Over the years , tika-taka whether by barca or the Spanish national team , has bored me to levels unimaginable . So much short passing that in the final analysis , that graphic of passes completed looks like a board scratched with chalk by a mischievous young kid .It’s a simple game . They pass the ball around , draw the opposition midfield out of position and their midfield maestros find a pass straight to their forward , who has the monotonous job of kicking the ball past the keeper . It’s a challenge playing that way and both these teams deserve credit for playing that way no matter what the situation . To stick to your philosophy in any situation is commendable . But that strength is perhaps their greatest weakness . The incapacity to adapt . The reluctance to change . The inflexibility within .
Both barca and Spain are dependent ,heavily ,on xavi and inesta for those lovely throughballs . Barca have messi to finish the move off while Spain have quality in Torres and villa and the like for the same .
Xavi has been way below his mark in the euros and del bosque’s not-so-brilliant idea of playing fabregas in a striker-like position hasn’t exactly fired . The fact that Torres has scored two goals makes it quite a no brainer to play him upfront . They play a formation and have a philosophy that demands it . For without a proper striker , tiki taka is nothing more than an exaggerated passing training session .
But their incapacity to change means that they can do little more than that . The very thought of tweaking the game a little must give vincent del bosque nightmares . And maybe that’s why someone at barca came up with that brilliant idea of making possession the basis on which games are decided. Not goals .
Tiki taka took everyone by surprise when it came on the scene . The amount of success it brought barca made other teams want to do it themselves. None succeeded . And thank god for that . We still have competitive football in the world thanks to that failure .
Tiki taka got a pedestal of its own as the ultimate form of playing the game . You could be invincible playing it . You’re dead rubber playing against it .
Happily , that’s a perception that’s changing . Teams have found ways around it . Desperate yet organised defending , quick counters , deadeye man marking . Sounds simple but things that will beat tiki taka .
For Italy , it shouldn’t be a problem . Super Mario will have to do some tough tackling in midfield and shake up that Spanish defense and pirlo probably for one last time in the Italian blue in a major tournament , will need to sparkle .
As for Spain , they’re predictable as ever . The only doubt remains if they’ll play a striker or not and for the sake of the entertainment factor in the game I hope they do .
Italy need to do something that takes Spain out of their comfort zone . Either defend to the death or attack to the death . Or possibly do both .
I’ll end this post with a wish. That tonight , football will win . That Italy will prevail over tiki taka . That for tiki taka it will remain a year when it won nothing . Not at the club level . Not at the national stage . And that for all this to happen , ballotelli doesn’t get himself sent off !
I’ve said this before in a post and I’ll say it again . Petrol price hikes are good .
I don’t intend to defend anything this government might have done or , for that matter , might not have done .
But let’s just put this price hike in perspective .
Here’s a bunch of people ( a very very large bunch ) spending lakhs of rupees on cars ,polluting the skies , crowding the roads ( yes me included ) . Popularly misnamed , the aam aadmi .
Now that bunch , obviously , wants petrol to be available in every ration shop at 10 liters for 20 bucks and service with a smile .
Here’s the counter argument . The supreme court of India made it mandatory to teach students from class 8 to first year engineering a subject by the name environmental education . And for 6 years student learn that fossil fuels are the worst enemy of human kind even ahead of the late Osama bin laden .
For that reason it is great that petrol prices are up . Simply because , like i’ve said in a previous post , it drives people away . Nobody wants to pay 100 bucks for a litre of petrol . Or do they ?
We’ve been hearing for a while that these fossil fuels are fast running out . And what happens to the price of something that is fast running out ? It increases . Less resource more demand more cost .
These two reasons outweigh the outcry of the first bunch of people .
Yes we’re disappointed . But honestly , how many of us dint see this coming ?
Petrol prices will continue to increase . And petrol reserves will continue to decrease . They are directly related to each other . Policy , politics , conspiracy has precious little to do with it .
Cynics have always pushed a concept like solar powered cars as too far away in the future . We are too far away In that future already . And someone needs to revolutionize the power industry .
Until then , if you’re using a car , stop using it . Use a cycle . Use a bus . Use the metro . If you can’t do that much for society , don’t expect anything in return . Mind you , if petrol prices ever go down it’ll be thanks to a government subsidy . And where do those little magic cookies come from ? Taxes . That society pays . Think about it .
Trailing 3-1 in the champions league tie against Napoli , an FA cup replay with birmingham , languishing in lowly 6th in the league and a group of players that for some reason looked extremely disjointed . That was the state of the club when roman abramovich raised his axe for the 8th time in as many years .
The squad dint change. Roberto de Matteo was promoted to the role of interim manager . Close to nothing else changed other than that .
No additions to the team , no dismissals either .
But in the next 21 games Chelsea football club under the inspired guidance of roberto de Matteo turned a season on its head and left on lookers shocked .
It was a display of togetherness , a single minded resolve to change , the battle of emotions that wasnt seen in this side at the beginning of the season .
It’s brought home the one trophy our great owner has been craving . The one trophy that has eluded the club . The champions league .
Against all odds , from trailing 3-1 to napoli , 0-2 with ten men at the nou camp against barca , to going down 1-0 in the 83rd minute in the final against bayern Munich . The power of emotions and the belief that no one can stop us now . It’s carried us all the way . Not even the ghosts of moscow could deter our progress .
And while it’s been an unbelievably team effort , you can’t help but but point at the man who stood out in the big matches and inspired the team when the chips were down . Didier drogba . One can only hope that he stays at Chelsea and takes part in the season when we play with the tag of the champions of Europe . The man is a magician . Game after game , big match after big match , final after final , he has entertained , inspired and won games for chelsea . Criticism does not seem to have affected him , rather it’s spurred him on like it has John terry and frank lampard . The two other club legends along with that super hero In Goal we call Big pete .
It’s a dream come true and the images are clear , yet blurry because many of us have yet to recover from that hypnotic image of JT lifting the champions league trophy .
From the way this squad is playing , emotionally and on the pitch , next season will be even greater . When heroes shall make way and new ones shall rise .