Thursday, November 09, 2006

Taking a break.

It's been a long time since I have posted on my blog. I am taking a break from my studies so I can try to get better. I know this is the last time I can attempt Medicine but I really want this degree, after so much time and effort in.

I will post more when I can get enough motivation to do so. At least this is a start.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Not catching up with my Premiership team reviews.

Not doing well with my Premiership team reviews, since at times I cannot be bothered to write my blog. Eventually I will get round to all of them, so for those who are reading (which probably means no one). In this entry I will be writing about Middlesborough and Blackburn Rovers.

I was not in favour for Gareth Southgate being appointed manager of Boro. I am sure he will make a fine manger eventually but there are rules against appointing people with no qualifications. Forget about Steve McClaren being appointed England manager or Gareth Southgate doing his qualifications, there are reasons why these rules are in place - to stop dimwitted, famous ex-players being appointed without having a clue what to do. Why not appoint one of the former assistant to McClaren as a manager with Southgate being assistant.

Whatever manager was appointed, I still think Boro will struggle this season with a new manager and young players with relatively few experienced players recruited.

Positional review

GK: Mark Schwarzer, Brad Jones, Ross Turnbull, David Knight

A slew of keepers but keeping them happy will be difficult. I think Schwarzer and Jones will be the number one and two goalkeepers but Turnbull and Knight will have to move on if they want first team action or going out on loan will be another option.

RB: Stuart Parnaby, Anthony McMahon

Parnaby is one of the underrated right backs in this country. I think McClaren should consider Parnaby as an England right back. And the fact that McMahon is also very good, in the future he maybe considered for national duty.

LB: Emanuel Pogatetz, Andrew Taylor, Julio Arca

Getting Arca was a great boost for Southgate - a player who can play anywhere on the left flank and was considered one of the best players outside the Premier League. But letting Queudrue was a disappointing - probably the best left back in the league last season. But Boro still have enough quality players to fill this position

CB: Chris Riggott, Robert Huth, Jonathan Woodgate, Ugo Ehiogu, Andrew Davies, Matthew Bates, David Wheater

Probably Boro have the best young centre-backs in the country but having no experienced players in this position. That is the reason why they gambled on Huth and Woodgate. Even though they are relatively young and usually injured, they got experience at European and national level but massive amounts of talent.

RM: Gazieta Mendieta, Ray Parlour, James Morrison

This is one area that Southgate should improve during the next transfer window. Even though Mendieta, Parlour and Morrison are capable players, they are not true wingers and are better players in the middle of the park. They need some balance in the side and bringing in somebody with a bit of pace would be good. That would mean sacrificing somebody in this threesome and most likely it would Parlour, who is getting on a bit and probably should consider dropping down a division to continue his career.

LM: Stuart Downing, Adam Johnson

The best example of Boro's youth system, with two capable players in this position who could play in the first team and also in the England national team.

CM: George Boateng, Fabio Rochemback, Lee Cattermole

Another player would be needed in this position. Boateng and Rochemback are great players, whilst Cattermole is a capable player with bags of enthusiasm. They need another defensive player if Boateng becomes injured or suspended.

FW: Yakubu, Mark Viduka, Malcolm Christie, Massimo Maccarone

Another area that Southgate could impove on - not in the first pairing in Yakubu or Viduka but the quality of back could be improved upon. I think Christie should be given a chance but Maccarone should leave and go back to Italy.

I think this would a season of transition for Boro. If Boro can consolidate mid table, I think it would be a good season.

Now onto Blackburn...

After saving Rovers from relegation, getting them to sixth place last season was an incredible achievement for Hughes. But keeping the momentum would be the main test or last season could be seen as flash in the pan. What wouldn't have helped is changing the whole strike force. It would take an incredible amount of Hughes' management skills to maintain their progress. If they can do well in the cups and stay relative in the top half of the table, it would be a good season for the boys of Lancashire.

Positional review

GK: Brad Friedel, Peter Enckleman, Jason Brown

When Brown came in, Hughes was obviously thinking of the future. Eventually Friedel would go but for now, he is still one of the best keepers in the Premiership.

RB: Lucas Neill (Zurab Khizanishvili, Brett Emerton, Steven Reid)

Probably Hughes might consider bringing another right back, such as Danny Mills, but with Lucas Neill playing all the matches and with other players capable of playing at the number two, this is not a priority

LB: Michael Gray, Jay McEveley

Hughes has a conundrum here - Gray is good but not great whilsst McEveley has 'potential' but not enough experience. Eventually if Gray continues playing, McEveley may decide to leave Blackburn and this is not a good situation for Hughes.

CB: Andy Todd, Zurab Khizanishvili, Ryan Nelsen, Andre Ooijer, Stephane Henchoz, Dominic Matteo

With Henchoz just signing, Matteo is all but confirmed to leave Ewood Park despite his experience and versatility. But you have to wonder why he didn't do it early instead of having to rot away for another four months until the transfer window re-opens.

RM: Brett Emerton, David Bentley

See below.

