A very big hello to all of you BigFourZa folks. The Berb is slowly growing old and has shifted base, which meant that I had to take a mini hiatus of sorts and all of that. But I’m back with the good old “The week that wasn’t” (you must excuse me for the Jimi Hendrix-esque title. This is my way of being the Brendan Rodgers of BFZ and try and bring in some changes and tiki-taka etc. Also, there is no relation to the featured image and this post. I’m Being: Liverpool again. A real rebel.)
Roberto Mancini- Bad Teacher
We all know Roberto Mancini pulled off a major last-second decider last season, but this season he seems really hung over from that win and has had a pretty sloppy time so far. Citeh are almost out of Europe , have had a pretty bumpy start in the league and are out of the Capital One Cup as well. The cracks are showing and it looks like all the inflated egos in the dressing room are now feeling uneasy about the Italian’s weird tactics of playing 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 9-1-1, 9840098400 etc, all within 15 minutes, and also switching Carlos Tevez and Joe Hart’s position as striker and goalie. Joe Hart and Micah Richards have voiced their disappointment and Mancini has yelled back at them like a step mom. Is this the wane of the Blue Moon? Or will they be back soon? *Awful rhyme scheme intended*
The Arsenal AGM- The “Big Brother” of AGMs
The Arsenal AGM is a spectacle. Everyone loves to watch this circus in action every year, where Arsene Wenger looks like the only sane man on stage. Peter Hill-Wood looks like an arrogant man who owns this private club where people go play cards in the Directors’ Box with some fine scotch. Stan Kroenke? He is Arsenal’s version of Manmohan Singh. Mum’s the word for him. Fans have every right to be angry. The Arsenal ticket holders pay a bomb to go cheer for their club and every year they are treated to some cheap rip-off versions of their legends. Today Arsenal ditched their long standing partnership with NIKE and joined hands with ADIDAS. Like Gazidis was saying yesterday, new sponsorship deals have started but how long will it last? Will investors pump in cash if Arsenal finish 7th? I don’t think so. Maybe, it’s time for change in the higher echelons of the Arsenal board.
Kick it out, kick him out
What a roller-coaster week it has been for the Ferdinands, JT , the Chelsea bosses and so many of the players who took a stand. The JT issue has been put to rest with him accepting the ban and the Ferdinands issuing a joint statement. There are rumours that JT may take the backdoor exit as he is frustrated with all that is happening around him in England and go off to sunny Valencia instead. Valencia? Really, JT? He might slip and fall on his bum too much off late but he still has at least two years of football left in him. He should just act his age, realize his mistakes and be more careful next time. It was also pretty stupid of him to use his European presence and advertise the “United against racism” so fresh from such a big scandal. JT, you might have reformed and all that, but people are yet to digest it.
Comeback kings and defensive pussy cats
This has been the story of United’s season for the past year or so. Concede first, score one, concede one more, score two more and win it. It might look all pulsating for a neutral and sometimes even us United fans, but you know it shows a lot of cracks in the United wall. Without Vidic, Smalling and Jones, United have been playing Evans or Carrick alongside Rio Ferdinand at the heart of defence. Evans has improved two-fold this season, but sometimes he is exposed, partly due to his positioning and partly due to Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand has lost a few yards of pace and once he moves out of position it is difficult for him to get back at the pace he used to. This was shown by Gareth Bale and co ripping United open. Carrick is a good midfielder but playing him in defence can be scary for the fans. Against Braga he was exposed partly due to being played out of position and partly because of overtly attacking fullbacks. Rafael and Evra/Buttner love to attack and the defending itself is sometimes thrown out of the window. Thankfully Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Paul Scholes have been doing really well to keep United in the hunt. United needs their injured players back soon, the cracks are showing pretty badly.
All hail the king of kings- Emile Heskey
Emile Heskey, for as long as I have known, has always been the butt end of social media jokes. He rarely scored and was one of those players we loved to laugh at. But it’s all changing. Heskey had signed for the Newcastle Jets in Australia as a marquee player after being released by Villa. He is now the A-league’s top scorer, ahead of a certain Del Piero. His #10 jerseys have been sold out and he is now the king of Newcastle. Here is some proof.