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Thursday, 21 September 2017

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR ZIDANE.

The very basic level of sports.

Real Madrid football club are undoubtedly the best team in the world right now. They possess the best players and have an equally great coach- who happens to be a former balon d'or holder and club legend. When Zidane was promoted to being the first team coach, many thought that he would not be able to succeed due to his gross inexperience. Analysts pointed out that even his former boss, Carlo Ancelotti, with all his experience and track record, was promptly shown the door when the going got tough. To say that Zidane has exceeded expectations is kind of an understatement, he has delivered beyond what any fan, player and even the club itself expected. Zidane lead Madrid to their 11th Champions league title. After faltering under Rafa Benitez's reign, Real Madrid and most especially Cristiano Ronaldo was able to find his best form back under Zidane. Zidane has been an unprecedented success at Madrid and is also expected to pick up more trophies along the way. However, the journey this season has not been really smooth. Real Madrid started the season with consecutive wins in the super cups against Manchester United and Barcelona respectively. They were heavily tipped to retain the la liga title. Fast forward into 5 matches in the season and there are already rumours that Zidane is under immense pressure. Real Madrid have had a disappointing title defence, having won 2, drew 2 and lost to Real Betis yesterday. Ronaldo was suspended for five games due to pushing the Referee in the game against Barcelona. Real Madrid in his absence were not sharp and lacked a true finisher. However, his return against Real Betis yeaterday did not do much to avert the crisis as Madrid lost 1-nil. This was not the start to the season the Zidane envisioned. It is no secret that Fiorentiono Perez, the Real Madrid president, does not have a good track record with being patient. A coach at the pinnacle of the world only a few months ago is under pressure to deliver or face the sack. Zidane himself admitted when he took over from Benitez that he knew he would get sacked one day, but wanted to concentrate on the work at hand. It will be sad to see Zidane leave this early into the season, but if Real Madrid's form does not improve, he might just be sacked. Real Madrid are already 9 points behind leaders, Barcelona. Perez is fond of Zidane on a personal level but might need to take professional actions so as to salvage Madrid's season. It is still too early to judge but the signs are already clear. Due to his Legendary status, Zidane might be given more leeway that what most of his colleagues can only dream of, but will need to improve his team's position if he is to go on and become the most successful coach in Real Madrid's history. At this stage, Zidane needs all his top guns, most especially Cristiano Ronaldo to step up and save the situation.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

FOOTBALL'S BAD BOYS.

The very basic level of sports.

Football has graced us with some of the best athletes in the world. With the current set of players, the sport is quickly becoming the industry leader. As talented as these players are, there seems to be a problem. Most of these football players have a spoilt side; more like a kid whose candy was taken from him. We will now look at such players and the kind of antics they usually pull off. We present to you, football's bad boys;
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
He is undoutably the best in the world and one of the greatest of all time. Ronaldo is an absolutely complete player and a goal scoring machine. However, there is a side of Ronaldo that is not all too attractive; he more often than not acts like a spoilt brat! Ronaldo has been criticised severally for being too animated when fouled- most especially inside the penalty box. He is notorious for diving so as to win a penalty. His detractors have pointed out that this is the reason why he has sored so much penalties and is the currently highest penalty scorer both in la liga and the champions league. The name 'Penaldo' was coined because of this. Ronaldo has also been spotted not celebrating when a team mate scores instead of passing to him. As good as he is, this is a side of his game that puts people off.
2. Neymar Jr.
The obvious heir apparent and leader of the post Messi and Ronaldo era. Neymar has consistently been ranked as the most skillful player in the world currently and one of the greatest Brazilians to play the game. However, he also displays immaturity from time to time. Neymar is often accused of show boating and has incurred the wrath of his opponents several times. He seems to derive joy from humiliating his opponents- which is very unnecessary sometimes. Neymar has also shown that he has a hot temper and possesses a competitive streak. This was highlighted very recently when he contested for the penalty taking duty with Edison Cavani. Cavani didn't agree to Neymar's request, this irked Neymar so much that he and Cavani almost came to blows and were allegedly held back by team mates.
3. Balotelli
This is a player that perhaps had the potential to reach the absolute peak of football but lack of discipline denied him of this. Mario Balotelli, though immensely talented, was a constant pain in the butt of his coaches, clubs and fans in general. On a particular occasion, he set off fireworks in his house! This is the highest definition of absurd. He also has a very hot temper and tends to commit fouls unnecessarily. Mourinho was a witness to this at Inter Milan. There was also a time that Balotelli was sent through on goal only to do a completely useless 360-like turn when reaching the keeper, which made him miss the post entirely. Roberto Mancini substituted him almost immediately. He is now plying his trade in Nice of france.
4. Sergio Ramos
This is a player that is widely regarded as the current best defender in the world. He is the rock of both the spanish national team and Real Madrid football club. He is a trustworthy and dependable captain. However, some of his actions always leaves his good qualities in doubt. Ramos can easily be provoked on the field of play, earning himself a red card and making his team suffer. Lionel Messi is one of the players that has not only noticed this quality but has been constantly leveraging on it. It is not then surprising that in almost every El Classico, Ramos must have a red card. It is becoming a trend even to the extent that some people bet their money on 'Ramos to get a red card'. It is that serious!
This list is entirely based on the opinion of grass sport's journalism team. Think any player is missing? Comment below!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

