If Footballers were Pokemon

With the whole world playing Pokemon Go, lets find out which footballers would be which Pokemon?

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Per Mertesacker- Slow Bro

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Fabian Delph- Ekans

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Adebayo Akinfenwa- Machamp

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Marouanne Fellaini- Tangela

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Mesut Ozil- Jigglypuff

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Lestienne-Pidgeot

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Mario Ballotelli- Charmeleon

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Petr Cech- Cubone

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Daniel Sturridge- Lickitung

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Ronaldo- Snorlax

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Neymar Jr- Jolteon

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Roy Hodson- HootHoot

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Lionel Messi-Pikachu

Everyone’s favorite

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Will Grigg- Charmander

(He does Nothing, but we love him anyway)

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My European Championship 2016 Awards

Match of the tournament: For a tournament that lacked goals, the best match was the only one which was full of them. Portugal 3- 3 Hungary, it was fast paced, exciting and full of goals.

Player of the tournament :He lost 2 finals to Cristiano Ronaldo this year but still lit up both tournamnets. Antoine Griezzeman was rapid, ominous and scored goals at important times for france. He contributed to 8 goals this tournament and was the clear standout of this tournament.

Goal of the tournament : Hal Robson Kanus Cruyff turn against Belgium was out of this world.

Continue reading “My European Championship 2016 Awards”

My European Championship Team of The Tournament

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Formation: 3-4-1-2

Goalkeeper: Between the sticks is Hugo Lloris whose consistent performances are the reason why France play in the final today. He has not pulled off any world class saves except for one against Germany, but he has been resolute and never let his side down like others have.

Centre Back:Leonardo Bonucci’s only mistake all tournament was missing his penalty kick in the shootout against Germany in the quarter finals. He is a true old fashioned defender who was the leader of the defence that only leaked in 2 goals from open play and managed to shout out Belgium and the holders Spain.

Centre Back:The only non Italian defender in my team is Jerome Boateng who arguably scored the best goal of the tournaments in the Round of 16 against Slovakia. His off the line clearance against Ukraine was just a glimpse of the capabilities and composure he has at the back.

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Centre Back:The other Italian in defence is the man who was known as the Heir to Fabio Cannavaro, Georgio Chiellini. He can score,defend,tackle,mark and is probably the most complete defender at the tournament.

Centre Midfield: Every time Toni Kroos received the ball  it seemed as if he had the entire time in the world before choosing his next pass. He was the man who made Germany tick and he did it so effortlessly.

Centre Midfield: This may be my Arsenal Bias talking but Granit Xhaka was one of the best Midfielders this tournament. Even though he played in only 4 games this tournament he received man of the match awards in half of them and seemed extremely calm and composed and he is just at the tender age of 23. He will be unfortunately remembered by his terrible penalty miss which knocked switzerland out in the round of 16 but he should be remembered by his delightful passing range and incredible tenacity.

Left Midfield: While everyone expected Paul Pogba to steal the show, Dmitri Payet went under the radar. However come the first game of the tournament all eyes were on the West Ham maestro as he completely ran the show and capped it of with a stunning 89th minute volley which won France the game. Since then he has been the focal point of every France attack and will be France’s key man in the final.

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Right Midfield:Many say Wales’s best and most important player in the Euro’s was Aaron Ramsey because he is something they’ve never had before. They’ve had players like Bale like Giggs or Ian Rush, but never have they had a creative box to box midfielder capable of linking up defence and attack. His performance against Belgium was match winning and many say his absence against Portugal was the reason they lost the Semi Finals.

tumblr_o9dworWwQH1ry3rxao1_400.gifCentral Attacking Midfield: This man has got everything the pace, the goals and the celebration. My player of the tournament by far. Scored 6 goals and has assisted another, he is the talisman and the goalscorer who is mostly responsible for the french having their name on the trophy .

 

Sgiphy (1).giftriker Duo: The Real Madrid pair of Gareth Bale and Ronaldo will play up front. Scoring 7 goals between them they both have been deadly. Bale in the early part of the tournament and Ronaldo in the latter. However ROnaldo stepped up when it mattered and sent that bullet header into the back of the net against bales Wales to win the semi final.
Nevertheless both of them have been lethal and ominous in front of goal.
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Is there any Loyalty left in Football?

Last week Ryan Giggs officially left Manchester united after almost 3 decades with them. He was truly a loyal and faithful servant of this great football club and he is one of the last players who were One Club Men. A community that is a dying breed in the modern game, football has evolved since the days of the one club men and loyalty is not a trait that the modern footballer possesses. There will be no more Francesco Tottis, no more Steven Gerrard’s and no more Paolo Maldini’s. A player will now always look to move on to the better club, where he can get more money, or maybe win more titles but play a lesser role. Managers are the same , they will always look for what’s best for them , who is paying me the highest wage, and who is giving me more financial security.

