The Weekend’s Real MVP: 3 Teams, Four Wins Out of Four, 0 Goals Conceded

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A round of applause please...

After a weekend of football drama, heart-breaks, 89th-minute penalties being awarded, title contenders being slaughtered and huge statements and discoveries being made (Juventus and Manchester United) I have selected 3 teams that, unlike some other teams that can’t stop conceding goals (Did I mention that I love Chelsea?), they have been as brutal up front as they’ve been at the back.

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Sterling Citizens

Manchester City
The Citizens had another ‘routine’ win over the weekend and Watford was the one who got the beating. So far, they’ve started the season so well, they have now won four of four, have scored 10 goals in the process and have kept clean sheets all the while. During all this, they’ve set a new club record as regards their current form: WWWWWWWWWW. They’re still behind Chelsea in the title race and it’s still too early to call right?

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French Champs still churning out the results

Paris Saint Germain
It’s understandable (barely) if you feel it’s the French Ligue 1 and PSG, as the only “major” team in the league (that you know), scoring 7, keeping 4 clean sheets in 4 is not a surprise. Well, what can I say? You’ve said it all but, only team or not, they’ve played 4 games (against 44 men) and have not conceded a goal. Just maybe they’re the only team in the league afterall.

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A team on a mission...

Ajax
Seems they’re still pissed at the fact that some other team carted away their “usual” end-of-the-season present last campaign and now they’re out with a resolution to get it back! After four games, the Eredivisie outfit have banged in 12 past their opponents and have refused to let them return the favour. It’s four wins out of four for them and there’s no ruling out the possibility of getting their treasure back at the end of the seaon. Or maybe they won’t get it back. It’s just the beginning of the football season.

Worthy Mentions
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich
Both clubs have scored quite a number already this season, have won on the trot too but have each conceded a goal apiece.

Have a great week ahead! Send in your own Real MVP(s) for the weekend too by dropping a comment and you can follow me on twitter @rotdav and let’s talk more football 😉

[BETTING] Friday’s Fabulous Five

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My friend Tella @tella_jat sent in his select games for Friday and added this quote somewhere along the line,

“Football is naughty.”

That’s cue enough for those who know. Moving along, here are @tella_jat‘s select Friday games and his predictions to go along with.

Spain La Liga: Malaga – Sevilla
Result: x2

Reason: Sevilla have shown that they can score (and concede too!) in their preseason games. They have been one of the most consistent teams in the La Liga and even though this is a season opener, bet on them to, in the worst case scenario, get a point off of Malaga.

Portuga Primeira Liga: Rio Ave – Braga
Result: x2

Reason: Braga are looking strong after few games while Rio haven’t been impressive both home nd away which is responsible for their position on the log table.

Netherland Eerste Divisie: Oss – Maastricht
Result: 1x

Reason: From their Head-Head record, Oss have always had the upper hand, scoring more goals as well. With Oss being at home, there’s a likely chance Oss should pick maximum points from this or at least a point.

Telstar – Almere City
Result: 1x

Reason: Telstar, from last season, is a team you can bank your money on, on a Friday evening. They hardly disapoint – and with results so far this season – not quite impressive though – a DC isn’t a bad idea looking at d odds involved (o1.5goals is recommended).

Belgium Jupiler: St. Truiden – Genk
Result: x2

Reason: From analysis, Genk has the upper hand in this game. So backing them to win or lose is a fair game.

Remember, football is still as funny as unpredictable too! Goodluck!

P.S: Hit me up if you’d like to share your betting views with the world on my blog.
Follow me on twitter @rotdav and let’s talk football and its relatives

An Analysis Of Jose Mourinho’s Post-Match Comments

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Well, well, well...

“The best team in the 1st half won the game. The best team in the 2nd half was Chelsea for sure. We had a difficult 1st half, we didn’t create a lot and our goalkeeper made a few important saves. 2nd half everything was different. If the 1-0 was a doubtful result at minute 70, 3-0 is completely fake. At 1-0 Chelsea were the best team for the whole 2nd half.

They make a change because they feel 1-0 is in danger and we concede a second goal. If 1-1 a different story, their team is in trouble. Their decision to bring on (centre-back) Martin Demichelis is an intelligent change, the sort of change I get criticised for all the time. Their midfield was in trouble, probably they should finish the game with nine men. In the end I have to be happy with the second half we did. That is not enough to win the game.”

