Monday, 23 February 2015

Proteas dire, not on fire

However badly SA played in crashing to India by 130 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday - and badly is putting it kindly - there was no faulting AB de Villiers' willingness to take the disappointment on the chin.
Article sourced from the Times Live website.
"We were outplayed," De Villiers said in an assessment that was as scattered as it was comprehensive and excoriating. And so it should have been: he was talking about SA's biggest World Cup loss in terms of runs.

"All round, it was a pretty average performance by the bowlers," he said. "India's bowling was quite clever but it was definitely a poor batting performance [by SA].

"I almost don't want to think about it now. I just want to go feel sad in my room for now. But tomorrow we'll talk about it.

"You never want to lose by 130 runs. Your confidence takes a knock. It's up to the senior players to keep the confidence up against West Indies [who SA play in Sydney on Friday].

"We are going to have to chase after the younger players this week to keep their confidence up.

"We played the Indian spinners pretty well, but other than that it's pretty dark. We need to talk about what went wrong.

"We pitched up. We were emotionally ready. We weren't caught off-side in our attitudes. We just didn't play well enough."
De Villiers was particularly hard on himself and David Miller for being run out: "Two run-outs in the top six is absolutely unacceptable. It should have been my night or David's night. Instead, we were both on the sidelines, not having been dismissed by a bowler."

And, just to give SA another reason to forget yesterday, they were fined for a slow over-rate because India's innings ran 27 minutes late.
None of which will make the handful of SA fans in a crowd of 86876 - or, as MS Dhoni said, "Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say there were 20000" - feel any better.

But there is something to be said for the fact that the captain is as bleak as they are. From that unity there might yet come strength.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off

(@jcba & IG @jcba_official)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

LVG: "Like El Clasico"

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal (LVG) says the United vs Liverpool fixture is much like El Clasico, something LVG had the pleasure of experiencing in Spain.
Under fire Brendan Rodgers Liverpool (LFC) visits Old Trafford tomorrow and some would say it is his most important fixture as boss. A loss at Old Trafford could edge him closer to the expected exit door.
The Manchester United website reports: “It is like that, of course,” van Gaal told reporters at the Aon Training Complex, when asked about this fixture’s similarity to El Clasico.
“Barcelona versus Real Madrid was [in front of] 102,000 in the first time I was working there. The stadium adapted to 102,000 and they were all sitting there. I won my first derby with Barcelona 3-0, so I was very pleased. I hope that I shall win this first derby also.”
United would potentially extend their winning run to 6 in a row should they defeat their old foes and LVG is refusing to dismiss the possibility of catching the English Premier League (EPL) leaders Chelsea. “Mathematically, we can do it,” he explained. “We now have a better possibility but it is not so easy because I think Chelsea won’t lose so much.”
The LFC boss has been under immense pressure, more than at any other point in his tenor at the Merseyside clubs helm, a far cry from his last seasons "achievements".
Manchester United will win and I wouldn't be surprised if its by the odd goal or two. Its the worst fixture LFC could've asked for after failing to progress in the Champions League in mid week. Especially as United do seem to be hitting their straps. Their winning run they on does cover some somewhat glaring cracks they do have but they do sit 3rd in the EPL and are not the finished product yet. Come tomorrow they will once again show that they are well on their way to doing just that.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & IG @jcba_official)

Friday, 21 November 2014

Emirates next for Louis men.

Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Angel Di Maria, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, David De Gea, Radamel Falcao, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj with names like these in your squad both Arsenal & Manchester United would be expected to be slugging it out at the summit but find themselves well off the pace already this season.
You will not see a defender above and that speaks volumes. Together these two have conceded 36 goals thus far and if you consider that leaders Chelsea and  Southampton together haven only conceded 16 it explains why the Gunners and the Reds find themselves  sixth and seventh on the table.
Going forward Wenger side have somewhat been riding the Sanchez wave, I mean the Chilean has now scored 8 in his last 6 for club and country and will definitely trouble any defence United paste together.
Van Gaal will be pleased to know that in form Rooney has the most goals vs Arsenal than any other, that Mata has two assist and four goals in five against them and RVP has scored in 5 of the last six time he has played in this fixture (playing for both outfits).
Yes Arsenal are at home, yes United haven't a good away record, yes both teams have injury concerns and won't necessarily be fielding their strongest eleven but I do think other than the threat of Sanchez the Gunners will find it hard to cope with what United have in their arsenal, pardon the pun.

