Posts Tagged ‘Football’

Les Bleus blown away

Domenech clueless

“As you sow, so shall you reap” goes an old adage. I thought that most of these adages were limited to the confines of school textbooks or philosophy lectures. Maybe confined to stories read to small children during bed-time , warning them of imminent dangers of crossing the all important yet very thin Laxman Rekha that dwells right between good and all evil. The difference that separates sanity and insanity.

Having followed the ongoing FIFA World cup at South Africa and the qualifiers before that, I am of the firm opinion that the French team must have never heard of the adage at all! After all, a team that cheated their way to the finals, is definitely an undeserving lot. I sympathize with the Irish team, who were denied a rightful shot at a trip to South Africa.

The Media dubbed Henry’s goal as the second Hand of God. To tell you the truth, it was not football’s moment of glory but a definite moment of shame. And the good saint didn’t commit the crime not once, he went on to commit the sin a second time. Punching the ball from outside playing area, kicking it to a team-mate(another sinner whom I do not recall) who shoots it for apparent glory. The Irish captain did fervently appeal for hand-ball each time the foul was committed.  It seemed, however that the referee was hand-in-glove  with the Les Bleus that unfortunate day. He was deaf to the Irish jeering, he had a job to do , ensure French victory and their clear passage to the World Cup.

And so the World Cup began in full earnest. The French being placed right in the first group against the likes of Mexico, Uruguay and the host, South Africa. The campaign was a disaster right from the onset. A draw in their opening game against Uruguay, and a 2-0 loss against Mexico did their morale no good. The team-spirit in the French camp was at an all time low.  Coach Domenech was verbally abused by star striker Anelka who was immediately sent home. Then there was players’ rebellion- the team refusing to practice on field. Coach Domenech  had nothing but silent whispers to offer to the media. The colatility reached epic proportions, and thus the government was left no choice but to rush the French Sports Minister to South South Africa to establish some sort of calm in the camp.

Then arrived the final match day. Coach Domenech did the unthinkable by tinkering with the French squad – 5 changes were made , with Patrice Evra being stripped of captaincy. The whistle blew, but the French zing that we had seen in Germany four years ago was definitely missing; or rather disappeared into thin air.  The defence was shattered many a time by the South Africans, who thumped in two goals would ensure French defeat the world cup. The final nail in the coffin had been put in place.

Coach Domenech apparently likes to remain in the spotlight. He refused to offer the customary handshake to Alberto Perreira, the South African coach after the tie was over. This summed up the scratchy performance of a team which were finalists at the last edition of the world cup. Les Bleus were simply blown away to, god knows where.

It can be rightfully said that they had cheated their way in to the championships this time. An overrated team that was highly undeserving. Their desire to the stride across the rainbow and to find the pot of gold there was fulfilled. But whoever knew about the Irish leprechaun which would be guarding the pot of gold, the French greed being denied. The Irish spirits were at definite play this world cup, denying the French of every goal and more. Vexes were cast to ensure that the French camp were in shattered. With the whole of Ireland against them, it could be fair to say that the French team were bound to be kicked out.


The Art Of Asking Questions

Remember the last time you felt like pulling your hair out while watching a presentation ceremony at the end of a cricket match or during an interview with the manager after a game of football? Well then you would know why you also felt like punching the interviewer in the face then.

More often than not these TV “pros” end up asking questions that firstly, are too obvious even to consider answering; and secondly,  are unavoidable (since you cannot tell the guy to bugger off). These commentators-turned-interviewers make life miserable for the viewers at home, and frankly, would be much better off holed up in their box high above normal civilization. The other day during the Chargers match against the Kings XI, Sunil Gavaskar was having a chat with Rohit Sharma who was fielding. Now, in a situation like this one would expect him to ask questions like “Hows the pitch playing?”, or “Hows the outfield?”; but instead he goes ahead and asks him “What car do you currently have?” *gasps*. Just then the last ball of the over was bowled and a boundary was scored and the reply that Sunil got was “Shit!”. Well obviously you can’t blame Rohit for using the word on National television, but whether it was for the shot that was hit against his team or for the stupid question that he was asked, remains to be speculated upon. More than once Ravi Shastri has come up with questions like “How does it feel to score that century?”. Well I wouldn’t know about the player but I’d certainly feel like throwing up on him.

This disease isn’t confined to Cricket alone. Managers in football regularly get asked questions like “How does it feel to win/lose?”. Now innocuous as the question may seem, technically the question is a no-brainer. A manager who’s just lost wouldn’t say “I feel like its the end of the world for me”, nor would a winning manager say “I feel like Alice in Wonderland!”, yet there is an unwritten law that binds all managers to answer these abysmally stupid questions as nicely as possible. But once or twice there come managers like Gordon Strachan who’ll tell the interviewer off in the funniest manner imaginable.

Example No. 1:

On being appointed new manager of Southampton FC, an interviewer asks him “Do you feel you’re the right man for the job?”, Gordon replies: “No”

Example No.2:

Interviewer: ” Gordon, all good things must come to an end and bang goes your unbeaten record this season. Can you take it?”

