Not so Super a Sunday !

So last Super Sunday was not all that enjoyable to me. All the events produced negative results so I must title that Sunday as Flop Sunday 1.


Nadal lost to Djokovic in the Monte Carlo masters tournament. He had won it 8 times in a row and it would have been awesome if he could win it one more time. But it wasn’t to be. Nadal fought in the match like he always does but Djokovic was too good.

Djokovic raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set and looked set to take the set but Nadal fought back to break him and win the next game too. At 5-2 and Djokovic serving, Nadal had a few more break points but could not latch onto them and Djokovic won the first set 6-2. The second set was a close fight with each player breaking each other multiple times. It went to the tie breaker where Djokovic outplayed Nadal and won the tie breaker 7-2, thus winning the match.

Nadal is playing the Barcelona Open this week and is currently in the semis. It would be good if he could win this tournament.


Ferrari had a disastrous Bahrain grand prix. Both Alonso and Massa had very good starting positions on the grid but both of them faced problems in their cars had couldn’t compete in the race. Alonso rear DRS wing got stuck and he had to pit twice to get it fixed. He couldn’t use DRS for the rest of the race. Massa had a damage on the front wing on the first lap for which he had to pit. Later in the race, he suffered a tyre puncture forcing him to pit again.

Alonso finished the race 8th and Massa 13th. It was a fantastic race for Lotus team though  with Kimi and Grosjean finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. So Vettel is now leading at 77 followed by Kimi at 67. Alonso is 4th with 47 points. Ferrari is third in the table with 77 points, 32 behind Red Bull.


The results in the two matches on Sunday seemed to headed in a great direction for Arsenal when things changed for the worse. Spurs were down a goal in the 80th minute but somehow they produced 3 goals out of nowhere to win the game 3-1. The Liverpool Chelsea match was being let by Liverpool when they scored the first goal but Chelsea bounced back scoring two. The only consolation for the night was that Suarez scored another for Liverpool and the game ended in a draw. Suarez also bit Ivanovic and got banned for 10 games. I don’t know what to say about that.

So we play Man U this Sunday. They have already won the premier league this season. We can hope that they are complacent in the next game but knowing Mr. Fergie, they will play to win. Should be a good match.





Super Sunday yayyy!!

This is my first sporting related post in I don’t know how long. Even as I write this, it’s not that I am free. I am on-call right now. It’s just something I am forcing myself to do. Anyway I  have quite a few sporting events taking place this week. There is the 4th Grand Prix of the formula 1 season in Bahrain in which Alonso will start from 3rd position. Then there is the Monte Carlo Masters final between Nadal and Djokovic. Then there are a couple of premier league matches which do not involve Arsenal but will have a massive impact on where we finish this season. We take them one by one:


If we look into human history for great personalities who were famous for being fighters, Nadal’s name would feature prominently in the list. This guy is the closest one can get to being truly god-like. He spent seven months out of the ATP tour injured. When he started to come back, I was happy that I would finally get to follow him. I wasn’t expecting him to get perfectly fit and start competing in the level that he used to. But he has done just that even though he has not been perfectly fit given his knee issues.

He has played 5 tournaments after his comeback and has got to the final in all 5 of them. The fact that the first two events were minor ones doesn’t matter. Today he faces Djokovic  in what will be the sternest test he will face after his comeback. And no matter how he performs today,  I will be proud of him and look up to him.

One only has to look at him to learn that no matter what problems you face in life, hard work and humility will get you where you want to be. He faced multiple injuries and ersonal setbacks over the last few years but he fought through each one of them and emerged as a greater person. For this reason Nadal will always be greater for me than Federer. That Federer is the greatest tennis player in history cannot be challenged. No player will ever come close to accomplishing what he has. But if you put aside the tennis and consider the person, Nadal inspires me more. That’s not to say that Federer is a bad person. His behavior on and off the Tennis court has always been exemplary. But Nadal, seeing as how he fights and never gives up just dwarfs Federer’s accomplishments in my eyes. To compare them both is useless. But one can’t help it can he?


I have come to accept the fact that Arsenal will be a team that will always struggle to win trophies and will probably not challenge for the title in a few years to come. This season for them has been as disappointing as the last.And while there can be excuses to last season’s performances, there are none for this seasons. Which brings me to why I am following them in the first place. It’s not that I love football. I hardly watch even Arsenal’s matches. There is very little exiting in their game or their achievements. I think I should just stop following them. But it’s difficult. So I have decided to invest as little emotionally on them as possible.