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Surprised Jose? Me too!

Where do I even start? Well at least he admitted he lost in the first 45 , which in reality, is so unlike the Portugese.

Comparing the 1st half and the 2nd, Chelsea were nowhere near the best team in the 2nd half. How does the better team of the half concede two more goals and score none? Dear Mourinho, in the second half, nothing was different! The trend from the 1st half continued. It took your team 70mins to register a shot on target (how special), your goalie conceded more goals than in the 1st half (even though he was the best Chlesea player on the day) and you say your team was the half’s better side?

“We didn’t create a lot”

(another sincere truth),

“…our goalkeeper made few important saves…”

(Mou doesn’t lie) however, nothing was different( I feel like I’m ‘oversaying’ that last sentence though).

Silva still bossed the middle. Aguero still dazzled (and made you substitute Capitane Terry for the 1st time! lol). Yaya still powered through. Fabregas (fibre gas) was still lost, Ivanovic was still not at his Sterling best. Costa was still bullied by his seniors at the back. Chelsea was still outplayed. The 1-0 was never doubtful, it was a question of when the scoreline would increase. The only thing that changed at minute 70 was Chelsea’s shot on target. 3-0 wasn’t fake, it was conceded.

“They make a change because they feel 1-0 is in danger”

(it’s well within their rights and they did it so why moan if it’s not your team?).

“If 1-1…”

(well, Chelsea never looked liked scoring and City never looked in trouble.

“Their decision was intelligent…”

(so what’s your point exactly? You get criticized for packing a bus and your team has tires on the jersey as a reminder of their jobs remember?) Their midfield wasn’t in trouble, your players were, with some of them AWOL. City made excellent tackles and karma haunted some players (Sir, don’t talk about probability, you had zero points). In the end Jose, you had to be happy for the 2nd half (because you didn’t concede more). That’s not enough to win the game? (nothing your team ever did was enough to win the game).

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Losing it or already lost it?

So the self-acclaimed special one has once again displayed his hypocrisy, showing off the deflection skills he’s good at. This once-great (I’m taking nothing away from his last season performance) really hasn’t been so special since he left Inter Milan, at least not yet. He simply could have said, “we couldn’t have done better, our next focus as a team is another chance to win the next 3points and my players will be itching to get the job done…” Simple and concise. Less hypocrisy and the players will have had their instructions handed to them. Jose Mourinho needs change but then again, we all do.

Kindly follow me on twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football

[Banter] And The Special One Got Burned

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I just had to use this. Mourinho will nEVA forget to remember this.

Winners don’t like to lose. Mourinho doesn’t either. I haven’t called him a winner yet but if we asked Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and probably Arsene Wenger, you’d probably hear the same (don’t ask Pep).

Today, I’m not talking when he lost to Barca (a whole hand tells the story plus remember that 5 – 0 El clasico drubbing? His La Liga welcome party? The Barcelona version?), today, Mourinho lost to Pellegrini (and I’m grinning). 3 – nil is probably the biggest margin he has lost by in the Premier League, but Jose has dropped too many points than he usually does after 10 games in most seasons.

Jose Mourinho got burned and I’m not talking the kind of accidentally-touch-a-hot-metal burned. Mou certainly won’t like it… but WE (Eva, Fearn and non Chelsea fans) love it. I’d love a Special reaction from the Special One and I’m sure he won’t disappoint! Oh we’d so get it!

Arsene Wenger might just like to know who a Specialist is or how to be a Specialist. Manuel Pellegrini might like to forget how to pronounce Mourinho and say ‘Moanriho’… But know both of them probably wouldn’t.

Can I mention how Manchester City tore Chelsea apart again? Read again and you’d get your story.  😉

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So much for being the Special One!

Piece written by Kolawole the Banter King. Follow him on twitter @kopainzy for banters and everything that looks or sounds like it.

‘Defend OR Attack’ and More Lessons From Football This Week

Looking back at a week that had the UEFA Super Cup game, TIM Cup and an EPL game, it’s not hard to single out note-worthy characteristics of select teams and see how they can be useful in our everyday living. Here we go:

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Tim Cup Champions: Confidence for the new season?

