WordPress has been very kind enough to send a year end report to me. Thank you, wordpress.com. Now, Corporate Social Negligence was yet another phase in my life just like how “fighting it out” was. I am moving on and there by planning to stop posting on this blog further. I migrated here from my blog on blogspot.com – http://www.tushizap.blogspot.com and is planning to get back there. I have changed the name of the blog on blogspot and has already posted an entry there. From now onwards, you can read me there. C’ya all. Have a great 2012!!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.
I watched around 40 mins of Salgaocar playing Dempo and around 60 odd mins of the East Bengal playing Churchill Bros. While Salgaocar – Dempo was a tame affair, the EB – CB played in Salt Lake, Kolkota was a nice treat.
Nothing noteworthy happened in the Salgaocar – Dempo match. Dempo looked sharper physically and battled it out with Salgaocar.
It is so obvious what a good pitch can do to a football match. The EB- CB match was a en evidence to this. The synthetic pitch in Salt Lake provided a good platform for a good match in Kolkota. Trevor Morgan’s EB looked sizzling with all passes and nice tricks but they simply couldnt find the net. Where as CB had a consistent match in terms of defending. They were opportunistic enough to slot a single goal which won the match.
Finally a few words about the telecast. While i really liked the quality of broadcast with slow motion replays from different angles and a decent commentator to accompany it, the most i enjoyed is the talk show hosted by Joe Morrison, in which Carlton Palmer and John Burridge dishes out wisdom and tactical analysis of the matches. They are simply kick a**. I have always enjoyed their comedy during the UEFA Champions league matches!
Tonight India take on UAE at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in UAE. The first competitive match after Armando Colaco was appointed as the manager of the national team.
Going in on a high after beating Qatar in a friendly, there is a renewed sense of optimism among players and supporters. But as P.K.Banerjee pointed out, the UAE match could be a different ball game all together.
Then again, if we are to beat UAE, this is not the first time around. Jules Alberto who slotted in the solitary goal that won us the match in 2001, reminiscences here, how special that goal will be for him. He goes on to say,
But football on the field is not about rankings and big names. It’s all about who plays better on the day. It was a great team effort which helped us achieve the victory. The midfield pressed well; I.M. (Vijayan) and Bhaichung shouldered extra responsibility — both falling back to help the defence. We played the waiting game to perfection. Coach Sukhwinder Singh had planned everything.
True, it is not all about rankings and reputation. Let us hope, Armando has done his home work thoroughly and sets up a team that could stifle the higher ranked UAE team.
If you wish to extend your support to the Indian football team, the least you can do is to turn on Tenaction+, tonight 9.30pm and add to the TRP ratings, so that more and more national football matches are shown on tele.
Now on to some advertising. If you dint know, the former Argentinian international Ariel Ortega was a transfer target for Dempo sports club and the real reason for India to withdraw from the 1950 football World Cup was not because they were not allowed to play barefoot but no one in India thought it was worthy enough to attend a World Cup, then you ought to subscribe and enjoy, Football News India and follow the same on twitter @ fni
When it comes to international football, i have no confusions regarding where my allegiance stand. I was only six when a Diego shook the footballing world with his skills and won the world cup. From that day onwards, i am through and through Argentina.
So, on Saturday night i was all geared up for the Argentina – Uruguay quarter final. I waited till 2.45 am in the morning and suddenly pushing all my plans to a dark hell hole, the power went off. I waited for some time for the power to return but it did not. Eventually, i thought i will continue the wait on my bed; the next thing i saw was the morning break. In short i missed the match.
The next morning, the first thing i checked was the results. It was not heartening to read that my favorite team had crashed out of the championship. The next wish obviously was that, i wanted Paraguay to rip Brasil apart. I knew it was tough call.
The next day i planned to watch the Brazil – Paraguay match. I felt the need for some rest before the match and hit the bed. Needless to say, i was in to a slumber soon. Then suddenly, i got up in the middle of my sleep to see that the time was 2.30 am. With reluctance, i switched on the TV to see that the match was poised at 0-0 in the extra time.