Anyway having been kicked out of all competitions this season, Arsenal are struggling to get to their final goal which is to finish in the top four. And I must say they are doing very well in this struggle. We are on a 5 match unbeaten run at the moment, 4 of them being victories. Our last defeat was at the hands of Tottenham who were 5 points ahead of us after that win. We are 5 points ahead of them currently having played 2 games more. We have taken 16 points from the last 18 while they have taken 10.

So we are 3rd currently in the table after 34 games above Chelsea who are 2 points behind us having played 2 games fewer. Both Tottenham and Chesea have crucial games today where they play Man City and Liverpool respectively. The best result would be a Man City and Liverpool win. Worst would be the other way around. Anyway I will just have to wait and see what they do.

Formula 1

So Ferrari has seen a mixed start this season. We sit at 73 points in the table, 5 behind leaders Red Bull. Alonso has had 2 podium finishes in the 3 race so far, including a win in the last race. He crashed out in the first lap in the 3rd race and currently sits 3rd with 43 points, 9 behind leader Vettel. He is starting today’s race at third position so it should be an interesting one. Even Massa has started this season decently so Ferrari seem to be better off than they were last season. So here’s hoping for a Ferrari 1-2, however unlikely that may be.


Last but not the least IPL. Unfortunately, I can’t be arsed to write about it just I will just chuck it.

Stoke preview + Nadal carrier in doubt?

Arsenal travel to Stroke today. Trips to Stoke have historically been unpleasant with their long balls and physical game and being cunts in general. We have won 1 and lost 2 of 4 matches at Stoke in recent past. Scezney seems to be a doubt for this clash but Alex Ox is back in the team and Koscielny will be back for Liverpool.

Elsewhere in the premier league, Chelsea seems to have got onto a good start to the season winning their first three games. On the other end of the spectrum, Liverpool is in for a difficult time as they are sitting at the bottom of the table may continue to be there as they are due to play Man City today. Van Persie scored on his full Man U debut yesterday. Asshole.

So we sit at 12th position on the table currently. If we win, we go up to 6th although a Man City victory will see us drop to seventh. A glance at the table tells me that after 2 games, the top 5 includes Swansea, Fulham , West Brom and Everton. With Tottenham and Liverpool having slow starts to the season, we should be in the top 4 in coming weeks.

Yesterday I read an article which went into an in depth analysis of Rafa’s injury. It seems he had a career threatening injury when he was 19 and was forced to wear modified shoes to further his career. But that meant increased stress on his knees and back which meant his career was always going to be a short lived one. Tony Nadal expected to get 2 years out of Rafa at the end of 2005. He got 7. So in that sense, we are lucky to have seen Rafa play for as long as he has. But the injuries have caught up with him and he is facing a difficult time getting fit for the tour again.

There have been no indications that Rafa’s career is over. Even if it got over today, I won’t gave any regrets. He has played some memorable matches and been at the top of perhaps Tennis’s greatest era. He has nothing left to prove now. But I still pray that he gets fit and comes back to play again. The guy has been a real inspiration for people.

There are a lot of things one can learn from watching Rafa. When you watch him, you know that nothing comes easy in life. When you come up against genius in life, like he did against Federer, you need to grind your teeth, endure the pain and keep pushing until your opponent breaks. If you want to be great, if you want to be at the top then you have to be dedicated to your task. Don’t slack off. Don’t fumble. Concentrate on your task. Try to be on your best everyday.

No human can ever outdo himself. You can only do your best. So try to do your best everyday. And be humble. One of Rafa’s most endearing attributes is his behavior off the court. It is terribly easy for a beggar to be humble. He has nothing to be proud about. But as you move up the social ladder, as you get bigger in public life, it becomes harder to be humble about yourself. It also becomes more significant because as you get bigger in public life, more people are affected by your behavior. Positively and negatively. It doesn’t matter what you do privately, you have to be at your best when you are in the public.

The best thing that I have learned form Nadal however is that one should always know himself. Having a perspective of your inner self helps you tackle the shit that gets thrown at you outside. Be aware of your strengths and you limits. Try to push your limits but be aware of the threshold beyond which you will fall. Try to use what you have to your advantage. Adapt as situations and demands change. And don’t complain. Never ever complain.

Arsenal start with a draw + Nadal out of U.S Open + S.A are No. 1

Arsenal started their 2012-13 Premier league season with a draw on Saturday. I thought we played well. Cazorla was lively although he had a defender on his tail throughout the game. Diaby played well enough on his return from injury, but he was guilty of getting dispossessed too many times. Arteta played the defensive midfielder role and did very well. Never had a loose pass and was great in tackles.

