Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Much have changed since I last written anything and I am very keen to write something since many dramatic things have happened in the football world this season. It would be a football sin not to write anything! It is over a year since I last blogged! Incredible!

Barcelona were just dethroned in Spain while Manchester City beat Manchester United to the EPL title. The circumstances in which Manchester City won the league was incredible. Two extra-time goals with Aguero scoring the winning goal which enabled City to win the league by goal difference. If they follow the La Liga format, City still won because of a superior record face-to-face against United.  Both ended with 89 points with exactly the same 28 wins, 5 draws and 5 loses. City scored 93 goals and conceded 29 goals. United scored 89 goals and conceded 33 goals. City's home record is 18 wins, 1 draw and 0 lost while United's record is 15 wins, 2 draws, 2 loses. City's away record is 10 wins, 4 draws and 5 loses while United's record is 13 wins, 3 draws, 3 loses.

Arsenal also proved the critics wrong by finishing within the top four. They are 3rd at 70 points, 19 points away. Kudos to Wenger! Despite being pressured to leave early in the season, he managed to turn the team around. However, he must not rely entirely on youngsters again. I hope he will reconsider to invest in more reputed players so van Persie will stay. Tottenham finished 4th while Newcastle United finished 5th, above Chelsea at 6th. Liverpool finished 8th. As for Manchester, is this the sign of power shifting? Who knows, we will see what we will expect once the transfer window ended before the next season starts. I think United will definitely need to seriously look into its aging squad and consider solid players to beef up their squad. The same need to be mentioned about Chelsea. They have just as aging squad as we see in United.

As for Real Madrid, they finally ended Barcelona's title streak of the La Liga thrown. In the process, they also recorded an impressive 100 points (32 wins, 4 draws, 2 loses) with 16 wins, 2 draws and 1 lost away and home. Quite balanced I would say. They scored 121 goals and conceded 32 goals. Barcelona ended with 92 points (28 wins, 7 draws, 3 loses) with 17 wins, 1 draw, 1 lost at home and 11 wins, 6 draws, 2 loses while away. They scored 114 goals and conceded 29 goals. Valencia are 3rd with 30 points apart with 61 points! This will be a good point that La Liga is pretty much a two-horse race. However, we have two Spanish clubs in the Europa League final which Atletico Madrid won 3-0 against Athletic Bilbao.

Guardiola's exit as manager of FC Barcelona is definitely one of the shocking news to me this season. I did not expect him to throw the towel yet. Well, still Messi is Europe's top scorer with 50 goals in the league. He also tops the Champions League goal scoring table with 14 goals. Mario Gomez has 13 goals thus far. He also has 2 goals from friendlies, 2 for Copa del Rey and 3 from the Super Cup. He is indeed a goal scoring machine with the most goals this season or perhaps in any season compared throughout football history! He may still be able to add to his goal tally with the Copa del Rey final against Bilbao next weekend.

In Serie A, we see more farewells from a few giant names in the game. From AC Milan, we see the exit of Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso while Juventus have Alessandro Del Piero on the list. Both Inzaghi and Del Piero scored in their final matches. Inzaghi scored 126 goals from 300 club appearances while Del Piero scored 290 goals from 704 club appearances. Juventus won the league with 84 points against AC Milan's 80 points. This is considered a sweet return for them after the "Calciopoli" scandal as well as demotion to Serie B. Since the 2005 and 2006 titles were stripped, their last Serie A title was in 2003. The more incredible feat is the unbeaten record achieved by Juventus with 23 wins and 15 draws this season, only the third team to be able to do so in the Serie A history. They too like Barcelona still have a title to fight for with the Coppa Italia final against Napoli next weekend.

Before focusing on the EURO2012, the Champions League final is coming this Saturday! Chelsea VS. Bayern Munich. It was a shocking final where people expect at least Real Madrid or Barcelona or both to play in. I guess the arrangement of the El Clasico before the 2nd leg killed both the teams. Fatigue can be seen in both squads as they came out from a tiring weekend defending their honours before facing Chelsea and Bayern Munich. The pride was so much at stake during the El Clasico with further chances of both teams capable of winning the league with a victory in that match. Torres scored an incredible injury time goal that killed Barcelona in their own den. While Madrid went out from the penalty kick-out lottery at the end of the match. Well, based on the strength of players, I think Bayern Munich will have an advantage. They are also more experienced for the Champions League atmosphere and should withstand the pressure well. Chelsea, on the other hand, have a strong defence which they need to build as foundation in the match to win.

As for EURO2012, Spain and Germany will be the favourites with Holland as always expected to be among the contenders. Italy may be a dark horse to look out for. As for France and England, I really don't think they are dangerous enough. What about Croatia, the team which always surprises us in the big stage? We'll just have to keep watch during the group stages. From all the experiences of watching the World Cup and EURO of the past, the teams that perform well during the qualifying will not necessarily perform just as well during the tournament. For a more accurate assessment, we will just have to monitor every team's performance during the group stages. That is a good indicator and expectation of how far they will go in the tournament.

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