Gone are the days where coaches of football clubs in England, Europe and the rest of the world enjoy the luxury of been given opportunities to groom players’ right from when they are bought by these clubs or nurtured from their various youth academies talented football stars of tomorrow? Although it still does exist but not as those days where it is evident in the likes of Ajax FC, Arsenal FC, West Ham FC, Manchester FC,Chelsea FC, Barcelona FC and so on, just to mention a few.

Today what we see are football clubs becoming heavy spenders which in a way is good for the sports but then erode the nurturing and building young prodigies into becoming super stars like Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Kaka, Iniesta, Xavi and much more. Such spending by these clubs by these clubs which has been described as the short path puts so much weight on the coaches to deliver trophies which obviously is every club’s desire and these trophies are limited to domestic, European or world silverware but also to keeping such clubs in various prestigious leagues as it applies to their country. Most of these clubs tend to forget you don’t hire a coach, provide him with all the super star players he wants and expect him to win all the silverwares within one season of his assumption of office or keep a club that is battling with relegation afloat at the snap of your fingers.

They also assume that in as much as they’ve splashed so much money on big name players, they lay claim to the right of winning the champions league within a short period of time although that is a possibility. Coaches are not meant to bear the brunt in most cases for example Carlo Ancelloti, Avram Grant, Sam Allardyce, and so on, these clubs forget that it takes time to build winning teams inter alia Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Ajax, owing to the fact most of these players come from different leagues with different styles of play, so also are the coaches with different style of game pattern. Clubs should look before they leap and managers shouldn’t be given the boot anytime their winning streak stops or they go a season trophy less although painful but that is the fun of the game……….


Experience sometimes out ways money (Manchester United)

‘’Experience they say is the best teacher’’ this popular saying has proven its worth over and over again through the years; hence the lesson learned is usually invaluable, priceless and tends to stick for a longer time. The observing, encountering or undergoing of things which brings about the acquiring of knowledge and practical wisdom is known as experience.

Moreover, the level of knowledge and wisdom gained from experience cannot be bought with any amount of money anywhere instead one has to live it, that is, one has to go through the experience so as to be exposed to the knowledge. For a football club in any country to boast of having experience, they must have gone through or lived several nail biting situations and jaw dropping moments that most clubs only dream of.

Playing football in a stadium packed out to the fullest with fans screaming at the top of their voices to the extent  of numbness, some particular section of them jumping in synchronization with some of them crying(be it tears of joy, sorrow or disbelief), having your team manger and teammates cheering you on to give a master class performance while playing for the team in the champions league final probably far away in another country and been watched by millions and millions of fans all around the world are moments no amount of money can buy a team because it’s this kind of moments and scenarios that transits a player from ordinary to world-class.

Similarly, this kind of experience does not affect only the players and fans; it also affects the manager as well, equipping him with the knowledge, wisdom and skill necessary to be victorious in subsequent situations or moments. It also endows him with mental strength needed to motivate his team players to give championship winning performance.

Experience on the long run brings about togetherness which in turn births understanding. Been part of a team squad that has lived through several historic moments together brings about a certain degree of closeness which if nurtured well will lead to the squad members understanding  themselves perfectly. Taking into consideration Manchester united, Manchester united are the most successful club in England possessing the highest numbers of league trophies (19) which currently is unmatched by any other club in England. They have over the years shown their superiority in England with their winning mentality and hunger to win more trophies.

In addition, the winning  mentality possessed by Manchester united boils down to the fact that they have a manager that has stayed with the club for over twenty years, so with these number of years he has come to understand the ways of the English premier league to a near-perfect level thereby taking his experience level sky high and this mentality is also due to the fact that they have a lot of players  who graduated together from the academy and have been playing alongside each other for over ten years, living through both historic and forgettable moments thereby forging an unrivalled understanding within them which results in match winning performances from the team and the ability to keep their cool in difficult situations so as to run out as eventual winners.

However, a club with a fat purse capable of buying several world class players into the same squad may also be able to win tough matches and trophies too, but the understanding within these players cannot be compared in any ramification to the understanding possessed by a group of players who have been playing alongside each other for a long time, haven gone through thick and thin together, because the understanding which also translates to experience is enough to win matches for them hence; experience sometimes out ways money.

KOLO TOURE – 6months ban for a doping offence?


“Manchester City defender Kolo Toure was today suspended following an Independent regulatory Commission hearing at Wembley,” the FA said in a statement. “Toure was handed a six-month suspension, commencing from 2 March 2011 (the date of the start of his provisional suspension).