WHAT IS UP WITH ALEX OXLADE CHAMBERLAIN?

The very basic level of sports.


Liverpool fans were joyous over the news that 'the OX' would be joining them from Arsenal. Chamberlain's arrival brought about a sense of hope and assurance to this current Liverpool side. Maybe, just maybe it would be their year at last. Fast forward to 5 games into the season and there are rumors in some corners that Chamberlain might be cursed. Chamberlain last game for Arsenal was against his current side, Liverpool. In that match, he was powerless to prevent his side from the 4-nil spanking at the hands of Arsenal. When he was subbed off, he had a look in his face that suggested he had just played the last game for the club. The fans feared so too, and their fears were confirmed when it was announced that the player had joined Liverpool. Although his send forth was not ideal, he will always have a place in the heart of the Arsenal fans. 'We are the biggest winners' thought the Liverpool fans. Little did they know that Chamberlain's arrival would bring about a stretch of bad luck.
       Having annihilated Arsenal, this Liverpool side were high in spirits and confidence, little did they expect what hit them. Guardiola's charges were absolutely ruthless and tore into Liverpool from all angles. This was most certainly not the debut Chamberlain was expecting. Many thought it was just a coincidence, a week ago, they had defeated an Arsenal team that had Chamberlain in their ranks. The next week, a suffered a 5-nil drubbing at the hands of Man city, this time with Chamberlain as a Liverpool player. After that they played their first Champions league group stage match against Sevilla. Although they didn't lose, they had a disappointing draw nonetheless. Seeking to improve on their recent poor form, they faced Burnley on Saturday, but came out with another draw. This series of poor results have reportedly landed Jurgen Klopp in hot waters with the Liverpool board. Blaming Liverpool's woes entirely on Chamberlain will not be hyperbolic, but there is a feeling that he brought about this bad luck. He and Liverpool need to make changes, and fast if they are to compete on all fronts this season!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

THOUGHTS FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE WEEKEND

The very basic level of sports.

