Thomas Muller might not be the biggest star for Germany or for his club Bayern Munich but he is becoming something akin to irreplaceable for both of them. In all great sides there is the one man who silently does his work while the stars around him garner most of the plaudits. The Chicago Bulls had Scottie Pippen playing this kind of a role while all the attention fell on His Airness, Michael Jordan. In bicycle racing there was George Hincapie who was the lieutenant in all of Lance Armstrongai??i??s now infamous seven Tour De France victories. It is said that Hincapie could have won a few titles himself if he were the lead man but he was content playing the role of a domestique. In cricket too there was Rahul Dravid who went about his business quietly and was never one for the limelight. Thomas Muller too is of the same ilk as he has never quite been the […]

Manchester City Ai??v Manchester United Etihad Stadium, Manchester Sunday, 1st November 2014; 1330 GMT ***** The first instalment of the Manchester derby takes place at The Etihad on Sunday and it is sure to be a keenly contested affair with both sides yet to get their season beyond the 3rd gear. Manchester City have stuttered off late and there is the familiar arrogant look amongst their players. Not the kind of arrogant which sees you brush aside opponents but the kind where you show up in games and just expect to win them. They were plagued by a similar problem when defending their title in 2012-13 and it remains to be seen whether Manuel Pellegrini can force his players out of their current state of reverie. On the other hand, Manchester United have made their worst start to a Premier League season collecting just 13 points from a possible 27. They have been plagued by defensive frailties all season with […]

Pep Guardiola was hired as the trainer of Bayern Munich last summer to fulfill one single purpose ai??i?? to make the German giants the team to beat both domestically & in Europe. While the former is being achieved there is a long way to go if the latter target is to be made a reality. For most managers winning the domestic double in their first season at a club would amount to unqualified success. Add to that a couple of other trophies and the manager would be hailed as a miracle worker & would be talked about as a legend of the club. Pep Guardiola though is not your average run of the mill manager and Bayern Munich FC is not a normal club. The former Barcelona legend was hired by Bayern after the most successful season in their history when former trainer Jupp Heynckes led the club to an unprecedented treble. The expectation for Guardiola was therefore to not […]

The idea of Manchester United playing mid week friendlies abroad in the absence of European competition this season has resulted in a huge debate amongst the various people connected with the football club. Manchester United have never been afraid to chart out their own path even if it means ruffling a few feathers along the way. One of the most famous instances highlighting this fact is from the summer of 1956 when The Red Devils became the first English team to compete in the European Cup. The English FA were against United entering the competition and had stopped Chelsea from competing a season earlier. Their rationale was that the European Cup would take away some of the sheen from the domestic league and would undermine its integrity. But United & Sir Matt Busby did not budge and took part in the competition and since then the club have had a storied relationship with the European Cup. Fast forward 43 years […]

Uruguayai??i??s recent friendlies have shown that there is hope for this tiny nation even after star players such as Diego Forlan & Diego Lugano finally call it a day. It is a great source of amazement to many that a country the size of Uruguay with a little over 3 million people manages to often punch above its weight in competitions such as the World Cup & the Copa America. They have won the former two times which is the same number that the much more fancied Argentines have won & as far as the Copa America is concerned, La Celeste are out on their own with 15 titles to their name. The majority of their success though came in the first half of the 20th century & since then they have developed a habit of hitting occasional peaks followed by long periods of disappointing performances. This point brings us to the present & a very important period for La […]

It is hard not to feel a little sympathy for David Moyes whose managerial career has come to a grinding halt following his sacking as Manchester United manager at the end of last season. David Moyes is not big enough for Manchester United. At best he is a manager who can manage a mid table club and once in a while help them punch above their weight. Also, he does not have the personality to manage a dressing room full of over inflated egos and multi million dollar contract holders. These are some of the comments which were very common when discussing the Scot & Manchester United last season. It is no secret that Moyes failed miserably as Manchester United boss last season. He had taken a club which won the Premier League in 2012-13 by a mile to a level where a come from behind victory over Olympiakos was celebrated as if the Real Madrid of Di Stefano, Puskas, […]