That’s it?? Oh, wait, the 30yrs old Ivorian international player will also be target tested for a period of two years from 26th may, 2011.

But I thought the minimum penalty if a player is convicted for a doping offence is two years. What kind of decisions is being taken by members of the FA? Or is there something wrong in the system? Thanks to freedom of speech, such as been the laments of numerous football lovers since the FA decision was made public. It is even rumoured that majority of “Not nice” comments posted were from people not in support of Manchester City FC. To the extent that some people even took it personal, calling the FA names and saying all sorts of things about Kolo Toure.

In the first instance, what brought about all these noise, the Ivorian player all of a sudden realised that he had excess body weight and decided to indulge in self medication by taking his wife’s medication. Is that what happened? Well, so he said, even when players have a list of drugs they should not take while in active football. Okay, pardon him; he’s just a boy who does not know his right from wrong at age 30.


So, why blame the FA committee decision to let him go so lightly? Well, I guess the FA is bound by laid down rules and regulations which tells them what to do in certain circumstances. In this case, all thanks to Kolo Toure, who wholeheartedly pleaded guilty of taking a slimming product belonging to his wife and his clean past records, the committee, had no choice, due to his degree of fault than to agree in a concession, to give him a lighter term said the FA in a statement. Note that the FA also mentioned that the checks he made in relation to the tablets he used were inadequate and fell short of what was expected of a professional footballer in these circumstances.

 Thanks to his attitude towards checking drugs he should be using or not, he missed out in the teams triumph of securing Champions League for Manchester City and also the FA Cup victory at Wembley. But in a statement on the club’s website, Kolo Toure said he was relieved that he will be able to return to football come September, 2011 and thanks the FA for their understanding.

Was he missed? Well am not that sure as his brother, Yaya Toure scored the winner against Stoke City and secured the FA Cup for City which then finished third in the Premier League to qualify for the Champions League.

Barcelona vs Manchester United – which is the better side?


 Manchester Utd would have easily passed as the only team that suffered no defeat this season with an outstanding 9 wins and 3 draws, but unfortunately, the team lost 2-1 to Arsenal at Emirates stadium in February. The loss notwithstanding, Manchester Utd has proved to be a team to place your bet upon come this Saturday.

But wait a minute before placing your bet; do you think Barcelona will be a sure win for Manchester Utd? Statistically, this season, Barcelona has proved itself to be the best attacking side with 27 goals to show for it, in addition to the strong attack, Barcelona has been the only side to have completed more than 90% of passes this Champions League, with the duo of Xavi and Sergio Busquets being the only players to have completed more than 1000 (1,103 & 1,035 respectively) passes. This shows a strategy that links attack and passes to goal scoring, not only on paper, but practically.

Hey, we have not forgotten Manchester Utd here, if statistics decided to give Barcelona the best attacking side this season, Manchester Utd has proved to be a good match as they can also claim to be the best defensive side this season, with only 4 goals conceded in 12 games, not forgetting the fact that none of Manchester Utd’s 18 goals in the Champions League this season were headers, but skilfully finished off using the legs. This also shows an attack side that has one thing in mind – GOALS

We should also not forget that, Barcelona have never failed to score in their last 20 Champions League games and between the two teams, Barcelona was the last side to lift the Champions League trophy at Wembley, when they played against Sampdoria (1-0) in 1992.

This is the 7th time Barcelona has reached the Champions League/European Cup final, including three in the last six editions.  The team has won it three time and finished runners up three times.

With the Manchester Utd side, in the last four seasons, the team has reached their third Champions League final and their overall record in the Champions League/European Cup final is three wins and one defeat.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be the 11th between Barcelona and Manchester Utd, and after the encounter, a new current champion will emerge between both teams as they currently have a balanced record of three wins each and four draws. Their last meeting was in the 2009 Champions League final at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico where Barcelona won 2-0

What will be the driving force for the two teams?

If Alex Fergussion’s side lifts the trophy at Wembley, he will be joining Bob Paisley as the most decorated manager in the history of the Champions League/European Cup with three wins

This Champions League season, Lionel Messi has scored 11 goals, making him the top scorer this season, if he maintains the top spot, he will become the first player in the history of the European Cup to win it outright in three consecutive seasons.

