Monday, 28 July 2014

Ziggy signs "Pro Contract"

Eighteen-year old Gardens Commercial High School scholar Ziyaad Eksteen signed his first professional contract with Ajax Cape Town this week.
Known to me as ‘Ziggy’ has been at Ajax since before his teens and I remember fondly him telling me earlier this year (2014), when other PSL clubs came knocking: "Sir it's my dream to play in the Ajax first team" and look at him now.
The well travelled Cape Town youngster has seen the world with his impressive performances in the Ajax youth programmed tours in all age groups throughout the years. Just a couple of years ago we spoke about him playing at the same tournament as a certain Adnan Januzaj in the Aegon Future Cup.
Ziyaad might be a rough diamond but his midfield talents speak for himself, just last season he was in the Ajax Vodacom League squad and his rise up the Ajax ranks shows that youth is not just the future but the way to go if your club is looking to build a winning culture. It would seem Ajax Cape Town's "No youth No future" is important to the club.
This is the second time Ziggy has featured on JCBA.CO.ZA (see link) but the last question I asked him in April 2014 was:
What's next for Ziyaad Eksteen?
he answered: Great Things!!!

Best of luck to him lets hope this number 17 emulates the last.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba)









Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Crusaders vs Sharks Preview


“Look, what I can tell you is that the Sharks will be up against a complete team, a team that plays complete rugby and doesn’t have many weaknesses,” said Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph at his post match press conference after losing to the Sharks.

When this encounter was confirmed one had to think back to 17th May in this very stadium. Crusaders faced a 14 man Sharks team for 63 minutes and 13 during the second half only to lose 30-25. Not the rugby you associate with the 7 times champions, I sat there and just couldn't believe it. Granted they had a few notable omissions but they are expected to put up a better fight, with the squad they have at their disposal.




Captain Richie McCaw is expected to start and replace Jordan Taufua as it has been reported he trained on Monday. The Crusaders won't want a repeat of that night. They will be hoping to go on to their first Super Rugby final since 2011 (the year they were "homeless" due to earthquakes and travelled some 22000km from New Zealand to Cape Town to Brisbane only to lose in the Final.)





Just like the Crusaders are the only New Zealand representative in the last four the Sharks fly the South African flag and will be buoyed by their fond memories of the last time they played at the AMI Stadium. (I bet reminding the Crusaders of that at every scrum and line out).


It does look like coach Jake White is expected to start with fit again Patrick Lambie. Who played his part quite well in their semi-final victory last week. Playing Lambie at pivot opens up options like Steyn on inside centre (where he looks more comfortable) and moving Paul Jordaan to outside centre and JP Pietersen back to wing, just might well be the way to go for the South African franchise. Though he is keeping his cards close to his chest in typical fashion and I would think Lambie's big match temperament could sway his coach even though he was quoted as saying “I will have to sit down and think about it and can’t commit myself now,”

Prediction
There is nothing really separating these top teams, besides the home ground advantage. It reads they have each played 16, Crusaders and Sharks both won 11, lost 5, have a points difference 123-113, bonus points 7-6 and lastly log points 51-50 so you'd be a brave man to call it. What I will do is quote Jamie Joseph again "All I can say is that it will be a ripper."

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Boss - 1st Press Conference

By the Manchester Evening News and pictures By JCBA (Various sources)

On taking the United  job......

First of all, I want to thank Sir Bobby Charlton because it's a great honour to come into this stadium and be guided by Sir Bobby Charlton.My first steps...okay, my first ones were with Bayern and Barcelona, but as a coach of United these were my first steps and I was very proud to do that with Sir Bobby Charlton. I have the age to have seen him playing so I know what he means for Manchester United and English football. It was a great honour to do that with him. ‎

On what he hopes to achieve at Old Trafford......

I will do my utmost best. That's what I can give. I cannot give predictions because you never know. It's the biggest club of the world. Within two days, I know already how important Manchester United is but also how important the sponsors are. I have to work, I have to prepare a team, I have to adapt to this big club. It shall not be easy but I will do my utmost best and, when you see my career, you can see what I have won. That's all I can say. The future shall show if I can do that again.‎

On what lured him to the club.....