LM: Morten Gamst Pedersen, Steven Reid

The two wide midfield positions do not need any recruitment, with enough capable players filling in the positions.

CM: Robbie Savage, Tugay, Aaron Mokoena (Steven Reid)

With Savage and Reid being the primary choice, perhaps Hughes might like to bring in another attacking central midfielder to give some balance.

FW: Jason Roberts, Benni McCarthy, Francis Jeffers, Paul Gallagher, Shabani Nonda

With a new complete forward line-up, this could be the area where Blackburn cock up this season. It would take time for a partnership to bear fruit, so it could be until mid season when Blackburn eventually start to produce the results they want to.

Like Middlesborough, a major shake up in the staff would mean Blackburn would be happy just finishing in the top half of the table and bring a good performance in the cup competitions.

Now that my shoulders are starting to ache now, I eventually have to go to bed and get up tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


It will be no surprise to people that I am still struggling. I have only been to two days of classes out of a possible eight days. Probably now is the time to get help. Soon

Everybody loves an underdog. The team or person who seem inferiorly weaker on paper but happens to upstage the favourite is always well liked, because they don't rely on skill or strength or money but heart and courage. It appeals to most people because we are like that, not all of us are blessed with gifts or favours.

Two teams that have started the Premier League well are Portsmouth and Everton. And yes, I will be reviewing them now...

I am not a big fan of Harry Redknapp. He's not a big developer of youth. People said he played young players at West Ham United but he was forced to rely on the youth system because he had no finances. So no young players go through at Portsmouth (he was at Southampton for far too short a time to evaluate).

But he has had marvelous results at West Ham United and Portsmouth, despite having to buy bargain players plus free agents. He managed to keep Portsmouth and West Ham United in the Premier League despite being on the budget. Yet this season he has Russian mafia money to spend thanks to new investment (can't remember who the new owner is). Yet he has had trouble attracting good players to Portsmouth. It is the same predicament with Wigan, Bolton and Reading - despite being in the Premier League and having money to spend, the lack of pedigree and glamour around the club has failed to appeal to players. He has attracted some players but I think they won't improve that much.

Positional review

GK: David James, Dean Kiely, Jamie Ashdown

I didn't understand why Redknapp bought James when he had a better keeper in Kiely. James is dominant in the air and he is more prone to mistakes than any other keeper in the Premier League. It may cost Portsmouth points in the long run.

RB: Glen Johnson, Noe Pamarot (Linvoy Primus, Adrian Griffin)

I think signing Johnson was marvellous for Redknapp. I hate using the word 'potential' in football (it usually means they are young but not very good) but Johnson does have that. He has drive and the skill to become the next England right back but he needs discipline.

LB: Matthew Taylor, Adrian Griffin

Not a major department to invest in but getting Matthew Taylor to stay was the best part.

CB: Defan Stefanovic, Linvoy Primus, Sol Campbell, Andy O'Brien, Richard Duffy

Probably the world's oldest centre back pairing. Not investing or playing younger players will be very detrimental in the long run.

RM: Gary O'Neil, Roudolphe Douala

At least Harry Redknapp has bought what he need in Douala but I don't know about the quality of this player. O'Neil is great but he is better in central midfield.

LM: Ognjen Koroman

Another area Redknapp has invested in but maybe needs a back-up.

CM: Sean Davis, Pedro Mendes, David Thompson, Richard Hughes, Manuel Fernandes, Niko Kranjcar, Franck Songo'o (Gary O'Neil)

Lots of players in this position, so Redknapp won't have trouble picking players. Best player he invested in was Kranjcar, who performed admirably for Croatia at the World Cup.

FW: Andy Cole, Kanu, Lomana Lualua, Benjani Mwaruwari, Ivica Mornar

Following his own tradition, Redknapp has bought in Cole and Kanu - talented but elderly. They are great players but probably Redknapp should be investing in the future and not the present.

Portsmouth will improve slightly but depends if they want to invest in the present or for the future.

Now going to Everton, who have done very well in the transfer market. They may have paid a lot of money (Perhaps too much) but they have bought well and what they need. I think they have been going yo-yo in the past few years but they need stability now.

GK: Tim Howard, Richard Wright, Iain Turner

Getting Howard in must mean Wright probably will be going soon. I thought Wright would get the primary position but it seems Moyes is looking for a replacement.

RB: Tony Hibbert (Phillip Neville)

No need to invest here but maybe requires an secondary right-back

LB: Nuno Valente, Gary Naysmith, Alessandro Pistone (Phillip Neville)

Another area not needing investing but probably one player needs to go - probably Pistone.

CB: David Weir, Joleon Lescott, Joseph Yobo, Alan Stubbs

Lescott is a great signing, investing on youth and quality. Having Weir and Stubbs will help his development.

RM: Leon Osman, Simon Davies

Another area not needing investment.

LM: Andy van der Meyde (James McFadden)

Probably the worst transfer to happen to Everton was letting Kevin Kilbane, due to his quality plus his deputy is not that fit. It may mean McFadden will be playing more than usual.

CM: Phillip Neville, Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Lee Carsley

Another area not needing investment but Lee Carsley probably will go at the end of the season.

