Monday, August 23, 2010

Manchester City vs Liverpool

It would be tempting to depict this clash as the one between the past and the future...I for one certainly wont call it so, YET. At present it is a clash between the millionaires against the orphans (without any owner per say and hence no fund). City will be lining up a starting eleven in value more than 200 million (not to mention a bench worth another 100 mills) against a Liverpool eleven consisting of 2 free signings, 6 players bought at less than 10mills and 3 players priced around 20mills. Liverpool bench says a similar story as well having no player bought for more than 12 mills...Given 50 mills counts for 1 goal, City should win tomorrow's contest 6-3 or 3-0 roughly..On paper or at least on dollars spent, no competition IMO. How will it turn up?? I expect a far far more closer contest.

The opening week, Tottenham dominated the defensive minded City, who were lucky to have got something from that game. Liverpool on the other hand had a mixed day...Arsenal dominating them at Anfield in the first half, Ref piling on the Misery with a straight red (Unfair Unfair) for poor Joey(who had a poor 1st 45 Min anyway) and a resurgent Liverpool taking the lead one man down only to clutch their heads in shock after the pepe blunder (poor guy pulled off too amazing saves just before that bizarre moment).

Expected Liverpool Starting XI -


Johnson Carra Skrtel Agger(if available)\Aurellio

Masch(if available)\Lucas Poulsen

Kuyt Stevie G Jovonovic

El nino(woo hoo)

Roy will play both his defensive midfielders to win the second balls and to control the midfield. With City also likely to go for at least 2 defensive midfielders, its going to be more of hassle than dazzle from any of the Mid field men. The industrious Kuyt and Jovonovic will try to put pressure on city further up the pitch apart from trying to feed in Torres and Gerrard as often as they can. Gerrard is likely to play behind Torres, who looked real sharp mid week. The duo will be hoping to hit the wavelength right from the start.

With both the managers likely to adopt a defensive minded line up, I don't see many goals in this fixture. Liverpool have a better chance of inflicting damage on city tomorrow than maybe, in the later part of the season as City's new team might not have gelled quite yet. My Brain says 0-0 while my heart shouts out loud at a 1-0 score line with a Fernando classico giving Mancini a gentle reminder that, there are somethings money can't buy...Passion and Loyalty for the club, for instance..

Hoping Roy's bad away form at Fulham doesn't carry on with Liverpool.


Some match pointers from

5 of their last 7 league meetings have ended in a draw.

Liverpool's last away win was in April against Burnley. 4-0 the score line.

Joe Hart was the busiest GK in the league last week, needing to make a save every 11.3 minutes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Liverpool vs Arsenal..

The wait is finally over... as Liverpool takes on Arsenal at Anfield in their 1st Barclay's Premiership match of the new season.. If there was one tie that they had hoped they wouldn't be drawn against in their opening match, it would have been Arsenal, given their poor recent record against the Gunners..Liverpool got 0 points(both home and away) last season against the Wenger's boys.

Team News -

The majority of the Liverpool's starting XI haven't had time to complete a proper training session with the entire squad after returning from World Cup duties. Along with this, the injury concerns of Torres imposes few selection dilemma's for Roy in his first big match in charge.

Probable starting XI (4-4-1-1)

Reina, Johnson, Carra, Agger, Kelly, Maxi, Stevie G, Lucas, Jovonovic, Cole, Ngog.

Subs -

Cavalieri, Skrtel, Aurellio, Kuyt, Aquilani, Pacheco, Torres

Arsenal, right in the beginning of the new season itself, has been bogged down by injury concerns. Van Persie, Fabregas might not be match fit to take part in tomorrow's match. This along with the confirmed absence of Denilson, Diaby, Song, Bendtner and Ramsey means Liverpool will be facing a much weaker Arsenal side. But rest assured, the first name in the Arsenal's side tomorrow would be that of one Mr. Russian, Arshavin who has an amazing record at Anfield. If Liverpool can keep him quite tomorrow, Liverpool has got a good chance of securing 3 points. The other major threats comes in the form of Chamak, Nasri and Walcot.

