Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thierry ain't no Saint and more

Henry the Cheat

I have seen the incident involving Thierry Henry against the Republic of Ireland last night a few times and the more I see it, the more deliberate an act it looks. It’s quite unbelievable that Henry did what he did, for he has an otherwise untarnished reputation to go with his remarkable footballing qualities. Together with his fellow countryman, Eric Cantona, Henry will undoubtedly go down as the leading player of the Premier League era, but this blatant act of cheating, is sure to send Henry’s reputation down a few notches amongst the fans of the British game.

Joe Cole: Sole English Genius

England have now lost to France, Brazil and Spain under Fabio Capello and in spite of their superb qualifying campaign, doubts persist about England’s ability to rub shoulders against the heavyweights of world football. England’s troubles arise primarily out of a lack of creative influence in the middle of the park, the presence of somebody who can bring a game alive with a bit of magic. Rooney tends to drop into the hole and tries to act as the creative force, but often the movement in front of him is far too unimaginative for his vision to come to the fore. With Lampard and Gerrard tending to rely more on their physical prowess, Capello will have to turn to Joe Cole to provide England with the inventiveness and guile that could be so vital in taking them to the next level. If Cole is fit, Capello has to find some way to fit him in, as he remains the sole English player who is capable of turning a game on its head purely with his ingenious skill and ability.

Ancelotti: Tactically Outstanding

Now that Russia have failed to qualify for the finals of the World Cup, Guus Hiddink is sure to be hot in demand for some of the top managerial posts around Europe. But Chelsea, with whom he had a golden stint last season, will be more than content having Carlo Ancelotti at the helm. Hiddink was astoundingly brilliant during his time at Stamford Bridge, but Ancelotti with his rich European experience and with Chelsea’s transfer ban lifted, albeit temporarily, is likely to have a far more sustained impact. The Italian has brought all his tactical nous with him from Milan and in instilling a diamond in midfield, has ensured that Chelsea play in a set-up that best suits the players at their disposal. With Joe Cole and Deco alternating at the apex of the diamond and Ballack and Lampard acting as the shuttling players and the immense Michael Essien at the base, barring Barcelona, Chelsea inarguably have the strongest midfield in Europe. The system does have its weaknesses though, which were admirably exposed by Manchester United last weekend who were extremely unlucky to come away with nothing from Stamford Bridge. But by and large Chelsea have been in impressive form throughout the season and the fact that Hiddink is not required at Stamford Bridge speaks volumes about the job that Ancelotti has done so far this season.

1 comment:

Rahul Saha said...

Henry has always been a bit unsportsmanlike just not on the biog stage. I remember how he taunted a bottom of the table side's goalkeep (Porthsmouth?) when Arsenal were beating them.