Stories about football

Six and the City leaves Manchester blue

‘Six and the City’ is the new comedy drama every footballing nation is talking about since last Sunday. I’m not referring to the hit TV series – this is far more serious. It is the new tag line for the football fixture held this  Sunday between the two bitter rivals Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) and Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) in England. ‘Six and the City’ refers to the 6-1 thrashing that Manchester United FC received at the hands of Manchester City FC. Manchester United has given Manchester City a torrid time over the years, and must I say ...

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Why cricket is better than football

I read Azeem Abbas’s blog, “Ten reasons why football is better than cricket”, and felt compelled to write a lighthearted response. So, here are ten reasons why I feel cricket is better than football:  1) The Pakistan factor: I grew up as a fan of the Albicelestes (Argentina National Football team), and love following Inter Milan, Barcelona, and the English Premier League in general. But no matter how many Barcelona jerseys I buy, or how many Argentina flags I stick on my car whilst struck with Football World Cup fever, there is just something about cheering for your own country in a sporting event, ...

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Ten reasons why football is better than cricket

1. It is a game of one single format rather than four formats. You don’t need a test football or a one day international, T20, first-class, second class, third-class or umpteen class football, just a simple game of 90 minutes and a nail-biting penalty shootout. A timed game is acceptable to a game that lasts for days. 2. It garners more television coverage. The 2010 FIFA World Cup was watched by an estimated television audience of 700 million people around the globe compared to a meagre 65.6 million people (out of which 80% of the viewership was from India alone!) ...

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You are no legend, Cesc

Dear Cesc, It seems that you’ve decided to return to Barcelona, your boyhood club where you took your first formative steps in football, which also happens to be the place of residence for your family. Fair enough. And who could blame you? Who wouldn’t want to play for the world champions, the team that plays the ‘most attractive football,’ the one that is being heralded as ‘the greatest team in history’ by pundits world over. The team in which more than half your World Cup winning Spanish teammates play. Kudos to you for attracting an interest from a team of that ...

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Mourinho’s faltering tactics and how football was ruined

Watching Jose Mourinho coach this Real Madrid team is like watching a slow descent into madness, a football version of Apocalypse Now if you will. Tuesday night was not much different, even though the Spanish Super Cup can be regarded as the equivalent of England’s Community Shield, generally thought of as a glorified pre-season game. However, this time round, these games were contested by bitter rivals: the Community Shield saw Manchester United clash with Manchester City but the atmosphere was nowhere near as explosive as what transpired at Camp Nou. Focus not on football Football became a sideshow, an act not witnessed ...

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Pakistan football: Think of the future now

Pakistan under-16 team’s triumph in the South Asian Football Federation (Saff) Championship serves as an eye-opener to our sports policy-makers that the country has an abundance of talent that is waiting to blossom. Hats off to the young players from a nation where football patronage is missing, infrastructure is miserable and the so-called youth development programmes are just a mockery of the sport. The win prompted a Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) official to claim it a result of the federation’s youth programmes which was far from the truth. These programmes are being run on paper and not on the field. Without ...

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A summer of change for Manchester United

The summer of 2011 promises to be one of major changes for Manchester United. Having finally displaced Liverpool as the most successful side in English League history, United are now set to begin the new season with a different and somewhat inexperienced squad to the one that recently lifted a record-breaking 19th league title in May 2011. Long-serving defenders John O’ Shea and Wes Brown have both joined Sunderland while the retirements of Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar in addition to the retirement of Gary Neville in February has left the English champions short of experienced players to ...

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Manchester United: A different side, coming soon

The summer of 2011 will be one of major changes for Manchester United. Having finally replaced Liverpool as the most successful side in English League history, United are now set to begin the new season with a different and somewhat inexperienced squad compared to the one that recently lifted a record-breaking 19th league title in May. Long-serving defenders John ‘O Shea and Wes Brown have both joined Sunderland while the retirements of Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar, in addition to the retirement of Gary Neville in February, have left the English champions short of experienced players to match ...

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Mediocre coaches give mediocre results

Saudi Arabia’s dismal run at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup campaign resulted in the mid-tournament sacking of their national football team coach Jose Peseiro, who was replaced by the world-renowned Frank Rijkaard. We see a similar trend in Iran, where Afshin Ghotbi was replaced by Carlos Queiroz, while Qatar fired their long-serving coach Bruno Metsu and appointed Serbia’s Milovan Rajevac in his place. In fact, wherever ‘the beautiful game’ is followed with passion and sincerity, failures on the field are taken seriously by both the fans and the concerned authorities. Football federations leave no stone unturned to rectify their errors and go ...

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Arsenal: The last invincible

Wisdom teeth are a tiresome process. They take long painful months to grow out and more often than not, end up having to be removed, leaving throbbing empty spaces behind. Anyone who has gone through the experience will know how every Arsenal Football Club supporter across the globe is feeling right now. The transfer period is never a happy time for the Gunners. Years of watching boss Arsene Wenger’s shopping methods and they have learnt – like beggars at a bakery window – to suppress their desires. That one centreback or that one finisher that will get the job done ...

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