Monday, 31 December 2012

QPR v Liverpool

The match between two teams who are under-performing by their own standards and reputation. These two teams are struggling to find form even though they both have quality players in their side. This article will not just tackle the match but why I think they seem to be under-performing. The result of the game was 3-0 to Liverpool with all the goals coming in the first half and the player who took all the headlines was Suarez (arguably the most talked about footballer in UK). QPR's centre backs were just not good enough to handle his movement especially in and around the box which brought the first two goals in 16 minutes. 12 minutes later Liverpool had a corner that was played short and caught QPR's defence off, a second later Agger was unmarked to head home Gerrard's delivery from the right. Any hopes of a revival from QPR was lost when Cisse was taken off for Derry at half time with Harry Redknapp stating that at the end of the match 'it was damage control from then on". To be fair to him, QPR never started the game well and this was seen in the movement from the players as they looked weary. This was against a Liverpool side who had just lost their match against Stoke and were looking to bounce back especially with their manager not at the game due to an illness. Therefore, it could be seen as soon as Liverpool scored their first goal the match was over as QPR players were shouting at each other.

The reason why I feel QPR are struggling and rest at the bottom of the table is due to the players that were bought and are at the club only wanting money. It seems some of the players don't care about the result of the game, as long as they get picked and get their wages they are happy. Now this type of environment can ruin a club so easily especially one who just fought off relegation the season before. Players like Adel Tarrabt who is still finding his feet have made statements such as I want to move to a bigger team such as Manchester United or one of the Milan sides can only decrease the team chemistry. Harry Redknapp is known for taking teams out of the bottom half and making them into a top 10 side but this will be no easy task for him as the problems for QPR are on and off the pitch.

The problem with Liverpool is completely different, they have a leader in Steven Gerrard who is the dynamo of the club. They have a world class striker in Luis Suarez who is bagged 13 goals in the Premier League and have youngsters such as Raheem Sterling who have taken the PL by storm yet they lie 9th in the table. I feel this is because Liverpool rely too much on one or two players to get them goals and they need to find a replacement for Gerrard. First things first, goals win you matches and apart from Suarez there are not many goal scorers in the Liverpool team. When you compare this to sides such as Manchester City who have more goal scorers on their substitute bench. The realistic goal for Liverpool is to be in the top 6 and if they are lucky then qualify for the Champions League but for this to happen they need a couple more goal scorers. The other reason I feel Liverpool are struggling is because they have not been able to cope with Gerrard being a deep lying midfielder which means he is no longer a box to box midfielder. Therefore, he will not score 10-15 goals a season which he used to 3 or 4 years ago. Due to this, Liverpool have not replaced him with any midfielder and with only one fit striker at the club the future is not looking too bright for them. The one thing that can save them is the transfer window and there are strong rumours of signing Daniel Sturridge which can work but only time can tell. All in all, the two teams will be busy in the next few weeks and Good Luck to Harry because he needs it the most.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Sub Continental Pitches

As India recently toured Sri Lanka where three test matches were played, I have realised that sub-continental pitches tend to be batsmen friendly and no matter what day, it is bound to turn for the spinners. For fast bowlers to be successful on the pitches, they would have to be in top form taking the wickets early or rely on batsmen to make silly errors. I think it is very important for teams to go into these matches with more than two pace bowlers so there can be a change in the bowling attack at the start. This is a decision that can be controversial as there isn't much help to the pace bowlers in the sub-continental pitches but it could be very helpful in situations such as:

One of the other bowlers can't seem to find line and length
There are overcast conditions
Much easier way to regulate the pace attack from different ends

Even thought the points I have stated don't seem like much to bring in a third seamer but it could change the momentum of the game. In the three test matches played there were 80 wickets taken in total, 27 wickets were taken by fast bowlers. More often then not the wickets were of crucial batsmen and the maximum amount of overs bowled by a seamer was only 28 over. I know that 28 overs is a lot, nearly a session but when you compare it to maximum amount of over bowled by a spinner was 78 overs. The question for most teams is that where does the third seamer come from, well I think the teams must go with two spinners so a batsmen has to make way. 6 batsmen (including a wicketkeeper) are more than enough on sub-continental pitches and there are statistics to prove that. In the three tests the total amount of runs scored were 4094 and 51 runs were scored for every wicket taken so this means that for a team to get bowled out they will score a grand total of 510 runs therefore it is not a problem to go into a test with 6 batsmen. This is where an all rounder comes into play as he could get valuable runs and take valuable wickets. If you look at most sides this is what they have such as:

Australia: Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews, KGT Prasad
England: Stuart Broad
South Africa: Morkel Brothers

This is why it is more than important for teams to go into matches with a third pace bowler and it will have to be a risk taken by teams to stay on top, especially India who don't have a genuine all rounder.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The World Cup