FW: James Beattie, Andrew Johnson, James McFadden

Probably won't need another forward, with two good youths coming through, but having Beattie and Johnson will be a good partnership.

Just getting what they needed was what Everton needed to do. Keeping the same nucleus is ideal and I think Everton will improve. They will win either one cup or finish top eight.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Haven't done much.

As usual, I haven't done much since coming back to the Surgery Specialty Clerkship. Went to classes on Monday and Tuesday but haven't been on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. I think the problem is just having to wake up to my parent's wake-up call. I think I need some independence and I shouldn't want to have to think about what my parent's think.

Another event that has occurred is the end of the transfer window, which will stop the ridiculous rumours of certain players going to certain clubs. In continuing my Premiership club previews, I am going to write about the club who did the surprise of the transfer deadline day - West Ham United - by signing World Cup stars Tevez & Mascherano. There are many conspiracy theories as to why these high profile players have shunned big European clubs to pick a small English club but I am one who won't speculate. I think it is a great buy for the club, which may see it now vying for the UEFA Cup and Champions' League spot for this season.

Postional review

GK: Roy Carroll, Robert Green, James Walker
It was ideal for Pardew to get Green. I'm not a big fan of Carroll, primarily he couldn't establish himself at Man Utd despite the incompetence of their various keepers. Also he dropped that clanger against Tottenham (everybody should know about that "goal"). At least Green has time to improve. Plus at least they have cover in Walker.

RB: John Pantsil, Tyrone Mears
Amazingly Pardew actually has done the logical thing after not having an adequate right back last season, by going out and getting not one but TWO right backs. I don't know about the quality of either player but Pantsil cannot be that bad if he was starting for his country at the World Cup.

LB: Paul Konchesky, George McCartney
It was not surprising that Clive Clarke left, considering the form of Konchesky (I don't think he was every dropped). But to replace Clarke with a higher profile player seems lunacy. I would have thought they would have got a player who could play at left back and wing (like Julio Arca).

CB: Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon, James Colllins, Christian Dailly, Jonathon Spector
This is one area Pardew may have strengthen in over the summer. Ferdinand is following in his older brother's footsteps whilst Gabbidon has adequately taken the step up from Football League to Premiership. Getting experienced cover would have been better than relying on Collins & Spector. They're investing into the future but this may cost them with the present results.

RM: Yossi Benayoun, Shawn Newton
Another area that Pardew should have invested. Benayoun and Etherington are great but Newton isn't, especially now that he is suspended for quite a while.

LM: Matthew Etherington
As I mentioned above, Pardew does not have enough cover. This has been proven now, with Etherington injured and asking Benayoun or Bowyer to cover for him.

CM: Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Javier Mascherano, Lee Bowyer, Mark Noble
Now that Mascherano is here, how will Pardew will keep everybody happy? Mullins will be the most likely to lose his place and Noble will most likely leave later.

FW: Teddy Sheringham, Dean Ashton, Marlon Harewood, Carlton Cole, Bobby Zamora, Carlos Tevez
Another problem that Pardew will have here is keeping everybody happy. He already had two future English international in Ashton and Harewood whilst Cole, Sheringham and Zamora are adequate enough cover.

If Pardew can keep everybody happy, they are going to challenging not just for trophies but for Champions' League places.

Monday, August 28, 2006

More musings from my holiday.

As stated before, I'm not good at keeping up with my postings on my blog. My Premiership review of each club is way behind schedule and I haven't even written about my recent holiday. Now I have started a new clerkship (surgery), so it will be a while before I can catch up with things.

As I stated before, I was on holiday in Phuket & Bangkok (that's Thailand for those who failed geography) for ten days. I didn't deserve that holiday, especially after not going to classes in the medicine clerkship for three weeks but I needed it. One thing I would change is to go without my parents next time. I said that the last time I went with my parents on a holiday (that time was Tokyo) and I can never see why they can never guide themselves around. They will literally lose themselves in a toilet if given a chance.

Apart from that the holiday was fine. In Phuket, most of the time was spent sunbathing and swimming, whilst my dad hired a car for the first two days and drove us around (with me navigating as usual). One highlight was being able to shoot a .22 rifle like I did in school and also a Colt 9mm. Let's just say after shooting the 9mm, I now know how hard it is to shoot a weapon of any type.

Another highlight was getting a Thai massage for the first time. I had four in total over the whole trip. It is basically stretching the muscles, unlike the Swedish massage which is oil-based kneading of muscles. After the Thai massage I felt like steak after it had been tenderized.

After Phuket it was straight to Bangkok (although it suppose to have another name, which makes it the longest name in the world). We were there mainly for shopping but did spend one morning sight-seeing. I don't know how things are so cheap in Thailand but they are. I bought mainly DVDs, clothes and herbs & spices.

Bangkok would be an ideal holiday for my parents, only because they can muse about how much they saved. My parents literally get a buzz about how much they saved on anything. They will be literally saying, "This would cost so much in Hong Kong but here in Thailand it only cost this much. We would save this much." Most of the things they bought were dog accessories for their dogs.

