All posts by Peter Crepaz

Ronaldo the original (Video)

Having the surname Ronaldo must indicate some sort of footballing greatness.

Two of the best players from the past 15 years have shared the name of Ronaldo and a pretty good one was called Rivaldo, which isn’t far off. The common denominator here is that they are all of south American origin and it is safe to say that they know a thing or two about playing the wonderful game of football.

The original Ronaldo, the Brazilian one who once sported one of the most ridiculous haridos ever seen, was a goal machine. Blessed with incredible speed and unerring finishing, he was able to thrive at top clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.

His performances on the international stage for Brazil are the stuff of legend having managed to achieve two Golden Boots in two separate tournaments.

During his later years, though, he has gained a reputation for being an overweight indulgent kind of chap. Which is fine, you know, you’re a footballer, the pay is good, why not indulge? But his football did suffer and everybody started to refer him as ‘fat’ Ronaldo.

With this recent goal for his new team in the Brazilian league, he appears to want to see how far he can stretch the phrase ‘form is temporary, class is permanent.

A fine goal nonetheless and maybe, just maybe, he could try and lose a bit of weight.

Chelsea defender-turned-midfielder shows what he can do (Video)

It proved to be an inspired decision by Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez to play David Luiz in a midfield role for the club’s Europa League semi-final against FC Basel.

Due to his flamboyant, South American attacking tendencies I have always thought of Luiz as more of a midfieder and wondered why he wasn’t played there on a more regular basis.

His wasn’t the stand out performance against Basel on Thursday night, that accolade belongs to the ever improving Victor Moses, but he was one of Chelsea’s best performers on the night and his goal helped ease nerves ahead of the second leg.

With his comedy hair do and funny looking free kick technique, Luiz is something of a character and, since his arrival in England, has impressed with his attacking forays from the centre back position. His defending could do with improvement in some areas but on the whole he is a competent enough defender.

Plus, if he can knock in goals like this every now and again then there is no need to harness such an attacking force.

This has to be a contender for goal of the season; nice and casual, up Luiz steps from 35 yards out and straight into the top corner. A wonder goal? Yes, but he is capable of pulling off the spectacular and Sideshow Dave might be featured more prominently in Chelsea’s midfield in seasons to come.

Thiago Silva: A look at PSG’s leader (Video)

When you spend £35 million on a centre back, as PSG did to acquire the services of Thiago Silva, you would expect that player to be of the finest in world, if not their generation, and the Brazilian certainly fits that criteria.

Simply put, Silva is the physical embodiment of a wrecking ball, a centre back so compact and commanding that even though he stands at six foot he is able to dominate games from his position.

I am a new passenger on the Silva bandwagon. I caught glimpses of his career in AC Milan and the eye-watering sum PSG paid for him caught my attention but it wasn’t until PSG’s Champions League quarter final tie with Barcelona in Paris last month that I finally woke up and smelt the coffee, so to speak.

Silva’s man of the match performance was one of the best games I have seen a centre back have, which is saying something considering the French team conceded twice. In all fairness, though, Dani Alves will never play a better ball in his career than the one that set up Lionel Messi for Barca’s first goal.

The new rich elite in football, namely PSG and Man City, can sometimes be tricky affairs for managers because of all the superstar names in one squad but PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti definitely made the correct decision when awarded the captain’s armband to Silva.

 

Ingenious lower league methods (Video)

Yes, the top flight has all the glitz and glamour, the best players, the biggest stadiums and the biggest crowds.

But does top flight football have a motorised wheelbarrow come stretcher? No, no it does not.

The lower leagues are a wonderful thing, a place where you don’t have to sell your house just to afford a season ticket. The quality may not be so great but there is no denying the heart and effort and you can’t really fault that.

And, on top of all that, some leagues come up fantastic ideas such as this one.

We may be seeing this soon, too, as there is going to be an apparent influx of Romanians heading to these shores in the coming months.

Why bother with stretchers when you can a) get a wheelbarrow instead and b) attach a motor to that wheelbarrow?

It makes the process of getting an injured player off the pitch far easier and less time consuming. Mind you, I’m not sure how injured this player really is; he is probably just feigning so they can show off their new invention.

Regardless, it made me chuckle, especially the bit where he ends up falling flat on his face right at the end.