I would expect Roy to give the task of handling the pacy Walcot to the quicker and fitter Kelly rather than to Aurellio. Kelly also provides the additional threat going forward. However I wont be surprised if Agger is pushed to LB with Skrtel partnering Carra in case Roy takes on a more defensive approach in his first big game. I expect Roy to stick to players who had spent some time in the pre-season for the other positions. This means, Maxi gets in ahead of Kuyt while Jovonovic will be given the task of giving Sagna a rough time. Lucas and Stevie G will be looking to control the game in the center of the park while Cole would be making his big Debut tomorrow. All eyes will be on him (including few from the blue section) tomorrow. Since Torres is not yet match fit, Roy wouldn't want to take a chance with him so early in the season thereby giving Ngog an extended run in the first team. Liverpool have a decent bench to call on tomorrow. Unfortunately, the likes of Pacheco, Babel, Kyrgiakos, Spearing might not even make it to the squad.

Prediction - Taking Arsenal's injury worries and the feel good factor surrounding the Liverpool club into consideration, I'm going for a rather comfortable 2-1 win for the Reds with Ngog and Joey to be the scorers.

Excited as ever...YNWA

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Era...New Begining...

07/19 - Joe Cole opts for Liverpool snubbing Tottenham, Arsenal and may be even Manchester United..
07/20 - Captain Wonder thwarts Mourinho's plans once again by committing to Liverpool..
08/03- Torres commits his future (atleast the foreseeable one) to Liverpool..

It has been a pretty good pre-season so far for the reds considering the circumstances. Torres and Stevie G has allayed the fears by committing to Liverpool..Joe Cole took over No.10 and has so far looked promising in the hole position behind the striker (Albeit against weaker opponents)..Rafa's addition to the squad, Jovonovic on a free transfer seems impressive(though not a Nani or even Malouda by any means) .Monster Masch might be on his way out, but that should not be a major set back as this might even make Liverpool a little more adventurous this season..Lucas seems to have matured technically and mentally to take over the mantle though the holding Midfielder Poulsen's arrival is imminent. ( From what I have seen of him in YouTube, he is not that encouraging) . In a way, Benetiz exit might have been the best thing that could have happened to Liverpool. Roy seems to be a nice, honest chap who goes about doing his business. He has done well so far in persuading Stevie G and El nino (Taking a 15 hr flight to SA to speak with him for 5mn) to commit to the club. He has also been clever in the transfer market given the clubs limitations. But what he can showcase from his players on the pitch remains to be seen.

Given, he is going to play a 4-4-1-1 formation or even a 4-2-3-1 formation, the ammunition's under his disposal is limited.
Liverpool XI
GK - Pepe Reina, Cavalieri, (Need one more signing)

RB - Glen Johnson, Kelly, Carragher
RCB - Carra, Skrtel
LCB - Agger, Kurriakose
LB - Aurellio, Kelly, (Shouts out loud for a good left back)

RW - Kuyt, Maxi,
CDM - Lucas, Poulsen, Spearing
CM - No.8, Aquilani
LW - Jovonovic, Babel, Pacheco

CAM - Cole, Gerrard

ST - El Nino, Ngog

Given Roy has his preferred starting XI (which is that XI is not hard to make out) available throughout the season, the Reds can give any team a good run for their money for the title..The problem lies in the depth of the squad..Given the injury record of Stevie, Torres, and Cole, it is hard to find them beating any side without at least two of these 3 players. Not a good position to be with 4 days to go to the new season. Liverpool have some exciting talent in Pacheco, Kelly and the yet to Flourish, Babel..But it would be too much, little too early in their careers for them to ride the EPL storm..Liverpool squad is shouting out loud for a good left back, left winger and another top notch striker. The striker and the left back being the priority..Unless Roy Hodgson pulls couple more Joe Coles of the hat, it could turn out to be another year of disappointment for us, Reds..


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mission Kashmir

First Aid Kit..Check
Gum Boots..Check
Sun screen..Check

It was just a week back that I decided to join the band wagon along with my brother and his 5 friends to make a trip up north to Ladhak, Leh.

