Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lets discuss something different

Cricket, cricket cricket……if India wins then we discuss cricket, if we loses then too we discuss it, even if we are not playing then we are discussing either about past performances or future events. Every one in our country is an in born expert with ready to implement strategies for improving Indian team’s performance, with media playing a great proactive role as a self-imposed mediator. Last night I was just wondering where in the world a game evoke such strong responses, like cricket does in India. The only country (there may be many) which comes to my mind is England with there national Football Team gives Indian Cricket Team a huge competition in nearly every aspect of game. Although the popularity of EPL, sometimes overshadows there national team, but still whenever they play, they evoke huge and extreme responses from Fans as well as from Media.
Coming to similarities between Indian Cricket Team and English Football Team, following points can be said:
1. Both of them have only once in there history, won something significant India 1983 WC and England 1966 WC.
2. Both are one of the world most hyped teams in there respective field, with most of the players enjoying demi-god status among masses.
3. There captain and coach (manager in Football) are the most famous whipping boys of the whole country.
4. And most importantly there performance evoked emotions which can match the joy of India’s Independence Day celebration and sadness of Princess Diana’s death.

Since we have already analyzed Indian cricket team in and out lets have a look at England Football Teams progress chart.

Last two big tournaments they have played in WC 2006 and Euro 2004, they were eliminated in Quarter finals stage, both times by Portugal and the last good match(according to me and my memory) they played were somewhere in 2003 when they
defeated Germany 5-1 in Germany itself, with Michael Owen scoring a hat trick. Before WC they have one of the most boring coaches of the world in Sven-Goran Erickson, and most photogenic captains in David Beckham and after that they have Steve Mclaren, who tries a lot but delivers very little and John Terry an inspirational captain for Chelsea, but so far he is not able to inspire his fellow team mates.

And the last piece of action was in Euro 08 qualifiers where they were beaten by Croatia and held goalless by Macedonia and Israel which makes there qualifying a little tough jobJ.

Player by player you see, England have got a fabulous team. You have John Terry and Rio Ferdinand as Center back, with Jamie Carragher as a back up. Gary Neville as Right back and Ashley Cole as left back, man that’s a one helluva of a defence.If that’s not enough lets have a look at Mid Fielders, you have got Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as two options for Central Midfielder, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick for Holding one, David Beckham and Aaron Lennon on the right hand side, with Joe Cole (if he is fit) on the left side of the field. Then you have Wayne Rooney playing as link up man, the only problem being that of central striker as Michael Owen has got long term injury concern, even then they have Andy Johnson, Darren Bent, Defoe and the evergreen Crouchy. So in all it’s a pretty decent team which is expected to win if not all then most of the matches, especially against team like Israel and Macedonia.

Well here comes the biggest catch, the difference between Cricket and Football i.e. the role of manager or coach. In Cricket it’s basically the captain who takes the call while coach role is more of a guider or a mentor while in Football it’s the manager who decides the strategy and player’s role is to implement that strategy (ideally speaking).

So in spite of having such a good team why is it that England always flatters to deceive, the first reason which is quite obvious is the lack of co-ordination among players as most of them plays for different club and naturally it becomes difficult to adjust to each others game. However this problem is faced by players of most of the country so it’s not really a excuse factor. Then where the hell is the problem, problem is in strategy, what we find that Mclaren tinkers too much with the formation and his obsession to play Gerrard and Lampard together , which more often than not result in Gerrard playing on the right. Why doesn’t he realize that Gerrard is their best player in the team and needs to be play in the center of the park where he is most deadly, he is the one who can sets up the game and with Rooney to likes to dig deep they both can create a lots of opportunities for the Striker. Other thing which people said (I don’t agree with it) is the lack of passion among players when they play for England as they play for there clubs. Well I won’t like want to comment on this stuff.

So that all about England , I badly want them to play in Euro 2008, all though the journey looks tough but somehow they have the habit of crossing the line only in the last stretch.

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