Who Will Win The 2013/2014 EPL?

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EPL

The race has never been stiffer as the English Premier league not only saw injection of new players into clubs, but also injection of new coaches, with each bent on proving a point.

Chelsea turned back to the Special One who brought them back to the limelight after 50 years of hiatus. The relationship which went sour and made Jose Mourinho leave the club is back on track now, and owner Roman Abramovich might have gotten his first long-term coach since buying the club in 2003.

Mourinho left for other leagues and won trophies both in Italy and Spain, but home is where your heart is, and the Special One is back home with the hunger for success we all know him for.

Manchester City owners have spent over £900m to turn the club into regular contenders, but they want more than just being contenders, they want to win every now and then. Roberto Mancini couldn’t deliver and so time came for their goodbyes.

Manuel Pellegrini knows his onions, and he’s a well respected coach with great feats with different clubs. What he did with Malaga last season was enough for the billionaires of Manchester to bring him to the premier league. If not for anything, they brought Pellegrini to get their hands back on the EPL title and become a force in Europe.

The Chilean has been given enough money for whatever, and he knows he has to deliver. Pellegrini’s drive will make for a stiffer battle at the top of the league table. He has a great squad, and he’s a great manager.

Manchester United has been at/around the top for a long time and everyone knows it’s the ‘Fergie factor’. But now that the old man is gone, other teams have seen an opportunity to dominate. Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes may be too big for former Everton Manager David Moyes, but he has put it on anyway.

The way big players have been turning down the chance to play at one of the biggest football clubs in the world should make Moyes worry and remind him he’s not Fergie, though he’s putting on his shoes.

United might have fallen a little behind other top teams in the EPL before Moyes gets used to the hot seat, but no one can write Manchester United off yet. Besides, Fergie isn’t totally gone….

Arsenal has shown a ‘seriousness’ the club has not shown in years. Wanting to pay over  £40 million for a player is unbelievable. But Arsene Wenger wants Luis Suarez by all means, and good thing is; the player also wants to leave Liverpool. All things being equal, a deal will be done before the season commences and the Suarez factor may well put Arsenal in the running for their first trophy in over 8 years. Whoa! someone is even counting here http://www.sincearsenallastwonatrophy.co.uk/

They want to put this behind them and experience how it feels to win again. For Wenger, this season should be it, and he is serious this time.

Liverpool may be the least favourite on this list, but Brendan Rodgers haven’t done badly since taking over from Kenny Dalglish. He is rebuilding the club and he seems to be getting it right. Whether Luis Suarez leaves or stays may determine how far the club goes in the coming season. If the Reds keep Suarez, they may spring up surprises.

Tottenham Hotspur is keeping Gareth Bale after rejecting Real Madrid’s millions. This shows how serious the club is about the coming season. Roberto Soldado is a great addition to the White Hart Lane ranks. We sure are in for great surprises in the coming season.

I just can’t wait!

Let’s know who you think will win the EPL next season. Join the poll

Sir Alex Ferguson Bows Out On A High Note

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Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

Manager of Manchester United Football Club, Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season, Manchester United announced today.

The 71-year-old won his 13th league title with the red devils, and the club’s 20th, in the yet to be concluded season.

The most successful manager in English football history will bow out after the West Bromwich Albion game on 19 May and join the football club board.

Announcing his decision to retire, Sir Alex Ferguson said:

“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.

“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.

“Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world.

“Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both Director and Ambassador for the club. With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future.

“I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential. My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career, providing a bedrock of both stability and encouragement. Words are not enough to express what this has meant to me.

“As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs. Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich.

“In my early years, the backing of the board, and Sir Bobby Charlton in particular, gave me the confidence and time to build a football club, rather than just a football team.

“Over the past decade, the Glazer family have provided me with the platform to manage Manchester United to the best of my ability and I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a talented and trustworthy Chief Executive in David Gill. I am truly grateful to all of them.

“To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United.”

Joel Glazer said:

“Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is but he’s also a wonderful person. His determination to succeed and dedication to the Club have been truly remarkable. I will always cherish the wonderful memories he has given us, like that magical night in Moscow.”

