Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do us a favour, and stop giving interviews for a start

This is the classic rant, if ever there was one. But there are some good points in there at the bottom too I feel.

To those who know me well, I like the old fashioned football system. Typical English football. No dives, no time wasting, a lot of fight, loyalty, some Hollywood balls, agents-can-fuck-off, give-managers-time are few of the traits that I’d love to see return to modern day football.

Liverpool once went from 2nd to 5th and missed out on the champions league under Gerard Houllier, whose funds were urgently required at the time, and calls for his head were loud. He was surprisingly sacked the next season when we did much better than the previous campaign, and I was sad to see a manager leave. The example of Rafa would be much clearer. 7th from 2nd, europa league and what not. How the entire world was after him isn’t lost on me. Friends used to ask me on chat as the season progressed and results deteriorated : Still for Rafa? Yes.

The idea was simple. One season from 2nd to 7th don’t make a manager worthless. It wasn’t working, fair enough, he has to take maximum blame. Given. But he was here for the long term, and I was terribly disappointed when he left. When Roy Hogdson came, like a lot of fans who irrespective of whether they liked the appointment or not, supported the man in charge. I did the same. Even blogged on it, I was backing him.

Results went from worse to even worse. Admittedly, it was then, I realized I dint know anything about the man. No research. Probably holds true for the one who appointed him. Non footballing people appointing football managers. Way to go. Hindsight, yes. Agree.

Results are bad enough. Fine. But there are other things that make me really wanna get a manager sacked in 4 months. For the first time ever.

1. ‘Judge me after 10 games’ is what he said when the first couple of games dint produce a win. After 13 games, and performances for everyone to see, he extends his judgment period conveniently to 38 to 55 games. Weird range. Probably random numbers uttered under pressure. :P

2. Unnecessary smartness : When Riijkard was linked, he actually said"I understand Rijkaard has just been sacked from Galatasaray - he must be a great manager to have been sacked by Galatasaray" STINKS. Said by a man sacked by Udinese, Blackburn, UAE International team and potentially Liverpool.

3. I feel for the man because to be fair, he has come into a very very difficult situation. But give the situation the respect it deserves. Keeping on ranting about how we are doing good, when quite visibly we aint isn’t winning any fans. Its probably for self-conviction, but come on. Speak the truth. From his first few interviews, I thought this man was someone who would say things as he saw. Straight forward. Wasn’t I wrong like Purslow. :P

4. After the Everton game, where we lost 2-0 and dint create shit, he had the guts to tell the media that we played well. He said it was the best game under him. And that Everton were lucky to have a two goal cushion to defend. Hah. After the loss against Blackpool, he decided to focus on the 2nd half performance where we couldn’t score 2 at home, completely ignoring the first half showing that best defines his reign. Bloody liar. It has become a joke between me and a fellow Red, we predict his interviews, especially in games when we are playing superb in his eyes. Every defeat has a lie. Vs Stoke, his interview seemed like its ok to lose here, its difficult. And his words made Stoke look like Barca. Shame.

5. Tactics and player moves, fine I don’t understand anything. Novice. But letting go Aquilani and bringing in a 30 yr old reserve from the same club for 5 million doesn’t seem right. Juve would be ROFL right now. Selling a 21 yr old Argentine international left back, for a spent 29 yr old full back for 5 million is probably a steal? Konchesky is unbelievably PATHETIC. Pennant looked like Ronaldo the other night. Buying a Portuguese centre midfield international and playing him on the right wing where he visibly doesn’t have any clue is adaptation I believe. Oh yes Rafa made mistakes in the market. But Rafa did a lot of other things which this man cant even dream off.

6. 10 Sept 2010. I put my weight behind David Ngog and Ryan Babel, who’s never really been given a proper chance at centre-forward at the club.” “We have Fernando Torres, we have good players who can play behind a lone striker.” “I will be using David Ngog and Ryan Babel in certain games to give Fernando Torres a rest and it’s up to them to prove to me that there’s no need to look further than them.”

31 October 2010 – “A club like Liverpool shouldn’t have to rely on non-specialists like Dirk Kuyt or Ryan Babel ‘doing a job’ up front when they are primarily wide players.”

