31 August 2013

Bayern Munich Snatch UEFA Super Cup

It was a very painful and cruel defeat by Chelsea right at the very last second of extra time and in the shoot out of the UEFA Super Cup last night. It was cruel because they twice lead in the match only for Bayern Munich to snatch a goal at the last second of injury time in the extra time, sending the game into penalty shoot out. Both teams started so well in the shoot out with Bayern perfectly slotted all five opportunities at the back of the net and the same goes to Chelsea until Lukaku missed the last and decisive spot kick or should I say, was perfectly saved by Bayern’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

I was still at work when the match started and it was already past 30 minutes in the first half when I saw the match and Chelsea has scored a goal too. And after the first half ended, I said to myself that I have seen a different Bayern side. This is not the kind of Bayern who won the Champions League last May at Wembley against arch rival Dortmund, who demolished the great Barca in the semifinals of the Champions League. In fact, there opening three matches in the current Bundesliga season was that impressive as well in terms of goal scoring comparing to what they have shown last season.

When the match restarted for the second half, it took only a couple of minutes before Ribery equalized and sent the match into extra time. It was the same story in the extra time as Hazard restored Chelsea’s lead immediately after the restart and it looks like the match will end up like that with Chelsea contented to defend deep. But then the patience of Bayern was rewarded with only several minutes left in the second half in extra time when Javi Martinez poked home from close range and set-up yet another dramatic penalty shout out.

Perhaps, Bayern Munich’s struggle in the season is probably due to their new coach that comes with new methods and ideas that will take time to get used to.

Image from wikimedia commons.

30 August 2013

The Champions League Group Stage Draw

The Champions League group stage draw in Monaco yesterday put several clubs facing difficult task, some resume their rivalries again and others were rewarded with weaker opponents until the knock-out rounds. Perhaps Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG were lucky to have weaker clubs in their groups or no bigger club names in Europe. And here’s the full grouping of the 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four.
GROUP A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
GROUP B: Real MadridJuventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen
GROUP C: Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiacos, Anderlecht
GROUP D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen
GROUP E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest
GROUP F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli
GROUP G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Austria Vienna
GROUP H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic

Manchester City has avoided and escaped another “group of death” year and probably this time under Pellegrini they will finally reach beyond the knockout stage. While the nine-time European champion Real Madrid has been paired with Serie A current champions Juventus. Then Barca, Milan and Celtic have resumed their rivalries in an intriguing group and ManU, Chelsea and perhaps PSG too are lucky enough to have a weaker side clubs in their respective groups. And the worst group who faces a difficult task ahead is Arsenal who joined with last season’s finalist Dortmund and the strengthened Italian side Napoli.

29 August 2013

Gareth Bale’s Summer Transfer Saga

The summer transfer window is all about the mega transfer deal of Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu which will break world record deal in history. But Tuesday has passed and still there was no official announcement of Bale at the Santiago Bernabeu. It is now Thursday and the closing of the transfer window is fast approaching. Real Madrid also admitted that they have encountered unspecified problems that delayed the signings of Gareth Bale. But then, as I said in my previous post that Bale’s Real Madrid shirt was on sale already and perhaps this small snag in his transfer is simply to add spice before the transfer window closes on 2 September.
On the other hand, Tottenham’s manager, Andre Villas-Boas, said that Spurs is considering fining Bale as he did not show up at the White hart Lane for two consecutive days already. Although Bale has failed to report for training, many still believe that despite the lengthy transfer negotiations it will still be pushed through, perhaps at the very end. One very obvious evidence was the Spurs busy spending in acquiring players from other clubs and perhaps they are just waiting for the desired successor to the Welsh superstar. In fact, Tottenham has already acquired the service of Paulinho, Chadli, Capoue and striker Roberto Soldado. They are also finalizing to close the deal of Roma forward Erik Lamela and Bucharest defender Chiriches.

And once the deal of Lamela and Chiriches are done, Spurs will break their own transfer record again for the third time this summer. Then probably when those deals are finalized, Tottenham will formally accept Real Madrid’s offer and to finally put an end on Gareth Bale’s summer transfer saga so Real can now unveil their latest “Galactico” signing.