For me United to win by two.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off
(@jcba & @jcba_official on IG)

Lewis Hamilton v Nico Rosberg: how the title can be won

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Date: 21-23 November
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Radio 5 live and online
Race starts: Coverage begins at 12:10 GMT on 23 November. Race at 13:00 GMT.
Qualifying starts: 13:00 GMT on 22 November

Following Nico Rosberg's victory in Brazil just 17 points now separate him from championship leader Lewis Hamilton going into the final race of 2014.

In any other Formula 1 season, sixth in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 23 November would be enough for Hamilton to clinch his second world title, even if Rosberg won the race.

But with double points available in the last race this season, the situation is more precarious for the British driver:

Title permutations for the final race

Hamilton, 334 points Rosberg, 317 points
How the Briton can win the title: How the German can win the title:
Finish ahead of Rosberg Win the race with Hamilton third or lower
Finish no lower than second if Rosberg wins Finish second with Hamilton sixth or lower
Finish fifth or better if Rosberg doesn't win Finish third with Hamilton seventh or lower
Finish sixth or better if Rosberg is not in the top two Finish fourth with Hamilton ninth or lower
Finish eighth or better if Rosberg misses out on the podium Finish fifth with Hamilton 10th or lower
Finish ninth or better if Rosberg is fifth Should Hamilton not score any points, Rosberg still must finish no lower than fifth to overturn the 17-point deficit

Abu Dhabi scoring

Place Race points
1st 50
2nd 36
3rd 30
4th 24
5th 20
6th 16
7th 12
8th 8
9th 4
10th 2

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off(@jcba)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

1st Derby Day in Manchester for LvG!

Phillip Neville revealed on BBC Radio 5 last week that Ruud van Nistelrooy once swapped his jersey at half time in a Manchester Derby so Fergie told him off saying: "if he did that again he'd be out of the club". Needless to say it never happened again.
So if the importance of this Super Sunday Derby needed any reminding, that statement says it all. In essence the 3 points on offer is but a sub plot to the real matters at hand.
The citizens come off back to back crushing if not surprising defeats and face an ever improving Red Devils outfit unbeaten in their last 4 matches (granted the last two were draws). Head to head though City have won five of their last six encounters with United, winning the last three in a row. They can also boast a 7-1 aggregate in the league last season not to mention scoring 18 goals in just the six fixtures between the two.
So history sides with the blue half but history won't be on the field come Sunday. Talking about who won't be playing coach Manuel Pellegrini will be without his best midfielder David Silva who has been ruled out for about a month. Louis van Gaal (LvG) will be without Phil Jones and Radamel Falcao. Though both teams have enough fire power upfront to trouble the oppositions defence who have only mustered two clean sheets but the loss of Silva could be telling for the home side.
A win for the visitors would put them one point behind the citizens and would send a statement to the rest of the league that the good times are well on their way to be back.
It's probably the best time LvG could visit his noisy neighbours especially with his team looking more and more like a United of old. Silva missing out is a big loss for City and Rooney's return is a big boost for United. So I don't think I'd be putting my neck on the line in predicting City's third straight defeat.......... by no more than a goal or two of course.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

El Clasico 1 preview 2014

Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona remain two of the finest clubs in football today and “El Clasico” is thee fixture between the two. Saturday will be the first instalment and you would be a fool to think that this rivalry is just a show for the trophies at stake or points that are up for grabs.
This year as in every year we will be spoilt for choice in this fixture with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7), Pedro, Toni Kroos, AndrĂ©s Iniesta, Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez, Neymar, Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez (though the latter might make his debut from the bench) all set to play. A notable omission will be the lightning fast Welshman Gareth Bale. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find as many star players sharing the pitch as we have seen during the Real Madrid v Barcelona showdowns, and without doubt, in the modern game, this is as good as it gets.

La Liga leaders Barcelona travel to Carlo Ancelotti’s free-scoring Real Madrid and a home win for Los Blancos would bring them to within a point of their unbeaten rivals, who top the table having won seven and drawn one of their eight matches so far.
Messi and Neymar this term have scored 15 La Liga goals between them and unbelievably CR7 has bagged 15 on his own – and the reigning Ballon D’or holder will be keen to reclaim that title for another term back-to-back.
As the clock ticks towards the billion-dollar grudge fixture , and the world waits with abated breath, it is hard predict a winner, but I can assure you that it will almost certainly be a game worth watching.

My money is on the home side and though the 3-0 drubbing of Liverpool in midweek might have no barring, it does put Madrid in a good space if not then it just underlines the gulf in class between the English team and the current European champions.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba)