Tag Archives: real-madrid

Weekend musing – AFL, Adam Goodes, cricket, Mitchell Johnson……

Chris Barwin HillsI ventured along to the MCG last Friday night to see the Real Madrid v Manchester City game and it was mazing to be part of a crowd of 99,000+ people. I enjoyed the game for the first 60-65 minutes, but with Real controlling the game each side took off their best players and it petered out towards the end. Having said that it was great to see the skill of Cristiano Ronaldo and to see him get a goal on the MCG. It also is a reminder of what a great sporting stadium the MCG is. I have witnessed the World Cup cricket final, game 2 of the NRL UnknownState of Origin series and now the soccer in front of 90,000+ crowds. I missed the Anzac day game this year in front of 88,000+ and the biggest AFL game I have witnessed this year was the Dreamtime game before 83,000+. This year the ground has hosted four different sporting codes with crowds exceeding 88,000 and when you factor in the AFL Grand Final it will means the average will be lifted over 90,000+. We are truly blessed to have this magnificent stadium to showcase all these different sports.

Last night at that great ground we had the Richmond v Hawthorn game and I was expecting a good game. I wasn’t disappointed! Richmond displayed an ability to retain the ball which put pressure on Hawthorn and this was instrumental in the Tigers’ win.

This brings me to something I have been mulling over the last couple of weeks. When St Kilda belted Essendon a month ago I thought it may be detrimental to St Kilda as it may have given them an unrealistic appreciation of their ability. The next week they lost a winnable game against GWS and the following week only just lost to Richmond after the Tigers led by 9 goals at 3/4 time. I think for sides on the way up like St Kilda, it would have been better to have beaten mcgEssendon by 5-6 goals than to win by 18 goals because the youngsters understand they need to work hard every week to get the result. Conversely, you get a top side like Hawthorn give a fellow top eight side in Sydney a belting, then they come out the following week against Carlton and win by even more. The theory is, a big win by a good side against another good side franks their form, a big win by a lower side against another lower side is not a great guide to form. St Kilda’s grittier win last week against Melbourne will be better for them going in as underdogs this week against Port in Adelaide.

The Adam Goodes story just won’t go away and I won’t go over the Adam-Coodesissues that I raised earlier in the season, but I thought two articles in the Herald Sun on Thursday were worth some thought. The paper printed a poll of 50,000 people where 80% said the booing wasn’t
racist. There is no doubt a percentage of the booing is racially motivated and the rest is part of a mob element where people follow on like sheep. What we do know is Adam feels it is racially motivated and so it doesn’t really matter what the poll finds or what other people think.

The other article wasn’t even about Goodes, but about Mitchell Johnson and how the Barmy Army got stuck into him in 2009 and Unknownjust about destroyed his career. It is an indication on how barracking can destroy the confidence of some players where race is not even an issue. Crowds now know that Goodes is affected by the booing so it is hard to see it being totally eradicated unless both captains agree to stop the game until the booing ceases. I have expressed my views previously about Adam Goodes on field persona, but it would be a real shame if he was forced into retirement because of the booing, just as it would have been if Mitchell Johnson pulled the pin after the 2009 Ashes series.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Premier League…..

Chris Barwin HillsThere has been a lot of discussion about the substitution rule in AFL recently and I am a bit bemused by some of the comments coming from coaches and ex-players who would have been familiar with the operation of the old 19th & 20th man which existed until 1978. I can see the merit in the current rule, but having spent time on the bench as a 19th or 20th man, I think reverting to the old interchange rule is best for all concerned. I would also cap the number of interchanges to twenty a quarter. If the number of interchanges allowable was higher perhaps you restrict the number of times an individual player could be interchanged in any one quarter.

Sticking with the AFL, I was very surprised to see the Gold Coast player Stephen May suspended for his bump with Tom Rockliff.It looked like both players were going for the ball and May did not line up Rockliff to hit or bump him, but they came together in a jostle for the ball. I didn’t see the front on vision or any slow motion footage, but on vision shown to explain the decision I did not see a problem and clearly neither did the umpire as no free kick was paid.

Well Chelsea have secured the EPL crown with three weeks to go and while I find Jose Mourinho annoying, you cannot doubt his quality as a manager. He has now led Chelsea to the title three times and also did the same with Inter Milan, Real Madrid and FC Porto. You also cannot doubt Chelsea is a justified title holder given they have the most miserly defence and are second behind Manchester City for goals scored. The race is now on for second and fingers crossed the Gunners can get there and then secure their second FA Cup in a row which would be a good stepping stone to the next Premier League season.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – EPL, Champions League, Cricket, AFL……

Chris Barwin HillsWell we’re back to Fridays after two consecutive Thursday Musings.

The big interest this week was the state of the EPL. With two games still to go everything is still up for grabs. No team has sewn up the title, no team has been definitely relegated and while the Gunners looked to have solidified fourth position, the last Champions League position has also yet to be decided. That is what you want in a competition. Hopefully everything is still up for grabs on the last day of competition when they all play at the same time.

It must also be said that with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both qualifying for the Champions League final and Valencia and Sevilla vying for a position in the final of the Europa League, that Spanish soccer is in a lot better shape than the Spanish economy!