I really don't have photos of the trip, since I didn't bring a camera and my dad was mainly taking the photos. Like a typical Hong Kong person, he photographed our hotel rooms!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


If any of you have been wondering where I have been, not answering phone calls or emails, my apologies since I have been on holiday in Phuket & Bangkok since Sunday 13th August. I'll be catching up on my messages as soon as possible.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mr. Colourful

This is another seasonal preview to complement the one I just posted a few minutes ago. This time I will be previewing Sheffield United. The Blades have the most colourful manager in England right now, Mr. Neil Warnock. I would love to see how he fares in the big time,after being very outspoken during his time in the Football League Championshp. Just imagining the antics between him and Jose Mourinho will be quite interesting to watch and hear!

Yet it doesn't bode well for Warnock, on the evidence of his transfers. He is relying on bring in quantity rather than quality, with far too many players on the books. Plus the people he is bringing in are not exuding quality, most having just played in the lower leagues for most of the professional lives. If Sheffield United are to stay up, they need more than grit and numbers.

Positional review

GK: Paddy Kenny, Ian Bennett

One of Sheffield United's strongest department is the goalkeeping department, with veterans Kenny and Bennett. Any hope of not conceding goals will be reliant upon Kenny's form.

RB: Robert Kozluk, Derek Geary

A very weak position for the Blades, with none of the players here not experienced in the Premiership. Might want to get rid of one of them and bring in somebody else.

LB: David Unsworth, Chris Armstrong, Alan Wright

Perhaps stronger than the right back position, having somebody like Unsworth is good but with his age, they will be relying more on Armstrong for speed. Plus Wright is known to be on the way out, so I don't think he will figure.

CB: Chris Morgan, Leigh Bromby, Chris Lucketti, David Sommeil, Claude Davis, Mikel Leigertwood, Craig Short

I still don't know why Short came out of retirement since Sheffield United seem to have enough central defenders - probably they need his know-how. I only see Bromby, Davis & Leigertwood doing well for United, the others are either way past it or just not good enough.

RM: Paul Ifil, Keith Gillespie

With Ifil's relative quickness with Gillespie backing him up, this seems to be an adequate area for United

LM: Michael Tonge

This is where United should be reinforcing. Tonge should be playing in the middle with Jaglieka but without an out-and-out left midfielder, they shoved Tonge to the left. I think this is wasting Tonge's talent, much like Gerrard being shoved to the right for Liverpool.

CM: Phil Jaglieka, Nick Montgomery, Alan Quinn, Li Tie

United could do with another attacking force in central midfield but I think they have enough numbers to get through. Most of the protecting of the back four will come down to Jaglieka, who has a chance to shine on the big stage now.

FW: N Shipperley, Danny Webber, Steven Kabba, Ade Akinbiyi, Rob Hulse, Christian Nade

This is the most problematic area for the Blades. Even though all the strikers are capable and good, none have a reputable, consistent goal scoring record which will scare Premiership defences.

If United are to stay up, it will be more reliant on grit and Warnock's man management than anything else. Otherwise it is most likely they will only be just above Watford come May.

More Premier League club previews

It has been a while since I did my last preview and with the season coming up in nearly a weeks time, I decided I should get a move on. So I decided to preview the club I know about the least - Watford.

Aidy Boothroyd's team is probably everybody's favourite to go down this season. With a weak financial basis plus a very inexperienced side, they will find it difficult to stay in the Premier League. In fact they shouldn't really be here in the top echelon of English football, after sweeping aside favourites Leeds United in the Football League Championship playoff last season.

If they are going to stay up, they will require Marlon King and Ashley Young to get their goals plus some good defending from a relatively young back four.

Positional review

GK: Richard Lee, Alec Chamberlain

Quite a lot of whether or not Watford stay up depends if they can convince Manchester United to loan Ben Foster for another season. The young goalkeeper was exceptional last season, culminating in an England call-up to the World Cup squad. If Manchester United get Tomas Kuszczak from WBA, then Watford's chances of another season in the Premier League are much brighter.

RB: Lloyd Doyley, James Chambers

Quite a relative inexperienced back line starts here at right back with both players in this position with relatively little experienced in the top flight.

LB: Jordan Stewart, Chris Powell

Aidy Boothroyd was clever in getting a season professional to come and bolster the defence. Chris Powell has played in the top flight with Charlton Athletic and has international experience as well. His knowledge of how a small club can fight with the big boys will be invaluable.

CB: Clark Carlisle, Jay DeMerit, Malky Mackay, Danny Shittu

A relative young centre back pairing in Carlisle and DeMerit might be where Watford become unhinged. Get Shittu was good but that is just bringing up the numbers. What they needed was a veteran with knowledge of the Premier League. Unfortunately those players maybe outside Watford's price range.

RM: Anthony McNamee

Another player with no top flight experience. Although he is young and talented, McNamee might become unhinged against tougher opponents such as Ashley Cole (wherever he turns up) or Gabriel Heinze. Again another area Watford need to reinforce in - they might turn to Chris Eagles again after he did so well for them last season.