Avie Glazer said:

I am delighted to announce that Alex has agreed to stay with the Club as a director. His contributions to Manchester United over the last 26 years have been extraordinary and, like all United fans, I want him to be a part of its future.”

David Gill said:

“I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of working very closely with Alex for 16 unforgettable years – through the Treble, the double, countless trophy wins and numerous signings.

“We knew that his retirement would come one day and we both have been planning for it by ensuring the quality of the squad and club structures are in first class condition.

“Alex’s vision, energy and ability have built teams – both on and off the pitch – that his successor can count on as among the best and most loyal in world sport.

“The way he cares for this club, his staff and for the football family in general is something that I admire. It is a side to him that is often hidden from public view but it is something that I have been privileged to witness in the last 16 years.

“What he has done for this club and for the game in general will never be forgotten. It has been the greatest experience of my working life being alongside Alex and a great honour to be able to call him a friend.”

Sir Alex Ferguson is leaving behind big shoes at United polls say only Jose Mourinho could fill.

The Portuguese is certain to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, but Chelsea has been on his radar ever since, with every hint pointing at the his return to Stamford Bridge, but the announcement of Fergie’s retirement could be a game changer.

The Blues seem confident to land the Special One back at the Bridge, but Ferguson’s close relationship with Mou could prove a big factor in making the Portuguese take a detour and fill the red-hot seat at Old Trafford.

Moyes is another candidate favoured by polls for the job, but a lot of people think he lacks the ability to keep players’ motivation going all season long as he had shown for years with Everton.

One thing is certain, whoever replaces Ferguson will sweat to maintain the standards set by the Scot. But who better to replace the great knight than the special one?

Death-defying Skydiver Jumps To Earth From Space As He Breaks The Speed Of Sound

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If there is anything you really don’t want done, don’t dare Felix, the guy can try anything. And for people who say the sky is the limit, the sky proved no limit for Felix Baumgartner.

 The Austrian daredevil, Felix Baumgartner rose to the edge of space on Sunday — 128,100 feet, or 24 miles, above the Earth, before plunging faster than the speed of sound.

 Minutes later, he landed in southeastern New Mexico and, dropping to his knees, pumped his fists to the sky. He had done what no one has ever done. He had jumped from space, he had broken the speed of sound.

 “He made it — tears of joy from Mission Control,” his support team said.

 Dubbed “Fearless Felix,” the helicopter pilot and former soldier had parachuted from such landmarks as the Petronas Towers in Malaysia and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. And he’d been preparing for his latest feat for five years — physically, mentally and logistically.

 By most accounts, all the hard work paid off. According to preliminary findings cited by Brian Utley, an official observer monitoring the mission, the 43-year-old Baumgartner flew higher than anyone ever in a helium balloon and broke the record for the highest jump.

Despite the death-defying tasks he has gone through over the years, Baumgartner seemed taken aback when Utley detailed how fast he had fallen at one point — 833.9 mph(373m/s, 1342.8kmph), or Mach 1.24, smashing his goal to break the sound barrier.

 “I was fighting all the way down to regain control because I wanted to break the speed of sound,” said Baumgartner, who did it all with nothing but a space suit, helmet and parachute. “And then I hit it.”

 After a weather delay of several hours, he set off at 9:30 a.m. MT (11:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. GMT) Sunday from Roswell, New Mexico, in breezy, clear conditions, strapped into a pressurized capsule that hung from a giant helium balloon. Over the next two hours, he rose high into the stratosphere.

 Then he ran through a 40-step checklist, opened the hatch, disconnected from the capsule, and climbed out onto a step the size of a skateboard.

 “Guardian angels will take care of you,” said Mission Control just before he jumped.

 “The whole world is watching now,” Baumgartner responded.

 After giving a salute, he jumped.

 Baumgartner had trained to maximize his speed by forming a crouched “delta” position, and his team on the ground watched for any signs of potentially perilous spins or twists.

 He experienced one hitch during his fall about three minutes in, reporting, “My visor is fogging up.” But more problematic was when he began to veer into a “flat spin” — which, if it continued, could send blood rushing to his head and left him out of control.