Continue reading “Is there any Loyalty left in Football?”

Arsenal’s search for a striker continues as Jamie Vardy chooses Leicester.

Since Robin Van Persie disloyally left Arsenal to sign for their rivals Manchester United, Arsenal have been in the market for a 30 goal a season striker. However every year since then a top quality striker has slipped out of their grasp, leaving them with Olivier Giroud and a bag full of excuses for why he can not be the man to win Arsenal the title. The list of strikers who chose to go the other way is endless. First it was Gonzalo Higuain who chose to go to Napoli, then it was Luis Suarez and Liverpool who laughed off Arsenals offer of 40 million and 1 pound. The list goes on and on and its newest is addition is Jamie Vardy who shrugged of Arsenal and chose to stay at Leicester, a team who 3 years ago played championship football.

As an Arsenal fan myself it is extremely frustrating watching how Arsenal go about there business in the Transfer Market. They always tease you by stating they are linked with these World Class players like Suarez or Benzema, but in the end it comes to no fruition and we end up signing the likes of Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer. A man whose most notable moment in an Arsenal shirt is this:ZGRvHb.gif

Arsenal fans pay the highest season ticket in the world and thus expect this money to be put to good use in terms of betterment for the club and the squad. However time and again Arsenal and Arsene fail to buy a decent striker and hold the money close to their chest, as if it was their own. The penny pinching Arsene Wenger will only spend the amount he thinks the player is worth, and this is arrogance from him is why we lose out on World Class strikers. Surely a club whose average season ticket price is 1500 pounds can afford to spend some money on over priced strikers when the only other option is play Olivier Giroud every week. Evidently this shows that in life you get what you pay for, unless you’re an Arsenal Fan.

In terms of the Jamie Vardy deal, Arsenal did show some intent to sign him and were aggressive. However it was blindingly obvious from the moment that Jamie Vardy asked for more time to make up his mind that eventually his heart would choose Leicester. Today confirmed what Vardy said earlier was merely lip service as he signed a new 4 year contract worth 100k pounds a week.

Vardy’s loyalty to Leicester is embarrassing for a big club like Arsenal as it shows, as a club they can no longer attract top players.In contrast 21 years ago Arsenal signed Dennis Bergkamp, arguably their best ever player. Now they can’t even get Jamie Vardy a player who 5 years ago was playing in Non-League football. This is a reflection of how football has changed. TV money has given Leicester financial clout and the dream of playing for the Premier League winners in the Champions League convinced Vardy to stay.

However this is not terrible news for Arsenal and there still plenty of alternatives they can look at apart from the Premier League winner. However they need to act fast and sign that striker who can score them 20 goals a season and win them their first League Title for more than a decade. Otherwise come next season, their won’t be many fans singing “One Arsene Wenger” at the Emirates.

Matchday 2: My Review

3 teams are already through, the rest of the 21 teams have it all to play for in the 3rd matchday to get to the round of 16 stage. The second match day was more open, with the difference between the quality sides starting to show.

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Goal of the Matchday: Marel Hamsik’s strike against Russia on the stroke of halftime was simply amazing.

giphy.gifPlayer of the Matchday: Dmitri Payet got another goal to his name, but the man of this matchday has to be Daniel Sturridge. His 92nd minute winner against wales sent the entire country wild, especially after they conceded so late on against Russia. It was an inspired substitution by Roy Hodgson, bringing him on at half tim and it paid dividends. This winner has got the entire country doing the celebration and this inspired moment gives him the player of the matchday.

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Team that looked the most settturkey4.jpgled: Spain carved Turkey open like a…

They were fluid, moved the ball with such pace and ease and never even got out of 2nd gear. Morata was clinical, Nolito was fantastic and David De Gea had to pay a spectators fee as he did nothing more than watch the game from probably the best seat in the house. They looked ominous and hungry and you could say they were back to their best.

Most surprising player: Kyle Walker continued his fine form with a Man of The Match performance against the Welsh. However this match day this title goes to Nolito, the 29 year old scored and assisted against Turkey on Saturday. This is only the 6th cap for the former La Masia ( Barcelona’s Academy) student. He currently is playing at Spanish club Celta Vigo and could be returning to Barcelona this summer.

