La Decima – now?

12 years, myriad coaches and hundreds of millions of £’s worth of Galactico talent later, the fans of #RealMadrid finally have their most sought after possession, #LaDecima or the 10th European Cup, making them the most successful team in Europe, by far. But for 93 minutes today, it looked like a plucky, smart, hardworking and well-knit bunch, brilliant #DiegoSimeone has put together this season, would deny them of their wet dream as they led 1-0 into added time. Once Real equalized thanks to a #Ramos header, the deflated look on the #Atleti men meant there would be just one winner from that point forward and goals from the £86 million man #GarethBale (how good a signing is he looking like now?) #Marcelo and a little gift to #CR7 (a simple penalty for him to finally score given that he had left his scoring boots at home it seemed) meant that post extra time, Real had won the #ChampionsLeague 4-1 against their cross-town rivals.

In his first season as coach, #CarloAncelotti has delivered the #CopaDelRey and the #Decima. He did what #Mourinho couldn’t do in 3 years at Real. There is a #SpecialOne indeed, he just happens to be Carlo!

Read More

The new new Chosen One?

What has been the worst kept secret in the last 3 weeks is now finally official: #LouisVanGaal will be the next #ManchesterUnited Manager and #RyanGiggs has officially announced his retirement at 40 to become his sidekick. Everyone who cared, one way or the other, knew this would be the new United dream team, so to speak. So what does it mean for this über-club that had it’s most disastrous year under the tutelage of the oh-so-out-of-his-depth #DavidMoyes?

1. #LVG will attract the kind of talent that Moyes couldn’t and he will spend the £150-200 million that the Board has made available to rebuild the team.

2. His ego is as big as #SAF and no player will get away with their tantrums. You listening Mr. #WayneRooney? I wouldn’t be surprised if a big money exit for Rooney is on the anvil.

3. Based on his spells at #BayernMunich and #Barcelona, one thing is clear – he will bring success right away but will last 2 seasons at most, before he creates enemies at the top. Everyone concerned knows this and the #RyanGiggs appointment as Assistant coach is well planned. He’ll help keep the dressing room and will take over the top job once stability comes the way of the club and the experience of working with a guy with the calibre of an LVG.

4. #RobinVanPersie will take over as Captain of United and will probably have a couple of excellent seasons under LVG.

5. #Young #Cleverley #Anderson #Nani #Fletcher #Chicarito and possibly #Smalling have probably played their last game in a United shirt, while #Ferdinand #Evra and #Vidic are all out already it would seem.

6. With no European football next season, expect United to mount a title challenge again and at the very least, make the top 4.

Read More

The best team in the EPL win the title!

They’ve managed this topsy-turvy title race absolutely brilliantly and are now, deservedly Champions of the #EnglishPremierLeague for the 2nd time in 3 years – congratulations to #ManchesterCity and their new Manager, #ManuelPellegrini!

#Liverpool must be deeply disappointed after throwing away a golden chance at winning their first #EPL title. Next year will be even harder as City get stronger, #Chelsea will buy a real striker and #ManchesterUnited will rebuild under #VanGaal. And the bids from the likes of #RealMadrid for #LuisSuarez will start in earnest next week.

#Chelsea and #JoseMourinho’s season has been a disappointment in reality – trophy-less, laced with dull football and full of silly, sarcastic and whiny post-match conferences. Any other Manager in this situation and Roman would have had his head by this afternoon!

#ManchesterUnited ended their season in the same tepid manner that characterized the disastrous #DavidMoyes (9-month) era that took the 2013 Champions to utter 7th-place mediocrity. This will be the defining summer of the last 20 years for this giant club.

#Arsenal and #Everton finished on a relative high with wins to cement their 4th and 5th spots, while #Spurs won that last #Europa spot, which nobody really wanted, it would seem.


Read More

Arrivederci Capitano Favoloso!

For 19 years he’s had a loyal, distinguished, trophy-laden, respectful, respected and brilliant career at #InterMilan. Today, #JavierZanetti played his last home game for the #Nerazzurri and was given the rousing, emotional and heartfelt farewell by the people he loved (and in turn loved him back) that he deserved.

There will be few like you, Javier. Take a bow.

Read More

One hand on the title and the miracle of Gus!

