Monday, November 17, 2008


The above pics are sent in By Shakes on behalf of the MANCS in retaliation to Swoosh and ABR'S comments yesterday.
"Reading through the blog yesterday I see ABR was questioning Ronaldo's body language on the field. He's comments on the blog, "yeah he scored 2 free kicks, but something dont look right... all the Die Hard mancs are saying his body language isnt right... he looks down.... they saying the madrid offer messed him up...he is lacking the hunger he had last season????".....
Well here are pics of Ronaldo after scoring, and he certainly doesn't look like he's not enjoying himself. He's expression after the goals show the passion is still there. I somehow doubt ABR watches the matches, he just reads articles and comments on them. I would advise him to watch and make his opinions based on facts not media rumours.

Written by Kumar Sangakara
You cannot discuss West Indies batting in the modern era without bringing up the names of Sir Vivian Richards and Brian Lara. I grew up watching Richards murder bowling attacks, chewing his ever-present gum with a swagger and arrogance all his own.

West Indian cricket has been a journey of thrills, fun, amazing peaks and disappointing troughs. For a team shackled with the burden of a heroic past, impeded in its development by wrangling within its cricket board, Brian Charles Lara has stood out and stood tall as one of the greatest batsmen the world has seen.

To an observer who is not West Indian, the Caribbean attitude is a strange one. Where most of us show immense emotion when confronted with challenges, many West Indian players hardly seem to change expression - whether they have won or lost, scored a duck or a hundred. This relaxed, laidback attitude, which has unfairly drawn huge criticism for being unsuitable to the pursuit of relentless success as styled by the Australians, has, however, succeeded in producing some of the most versatile and complete cricketers to have ever played the game. And that is exactly what Brian is: versatile and complete.

Like all great batsmen he has scored runs in every corner of the cricketing world against all the best attacks. What sets Brian apart from the other greats is the manner and attitude in which he wields the willow. There is panache; there is flamboyance, unpredictability, periods of consistent brilliance, and inexplicable runs of bad form. Never one to have been praised as a true team man, he single-handedly shouldered the burden of carrying West Indies' batting through a decade.

I have been unfortunate enough as a Sri Lanka cricketer to have witnessed him at his best at close quarters. The West Indian tour to Sri Lanka in November 2001 was The Brian Lara Show. In just six innings he scored 688 runs at 114.66, with three hundreds and a fifty. He did so at a time when Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas were at their lethal best on Sri Lankan pitches that had bite, bounce, turn and reverse swing. Yet West Indies still lost 0-3.

Brian's technique and style are not orthodox. Though he starts with a beautifully balanced stance, he progresses into a flamboyant and outrageously high back-lift that would be a coaching book no-no. His initial movement seems to be a spilt step-jump that flings his body into the position required to play his shots. Although unorthodox, these two movements, coupled with a fantastic eye and even better hands, allow him to generate incredible bat speed and power at the moment of impact. His sometimes extravagant follow-through is the result of this bat speed. Many are the times when, though his feet are nowhere near the required position they should be in to play a shot, the correctness of his balance and head position frees his hands and allows them to catch up with the ball at the exact right moment.

He is also the most destructive player of spin I have seen. To my mind he is the only batsman to have effectively tamed the threat of Murali and dominated him and Shane Warne. Brian has all the cliché attributes of a great player of spin: a good eye, quick feet, the ability to read from the hand, and an attacking attitude, combined with the most solid of forward defences. But to my mind what truly sets him apart and makes him such a fine player of spin, better than the rest, is that he is not content to react to the bowler. He keeps challenging himself in the middle of an innings to exploit the one area of the field the bowler wants him to exploit. I have seen Murali turn the ball square across him, with no midwicket, enticing him to play against the turn, and I have seen Brian keep driving, flicking and sweeping into that one vacant spot. Doing it once or twice is comprehensible, but to watch him do it for an entire session, it made you raise your eyebrows in amazement and wonder.