Another premier league match day has come and gone, with exciting talking points from the weekend. We at grass sports would like to talk about 4 things we learned from the weekend, read on.
1. Liverpool defensive woes continue
Liverpool, a team that has one of the deadliest attacks in the league, is often criticised due to it's frail defence. The story was all the same on Saturday. Matched against a stubborn Burnley side with an even more sturbbon goalkeeper, there was a feeling that Liverpool would struggle coming into this game. However, in some quarters, Liverpool were expected to blow away their opponents, but the story was all too familiar. Liverpool were the first to concede, but duly equalised through Mohammed Salah. From then on, the Liverpool front-line bar striked with wave after wave of attack, but all to no avail. The likes of Salah, Sturidge, Solanke and Countinho all came close, but couldn't get past the impressive goal keeper. This was supposed to be a point building match against burnely, but Liverpool spurned their chance. There are rumours in some quarters that fans and management alike are beginning to lose patience with Jurgen Klopp.
2. Man city sends a message to the league.
Manchester city stated their title intent with a 6-nil thrashing of Watford. They were thoroughly impressive and relentless in attack. What probably is the most impressive fact about City is that, they are usually so direct and ruthless in attack, with playmaker such as De bryune, David Silva, Bernando Silva, etc. These set of players have been so reliable, even so that Kevin de bryune was recently awarded with a new contract. They also have a flourishing attack line led by the resurgent Sergio Aguero supported by the Brazilian wonder kid Gabriel Jesus. This could be the season they win the title again since 2012. As it stands, the only team capable of pushing them all the way is Manchester United.
3. Arsenal and Chelsea share spoils
It was a charged atmosphere at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Chelsea sought to serve Arsenal with their 3rd league defeat of the season. However, this was not to be so as Arsenal fought, stood firm and shared the points with their rivals. Chelsea were considered favourites to win coming into the match but failed to make use of the opportunity. After Eden Hazard came on, Chelsea looked livelier prompting questions of why he did not start the match. Generally, this Chelsea side look a tad weaker than the one that won the league last season and will need to really sit up if it is to contest against the two Manchester clubs.
4. Manchester United does it....again.
United were clear favourites to win this one and they did not disappoint. Although Everton pushed them to the very limit, they showed the character of champions and went on a 7 minute scoring spree. Mourinho's charges look ready to win the league and are level on points and goals with Manchester City. Wayne Rooney had a good game for Everton, serving as the link between attack and defence, when he was hauled off however, Everton conceded 3 goals. Rooney received a warm welcome from the United fans but the game didn't go as expected for him and his team mates. Romelu Lukaku seems the real deal right now, confident as ever, he was backed to score against his former side and he delivered just that. He had some earlier gilt edged missed chances but didn't allow them weigh him down, he showed the true character of a top class striker and eventually scored. He celebrated his goal against his former club which came as a surprise to some. He is currently the joint highest goal scorer with Man city's Sergio Aguero. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

CHELSEA OR ARSENAL?

The very basic level of sports.

This is a massive clash for both clubs, even this early into the season. For Arsene Wenger, this is an opportunity to quench early season pressure after a disappointing start to the season. For Antonio Conte, a win will see his side continue a steady rise to the top as Chelsea could potentially top the table, at least until manchester united's match. A Chelsea vs Arsenal game is always a thriller, any time any day. Both clubs possess some of the top players in the league such as Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Alvaro Morata, etc. They both possess the 'arsenal' to harm each other. Chelsea and Arsenal's season started the same way. A loss to Burnely and Stoke city respectively. However, while Chelsea followed that up with a win, Arsenal lost 4-0 to Liverpool. It could be safe to say that Chelsea are clear favourites for this one. They have had a better season thus far, were able to strengthen key areas in their squad and are playing with more intent. A straight win for Chelsea seems almost inevitable. However, if there is one team that has the potential of frustrating Chelsea then it is Arsenal. They are more eager for the win and may take the game to Chelsea today. On a very good day, they can win just about any team in the league. What remains to be seen is if they can go all the way in today's match. Chelsea are favourites to win and have history backing them, but Arsenal should not be written off as they can come away with the win which is sure to send a clear message to the other premier league teams.

Friday, 15 September 2017

LIVERPOOL CAN WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IF THEY...

The very basic level of sports.


