Top 5 | Facts about Krishanu Deu

Nicknamed the Indian Diego Maradona, Krishanu was at the centre of a dramatic saga between Mohun Bagan AC & Kingfisher East Bengal FC. These are 5 things you need to know about #IndianFootball legend Krishanu Dey! ⚽️💪

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Bengaluru FC: Rise of a Blue Power!

This was one of the best trips I’ve ever made. Glad to have finally put this video out.

Bengaluru FC have only been around for 3 years, but their fans are already considered one of the best in I-League. We went down to Bangalore for the AFC Cup semis to find out and came back having witnessed the greatest night in #IndianFootball history.

Thank you West Block Blues – Bengaluru FC for the great hospitality. You guys are special!

Louis van Gaal: The Right One?

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After two and a half decades of unprecedented dominance, Manchester United find themselves at the receiving end of the brutality they were once known for inflicting. Having been paralyzed by pitiful players, atrocious administration and a mediocre management, they stand broken, bereft of European football after 19 years.

Realizing the extent of problems they face, the club decided to bring in a sizeable appointment that lives up to the challenge. Louis van Gaal was recently announced as the next Manchester United manager. 27 days after David Moyes’ sacking, the flamboyant Dutchman was elected unanimously to take charge of the ‘world’s biggest club’.

Having managed clubs like FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he presented the 20-time English champions with a CV they couldn’t resist. But is the CV all that Louis van Gaal brings to the table? Nope, there’s more to him.

Van Gaal’s appointment does not only bring the much clichéd ‘top level experience’. His appointment gives United a personality that can help them witness an overhaul in terms of squad and style of play that they have been missing for so long.

What makes him a fitting piece in United’s jigsaw is his affinity towards young players. The Dutchman has been renowned across the world for the players he has developed in his managerial tenures. To name a few; Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp, Edwin van der Sar, David Alaba, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller leaped onto the world stage under his management. Continue reading

David Moyes – Curtains or Cocktails?

David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson (L to R) – Forever under the shadows?
Walking under the shadows of the greatest is not the easiest thing to do. And if you don’t believe me, David Moyes must have a lot to say to you. 26 years, just under 40 trophies and one richly deserved knighthood, when you think of Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s the stats that do the talking.

The longevity of his tenure is simply jaw-dropping but when you spice up the platter with the silverware he stacked up during the time, things get too hot to handle. Winning for him looked like a habit, a habit that spoiled every Man United fan that has ever been since 1990.

For a quarter of a century, Sir Alex Ferguson was the boss of all things. Be it the witty managerial mind-games or the art of getting his side to score late goals, no matter what he took up, he made sure he won. For the majority of United faithful, he was Manchester United. So when the master decided to call it a day, everybody got their prediction hats out.

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Top 5 Most Memorable Moments Of 2013

2013 was yet another scintillating, emotion-soaked year for football and its fans in general. As we enter this New Year, let’s revisit the most memorable moments of the beautiful game, that we will cherish for years to come.  Grab your tissues!

5. The Gareth Bale transfer –

 bale

When you combine Daniel Levy’s frugal negotiating powers with Fiorentino Perez’s willingness to splash the cash, you know what you will get.

When Gareth Bale expressed his desire to join the Spanish giants Real Madrid in the summer of 2013, we knew what we had on our hands; another player-club dogfight. Tottenham Hotspurs were not willing to let go of their phenomenal Welshman whereas the latter was pulling every string possible to build his bridge to Madrid.

The result was what a lot of people expected; Bale was Madrid-bound, but it was the price that surprised the majority. Perez broke the transfer record he once set while signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United. The fee was $135 million and it made the former Southampton left-back the most expensive football player in the world.

Having won the PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year awards last season, Gareth Bale was always destined to leave and the Premier League was always destined to witness it’s yet another superstar  leave for the Galacticos.
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Top 5 players for Barcelona in 2013

5. Francesc Fabregas –

Perhaps the most versatile player on the planet along with Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas has already made 400 appearances for club and country at the age of 26.

The former Arsenal captain started his career with the Catalan giants Barcelona. He was another one of those many extremely prodigious La Masia products, who left the club early to make a name for themselves. At Arsenal, he propelled onto the world stage and tempted his boyhood club to bring him back at Camp Nou.

What sets Fabregas a cut above the rest is his range and flexibility. He plays in the centre of midfield in the absence of Xavi; he plays on the left wing all the time without a hitch and also does a fine job filling Lionel Messi boots upfront when he is absent. The fact that he has scored 8 goals already this season despite playing in midfield attributes his credentials well.

He might be slightly underrated among the fans, but his teammates know exactly what he is capable of. Two desperate failed bids from a club as big as English champions Manchester United duly sum up his reputation in the game. Continue reading

Top 5 players for Real Madrid in 2013

They might have not won anything last season as a team, but individually, they rack up among the best in the world. These are the top 5 players who stood out for Real Madrid in 2013.

5. Mesut Ozil –

He may not be a Real Madrid player anymore, but to ignore all he has done for them till September will be no less than debauchery. Ozil joined Jose Mourinho’s Galacticos in 2010 after playing an amazing World Cup in South Africa. His quick feet, amazing vision and ability to score prompted his national team coach Joachim Low to call him Germany’s Messi.

For three seasons in a row, he has been topping the assist charts for Real Madrid. 2012/13 season saw him assisting 29 goals for the Spanish giants. “Technically perfect”, as Ruud Gullit called him, Ozil was among Jose Mourinho’s favourite players and no wonder one of his most played.

Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival and team selection seemed to unsettle the German international. Luka Modric and Isco Alcaron were getting the nods ahead of him more often than not. The deadline day of the transfer window saw him move to Premier League side Arsenal, who paid £42.5 million for his services.

