When Brazil were dismantled by Germany last year at the World Cup there was a feeling that this was the nadir & things would only get better. But last night after another insipid performance against a work man like Paraguayan side it seemed that the Selecao had sunk to even greater depths. To get beaten by a world class German side who played football from heaven for half an hour is one thing but to just sit back and allow an average Paraguay side to dump you out at the quarter final stage is simply unforgivable. Here are 3 thoughts from the game which ended with Paraguay setting up a semi final with Argentina on Tuesday. This is not Jogo Bonito . When one thinks of Brazil thoughts wander to beautiful girls, the party atmosphere on the beaches & most of all football. It is the land which has given us Pele, Garrincha, Socrates, Ronaldo, et al. and goals such […]

Brazil v Venezuela Estadio Monumental David Arellano, Santiago Sunday, 21st June, 2015, 21:30 GMT   Brazil & Venezuela will kick off in the final group match of the 2015 Copa America knowing fully well the permutations & combinations that will land them a place in the knock out stages. The match between Peru & Colombia will finish before this match starts & if the former are involved in a draw then one could see the Brazilians & Venezuelans play for a stalemate as well. However, with all teams currently tied at 3 points a piece with the same goal difference it is goals scored which could be the defining criteria in this group. This & the fact that for the 3rd placed team a potential tie with the mighty Argentina will be on the cards. If both the matches finish goalless then Brazil & Peru would qualify as the top 2 sides from the group with Venezuela edging out Colombia […]

Louis Van Gaal may have achieved the targets set by the Glazers & the Manchester United last summer but for a club used to so much success under Sir Alex Ferguson can a 4th placed finish be classified as success? . Manchester United have been the most successful European club north of the English channel in the last two decades. This period has coincided with 13 Premier League titles, 2 European Cups and countless other cup successes. Leading the Red Devils to these heights was a Scotsman for whom future successes held much more importance than any present achievement. But post the retirement of the Scotsman the Red Devils finished a lowly 7th under the stewardship of David Moyes. This finish not only ensured that Manchester United missed qualification for the Champions League but also cost Moyes his job. Thus for new manager Louis Van Gaal the benchmark was set a lot lower then what might have been the case […]

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City White Hart Lane, London 3rd May, 2015; 15:00 GMT ***** When the fixture list was drawn up earlier this season Manchester City fans would have been dreaming about how crucial this match would be in deciding the outcome of the Premier League title. On the other hand, Tottenham fans would perhaps be thinking that if their team won against their more fancied rivals then a top 4 finish might be on the cards. But in reality the situation has turned out to be quite different for both teams as neither are City challenging for the title nor are Tottenham fighting for a top 4 place. Instead both of these teams come into this fixture to build some form which could perhaps be carried over to next season. For City their feeble title challenge might also be mathematically over by the time they take the field in White Hart Lane with Champions elect Chelsea at home […]

When the draw for the Champions League semi-finals was made last Friday it became pretty obvious to all concerned that to complete a second treble in three years Bayern Munich would have to overcome not just one but potentially two Spanish heavyweights. If you are a manager of one of the three European uberclubs namely Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich then just romping to the league title or the domestic cup does not suffice. The Presidents, Directors and the fans are satisfied only if you win the whole lot, such is the pressure that faces the incumbent manager in these institutions. While a manager of the aforementioned Spanish clubs would have to deal with additional politics commonplace in Madrid and Catalonia he does have the slight consolation in the fact that there is another superclub competing in the same league. But with Bayern in the current scenario there are no excuses, one just has to win on all fronts. […]

Analysis: Efficient Manchester United See Off Plucky Aston Villa

A fifth consecutive win for Louis Van Gaala s side coupled with Liverpoola s day of misery in London has all but assured Manchester United a place in next yeara s Champions League. This win has also raised hopes of The Red Devils finishing above their neighbours for the first time in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era. Their opponents for the day a Aston Villa fought gamely and were always in the game till Ander Herreraa s injury time goal. But you always felt that United were playing in 2nd gear and could up the tempo a few notches should the situation demand. Win a throwback to the Sir Alex era During the final few years of the legendary Scotsmana s reign Manchester United were known to be efficient more than thrilling and almost always got the job done. Infact a lot of their title challengers played the more fluent football but it was always the Red Devils who […]

As Guus Hiddink draws closer to the end of his managerial career he must sacrifice the dream of a grand farewell for the greater good of Dutch football. There have been 2 great national football teams in the last 20 years or so – the French team of Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry & Patrick Vieira and the Spanish team of Xavi, Andres Iniesta & Iker Casillas. These two teams were successful for a period of 5 years, give or take and in that period won everything there was to win as far as international honours were concerned. But both of these teams had very inglorious endings, something which their legendary players did not deserve to go through. While the French were dumped out of the 2002 World Cup the Spanish were undone in this summerai??i??s showpiece. The reasons for this were twofold. Firstly, it is no big secret that the best sides have one thing in common ai??i?? hunger & […]