Monday, 30 May 2011

Conclusions from Wembley!

Before I go on to say "Congrats Barca" or shower some other adulation to convey that emotion, let me put forward one strong opinion of mine forward. You CANNOT beat a team like Barcelona with a central mid field pair of Michael (inconsistency) Carrick and Ryan (Unlucky) Giggs!. I mean, it is just suicidal to counter Iniesta and Xavi with Carrick and Giggs. It was clear right at the start, when the team charts were out. One of them can't run and press fiercely while the other hasn't gone to a proper soccer school in his formative years. An important disclaimer for readers here : If you cannot read between lines at this particular juncture and understand who's who in the sentence above, please hit red on your top right. This is not your serving of cauliflower.

Coming to the usual rituals that we need to perform after that stunning performance, let us congratulate Barca, Messi, Xavi and Guardiola for some invincible displays overall. Kudos to them. Manchester United have not been mauled at a big stage like this before. To beat the best English team this season, in a manner like that, takes some impeccable class and that is exactly what Barca showed they possess. Now to the conclusions,

1. Michael Carrick can never prove to the footballing audience in England and elsewhere that he actually has some sort of soccer stuff in him.

2. Barcelona proved to the world yet again that they are the best in the world by a really long distance.

3. It would be to state the facts as they are if we said that Manchester United were the better of the worse in the English Premier League this season. They did not play like champions.

4. Xavi is unequal to any other mid fielder of recent times. He is just a class apart.

5. It is nothing wrong if we said Messi is even bigger than Maradona.

6. Alex Ferguson showed some character for the first time in my living memory by way of heartily congratulating Guardiola after the match and by showering praises in plenty, slightly after the match, in the media.

7. We are probably nearing the end of a fantastic era in world football, that has been defined with some managerial class by messrs. SAF.

8. It is definitely not the way a man like VDS should have retired for what he has achieved with the gloves.

9. Manchester United need to buy some top quality players in the summer window to re-instill some confidence in the fans' minds, especially after an abysmal performance like that.

10. That match is definitely a disgrace to English Football and it will take some time to heal the wound. May be years.!!!

Once again, Barcelona won it like champions, clean, smooth, wonderful!

P.S : I am still trying to reason with myself about Valencia not being sent off for a disastrous defensive display, time and again in those 90 minutes.

P.P.S : Wayne Rooney's goal was a good one really, though it came against the run of play and did not come of a properly orchestrated attacking manoeuvre.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Mama Ei Sri Lanka sikuraadaa

Before starting to put pen on paper, when I named the current one, I got reminded of this post from the past and hence decided to do a decent job of clearing the air with angry readers who have been bit by such an oblique title to a personal blog post. I shall not do a Hi-Ye or Hi-Hi kinda thing to confuse one and all and will teach my sinhalese-uninitiated readers their first phrase in sinhalese before proceeding - "I am coming to Sri Lanka this Friday". That is what my title means in sinhalese. So, breathe a heavy sigh, forgive me for the encryption and sit back to digest my pre-travelogue kinda post on my vacation to Sri Lanka starting this friday.

Yes, I am going to Sri Lanka on this year's tour (we do this thing every year) during the summer vacation. And by doing that, we are on track for an amazingly new feat in the country's history by and large. Geographically speaking, Sri Lanka is a small country with a pea-shaped structure sitting merrily beneath India on the world map. Demographically, it is a scarcely populated nation. More so since a good number of inhabitants from the northern side were wiped off from the landscape recently during the war. A debate as to whether that act was right or wrong would best be left to another day. Coming to matter, the country has very few people littering its soil. And now, we are going to be the single largest party walking at large, on sri lankan soil for a good long while. Records from the shelf indicate that the most populous bunch of homo sapiens spotted on a 2 square meter patch of land in Sri Lanka is not in double digits. We are going to beat history by overgrowing the native population by a handful for about 9 days. Yes, we are about 20-25 members on the roster for this tour down south. 

The idea of making trips with such large number of asses on the flight is definitely a questionable idea. Many of my friends and acquaintances have spoken to me about the fact in private. The general consensus is that, it is a really tough job to handle such a large group in the first place and with the members of the fairer sex outnumbering the members of the other in the touring council, the idea of social discipline and community etiquette are flatly defeated. More often than not, people tend to worry about behavioral aspects of men and women in such large companies. But, for me the one single advantage that defeats all the cons of the large group affair in general, is this:

Suppose that a group of two (say husband and wife) go on a vacation. According to the cosmopolitan distribution of the technology of probability in the evolution of mankind, the probability of Person A getting bored with/pissed off with the other party (Person B) in the congregation, during the span of the trip is as high as the himalayas. Hence, when such a situation arises, the poor soul (in most cases, the husband) is left to stare at things, animals and other living beings around, so as to kill time for the rest of the tour.