His nemesis in international cricket for a long time was Glenn McGrath, whose success against Brian was based on his ability to exploit the angle of bowling around the wicket. When Glenn came around the wicket to Brian it was almost a given that he would edge to slip. This was a matter of hot debate in our dressing room: many are the times we have tried to replicate the strategy, many are the times I have watched other teams attempt to do so, both with no great continued success.

So the question remains: was it really the one technical chink in Brian's armour or was it McGrath's special ability? Murali, wanting an answer, in his own direct and engagingly blunt fashion asked Brian himself when we were having dinner together at Mahaweli Reach in Kandy once. "Brian," Murali said, "why are you getting out all the time to McGrath?" Brian's answer was: "Murali, I have to get out somehow, and if I get out to McGrath, so what, it does not bother me." He simply did not believe there was a problem.

This was a personality trait that helped make Brian so successful. The situation of a match did not seem to bother him - the pressure, the expectations, his form; it just didn¹t seem to prey on his mind. Brian played as if for the moment. Each ball a fresh start, each stroke unhindered by the immediate past. He always believed that his ability would triumph. It is a degree of self-awareness and self-confidence that is extremely hard to achieve.

The situation of a match did not seem to bother him - the pressure, the expectations, his form; it just didn¹t seem to prey on his mind. Brian played as if for the moment. Each ball a fresh start, each stroke unhindered by the immediate past

Maybe it was this, too, that undermined his effectiveness as a leader and allowed the perception to develop that he was not always a total team man. I cannot be sure this was the case, not having shared a dressing room with him. I question whether being so much better than the rest made it hard for him to relate properly to the lesser players in the team. Although he was certainly an astute and intelligent captain, he struggled to get full team cooperation and respect. It is hard to drag a team along that does not fully believe in you.

One question mark I have in my mind about Brian is: why the bad periods? He was brilliant, but he could also be inconsistent. On song, unstoppable; but there were times when he struggled badly. Technically he didn't change all that much through his career. It could just be that he couldn't synchronise his back-lift and exaggerated trigger movement. He needed rhythm as a batsman.

If you assess his achievements, he undisputedly ranks at the very top - 501 in first-class cricket for Warwickshire, 375 not out and then 400 not out in Test cricket; the highest run-scorer in world cricket for years until Tendulkar pipped him recently. That he achieved most of these feats when the opposition was swarming all over his team is remarkable.

However, perhaps the true value of Brian was his entertainment power. Whatever he did on the field he did with style and grace. He was not just a cricketer, he was a performer. There have been many great players, but few with the same ability to thrill a crowd. With Brian batting, the record books were constantly threatened. Every game had the potential to produce something amazing. When he was batting well, there was no greater sight in world cricket.

Thanks Zee Mayet for the email

By Uncle Bhai Gora

I see Svoosh getting hammered on his blog. yes you MANCS it is his BLOG but is my column so I vil make this anti MANC my MUGG of da veek

Vy .Because he say Christiano Ronaldo only play ball against s@3t teams. and he cant play against BEEG Boys. and he say he average.

I vent to wedding gar (house) friday. When Elachi tea came the toppies de ver debating about Penaltino. Sum toppies say he not hungry, sum toppies say he class. Saleem Bha he scream dat CR is class.....But if Messi was in the Premier League he also score 42 goals. I say Areh Wah Saleem Bhai. Vat shit you talking. Must I also make you MUGG of da veek. Den another toppie scream and say but he got belter of girlfriends....especially Narida Gallardo. Den Saleem Bha scream and say "DATS WHY HE IS A PROSSI NYER, and he is only footballer dat dated the most Hookers. I say Saleem Bha SHUT IT NOW....You cant judge footballer by his girlfriends

Den Saleem Bha screams...and He is a Big Cry Baby and he is Bigger Diver then DIDIER DROGBA. Saleem Bha says Dats Vy Svoosh and dem call him Penaltino

But F#4k dem I say. Did you know it took Gerard almost a decade to achieve his 1oo. And Christiano did it quvikly. I reckon he vill vin World Player of the Year. And Svoosh said he has done F#4KALL. Here is SVoosh;s statement

"I did not say Penaltinos Free Kicks were average, nor did I say he is an average player. I said that hes free kicks were class. But it was against Stoke and that this year he is average"