LM: Ashley Young

Young will be one of the players Watford will be depending to star in this season and keep them in the Premier League. He contributed a signficant amount of goals and will be relied upon to produce again if Watford are to have a chance. Watford may require another attacking player to back up McNamee and Young if injuries start to crop up.

CM: Matthew Spring, Gavin Mahon, Alhassan Bangura, Dominic Blizzard, Damien Francis

Again Aidy has proven his managerial capabilities by capturing Francis from Wigan. With his experience and his box-to-box running, hopefully the central midfield will be a bit more combative.

FW: Marlon King, Darius Henderson, Hameur Bouazza, Tamas Priskin

Even though Aidy has just brought another striker in, this is where most promoted clubs struggle - getting goals. Some strikers find it hard to convert their lower league form into the top flight. Watford will hope that this doesn't happen to King. If King can get close to anywhere near his total last season, Watford could have a chance.

The things hampering Watford from staying up affect all promoted clubs but the Hornets especially. The lack of finance to bring in new players, a relatively inexperienced side and the inevitability for the drop. If Boothroyd can get the best out of the veterans of Francis & Powell whilst Young & King can produce the goals they did last season, it would be close to a miracle if Watford can stay up.

When I can be bothered.

The title of this posting says it all - I can only be bothered to post something when I have the motivation to do so. Like a friend has stated in his blog, some people will post regularly into their blogs whilst he has the "when I can be bothered syndrome" which is similar to me. You have to have something interesting happening to post, for example finding something amusing on the internet or having some significant event occurring in your life. Neither of those have happened to me so far.

The only interesting thing happening to me is that I am seriously considering quitting my medical studies after seven years without a degree. I really have gotten sick and tired being here in this god-awful faculty. Seriously if anybody considers studying medicine in Hong Kong, DO NOT study at the University of Hong Kong. It will seriously deteriorate your psychiatric health and make you a zombie.

Even if I quit, I still don't know where my life will go. I talk to a friend recently and one of the options that I was seriously considering was to work for a non-governmental organization in some developing country. For people who know me, I seriously want to do something with my life. I want to have some significant meaning to my existence. I am one of these people who doesn't want to be a drone, who wants a career, comfortable salary, a nice home with a wife and two point four children with a Mercedes Benz parked in the garage. It may be fine for some people but I think it is selfish and a bit self-wanting. I want to do something with my life, which is the reason why I chose to study medicine in the first place. But I found out that most doctors just want a career, comfortable salary, etc. I need a profession which doesn't feel that way.

Yet seriously I don't kwow what to do with my life...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Being absent

Not been a good week for me - haven't been to ward or classes for the past week (actually since the previous Thursday). Something is just keeping me from getting to classes. I feel if I can get past that first hurdle, it will be fine.

Anyway just watched bits of Liverpool playing Kaiserlautern last night. Funny that Pepe Reina was asked to play in midfield and totally missed a sitter in the second half. The result shouldn't matter (for those who want to know, they lost 3-2), just that some of their stars from the World Cup are back. What the should be worrying about is the Champion's League 3rd qualifying round 1st leg against Maccabi Tel-Aviv (and I'm not just talking about the security). Tricky fixture with a potential for an upset.

This season will be an important season for Rafa Benitez. He has shown improvement over the past two seasons in the league whilst winning trophies. Now he's got the players he wants and should be be challenging title (or at least second place, which is the new title thanks to Chelsea's dirty money). Fans will also think this and if the team disappoint, it will be difficult to justify the spending and probably the manager as well.

Positional review

GK: Pepe Reina, Jerzy Dudek, Scott Carson
I left out Chris Kirkland, who is on loan to Wigan and most likely will be making a permanent move. However all the goalkeepers bar Pepe Reina could be & should be moving. Jerzy Dudek lost his first place last season and it cost him a trip to the World Cup. Any more time on the bench and his chances of getting back into the international fold will be over for some time. Scott Carson might be staying for a while but eventually he will leave, considering how hard it will be to dislodge Reina. Being called up for the England squad for the World Cup will only whet his appetite for bigger and better things. What Benitez needs at the club is a second-choice goalkeeper who is happy in that position.

RB: Steve Finnan, Jon Kromkamp (Jamie Carragher)
Despite Benitez's effort to get a decent right back he wants, Steve Finnan is still number one. It will be disappointing if Benitez does replace Finnan, who has shown signs of massive improvement in the past few seasons. I also think Kromkamp should be given a chance and not be used as a makeweight for Dirk Kuyt's transfer. Every player needs time to adjust to a new league and I think Kromkamp is capable of playing in the Premiership.

LB: Fabio Aurelio, Steven Warnock, Djimi Traore (John Arne Riise)
With Aurelio coming in, it definitely spells the end of Traore at Liverpool. He knows action will be limited and should move on. The same could be said about Warnock. He started signs of great promise but with Aurelio & Riise most likely in front of him, he'll probably consider whether or not he will get enough action, especially with a new England manager looking at future international prospects.

