Monday, December 23, 2013

Waxing lyrical about Suarez is no longer enough

Words seem to be insufficient to describe the performances of a man possessed by the burning desire to prove all his doubters and critics wrong. Coming off the back to a controversial 10-match ban for taking a liking to the taste of Branislav Ivanovic's hand in last season's game against Chelsea, Suarez was forced to miss the first five games of the Premier League this season. Since then, however, he has not looked back.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

FIFA's decision to extend the voting deadline for Ballon d'Or may diminish the value of the award

Lets face it- we witnessed some magic last night in the Wold Cup playoffs. France overcame a 2-0 first leg deficit to win 3-2 on aggregate while Portugal gunned down Sweden in their own backyard to qualify for the tournament proper in Samba-land. All eyes were on three of the best footballers on the planet- Frank Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo- and none of them disappointed.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Is Frank Ribery's Ballon d'Or credentials on the line against Ukraine?

Many believe that Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery has got better as a player and is the most deserving candidate for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, after helping the Bundesliga outfit to the treble last season, including the UEFA Champions League. He capped off a great season by scooping the 2013 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and is now one of the front-runners for this year's Ballon d'Or.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What is wrong with Real Madrid?

The derby defeat against Atletico coupled with a narrow victory over Elche and a draw against Villarreal this season, has left Carlo Ancelotti with a major task at hand, and very noticeable problems that Madrid’s record €100m signing can’t necessarily solve. On Wednesday, however, he has a chance to correct the team’s course against FC Copenhagen at home in the Champions League.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How will Suarez fit in to the current Liverpool lineup?

Liverpool will be facing Manchester United in the Third Round of the Capital Once Cup later tonight, and it will mark the return of Luis Suarez from his ten-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of last season. Liverpool, will no doubt welcome him with their arms wide open, especially considering that their juggernaut of four consecutive wins in the league and cup have been halted by a draw at Swansea and a defeat to Southampton at home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Potential for Sports Marketing in India

Sports have always been very popular in India. With cricket being the most popular choice by far, the other sports have suffered due to the overwhelming popularity of their more glamorous cousin, making it a no-brainer for young children to have a preference for cricket while choosing a sport- after all, they have been exposed to the incessant media attention surrounding what is now almost the national sport of India. The parents too felt that it is more beneficial for their children to take up cricket as a career, if they have to choose a sport at all. However, there has been a marked shift in the mentality of parents, who now seem to encourage their children to take up the ‘unglamorous’ sports and it is largely down to some of the great work that has been done by the different sports marketing companies.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is Isco good enough to replace Ozil and Kaka at Real Madrid?

In my last post, I talked about the new evolution that is happening at Real Madrid, with them entrusting up-and-coming Spanish youngsters at the expense of Galacticos like Mesut Ozil, Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain to carry them ahead in the near future, signing the likes of Isco, Aiser Illarramendi and Dani Carvajal, and promoting Nacho, Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez to the first team. I have talked about why I think Asier Illarramendi will be crucial to Real Madrid's success in the near future, and its time to look at another of their potential superstars in the making. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Asier Illarramendi will be crucial to Real Madrid's success in the near future...

Having already sealed the €30 million signing of Isco and brought back former youth prospect Dani Carvajal to Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid are now hot on the tails of the latest Spain starlet to emerge in La Liga: Asier Illarramendi of Real Sociedad. If reports are to be believed, Real Madrid are hoping to seal the capture of the central midfielder later this week, with the fee possibly amounting to €30 million.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

How does Isco fit in at Real Madrid?

Real Madrid's first signing of the Carlo Ancelotti era is Malaga's attacking midfielder Isco, for a figure reported to be around €30 million. Having recently been on duty with the successful Spanish under-21 side at the European Championships, the whole continent has awoken to the talents of the creative player over the past 12 months. 

After a season of unrest and playing catch up in La Liga, Real Madrid will see the signing as symbolic of the new regime. They will once again be filled with optimism that they can become the dominant power domestically and, given time, finally reclaim their European crown.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Henrikh Mkhitaryan Worth £20 million?

I see a lot of old photos of Henrikh Mkhitaryan signing Liverpool jerseys doing the rounds on social media, and I wonder if he really is worth the £20 million or so (multiple figures have been quoted by multiple sources, so I'm not sure which is the exact figure) Liverpool are supposed to be shelling out to acquire his services.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is F.C. Porto the best “selling club” in Europe?

Some of the dealings that Porto have done over the last 4-5 years seems to suggest that Porto have got a good knack for making a profit in the transfer market. They seem to buy talented players on the cheap, and then make huge profits from their sales a couple of years later. Here’s a look at a few of their dealings.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Footballers and their Celebrity Lookalikes v1.0

Here's a look at a few footballers and their Hollywood lookalikes...

Andrea Pirlo & Chuck Norris


Friday, June 7, 2013

Player Performance Analysis 2012-13: Iago Aspas

With Iago Aspas reportedly undergoing a medical at Melwood, I have tried to analyze his statistics (courtesy Squawka) from this season's La Liga as to what I think Liverpool will be getting for the reported £7.7 million that they are paying Celta Vigo.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Should Pepe Reina be allowed to leave?