AC Milan: Sometimes All That Is Needed Is A New Mode Of Operation

AC Milan competed in the TIM Cup, a competition of 3 Italian clubs (Sassuolo & Inter Milan the remaining two) and won the trophy. This Milan was different from last season’s; with a handful of new players and a new coach. They played differently. There seemed to be more confidence. The new players improved the overall performance of the team and proved that to be a winner, you need to notice what is not working and fix it. When you do that, you become better equipped to compete at high levels. So let me ask:

“How about a new way of doing things?”

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Trophy Number 4

Barcelona: Defense? Who Needs It When You Can Attack!

Barcelona was up against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup game in Georgia and were a goal down in the first few minutes of the game (poor defense). Then they turned the game around to lead 4 – 1 (brilliant attack). Then they imploded and conceded 3 (terrible defense!) but ended up winning the game. Critics singled out the poor defense for criticism but in the end, how do you win a game? Outscore your opponent… No matter how many goals they score! (Sounds like something from Mourinho’s textbook). Barca did just that and that’s why they’ve won their fourth trophy. Which do you prefer:

“A brilliant attack or a fantastic defense?”

Sevilla: Believe In Your Abilities

Sevilla after going 4 – 1 down to Barca must have needed more than the usual to make that brilliant comeback on the day (drawing level in normal time). I’m of the opinion that their scoring first, in a game against Barcelona, must have reaffirmed their confidence in their abilities (if they had any doubts in the first place). So when they were trailing by 4 goals to 1, they just went about their business normally, knowing what they were capable of and not playing panic football. On the other hand, just maybe they felt they had nothing to lose (which most times helps a team play better than it’d usually do) but in the end, they showed what belief in your capabilities can do for your performance.

What are you capable of? Will you believe in it?

Kindly follow me on twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football.

The Weekend’s Real MVP: Quique Sanchez Flores and the Watford Band

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Here to stay? Watford players celebrating goal against Everton

To face Everton, in your first Premier League game since the early 2000s is not exactly what pundits would call a ‘Baptism of Fire’. For Watford, a team coming from the English Championship to play with the ‘senior men’ in the PL, I can say their Everton game was like testing a man’s swimming skills in a 21-feet pool before he goes on to the real deep sea diving. You get the picture?

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We came ready! Deeney throws one in.

But they did not drown. Watford just refused to stay down against Everton. They refused to play like the underdogs they were touted to be. Matter-of-factly, they brought the game to their opponents’ door-step and, here’s the ‘hilarious’ part… THEY LEFT IT THERE! They (unexpectedly for me) set the tone of the game and enjoyed themselves while doing that.

Quique Sanchez Flores, the Head-Ni**a-In-Charge, set up his team (half of which were Watford summer buys) in such way that you had a feeling that the team was born ready. This is the part where I ask you to feel free to ask: “How did a Championship side get away with a 2 – 2 draw at Everton with half the team full of new kids?” Obviously, only Quique can answer this better than anyone but let me give it a shot:

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Raring to go!

They Played Like A Premier League Team
Watford played like a Premier League side that only just came back from their summer vacation. They functioned like a team that already had PL experience. They did not play like they were overwhelmed by The Experience, they played like the originators of The Experience. This might sound like going over the top for a team that has just been promoted but the truth is, they deserve it. Can I mention that they had a couple of players who already had Premier League experience?

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Quique

Quique Sanchez Flores
His team, on the pitch, showed off his tactical ability and management skills. With the way his team was set up, he seemed to have put the right players in the right spots: Nothing got past Nyom, the tall defender; Deeney, the captain, led by example; Capoue and Behrami had the midfield on lock; whoever was tasked with marking Lukaku did a brilliant job! When he needed a goal, he sent in Ighalo and he got his goal. He knew what his team was like and… set them up in a way that they could play against Everton. At a time, his team even parked the bus! That’s how flexible Flores is.

No they didn’t win. But they didn’t lose too! They got a point from the game and a lot of confidence and lessons (if they noticed them) that will help them going ahead into the season. They played like an English Premier League side and not an English Championship side and that’s why they’ve caught my attention.

Kindly follow me on twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football.

Welcome Back EPL. Let’s Start From Where We Stopped…

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Chelsea: Current Champs

Dear EPL, while you were away, a lot happened but how about we talk about the last time you were around town?

