My World Through My Words

June 4, 2010

The Ball in My Court : 2

Filed under: Sports,Uncategorized — ashwinvk84 @ 1:03 pm

NO!! The unthinkable has happened; Rafael Benitez has been fired by Liverpool. Just kidding, but was surprised he survived so long though. After his famous rant against Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson with a pre prepared sheet of so called FACTs, his then league leading team took a huge wobble and ended up 2nd to Ferguson’s Man Utd. This season Liverpool has simply been pathetic on all fronts, the sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid was one of the biggest Gaffe of Rafa’s Liverpool tenure. The team itself is truly one dimensional i.e. if either Gerrard or Torres is injured then the team loses majority of its attacking threat, which is not to say they are defensively solid. They have a decent keeper in Reina but the backline has been inconsistent and dodgy throughout the season. The creative spark has been clearly missing the whole season after the departure of Alonso, plus injuries to Gerrard and Torres greatly hampered the team. But Rafa’s biggest failure has to be in the transfer market; after spending more than 200 million pounds over 6 year period, the amount of positive signings among a host of big money failures is staggering. Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch, Ryan Babel, Andrea Dossena, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Aquilani are just few of the names that immediately come to mind. Other than Chelsea no other team comes even close to the amount. Rafa also has failed to understand the core of a club like Liverpool, where winning the premier league overtake all other trophy hunts. Rafa truly believed that doing well in Europe will help shore up his short comings in the domestic scene. Even that kind of reasoning was put to rest after finishing 7th and being dumped out of the Champions League and then the Euro League and no chance for any European football next season, for a debt ridden club these kind of results can have huge ramifications for any manager. The only place where Rafa can afford some sympathy is in the case of turbulent ownership, where the offield boardroom squabbles were clearly affecting the team onfield. But after everything is said and done Rafa leaves Liverpool with failed aspirations after huge initial success and failing to live up to that early high expectations. Well initial reports point to Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson with Mark Hughes and Guss Hiddink being the dark horses.

The French Open seems to be the graveyard for pre tournament top seeds with only Rafeal Nadal and Robin Soderling remaining from the men’s top 10 and Samantha Stosur the only top 10 women’s player remaining. Its still Nadal’s tournament to lose, don’t see that happening much; and the women’s final is too close to call but I feel Stosur has the better chance than Schiavone, but then I have been proven to be wrong.

Yes, the Lakers just plastered the Celtics all over the Staples Center floor and did this by playing some aggressive in your face game, much reminiscent of a certain New England team; Oh Yeah! The Celtics, they were played and beaten at their own game by the Lakers who are usually known for their finesse on the court rather than their aggressiveness. Even the passive Gasol seemed to be up for a fight. The Lakers just shut the Pierce-Garnett-Allen trio down and even reminded Rajon Rondo that he is not yet the best point guard in the NBA. The Celtics have to pick themselves up and find the spirit that helped them run riot in the 08 finals. They have to find a way to take the fight to the Lakers and also shut Kobe down. Hopefully, we can see a more pumped up Celtics who get in there and get more rebounds and up their shooting percentage on Sunday.

The Indian youngsters clearly can’t handle Zimbabwe; the inexperienced bowling was always going to struggle in the tour without a senior or a bowling coach, one can’t blame most of them. The batting failed for the first time in the series hence made the bowling dept’s job more difficult. But one must be plainly disappointed by their basics; the fielding has been pretty average, as well as the running between the wickets. If you get your basics right every other aspect of your game will follow suit. Qualifying for the final now look a very distant possibility, we have to beat the Srilankans for a second time and hope they don’t thrash Zimbabwe in their final game. But in the end it will be an enriching experience for our bench strength and there will be some big positives to take from it. Hope for the best.

The drama that is the IPL just refuses to die down, today former BCCI chief Sharad Pawar was accused for fronting a bid for the Pune IPL franchise through a family owned company. I don’t know if this is true and I truly don’t care even if it is. The opposition parties are up in arms, but really they should think about something else than this to attack the Government with. Who does corruption in the IPL affect, no one particular they should just stick to price rise, the Maoist problems as well as keeping their allies in check rather than running around an issue which has long lost its news value.

On a good note the Yankees are back to winning ways they just swept the Orioles and ended a home stand 6-1. The pitching rotation looks like its coming back to its potent best with their ace C.C.Sabathia winning his first game in nearly a month, this on the back of victories to all the other starting pitchers. The offense seems to be waking up with the impressive Cano leading the way with Alex Rodriguez, Swisher, Gardner, & Granderson seems to be swinging well; Teixeira seems to have overcome his second slum of the season along with Jeter. Cervelli is batting well enough to keep Posada on the DH and he’s better defensively than Posada. So, all is well in the world with the Yankees winning again.

Also Tiger Woods is back on the golf course still not finding his feet. The Memorial Tournament is only a warm up to the US Open at Pebble beach. But he is not at all playing like the Woods we know. His trusted wedge was missing, and his putter seems to have gone with his wife in the post infidelity scenario and he missed more than half of the fairways. Hopefully he finds his game before the US Open; golf just isn’t the same without the world number one stalking the fairways with his usual calm demeanor. Hate to see offield distraction end a sportsman’s career in its prime.

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