Though initially, a decision which was made just to escape from my daily routine of my ever sickening life in Chennai, now just 24 hrs away from making that journey, I'm as excited as ever.

I felt I was getting myself into something special the moment dad called me up and asked me not to go warning its too risky and too dangerous. Then I called up bro and gathered more info about the trip.

It will start from Delhi on friday the 19th. From there after 5 days of strenuous journey via chandigarh, Manali, we should be reaching Leh by 23rd. Thousand snaps, lots of tired legs and 10 days later, I will be boarding the train back to chennai on the 3rd of July. This is of course if things go according to plan.

So once my ever kindful onsite leads granted me 2 whole weeks leave, my trip was a reality. So as expected there were morons in office who were going gung ho about whether I would be capable of riding an Enfield, how I might not even return to tell the tale. Then there were the others who were so excited for me at the trip, some who badly wanted to do the trip themselves and of course my Manager who showed the courtesy of handing me over his Camcord so as to take some Videos of the trips.

If indeed I survive throught the ordeal(against the hopes and scrims of some of ma colleagues), I will be back here again to tell my story of hopefully what would be an exciting, beautiful and daring Journey.

So Al qaeda and the as far as you can as one Mr. Unni would be in town soon.

Me off to packing then(now where did I keep those AK47's..hmmm...)

Signing off..

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

25 Things about Myself

Even in my wildest fantasies, I wouldn't have dreamt that there would be people who would be peaping into my blogs hoping to see another of my blog entries. Well I was wrong and when this so called people happened to be one of my better friends, I was shocked to say the least.I dedicate this blog entry to this friend of mine, who I realized yesterday only is my biggest fan as well. This friend or fan whichever way one may call, Incidentally called me up around midnight yesterday with one simple Innocent request – “Can you please come with another blog. I'm dying to read it.. Please..”It was not the fact that, this friend of mine was making this call from Abudhabi which took me by surprise, rather it was real desperation in his voice which made me realise the gravity of the situation. Since he has provided me with topic - 25 things about me - as well - Let me straight away get to work.

1. Number one has to be my looks. Na, am not talking about my hot looks yet(will put that aside for later In case I run out of points), rather its my childish appearance which I'm talking about. 23 and counting and I still hardly look 18. I guess Bryan Adams had me in his mind when he sang "18 till I die".

2. Talking about singing, I'm one hell of a singer. Just that it’s the friends around me who are going through hell. Though blessed with the looks, I have not been so fortunate with my vocal chords. Like my friends say "parayil cheratta orakkunna shabdham".

3. shur is ma home town. Place where I was born and brought up. Did my schooling from Bhavans Vidya Mandir 3shur and Graduation (if you can call that one!!) from Govt. Engineering College, 3shur. All my fond memories are connected to this place. One which I will forever call my Home.

4. Home reminds me of food and Don't I miss my mom's special Home made delicacies(Dosa with Honey, Curd rice with chammanthi podi and ulli papadam to name a few) packed ,parcelled and delivered to my mouth, while I sit and relax watching TV in the comfort of my arm chair on yet another Typical sunday afternoon.

5. Of course!! What is Super Sunday without "Geeerrrraaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrddddd Ohhh you little Beauty!! What a hit son..What a hit". Couple of hrs every week which I would die for - to see Liverpool taking on rest of the premiership in search of that crown which have eluded us for the past 19 yrs. But no matter Win or Lose, I hold my head high as we sing along with tune of "You Will Never Walk Alone".

6. Every day, how much time do you spend walking??? Say at least 2hrs every day and god forgiving, you live to the age of 60(on the contrary, the chances of you living till the age of 60 is pretty bleak if you don't bother walking atleast 2hrs a day) So that means you spend atleast 60*365*2*60 plus or minus 5*365*2*60 minutes of your life wasting by walking. Coz of this specific reason, I would be the last person you would see walking slowly. So any gals who have ambitions of dating me one day, get ready to cut the talk and walk the walk.

