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Sunday, January 29, 2012

EURO 2012 PREVIEW - UKRAINE



EUROS HISTORY – 2012 first appearance
ROUTE TO QUALIFICATION – Qualified as semi hosts
FIXTURES –
11 June 2012         Olympic Stadium, Kiev           Sweden
15 June 2012         Donbass Arena, Donetsk        France
19 June 2012         Donbass Arena, Donetsk        England
Manager – Oleh Blokhin
Captain – Andriy Shevchenko
           Antoniy Tomyschuk

Having never played in the euro championships, Ukraine have a date with destiny when they will feature for the first time in the 2012 edition on home soil led by a man who took them to the FIFA 06 quarter finals.

Go search through the internet and the things that strike are that there is not much of an illustrious history associated with this nation. Part of the illustrious Soviet Union until 1991, Ukraine played their first competitive match against Hungary on April 12 1992.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Juventus: Glory days back in Turin?


Nobody foresaw this one. Even Antonio Conte himself admitted "If somebody told me at the beginning that Juve will be top of the league by Christmas, i would have told him he's crazy". Everybody knows the Winter Champions tag doesn't mean anything, but it's the identity with which Juventus are playing now makes them a favorite bet to win the title. And the credit has to go to this man, Conte. Hardly has a team built as quickly as this Juve, been successful so early. New stadium, new players bought in for a new manager, the project has taken off lightning fast. It feels even more sweet just at the thought Juventus didn't invest heavily on any single player unlike the mad Sheikhs who are very much on the verge of ruining football. The Old Lady remains the only team unbeaten among the top four leagues of Europe.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Polish Eagles Euro Quest : Is glory awaiting the Red and White?

With the vocal backing of their own supporters driving them on,  Poland will hope  to make a big impression on home soil in just their second UEFA European Championship tournament.

2008 was the 1st time Poland played in an European Championship despite having ended up as semi finalist at the FIFA world cup in 1974 and 1982. However the championship didn't turn out the way it was expected for Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker's side as they exited after the group stage with only a point scored over then hosts Austria. Failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup set tone for a Polish coach to take over and certainly it had to be Franciszek Smuda for whom the job was waiting for no less than 15 years. However it is all a far cry from their heyday of the 1970's and early 1980's. Yet with a squad including many players not even born then and some recent positive friendly results combined with home comforts could bring the best out of an average Polish side.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Football Manager Stardom To Serie A Mediocrity

Born to Teresa and António Veloso in 1986, Miguel Veloso was thrust in to the world with a fair deal of expectation from his family. His father, António, made in excess of four hundred appearances for Portugese giants S.L.Benfica and earned 40 caps for the Selecção. Hoping to emulate his father, Miguel started his career at Benfica, only to be rejected by the club for being overweight. This did not stop the teenager from fulfilling his dreams of becoming a footballer, and he moved to Sporting CP at the age of 14. He was promoted to the main team in the 2004-05 season, but was loaned to Second Division club Olivais Moscavide. He had an impressive outing in the Second Division, helping Moscavide win the league, and returned to Sporting the following year.

His impressive performances for Olivais Moscavide paid off fairly quickly. He earned 22 league appearances for Sporting in the 2006-07 season. Under then manager Paulo Bento, Veloso blossomed as a defensive player, alongside other future prospects like João Moutinho, Nani and Yannick Djalo. Veloso went on to win the SJPF Young Player of the Month award in April 2007. Veloso also had an impressive Champions League that year, making 5 appearances for The Lions, including a memorable performance against Internazionale in the group stage.

Veloso confirmed his quality against the likes of Figo and Vieira 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

DEFENSIVE CRISIS??


DISGUSTING!!!! The pathetic and dispirited performance of Manchester United at St.James Park was downright embarrassing. Spineless, toothless could be some of the words that you can use to describe the abject display of last night.

Quite frankly how Demba Ba was allowed all the pleasure in the world to win those headers time and time again is something I will never be able to fathom.Ba was simply magnificent. He dropped deep to win headers and won them effortlessly, Rio Ferdinand and all his experience came to a naught as he could not even make his presence felt on the pitch physically. The sight of him first trying to go with Ba when he dropped deep and then trying to trod back after he had won the ball and brought his teammates into play will give him nightmares; His positional discipline can be questioned; his failure to shore up the defense and marshal the younger lads was another low point in an abject performance.