Archive for the ‘David Villa’ Category

The first set of group games got off to a flier …. Two draws and two wins for the four Premier League sides participating as well as a draw for holders Inter and wins for Bayern, Barca and Milan.
On Tuesday Glasgow Rangers turned up at Old Trafford with very defensive tactics, for most of the game the only person not in a defensive role was Kenny Miller. The tactics chosen by Walter Smith have brought  criticism from various areas of the media but his team left Manchester with a point from the group favourites as well as extra money for a draw. The game was very difficult for Manchester United who saw Rooney return but failed to break down Rangers and their cause wasn’t helped when Antonio Valencia was carried off with ligament damage and a fractured ankle. In the other game in this group Valencia smashed Bursaspor 4-0, even though they sold their two best players Valencia have got off to a great start to their season.
Spurs got of to an incredible start against Werder Bremen when Pasanen put Bale’s cross into his own net in the 12th minute and then Crouch doubled their lead six minutes later. Spurs looked comfortable but in the 43rd minute Almeida scored with his head after a defensive error, then two minutes after half-time Marin equalized. Having seen their opposition dominate the first half Bremen themselves dominated the second half and I imagine Harry was secretly relieved to have left with a point. Should Spurs beat FC Twente, Werder Bremen and draw with Inter in their home games then Spurs will have an excellent opportunity to progress.
Arsenal were incredible last night as they beat Braga 6-0, Fabregas opened the scoring in the 9th minute with a penalty, before Arshavin and Chamakh scored before half-time. In the second half Arsenal continued to play excellent passing football as they scored another three goals. Fabregas got his second in the 53rd minute  before Vela scored in the 69th and 84th minute. For Vela’s second Fabregas unselfishly opted to thread the ball through for an assist rather than try to complete his own hat-trick.
Chelsea also got off to winning start when they travelled to Slovakia to play MSK Zilina where they won 4-1. Essien continued his scoring form when he opened the scoring in the 13th minute, Anelka then scored two quick goals in the 24th and 28th minute. Chelsea looked very comfortable and could easily have had six by half-time, but in the second half a mix of Chelsea slowing down and the hosts playing better meant that Chelsea only added one goal to their tally which came from Daniel Sturridge and Oravec even pulled one back for the hosts.
Other games over the two days saw holders Inter draw 2-2 with FC Twente, last years runners up Bayern Munich got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Roma. In the group of death Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid beat Ajax 2-0 thanks to two goals from Higuain and Milan beat Auxerre by the same scoreline thanks to two goals from ex-Barca striker Ibrahimovic. Barcelona went 1-0 down against Panathinaikos only to go on and win 5-1, Messi got a brace and David Villa opening his Barca Champions League account.
A great start to what is going to be a very interesting competition.

So two days on and the Spain public are still celebrating, mind you had England won I would celebrate for the next month. On the whole I enjoyed the World Cup, it started slowly but after the first two group games the pace picked up and teams started to play as they wanted to rather than to close out their opponents and not lose.

What were the highlights …

The best team were Spain, some people were so impressed which is something I find hard to understand, they look to keep possession and pass the ball around as much as possible. Spain mix their play, generally they opt for short passes but when there is the option to play in long they will do … they remind me of an International Arsenal.

The most disappointing team had to be France, not just on the pitch but because of their internal bickering. England and Italy weren’t far behind, none of these nations got going and they all headed home with their tails between their legs.

Two players who impressed me most were Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan, Sneijder ran the Dutch team, I wasn’t surprised having watched him do the same all season with Inter. We all know Forlan has scored a lot of goals in Spain but I was very impressed with him, everything positive Uruguay did he was involved in – I would like to see him back in the Premier but I can’t see him leaving Spain.

Two excellent young players who impressed me were Golden Boot winner Muller and compatriot Mesut Ozil, they are both worth watching over the next couple of years to see how they develop.

There were some great goals; it all started with a cracker from Siphiwe Tshabalala in South Africa’s opener against Mexico. Brazil’s Maicon got his side off to a winning start with a sweet finish when he broke down the right and curled the ball with the outside of his boot past Myong-Guk Ri at his near post. My favourite goal has to be Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s long range shot in the semi-final against Uruguay – A rocket. My

favourite match came very late, it was a toss up between the Netherlands vs. Uruguay semi final and the Germany vs. Uruguay third place play-off … Both games were very entertaining but the best was Germany vs. Uruguay, a great game which kept me entertained.

There were some great celebrations, South Africa and Ghana celebrated like they’d won the World Cup every time they scored but the most heart felt celebration was the Iniesta’s winner in the final when he took off his shirt to display the message “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque always with us), this was in memory of the ex-Espanyol and Spanish U21 international who died last August of a heart attack aged just 26.

Now, it’s back to normal life – our national leagues will be starting soon, next week teams will find out who they’ll face in the Champions League 3rd round and the transfer deadline is only a month and a half away ….

Enjoy the friendlies, pick your fantasy teams and get ready for the roller coaster that football always is ….

Be lucky … Keep smiling

Scottie B

As an England fan I am still struggling coming to terms with Sunday’s defeat, whilst I wasn’t particularly optimistic going into the match I thought we would’ve fared better than we did. For some reason England never got started, they played without and passion or heart. There are now some big decisions to be made, the FA have to work out if they can afford to pay Fabio off – £12 million is a lot of money to get rid of, especially as they would need to recruit a replacement.

If the FA sacks Fabio who will replace him? Roy Hodgson is set to take the Liverpool job, Harry would probably jump at it but then the FA seem to have issues with him as they did with Terry Venables when his contract wasn’t renewed back in 96. They want someone who is squeaky clean; I am huge Graham Taylor fan like any Watford fan but he shouldn’t have replaced the late Sir Bobby Robson after 1990 – That should’ve been Brian Clough’s job.

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy watching the rest … I have money on David Villa to finish top scorer and Argentina to win so it’s not hard to work out who I’ll be supporting. It would be nice to win some money, it will go towards the therapy needed after watching England – jokes aside there are going to be some great games ahead. Tonight I’d like to see Spain go through, with Villa scoring a couple and Ronaldo getting sent off!!! On Friday the Dutch will be looking to use their attacking prowess to get the better of Brazil’s defence. The following day is Germany vs Argentina , nobody has got close the Argies so far – whilst nobody can doubt their strike force Argentina’s defence has looked shaky, it will be interesting to see how they handle Germany’s forward line with the impressive Turkish born Ozil, Muller and the two Polish born strikers Klose and Podolski.

We are now half way through game 54 where Paraguay are drawing with Japan – There are still plenty of games to watch so be sure to enjoy.

I would say “Come on England” but as that’s no defunct “Come on Football”

Be lucky … keep smiling