Champions League Group Stage Draw

Watch the 2013 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw happening right now at Monaco. Visit the link below to see the live online streaming at a very clear reception.

28 August 2013

FIFA to Reschedule 2022 World Cup

When FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the bidding nation, many could not believe of its decision to award it to a very tiny sovereign state and thereon after, there were speculations coming out that there’s a conspiracy involved in the award process. Yet that remains to be a speculation until proven otherwise.

The World Cup organizing committee has chosen Qatar in December 2010 as host nation for the 2022 World Cup competition on top against four other bidding nations like the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia. And now another issue is coming out because of the scorching summer heat in Qatar during June and July that it is not suitable to play football in temperatures that could reach as high as 40 degrees. So the suggested plan is to reschedule it to a much cooler month of either November or May but that too will cause problems to the wealthy European leagues as it occur during their regular football season.

Despite Qatar’s World Cup committee’s strong standing of providing a stadium with state of the art air-cooling technology many are still skeptical in the searing summer heat outside the stadium. And if FIFA is going to reschedule the 2022 World Cup it still needs to be approved and start the consultation process to find new dates to set the schedules and that it should cause less disruption in the European league fixtures. So the 27-member FIFA executive committee will decide on October 3-4 to approve the change of the schedule then find a suitable time to host the tournament and move it to a much cooler month.

Image from wikimedia commmons.

26 August 2013

It is Still Early to Tell

The second day of competitive football in EPL and La Liga has seen some contrasting results comparing to the opening games. And so far only Manchester City has fallen prey and slumped to a stunning 2-3 defeat against a well organized Cardiff City. And tonight will be a great conclusion for day 2 and what the EPL season would be in the coming days as ManU and Chelsea will square-off at Old Trafford. On the other hand, all eyes are set on Real Madrid as the imminent transfer of Gareth Bale is forthcoming, who have been staying at his agent’s apartment in Marbella.

Although it is still too early to tell as it is still only the second day but at some point it will be crucial not to be taken advantage early on of the season. So winning each game will only benefit each team especially if the 2011 EPL season is to be repeated wherein, Man City only won in goal difference right at the very last game of the season. And speaking of last-gasp goal, Manchester City had almost duplicated their 2011 stoppage time victory as Cardiff was 3-1 up going into injury time. City can only manage to pull one back despite a couple of chances before succumbing to a stunning defeat.

It was stunning because Man City is already a goal up just seven minutes at the start of the second half and I haven’t seen also the fire power and style that they have had in thrashing New Castle in their first match. And I could only see two reasons of their defeat. First and foremost, the absence of injured captain Vincent Kompany has made two defensive mishaps with a makeshift center back of Javi Garcia alongside Joleon Lescott. Or probably, The Bluebirds just played an incredibly disciplined and well organized football in front of home crowd in their first Premier League home match.

Image from wikipedia

25 August 2013

Gareth Bale Arrives in Spain

The long speculation of Gareth Bale transferring to Real Madrid this summer has come to an end after Real agreed to a world record deal worth 86 million pounds. And will officially become the most expensive football player in history, breaking CRon’s 80 million pounds transfer fee in 2009. Although Tottenham’s manager insists that a deal has yet to be completed but Gareth Bale’s arrival in Spain is more than enough to hint that he finally agreed to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

There are more indications that the deal has finally been completed as Bale was left out for the match against Swansea although the Spurs are claiming that he is nursing an injury. Then after Bale was given two days off, he flew and arrives in Spain on Saturday, on a private jet and waiting for the go signal to travel to Madrid for the medical check-up and formally sign the contract. The third indication is that, there’s already a stage intended for Bale’s presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu and could be unveiled as early as Tuesday. That is because the Spurs manager said that if the deal is not completed then he expects Bale to be back at the White Hart Lane for training.

Lastly, the more daring stance is Real Madrid’s number 11 jersey with Bale’s name at the back was up for sale in one of the store in Madrid last week and in fact, Gareth Bale’s name already appeared in Madrid’s official website but was then taken out after awhile. Instances like this is not new for Real Madrid as it happened also to Luka Modric’s apparent moved to the Bernabeu last season. So when Gareth Bale arrives in Spain, it is now considered a done deal.