 Liverpool football club are back to the champions league where they will compete against the best of the best. They currently have an arsenal of some of the best players in the premier league such as Phillipe Countinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohammed Salah, Emre Can, etc. However, in recent years, Liverpool have performed credibly well against top teams in Europe but always seem so duffer against the weaker ones. Take for example, last two seasons during the Europa League, they performed a remarkable comeback against Borussia Dortmund, one that was totally unbelievable. This was just simply breathtaking to watch, that was a vintage Liverpool! On the other hand, Liverpool have shown that they have chronic defensive issues and are often bailed out by their attack. They seem to suffer a lot against weaker teams, most especially in the premier league. They can sweep arsenal away one week, and draw at Stoke city the next. One can safely conclude that they are somewhat inconsistent. So the big question now is 'are they cut out for the champions league?'. Their first group stage came gave conflicting answers. Firstly, it showed that Liverpool have one of the best attacks in the whole of Europe that should be feared by the top teams. Not only did they take the league against Sevilla, they also took the lead. This leads to the second one, Liverpool's defence could turn out ultimately to be their greatest undoing. Against Sevilla, they allowed their opponents back in the game when this should have been an easy 3 points.

     Conclusively, on their day, Liverpool can be the nightmare of clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona but their nagging defensive issues undermine the efforts of their attack. If they can work on this defence, they can go all the way in this season's champions league.


IS CR7 THE BEST EVER?

The very basic level of sports.

THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD
CASE FOR CRISTIANO RONALDO
       What basically characterises Ronaldo is his professionalism and consistency. Critics and neutrals have argued that Ronaldo is not naturally talented as Messi. Which makes the fact that he has stayed at the top for so long even more impressive. For the past 11 years, the gong for the best player in the world has been shared between Ronaldo and Messi. The last player to win it asides from them was Kaka in 2007. Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid football club and the portuguese national team, which he captains. Ronaldo has evolved over the years. He first game to the fore as a speedy winger who tormented Alex Ferguson's charges in a friendly game. The Manchester United players allegedly persuaded Ferguson to agree the deal there! During his first few years at manchester united, Ronaldo was more of a dribbler, a trickster and this often got him in the wrong books with some of his team mates (Van Nisterooy once had a training ground bust up with him for show boating). As the years rolled by, Ronaldo started working on himself, improving his game and started developing into the ruthless goal machine that we all know today. At Manchester United, Ronaldo really had a breakthrough season, scoring 40+ goals for the first time in his career. From then there was no looking back. He also won the Fifa best player in the world, along with the balon d'or, having previously finished in second place. In 2009, he signed for Real Madrid football club and came in second place in the balon d'or, behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival. Ronaldo grew from strength to strength and has had a stunning run, having scored 40+ goals in real Madrid for the past six years and still counting. In 2013, Ronaldo won the Fifa balon d'or having previously finished runner-up to Messi 4 times! He also retained this gong in 2014 after guiding real Madrid to là decimà, scoring 17 goals. Ronaldo also helped Madrid win the 2016 champions league scoring 16 goals. He wrote his and madrid's name in the history books with a 12 goal campaign (including 2 in the final) which helped Madrid retain the champions league, making them the first team in the modern era to do so! Ronaldo is notorious for breaking and setting records at a ridiculous rate, most especially in terms of goal scoring. Some of his note worthy achievements are; fastest player to score 150 goals in Spain, fastest player to score 250 goals in Spain, all time goal scorer for Real Madrid, 2nd all time goal scorer in the history of là liga, most penalties scored in là liga, top scorer for the portuguese national team, highest assist provider for the portuguese national team. Ronaldo is regarded as the king of the champions league, here are some reasons why; first player to score 100 champions league goals, most goals in a single champions league campaign, highest goal scorer in the champions league, highest assist provider in the champions league, most gongs for best player in Europe. Ronaldo also has a host of personal awards which includes; 4 fifa balon d'ors, he is widely expected to win it again this year which will see him equal Messi's record. Not one shy from the spot light, Ronaldo has been involved in a number of controversies and some see him as conceited and proud. He is a purpose driven person and will make sure to hit any target he sets for himself. Ronaldo is seen as a hero in his native portugal, with the portuguese government recently naming an airport after him! Ronaldo is a fierce and courageous leader and he is a footballer that should be considered as not only the best in the world but the greatest of all time

Thursday, 14 September 2017

IS MESSI THE BEST EVER?