With Julio Cesar guarding the goal for Brazil, i felt Paraguay had no chance in the penalty shoot out. On to the penalties, Brazil missed a slew of kicks and one was stopped by the Paraguayan goal keeper. When did Brazilians become so bad at penalty kicks?
Anyway, for me, it was a sweet night. For all their swagger and success, i never liked Brazil.
Copa America is not all about Argentina and Brazil. The South American continent as such is a football crazy one. Few aspects that unraveled during the latest Copa America is :
- Stars essentially wont win you anything. If the team is not able to utilize the supreme talent of your players, then it is of no use.
- Uruguay is progressing well under Oscar Tabarez. We all sat up and took notice of the Uruguayan team at the South African World Cup. They seem to be building up on that semi final appearance. Talking of Uruguay, check this brilliant article from Jonathan Wilson in Observer.
- Evo Morales seems to play a lot of football and won a tiff with FIFA regarding La Paz as a playable ground or not. Not much of progress in reality though. Bolivia crashed out after some pathetic displays. Marco Antonio Etcheverry Vargas was one of my favorite footballers once.
- Hugo Chavez is not a football fella. He is more of the baseball type. But that has not stopped Venezuela from performing well. They seem to be on a dream run in this tournament. My favorite player is this Venezuelan team is Maldonado. Whatay name!
More to follow as the championship progress. Now that Argentina has crashed out, i seriously hope Uruguay wins this competition.
Indian U-23 football team’s journey in the Olympic qualifiers has come to an end. The two legs against Qatar got over with the home leg ending in a 1-1 stalemate. The attention now shifts towards the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against UAE in the month of July.
Many experienced heads from Bob Houghton’s team are missing this time around. By selecting a new set of players mainly based on their performances in the recently concluded i-league shows that Colaco is eager to tread a new path. But what lies ahead of him?
Bob’s reign in India football was a remarkable one. He managed to get us to Asian cup after a gap of nearly three decades. On various occasions, players have come out in open and said that he instilled a self belief in them which escaped Indian football team for a long time.
In Asian Cup, the Indian team gave their best shot in the tournament. They played to a plan, maintained a sort of discipline which eluded our national team for ages. Most importantly, they did not play in a damage limitation mode; they played what ever they could.
When it comes to the style of play, the opinions seems to vary. The long ball tactics that Bob brought along is standing as a challenge in front of Colaco. During the 5 years of his tenure, Houghton recommended some of his friends to AIFF and they came at the helm of the youth set up. Desmond Bulpin is one among them and his style is not too different from what Bob espoused.
To an extent, playing Abhsihek Yadav as the target man in Asian Cup worked for Houghton. Then we saw Bulpin’s U-23 team pinging balls to a pint sized Jeje and Sabeeth and we knew there is something fundamentally wrong.
Eight members from the Indian U-23 team will be joining Colaco’s camp to prepare for the world cup qualifiers. They will have to adjust to a new system under Colaco, as his style is more about passing.
The matches against Qatar revealed that our youngsters struggled to keep possession and were not comfortable having the ball with them. They like the speculative hoof to the other half of the field than keeping the ball and passing it around.
Are our players technical gifted to play a passing game is also a question. Much of the current youngsters developed under various English coaches, and you know what the English game is all about.
Colaco will have to embark a journey, a process of unlearning with these youngsters and that will be his main challenge. His selection of Dempo players for the camp would make it easier for the rest to get a grip of his style, but it is surely going to take time.
Transition from one style to another could be arduous and tricky. Though everyone is clamoring for the “Barca style” to be adopted, they are forgetting unlearning could be tougher than learning. The real factor in this transition would be “time”. Hopefully Armando Colaco gets enough time.