Gordon: “No I’m just gonna crumble into a wreck, go home, become an alcoholic, and maybe throw myself off a bridge”

THAT is exactly how I would reply to questions like those and thats why I’m a big fan of the ginger haired Scot. What we need now are more such players and managers who’d do us a favor and hit these obnoxiously obvious questions out of the park each time an interviewer comes up with them.

Bollywood XI: The Tonic For Indian Football

I’m sure I speak for the entire nation when I say that Indian football needs drastic improvement. What with the team languishing at 132nd position on the FIFA ranking table. The Pundits have come up with an ingenious solution to this problem: Revamp the whole squad of players.  So we scouted Bollywood, looking for potential players because we heard a lot of commotion about Bollywood being “littered with talent”. The parameters used for the selection of the players were: Wealth, Recognition, Looks and Gossip Generating Power. We admit that we have neglected a few parameters like Footballing Skill, Ability etc. but we have unanimously agreed that those things no longer mattered in Indian sport. Hence after careful consideration we came up with the following team consisting of Bollywood’s finest:

Bollywood XI: The 4-3-3 formation at its best

Goalkeeper: The legendary Amitabh Bachchan was selected as the team’s goalkeeper. Towering at an impressive hieght of 6’3, he represents the epitome of Bollywood. Age and reflexes aside, his multitasking abilities are what set him apart. He can be a genie, a gangster, a ghost and even God if required.

Defence: The back 4 i.e defence, of any team is essential to its success. Our defence consists of Harman Baweja, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt.

Aamir Khan with his hard work and never-say-die attitude serves as a perfect central defender, although his tendency to disappear after a good performance remains to be a problem that needs to be sorted out.

We chose Saif Ali Khan solely because we once saw him playing in a charity football match and thought that shorts and wolverine-type facial hair went well.

Sanjay Dutt was a pretty obvious choice. His ability to aim and shoot down moving targets is industry-renowned. So we figured that he would be instrumental in shooting opposition players to extinction.

Harman Baweja  may seem like a weird selection but we stand by him due to one undebatable reason. His ability to scare people away remains to be his biggest weapon. He has done it to cinema audiences around India, and we know that it’ll have a similar effect on opposition players. His similarity to another team mate- Hritik Roshan, will be important in confusing the opposition.

Midfield: The midfield trio of Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Shahid Kapur was a carefully selected blend.

Salman Khan would be the perfect combative midfield player who breaks up play and stifles the opposition. His recent battle training for Veer was perfect preparation for him although the box office performance of the film admittedly wasn’t.

Shahid Kapur is our playmaker for the team. The long slow motion shot of him running alongside horses in the film Kaminey is what impressed us the most. Similar performances on the field will prove to be vital to the team. Although not very tall, his stamina sets him apart from other players.

Sandwiched between 12 packs of well built ab muscles is our very own Abishek Bachchan. Although he’s slow, not well built, not very good looking, yet his unique talent of pulling off unbelievably stupid roles with grace is laudable indeed. Another reason that we picked him was because we were told that Aishwarya Rai would do a promo for the Indian team if he was selected.

Attack: Scoring goals is the aim of any football team. But our attack not only score goals, they score goals in style.

Sunny Paaji was chosen to run at defences shouting “Yeh Dhai kilo ka haath jab kisipe padtha hai na…toh aadmin ut-tha nahi ud jaata hai..” and to cause mass hysteria and confusion among the opposition with his dance moves.

Hritik Roshan’s flexibility and showmanship is what earned him a place in the team. His job first and foremost would be to run around defences flailing his arms and legs much to the shock and amazement of the opposition. His ability to fly, climb walls and communicate with aliens were all considered during his selection.

Finally, serving as the central attacking striker would be Shahrukh Khan, the proclaimed Baadshah of Bollywood. His stealth and ability to produce hits out of the blue are his assets. He also blends well between his two fellow strikers. While the defence will be clamoring to tackle Sunny and Hritik, Shahrukhs job wold be to sneak past defences and score, an art at which he is perfectly adept.


Vivek Oberoi – Because he and Salman don’t complement each other on the field, or anywhere else.

Govinda – Perfect entertainment for the rest of the team, can also woo public through false promises.

Akshay Kumar – Will be useful to provide drinks to the team because of the unlimited supply of Thums-up he gets everyday.

Tusshar Kapoor – Recommended to us by his siser as she couldn’t get him a job on tv.

Ritesh Deshmukh – Recommended to us by the Maharashtra government.

Comments: Notice how we have carefully separated the big 3 Khans from each other. This was done to ensure maximum compatibility and cooperation, a skill lacking in the current football team. Also, the lack of a manager for the team might be worrisome to some, but we believe that this team needs no manager and has nothing to do with the fact that no one in their right mind was willing to take up the job of managing 11 spoilt, rich celebrities.