Edwin Van der Sar, this season, has the best saves-to-shot ratio having saved 31 of 35 shots faced. He will also be the oldest player to win the Champions League/European Cup if Manchester Utd emerges victorious. The oldest player to feature still remains Juventus ‘keeper Dino Zoff at age 41

We should also not forget that Dimitar Berbatov has not scored in his last 1134 minutes of action in the Champions League and would obviously want to redeem his image as the last time he scored was in October, 2008 against Celtic

With both teams having things to fight for and a strong performance in the present Champions League season so far, who will you therefore place your bet on? Or rather which team is the strongest? Well, I guess time will tell….

Barcelona Spanish Football Club: Most Skillful Football Club in the Planet (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa)

Barcelona Spanish Football Club: Most Skilful Football Club in the Planet (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa) The current Spanish champions, Barcelona FC are undoubtedly the most skillful football club. Words to describe the beauty and artistry they exhibit on the football pitch have been exhausted. This team is a perfect example of how the beautiful game is supposed to be played.

A friend once told me that he normally holds a pen, a paper and a stop watch when Barcelona plays a match. In his words “I time and count the number of passes made between Barcelona team members without the opponent touching the ball and time and again, I have counted more than twenty-five passes. Sometimes in a space of ten minutes, the opposing team players touch the ball less than five times. I strive to see how many triangles the team forms every few seconds. The numerous ‘one-two’s’ done by the team is incredible. Anyone who hates this team, hates entertainment, hates pleasure, and hates creativity. They are a joy to behold.

The most amazing thing about this team is they combine their skillfulness with effectiveness and consistency. That is an important ingredient missing in the likes of Arsenal which can be said to possess almost the same level of artistry as Barcelona. This season has seen them drop 14 points in all, and four of that came after they already won the league. This current crop of players has won their league for the third consecutive time despite their closest rival’s (Real Madrid) lavish spending. They won the sextuple (six trophies; Spanish League, Copa Del Rey, UEFA Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in one season) two years ago.

The team possesses abundant talent all over the pitch. One of which is Lionel Messi, an attacker who is the current FIFA World Player of the Year for the second time running. A player who has a deadly left foot, and he constantly uses it to unlock defenses all year round. He is technically gifted and also has quick feet which have seen him score 52 goals so far this season.

Xavi and Iniesta are two Spanish midfielder with similar attributes. They both can unlock defenses with their visionary long range passes. Often times, they play a fifty yard pass that seems overly ambitious, only for the ball to get to its intended destination like a laser-targeted bullet. Their ball distribution and retention is a skill you don’t find in to many players. And they can also take on players when need be. They were the first and second runner-up for the 2010 FIFA World Player of the Year.

Villa is Barcelona’s latest acquisition. A prolific goal scorer who can put the ball at the back of the net from very tight angles. He was the highest goal scorer in the last world-cup, which helped his country lift the most coveted national trophy for the first time. Some pundits say he was the last piece missing in the jig saw puzzle. He settled in the team quickly, started scoring beautiful goals as expected. He has a trademark goal pattern; he burst down from the left side of the pitch, cuts in side, and unleashes an unstoppable shot into the goal post using his right leg.

Indeed, these team is the most skillful and creative team on planet earth. God bless good football, God bless Barcelona FC.

The Influence Of Money On Football (Manchester city, Chelsea football and Real Madrid)

‘’Money can’t buy me love’’ is a popular saying that has been for a long time but the saying has no relevance or meaning to the supporters of Manchester city football club, Real Madrid and Chelsea football club because the money spent by the respective clubs on their squad, that is, acquiring experience, top and expensive players, players that are already established has brought and bought the love of supporters far and wide.

Success can be achieved in football either by the long path or the short path. The long path been the selective and careful nurturing of young talents, training them to become champions by enrolling them into the club’s academy and imbibing into them the ways of the club from a very young age while the policy of the short path is to buy already experienced and established player into the club hierarchy. Though expensive, many clubs have decided to go with the short path and it has worked wonders for them.  Clubs like Manchester city, Real Madrid and Chelsea have over recent years reaped the fruit of taking the short path and were rewarded with trophies, pride and prize money.

A couple of years back Chelsea FC was just an average club, whose board would be pleased and very satisfied with a top 4 finish in the English premier league and the players would have been congratulated on a job well done. However, in June 2003, Roman Abramovich a Russian billionaire completed the takeover of Chelsea FC and things immediately took a turn for the good. After the takeover, huge and substantial amount of cash was injected into the club estimated in the region of over £100 million and Chelsea FC finished 2nd in the English premier league compared to the fourth position they finished in the previous year before the takeover and they became eventually winners of the English premier league the subsequent year after more cash had been made available. Chelsea FC after the takeover and under the regime of the cash spending Roman Abramovich have won the premier league thrice( only four times in their history), the FA cup thrice and the league cup twice making them one of the most successful clubs in England for the past 8 years.