7. Away games this season:
Vs City – 0-3. Need I say more?
vs Birmingham – bad bad bad. No chances. Drab draw.
Vs United – 2-3, played well for 15 minutes. Good enough?
Vs Everton – 0-2 Created shit, could have been so many more.
Vs Bolton – Drab game. Nicked a win in injury time. Points matter, performance there to see.
vs Wigan – 1-1 Wigan turned in on after Liv scored. Thank God for a point.
Vs Stoke – 0-2 **** ***

These are points that struck just now. Damn sure there will be more after I post this.

13 away wins in 6 seasons as Premiership manager with Blackburn, Fulham and Liverpool. How the hell can that be looked past while appointing him is beyond me? They chose to prefer last season Europa heroics of the man ahead of 20 years of success in Scandinavia or failures everywhere else.

Fun Fact : Hodgson complained that his failure at Blackburn tarnished his reputation in England, whilst his record on the continent should have made him comparable to Sir Alex Ferguson: "Of course, my track record, if people bothered to study it, would put me in the same category as [Sir Alex] Ferguson enjoys today.

Continent record : 4 Swedish titles, 1 Danish, 2 UEFA Cup runners up. #FML. If groomed well, he can be the West’s answer to Rakhi Sawant. His interviews, past and present. #FTW

Fun Fact 2 : Stoke had more possession for the first time since they got promoted in the match last weeked vs Liverpool. All is well.

Fun Fact 3 : This is his 19th job in 35 years of management. The experience is commendable but 19?

I don’t mind a manager like Rafa who is perceived to be arrogant by the world, but who gives the Liverpool fan a feeling of being one of its own. I despise a manager who thinks he can fool everyone by being a politician in front of the mic. And being even worse on the pitch, esp when the fans are travelling.

This link gives a compiled list of Roy Hogdson's famous interviews after taking over. Even when he gets sacked, surprisingly i might feel bad somewhat. But now, 2am, a good time to rant and take the frustration out. The overall package of Hogdson aint workin for me.


P.S. If in the remote possibility of Roy turning it around miraculously and surviving on merit, I ll be happy to admit defeat. Putting it up on the blog, so no chance of going back on it.

P. P.S. #blamerafa for Global Warming.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Taking A. Raja's side. Good man. :P

Overdose of A.Raja. Well, if not him, someone else ofcourse. Anyway, returning to spoof and satire after months and hoping it goes ok. :)

Being on A. Raja's side.

I was told in my childhood that we should always help people in need. And there is no one who needs help more than A. Raja at the moment. Poor guy.

Say I was Ram Jethmalani. Why? Not a clever question. If he doesnt defend A. Raja, who will? This is his esteemed clientele.

Or better still, imagine I am in some hot shot PR agency and have been hired by Raja to do the adidas. i.e. Repair his shattered image. Lets help him.

1. Pray!
No, not so simple. Not the prayers that involve 'give me luck, give me strength to face the storm' etc. The more effective version would be 'give India another Kalmadi' , or 'please make Obama return to India'. Someone needs to replace him much like he replaced Kalmadi.

Praying for a new Kalmadi

2. Lessons from the President!
As recent trends have shown, you can attempt to endear yourself to the general public by ending every English speech / byte with a 'Jai Hind', and put in a 'bahut bahut dhanyawad' somewhere in the middle regardless of your content. An unannounced trip to poor UP villages is another option but lets bunk that because it might become too obvious even for the intelligent folks who hoot and cheer on Rakhi ka Insaaf.

3. Use the media!
Ok the media has screwed him. But the character of a politician is judged best by how he uses the media to his benefit. Appear on The Newshour on TimesNOW. This will work in two ways. One, people wont keep on saying that Raja dint face the nation. But more importantly, it will capitalize on the phenomenon that by being seen on the opposite side of Arnab Goswami automatically makes the persom get enormous sympathy from the young Indian audience. Raja will no doubt be a little worried as to how he would defend himself in such a massive nationwide platform, but hey, who are we kiddin? He wont get a chance to defend anyway. ;)

4. Wealth-wishers advice.
Raja being where he is, will obviously have a lot of people much experienced in such passing situations. So he would be well advised to listen to such wealth-wishers.