Sunderland sat back defended throughout the game and they made it hard for us to find space in the final third. Gervinho tried to dribble his way into the box lots of times and although his final pass was lacking in quality, he did a better job than Theo Walcott did (who’s contract issue hasn’t been settled yet). We saw Podolski substituted for Giroud in the second half and he missed a good chance to grab 3 points.

So a little frustrating start to the season but on the whole, the game was played at a good tempo and the quality was good. Hopefully we will improve over the next few matches. In other news, we sold Alex Song to Barcelona yesterday. I’m not sad to see him go. He was a little over-rated and at 15 mil, its good business for Arsenal. Among other fixtures, Man U lost to Everton (haha), so did Liverpool and Tottenham. Chelsea and Man City won though so we sit at 11th position after Week 1, below Stoke to where we travel this weekend. Should be an interesting game.


Nadal pulled out of the U.S Open starting this month end. That’s bad news and the injury must be really bad for him to be out of the tour for 2 months. He was runner up last year so he’ll lose a load of points and will definitely end up below Murray in rankings after the end of U.S open. I hope he recovers before the end of the season. Federer won the Cincinnati Open to extend his lead at the top of the rankings by a thousand points. He is now tied at 21 masters titles along with Nadal.


South Africa beat England in the last and final Lords test to take the number 1 ranking in tests. They have shown consistent performance over the last few seasons and deserve the position. England couldn’t hang on to the numero uno position for even an year and with the tour of India to come, they will struggle to come back on top. I get the feeling S.A will be number one for a while. India’s 2 match test series with New Zealand starts on the 23rd and should be an interesting contest.

Where we stand….

Half the season’s gone in Tennis and Formula1 while new seasons are about to start for Arsenal and Team India. So where do we stand in all this?

Tennis: If Nadal’s 2nd round defeat in Wimbledon was bad, his injury forcing him out of the Olympics is disastrous. He was supposed to be the flag bearer for Spain in the Olympics and to be in a position were he couldn’t participate would be a huge blow to him personally. He has bounced back from injuries in the past. His defeat in the French open to Soderling in 2009, his subsequent injury and family problems put him through  a lot that year. But he worked through it and had a stunning 2010 season. He has won 4 titles this season, which is better than what he managed last season. So he’s still going to have a great season.

A few words for Federer here. I have always admired this guy for the quality of Tennis he plays and the way he carries himself. But he has now reached a new level in my eyes. To have the hunger and desire to win a grand slam after 2 years is incredible and really inspiring. Every person in this world of every age can learn something from him. If you have quality and believe in yourself, nobody can stop you from winning. Go Roger.


The 10th race of the season starts today with Alonso at the top of the table with 129 points, 13 clear of Webber. He starts on pole today and if he wins this, he will have a clear lead going into the second half of the season. He has had fantastic victories till now and even though the Ferrari car has been off pace compared to the Redbull, he is still competing using sheer talent and great strategies. After  a long time, I’ll get to watch the race on t.v and I’m looking forward to it.


The pre-season for Arsenal is underway and the start of the season is a month away. We would be in a great position for the start of the season if it weren’t for that bastard van-Persie. He declared that he wanted to leave and after the way he did it, I want the club to kick him out and get a new player. But that’s the problem. We need to find a new striker and someone who can hit the ground running and those types are hard to find given our financial constraints.

It’s great that we completed the Giroud and Podolski deals early so now we just need to make one more signing to be ready for the season start. Arsene Wenger has definitely done a great job this summer and I’m eagerly looking forward to the new season.


We started our new season in style yesterday by beating Sri Lanka in the 5 match ODI series. Winning this series 5-0 will take us to the first spot but It’s going to be really difficult. I’m hoping we win this series and gather momentum going into the T-20 world cup. Virat Kohli’s century in yesterday’s victory deserves a mention. He has had a fantastic season till now scoring 830 runs this year. I hope his form continues like this.


My spirits have been raised since last month and right now I am not that desperate to leave the company. The processing for the loan is going on and I’m looking forward to seeing the car in front of my house. Good times for Ferrari and me, hopeful for Arsenal and Team India and tough times for Nadal. Mixed baggage as always, but I need that to keep my feet firmly on the ground.


Lots of things have happened during the last 2 weeks. Most significant were the Premier League ending and Champions League final. I will go in a chronological order to make this easier for everybody.


