Posts Tagged Sir Alex

Ahead of the Champions League Draw

So who do you reckon will face whoever in the UEFA Champions League group stage, with the hour for the draws drawing ever so close now.

Pot One has last year’s finalists Inter Milan and Bayern Munich along with English trio Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, Spanish champions Barcelona, AC Milan and Olympique Lyon that I feel will make quite an impact again this coming season following their capture of talented midfielder Yoann Gourcuff from Bordeaux.

Pot Two is highlighted by Real Madrid; no thanks to losing out in the first knock round to Lyon last season, the sixth straight time los Merengues have bade bye to the competition so early, AS Roma, Werder Bremen and Olympique Marseille. A lot of eyes will be on Tottenham Hotspur in Pot Three that also has Scottish champions Rangers and Ajax Amsterdam while Pot Four has got among others, FC Copenhagen, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Auxerre, Spartak Moscow and MSK Zilina (no offence, who?).

Also watch out for the likes of Portugal’s Sporting Braga in Pot Three after knocking out Sevilla in the final qualifying round as well as a certain Bursaspor from Turkey…whatever happened to Fernabahçe and the likes?

My guts tell me Real Madrid would probably get their nemesis Lyon and I’m counting on Raul making a return to the Bernabeu as well in Schalke colours. The Red Devils could also draw Rangers, just to play up the Scot link with Sir Alex and Tottenham should get ready for one of Barcelona, Inter Milan or AC Milan, I’d prefer Barça!

But hey, it’s just my guts! The real draw will be known from 17:00 BST and the group stage will kick off from September 14 and 15…now the season’s completely started!

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Premier League – 3pronged title race

With 5 games to play in d Premier League,I’m more than elated to c this season’s title race involves 3 of d traditional ‘Big 4’.Surprisingly though,Arsenal’s continued to defy critics by clawing back in2 d title race after seemingly losing grip on d chase of a first league shout since ’04.

Chelsea lead & hold quite a healthy advantage on goal difference but my gut feeling says d Blues won’t laugh last regards d title.I say this not becos I’m a Gunner but simply due to d Blues ‘eraticness’ over d course of d season coupled with d fact they went out of d Champions League earlier than usual.

Yes,I feel playing in2 d later stages of d Champions League helps Chelsea be more of a threat/closest to their potential (depends on ur view) in d league but as it is now,d fight really isn’t in them.Rather,it’s more of a gotta-win-on-d-day attitude…an attitude that tends to fail against unlikely opponents ala Hull, Everton, Fulham & Wigan.Looking through Chelsea’s fixture list,I wouldn’t be celebrating d crucial win over Manchester United…Tottenham’s very after 4th place & Liverpool’s on a sort of ascendency coupled with d games coming away from d Bridge.

Come in United.It’s wise to stick to a winning team for obvious reasons,but when d nucleus of that is one factor…d obvious danger is coping in d absence of d ‘joker’.Now that Wayne Rooney’s out,United’ll find it pretty difficult on d home stretch of both fronts.Bayern is capable of dissipating United’s resolve come Wednesday with Robben back in their fold & d Red Devils haven’t exactly been immune to uncharacteristic losses in d league this season.

Not to say Berbatov’s below standard,he’s world class!Only that,he’s a world class ball controller with few goals in him.If he were used as a support striker that he truly is,United probably won’t be in this fix of having to play a Macheda on point…it’s Arsenal that specialises in handing teenagers d big roles in d title run-in,Sir Alex’s got it gravely wrong here.

And speaking of teenagers,Arsenal’s have sort of passed d age of teen & now in d early 20s,r more mentally capable of handling their potentials to physical effect on d pitch ala Bendtner & Walcott.

Bendtner has turned cornerstone & talismatic van Persie’s injury lay-off has been a blessing d disguise for d Dane.Walcott on his part has done his World Cup chances with England a world of good with his play of late.

Reality check though: captain Cesc’s out for d season,van Persie may not be d smoking gun just right after returning from his ‘break’,Arshavin’s out till month’s end.It leaves d bunch of Nasri,Diaby,Eduardo,Clichy & Vermaelen along with d two previously mentioned with d responsibility of raising their games to help Arsenal quell d demons & win a title (that isn’t sponsored by ‘Fly Emirates’) as well as ‘justify’ a ‘visionnaire’ Arsène Wenger.

In conclusion,d pressure will most be on Chelsea to maintain d lead,win d title & deny United d brag of a 4th consecutive triumph,a triumph that is source of pressure on United.For Arsenal,it’s all about ending that title drought & this is d best opportunity for d Gunners to silence their critics.Manchester United is my 1st pick for d title though I’m more for a surprise surge @ d league title from Arsenal.Chelsea can make do with d FA Cup this season.

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