5. Precautions.
One major pointer that can bring about his fall would be appearing in the esteemed show mentioned somewhere above. Rakhi ka Insaaf. Lets say Raja does succumb to his obvious weakness and accepts the cash to appear on the show. Imagine Rakhi Sawant guy calling him impotent live on tv. Wooo. Prime minister, Media, Congres, if no one can make you resign, Rakhi will go a step further and probably abet a suicide. Problem solved. So beware.

Ok, the man is in trouble and will probably have gone while this post is being read. But looking at the brighter side, he did manage to dislodge Rajnikant as the most talked about South Indian of the country presently. And trust me, THAT is no small feat.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Awesomeness = The Comedy Store \m/

In my life, through media and movies, and Terrorism, I have seen or learnt of various ways of committing suicide. Then I found a new method. Sitting in the front row, at the Comedy Store. Sure to be ripped apart. R.I.P.

Drink in hand, tears in your eyes, pain in the ribs, unforgettable experience in the mind.

I have never vouched for a place so aggressively as I will for this one. I have never reviewed movies, or even favourite hangouts of mine in Calcutta, Pune or Bombay. Now though, I shamelessly pimp for the Comedy Store. This post has been a long time coming (my Godrej Bombay mates will agree :P) I love this place.

The Comedy Store is totally unique. It is located at the High Street Phoenix compound, in Bombay. That ofcourse is not its uniqueness. It is unique because of the unforgettable experience, and the unstoppable laughs. The best brand of humor and wit. Of sarcasm and innovation.

The Comedy Store, originally from England has opened its first franchise outside of the UK, in Bombay. It is a place dedicated to quality stand-up comedy. No more of reality tv crap, nor the laughter of the i-will-tickle-till-you-laugh-or-change-the-channel kind. This is sheer awesomeness.

The place has a medium sized auditorium, a full bar and a decent enough restaurant. You can take your food inside, and better still enjoy a night of good wit with your drink in hand. What else do you need?

The Comedy store works like this. 3 professional stand-ups, world renowned ( I admit I dint know about them until I googled past Russel Peters), perform for 2 hours. There are two shows each night. One around 8.30 and the second around 11pm. One local amateur performer is given a 10 minute slot in the middle, and they are as good as the pros. Ashish Shakya, who co-writes 'the week that wasn’t' on CNN IBN was one such performer, and I cannot forget the ‘Mamata Bannerjee needs to get laid’ sequence till the time I die. Its sheer awesomeness. Simply.

One of the nights I was there, saw Mickey Hutton, Sean Meo and Glenn Wool. Different styles. Same result. Laughing out Loud. Mickey Hutton was like an energy volcano, taking the audience by storm. Ripping apart the front row. Sean Meo was calm and quiet, the audience however wasn’t, in reaction to his jokes. Wool was the cowboy, strolling from here to there, with content that will make a dead man cry out with laughter.

I went again, two days later to find more or less the same people performing, but it was new, and equally hilarious. I wish I could reproduce some of the jokes here. But I know it will be futile. The craziness cannot be replicated.

Vir Das’ professional comedy company Wierdass performed one night. Experimental comedy, by an Indian troupe, highly commendable. The place looks like one which encourages new genres, new talent like the 10 minute slots, and how welcome is that? Wierdass attempted an experimental show based on the lines of Who’s line is it anyway. On the spot improvisations seemed a world away from forced laughter aided by Navjot Singh Sidhu’s background noise pollution.

The place is expensive. 700 for passes for the show. The drinks and food aint on the lower side for sure. A pint costs around 175, and it had a toll on me, especially as I visited it 3 times in 10 days. But it is worth it. Because of its uniqueness, especially in moral-policed India. I went there for the 4th time, passes were sold out. :(

It is a place frequented by celebs too. Imran Khan and Minisha Lamba were present on two different nights respectively. But that’s not even close to being the USP of the Comedy Store. The general audience is receptive, they add weight and value to the performers. Matured heckling takes place. It is class, all over.

For anyone visiting Bombay, trust me, this place is a must. For my Pune friends, the thought of coming to Bombay just for a night of comedy will be laughed at initially, but you will laugh more anyway in here.

THIS is THE place to be.

PS : Don’t drink too much, it’s a 2 hour show and you would want to miss a minute of this laugh riot for going out to pee. The washrooms quite far. :P

PPS : More laughter in everyone’s life. Amen.