For his back peddling and bazzling and because of de comments calling for his head...Svoosh is our MUGG OF THE VEEK....ALSO because PENALTINO will be the Vorld Footballer of da year


When free kicks are mentioned theres obviosly a few greats that are associated with this word. Obviosly David Beckham. He has made taking free kicks and executing them his own. Then theres guys like Alex Del Piero, Juninho from Lyon, Totti, Pirlo Wesley Shneider, Ronaldinho,Penaltino, Roberto Carlos, Giggs, to name a few. Basically everytime these goings step up for a deadball scenarion theres a strong chance that its in.If we go further back in time then there are Greats like Rivaldo, Andy Brehme, Lothar Matthias, Sinhisa Mihailovic who once scored a hat trick of free kicks for Lazio, Roberto Baggio and of course Ronald Koeman. Each of these great free kick takers though have their own method, art and technique.

Beckham....class. And being Great constitutes taking tour team out of shit when the chips are down. Becks Free kick was sublime against Greece and took England to Korea. But most of these guys in the list ,are safe bets to score. Juninho from Lyon, always makes the headlines. He like Pirlo and the likes are ever so consistant with set pieces. Del Piero has resurected his free kick prowess by scoring 4 crackers in two weeks. Del Piero and other artists in the list have perfected the art of flight and precision like the master Becks by striking the ball at the valve and executing with utter precision. Meaning the ball rarely flies all over the show at an inconsistant rate. Penaltinho scored a cracking freekick this weekend much to heated debate. He basis his technique on power and swerve. But I wouldnt even equate him in the class and consitancy pf Beckham and Pirlo and Mihailovic. The would be Free Kick Masters of the modern era. And then there were the masters of Power. Matthias, Zico and namely Ronald Koeman. Everytime Koeman stepped up. He ripped the Net with Power and accuracy .

Then there were great free-kicks derived from Set Piece tactics. How can we forget the Brohlin & Dahlin set piece for Sweden in USA 94.

So I leave the floor open. Simple 1 Who is the greatest ever FREE KICK TAKER.

And in terms of the Best Free Kick ever taken, Well thats Roberto Carlos's bender in the Toernoi De France,

Watch the video



  1. roberto carlos is not a free kick taker in my books. he scores 1 in a 100 attempts and that is just luck. he attempts all power and no accuracy.
    C.R is an excellent free kick taker swoosh. just look at the records. Does it matter whether it's Stoke or any other team? The fact is he scores them.
    You mentioned some of teh greats, but you forgot to mention the famous Brazilian left back. Not Carlos, but rather Branco. Remember the free kick against teh Scots in 1990 where he knowcked one of teh wall out. Now there was a player who like Koeman and gang managed raw power with good accuracy and got results, unlike Carlos

  2. In my opinion i think it was BRANCO from Brazil he was Sublime in his freekicks.I remember against Holland when he scored a screamer.A close second would be Mattheus from Germany

    Amien Rajah

  3. David Beckham, The master of free kicks for me

    Best Free Kick
    I agree Swoosh. Roberto Carlos in the Toernoi

  4. Was Maradona a great Free Kick taker

  5. what about nakamura from Celtic?

    figo? rui costa?
    henry at arsenal was lethal?

    agree carlos was shit!

  6. How can people compare the dronkie Gaza with the likes of FIGO. In my opinion he was shit

    Some of u pricks always get it wrong WHY?

  7. theres only 1 gaza!!!!!!!!!!

    get a brain, if u say gaza was shit u need to examined!

  8. Gaza the boy that became a man

    Azee do you recall in Italia 1990 when he got that second Yellow and the passion he showed when he cried

    I recall Gary Linekar gesturing to the bench that Gaza broke down.

    The man was class. His best showing was perhaps in Euro 96

  9. What about Stuart Pearce. He was also a free kick specialist am I right

    And Moosa Areff and Zahier Mayet if you reading....Do you Forest Lads remember Ian Woan. He could strike a blow or two

  10. Yeah i know there is only one Gaza


  11. theres only 1 david beckham!

    at set pieces u cant touch him!


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