With his turbulent reign in the Capital of Spain coming to an end, He had alerted the English he was on his way back. He had bn away 6years. His first coming had brought 2Premier League titles, 2League Cups and 2FACups. What was the proverbial second coming going to be like?

He sure didn’t disappoint. The team had changed from the one he built in 2004 but, the man hadn’t changed. That definitely, had to change.

The driver had other ideas. Jose Mourinho knew his side weren’t ready. Arsenal were breathing down their necks, so were City & a Suarez-inspired Liverpool. He called his team ‘the little horse’ despite their place on the log. Sandwiched between only the Reds & the Citizens, he was mad, one must have thought…. He was right in the end! Their lack of a STRIKER( due respect to Torres, Eto’o & Ba again) ultimately cost them dear. The sharpness and aggressiveness that characterized Chelsea forwards were sorely lacking.

The little horse and the rider went about how to make their horse drink and grow. Shrewd and sweet-talked acquisitions arrived. Costa(the vampire that replaced Suarez) had shown the street-kid’s STRIKER’S thirst that was lacking, Cesc ‘Fabrepass’ added creativity to a midfield that had it in excess, Filipe Luis was to provide competition for Cesar Azpilicueta while the ‘most important’ acquisitions of King Drogba and Loic Remy only proved to be the polish on an already beautiful ride.

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Mourinho's record via @SkySports

Once again…. They were out of the blocks, this time, with everything available…
GOALKEEPER? Check.
DEFENDERS? Check.
MIDFIELD? Check.
ATTACK? Check.
GRIT? Check.
DETERMINATION? Check.
EXPERIENCE? Check.
YOUTH? Check.
SWAGGER? Check.
MOURINHO? Errrr… Check

People talked of boring Chelsea, but it is rather easy for people to forget how this ‘BORING’ Chelsea entertained us in the first half of the season playing with a swagger second to none. They attacked with freedom and flair. It is so sad that Chelsea are now the benchmark for defending and not for attacking when they should be for both.

Put aside the siege mentality that the media claimed he put in his players. Forget the ‘FA campaign against Chelsea’ talk… People seemed to forget that he actually made sense. While he had his excesses (Hello Wenger), Mourinho was a man who loved his job (sometimes ‘overloved’ it), had mastered the art of winning and knew how football worked these days. No matter how beautiful the football you play, it is meaningless without titles (Ask Brendan Rodgers). Its quite sad that people (some) didn’t want to see this. Arsene Wenger had leaned towards this school of thought (See Arsenal’s 2-0 win at City). There are times when you need to grind out results:  Outsmart your opponent, Entertain the fans, Bore out the fans as long as the result comes.

“I don’t care how I win, as long as I win”

    – Floyd Mayweather
    

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That’s where we ended last season. Chelsea ticked all those boxes last season and they became deservedly Champions. They sat atop the log table since Day 1 with wins like the scrappy 2-1 win at Anfield, the 1-0 win against United, the ‘BORING’ 0-0 draw at the Emirates, the 6-3 win at Everton & the 3-0 wins at Villa and Spurs. There were epic lows too. The 5-3 loss at White Hart lane & the 2-1 loss at Newcastle. They all summed up the Blues title triumph.

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Goal of the Season? via DailyMail

How can I forget that Charlie Adam goal, the Rooney K.O, the City FALL OUT, the White Hart Lane London-Derby drama, the Koeman miracle and more? Welcome back Premier League. I MISSED YOU!

Kindly follow me on twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football!

Two Halves, Two Games: This Week’s NPFL Summary

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This is the part where I make an introduction but I won’t (can’t say why). Let’s just say this is a piece about two halves from two different games that summarizes the Nigerian Professional Football League this weekend.

Sharks vs Warri Wolves
The Composed Vs The Decomposed

It was some sort of a no-contest in the sense that from the first 45, Sharks was the dominating and domineering team. They got the better of their opponents every time in the first half; moved faster and played better. To make matters worse, someone mentioned that Wolves hadn’t lost in their last five games prior to this one. If you saw this game, you wouldn’t have believed that! They were the “in form” team but they fell flat in this game and came up short with every play. Their defending was poor (the main culprit a defender, Egwuekwe who won the AFCON with the Super Eagles in 2013) and there was a huge sense of disconnection in every wing. It is impossible to compare Sharks’ composure and the connection between their players to the dismal performance by the Warri Wolves players. By the end of the half, Sharks already had two goals in their kitty and eventually ran away with the game. Well done Sharks! This is what the NPFL needs!