Image from wikimedia commons.

21 August 2013

Classy Man City Rout New Castle

Barca’s 7-0 demolition of Levante last Sunday might be phenomenal when you simply look on the numbers without consideration of the type of opponent they have. They may be playing their highly disciplined style of play again but I believe that with what Manchester City showed last night in thrashing New Castle with a 4-0 victory is far better, knowing that the Magpies is not a push-over team. And if only Man City don’t have so many missed opportunities on goal then they must have buried New Castle right from the beginning.

Their aggressive and offensive type of play could have scored them a few more goals especially Eden Dzeko who was so unlucky not to score from several clear chances he has had. But perhaps that has something to do also with the excellent saves and quality goalkeeping by New Castle keeper Tim Krul who was very busy all throughout the match, diving and parrying here and there. Yet even his outstanding effort and somehow luck, must have reached its limit at some point as he surrendered four stylish goals from David Silva, Aguero, Yaya Toure and Nasri.

And I think Sergio Aguero’s 22nd minute perfectly fired goal into the far corner is probably the goal of the match as it was not only a superbly created goal but it also came from the other half of the field, supplied by Kompany towards Dzeko who mindfully showed great passing skills. He created a perfect back-heel pass straight into Aguero’s path then slotted a low shot that went in off the far post which I think beyond the reach of Krul even with his already outstretch arms. And with the very resounding 4-0 win over New Castle, Man City emerged at the top of the leaderboard.

Image from wikipedia.

19 August 2013

The 2013 Football Season Begins

The weekends will again be busy as the top four European league’s 2013 football season begins. The EPL and La Liga opened their respective season just last Saturday with impressive matches and the La Liga’s top clubs made a winning start for the 2013 season. Almost all of the big clubs from EPL, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and La Liga recorded a good start except for a few who either lost or draw their opening matches.

Manchester United made a good start together with the returning Mourinho in Chelsea’s 2-0 win but Arsenal wasn’t that lucky as they are defeated 1-3 by the relentless Aston Villa. Then EPL’s adaptation of the new goal-line technology was tested for the first time in ManU’s winning debut with a good result. While Manchester City’s pursuit to recapture the Premier league championship will be tested later tonight at home against New Castle.
Barcelona’s win probably the most impressive start among all top European clubs as they stormed to a 7-0 rout of a weaker Levante side. They have displayed that the tiki-taka style of play are back and not gone yet and Levante was simply out performed with Barca’s highly structured system. But it was a different story for the Los Blancos as they are made to sweat by Betis and narrowly escape a 2-1 win at the Bernabeu. In fact, Real Madrid came from a goal behind before Benzema finally made his mark and it was only in the dying minutes of the second half when Real took the lead with a fine header from new signing Isco. Although the match should have not ended with just only three goals as there are so many wasted opportunities coming from both teams.

And speaking of wasted opportunities, champions PSG succumb to a surprising 1-1 draw at home to Ajaccio. What’s more disturbing is that PSG made more than 30 shots but only able to find the back of the net once. And just like with Real Madrid, debutante Cavani made a perfectly curled shot four minutes before full time to salvage a point for Les Parisiens and they continue to fail to pick up its first win of the season under new coach Laurent Blanc.

Image from attackingsoccer.com

18 August 2013

The Confusion and the Inconsistent Episode 7 of Dexter

I’d finally seen the latest episode of Dexter Season 8 titled “Dress Code”. The episode revolves around the unexpected reappearance of his serial killer girlfriend Hannah in Miami together with her new husband. It also talks about his plan of grooming a possible new serial killer as his protégé then there’s Debra’s issue with Dexter regarding Hannah and the reason of Hannah’s coming back into the scene.

So I thought episode 7 will clear things up already as to where Dexter and the final season will end as it was being announced that there will be no more season 9. But then it gets even murkier when it seems that they’re going to mold someone as a potential replacement for Dexter though it could be a different story plot with a different code to kill as Zach has killed innocent people already which are against Harry’s code. And with the continued presence of Dr. Vogel, I wonder if Harry’s death was really a suicide and if not then it must have something to do with her experiment with Dexter.

