Feb 24 2009

Inter v Man Utd: Preview

Suddenly we are not ‘injury proof’. Rafael has been added to the list that includes Evans, Brown, Neville, O’Shea and, for all practical purposes for the day, Vidic.

Mourinho reckons a ‘worried’ United may be defensive. Fergie brushes that aside with a we-rarely-play-for-draws rebuttal. Ronaldo mumbles something about killing or being killed which, for some reason, sounds to me like the job description of a suicide bomber.

Wenger talks about how his club looks to educate people… as opposed to United.

So, as you see, it’s an exciting day indeed, and everyone’s chirpy.

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Feb 24 2009

New Nike Five Live Advert

So I’ve been approached again with some more goodies and video regarding the Nike Five tournament I mentioned earlier. This will actually be telecast during tomorrow’s Champions’ League — although I’d assume only UK viewers can get to view the commercial.

The advert features Wayne Rooney and Joe Cole who turn it on for the CCTV cameras alongside local urban footballers. Rio Ferdinand is the ref and Fernando Torres (plus his team-mates) await the winners. As mentioned earlier, the sign up process is now live on www.nikefootball.com for anyone that’s interested in registering a team to take part.

Here’s the video and you can view it well ahead of it being actually aired on TV. Of course, non-UK viewers would want to watch it here.

Preview, ahead of tomorrow’s game, will be up later.

Feb 21 2009

Kia confirms Tevez fears as Blackburn visit OT

Tag: Manchester United News @ 10:07 am

Kia Joorabchian, the representative/owner of the rights to Carlos Tevez, reportedly said this to the Daily Star:

“Carlos is in the market now that United have not made any move for him. We are now studying other options and interested parties. There is no option left with United any longer.”

Actual quotes by his owner — although, considering the shady past of the businessman, it could just mean kicking United out of their slumber with regards to sealing Tevez’s contract — at the least, it points to problems with United stalling over the deal, intentionally. Or just balking at the asking price for the Argentinian.

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Feb 15 2009

Derby Man Utd: Live!

Welcome! Follow us live, as we live blog today’s FA Cup.

Update: Leave your comments in the comments thread now that the game’s over.

Feb 15 2009

Evra returns to add impetus to United’s left

Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans can also be added to the list of people returning from injuries, but the big plus will undoubtedly be Patrice Evra’s return. With an imposing defence a given, Evra’s presence can give that bit of thrust that, at various stages of our campaign, has seemed missing.

His tireless running, determination, and ability to show sudden bursts of acceleration to surge forward will be very important for our upcoming games — especially in Europe.

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Feb 14 2009

The League’s Online Hegemony, Nationwide Nike 5-a-side tournament

So some of you may be busy getting all mushy with your Valentine, trust me to spend Feb 14th with my brand new Bose Headphones and a new DirecTV install. Who cares about a day created strategically between New Year’s and Easter to boost consumer spending? Oh the couples in love I guess. Not that I’m bitter, it’s just that I don’t feel there’s a point for having a day created especially for celebrating your love when you can do it pretty much throughout the year on a spontaneous basis. Oh well, that’s my opinion.

Anyway, this may be non-United news but is nonetheless relevant in the context of the Premier League and online content creation.

Most of you may have heard of the Offside — a well visited football blog that’s grown so big that it’s got individual blogs for clubs that reside in every nook and cranny of the world, let alone England.

They just got served a notice to take down the club crest logos used to designate the individual club pages on their site, citing copyright violation. Net Result, a company that has in the past come after this very site — for posting Manchester United fixtures [yes, apparently it’s illegal to post Premier League fixtures on a site without “paying for that right”] — our sister site, Soccerlens and countless other blogs, are at the forefront of this bird brained exercise in anti-goodwill. True, copyright is one thing; there’s good reason why clubs may be concerned about people selling counterfeit merchandise with the clubs crest on it. But requesting blogs to take down club crests is downright ridiculous and shows a clear lack of common sense while going after protection of intellectual property.