Similarly, Chelsea FC also set a lot of records in the premier league after their takeover, obtaining the highest points ever in  a single season in the English premier league(95), also holding the record for the fewest amount of goal conceded in a single season(15), the highest number of wins by a club in a single season(29), and the highest number of clean sheet by a team in a single season(25), all these goes to show the influence of money in football.

Moreover, Manchester city football club’s new owners have also bought the love of their supporters. Manchester city last won any tournament 35 years ago which is a pretty long time but with the takeover of the club September 1st , 2008 for an estimated fee of around £210 million by the Abu Dhabi united group things changed drastically from ordinary to extraordinary. The first statement made by the club shortly after the takeover was to break the British transfer record by signing Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million and the subsequent year over £100 million was spent on bringing in players of different calibers to the club and that resulted in them winning their first major silverware since 1976, 35 years ago.

In addition, the same theory goes for Real Madrid, in fact it can be said Real Madrid are the actual originators of this theory and it has made them the most successful club in the Spain, haven won the Spanish La Liga title for the most number of times (31) and champions league 9 times. This kind of feat would be impossible without the signing of world class players like Zinedine Zidane who cost Real Madrid a record fee of £45 million from Juventus. They also acquired a host of world class players like David Beckham, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and they took a step further to break the record they set by signing the world best player at that time, Cristiano Ronaldo, for a new world record fee of £80 million. The influence of money in football cannot be underestimated as can be seen in these clubs because eventually success ensues.


Birmingham City Carling Cup 2011

Attaining the unattainable, doing the impossible and moving the immovable are terms we can use to describe the exploits of Birmingham city football club in the carling cup2011 campaign. Many current supporters of Birmingham city football club were not born when Birmingham city had a sniff of silverware talk less of them lifting a trophy, so it comes as a complete surprise and exceeded expectation to a lot of supporters of Birmingham city and football lovers generally to see Birmingham city become eventual winners of the carling cup.

The word ‘’surprise’’ to some Birmingham supporters may seem as an understatement to show how overwhelmed, astonished and marveled they are at their club for this great feat of winning a trophy in England knowing how competitive every tournament is and also taken into account the physical and mental strength of bigger and top clubs who on a yearly basis are expected to win at least one trophy. Birmingham city football club is not your exact meaning of a top club neither are they a small club because they currently play in the highest level in England as regards to the league in which they play in, which is the premier league, so we can say they are an average club.

Hence, the expectation set for this kind of club by the board is to have a decent run in any tournament they find themselves in, getting to the round of sixteen or the quarter final is a pretty acceptable result for a club like Birmingham city.

However, the manager of Birmingham city, Alex McLeish did not limit himself to the height set for him and his team by the board instead he decided to set his eye on the coveted trophy, the carling cup, irrespective of who they face at any point in time during the tournament.

Similarly, for any club either big, top or small to set their eyes on the trophy, it requires a lot of hard work, commitment and concentration because with the blink of an eye or lapse in concentration the dream of winning the title could varnish into thin air, so with this at the back of the mind of both the manager and players they decided to go for it, increasing the amount of energy and concentration going  into games, giving a 100% and committing themselves at every point in time all for the greater good which was lifting the carling cup an achievement which happened last 1963, forty eight year ago.

Moreover, Europa league participation is guaranteed for the eventual winner of the carling cup and participation in this league brings about exposure, great European moments and large sums of money depending on how far the team goes in the tournament thereby further motivating and making both the players and manager committed to the course of winning the trophy.

Although, the early stages of the tournament was quite easy for them because they played teams in the lower league division and they recorded pretty convenient wins over teams like Rochdale , Milton Keynes and Brentford . Moreover, as the tournament advanced the opponents got tougher and as the popular saying goes ‘’ tough times don’t last but tough people do’’, their next hurdle was Aston villa and that looked to be the end of the road but they responded and silenced their critics by recording a resounding 3-1 victory over Aston villa booking a place in the semi final were they met and dismantled west ham united.

However, a place in the final against Arsenal football club looked like an impossible mission because of the mental strength, superior skill and prowess of their opponent but they overcame the odds by beating Arsenal 2-1 after been gifted a rather fortuitous goal in the dying minutes of the match but that’s not to say they did not deserve the win and Birmingham city were crowned Carling cup winner of 2011.

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