Why is it that the best players didn't reach the final stages of the World Cup?
Well, it's all to do with individuality; Rooney, Messi, and Ronaldo, all combined, scored one goal between them and their respective teams did not make it past the Quarter-Finals. Is this a mere coincidence?
Teams with unknown players, such as Ghana and Uruguay, played more exciting football because they had a better team cohesion, unlike Portugal, England, and France who just had strong line-ups. An example of a good team cohesion is Germany, who were written off at the start of this World Cup. However, they have made it to the Semi-Finals looking like the team to beat. Germany started the campaign with arguably their best player injured and sitting out (Ballack). The coach, Joachim Löw, still believed that despite having a young and inexperienced team, the right spirit and motivation will help them succeed in the World Cup. As you can tell, to win the World Cup a team needs more than just talent and big names; a team needs a good leader, joint effort, and a winning mentality. Luck also needs to be taken into consideration even though it is not something that can be manipulated. Put all this into a campaign and you will eventually be the undisputed winner.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is eating the right amount of foods from all the food groups. There should be no shortage or excess of the amount of intake. A balanced diet consists of the five main food groups which are:

1. Carbohydrates (make energy)

2. Protein (helps in growth and repair)

3. Fats (for energy and warmth)

4. Fruits and Vegetables (Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre)

5. Milk and Dairy ( Protein, Minerals and Fats)

The carbohydrates in your diet are the most essential for energy and you get them from potatoes, rice, pasta and they should be 45-50% of your daily food intake. Proteins are needed for repairing the cells plus growing new ones and you can find proteins in dairy products, meat, fish and they should be 20-25%. The rest of the 30% are made up of fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre; you can get fats from dairy products, nuts and meat. The best sources for vitamins, minerals and fibre are from vegetables and fruits.
When balanced diet comes to sport then it is more crucial because the demands of sport on an individual's body is a lot as he/she needs all the nutrients in his/her diet. The best way to get the nutrients are from food but if this isn't possible then other supplements are also beneficial.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Peaking at the right time!!

Peaking is when a team or an individual is playing to their best potential and dominating their field in every aspect. Peaking is important for any team or individual but peaking at the right times is ever more beneficial. A sprinter would target running at his/her optimum speed at a specific time in their calendar as that time is most likely to be at an important race. This gets a lot harder when it comes to team sports as the manager has to get everyone peaking at the same time which is no easy feat. For major competitions such as the world cup or the IPL some teams can peak too early and by the time it gets to the final stages they will be well out of it therefore it is important teams win throughout the competition.
This doesn't mean that teams have to not perform well at the start but it means they have to peak for a longer period of time which can be the most difficult thing to do. What people normally don't get is that peaking doesn't mean playing exceptionally well, it just means that you get the result you or your team wants. An example would be Holland in the World Cup 2006 when they arguably played the best football in the World Cup but didn't make it through the last 16's as they were a victim of not peaking at the right times. This depends more on the coaching staff or the manager rather than the player/s as the best teams (Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea) don't always play the smoothest football but they get results every week and all these teams have the best managers or the coaching staff. Arsenal undoubtedly play the best football but in the last 5 years they haven't won a trophy because they have come up against teams who have peaked at the right time whilst playing against them or Arsenal haven't been able to peak at those times. Remember that peaking doesn't always mean playing the best, it just means getting the result you want.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The ATP/PC System

The ATP system is used by the body for fast and dynamic movements and doesn't last for long. This post will explain how the ATP system works in the body with a sporting example at the end. Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP) gets broken down into Adenosine Di Phosphate + P + Energy and the energy gets used out of this equation for an anaerobic movement. As the body only has enough ATP stored in our muscles which lasts for 2-3 seconds therefore we can only use this for a little movement such as a dead lift. To rebuild the ATP, we need energy which we produce from the 3 different energy systems. We also need a Phosphate which is stored in the muscles, and we have the ADP already. Therefore to replenish the ATP:
Energy + P + ADP
As we need energy we look to move to another system which is called the ATP-PC system. This system doesn’t use oxygen or produce lactic acid therefore it’s said to be alactic anaerobic. Behind very short, powerful movements such as the 100m sprint this is the primary system. This system lasts for 8-10 seconds for a normal person but can get better (not by much) if you train it. A sporting example for this system is a 100m sprint as the elite finish the race within 10 seconds therefore they rely on this system to supply them with sufficient energy to last the race.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Will IPL turn over Test cricket?

The question should be will 20twenty turn over Test cricket, but I have purposely not gne for this question due to the popularity of 20twenty going up in recent years due to the start of the IPL. Before IPL started 20twenty was a game that was played to have a rest from the bigger format of cricket but since the inaugration of IPL it's become much more than that as it is the easiest way to earn a quick buck and become famous. Lalit Modi, the director of the IPL recently stated that 'Test cricket is our bread and butter' but in the first year of the IPL, several test matches in India have attracted small crowds. In those several tests, there was the infamous one where Sachin overtook Brian Lara's run-aggregate against Australia and this lead to fear of a dip in popularity in the game's oldest format. Since then the ratings have risen for test cricket in India but in other countries, the shorter format rules the ratings.
Everything at the moment sounds fine for test cricket but the hype of the IPL is so huge that every young cricketer would want to play for Mumbai Indians rather than India. Therefore the next few years for test cricket is very important as it will tell where test cricket lies in the cricketing world. So will IPL turn over test cricket, only time will tell.