Then there’s how Dexter is going to close the story of Hannah so there will be no more surprise coming back like with her suppose escape from federal prison. Perhaps another good thing that possibly could happen is Hannah will be disposed by either Zach or Debra but episode 8 previewed that she was helped by Dexter to go out of the country yet that still remains a loose end of the story. On the other hand, her reappearance is quite confusing as she wanted Dexter to kill her obsessive husband in which she is capable of doing herself just like when he drugged Debra and Dexter at the end of episode 6. More interestingly, is when they dumped his body in one piece in the ocean but Dexter specifically asked her to find tools that he can use to cut him up.

Then I also wonder what direction does the character of Debra’s boss will move or end up and will Dr. Vogel still be alive right at the end of the season? Well, I’m still clueless of what twist or twists that are waiting and since only five more episode to go, it will be soon enough for us to know.

Image from wikipedia.

16 August 2013

Goal-line Technology is Go-Ahead

Football has adapted modern technology in order to help the referee to have a fair decision in awarding a controversial goal or not. There have been several occasions wherein legitimate goal was not awarded and contentious goal was given. So FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, has confirmed that goal-line technology will be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. And after the successful trials at the Club World Cup last December, it was successfully used during the recent Confederations Cup in Brazil though most of the goals made are clear cut.

So in the 2013 football season, the goal-line technology will be tested and implemented and it will happen in one of the biggest European football league. The Premier League season will commence on Saturday, 17 August, and will become the first football league to use goal-line technology at the club level. So far, there are two goal-line technologies that have FIFA approval and both Hawkeye and Goalref were used on both occasions as well.

According to reports, Goalref works by using magnetic sensors to track the ball and determine whether it crossed the line while Hawkeye uses a number of cameras. Probably the latter has the same system used in tennis. Although there are many who don’t support the use of the system for the reason that it will slow down the pace of the game but according to Blatter, video technology was a necessity after several high profile controversy happened.

And in my opinion, I believe that it is just wise to use the technology to support the match officials and avoid contentious goal being awarded or not. So there’s no stopping anymore and the goal-line technology is a go ahead.

Image from wikipedia.

14 August 2013

Dexter: The New Season 8

Just last month, my attention was glued in watching the TV series “Blue Bloods” since it is not just about NYPD but it also portray the life of the Reagan family. What really catches my attention is the life’s lesson that you will learn in handling work and family matters without jeopardizing what the law stipulates and its politics. So now I became a follower and I loved it but then I have to watch the first season in marathon since it was already in the third season that I started watching it.

So while looking for good sites to watch for online streaming, out of nowhere I started searching for Dexter first if the new season has started because I simply forgot when season 8 will start. And to my surprise, Dexter Season 8 has started already. In fact, there are already 7 episodes when I wrote this post. And guess what happened next? I instead end up watching the season 8 of Dexter and I finished six episodes already in three days. And here’s what I can say so far for Dexter season 8.

I noticed that Dexter hasn’t killed that much in the first six episodes and if there’s a serial killer that they are tracking, it don’t last that long before Dexter neutralized them. And unlike from the rest of the seven seasons, those who will know what Dexter is doing will be killed at the end or before the season ends. This time around, there are two characters who knew his dark secrets and still alive. Though it is understandable that his sister, Debra, is still alive but then I am curious what will happen to Dr. Vogel in the coming episodes, if Dexter will kill her or not.

After watching episode six “The Little Reflection”, I never expect something that triggers my curiosity and thrill in the last six episodes knowing that this will be the last season of Dexter. I cannot wait to watch episode seven tomorrow since new character from season seven has emerged and then Dexter will have an intern too. And that’s what Dexter is all about, surprises and twists just when you thought there isn’t any. So if you want to watch Dexter, I just want to let you know that this is not the cartoon series (Dexter’s Lab) and this is not for faint hearted too because of the very violent and graphic crime scenes but if you like crime drama with lots of thrill and surprises then this is the one for you.