It's the biggest club because of how well it's known around the world. In sport, you are never the biggest club because every season you have to be prove. Last year, you were seventh so then you are not the biggest club. But it's well known all over the world. When I was in China or Brazil, people are talking about United when I was the coach of the Dutch team. That's the difference. There's a lot of expectation but it's also a great challenge because of that. Therefore, I have chosen this club. I worked for Barcelona - in my opinion, number one in Spain. I've coached Ajax - number one in the Netherlands, and I've coached Bayern Munich - number one in Germany. Now I'm in Manchester United - number one in England. I hope I fulfil the expectation but it shall be difficult.

On whether there will be more new signings.....

My method is always the same. I want to look at the players now, the players present. Of course I know how the players play. But I don't know the players under my training or coaching. In the first three or four weeks, I want to see what they can do. Then maybe I will buy other players. The players we have bought now - Shaw and Herrera - they were already on the list. I gave my approval because I like them. First I want to see the players performing under my philosophy.‎

On the expectation.....

The‎ owners and the CEO have a lot of confidence in me. They have come to me and I explained my philosophy and they were excited. Because of that I'm here. We have to wait and see if I can fulfil this expectation of those people and the supporters. The fans are very important, I know that. You cannot predict. In the world of football you cannot predict. Nobody could have predicted the Dutch did so well, nobody would have predicted Germany would beat Brazil 7-1. ‎You know that so... why do you ask?

On the captaincy.....

All the players are possible candidates. I have to get to know them, so I will use four, five or six weeks. Or it could be two months. For me, the captain's role is very important. Therefore, I need time. Sometimes I haven't had the time - then I have to make quick decisions. But quick decisions are not always good. I'll use my time for it. I think a captain is very important.

On the youth team......

The owners and the CEO, Ed Woodward, have asked me to give advice but the main project is the first team. That's more of a short-term thing than the youth - that's a long-term project. The first year or two years we have to separate them. Now, I need all my knowledge to transfer my philosophy into this selection. You have to give me time to do that. Not only you, but also the CEO and the owners.

On Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville......

Nicky Butt is already assisting us, Paul Scholes we shall find a role for him and also for Phil Neville, I believe. That's what we want. But it has to also be possible and we have to look at that. We have to adapt to the qualities of these people. It's not an easy job. We have to speak personally with them - that's why we have to wait and see.

On getting back to work straight away.....

(A holiday) is not allowed! Of course it was better I have a sabbatical or that I come in January. But I could not let them go when you have been asked by the biggest club in the world. It's a big challenge, a big ambition for me. When there is a challenge like this, I never let it go. This is a holiday for me. I like the way I can work.

On his personality......

I'm democratic, empathetic to human beings. Of course I have a strong personality, but the other characteristics are more important. That's the key of my personality.‎

‎On what would be a successful season....

I don't know. First, what I've already said, I have to see how the players perform my philosophy and how quick they can pick up this philosophy. Then I can answer. Now, I haven't worked with most of them so we have to wait and see. It's very important there's a click between players and the manager.

On his own expectations for next season......

For me, the challenge is always to come first. Not fourth. But when you have to analyse after one season, it's dependent on the click between the players and the manager.
On coming to the Premier League......

I have never worked in the Premier League so it's a big challenge I wanted to take. I have worked in Spain and Germany and in my time of Barcelona I think at that time the Spanish league was the best league. And in my time in Germany we were the best league. And maybe, when I work here the Premier League is the best league!

On being autocratic......

The media wants to show that part of the personality. But that part of the personality is small. But when you repeat that everybody thinks like that. I'm always the same person. When I was 39, when I began at Ajax - I played professional football until I was 37 and an assistant - the personality hasn't really changed. It's the same. But autocratic and strong personality is not the same thing and a lot of people think it's the same. I have a strong philosophy. Every year I've trained, it confirms this philosophy. Sir Alex also had a strong philosophy and it was always affirming that because he won a lot of titles. I hope I can do that.

On Sir Alex Ferguson......

Sir Alex called me to congratulate me and we have spoken about getting a coffee or to eat with each other. We were always invited to UEFA forums and we would always have a glass of wine. We know each other very well. I shall drink coffee and wine with him - maybe the best wine I can imagine.
On what it means to be United's manager.......

It's difficult to describe. I've only been here two days. I've met a lot of people and when you see those kind of people who love the club, you see it's a big family and they expect a lot from me. They are very excited to meet me. Can I fulfil that expectation? I think I can do it. But because of the greatness of this club it's also much more difficult than in another club. Also, this club is also guided in the commercial way and we have to fulfil that also. And that's not always possible to fulfil both commercial and football. That's my big challenge after two days. Maybe it will be changing after the US tour, but I don't think so!