After a few good games, his form took a hit as his performances faltered. But despite the poor form, he still leads the Premier League assist charts, which says a lot about his ability.

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Robin van Persie – Player Year In Review

Van Persie

When Eric Cantona arrived at Manchester United in 1992, some people argued that the impact he made in his first season will never be matched. They were not wrong. Cantona’s arrival shuttled United into a completely different galaxy; a galaxy of silverware and stardom.

He was not any ordinary foot-soldier; he was a prima donna phenomenon. He was everything you would want your dream footballer to be like; a tainted genius, a football god.

So naturally when Robin van Persie arrived at M16 two decades later, people did not expect him to better Le King, after all he was their ultimate messiah. The expectations were high for sure, but there was that usual bit of writing-off which happens after the transfer of any marquee player to a big club.

The United faithful were ecstatic though. After a long time they saw a genuine star gracing their grass. Sir Alex Ferguson’s intent was full of purpose. The great Scot saw his Red Devils lose the title on goal-difference to Manchester City the preceding season, leaving a wound that demanded immediate healing. And with the ‘noisy neighbours’ getting louder in the transfer market with their lavish spending, the 72-year-old knew he had to pull another rabbit off his hat.
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Marouane Fellaini – Devour Before The Dawn?

marouane-fellaini

Frogs and humans have one thing in common; they both adjust to the situation very well. The former can withstand the temperature of boiling water, but when it starts feeling uncomfortable, it is unable to escape and eventually dies. The moral? Escape before you run out of strength.

Back in 2009 when Manchester United fell prey to a formidable Barcelona side in the UEFA Champions League final, questions were asked about their mushy midfield. 4 years on, those questions still lay on the table, unanswered.

Although they still managed to win two Premier League titles since, the quality of the squad was a very compelling reason for some to raise a few eyebrows. Sir Alex Ferguson was known to get the best out of whatever he had in-hands, but to expect his successor to do the same was perhaps his biggest mistake.

When David Moyes arrived at Old Trafford to succeed his fellow Scot, the expectations of the fans were unchanged; they wanted a marquee signing to remedy their much-paralyzed midfield. The former Everton and Preston North End boss was aware of the same and hence duly decided to go shopping.

The media started the usual speculation. The prime targets were two academy products of the same Barcelona side that embarrassed them a few years ago; Thiago Alcántara and Cesc Fabregas. And when David Moyes went on to confirm their interest in the latter; the standards were automatically set high. The fans were expecting big names to grace the grass of the Theatre of Dreams.
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5 things that indicate Manchester United will finish in the top 4

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From an intangible top of the league position to miserable mid-table mediocrity, Manchester United have had the most unusual season this year. Not only do they find themselves playing under a new management after 26 years, but also their position in the league table is laughably low for the rivals.

Sitting pretty (not) in the 8th spot, the champions are at the receiving end of the brutality they were once known for. With media and the fans writing them off already, there’s still a lot in the red camp to cheer about. No? Well, here are the top five reasons why Manchester United will finish in the top 4 this season.

The Swagger –

There was a very noticable pinch of fearfulness in United’s style of play when they started off their season. The players seemed to lack confidence while going forward. The much cliched ‘United Way’ of playing was missing. They were too defensive, and often too submissive, on the pitch, which was reflected horridly in their results. But thanks to Moyes’ first hairdryer treatment, they haven’t looked the same since.
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Manchester United – Life without Robin van Persie

Every time you go on to revisit Manchester United’s last season, the figure ’20’ will continually resonate in your head. Before you conclude that there’s something abnormal with you, know that it’s not just you.

After the underwhelming season of 2011, big things were destined to happen at Old Trafford. The then 19-time champions were not exactly used to coming out of a season bereft of silverware, so when the transfer window arrived, the usual speculation started off. With the Red Devils’ squad looking meek, Sir Alex Ferguson was looking to beef it up with some steak.

To enhance the odds of winning their 20th league title, they bought someone who would not only add that steak, but also become the facade of the campaign by wearing number 20. That someone turned out to be Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.

The move was plain surreal for the United fans. They bought a man who was arguably the Premier League’s best striker at a price that complimented the genius of Sir Alex – $24 million. One-third of what Chelsea spent on Eden Hazard, 3 million less than what David Moyes spent on Marouanne Fellaini a season later.
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Manchester United – The Devour Of The Devils?

The results are stacking up, the critics are racking up. Manchester United’s ‘Theatre of Dreams’ just witnessed a bitter nightmare in the making. A nightmare that haunts the brave and lambastes the frail. The ever-so-proud United faithful are not just fazed, but also dazed, by the unpredictabiltiy of times. After two and a half decades of unimaginable ruthlessness, fate has finally lend them a cold shoulder.

If making the worst start to a Premier League season ever was not enough, add to it yet more lowly milestones. Manchester United have lost two games in a row at Old Trafford after 11 and a half years, which ends Newcastle’s winless run that started 41 years ago at the fortress, that used to be. United find themselves hanging by a thread at the 9th position in the league table. With 15 games played, they have managed to gather only 22 points from a possible figure of 45.

With things not going their way, the fans and the management are bound to wonder what exactly is going wrong. To facillitate with them some insight, here are the 5 reasons that are causing Manchester United look ordinary.

1. Fractious fans:

It was 12th May 2013 when a very emotional Sir Alex Ferguson came up with these words – “Your job now, is to stand by our new manager. Have patience, that’s important.”. 7 months on, these words still resonate in my head. It’s easy to ask the fans to be patient, it’s easy is to hear the man and simply nod the head, but, what’s not easy is to abide by everything he said. Continue reading