7. Ambition - I don't have a bloody clue what I wanna do with this life of mine. Tech zombie, Market Analyst, Business Consultant, Management guru, ESPN STAR presenter, Journalist - I just dono.

8. But then, way back I had figured out that a course in management wont certainly hinder my chances in excelling in any of the above fields. But 3 yrs and 3 CATS later, I'm still back on square one- with IIM's still a distant dream. But then I aint giving up on it yet.

9. As a Kid, I dreamt of playing for India. Opening the Innings with one Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was right up there on the top in my wish list. Though I didn't reach those dizzy heights, I still remember opening the Innings with a little lesser talented but as highly spirited, one Mr. Arun Parthasarathy during my Thrissur District Under-14 stints.

10. I'm a pure Vegie. Till date I haven’t swallowed anything which runs, which flies or something which bloody lived.

11 I’m also a Non smoker and Non Alcoholic. (Looks like this is turning out to be a matrimonial ad). Ok then, I will throw in the spoiler - I do drink rarely when I'm with my friends and especially if it’s being served free.

12. Which brings us directly to point No.12, the Miser I'm. Over the years, in school, college and now in my company, I have earned a huge reputation for my stinginess. My friends will certainly vouch for this. So in these times of Recession, if there is any company out there looking for a cost cutting expert. Look no further, just dial 919962001897 and I will be at your service.

13. was my age when I proposed a gal for the first time. The first time I set my eyes on her, I knew I was in love. Days later, I walked up to her, bent down and stood on my knees and raised a ring towards her and said "will you marry me". She Accepted. But months later, her father got transferred to Australia. As ISD Calls were pretty expensive back then, we lost touch forever.Neetuuuu...are you reading this?? where are you??

14. Ok fine, I was just kidding, in case you believed all those crap. I was struggling with point No.13 big time, so this was the least I could come up with. So excuse me. Anyways, I have never been good at making up stories. Whenever I have tried my hand at lying with my peers, I have always come out red faced. So these days, I always practice the great moral value – Honesty.

15. As long as I can remember, I have been plagued down by a severe bout of a rare Medical condition called Redicious onyour Facio, Irritate me, Anger me or just stare at me for a few minutes and witness this spectacle of my white face turning beetrut red in a matter of few seconds. Maybe I was bitten by a Chameleon when I was a kid. Maybe I should be called The Chameleon Man. Maybe I …never mind. Leave it.

16. Books. I love books. Though not a voracious reader by any means, being in a library surrounded by books certainly gives me an orgasm. I would feel like buying the whole library and gulping down all the books there. The artistry of the writers, the magic of their words never ceases to amaze me - its a great art Indeed. But I don't think I have never given enough time to this love of mine.

17. Gone are the times when I used to watch STHREE(A 700 episode Mega Serial in Asianet whose title song goes somewhat like this - Sthree janmam punya Janmam) with my mom and grand mom. These days, it’s Dr. House which is keeping me busy. The Impact of this English serial on me has been so profound that, I'm seriously considering taking up a career in MBBS. Though both serials are beyond compare, I guess given a choice, I would still rather prefer the former for the latter any day of my life if it comes with the added bonus of watching it on my mom's lap.

18. Heard of anyone crying after watching Munna bhai MBBS?? Well I did for one. I'm one of the most sensitive guys you will ever come across. I get emotionally charged up for even the most trivial of matters. I'm very very poor in fighting back tears as well. So don’t get surprised if you see me with watery eyes.

19. This Exercise is really starting to get on to my nerves now. For a humble person like me - who has never boasted, rather who has been in the receiving end of all the praises - this gotcha be the ultimate challenge. To make up 25 things about oneself. On the brighter side, this friend of mine didn’t tag me to write 50 things about myself.

20. Speaking about Boasting, I can’t resist taking a dig at the self Proclaimed Numero Uno – Shah Rukh Khan. Can’t the Directors remind him to take paracetamol or dolo to cut down on his shivering before he shoots for a scene. His acting or over acting rather, is abysmal to say the least. My worst nightmare would be taking my wife for a movie only to see her crying out in jubilation “Oh Shahrukhan” as the protagonist’s runs in slow motion around a football, rugby or god knows, even a mine field chased around by Karan Johar and his crew. Phew.

