Messi times, Robben’s renaissance and Zamora’s plane ticket
April 9, 2010 2 Comments
Apologies, its been a while. Been quite hectic with assignments and whatnot, but this week will be supersmashinggreat. All one word, hey if Ian Dowie can get a word in the dictionary, so can Lord Jim Bowen.
Well looking back at my European predictions, some of them were…..wrong. So this week we’ll steer clear of prediction and stick to pure 100% opinion.
1. Lionel Messi is the greatest player of his generation
Not my words, but Sky’s after his hat trick against Arsenal this week. I’ve been convinced for a while he’s better than Ronaldo, but this performance sealed the deal. 3 hat tricks in his last 7 games; phenomenal for a player that has been criticised by his natives.
Messi has 119 in 204 games for Barca and he’s 22. That’s just unreal. The media’s view from the first leg was that Messi was quiet, but second leg, every superlative possible was used. He was pretty poor by his own standards at the Emirates, but the fact is the side got a good result at a ground that Arsenal have made into a fortress. If anyone thought Arsenal could get a result at the Camp Nou, they were clearly kidding themselves, especially considering the injuries they have.
Shame really as Nicklas Bendtner played very well. Anyway, Andy Gray made a bit of a faux pas this week on commentary hinting Barca are a one man side. Not true in the slightest. Xavi and Iniesta are the perfect players to bring the best out of Messi. Barca’s weakened defence were quite good as well, bar the goal. So, Mr Gray trying watching other players as well. There’s other reasons why Pep Guardiola’s made Barca into the best side of the past 10 years.
Well I’m looking forward to El Classico tomorrow. It will be a slobberknocker
2. Kyle Lafferty shouldn’t be allowed to score
Especially if this happens. Shoddy robotics and very poor celebration. Decent enough strike.
3. Arjen Robben is the talisman Bayern have missed for a decade
After waxing lyrical about Barca, I’m gonna throw a curveball and say Bayern may be the side to stop them. Their side just seems destined to make the final after knocking Fiorentina and United out in similar circumstances aka Arjen Robben wonder strikes.
He looks at his best at the moment and looks to have finally settled at a side where he is the playmaker, which wasn’t going to happen at either Chelsea and Real. He doesn’t have the star power like Messi, but the typical attributes that a winger should have. Surely has to be player of the Champions League this year.
Here’s some of Robben’s best mazy running and precision finishing
4. Newcastle need to strengthen to survive
Well the Magpies have silenced their critics with a return to the Premier League (the greatest league the world has ever seen ever). After losing 6-1 in pre-season to Leyton Orient, people were thinking the Geordies would do ‘a Leeds’ but fair play to Chris Hughton and his side, they’ve been great value for money this year in the Championship
Surely a side that has won promotion in record time will be capable of surviving in the top tier. Not in my opinion, the squad has barely changed since relegation. So theoretically they will struggle unless they add a few young talents. I would have suggested Tom Cleverley, but he’s just got a ligament injury meaning he could be out for a while.
They also need to resolve the Carroll/Taylor bust-up, which if not dealt with could have implications next season. My bet is Ryan Taylor will be snapped up by another promotion rival. I don’t think Carroll can make the grade in the Premier League so another striker is needed as well.
5. Bobby Zamora for England
I’ve thought this for a few months now, but the thing that worries me is his lack of international experience. He could turn out to be like Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent, who when called upon for England haven’t really delivered.
Until Fulham’s Europa League run, I think anyone would agree that Zamora isn’t anywhere near international class. But I feel he could prove a useful squad player for the group stage. I think he should be given a chance in the friendlies beforehand to see if Bobby can turn club form into international class
I’ll put my neck on the line and say the four strikers will be Rooney, Defoe, Crouch and Zamora. Sorry D.Bent, but as last week proves, you can’ take pens against the erratic Heurelho Gomes.
And finally, that vital six pointer
6. Bolo Zenden has scored my goal of the season
The Dutch journeyman of many European greats proves he can still pull out something out of the top draw.
(Apologies for poor quality, but as Andy Gray would say: “What a hit, and I say hit because that’s what it is”)
This goal convinced Steve Bruce to try and sign him for another year. And why not? Experienced, occasional brillance and also falls through orange boxes. What more do you want?
Til next time. It’s all in the game