Team who didn’t live up to expectations: For the World Championsm winning every group stage game is almost mandatory, but on Thursday night they ended up drawing 0-0 with geographical rivals Poland. However even with the Lions share of posession they failed to create any clear cut chances, and we did not see Lukasz Fabianski pulling of any world class saves.  It was a relatively subdued match and was nowhere near the adjective used to describe Germany’s football,efficient. With Mario Gotze and then Thomas Muller playing as a false 9, there was no out and out centre forward who was leading their line until Mario Gomez graced the pitch. This tactic has been there downfall as they struggle to get the ball out of the midfield as they don’t really have a target man who can make runs and link up the play. This forced the likes of Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos, 2 of the worlds best midfielders to pass it sideways as they did not have that man upfront to cross it to. They are in danger of finishing 2nd in their group, but its too early to ring any alarm bells and they could be back on track in the next game against the Irish.

Player who didn’t live up to expectations: The 2 strikers who I thought did not have a good game 1 had completely opposite second games. Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the hqdefault.jpgBelgium Rout against Ireland. However Cristiano Ronaldo took 5 shots in the game against Austria and scored none, and on top of that he missed a penalty. He looked frustrated and also continued his streak of not scoring from free kicks in tournaments to 35. The only worthy thing he accomplished on the pitch was letting a fan take a selfie with him and stopping the security from rugby tackling him to the ground.

Matchday 1: My review

Every team has now played one game and it’s been a very exciting and open tournament as a spectator. There has not been much of a difference between the sides as most games have been won by the odd goal. Its been promising and it looks like it will be an exciting tournament ahead.

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Goal of the tournament: When the ball was cleared into the sky by the Turkish defence, no one expected that its next bounce would be in the back of the net. But it was, Luka Modric met that ball with perfection, and volleyed it passed a horde of players and straight into the Turkish net. The technique in that strike was top draw and it was a goal worthy of winning any game. I will be surprised if any goal surpasses the Croatian’s as goal of the tournament.

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Player of the tournament: While all the attention was on Paul Pogba, a certain Dmitri Payet when under the radar to produce the performance of his life in his first cap in major tournaments. He created 8 chances for his team mates, the most by any player in the first game. His touch was silky and he moved so seamlessly on the ball , doing Cruyf turns and no look passes with such ease. It was a joy to watch. He laid a perfect ball for Olivier Giroud to head home from to open the scoring, and finished the game of in the 89th minute with that stunning left foot volley which sent the Parc Des Princes into delirium.

Team that looked the most settled: In my Euro’s predictions, I said Italy would be the flops of the tournament with what looked like an inexperienced attack. However that first performance against Belgium made me eat my words. They defended in numbers and attacked with precision. 2 counter attacks, 2 goals and for the rest of the game they just soaked up all the pressure without breaking a sweat. They really do know how to play tournament football.

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Most surprising player: Surprisingly in the England Russia game I thought Kyle Walker was the man of the match and he is my most surprising player. I always thought of him as a
one dimensial player and someone who used his pace to get him out of most problems. However against Russia he was very good. Most of the attacks in the first half stemmed from him and he created at least 3-4 chances which should have been finished. Also defensively he shored up and there was hardly a threat down his side on the right.

Team who didn’t live up to expectations: There was a lot of optimism around Belgium, it’s time for the Golden Generation to step up and win something for their country. But they looked like a team of individuals, there was no cohesion in the way they attacked and you could say despite all their possession in the 2nd half they failed to make any clear cut chances apart from some corners that Fellaini could get his head on. Lukaku, Naingolan and De Bruyne looked lack lustre and in the 2nd half most of the times you could see Hazard asking for the ball and then he either lost it or had to pass it back due to the lack of options created by his team mates. If they are to go far in this tournament they will have to improve their attacking quality.

P100692040_ronreuters-xlarge_trans++ZCAs_UO4E1NchwqSOXfgrf4v9G1aSZyFKN8pasjopuE.jpglayer who didn’t live up to expectations: There is a toss up between 2 players for this award, 2 strikers . Both who failed to exert their dominance on the pitch and were sniffed out by their opponents. However Cristiano Ronaldo pipped Romelu Lukaku to this award as there were a lot more hopes on him to score against an inexperienced Icelandic defence. Most people would bet their houses on the fact that Ronaldo would score against a team ranked 47th in the world and with only 3 players having champions league experience. However he missed a couple of chances and failed to exert his dominance on the pitch and that’s why he is my player who didn’t live up to expectation. However Lukaku was equally poor but he was up against probably 3 of the Worlds best defenders and Gianluigi Buffon so the quality he faced was a lot higher than the KSI defence.