Now alternatively, consider such a large group of 25 with a camouflage of age, sex, height, weight, character, facade etc, it is as clear as a glass of aquafina water that one has so many options to try out in the event of one getting pissed of with another. For instance, if perima (mom's elder sister) behaves like a flat moron and keeps talking about marriage or some such equally infernal thing day and night, one can go ahead and try to socialize with chithapa (mom's younger sister's husband) who talks about beer, alcohol, whisky, vodka and/or related things incessantly. Or for another instance, if young cousin, who is obsessed with PJ's, as a result of going to school from June to April year after year, bugs one with nasty and stinking jokes from his peers and teachers, one can go for refuge to chithi (mom's younger sister), who talks of youth or love or sex or one of those empowering things in general. One gets the broad idea here, I suppose.

So, getting back to the argument of managing to come unscathed from a tour with 20 odd white-crossed relatives along, the variety of personalities in the gang is a single and sufficient reason to prove my questioning friends and acquaintances wrong.

So many friends and colleagues who are waiting to see me off are praying to God for my safe and secure return with no change whatsoever to my inner self. In the modern and civilized world that we live in, it is an accepted fact that a man's character and inner self are quintessential for harmony and happiness of the human race. And with a tour of sorts like the one I am talking about, it is very highly probably that one loses one's mind and in turn harms one's inner self, in the end leading to the collateral damage of society by and large. So wish me luck for a lengthy ordeal with old flesh and blood which is sure to be filled with socialistic festivities, including but not restricted to 

1. consuming different varieties of species like fish, crab, whale, dolphin etc from the sea shores of colombo

2. secretive hanging out of like-aged cousins ranging from 20 to 25 at the bar parlour or tea kadai

3. late night sessions of seatu kattu (playing cards)

P.S : I shall draft a post once I am back to en iniya tamil nadu (my favorite tamil nadu) and that would be a proper travelogue covering details of places and incidents. Skeptic onlookers from my immediate friends circle who are apprehensive about my returning from the trip as my own holy self, can then evaluate the person in me, post tour! 

Adios till then!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

I've found out how he died!

To start with a few things that we all know, Osama bin Laden was holed up in a two-storey house 100 yards from a Pakistani military academy when four helicopters carrying US anti-terror forces swooped in the early morning hours of last Monday and killed him. So, a rather straight forward inference from that bit of news is the not-so-simple fact that the world's most wanted fugitive died not in a cave, but in a town best known as a garrison for the Pakistani military.

US officials said the helicopter raid in Pakistan was carried out by CIA paramilitaries together with the elite Navy SEAL Team Six. The Pakistan Government first came out and said "Hell Yeah, we knew it. How could they have done it without our help??". That statement became public and suddenly an uproar kicked off in pockets towards the north west. Now after going back to the drawing board and formulating a new plan altogether, the Pakistanis decided to alter things and nod their heads to the US' claims that they were indeed caught unawares. So, the stance that they had remained privy to the whole affair was clean and clear bullshit of sorts.

Coming to the dynamics of the whole operation in general, it is claimed that both helicopters and ground troops were involved in the operations. If that is assumed to be true, I don't see any application of brains from the Pakistani side as they CANNOT rule out their knowledge about the operation (Ground Operations mate!. Wouldn't you know if someone was putting his/her hands inside your shirt and tickling your tummy or some part in that vicinity?). But if we go ahead and assume that even this fact was true, it simply means that Americans have been playing at the Pakistani back gates, at their will. Tamil, as a language, is a very beautiful one to say the least. "Ooran Veetu Neiye, En Pondatti Kaiye" naanam. (Literal translation would get close to something like 'Your wife dipping her hands into your neighbor's ghee vessel'). American military is self's wife in this particular analogy and the neighbor (Pakistan) has been a silent witness to the former's exploits.

So, I think it is pretty much safe to assume that Pakistan's military and intelligence leadership knew of his whereabouts and sheltered him. Now, if Osama was being sheltered by some really smart brains in the business (viz. ISI) (Of course they are smart, for they've successfully masterminded about 100+ attacks in their neighborhood viz. Kashmir), then how the hell did US spot him right behind the back of Pakistan's biggest military area?

Tough question I know, and media all over the world is trying to figure out that particular thing. But one of my friends on the internet seems to have cracked the code. He says it has to be one of the two following things.

1. Osama must have come out on the road for some weekend shopping for self and supporters

2. He must've missed the trick in this fast socializing world of tweets and likes and hit the wrong button.

So, with two hypotheses that are really more logical than what the Pakistan Government is rendering to the world by and large, I think some insider should go and offer one of these for an explanation and thereby aim to put all speculation to rest. They can then call themselves a sovereign nation whose primary agenda includes their resolve against "non state" actors. After all, Osama stayed under their nose for 5 years and later gave himself away. No involvement monsieur! Not a single bit of it!