 “There was a period of time where I really thought, ‘I am in trouble,'” Baumgartner said, recalling how he considered pushing a button that would have released a drogue chute and ended his bid “to fly supersonic.”

 “But after a couple of seconds, I had that feeling I’m getting it under control. And I did,” he added. “And that’s why I broke the speed of sound today.”

 After free-falling for about four minutes and 20 seconds, he deployed a parachute for the final mile or two down to Earth.

 “There’s the chute,” said a specialist in Mission Control, and the control room broke into applause.

 As soon as Baumgartner landed, he dropped to his knees and raised his fists — as the team at Mission Control in Roswell burst into applause.

 While he and his team had prepared diligently for the jump, his survival was no guarantee.

 They practiced how to avoid getting trapped in a dangerous “horizontal spin,” much like the one Baumgartner feared was happening in the midst of his free-fall. His life also depended on the integrity of his pressure suit, since temperatures high up were expected to hit 70 degrees below zero Fahrenheit or lower, and the atmosphere was so thin that his blood would have vaporized if he wasn’t sufficiently protected.

 Testing that pressurized flight suit and helmet — which restrict mobility and together weigh 100 pounds — was one goal of the mission, as it could save an astronaut’s life if a manned spacecraft malfunctioned. The outfit had sensors and recorders to measure everything from his speed to his heart rate.

 Sunday’s successful jump breaks the record set in 1960 by Col. Joe Kittinger, who fell from 102,800 feet as part of a U.S. Air Force mission. More than 50 years later, Kittinger was a consultant on Baumgartner’s effort, even serving as the lone person from Mission Control talking to the Austrian throughout his attempt.

 Kittinger acknowledged the ups and downs of the years-long effort Sunday. The former aviator was all smiles in lauding Baumgartner, whom he said “did perfect,” and all the others involved in making the mission a success.

 “It was a team effort, and Felix did a fantastic job,” Kittinger said. “It was an honor for all of us to work with this brave guy.”

 

 

 

Olympics To Watch Good Football

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It’s been seven days since I last posted here. I have to say I felt horrible through those days. I was in a place where I couldn’t even scribble down my thoughts. I wasn’t in jail if that’s what you are thinking. However, I managed to write a piece on the rivalry between the US and China. China is doing great as we all can see. I guess it’s a prophecy coming true. If you are always here, you will read more on that very soon.

The much awaited Olympics is gradually coming to an end, and London has lived up to the entire Olympic universe’s expectations. Indeed, we have seen a nice staging of different sports. The opening ceremony as it had been said over and over again was fantastic. More so it was there the Queen of England did the most unexpected; parachuting off an helicopter to the event. It signaled the beginning of an Olympics full of record-breaking feats – Michael Phelps, Andy Murray, Usain Bolt, and so many other athletes have made this year’s Olympics one we all won’t forget in decades. The host team GB has not been doing badly having cemented a top-three spot that seems settled for this year’s games as the first three spots seems to have been decided with the wide difference in the number of medals won between the top-three teams and the rest of the teams on the medals table. China has once again toppled US in another way by laying claim to the top spot they earlier relinquished to the US. I guess the US couldn’t negotiate their way out of this as they have done in economic, military, political, and several other matters to ensure they remain atop China in ‘world super power ranking’.

As much as we have all been caught up in the epidemic Olympics fever, there is always something that makes the world tick and leave whatever they are doing for a while, and that is football; especially when two of the greatest clubs in football history lock horns. The Olympics is definitely going to lose some followers briefly tonight when Barcelona meets Manchester United. Friendly as it may be, this may be a time of revenge on Barcelona as they have denied United the UEFA Champions league crown twice(2009&2011). Lucky Swedes have the opportunity to watch footballers play with finesse tonight on their home soil, while the rest of us lovers of the beautiful round leather game can watch it online or on our Tv sets. It’s always a cracker when both teams meet, and fans all over the world will be waiting earnestly for kick-off. Who’s your money on?

Euro 2012’s Moral Lesson

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He wasn’t a favourite. He wasn’t a starter. But in the end, he got the golden boot. Lesson: The situation you are in now doesn’t define your future. You can still make the best out of life. Believe! Don’t lose hope. Fernando Torres never did.