It is turning out to be quite a task to get something written here. The last action worthy of mentioning here is the Prodigy concert I attended. I am not much of a Prodigy man, but there is an interesting story about how I got to know prodigy for the first time.
One of my best pals now and I got introduced the first time in college, when he asked me if knew the band prodigy, while scanning the college notice board and looking at the Production Engineering department’s tech fest – Prodigy’s notice put up there. Back then my whole exposure to English or western music were some Backstreet Boys, Boy zone, Boyz2men and some, who was that, ah yes, George Michael and that’s it.
Anyways, in due course of time, I did listen to some of their interesting and usual tracks like the fire starter, smack my bitch up and so on. Getting back to the concert, it was fairly a decent one. I have not attended so many international acts here in Bengaluru other than Iron Maiden. Some how, I did not quite enjoy Maiden and I felt it was not loud enough.
The Prodigy concert was a well organized one, with some decently prized booze and good food selling at the adjacent stalls. Some friends from office and I entered only after Prodigy took stage. So I missed out all those Indian electronica acts that preceded prodigy. I am not too familiar with so many of them but I would have loved to hear few of them.
Prodigy started with a bang, the stage was very nicely set up with a lot of lights which definitely added an extra punch to the whole show. They are an awesome act on the stage – lots of energy and lot of persuasion to get the audience involved. They played some usual numbers like Smack my bitch up, Firestarter and also some tracks from their new album Invaders must die.
My relative ignorance about their other tracks means, I just enjoyed the music without knowing what they were playing but it looks like I quite enjoyed it. They really managed to get some legs shaking even though I felt the crowd was pretty sedate and far too less for a famous electronica act like prodigy. May be there are not so many takers for that genre here.
They played around an hour or a little more than that. Catching up with a fella at the concert in the gym, he told me they played around 17 tracks, which I seriously doubt. Anyways, it was a nice and good concert after a long time. The last time I had been to something like this was for the local act – Avial at the St.Johns hospital. Needless to say, it was pathetic.
There is no definitive conclusion about the concert as I am not much of a prodigy listener but it was an enjoyable outing with some friends. I have some videos which managed to shoot, will try uploading them.
Suddenly, it looks like everyone is throwing their toys out of the pram. The media, supporters and former footballers alike are having a go at the Indian football team now. Our English coach, Bob Houghton found this coming and has tried to side step by making his plans obvious – quit after the Asian Cup.
AIFF in fact did literally set up circus tent, when they planned to pull out 30 established players to prepare for the upcoming Asian cup in Qatar. Little did they know their one and half year dedicated program is not going to earn results. Now, it should be quite clear to them after the thorough drubbing from some premier Asian teams.
Before jumping on to the criticizers’ band wagon, there are some facts that need to pondered upon. First of all, the plan of leasing out established players from clubs to prepare for Asian Cup was not essentially a wonderful idea. There are nations that have implemented such programs, but that involves thorough planning and dedication. As things go, we know how our football federation works.
Selecting 30 players have literally shut out options for other upcoming and better performing players being selected in to this esteemed coterie. This means, some old, experienced and injured players went for conditioning camp in Portugal, and now they are back playing some international friendlies, needless to say losing some of the matches in huge margins.
Talking about friendlies, how many of them have we played now? From the month of October onwards we have played nations like Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Yemen and recently Iraq, UAE and Kuwait. There should not be much of surprise that the team is loosing on bigger margins now. They are definitely tired and that is no surprise with a not so fit a team and some aging legs in the group.
While the idea to group 30 odd players for Asia Cup would have been Houghton’s brain child but the execution part of it has been totally screwed up the federation. Otherwise they would not have arranged so many friendlies, especially with premier teams within such a time frame. It also points out that one and a half year is hardly enough to prepare for a competition of this sort.
So where do we go now? Actually, these results don’t come as a surprise. Other than the odd Nehru Cup win and the AFC challenge Cup, this team hardly has any international experience. All of a sudden they are thrust in to a tizzy world of friendlies and the team is definitely finding it difficult to live up to these situations.