CB: Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Daniel Agger, Gabriel Paletta (Djimi Traore)
I finally think Benitez has found the cover he needs for Carragher & Hyypia. Two very young but good prospects who will be willing to bide their time and learn from the two veterans.

RM: Jermaine Pennant, Luis Garcia (Mark Gonzalez, Steven Gerrard)
Another good prospect with Jermaine Pennant coming in. He will help bring balance to a midfield needing a good right winger and allow Gerrard to play his more natural position. Also Pennant will provide crosses for Crouch to convert or at least cause problems in the penalty box.

LM: John Arne Riise, Mark Gonzalez, Harry Kewell (Boudewijn Zenden, Luis Garcia)
Now that Mark Gonzalez has finally arrived in England, it could end the spell for Harry Kewell at Liverpool. He has never been Benitez's favourite but now this might be the final nail in the coffin.

CM: Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Boudewijn Zenden, Salif Diao, Anthony Le Tallec
Diao and Le Tallec should surely know that their careers at the Reds are over and should be going on to newer pastures. What the more larger dilemma is at this position is who to play? Gerrard & Alonso are great but will they fit together? Bring a more defensive midfield in Sissoko will mean dropping a player. Or should they play all three? And what about Zenden?

FW: Craig Bellamy, Peter Crouch, Robbie Fowler, Neil Mellor, Florent Sinama-Pongelle
With Cisse off and Mellor plus Pongelle most likely to follow suit, this is one position that Liverpool need to strengthen in. It most likely will be Kujt but will they be willling to pay that absorbent amount (rumoured to be 14 million pounds)?

If Liverpool can get another striker in, I think they will be there challenging for the title.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Something I expected has happened...

After repeating years some many times during my university studies, it was inevitable that I would see one of my former class peers (I can never get rount to calling them "mates") treating me as a patient. It has already happened once before in April, when the house officer in the psychiatric ward was a former class peer who I was in a group once (for those who are curious, it was Stephen Ho). Now Lydia Wong (a resident) was seeing me today in the Out-Patient clinic.

Thankfully I am not that close to her, otherwise it would have been awkward for both of us. I don't even know if she recognized me at all. Well I only get to see her again once more in September and that will be it. If it had been one of my closer friends, let say Vanessa Wong, that would have been very awkward... or maybe hilarious in the case of Vanessa.

For my second English Premier League preview, I am going on to Newcastle United. After getting into the 2nd qualifying round for the UEFA cup and signing a quality playe in the form of Damien Duff for only 5 million pounds, I think things are looking up for the Geordies.

However I didn't agree with the appointment of Glenn Roeder as manager. Firstly he didn't have the coaching qualifications for the job. I know he would have obtained those qualifications if he hadn't had the brain tumour but it is still the rules, which were established to stop any old former player just walking in and taking the job without any experience. Secondly his record as manager (formerly at Gillingham and West Ham United) is questionable. For both clubs he took them to seventh in his first season in charge (the same with Newcastle United last season). The second season, both teams were relegated. Maybe we'll see a trend here?

Frankly what Newcastle need right now are a couple of good strikers, thanks to Alan Shearer retiring and Michael Owen crocking himself at the World Cup. More of that in my positional review

Postional review

GK: Shay Given, Steve Harper, Tony Krul
Frankly, with Shay Given an automatic first choice, I don't see why Steve Harper should leave. It's going to take him years to get some games, see the form and fitness of Given.

RB: Stephen Carr (Peter Ramage, Steven Taylor)
An area which Newcastle might want to strengthen up in. Stephen Carr is good but he is on the wrong side of thirty. May need a younger understudy (I though Glen Johnson could have been attracted up north). However Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage have deputised in that position without any trouble and Newcastle's priorities lie elsewhere.

LB: Robbie Elliott, Celestine Babayaro
According to my sources, Elliott should have been released by now as he is out of contract. This should be a good thing, since the Magpies do need a better and younger left back. Matthew Taylor of Portsmouth and Gareth Barry of Aston Villa have been mentioned.

CB: Steven Taylor, Titus Bramble, Craig Moore, Jean Alain Boumsong, Peter Ramage
The defence was very rickety last season, with Bramble and Boumsong the main culprits. However Bramble has been given a show of faith by Roeder and seems to be staying. The future of Boumsong is less clear, with various French clubs (such as Marseille) wanting to sign him. Craig Moore might go but he had quite a good World Cup and with just a year on his contract maybe harder to shift. Newcastle would only bring in new centre backs only if others leave.

RM: Nolberto Solano, James Milner (Kieron Dyer)
Another good solid area for Newcastle. Solano is a great crosser of the ball and finally the board has seen the potential of Milner not to sell him to Aston Villa. Since Solano is getting on a bit, Milner will get chances plus he is versatile enough to play on both wings and up front.

LM: Charles N'Zogbia, Albert Luque, Damien Duff
People have questioned why bring in Duff when N'Zogbia had a fantastic season whilst Luque is still at the club. Well like Milner, Duff is versatile enough to play on both wings and up front, which he has done for Chelsea and Ireland. Plus Luque's future is far from certain at the Magpies.