In his first season at #ManchesterCity, #ManuelPellegrini now has one hand on the #EPL title after a commanding 4-0 thrashing of #AstonVilla after 2 #EdinDzeko and 2 fabulous #YayaToure goals (20 goals for him this season!)  Make no mistake, this is a team that will compete for the title for years!

#GusPoyet in the meantime has just engineered the most incredible escape from what looked like guaranteed relegation for #Sunderland after their 2-0 win over fellow-strugglers #WestBrom thus relegating #NorwichCity. The Black Cats absolutely deserved to stay in the EPL and they’ve done superbly to keep themselves up.

In the #LaLiga, an 87th minute #Valladolid equalizer leaves #RealMadrid taking just one point from their game-in-hand after their 1-1 draw and leaving #AtleticoMadrid with a 3 point advantage at the top going into the last 2 games!

Read More

A star leaves ; a star is born?

The last home game for #ManchesterUnited (a 3-1 win over #HullCity) was significant for many reasons; It was #NemanjaVidic last game for United after a long and super successful 8-year career as one of the best defenders in the world. It was likely #RyanGiggs last home game as a United player (and certainly his last home game as care-taker coach). But it was also the dream debut for one young teenage striker named #James Wilson, who scored 2 goals in the absence of #WayneRooney and the stellar midfield debut for young #Tom Lawrence all knit together by a man-of-the-match performance by the other youngster #AdnanJanuzaj that made this last game at #OldTrafford significant.

An absolutely rubbish season for United is now almost over and there will be a serious clear-out of the team. The likes of #Nani #Young #Cleverley #Vidic #Evra #Ferdinand #Kagawa #Giggs #Chicarito and possibly #Welbeck have all likely played their last game at Old Trafford. With #VanGaal rumored to take over next season, the fans would be lucky to see (if rumors can be converted to transfers) the likes of #Reus #Carvalho #Kroos #Müller #Shaw and the likes plying their trade under the experienced dutchman. Still this season will go down as the worst that modern United have ever had.

Read More

One guy in tears but Pulis must be Manager of the year!

11 minutes of mayhem at #CrystalPalace and #Liverpool’s title hopes might have well been shredded to bits as #TonyPulis and his incredible act at Palace (he should now be Manager of the Year, without doubt) brought them from 0-3 down to draw 3-3 against the Reds, leaving them just 1-point ahead of @ManchesterCity, albeit with one less game left to play. Unless there is another massive shocker in this incredible #EPL season, City will win their 2nd title in 3 seasons.

Many questions have to be asked about #Rodgers decisions in the last 20 minutes. At 3-0 up, was taking the 3 points and putting the pressure on City not more important than trying to chase down City’s 8 goal goal-difference? To the neutral, Rodger’s approach is fantastic to watch. In this case though, it’s likely cost them the title. And next year, they’ll have a Costa-driven #Chelsea, a stronger City and a #VanGaal and £200 million-worth-of-transfers-powered #ManchesterUnited. This was their chance and it looks like they’ve blown it.
Elsewhere in the #SerieA, #ACMilan broke #Inter hearts as they won the #MilanDerby 1-0 and #Roma’s 4-1 shock defeat hands a 3rd consecutive #Scudetto to #Juventus to make up for their heart-breaking defeat to #Benfica in the #Europa semi-final.

Read More

Champions elect?

In what has been arguably the most topsy-turvy title race in the #EPL in a while, #ManchesterCity have one hand on the title as they come from 1-0 behind (to a sizzling #RossBarkley goal) to beat #Everton 3-2 away at #GoodisonPark. With 2 games left to play at home, City would be expected to win their 2nd title in 3 years and snatch #Liverpool’s dream of finally winning the league. Over at #OldTrafford, it was business as usual (for this startling year) as a poor, listless and toothless #ManchesterUnited lost for the 7th time at home to a battling and deserving #Sunderland, who have staged a miraculous come back from certain relegation to standing a really good chance at staying up. With #Spurs losing 2-0 to #WestHamUnited, it almost seems like both United and Tottenham are trying desperately to avoid playing in the #Europa!

#Barcelona have all but ended their season trophy-less after a 2-2 draw at home to #Getafe will likely leave them in 3rd place at the end of the season, leaving the 2 madrid teams to battle it out for both the #ChampionsLeague and the #LaLiga!

Over in Italy, #Napoli get their first silverware under #Benitez as they beat a battling #Fiorentina 3-1 to win the #CoppaItalia.

Read More