Pepe Reina has been consistently linked with Barcelona ever since Victor Valdes refused to renew his contract which expires at the end of next season.  With Reina expected to leave for the Camp Nou, Liverpool have lined up Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet and Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic as potential replacements should the Spaniard leave.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Photos: Ajanta-Ellora-Aurangabad

It was nearly a year before my trip to France. A few of us decided to go on a trip to Ajanta-Ellora-Aurangabad. It started with an overnight journey in a crowded train to Jalgaon, many people sleepin in the passageway, hoping to secure a berth later in their journey. Shivering against the chill of the early morning, we landed at Jalgaon, taking a bus ride to the caves at Ajanta.


Germany: Potential World Cup Winners?

The German club teams have been a revelation over the past three seasons. They have dominated over their much fancied continental rivals, mostly punching above their weight. Yet, they now seem to be the dominant force, and suddenly everybody is queuing up to follow the German model. Built around a self-sustaining model, these clubs have been able to develop and nurture their own talent in a bid to grow a team rather than buy one, investing more than €100 million every year on their youth setup. So far their investment seems to be paying dividends.

Monday, June 3, 2013

If Cricketers were Footballers...

The comparison of cricketers to students is trending on social media at the moment.  It brings to mind the question, what if the crickets were footballers. So, I have tried to find similarities and compare players of the two very different games. Hope you enjoy it....

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Who could fill the void left by Suarez’s imminent departure?

Luis Suarez has announced that he wants to leave England citing the constant media hounding as the reason for his decision. Liverpool has announced that they have not got any official intimation from Suarez or his agent and hence Suarez is not for sale. However, in case Suarez does leave, who would be the person to fill the void left by the Uruguayan?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Has the Transfer Season been affected by Global Warming?

The Global Warming’s affects seem to be far reaching- it has affected the climate and the flora and fauna, and the rate at which we are altering the natural environment for the worse is quite alarming. As if affecting the sea level or the timing and duration of the seasons was not enough, the Global Warming phenomenon seems to have preponed the transfer season after previously being blamed for Fernando Torres’ goal drought at Chelsea.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why Liverpool may be wrong to sign Kolo Toure

I just read the article by James Pearce of The Liverpool Echo, stating why Liverpool is right to sign Kolo Toure. According to Pearce, the defender has plenty to offer and will be a useful asset. He goes on to state “Blessed with pace, strength and a good reader of the game, Toure is also a winner having clinched Premier League titles with both Arsenal and Man City. Rodgers has also brought in a leader in the dressing room with Toure having worn the armband for both club and country. He will be a useful asset both on and off the pitch.” Well, I beg to differ. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Liverpool FC: Transfer Analysis

Following the season review, as well as the general player analysis and the more detailed BPL performance analysis, its time I look at how the club's signings fared over the course of last season.

A Letter from a Guy who was Killed in a Recent Terror Attack

Dear all,

Thank you for the outpouring of sympathy over my death in the recent terror attack. I’m the guy whose remains were never identified, but my car keys were found in the rubble. I wish that I never really died and that I had just decided to drop my car keys in after the bombing – you know, just to stage my disappearance. But no – I’m really dead.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Why do I feel that I have been cheated by the IPL?

It was a good match with numerous twists and turns, but ultimately, the Mumbai Indians ended up comprehensive winners against the Chennai Super Kings. The God of Indian cricket finally got the one final memorabilia that was missing from his trophy cabinet- the IPL Winner's medal.

French Memories

Somdev Devvarman has reached the 2nd round of the French Open after defeating fellow qualifier Daniel Munoz de la Nava 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 in straight sets and is set to go up against former world #1 Roger Federer. When he walks out onto the Court Suzanne Lenglen on Wednesday to take on the Swiss wizard, it will probably be the proudest moment of his career to be able to walk out onto the center court at Rolland Garros; and yet, the thoughts of Rolland Garros evoke a different set of memories, that of a visit to the stadium in December.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What the future holds for Jupp Heynckes

With a managerial CV that boasts of 3 Bundesliga titles, 3 German Supercups, 2 UEFA Intertoto Cups, 1 Spanish Supercup and 1 Champions League, it’s hard to imagine that someone would be without a job, especially considering that he has taken his team to the Champions League final after a League-winning season. Yet, that is where Josef Heynckes finds himself.

Liverpool FC: BPL Player Performance Analysis

This is a follow up of the more general player performance analysis that I published before. Here, I focus on the performance in the Premier League and try to explore the performances in greater detail.

All the data mentioned here has been collected from the official Premier League website and I look at more parameters to get a more holistic view of the players' performances.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Return of The Iceman

When Kimi Raikkonen left Formula1 in 2009 despite having a contract, which made him among the highest paid sports person, with Ferrari to drive in the 2010 season, it was speculated that he had lost his passion- the money had gotten to his head. He returned in 2012, having spent two years in the relative wilderness of the World Rally Championship, and signed with the newly formed Lotus F1 team. And what a return it was- driving his way to 3rd in the Driver’s Championship.

Liverpool FC: Season Review

This was always supposed to be the season of transition, building the squad was always the priority, and qualifying for the Champions League was always going to be the Holy Grail. Now that the season has come to end, may be its time for us to look back at the season and evaluate the “progress” that has actually been made under Brendan Rodgers.

Cashing in on the Indian Football Fever

Football has become a business- that is apparent enough from the way different consortia and billionaires have been taking over the ownership of different football clubs around the world. And with the rapid growth in the popularity of the top European leagues around the world, especially in Asia, the clubs have discovered a stable and growing source of revenues.

Liverpool FC: Player Ratings & Analysis

Now that the season has come to a close, it’s time to dissect and disseminate the performance of all the players, and to see how they fared over the course of the season. Now that the season review is done, let's have a look at how the players performed over the course of the season thorough some hard figures.