The very basic level of sports.


THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD

CASE FOR LIONEL MESSI




       When we all hear the name Lionel Messi, what comes to our mind is that 5ft7 dude, with the most mesmerising left foot ever seen and a host of awards and personal achievements (including 5 balon d'ors). The debate for who is the world's best player raging on in the past 11 years, this is because two footballers have 'duopolized' it. They are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. As a matter of fact, the last time any other player won it apart from them was Kaka in 2007. Since then, it has been a tug of war with Messi being narrowly on top, at least for the next few months. Messi has 5 balon d'ors while Ronaldo has 4. However, Ronaldo is widely tipped to pip Messi to this year's prize. Messi and Ronaldo continue to divide fans, coaches and fellow players alike, at the same time they continue to draw pundits from every angle for the consistency and brilliance. However, one baffling issue is that we can not say for sure who is out rightly better. Year after year they continue to set and break records while making other footballers look silly on the pitch (ask Boateng about Messi and do the same to Pique about Ronaldo). So what we at grass sports want to do now is to present a case why Messi is should be considered as the best.
       'Coaching the best player in the world is an honour for me'. This was the statement made by Sampaoli when he was newly appointed as the new coach of the Argentine national team. Messi is widely regarded by journalists, fans and players alike as not only being the current best footballer alive but being the best ever. To sum up Messi in one word for us would be 'magical'! The way Messi touches the ball is with the elegance of a ballet dancer yet with the girth of a tiger. Messi has won 5 balon d'ors, scored the most goals in a calender year (91 in 2012), scored the most goals in a champions league match (5), scored the most goals in la liga, provided the most assists in la liga, etc. To start listing all of Messi's accomplishments would be a hard task! Messi is a player that can easily adapt. In 2012, Pep Guardiola used him in the much revered 'false 9' position, and Messi excelled greatly. He was the propeller behind a Barca team under pep that is widely considered as the best in history. Messi is a proven goal scorer and assists provider haven won the European golden shoe a number of times. He is capable of winning games all by himself for barcelona, haven done this on several occasions. What is Messi's biggest attribute however is his uncanny ability to beat defenders with relative ease. Messi has a left foot that can dribble past 5 defenders at the same time! It doesn't matter the status of the defender, Messi can humiliate anyone when he pleases, just ask Sergio Ramos and Jerome Boateng! Messi also has in his possession the ability to pick out expert passess like a seasoned midfielder. This has led coaches to tweak the system so he can drop behind and dictate the pace of the game. A brilliant strategy for a player gradually leaving his prime. Messi is also sort of an introvert and a like-able fellow. He dedicates all his goals to his late grand mother.  This has drawn fans to him dearly. The only dent in his magnificent armour is the lack of a trophy with the Argentine senior team. In conclusion, Messi is truly the best (and probably) the best to ever kick a football, what a player!
What do you think, is he really the best? Share your views below.




ATLETICO DRAWS AGAIN

The very basic level of sports.

ATLETICO DRAWS AGAIN




Now we will be looking at the Roma vs Atletico Madrid game.
      Frankly speaking, this game failed to live up to its billing. It lacked the spark and thrills of the other matches. Atletico on a good day are up there with the best of the best in Europe but, they have been rightly accused of being too conservative at times. This was supposed to be a match to state their intent, to send a message to their group, but they failed to take advantage of it. Roma, albeit good, are not on the same level as Atletico and they were expected to lose the game. However, Atletico sat back, were happy to soak up pressure and failed to make good use of their counter attacks. This style of play can have an effect on their players. For example, Antonie Griezman does not get the same kind of buzz that Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and even Mbappe gets, this is largely due to the kind of team he finds himself. In conclusion, we at grass-sports rate that match as 'VERY BORING'
Our analysis:
       Atletico: 6
       Roma: 5

The very basic level of sports.