I was somewhat bemused to hear that the Australian Cricket team had gone back to the top of the world Test rankings. While they did well against England in Australia and beat South Africa away, the two previous series they went down to England 3-0 and lost to India 4-0, both away. You have got to question a table or a rankings system in which you can turn things around so quickly or does beating the rankings leader on their home turf carry that much weight? It does confirm that bowlers win test matches and with Australia’s fast bowling stocks looking healthy going into the future, perhaps we are in for another period of success.

The recently completed horse racing “championships” in Sydney also require some comment. They have tried to emulate the Melbourne Spring Carnival by drastically increasing the prize money. Well judging from afar, I think the standard of horse racing was right up there, however, the crowds must have been a disappointment to the administrators. Yes, they had problems with the weather, but I am sure they would have gotten similar crowds without the increase in prize money. The big advantages the Melbourne Spring Carnival has over Sydney is first the tradition and secondly, the timing. The Spring Carnival does not have to compete with the football codes.

In the AFL all the games look quite straightforward this week, but rest assured there will be a couple of upsets and it is a matter of trying to pick which ones. I think Essendon will be vulnerable to the Western Bulldogs and I think Richmond will put in an improved performance against Geelong. That being said I am picking the favourites.

Sportzfan Radio show #230.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!11 December 2011 230.2 – Mark continues talking soccer and Melbourne Heart’s recent good form. He doesn’t think Brisbane Roar are in crisis after two losses in a row but they may have peaked too early. In the Premier League he has had to re-evaluate Arsenal’s form and thinks he’ll have to eat humble pie about his early season prediction. He doesn’t think they’ll beat Manchester City this week though. Mark was up early to watch the Real Madrid/Barcelona match and says it sets the stage for an interesting finish to the La Liga season. Dr Leslie’s CSA on before the Gelding this week. The Gelding talks horse racing and before he looks at how his selections and the Sydney Colt’s fared, Sportzfan Stan wants to discuss the arsenic doping case with him. Sportzfan Stan is pleased when the Professor advises the Ladies from the Tennis Club have also invited him to their Christmas function. The Gelding tells the Panel that Danish Rock is in pre-training for a February 2012 campaign. Daniel talks MLB and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun testing positive for a performance enhancing drug and facing a 50 game suspension. Paul Dalligan has a brief look at tennis and says Aussie youth tennis stocks seem to be improving. The Professor and Paul discuss what is happening in rugby league and Manly have their first five games away from home. They also talk about Will Hopoate leaving on a two year mission for the Mormons and Paul Gallen winning back to back Harry Sunderland medals. Daniel finishes with a look at the NBL and the Age publishing the Melbourne Tigers beat the Cairns Taipans but in fact, the Taipans won. He thinks the Tigers may struggle to make the playoffs now with five teams fighting for two spots.

Sportzfan Radio #199.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!24 April 2011 199.1 – Sportzfan Stan leads off the show with suggesting the Port Adelaide FC coach, Matthew Primus should be sacked after yesterday’s loss to the Gold Coast Suns. Daniel says the club should look outside for a replacement. This leads to a discussion on whether the Melbourne Tigers should also look outside the club and not go with Darryl McDonald as coach. Stan suggests they should appoint Andrew Gaze. The Panel talk to former NBL player John Rillie who is now with Boise State’s basketball program. He discusses College basketball, NBA and the NBL playoffs.  The Gelding comes on the show to talk racing and the weird behaviour of jockey Shane Scriven during the week when he ‘borrowed’ the whip of another jockey during the race. He has been suspended for 5 months over the incident. The Gelding also reviews both his and the Sydney Colts selections. His two tips for the Ladies at the Tennis Club got up. The Panel then discuss the Anzac Day game and whether it should be limited to just Collingwood v Essendon or should other teams also get a chance to play on the day. Mark Fiorenti has finally tweeted again…about the Copa Del Rey between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Sportzfan Radio #198.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!17 April 2011 198.2 – The Gelding sends a cheerio to two new listeners who do the gardening whilst listening to Sportzfan Radio. Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and confesses to not having sent a second tweet as yet. He also discusses further departures at the Melbourne Victory, Asian Champions League and the mouth watering Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Barcelona. With six games to go, Mark doesn’t believe Arsenal can catch Manchester United in the Premier League. The Socceroos are back in the top twenty after their win against Germany. Paul Dalligan talks NRL and thanks channel 9 for broadcasting the Melbourne Storm game at Penrith this afternoon. The Panel discuss the NRL teams solidarity and foundations go out the window at this time of year when players and coaches announce their intentions on where they will be playing mid season. Paul doesn’t like the whole process.  He believes it has got to affect the onfield performance. The Gelding disagrees that is affects performance. Daniel is confused as to how Damian Martin from the Perth Wildcats was awarded the Player of the Month in the NBL. This leads to a discussion of what MVP actually means. Sean Callanan talks social media and coverage of sport on mobile phones. The NBA spike in numbers is coming from people following the league by mobile phone. It is one area that the AFL could lift in. One issue in Australia is the lack of or poor coverage on 3G network in stadiums.