The curse of the tiki taka.

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 !

Up up and a way .

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 .

It’s a dream . No ! It’s a drogba !!

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 .

101 and going strong !

Thank you .

This post is specially meant for those 101 lovely souls who had the patience and the courage to have visited my blog !

I am on cloud nine , on top of the world ,over the moon and the feeling of having a 100 views is out of this world !

My critics may be of the opinion that I am over reacting . After all 100 views does not mean that all 100 have read any post of mine .
But I beleive in showing my gratitude to anyone who has had the heart to have taken even just a glimpse of my blog ! That is not over reaction ! That is just sweet of me ! That is just me showing my large hearted nature !Just kidding ! ( Is this the funniest blog you have seen or what !! …no? It is’nt?  damn..I should have known :-p ) Maybe I should stop praising myself before people misunderstand me to be boastful and self-centered !!

I promise . This will be the first and last of the posts with poor jokes like that . Promise . Never again ! Maybe when I hit a 1000 views , I’ll slip in just one of those …. no? not even then? curses !

Anyway , I am celebrating this milestone and I want you to join me ! Get a bar of chocolate and a can of coke ( coca-cola..I don’t endorse drugs and FYI I doubt if they sell drugs in cans :-p ) and at exactly 10:00 p.m IST it’s PARTY TIME !! You can sit in your house , on your couch and enjoy it ! Forget anything that might be troubling you and sing and dance and eat ! The party is on till 11 !

Oh and an apology is due  because my guest writer idea has not taken off yet and I know just the person to blame ! I shall make sure atleast one guest writer has posted something in 4 days !

Till then good bye ! ciao ! stay safe ! And don’t forget .. PARTY at 10:00 !!

Confessions of a young blogger

Two years .

That’s how long this blog has been active ….so to speak. For the best part of the last  two years there were no posts in this blog . Just one draft , about somethng that happened two years ago . I don’t even recollect what it was that happened but it must have been something the 15 year old me thought was “important” . I remember that evening . I sat down to type my heart out when my mom called me in for dinner . After that I never found time to complete that post . Truth is , I never made time to complete that post .

Earlier this month I promised myself that I would revive my blog . And since it’s holiday season I’m sure I’ll find plenty of time to think about what to write !

I have  made a decison to invite guest writers to write something in my blog from time to time ! It’s an idea one of my friends ( Vilas Pavitran http://downthewindingroad.weebly.com ) suggested to me and I found it  interesting  ! So I’m going to give it a shot and lets see how it goes !

For starters I’ve invited a few friends to write something for me and then if I find a willing celebrity I’ll get them to write as well ( hey ! it’s my blog and no one told me I can’t dream about what I want it to be  ! So don’t laugh at the idea of a famous person writing for me ! )

My first guest will write sometime next week , hopefully !