 

Luis Suarez: an appetite for destruction

One of the most controversial players to have ever graced the Premier League is up to no good again.

That’s right, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has once again flung himself into a deep abyss of controversy; this time for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with the London club on Sunday.

This is another on the impressively long list of misdemeanors that Suarez has compiled during his time in England. Previous to him reaching these shores we all knew him as the man whose handball, partly, helped eliminate Ghana from the 2010 World Cup.

Biting players is nothing new to him either having gone all Count Dracula during his time at Ajax. The Dutch FA fined the Uruguayan and he also received a seven game ban.

There is little doubt that the English FA will administer a similar fine which will mean that Suarez’s 96th minute equaliser against Chelsea will be his last action of a fine season, footballing wise.

The question is now, though, do Liverpool cut their ties with a player who has done so much to tarnish the club’s proud name. Where do the club draw the line with player?

Suarez is undoubtedly a world class player, as shown with his scintillating form this season, and it would be very difficult for Liverpool to let a player of Suarez’s ability leave. Liverpool fans know that without Suarez’s goals this season they would be struggling to finish mid-table.

But is this the straw that broke the camel’s back? Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers stated yesterday that no one is bigger than the club and for all Suarez’s talents, his tendency to attract and cause controversy may have just gone too far.

It will be interesting to see how the situation develops over the summer.

 

 

Freak goal of the week (Video)

This week’s freak goal of the goal comes to you from the fine footballing land of Brazil.

Lobs are always tricky things to pull off. The attacking player has to take many things into account before executing the lob; where the keeper is, how far off his line is he, how far up in air does the ball need to be in order to clear the keeper. 

When done right, it is a brilliant sight which makes the keeper look useless and the the attacking player brilliant. Take Gareth Bale’s fine effort against Man City today; he made Joe Hart, England’s number one, look very foolish indeed.

Anyway, this lobbed goal from a game in the Brazilian Cup has to be one of the most remarkable ever witnessed. The player is standing toe to toe with the keeper on the goal line yet he manages to send the ball high in the air and the keeper loses sight of it and in it goes. Brilliant tekkers.

Of course, this is a freak occurence but I’m sure that that small fact won’t stop the goalscorer from bragging to his team-mates, family, community etc that he was able to lob the keeper from point blank range.

 

Fickle football fans

Football fans are a fickle ol’ lot.

When things are going well it is all smiles and willing banter but if events do not transpire in the way that they are supposed to…..well, nobody likes losing do they?

As an Arsenal fan the last eight years or so has been a constant wave of abuse from supporters of Chelsea, Man United, Spurs and even Man City fans now. I understand that it is part and parcel of being a football supporter.

Make no mistake about it, during the successful years, I was dishing out the abuse like there was no tomorrow. United fans, Chelsea fans and especially Spurs fans.

I also support healthy debate between fans of the same team but after Arsenal’s victory over Fulham yesterday there was a huge outpouring of abuse directed towards the Arsenal team. Following a win.

It was not the most stylish of wins, Wenger’s men made hard work of it even with Fulham reduced to ten men for most of the match, but three points are all that matter at this moment in time when the Gunners are in a real scrap to finish in the top four.

Yes, emotions may be running high after a game in which Arsenal fans were touching cloth towards the end but it was a win and, quite frankly, it matters not if it was a scrappy 1-0 win, points on the board is what was needed and the team got it.

 

A brilliant red card (Video)

It is a rare occasion that a red card is not a contentious moment in a football game.

This, though, is not a only a red card but it is also one of the most ridiculous red cards you will see. It comes straight from the Mario Balotelli school of Silly Red Cards.

Ricardo Fuller, who to my knowledge is still the only Jamaican to have played in the Premier League, is the perpetrator in a game for Stoke City against West Ham.

Having been reduced to ten men, Stoke City had managed to take the lead but sloppy defending resulted in Carlton Cole scoring an equaliser.

Unhappy with this sloppy defending, Fuller decides to slap his captain, Andy Griffin, for slipping and allowing Cole an easy chance to equalise. Of course, this is always the right thing to do when your team concedes a goal and Fuller is subsequently sent off for his rash actions.

So, hilariously, Fuller made things worse for his team for his vicious outburst and, inevitably, Stoke went on to let in another and lose the game.

I would have paid good money to be a fly on the wall in the dressing room after the game. Harsh words were exchanged, I’m sure.