Image from wikipedia.

12 August 2013

Kick-off Time for 2013 Football Season

The pre-season friendly games are over and comes Saturday, 17 August, the biggest and wealthiest football clubs in Europe will kick-off the 2013 season. Although the French league and the Bundesliga have started already their respective season since last week still. And while the summer window transfer is still open, it is already interesting to watch players playing in different jersey with their new teams. As I wrote this post, there are still three big names that remain uncertain to which team they will be playing in the coming season.

The three notable names are Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney and Luiz Suarez. And according to reports, all of them express their intention to leave their present clubs though so far only Suarez has openly said so. But speculations arises that both Bale and Rooney have strong intentions of transferring and move away from their clubs. And recent events in the pre-season friendly games have contributed to such speculations that they bound to play to a different club. Though one thing that made things complicated is the clear involvement of huge price tag especially Gareth Bale which, if materialized, will break the record books.

Right now, I can’t wait to start watching my favorite football clubs playing again and it also means, buying a different jersey since several clubs have new shirt sponsors too.

Image from wikimedia commons.

07 August 2013

Exceptional Customer Service

As I have mentioned in my previous post “The Second Day of Vehicle Inspection” regarding my experience with my insurance company that is worthy of praise and special mention.

I was heading to the city center after the officer had approved and signed the inspection report and that I finally passed the technical inspection of my 2009 Trailblazer. It took me about 30 minutes drive to my insurance company. When I arrived in their office, I was told that the car re-insurance is in the second floor and that was just funny because since the time I transferred to this insurance company it was originally at the second floor then last year they moved it in the ground floor and now moved back again to where it belong. I wonder where it would be next year.

So anyway, when I got in the second floor, I took a priority number and there are two people ahead of me. I sat down and waited for my turn. At that time, there were three agents who are serving the customers. I was sitting just barely five minutes and my number was called already. That was fast and immediately had this feeling of appreciation of their work. The agent on the other side of the table and his assistant offered me to sit down while he is finishing the other customer.
I handed over to the assistant the requirements and the documents that they need. While the insurance agent enters the details in his computer, I asked him if it’s possible to claim the insurance rebates considering that there was no accident that I was involve in the previous year. I was surprised to hear his response as he only said, okay…! No questions asked and there was no hassle at all from the time I stepped on the door. Although I also got a rebate in my insurance two years ago without any hassle and the best thing is that, I received about 18% rebate which was immediately deducted from the premium.

I surely will recommend this insurance company for the main fact that you only get exemplary services and exceptional customer service from them not to mention the secondary awards you’ll have at the end of your insurance.

06 August 2013

The Pre-season Friendly Games

As the 2013 football season is looming and within reach already, the friendly games are finishing up too. And speaking of friendly games, there are mixed opinions as to whether it is necessary or not as it can pose a big risk of injury to the players. In fact, there are several big and known names already sideline and or not able to join friendlies because of the injury that they sustained in one of their matches. And if that happens then it is a big blow to the team’s campaign for the coming season.  Some also believe that it has its own big purpose since this is the time that coaches can experiment the team rotations and gauge their capability before the season starts.
Image from lalate news
Most of the big football teams in Europe will start the 2013 season on mid August so they have less than two weeks to polish their preparation and perfect their tactics before kick-off time. And since I’m a big Real Madrid fan, I am following their friendly games and their preparations as well. I am just hoping that they will be able to get the services of Bale before the summer transfer window expires. There are already three players from Madrid who was sold during the transfer window and Higuain is the most notable player. And we all know that their arch rival Barca, already secured Neymar and surely it will make them tougher to beat. The only thing is that, Tito Vilanova is no longer on the pitch to guide them as he is still trying to recuperate from the health issues that he had.

And going back to the pre-season friendly games, it is interesting to watch Real Madrid and Chelsea as they face off in the GICC finals tomorrow. What’s interesting about it is that, Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s coach, will face his former team whom he left just two months ago after the 2012 season ends.

