Go with a smile!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wishlist for football season

This is a wishlist of soccer results for this season. As you know, I was a little superstitious. I was hoping that Spain would win the World Cup, because the last time somebody new did that, I had an amazing 4 years. Well the other superstition that I have is that whenever somebody new wins the English Premier League, I go through a year with very interesting new experiences. Life doesn't become very pleasant, but some new doors open for me. So I'm hoping that it will be the same this time.

So I hope that Man City will win the league, and Man U doesn't win it all the time.

 I hope that Chelsea win the Champion's League. It's always good to have a romantic story. To be sure, there were romantic stories when Porto won it in 2004, when Liverpool won it in 2005. Maybe even when Inter won it in 2010, but they won it by parking the bus. Otherwise most of the time it's pretty predictable that one of the usual suspects will win it. Chelsea's march to the final has been a fairy tale. Their progress at group stage was not smooth, even though they were the first English team to wrap up qualification. They came from behind to beat Napoli after being 3-1 down. Their game against Barcelona was nothing short of amazing: they were 1 goal short, away from home, and had John Terry sent off. They scored 2 more goals to go through, even though 1 goal was enough. The second goal was the icing on the cake, and it had to be Fernando Torres to score that goal.

 I hope that Athletic Bilbao win the Europa league. It was supposed to be Man U vs Man City in the Europa league final, except that neither of them got past their first opponents. In particular, Athletic Bilbao played such a good game against Man U that even SAF had to concede that they were better. Of course you could say that both Man City and Man U were prioritising the EPL over the Europa League, but why not go after 1 more cup? In any case, the Athletic Bilbao coach is a crazy soccer fanatic, and their players are all from the Basque region. I'd love to see this crazy team win.

 I hope that the FA cup goes to Liverpool. There's not much to choose between Liverpool and Chelsea - well I hope that Chelsea are happy with their UCL and Liverpool wins the FA cup, although this is because I think Liverpool are a shit team who are not going to win anything else for quite some time.

 I also hope that Arsenal qualify for the Champion's league. This is a make or break season for them. Man U and Man City will qualify. The other 2 will go to 2 of the following: Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle. It's an unfortunate fact of football that qualifying is more important than winning minor trophies. If Arsenal do not qualify, this would be the beginning of the end for them.

 These are my personal preferences to win. This list is not my prediction of who is going to win. Many of the people here are underdogs.


Blogger 7-8 said...

Update: Man City has taken a big step towards the EPL by beating Man U.

5:49 PM

Blogger 7-8 said...

Liverpool have lost the FA Cup. Bilbao have lost the Europa cup. Man City has won the EPL but they won it in Man City style: 5 minutes from the end, they were losing by 1 goal when they needed to win the match. Then they scored 2 goals. There are shades of the old Man City, who would probably have bottled it, and the new Man City, who had the never say die spirit.

Arsenal have also managed to secure 3rd place, typically by winning 3-2. People have said that the 11-12 season is a classic and that's probably true.

I remember feeling pretty awed that Spain won Euro 2008 after a 44 year wait. Well Man City also won the title after 44 years. I watched the match live on TV - it was a superstition I had for this season because the team that I rooted for (I dun support any teams) did well when I watched them. I watched Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-3.

As for the UCL, here's an interesting statistic: every season since 2005, an English team reached the final. The only exception was 2010. Every time an English team reached the final during this period, the losing finalist was the English team. Exception was when Liverpool beat AC Milan, which was a game they should have lost. Man U beat Chelsea after extra time. This means that no English team ever won a final match in either 90 minutes or in extra time - not since Man U vs Bayern and we know what a roller coaster match that was.

Chelsea vs Bayern looks like a really interesting match!

8:27 AM

Blogger 7-8 said...

3 out of 5 - slightly better than chance, I suppose.

I suppose if Liverpool had won the FA cup, Dalglish would not have been sacked, but that's football for you.

Chelsea always have had spirit. No matter what you say about their success being bought, they had an extremely strong will. They got to 2 finals, went to penalty shootouts on both, won one and lost one. On average, that is fair.

I thought that Chelsea were going to lose. They were underdogs, but thinking back, Chelsea and Bayern were evenly matched. Bayern had a slightly better team and a home advantage, but Chelsea had the experience and the spirit. Bayern also had the big blow of losing a cup final 1 week earlier. And technically speaking, Chelsea had never been beaten in a UCL cup final.

I thought that English teams had a great tradition of being beaten finalists, but apparently Bayern Munich had been beaten finalists to Aston Villa, Porto, Man U and Inter Milan. With the exception of Inter Milan, all these were teams they should have won. They should have won against Chelsea, because they had so many chances, and I sensed that there was something wrong when it actually went to penalties. I always thought that Bayern would win if it came to penalties because Germans are supposed to be so good at them.

Their biggest mistake was to withdraw their striker after they had scored. It backfired when Chelsea equalised, and after that it just became harder for them to kill the game.

I like seasons like this because a lot of people win things. Man City won EPL. Chelsea won FA Cup and UCL. Liverpool won Carling Cup. Arsenal won 3rd place and entry into UCL. The only losers were Man U and Tottenham.

I'm also glad that West Ham made up the last promotion spot. I wouldn't have minded Blackpool coming up again, except that they were going back down. I would rather have West Ham up. Sam Allardyce coming up and Blackburn going down - that is justice for you.

7:25 AM


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