CM: Scott Parker, Emre, Kieron Dyer, Lee Clark, Amdy Faye, Nicky Butt
A bit of congestion here - don't be surprised to see some players going. The only guarantees I see here are the first three. Clark should have been released by now whilst the futures of Faye and Butt are questionable.

FW: Michael Owen, Shola Ameobi (Damien Duff, Albert Luque, James Milner)
The most important area Newcastle have to bulk up on. With Owen out until Christmas at least one striker, but preferably two, will be needed. Dirk Kuyt, Miroslav Klose and other have been mentioned by the lack of Champion's League football may prove a dampener for Newcastle.

If Newcastle can get a top quality striker, I think they can challenge for a top six place.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It had to happen - O'Leary is out!

Good day today - actually went to ward rounds (not that I was missed by the ward physician, Prof TM Chan) and tutorial. Must say, my fellow group peers are rather quiet. Despite the fact that it is the students who have to present what they have found out about the objectives, it was mainly the professer (this time Prof CK Chan) who was mainly doing the talking. The professor made it a point to get people talking.

On another note, people who know me best know that I love football, or more specifically Arsenal Football Club. Because of this, I'm quite knowledgable about the English Premier League. In preparation for the upcoming season, starting on Saturday 19th August, I'm going to give my own opinion about the twenty clubs occupying the upper echelon of English football. I'm going to leave my team last, so I'll start off with Aston Villa. This is appropriate, since David O'Leary has just left "by mutual consent" from the club.

Aston Villa are a club in isolation. Thanks to the relegation of Birmingham City and West Bromich Albion, the Villans are the only team left in the Midlands. The fans are isolated from the club thanks to the chairman Doug Ellis, a.k.a Deadly Doug (known for "firing" managers at machine-gun rate). The now former manager David O'Leary isolated himself from the players and from the fans.

Getting rid of David O'Leary is only a short-term solution to appease the board, the players and the fans. Whoever comes in to replace O'Leary knows he has to work with the current players and with a tight shoestring budget of zero pounds. Yet I cannot see anybody wanting that job if Doug Ellis remains. It should be Doug Ellis who has to go. He shows no ambition as a chairman, wanting the club to challenging for trophies but managing them like they're lower league side. At times, a football club has to risk some of its financial capital to sign players and to improve the club.

At least the players should be happy. Even though the caretaker manager was under David O'Leary, everbody goes in with a clean slate. This means isolated players such as Juan Pablo Angel, Eric Djemba-Djemba and Jlloyd Samuel may have a future at the club. A new manager might convince a lot of the stars to stay.

Positional review

Goalkeeper: Thomas Sorenson, Stuart Taylor

Sorenson is a relieable goalkeeper but his main weakness is his inability to communicate with his defenders. Taylor himself will be occupying the bench most of the time.

Right back: Mark Delaney, Ulises de la Cruz, Aaron Hughes

Villa really need a young right back. They used Aaron Hughes most of last season but he's centre back by trade and doesn't appear to get down the touchline that often. Mark Delaney appears he wants to leave with a year remaining on his contract and de la Cruz is supposed to be out of contract.

Left back: Wilfred Bouma, Jlloyd Samuel (Gareth Barry)

They should really put Gareth Barry at this position whilst selling Wilfred Bouma. He's crap and I can't believe he was bought for 3.5 million pounds. Jlloyd Samuel was impressive a few seasons back and under the right manager could be again.

Centre back: Olof Mellberg, Liam Ridgewell, Martin Laursen, Gary Cahill

If they can get Martin Laursen fit again and Olof Mellberg to stay, this might be one of Villa's strongest positions. Liam Ridgewell had his critics at Christmas but he and Gary Cahill impressed during the 2nd half of the season.

Right midfield: Lee Hendrie (Ulises de la Cruz)

One position that Villa needs to improve upon. They were going to buy James Milner but Newcastle have decided they want to keep him. Lee Hendrie wants to go but I think Villa should keep him and try to get some competition in this position.

Left midfield: Gareth Barry, Patrick Berger, Peter Whittingham

With Gareth Barry & Patrick Berger cementing this position, I believe Whittingham should leave now to get regular starting time, even if it means dropping down a league. But Villa really should buy a new left winger. Gareth Barry is more ideally suited as a left back whilst Berger is past his prime.

Central midfield: Gavin McCann, Steven Davis, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Mathieu Berson

Whilst Gavin McCann and Steven Davis are automatic choices, Djemba-Djemba should be sold (he clearly cannot play in the Premiership) whilst Berson should be given a chance. What I've seen from Berson has impressed me to believe he can play in the Premiership. Another midfield, most ideally a playmaker, is what Villa need in this position.

Forward: Luke Moore, Milan Baros, Kevin Phillips, Juan Pablo Angel

Villa's strongest position by a long mile. With Luke Moore showing improvements and Milan Baros scoring goals when he's fit, Villa should be challenging further up the table (but they not). Kevin Phillips can play deeper, due to his age, whilst Angel should provide height in the penalty box. However the Columbian is far from happy and might move.