05 August 2013

The Summer Transfer Window Closes

After the 2012 season has ended, everyone went home and have a deserving rest and vacation. But some continued to play competitive matches after the summer break giving them a shorter time to recuperate and prepare for the coming season. Then one day, fans just woke up and read the news that their favorite player/s will be playing with a different jersey, in a new club and different country although that is expected to players with big names and of course, with exceptional football talent and skills. Wealthy football club owners have unlimited cash to offer so they can assemble a team that will bring trophies.

Indeed, during the summer transfer window, the names of Falcao, Tevez, Higuain, Soldado, Isco, Cavani, Thiago and a lot more will be playing for sure with different teammates when the season starts to kick-off in the second week of this month. And at the moment, there are still big names out there that are still pending to move to a different club with huge amount of offer and if and when done will become another blockbuster deal. There are three big names left that are still unresolved and somehow have there own controversy as well. But the thing is, there are only about four weeks left before the summer transfer window closes and if things don’t get materialized any time soon then their hopes (if there’s any) of transferring will be stuck until early next year. And I love to see Gareth Bale to become a Galacticos.

NB: Image from ISManager.net

03 August 2013

The Second Day of Vehicle Registration

After the technical inspection was finished, I decided not to have it fixed right at that moment because I still have to prepare for my afternoon work. And even if I have to, I have doubt if I will be able to reach the inspection center on time before they close for the day. What I’m saying is that, the police officer who will sign the inspection report will only be around until eleven in the morning so there’s a slim chance that I will be able to make it. I then decided to drive home so I’ll have enough time before my afternoon work.

The following day, I asked my colleague to cover me when I’m gone fixing the problem of my car. I have to do that because I’m on stand-by duty at that day. Anyway, I went out an hour earlier this time since the police who will sign the re-inspection report are only up to 11 o’clock, as I have mentioned.

I went straight to the shop that a colleague of mine has referred and it took only several minutes to fix horn and have it fully functional again. The mechanic told me that the problem is because of loose connection in the wiring between the horn and the wire itself, right at the tip of it. I was thinking that it might be dust or corrosion considering the harsh and adverse weather that this country I am living right now has.
And since it was done so quickly, I have enough time to spare yet I went immediately to the inspection center so it will be finished right away. When I arrived the queue was very long but I have a different line and it only took about 10 or 15 minutes then I’m on my way out to process the insurance. And that too is worthy of a separate post that I will be making so to highlight the efficiency of their work. There was no hassle at all and they too have a great customer service, in fact, it is exemplary that I don’t have any plan of changing to a different company.

So the second day of vehicle inspection was eventful and full of great appreciation to the services that I received. Not even a small and single problem that I have encountered so, that would mean I don’t have any problem too in the vehicle registration. In fact, I only spent just about 15 minutes then I’m on my way home already. I just wish this kind of customer services is available anywhere.

01 August 2013


I made a post last June regarding the possible problem that I will encounter in the processing of my car’s registration. It will be my first time to send it for technical inspection after three years since it is a requirement before I could even renew the insurance and eventually register it for another year. I have mentioned in that post that there was a little dent on the bumper which made me worried that it won’t pass in the inspection. And on the other hand, I don’t have enough time to have it fixed because I only have less than a week to process everything before my registration expires. What complicates more in it is my work schedule and that left me no other choice but to bring it in the inspection center without fixing the dent.
And two days before the expiration, I went there at mid morning so I can avoid the early morning commuter rush and the long queue since everyone would want to finish it quick and fast. When I arrived, I was still caught up in the long line, perhaps many are thinking the same way as I am. The good thing though is that, the queue is moving fast and it only took me less than 45 minutes of waiting time then it’s now my turn to park my car and have it inspected. After another few minutes of waiting, the results came and guess what’s written on the report paper?


My car failed both legal and the technical inspections and what’s worse is that both are major failures too. Although it is expected that it’s bound to fail the legal side because of the dent but not in technical yet they have to because there was no horn at all. But the police told me to just fix the horn and come back then I’m good for registration and all I need is his signature on the report. The other good thing is I don’t have to pay again since the second inspection is free. So watch for it in the next post on how things went out.