21. I have Multiple personality. Some days you will find me Jovial and funny, while on others you will find me grumpy and irritating. One sec, I will be full of confidence and ready to take on the world while in the next, I will be suffering from an attack of inferiority complex virus. Sometimes I’m smart, sometimes stupid. Sometimes aggressive, sometimes too lousy. I’m still in the process of self discovery.

22. But one thing which I have self discovered very well is my inability to be punctual. Dono why, but I just hate to be early. I always wanna be just on time. But this is something which I’m really working on to get out of my system.

23. However two things which I was trying to get back into my system around 10 yrs back where my front teeth set. It was that protruded. 10k and a yr of pain later, gals were back hunting me down. (Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you in point No.1)

24. 24,09,000 which is the amount of minutes you would be wasting walking in your life(Solution obtained from Point no.6). I love numbers. I love maths. It doesn’t pose any complexities like chemistry or physics. One can handle a Maths problem like life. Daunting yet simple. Look at the various clues presented before you. Try to find a connection between them and finally arrive at a solution.

25. You tell me..

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Story so far...

With my 23rd birthday on the horizon, I thought I will take a walk through the memory lane and etch down everything I can remember of my 22 yrs of Life so far..
I made my entry into the World Stage on a cold, silent morning of 3rd Feb way back in 1986 and if it hadn’t been for some smart thinking from the part of my grand mom, I would not have lived to tell the tale.

Since I was born very fragile and underweight, I was placed under observation in an incubator. So sometime during the night of the 3rd day, my grand mom fell thirsty and decided to have a glass of water. But on the way back to her bed, she couldn’t resist the temptation of stealing a look at her second grand son. Instead of seeing him deep in slumber, she found the young chap all stiff, purple faced and not breathing. Rather than remaining shocked by the sight, she showed the presence of mind to quickly take me from the incubator and place me in the bare cool floor. The sudden change in temperature injected life into this new born and gave him a new lease of Life. The doctors were called upon soon enough and I was diagnosed with Jaundice. I had to live through another 4 to 5 days in the incubator, only to be taken out to expose my body in sun’s radiation once in a while. I survived through the trauma.

1986 – 1989
I have absolutely no recollection of this part of my life. So all the contents which I can mention here will be contributed by either my dad, mom or grand mom.

Unlike what the general assumption would be of all those who know me, my Mom says I was a very nice boy back then, rather it was my generally well disciplined and always goody bro who was the naughty one . She says it’s only as I have grown older that I have become more mischievous.

I was also under the care of my Grand mom for a month during the time when my dad, mom and bro left for Kashmir leaving the poor little me all alone. She recollects that I was so thin and fragile back then that she was even scared to brush my body with water fearing I might break my bones.

1990 – 1991
My memory of this part of ma life is vague and futile.

But I do remember the day when my dad and Mom felt - enough of this bugger – and forced me into Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Town School. I was thrown out into a class consisting of several other Chotas like me who knew nothing other than to cry and call out ammmmaaaa. That day I clung on to my mom pleading to her not to leave me alone. I cried out loud "ammma pokalle ammaaa". I just wonder if the song Meri Maaa was being played somewhere in the background that day.

I also learnt a harsh lesson during that time – Never make fun of people who are taller and stronger than you, especially if they have long finger nails. Even back then, I was in the habit of making fun of my friends and in this particular occasion, one of my 1st friends – Ashwin took the matters personally and decided to scratch his way out of this particular mess which was me. But the scars of that day have vanished long back, so has the grudge. He is one of the nicest guys I know and still one of my better friends.

--> To be continued

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years......Hope something better comes up this time around..

Well Well..As 2008 draws to a close, I hope I find enough time to sneak in one last blog entry before it breathes its last..So what better topic to post other than "The year that has been - 2008".

In 2008,sun rose for me spreading with it,rays of hopes and aspirations.There were places I wanted to reach,targets I wanted to acheive,dreams which I aspired for. But now as the sun sets, I stand empty handed and lost, with not even my shadow beside me.