What they now need is a breather. They have to pick themselves up from the drubbings they got from the teams like Kuwait and UAE. The AIFF on the other hand is expecting better performances from the team in the Asian Cup. An official said that the team is going to learn from these defeats and as a part of the continuous improvement they are expecting better results. Mind you, we are grouped with the likes of Bahrain and Australia. Expecting anything better might put day dreaming to shame. So let us not.
If there is something that we can learn from this, it is that one and half year is not enough to build a winning football team. It involves dedication and thorough grooming over a larger period of time.
Criticizing the manager and players, I feel is not the right way to go. You could have differences with Bob and his style. Personally, I am not a big fan of the style of play he espouses. I thoroughly feel disinterested when I see our players pining long balls in to opposition half, where we hardly win a header or win possession.
I also don’t buy in to coaches like Nayeemuddin and his bleating about how a foreign coach gets all that he wants in terms of foreign tours, friendlies and sorts. Bob simply has the authority or knack to work his way through a not so friendly federation who are strapped for cash. If Nayeem could not earn all the facilities and tours he wanted, it was simply because he could not convince them or could not make his way forward with the Association. There is no point in bleating away now.
We should not be expecting miracles in the upcoming Asian Cup, instead if we can focus on the further growth even after the tournament by adding some fresh players to the select 30 and continue, we might earn results in the coming years. We should not be expecting that to happen, after all this was project Asia Cup. In our parlance, that strictly will only be for Asia Cup and nothing more than that. Wait and watch for how many more years will we have to wait for another friendly after our Asia Cup appearance.
Indian team is in Dubai preparing for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011. There recent loss against Iraq in a friendly is a welcome change than it being another sad note in our football. Iraq, after all is the reigning Asian Champions. Losing 2-0 to Iraq is no way bad.
Gone are the days or folklore performances of drubbing other Asian nations. Today we simply fail to match to any kind of teams in Asia. There are some good analysis and afterthoughts appearing on the internet. I really liked this one here. The player analysis over there is quite interesting as it toes along my disjointed perspective about Indian football players. I dont get to watch as much of Indian football, so my opinions could be half baked but now that doesnt seem to be so.
Bob Houghton has implied that he might leave after the Asian Cup. I feel it is quite unnecessary of him to pop up now and talk about his departure plans as we ought to completely concentrate on the preparations even though it might not earn the desired results as we are in a tough qualifying group. Even then the departure talk can take a back seat, he might simply be steering across to put some pressure on the football governing body. With the looks of it, that is the only way to counter such an organization, so it is not very fair to be overtly critical of Bob at this moment.
Lets hope Bob and the team take the positives from the Iraq match and move on. Thinking of underdogs in football, Otto Rehhagel’s Greece in Euro ’04 always comes to mind. It is certainly fanciful of me to expect something of that sort by in India in the Asian Cup but you dont have to pay a penalty for dreaming, so let me!
On another note, the under-23 or the India B team has progressed to the last 16 in the Asian Games. They thrashed Singapore 4-1 enroute to the last 16. Let us wait and watch, what this team can do.
The best part about Asian games and the recently friendlies are there are live streams appearing over the internet. While it was almost impossible to find live streams of Indian football earlier,with this new trend let us hope footy lovers can enjoy their share of Indian football over the internet.
The commonwealth farce is over. Everyone seems to be enthused about the fact that the games went on well after all those initial glitches and media reports. We seemed to have bettered our medals tally and people are already talking about hosting Olympics. I still stand by whatever i wrote earlier about CWG. Check those here and here.
If anything explains our CWG the best, it is this Sainath article – The narcissism of the neurotic
These nefarious elements like Kalmadi and Bhanot will be out soon for an Olympics bid. They are waiting for the CWG dust to settle down and cover all the corruption and malpractices.
On a lighter note enjoy this performance of the secretary general of the organizing committee of the CWG.