Right now about ten players could come and go from Villa, depending who's the manager. I don't think Villa would be challenging for trophies this season. Staving off relegation would be the best trophy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hong Kong Book Fair

Today was the opening day of the Hong Kong Book Fair, which I went to today. I have meant to go in the past few years (the event is held annually around this time at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre) but I kept missing it because of my schedule and forgetting to put it on my calendar.

I'm really quite surprised by the number of people who go. I never think today's people, especially in Hong Kong, would be interested in reading. With today's media, such as TV, DVDs and the Internet, I would hasten to think that reading a book would be looked upon as an eerie hobby, only done by people whom would be considered weird. Yet I think it is important to read, especially fiction. Reading is supposed to stimulate the mind and improve the imagination, as well as broaden horizons. Maybe everybody was there just the books were cheap?

In an effort to get my cousins to read (and to improve their English skills) I bought them a book, a children's classic which should appeal to them and shouldn't be too difficult for them. I was going to go for 'The BFG' but decided that 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' would be much better, considering they knew what it was from the movie.

For myself, I got "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and "1984" by George Orwell. I've been hoping to read these two during my two week vacation in Phuket. Apart from my favourite author Nick Hornby, I like my books to be thought provoking, such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" for its racial issues and "1984" for its look on the government's role in control the population.

So if you have time, please go and buy book at the fair. Last day is Monday and I believe the hours are extended to 2 am on weekends (but you better check yourself).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Men and women

It's been a while since I posted. A lot has happened since my last post. I haven't been to many classes but my clinical psychologist has been helping me with some practical solutions to my depression. Hopefully it will work out. The same applies with my tutor during this clerkship - Prof. Mary Ip. She's been a great help and just been offering another opinion, which I need at this moment.

Another thing that has happened is that I finally got the guts to send an email to Dora and tell her what is wrong with her. The reply was a little thought provoking. She had some valid points, like I'm not active in seeking out friends if I have trouble. But she came across as somebody who has no conscience, with no regret of what she does and no guilt that she could have done something wrong. Time will tell how this person will turn out.

Whilst I was surfing, I came across two titles - what women need to know about men and what men need to know about women. Here they are for your enjoyment.

100 Things You Need to Know About Women from Maxim US
What Women Should Know About Men from Barstool Sports

Sunday, July 02, 2006

So little space, so little attention.

There is a lot I want to write about in this blog. I want to write about how anybody can think Hong Kong is the best place in the world when it clearly isn't and the people that live here are the worst people in the world. I want to write about how Dora Tai should never have friends and never should be trusted again. I want to write about my depression and how it feels when people lie to me when they say, "I know how it feels," because I know they fucking don't.

But I have to keep a lid on it.

Mainly because there is so little space but mainly anybody reading this (if anybody has read it) would just fall asleep after the first sentence. Nobody has an attention span longer than a goldfish anymore and I blame message texting and MTV for that problem.

I also know if I rant everything at once, I won't have anything to rant about afterwards and I will constantly repeat some of the things I have wrote about, which I hate. I don't want to repeat anything said here and I only want to add to the discussion if it is something new or a different opinion.

So I have to keep a lid on it. For the time being.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Memory has just gone

I honestly cannot believe that I forgot my mum's birthday! I was reminded on the weekend by my dad (who usually forgets most things and everything) but I got a call from my mum about booking my holiday and then she had to remind me, "What day is it?" Let's just say I'm totally oblivious to some things right now.

In my defence, I am not one for celebrating birthdays. It's just another trip around the sun, right? Most people would say you're one year older, wiser and more experienced. My depressive part of me says that you're just nearer to death.

So whoever becomes friends with me, don't expect me to fork out lots of dosh for expensive gifts. And it doesn't mean I won't buy you gifts ever - I'll just buy you when it is more appropriate, for instance WHEN YOU NEED IT.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Being disturbed on the toilet

My mum just recently sent me a link of a video they filmed of their dog, Nala. She's a feisty golden retriever but recently she has been teased by a black & white bird. The bird just flies low enough to entice Nala to try jumping up and catch it but never can. This video shows the bird disturbing Nala when my dog is doing a number two.

Being disturbed on the toilet

Initial Post

I've always wanted to start a blog but I considered a waste of time and more of an excuse to be on the Internet more. But now I've reconsidered my stance due to circumstances in my own life...
  1. My ability to contact with my friends will be less, so I hope this blog will act as avenue of communication for me and the outside world (including my friends). For those who know me, I am very reluctant to contact anybody, including my friends, for fear of burdening them. With this blog, it will release me of my guilt as anybody can read whenever they want.
  2. I hope that even if this blog doesn't act as a form of communication with me and my friends, it will be therapeutic for me. It will stop me from ruminating about my depressive thoughts and put them somewhere where I can get a logical opinion.
It must be forewarned that everything I write in this blog is my opinion and it may not be right. I will try to put other things in this blog, like my interests and whatever I find over the Internet. There will be lots of swearing and probably some graphic photos - interpret that as you will! Of course comments are welcomed, as long as they are constructive.