The Offside has this to say[read more here]:

While football fans see football crests as a helpful way of identifying football teams, Football Data Co (the Premier League’s licensing arm) sees football crests as a way to make money.

We could understand the legal takedown notice if we were profiteering from club crests by selling counterfeit Arsenal shirts or dodgy Man Utd dog food bowls. But we’re not. We use club crests the way they were originally intended: to identify teams.

And for the Premier League to prevent us doing that is not only comically tyrannical, it’s extremely short-sighted too.

You can read more on this in the following links:

1. The Offside
2. Brian Phillips on the Run of Play
3. Ahmed Bilal on Football Media.

Moving on, most of you might have seen the kid nutmegging Rooney video that’s out on many blogs and news sites. If you haven’t, here you go. But here I can share a bit of a back ground on it thanks to the people who approached me to spread the word. This video is a part of an upcoming Nike commercial that launches a nationwide Nike Five contest for an 5-a-side tournament, dedicated to giving urban footballers a stage to showcase their skills.

The way UK based people can enter it is by signing up via nikefootball.com and creating their own profiles, selecting team mates (if I’m not mistaken) and mentioning the area where they live and play. Through March and April there will be 16,000 people competing which, by process of elimination, leads to city finals which in turn lead to a national cup final. So those interested watch this space for updates on it.

Finally, there’s an FA Cup game tomorrow. I will put up a preview for it later in the day and tomorrow, hopefully there’ll be a live blog.


Feb 11 2009

Home Grown Quota Could Temporarily Shut Platini Up

Tag: Manchester United News @ 10:11 am

Now let me not completely rubbish the Frenchman; he’s got a semblance of sense when he talks about the disproportionate spending of Citeh with respect to its revenue. But beyond that, most of his rants reveal a sense of hatred for the ascendancy of the English Premier League.

Now on to the main item, which is the proposed home grown players rule that could be imposed as early as the next season. We already know that European competitions like the UEFA Cup ensure clubs field 8 homegrown players in their matchday squads.

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Feb 10 2009

Ferguson: There is absolutely no patience in the world now

Yesterday I was thinking aloud on twitter on Scolari’s sacking. I’ll quote from it for the benefit of those not following my sporadic byte-sized rants on the rather excellent micro-blogging service:

So now that Scolari’s sacked, what are the odds of tempting Zola? He says he won’t be tempted by the offer. Hmm… we’ll see.

Whether Scolari was good or not, the problem with Chelsea has been a lack of patience. Of course this is the case with most teams these days

Most sackings are followed by comments like “he’s lost the dressing room”. And if there are repeat instances like Chelsea’s case doesn’t that reflect poorly on those that inhabit the dressing room — i.e., players?

Chelsea over the years — of needless spending/chopping and changing — have accumulated far too much deadwood. Time for rebuilding question is, does Roman give a fuck anymore?

[You can follow us on Twitter, here]

The part highlighted in bold above underlines the essence of Fergie’s shock at Chelsea sacking Scolari. Perhaps, he may have been found out in the big league. Perhaps, his early season hysteria was an aberration. Perhaps, he didn’t get the team he wanted. But the problem with Chelsea, and many other clubs of late, has been a lack of patience in managers. Of course, the likes of Tony Adams had serious issues, but when you have a team that, despite playing poorly, is better off than Arsenal then something is clearly wrong with the game.

In addition to expressing shock, he also spoke on the role played by the media on the sacking:

“It just seems to be more volatile now. You can’t always blame the press – but it plays a part,” he said. “The way the tabloids are – competing against the internet and Sky News – there is a sensationalism every time someone has a bad result. There was great expectation at Chelsea that they were going to do well this year – and it is only this last month they have had a bad spell. The judgment really is only on the last month.”

Anyway, enough of the sermonizing. Meanwhile, let’s all laugh at Chelsea. HAHAHAHA!

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