Dolphins Vs Nasarawa United
One Poor Team Vs Another Poor Team

Asides individual brilliance and beautiful team play, sometimes goals need defensive errors to become goals, poor officiating too. This was a game between two teams that looked like they both needed help.

Nasarawa United needed an unworthy penalty to take the lead in Port Harcourt. Then the Dolphins goalie made a rookie’s error, handled the ball outside the box and got himself sent off. Dolphins, now down to 10 men, had to play clueless football, patternless soccer, make clumsy challenges before they could take advantage of Nasarawa’s ball-watching defenders to equalize and another to put them in the lead. 10 men scored two goals in 30 minutes. Sounds good but both teams played like the NPFL is a league of rookies. And obviously that is not true!  Warn yourselves you two. The last thing the league needs now is two clubs playing boring football and chasing the fans away! 😦

Kindly follow me on Twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football.

Arsene Wenger Draws First Blood!: The Community Shield Story

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First goal, only goal: Chamberlain celebrates goal against Chelsea

It was the 93rd Community Shield match, the sequel to the beginning of the “self-acclaimed” biggest league in the world. It was a reunion for Cech (who looked like revenge was on his mind) and a Costa-less situation for Jose Mourinho (who was still in pre-season mode, rocking a Chelsea jersey and tracks unlike the ‘suit and tie’ Arsene was wearing) who deployed Remy up front instead.

The first ten minutes were uneventful except for the clash between Mertaseker and Fabregas in the Arsenal 18-yard box. Mourinho jumped off the bench to protest but In the end, it looked like Fabregas had started diving again.

It took 22 minutes before either goalies had any serious thing to do. An Arsenal freekick, Walcott header, Courtois save. While Chelsea were too busy playing like bullies, showing off muscle and all, Arsenal had been playing something like ‘tiki-taka’ (they need to call Guardiola for more lessons though), kicking around the ball sneakily but nothing real happened until the 23rd minute.

Whoever was marking Chamberlain allowed him to get into the Chelsea 18-yard box, hesistated for a second, allowed him to switch the ball to his left foot and EVEN still allowed him to let fly! Courtois was helpless as the ball found its way into the top-right-hand corner of his goal. Goaal! First blood drawn.

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Helpless Courtois against Chamberlain's goal

Chelsea, while looking for their equalizer, were clearly missing something, let me say someone. To be more detailed: Ramires had more shots OFF TARGET, trying to score than Remy the ‘striker of the day’ who was too busy being offside and AWOL too! Costa wasn’t on the pitch. Hazard was but was ineffective. Summary of the 1st half? Mourinho’s Chelsea couldn’t function without its bullies. Arsenal discovered Chelsea’s weak spot, Azpilicueta and kept poking at it…. lol.

Mourinho brought on Falcao for the 2nd half (as expected) but sadly, things continued as they ended in the first half: More of Arsenal’s ground-level, team-splitting passes and more of Hazard’s absence and more of Chelsea’s players being caught offside.

23 minutes into the 2nd half, Mourinho had used up 3 substitutions and was still a goal down. Chelsea now played with some sense of urgency but couldn’t put one past Arsenal thanks to… (it still isn’t exactly clear for now). The scoreline stayed the same (even when Jose replaced Terry with Moses) and now Arsenal have the bragging rights of the upcoming EPL season (well, so to speak).

If this match defines what we can expect from the new EPL season, brace yourself for a lot of sleeping in the first half of MatchDays on Saturdays and Sundays, more spats between Jose and Arsene, counter-attacking football from Arsenal and more anti-injury prayers from Chelsea fans for Diego Costa 😥

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"I gave my loser's medal away."

Jose ended the show by giving his medal away and showing off that he wasn’t a sore loser. He greeted the whole Arsenal players and snubbed (or was snubbed by) Arsene Wenger. Let me end this by asking: #WengerSnubOrMourinhoSnub? Share your views in the comments section below.

Kindly follow me on Twitter @Rotdav and let’s talk football.