It had been a yr of setbacks where my life has moved at snails pace, When time seemed to have stood still only to be fast forwarded all of a sudden to remind you that another 365 days of ones life has been withered away doing nothing.

Well before I turn this entry of mine into a malayalam serial by continuing on with my stories of pity,disappointments and failures.I guess I shall try to include some of the incidents which were the highlights for me of 08.

Highlights -

Sadly from a personal point of view, I cant even think of a single high spot worth mentioning.
All I can come up with is -

i)From zero Knowledge of things happening around me, CAT helped me out in keeping touch with events happening across the globe, my love for reading multiplied and I started Blogging.

ii)Got myself a second hand bike and a new Dell XPS laptop.

From a broader point of view

-Never felt more patriotic or more raged and concerned about my nation than those 48hrs of Mayhem in Mumbai. Just felt jealous and proud of those commando's who were giving it their all for the nation.That is the kind of death any noble man should aspire for.
-Some of the speeches made by Obama and the confidence he transpired on millions was just jaw-dropping stuff.
-Good to get more than 2 litres of petrol again for 100 rs after seeing the highs of 55 rs/litre.
- Bush ducking away from shoes just as well as he does from controversies was indeed worth a laugh.
- It was great to see the Aussies being battered black and blue by the SA and India.How an empire has fallen.
- Great to see Sachin silence his greatest critics with an exquisite 100 while chasing in the 4th innings to back up couple of match winning displays in the finals of V.B Series.
-Federer coming back in style out of his slump to win the U.S Open.
-Reds for the first time in my memory topping the table come January and looking more than good for the title.This is especially sweet as bitter rivals Man Utld are just 1 trophy behind Liverpool in the overhaul title Haul.
-Aamir Khan with his Ghajini showed why he is the Ace Khan pushing SRK's RNBJ out of the Limelight.

Apart from these highlights which were scarce and few in between, last yr was a learning curve for me. Ironically, I feel I have learned more over the last yr than I ever did with my education in college or School.

Lessons Learnt in no particular order-

2008 in many ways has been an yr in which I had to come to terms with many harsh realities. For one, I realised that its pretty difficult to live ones life doing some crap no matter how much they pay you.And when this pay is also pretty bleak, the situation becomes sickening.

Resolution - Rather than complaining about the mess, try to find out how to make the best of the situation. Find alternatives and learn to ride the tough times.

Secondly, I learned or rather realised its always better to give\do things expecting nothing in return so as not to end up feeling hurt in the end.

Resolution - Though a hard one to put into practice, hopefully I would be able implement them come 2009, so as to avoid further damage and grief.

Third, Health is wealth. Frequent back pains and couple of lengthy spells of fever helped me realise just how good it feels to be healthy.

Resolution - Involve in more physical activity and exercise regularly.Eat healthy.Give your body No.1 Priority.

Fourth, The fact that my cell was showing greater battery life made me realise how rarely I use my cells these days and also how good it used to feel when I had to charge it once every 2 days.

Resolution - No matter whether the battery life is good or not, just keep it for charging once every 2 days(just kidding). Keep in better touch with your friends and near ones. They are the ones who give a purpose to your lives. Life without them is meaningless

Fifth - Don't put too much pressure on yourself by taking up anything as life and death situations.CAT will be a stark reminder for me for this.I put too much pressure on myself and then buckled.

Resolution - Learn from my mistakes and try to maintain a cool head.Nothing in the world should be felt too big to lose sleep over.Another tough 1 up my sleeve.

To put it simply, 2008 has been the toughest yr of my life yet.But I think it has helped me in becoming more mature, helped me in looking at life from a whole new angle,impressed upon me the immense possibilities that life has in offer and made me realise that life is no fool's game.

I hope the experiences of 08 has put me in good stead to take up the awaiting challenges of 09 - To give me the courage to dream again and give me the necessary strength and guidance t0 make my dreams come true so that come 2010,it wont be the void of my failure that fills me,rather a sense of accomplishment.