Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Donovan to Ganguly

Donovan’s loan spell

Landon Donovan returns to MLS after completing his loan spell at Everton. Barring one ignominious moment, which should qualify as one of the misses of the season, Donovan has had an excellent ten week stint. His dynamism and vivacity have proved crucial in Everton’s recovery from an appalling start to the season. It would come as no surprise if one of the bigger clubs in Europe sought to sign him on a permanent basis this summer

Berbatov’s class

Dimitar Berbatov oozed class against Fulham on Sunday. Often criticised for his languorous looking style, Berbatov dropped into the hole behind Rooney to devastating effect. His turn and pass to pick out Rooney for the second of Manchester United’s three goals was particularly notable in a thoroughly majestic performance. The Bulgarian may not be the most prolific of goal scorers, but the intelligence in his passing and movement could be crucial to United in the title run-in.

Alonso’s storming victory

Fernando Alonso stormed to a breathtaking victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. Once he passed Sebastian Vettel, whose race was blotted by an exhaust problem to his Red Bull car, Alonso, imperious as ever, finished sixteen seconds ahead of his second placed teammate Felipe Massa. It’s early days yet, but Alonso’s nous coupled with Ferrari’s pace and reliability suggests that the Spaniard is the favourite for this season’s driver’s title.

Beckham’s injury

It would of course be tragic if David Beckham’s career is brought to an end by his ruptured Achilles tendon, but it’s scarcely significant from England’s World Cup standpoint. Although still capable of producing flashes of his old brilliance, Beckham has been past his best for a while now and in my opinion, even if fit, he doesn’t merit a place in England’s squad. The injury gives Capello the freedom to look at younger players with greater pace, players who perhaps deserved a place ahead of Beckham in any event. Adam Johnson of Manchester City, especially on the back of his sumptuous goal against Sunderland on Sunday is one who springs to mind.

Ganguly’s captaincy

Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy in KKR’s opening two games of season 3 of the Indian Premier League has been decidedly impressive. It’s far easier to heap praise on a skipper when his team is winning, but Ganguly’s ability to inspire has withstood the test of time. Particularly in the opening game against Deccan Chargers, Ganguly rung in the changes, innovated with field placing and more than anything else, stayed on the ball while others around him seemed to be drifting when the Chargers looked utterly secure in their run chase. Profligate shot making from the Chargers’ middle order batsmen played its part, but the value of Ganguly’s captaincy mustn’t be underestimated

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