P.S : Now that, would be a really plausible explanation.Think of it.The thing about one hiding under another one's nose. It is difficult for the eye to find him. Try looking down to find the center of your mustache. No, you can't. It is beyond all technological advancements mate! It is also comparable to the worldly accepted fact about Tamil Nadu Policemen and their difficulty to spot the belly button below one's belly, with one's own eyes. If you know what I mean!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Guide to Wembley and after (for Man United, I mean)

Hell Yeah! It is truly fascinating to note that "people" are merrily writing off Manchester United for the final at Wembley on May 28th (After writing off Schalke of course). I request "people" to hold on for a second and listen to a few facts compiled by one fellow reader at Mr. Bean's hometown (should be something to that effect for the kind of humor they produce) viz. F365 (yet again). I have been trying to find out why I am so obsessed with stuff from F365 and not able to avoid mentions or similar analyses or mere lifts from there, in this blog.

Cutting tangent and coming to matter, the compilation that I was referring to goes thus.

Whilst Barcelona play great football, I would suggest that the fact that haven't scored many goals against 11 men in good teams recently means United, if they reach the final, have a good chance, if Ferdinand and Vidic are both fit (and probably also if Darren Fletcher is fit). In the roughly 440 minutes played against 11 men over the recent four El Clásicos and the two matches with Arsenal, Barcelona scored three and conceded five, whilst in the roughly 100 minutes against 10 men, they scored five and conceded one. That's one goal scored per 147 minutes against 11 men and one goal scored per 20 minutes against 10 men. Van Persie's sending off was obviously a mistake, whilst opinion is divided over whether Pepe's offence was a yellow or a red - personally, I think it was an orange at worst. Barcelona also failed to score in 111 minutes against 11 man Holland in the World Cup Final. So the best advice for United? Don't get anyone sent off.

Now, on the contrary, I don't see United winning that game (assuming 11 players keep their feet on the playing field for round about 90 minutes, that is), if they play a tactic like the one in the 2009 final with a 4-5-1 where Rooney plays in the 5s. 

While I was drafting this post and when I reached this point in my writing, I took a break for a cup of tea. And the tea, filled with ginger and elaichi, definitely proved to be a good refresher, like one of those magical, instantaneous Jeeves' refreshers. It sharpened my thinking faculties and gave me an idea instantly after consumption. The idea, as it ran through my mind, is as follows. In a guide to Wembley, given the nature of this year's champions league and the two teams by and large, it is more important to add some valuable points to the smaller goal of playing 11 players for 90 minutes for Manchester United rather than the bigger one of winning it. As facts stated above indicate, all suggestions and inferences point to an underlying assumption of playing 11 players from whistle to whistle. Hence, here below, I've listed down a few ingenious ideas that I contrived while plainly thinking over it.

1. Manchester United players will do well if they are handed an extra weapon (a secret one, to be used only during emergencies, though emergency is a phenomenon that is expected to arrive too often than obvious to the human mind in such encounters), The extra weapon is a 3 x 5 plastic card, painted red. They should probably make efforts to understand situations in the match, when opponent players are down to the ground and performing like in the movies. At these junctures, work of the moment would be to exercise their option of using that weapon and showing it to the referee who is in the near vicinity. By doing that, the referee is sent off at that moment and the probability of him showing a red card at the player involved in the recent tackle becomes zero. (A referee cannot use his power and exercise his options after having been sent off)

2. Quick Learners. That is the order of today's modern civilization. Manchester United players should show some tact in quickly grasping theatre skills from their catalan counterparts as soon as possible in the match. So that, if the first half is won by actors from Spain, the second one can belong to the fraternity from England.

3. In the game of counter strike, if you have noticed, it is important to stay together as a team, in order to clinch a tag team shoot out. That principle holds good in the game of football as well. It is important for the players to support one another in times of distress and grief and exchange soothing words to bring down their collective tempers. For, in a match against Barcelona, temper, taken as an emotion, can only be displayed by two kinds of people by the rule book. a.) People who fall under the category of proctors/referees in general. b.) People who represent the most populous city of Catalonia. 

4. Repeatedly tell Scholes, (when he is on the pitch) that his role on that day is to be an Attacking (with a capital A) Midfielder and any tactless display of defensive skills is suicidal.

A fifth point has been suggested by a faithful reader of this space and I think it will do justice only if i include that most ingenious idea in this list of mine!

5. United management, wait and see which obscure North European country the referee is from. Once you find that out, you can send him a cable with 'From UEFA (shhhh!)' written on top and the contents being, in code language of course, 'Plan change. United win. Messi red. Barca no give 5m and show middle finger'

With such valuable inputs to the people in red, I am signing off with a cliche viz. "May the best team(not in my opinion, but in UEFA's/referee's opinion) on that day win".