Monday, April 30, 2012

The Manchester Derby for more than all the marbles

It’s hard to imagine a scenario when the off the field pressure could exceed what takes place on the pitch but on Monday night that will be the case when the Manchester Derby takes place. Manchester City was officially formed in 1894 have hoisted the FA Cup five times but never been EPL champions, Manchester United formed in 1878 (LYR) has 19 EPL Championship Trophies including last season, 11 FA Cup titles, and three Champions League crowns among their other accolades. The fans of Manchester England have been at war since “The Great War” and although they’re unable to shake the stigma of being the JV side in the city of roughly 2,7 million, they have every intention of striking David in jaw with right cross on Monday evening as they have Man U. in their crib with a chance to take back the top spot in the EPL with three matches to play. It would be the ultimate coup, upset, turnabout, whatever superlatives you can conjure up but in the realm of global uprisings this would be among the biggest. However on the other sideline is a dynasty that is not ready to relinquish its status and has some of the ultimate weapons of mass destruction pointed directly at Etihad Stadium where they hope to exceed the record for 47,304 fans set in 2004 when they hosted Chelsea. To say that this will be bigger than that would be an understatement, because every match until now has been.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chelsea looks like a perfect 10 as they advance to Champions League Final

The man they once called “Captain Fantastic” John Terry has again fallen well short of the billing after getting red carded and ejected in the first half of the Champion’s League semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona. Despite being down one man for most of the match the Blues put on a perfect display of defense and how to not only tread water but turn the tide for about an hour of game time to post a 2-2 draw and advance to the final on aggregate. Moreover it was a complete statistical domination for the Italian side including Possession (83%), Total Shots (23-7), Territorial Advantage (82% to 18%), and Corners (10-1) BFC failed to win the only stat that really matters, goals. Once the buzz wears off from their victory the focus will surely turn to the poor example set by their captain who will also miss the final and if the band needs to move on to someone whom better exemplifies what Chelsea football is about. When the final decision comes down on who will manage the Blues going forward the second shoe will certainly be about who will head the club on the pitch.