Of Cricket and Football….

So after a long time I return to the electronic pen. Quite some time after our painful loss to India in the semi final. And in the time since then a lot has happened in the world of sports, in Pakistan …and well in my own little world as well but that will be saved for another day.

Let’s get sports out of the way. India won the world cup. The IPL is underway. There have been a lot of conspiracy theories about our loss to them in the semi final and then subsequently Sri Lanka’s loss to them in the final. And of course the advertising and the Indians in general are sky high at the moment. For they are the reigning world champions till 2015.

Pakistan has since been to West Indies and lost the T20, won the ODI series 3-2 and 1-0 down in the 2 test rubber. I have a hunch the 2nd test will be Pakistan’s and then the entire tour can end up square. To top that off Afridi hit out at Waqar after returning from the ODI series at the whole selection thing. I want him to remain captain of the ODI side and T20s but for pete’s sake let there be a building up process without any fight outs and ego clashes. His and Waqar’s partnership as Captain and Coach seemed to be smooth and going well in my opinion. We really need stability in the leadership setup. We can’t keep having our coahces and captains change every now and then. And by no means is a player of Misbah’s age made captain keeping the team’s ‘Long term future’ in mind. The guy is 37. He is not the long term future of the team. We really need to build up the team now. Post World Cup is the best time to start building up a new team and making sure that the system is such that it goes on till the next World Cup.

Coming to football, Arsenal’s wait for a trophy has gone into the 7th season now. The gunners haven’t won anything since 2005 and had a the golden opportunity to add silverware this season with the carling cup, which we lost to Birmingham. And of course it again boiled down to the 2 major problems which are faced in Wenger’s idea of Arsenal’s football.
Its all good to have talented youth playing for you who didn’t come with heavy price tags and egos that match. The fact is that given their average age and the fact that they are not celebrity status footballers as such (apart from a couple: Cesc and Van Persie) they do quite well to compete at the top level every season. What is infuriating as a fan is that they can’t finish it off. And that brings us to the 2 main problems. DEFENCE : Vermalaen is the only centre back of absolute quality. Other than that we have a very susceptible defence. The new keeper , schnezy (I hope I spelled it right) is very talented and can indeed be groomed into a world class keeper. But you can’t do that with a leaky defence and with no other experienced keeper in the squad the guy can look up to. Secondly we need to have more steel in the midfield and team in general. Wilshere is an excellent example. We loaned him to Bolton and this season he has by far been our most bullish midfielder. He has gotten into tackles. He has not been afraid to fight for the ball. He has by no means been a push over. He has shown grit. He has shown he can handle the rough side of the game as well which is huge part of the Barclays Premier League. We need more players to be like this. These two areas have to be fixed for this team to succeed. Other then the psychological aspect of it all of course. The season is near end with one game remaining and Arsenal on 3rd, 10 points behind league champions Manchester United and 4 points behind Chelsea. With just 2 points ahead of FA Cup Winners Manchester City we must win the last game to end the season on a positive. We cannot let automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages slip from our hands.

And as much as I hate saying it, kudos to Manchester United for having won their 19th League title and knocking Liverpool of their ‘perch’. Their season is not over with the Champs League final with Barca on the 28th at Wembley still to come. Sir Alex would love nothing more then to win the double in the season that he got United their 19th title.

That about does it for sports. I hope Arsenal do well in the next season to secure some silverware. And I hope that Pakistan goes through a smooth period of cricketing in the next …..well at least the next 1 year. We will take it from their.
Cheers 🙂

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


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