Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dusting off the Cobwebs....

....I cannot believe how quickly time has disappeared. I made a post a few weeks before going off on various travels in May including Russia for the Champions league final.

Suddenly it is July and I have not troubled the post count on the blog.

So, what the hell have I been up to then?

I have seen Lenin in State which was the mix of occasion and solemnity that you can imagine, but even so, seeing a man that basically MADE history, silenced the mind.

Apart from the fact that before you go in you are meant to hand in your cameras to a holding place in another building in Red Square. I did not want to be parted from my Sony so hid it in a trouser pocket. However seeing the former Bolshevik leader did lead me to weigh up whether to whip the camera out and take a picture....*

....meanwhile outside Lenin's Mausoleum was undoubtedly one of the strangest contrasts I am ever likely to see. Red Square played host to the Champions Park, the celebration of Champions League football. Watching the history of the competition bought some events I had only read about vividly to life. The highlight for me though was something I had seen. The presentation of Zidane's goal in the final of 2002 against Leverkusen. Inside a tent of air to look like the UEFA globe there were not one, not two, but three cinema style screens. The goal sequence was split in three with each third shifting from left to right across the screens. The rest of the film also used the three screens for various similar effects, but the magic of that goal was exquisitely recreated using the technique.

Since my return I have done some freelance/work experience, including for a sports agency, having the opportunity to meet and film Sir Trevor Brooking, Maria Sharapova and James Toseland. When I was not working on sports I was watching sports, particularly Euro 2008. Spain were worthy winners, at last. With the appointment of Vicente Del Bosque, two time Champions League winning manager of Real Madrid, I believe Spain have their best chance of a World Cup assault. Initially the loss of Aragones worried me, because I think Spain, like Holland need a strong unifying coach at the helm. Del Bosque, if anything, is a better manager than Aragones.

Chelsea thoughts:

I was not a fan of Avram Grant. Yet his performance won my respect and I felt he should have been given at least a full season to prove himself. If it was not for John Terry's miss he would surely still be manager. Talking of which, if the reports of Anelka's words after the match are to be believed, I have nothing but admiration for Terry who probably stepped up when others were falling over stepping back. Drogba did himself no favours getting sent off.

Now Scolari. Pedigree in his native Brazil and in international matches. No arguments. Ballack however has pointed out just how hard the English Premier League is. Expectations for the season:-a repeat of last season would be fantastic but there is scope for big omelette's on some very big faces.

Robinho-yes please. I have always liked Robinho, maybe because in every management sim I own I end up buying him and he is sublime. I would love to see him play live and fit that billing.

Deco-will have to get used to rainy away fixtures up north, which one will turn up-Champions league Porto and Barca Deco or last season's edition? Hopefully the former.

Frank Lampard-still believe he will go like I said last January. I just did not realise how much Inter were obsessed with the Champions League enough to sack a Serie A winning manager. Carlo Ancelotti's previous achievements surely saved him after AC's campaign last season.

I have also sent countless emails on various topics and spent time with friends and family. Now though more articles are ready to be researched and written along with a possible left turn career wise.

* idea which was swiftly quashed due to the presence of
several armed, stern looking guards. The picture in my head will suffice, of a man looking like he has just gone to sleep meditating on his next piece of political treatise. What Lenin would have thought of Sepp Blatter's comments about footballers and their 'chains' I can imagine. Russian, and very rude, probably. Which would also have been his response to all the t-shirts bearing his name!

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    Under rigorous examination I suppose I am a considerate, intelligent, humorous type of person