, they would then be clamped down and stiffled as Thuram obviously has the quality to keep Robben in check.

But when Rafael van der Vaart comes back, it would be a totally different ball game as Van der Vaart is a very good passer and can excecute a mean dribble too, giving the Netherlands another attacking outlet. Of course, again the problem would again persist that the Netherlands would be using their left flank way too much.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What a Boring Game

England got off their World Cup campaign to a perfect start with a win, and nothing else.
Despite it being a dull match, I have to admit that it is still 3 points in the bag and a very important win to considering England’s dismal opening game record at the World Cup.

The match was utterly boring, especially so in the second half and it did not help that the referee seemed intent on making sure his whistle was working as he awarded 27 fouls throughout the whole game. He kept stopping a game which already lacked momentum by calling fouls on little issues. On many occasions he left a bewildered Peter Crouch raising his arms thinking what he had done wrong.

In fact, the game was rather anti climatic as England started the game playing at a high tempo. It took a mere 3 minutes for England to score, with Carlos Gamarra heading the ball past his own keeper after an excellent free kick by David Beckham. Within the next few minutes, England suddenly seemed to pushing the Paraguayans in their own half. The English were even awarded a couple of corner kicks in quick succession.

But in the end, England started to fade in the sweltering heat just as fans were expecting more goals to come. After conceding the goal and withering the pressure, the Paraguayans first choice keeper, Justo Villar, was forced off after challenging Michael Owen. One goal down, first choice keeper out, it seemed as if Paraguay were about to concede more goals. But the opposite happened as they came out stronger with substitute keeper Aldo Bobadilla. Pulling off save after save to deny various players.

At the other end, Paraguay was beginning to play like the side that held Brazil and Argentina. Gamarra was organizing his defense properly and Roberto Acuna was orchestrating the midfield. Valdez also had a brilliant shot wide near the end of the match.

A boring game was nearly came alive with the introduction of Stewart Downing. He was really the one player I genuinely enjoyed watching on the dour night. But Eriksson revealed his defensive nature as he soon brought on Owen Hargreaves. Honestly, I do not care if he is based in Germany or Great Britain. What I wanted was some excitement and Hargreaves and excitement just do not go hand in hand. It was rather disappointing as I was looking forward to seeing youngsters such as Theo Walcott or Aaron Lennon come on. At least he did bring on Downing.

But I feel the three lions really only had 3 lions. The rest were rather meek pussy cats. The 3 lions were Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole and Stewart Downing. Only these 3 players provided excitement to the match. I feel all that Beckham did was just THAT free kick, and nothing else.

Gerrard played well enough to quell any fears of the back problem that seemed to be troubling him. He was the one doing all the running. In my view, it is he and not Beckham that should be made captain.

Joe Cole was one of the few players who dared to go on a dribble instead of choosing the easy, but less bold, option of passing the ball. It was a joy to watch his stopovers and shoulder drops.

But the player which most impressed me was Stewart Downing. Whenever he got the ball, I was on the edge of my seat anticipating what he would do next. Each time he got the ball he seemed to have only one thing on his mind. RUN. And that’s what he did. When in possession, Downing just sprinted down the left flank to try and put in a few crosses.

But other than that, I feel the game was rather mundane and boring with little else to talk about the match was really such a bore, that even Germany, for so long the team with the defensive style entertained us with a by far greater match.

Sven Eriksson has been talking about how England would win the World Cup. Well Sven, based on last nights performance, it is unlikely England can reach the final, let alone win the World Cup, with or without Rooney.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ruud to win golden boot?

There are many worthy candidates battling out for the Golden boot. Most of them, if not all, would walk into most national teams. Of course the usual suspects such as Ronaldo, Henry and Shevchenko have all been mentioned. My pick for the Golden Boot is the Netherlands’ Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

It's hard to think of a more natural-born goal scorer than Ruud van Nistelrooy. He possesses a goal scoring record any striker would be proud of (He currently has scored 150 goals in 219 games for Manchester United, and 27 goals in 51 games for his country, a record of slightly more than a goal every other game), he also has marvelous technical ability and finishing prowess. Capable of scoring a typical poacher’s goal or with his head, defences all over England and Europe have struggled to contain the Dutchman. Despite spending an extended spell on the bench for his club, he still managed to finish second on the top scorer’s chart in England. Besides, having scored in his last 2 friendly matches, its obvious he is entering the tournament in a rich vein of form.

Physically, I doubt he has ever entered a major tournament in such a superb condition. Due to his recent spat with Sir Alex, he has had the priceless luxury of having an extended rest period. Would the tired ageing legs of Argentina’s Ayala be able to take a Van Nisteltooy free of fatigue?

His spat is also going to drive him mentally. The former PSV man would like to put in a good performance in Germany and use it as a shop window to fetch himself a better contract together with a transfer to another top European club. After all, it seems a matter of when and to who will he be sold to rather than if he would be sold. Moreover, he would also like to show his boss what he would be missing if he gets sold.

The issue of making up for lost time would also be weighing heavily on his mind. In 1998, he was still under the shadow of Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Kluivert, whereas in 2002, while in the form of his life, The Netherlands failed to qualify as Ireland beat them to finish 2nd behind Portugal.

Making up for lost time would also be on other candidates too such as Shevchenko and Luca Toni, but Van Nistelrooy has the advantage of a more talented attacking minded team. The Dutchman would be feeding off top quality passes from pass masters such as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael Van der Vaart. With wing wizard Arjen Robben a constant threat on the wing as he has the ability to break past an opponent with his dribbles and skills, he may draw defenders out of position giving Van Nistelrooy much needed extra space. Or he could just whip crosses into the box for him to pounce on.

In the Dutch formation, Van Nistelrooy is deployed as a lone striker and target man. This is obviously to his advantage as all the passes would be to him only. All the balls in the box would be his without needing to share them. This increases his goal scoring opportunities which would increase his chance on taking home the Golden boot. Others such as Ronaldo and Henry do not have this luxury as they have to share the passes with Adriano and Trezeguet respectively, both world class strikers.

He is widely regarded as one of the most prolific striker of his generation. With outstanding finishing ability, excellent reflexes, and superb agility and balance for his height (1.88 m), Van Nistelrooy is definitely a handful for any defence in Germany.