The Bahrain grand prix was won by Vettel with Kimi Raikkonen finishing second and Alonso finishing 7th. It was a disappointing race for both Ferrari and McLaren with Hamilton having finished at 8th position. With this race, the 2012 season had 4 different winners from 4 races and Vettel was leading the standings.

The Spanish grand prix threw up another surprise when Pastor Maldonado won the race and Alonso came 2nd ahead of Raikkonen in 3rd place. So from 5 races this season, there have been 5 winners from 5 different teams. This season has been more exiting and even than the previous 2 seasons where Vettel in 2011 season and Button in 2010 season dominated the early races. So now Alonso and Vettel are joint first at the top with 61 points followed by Hamilton at 53 and Raikkonen at 49. Lotus’s start to this season has been a pleasant surprise with both drivers being in the top 10 and the team sitting in 3rd position with 84 points.


In my previous post, I wrote that as an Arsenal fan, I expected Arsenal to finish 3rd, finish with more that 67 points and for van Persie to score 31 goals. We managed to get 2 out of those right and I am immensely satisfied with the end to the season. We had drawn with Norwich in our second last game and that put us in a precarious position in the league but luckily for us, Tottenham drew their match with Aston Villa and on the final match day, 3rd position was still in our own hands. We started well with a Benayoun goal in the second minute but then conceded 2 and put ourselves in danger. Andre Santos and Koscielny stepped up and scored goals in the fist half and second half respectively and we managed to see out the final 10 nervy minutes to finish 3rd in the league. We accumulated 70 points this season and van Persie finished with 30 goals for the season.

Elsewhere, Man U and Man City were both on 86 points going heading in to the final game and Man City had to win the match to win the league. They were 2-1 down to 10 man QPR heading into the final 5 minutes but goals form Dzeko and Aguero won Man City the title. It was a stunning end to a fantastic League campaign which had its share of ups and downs for all the teams.

Chelsea won the Champions League yesterday. I missed the match thinking it will be played today but even if I had known, I probably wouldn’t have followed it. I don’t know if they deserve the title but they did have a most amazing season full of ups and downs. And if you think about it, Chelsea has had the best season of all the EPL teams. Sure, Man City won the EPL, but with the kind of squad they had, they would have looked stupid not to win the title. Man U hounded them all the way and finished on equal points with them and that is a great achievement by Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool won the Carling cup but finished 8th in the league, Man U tried hard in the League but disappointed in the cup competitions, Arsenal had a bad start to the season and were never in it to win the League but we played badly to crash out of the cup titles, specially the F.A cup in which we lost to Sunderland. And Chelsea finished the season winning the F.A cup and the Champions League meaning they get a lot of money and get to play in next years Champions league despite finishing 6th in the league. So with 2 significant cup titles with all the ups and downs they had with the sacking of Villas-Boas and bad league form, they are the team of the season for me for the 2011-2012 season.


Nadal lost in the 4th round in Madrid to Verdasco, who I think played fantastic tennis in that match to win the last set from 5-2 down. With Federer winning the Madrid title, he displaced Nadal in the rankings but was seded third in the Rome Masters tournament. Nadal, Djokovic and  Federer reached the semi-finals in Rome where Nadal beat Ferrer in 2 sets and Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets yesterday. So Nadal will play Djokovic in the final today.

This is their 32nd match together with Nadal leading 17-14 but Djokovic has won 7 of the last 8 meetings. If Nadal wins this match, it will be his 21st Masters title and he will be back to No. 2 going into French open. It will also be his 6th Rome Masters title. If Djokovic wins the final, it will be his 12th Masters title and he will extend his lead at the top of the rankings. Djokovic had won both the Madrid and Rome titles last year and having lost the Madrid title last week, it will be important for his confidence and position as number 1 to win this title. Specially with the French Open to come in 2 weeks time, it is an important match for both players and should be an interesting tie.


We lost to Wigan 2-1 yesterday. The number of parallels that can be drawn from the QPR game are disturbing. They played well, we played badly.. net result? We drop 3 points in the crucial race to the top 3. We are still 5 points clear of Tottenham but they have a game in hand. With 4 games to go, this is going to be tight.

We play Chelsea this Saturday. They play Barcelona on Wednesday and will be pretty stretched and leggy by the time they get to play us. But that doesn’t mean that we can relax and bank on their fatigue to make things easier for us. We need to react they way we did after losing to QPR.. by beating Chelsea soundly.

Arteta got himself injured yesterday and that is a big blow to our team as is an important part of our midfield. Wilshere has been ruled out for the season as well. These final 4 games are going to be tough for us.. we need to hang on and finish our season in style.