NEYMAR CATAPULTES PSG TO STUNNING START.


      As promised, we will now talk about the PSG vs Celtic match. The odds were always staked against Celtic as PSG were widely expected to win this one. PSG didn't only win but completely blew away their opponents. There were times in the match where Celtic tried to ask some questions of PSG's defence, but, the truth remains that Brendan Rogers men were thoroughly outclassed and out muscled! One could easily spot the abyss that separated Celtic and PSG. However, this should come as no real surprise because PSG 'spent their way to the top'. They recruited some of the best players in the world and such a result is easily expected to say the least.
      Players such as Edison Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Di Maria all dazzled, but the one who really caught the eye was Neymar jnr. I don't know if it would be crazy to state that 222m for a player is a bargain but Neymar is proving so! Taking to French league 1 like a fish takes to water, Neymar replicated that form against Celtic. He scored the first goal of the game but also gave the Celtic defenders a torrid time. This even led to one of the Celtic players labelling Neymar as 'the toughest opponent in the world right now'. Neymar completely dictated the pace of the game from start to finish and was the creative bedrock for this team mates. Ronaldo and co better watch out because this Neymar led PSG has a point to prove!
Our analysis:
            PSG: 9.8
            Celtic: 3

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

PREDICT AND WIN

The very basic level of sports.


As a bonus before our next post, there is a little challenge/competition for our dear readers and subscribers. It is the 'Grass root sports goal scorer challenge'. This is how it works; from a list of 5 top footballers in the champions league, you can select any one player and state the amount of goals that the player will score. For example, I pick Ronaldo and I say he will score a hat trick. So you can pick any player and state the number of goals to be scored.
HOW TO APPLY
1. Register your interest by commenting with your player and the anount of goals to be scored.
N.B:
The players to score are;
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Lionel MessI
3. Robert Lewandoski
4. Neymar junior
5. Harry Kane.
So Pick your player and state the number of goals.
Please note that multiple selections will lead to disqualification.
HOW WILL THE WINNERS BE SELECTED
The first 5 people to successfully predict the number of goals their player will score will receive the prize of airtime rewards.
Who do you think will score? Who do you think will win?
Start commenting below!

The very basic level of sports.

      Welcome to Grass root sports my friend! Today, we are going to be analysing the performances of the top teams in the UEFA champions league. The new champions league season kick-started on the 12th of September 2017, with the head-liner being the Barcelona vs Juventus match. Other matches played were; Manchester United vs Basel, PSG vs Celtic, Roma vs Atletico Madrid, etc. What we will be doing now is to analyse the performance of these clubs and give them a rating on a scale of 1-10. Here we go!
Barcelona vs juventus
Take your mind back to this same fixture in the last champions league meeting. Barcelona had just performed a magic trick against Paris saint german- with the chief magician being Neymar- which involved a come back from a 4 goal deficit. Prior to this time, no other European team had achieved this! Barcelona had just performed a miracle! Juventus on the other hand had eased past A.S Monaco in no spectacular fashion. They were widely expected to be the underdogs, but we all know how that story ended. Fast forward to this current champions league season, a considerably weaker Juve side- having lost Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan- took on a Barca side that also lost a star man- Neymar. There was a feeling about this match due to the fact that Giorgio Chiellini was sidelined due to injury. So it was a case of a Juve side that was deprived of their star defenders and a Barca side led by Lionel Messi who was hungry to get his first ever career goal against Gigi Buffon. Honestly, the outcome was not all that surprising as Juve were thoroughly beaten, losing by 3 goals to nothing. Barca were ruthless, Messi especially, and completely battered Juve with their lightning speed attack. Suarez was a constant thorn in the defenders' flesh. Dembele also dazzled. Overall, it was a well deserved victory for Barcelona.
Our rating: Barcelona 9.5
               : Juventus 5
Thanks for reading, in our next post, we will talk about the PSG vs Celtic match. Don't forget to comment!