On the importance of experienced players......

You have to know that I'm not always convinced of the experience of players. I've said a lot of times, a boy like Clarence Seedorf was 16 years old... I gave him his debut for Ajax at that time. At 16 he was sometimes more experienced than a player who was 30. It depends on the personality. You named Rooney. For example, Michael Carrick has been injured the day before and that's a blow for me because he's experienced. It's very important we have experienced players, but not only in age and football experience but experience as a human being. My philosophy isn't only the football player but in total. Then there are not so many experienced players.

MY THOUGHTS
To say I'm excited is an understatement. Bring on the 16th August 2014, Bring on the English Premier League, Bring on the Louis Van Gaal Era.

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba) ‎

Friday, 13 June 2014

Brasil 14 in pictures

Hopefully you haven't seen all of these.....

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Madrid v Madrid UEFA Champions League Final

City neighbours host a final in Lisbon's Estadio da Luz and it is a tournament first.  Not exactly the teams I expected to be the last two standing but they sure are deserving of their final births.

Few would have thought it would take them this long just to reach a Uefa Champions League (UCL) Final again let alone to win it. It's been 12 long years since that now iconic volley in May 2012, much too long for the record UCL winners. ‎

In stark contrast to Real's 9 UCL titles Atlètico only ever took part in one UCL Final 40 years ago and have never won it. They boast a budget 20% of that which the super powers that be Real Madrid and Barcelona FC have at their disposal not to mention not having the illustrious footballers in their squad. Yet they find themselves La Liga Champions and some would say against all odds yet stand on the brink of sealing their names next to some of  the games greatest achievements.

It has been quite a remarkable return to Atlètico Madrid for coach Diego Simeone a former player,  taking a mid table financially strained football club to Europa League success as well as just missing out on a spot in the UCL. Next he decimated Chelsea in the Super Cup final, ended La Liga in 3rd and winning the Copa del Rey. Should Simeone's men win today he will have won five of the major finals available to clubs in Spain in less than three years.‎

Real Madrid and manager Carlo Ancelotti will have something to say about that especially since they would be feeling they let La Liga slip away from them this year. Even more reason for the spanish kings to do all they can to win their 10th UCL crown.‎

Though I don't like to talk about the possible big name omissions for both teams but it could have a huge say in the result. Real Madrid's Portuguese pairing of Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo may not be available but it would take a ten ton truck to keep Ronaldo off the park even if he is not fully fit, Pepe looks more likely to miss out as Ancelotti hinted that young Raphael Varane is a shoe-in to start next to Ramos.

Xabi Alonso is suspended though that isn't such a bad thing as stats show Madrid have won a 80% of their games without him in the starting eleven compared to 65.2% when he starts in La Liga this season, but they will miss him. Asier Illarramendi looks likely to benefit from Alonso's misfortune.

Atlético could face Madrid without both Diego Costa and Arda Turan who were injured in the title decider at the Camp Nou last weekend. The magnitude of the loss of Diego Costa is best described by his stats this season he has scored 27 league goals and eight in eight in the UCL. The man that's likely to lead the line in his absence is David Villa, who hasn't been in sparkling form but big occasions bring out the best of big players and he is one such player.

Not to dwell on the absentees both teams will have but Atlético have the ability to cope much better without, than the Madrid team can and they have proved so over and over this season already.

Simeone's men for me just look like it's written in the stars for them and wouldn't it just be poetic if the smallest of the current spanish top 3 pulls off an astonishing double.

So there I've nailed my colours to the mast...

Jade Christopher Bentley Adams signing off (@jcba)‎

Monday, 19 May 2014

Ryan Giggs Open Letter to Fans

Source: manutd.com
Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life, as assistant manager of Manchester United. I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times. My dream was always to play for Manchester United, and although it saddens me to know I won’t be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream playing with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football. I have always felt and appreciated your support.

I want to also give a huge thanks to the backroom staff and support teams we have and have had at Manchester United over the years. I would not have achieved the success I have without your continuing dedication and commitment to creating the best environment to enable the players to thrive. I would not have won 34 trophies in my career without you. I would also like to say a special thanks to my friends and family for all your love and support.

For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions - immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future. United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way. To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.

See you next season,

Ryan

Jade Christopher Bentlet Adams signing off (@jcba)