The Shanghai grand prix was won by Rosberg with Alonso finishing 9th and Massa still being out of points. So with 4 races gone, Alonso sits 3rd with 37 points trailing leader Hamilton by 8 points and Ferrari are 3rd in the table.. some 50 points behind McLaren.

Nadal will start the Monte Carlo masters campaign against Nieminen tomorrow.

Buzz Kill!

The recent euphoria and positivity over the 7 game winning streak spiraled out yesterday with the defeat at the hands of QPR. It was going to be a tough match for us but we needlessly made it tougher for ourselves. I thought both goals resulted from defensive mistakes, but I have to give credit to QPR, they played well in the midfield. We had most of the possession but they scored on the chances they got and were content to sit back when we pressed them.

It looked as if tactically we were a bit off to play Ramsey in winger position as he was playing in the midfield most of the time and wasn’t able to contribute up front. Vermaelen, our most consistent defender had a bad day yesterday. So we are still 3 points above Spurs but they have a game in hand and with Chelsea winning yesterday, they are breathing down our neck right now. A very tough game awaits us next Sunday when we take on Man City at home and a bad result there will break our momentum badly, and that is the last thing we need right now.

It was disappointment in Tennis too as Nadal retired from his semifinal match against Murray due to knee injury. He hates retiring from matches, which means that the injury is serious. He has said that he will look to participate in Monte Carlo and Barcelona but 2 weeks is a small duration and he needs to recover quickly if he intends to defend his Monte Carlo title.

Djokovic and Murray will be playing the final. I’m not really sure who I want to win this title. I’m increasingly becoming impressed by Djokovic these last few months and I would want him to retain the title, but I wouldn’t mind if he loses and drops some points and gives Nadal a chance for top ranking.

We the FANS..

Disappointment is the most general reaction in a fan when the team loses. Some others feel anger while anguish, dismay and hurt are also commonly expressed feelings. But then there are those who express disgust, contempt, even hatred, when the team loses. These are people I just don’t understand. They are many, they are loud and they are present in every country be it India or England.

I want to look at this relation: that between the fan and the sport and analyze it. I sometimes feel we act like hypocrites when it comes to winning or losing. When our team wins, we feel proud, happy, make up songs to sing praises and buy posters to attach in our rooms.  When the team loses, we do a 180 degree turn and do the opposite, rage heated debates, curse their names and stone their houses. It is nothing but lack of maturity on the fans part to do so.

I feel it is important in one’s life to be constant, to accept failure and success equally and look at the positives in life. It is our responsibility as a fans to imbibe the same principles when it comes to following the sport. I can recall numerous instances when we collectively have failed to do that.

The most recent and most contrasting case is that of Sehwag. Just one month back he broke records by scoring the highest individual score in a ODI. Everybody sang praises of the “Nawab of Najafgarh” being this and that and what not. And now after just one month, we are calling for Sehwag to be dropped from the team because he is not competent enough to play in overseas conditions. Is it just me who finds this contrast bewildering. If we enjoy his success as our own, isn’t it our duty to support him in failure. And its not just Indian cricket. People have been calling for Ricky Ponting’s head for 2 years now. After all that he has contributed to Australian cricket, that is how they treat him.

We might feel football is better. But its not, if anything, its worse. The day after Arsenal lost to Man U this season, the odds of Arsene Wenger being the first to be sacked this season was 6/1. What the fuck? And when Man U lost to Man City in the league, everybody said perhaps its time for Alex Ferguson to step down as manager. Now I am personally not a big fan of Sir Alex, but still.. that is nuts.

The same is the case in every sport. If Federer loses in one grand slam, everybody says he is done, he is too old, he can’t win anymore. Or if Nadal loses, they say he doesn’t have the legs anymore. And most of this kind of talk comes from those so called professional commentators who are nothing but hopelessly stupid old people who think they won’t get paid if they behave like a normal human instead of being smelly assholes all the time. From Gavaskar to Sidhu to Grep Chappel, I hate all of them.

India lost the third match in 3 days yesterday. I feel bad, yes. Disappointed, yes. But I don’t feel that each one of them should be lined up and hanged. Certainly not Laxman. How can everyone forget how he won us a test match against Australia with a disfuctioning back less than an year ago. The least we can do for him is to let him decide when he wants to retire.

I don’t claim to be the perfect fan. But I am mature enough to realize your team can’t win every time. Not even Barcelona can. I hope people make an effort to be that way.