Sunday, January 27, 2008

David vs. Goliath

The title of this blog entry is a term usually thrown around during the FA Cup, along with "giant-killing" and "minnows". These terms were certainly used when mighty Liverpool FC, five times European Cup winners and one of the most recognized football clubs in the world let alone just in England, played Havant & Waterlooville, a team playing amateur football in Hampshire, in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

This type of match is what I like about the FA Cup. Although the competition has lost some of its magic, thanks to the greater importance of the Premier League and European competitions, it still holds some sentimental value to the vast majority who support lower league clubs. It gives the opportunity for relatively weaker clubs to forget about their woes in the league and beat a much stronger team on that day.

The situation is more exaggerated for the cup tie between Liverpool and Havant & Waterlooville. The Reds have won the League a record eighteen times and FA Cup itself seven times. The team is filled with multi-talented players from England & beyond,. The club have a rich tradition dating back more than a hundred years and are worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

On the other Havant & Waterlooville were formed only ten years ago. They play amateur football six divisions below Liverpool and are placed a massive hundred and twenty three places below the Reds in the league structure. The first team of Havant & Waterlooville include a builder, a trainee physiotherapist, a planner, a van driver, a sanitation worker, a primary school teacher, a community relations officer, a taxi driver and a school caretaker - normal everyday jobs.

To quote an AP article, "Imagine a club tennis player taking on Roger Federer at Wimbledon or a pub brawler fighting Floyd Mayweather at Madison Square Garden. That's the scale of the task facing semi-pro team Havant and Waterlooville when it plays five-time European champion Liverpool in the FA Cup at the Reds' famous Anfield stadium Saturday." You don't see this anywhere else in other sports and this is what I love about the FA Cup. I don't see the San Antonio Spurs playing a local basketball team or your local baseball team playing the New York Yankees. There are amateur golfers who play in local golf tournaments but that is as close as anyone gets to this situation. Even those amateur golfers don't come close to achieving what Havant and Waterlooville did - actually beating Liverpool.

This is what I love about the FA Cup and football. At the end of the day, it is eleven men vs. eleven men and anything is possible. Given the right circumstances, a team of professionals who play the game with sublime skill and finesse can be subdued by amateurs. The last time I think this last happned was in 1973 when non-League Hereford beat Newcastle United. You don't see this in any other sport. Twice did Havant and Waterlooville take the lead against the almighty Reds but in the end they succumbed to Liverpool's superior fitness and skill. Although the final score of 5-2 to Liverpool seemed like a thrashing, this lowly non-league side twice took the lead to a slightly weakened Liverpool side without Reina, Carragher, Gerrard and Torres but still brimming with internationals and regular first team players. Only Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspurs have scored two goals at Anfield this season - not even my beloved Arsenal or Manchester United has scored two goals at Anfield this season.

At the end of the match, the Havant and Waterlooville players celebrated as though they won the FA Cup itself and the Liverpool fans gave the amateur team a standing ovation. The magic of the FA Cup is still alive despite contrary to popular belief.


Now would be a good time to finish off my transfer window analysis, since next Thursday the window will close for another six months.

Manchester City
In: With a Champion's League spot at stake, Eriksson will want to consider investing now rather than in the summer. He still needs another defender plus a winger but the main criteria is still a striker, with Bojinov still injured and Bianchi proving to be a complete useless twat.
Out: Eriksson still needs to use the broom to sweep out the vast majority players from the previous era that were completely useless, either now or this coming summer. See the likes of Isaksson, Mills, Sun, Dabo, Geovanni and most of the forwards off to better climates.

Manchester United
In: Fergie might want to reconsider his stance and invest in a striker right now. With a long campaign still ahead in three competitions, he only has three strikers and Saha is injury prone. The likes of Berbatov might be overpriced but Huntelaar might be more worth while.
Out: I don't expect many of the first team players going (Ferguson will wait to the summer to possibly get rid of the likes of Fletcher and Silvestre) but expect to see many of the youth players go out on loan (i.e. Evans) or possibly sold (i.e. Shawcross, Bardsley).

In: It seems the main criteria for Southgate in the remaining few months is a striker, with Mido just coming back from injury and the rest of the forwards proving ineffective. Alfonso Alves from Heereeveen seems the most likely target.
Out: It seems Southgate might have to let some of his best players leave to fund his transfers. Woodgate seems on the verge of rejoining Newcastle whilst Downing seems destined to Spurs. The likes of Rochemback and Johnson might leave but I seriously doubt this, since both are in the plans of the gaffer.

Newcastle United
In: With Keegan back in the helm, anybody could be coming to St. James' Park in the next few days. Counting against Keegan is time, Newcastle's predicament and his lack of current football knowledge. What Keegan really needs now is a defense which can defend properly plus some creativity in central midfield.
Out: A vast majority of players could go now or this summer. You can take your pick from Beye, Carr, Capaca, Jose Enrique, Babayaro, Emre and even Owen.

In: With many of his many players on African Cup of Nations duty, you can see the wheeler and dealer of Harry Redknapp bring in some short term loans to plug the gaps. He has already brought in Diarra and Aubrey. Another striker and possibly a right winger maybe needed. Milan Baros has been suggested as an option
Out: With so many people out through injury or international duty, nobody will leave Portsmouth until Redknapp finds a replacement, such as the case of Djimi Traore.

In: Steve Coppell has said he won't dip into the transfer window this month as it is hard to find good players at this time. However he might change his mind depending who is available and how his team is faring. So far he has brought in a central midfielder but he might need a right winger more.
Out: Some of Coppell's acquisitions haven't worked, particular the centre backs. Who might go include Stack, Halls, de la Cruz, Duberry, Bennett, Sodje, Oster and particular Lita who has become unsettled and wants to play regular football.

In: Roy Keane has been back to his old club Manchester United to acquire Phil Bardsley and Jonny Evans. He still might want to bring in a left back or possibly a right winger at this moment.
Out: Many of Keano's buys haven't worked out and quite a number of players could leave. Wright, Halford, Varga, Anderson, Harte, Clarke, Riera, Wallace, Kavanagh and Connolly might depart the stadium of light.

Tottenham Hotspurs
In: It entirely depends whether Ramos wants to invest now or in the summer. I think he ought to wait for the summer.
Out: Quite a number of players have been linked to moves away from White Hart Lane, Chimbonda could go, possibly to Newcastle or Sevilla. Robinson has been linked to many English clubs after being dropped. Stalteri, Rocha, Gardner, Tainio and Routledge seem likely to move on as well.

West Ham United
In: The main problem for Curbishley is keeping everybody fit, not bringing in new players. I seriously doubt West Ham United will be buying anybody.
Out: It is more likely players will go, with Walker, Dailly, Davenport, Quashie and possibly Zamora and Ashton departing the Boleyn Ground.

Wigan Athletic
In: Steve Bruce has already brought in a host of players, particularly reinforcing the left back position that has been vacant for this season. I still think he is light in the centre back and forward position, so he may invest in that area in the next few days.
Out: It was surprising to see Landzaat go but I don't think the manager will let anybody else go at this moment. He has already sold who he wanted.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Entering week four of my revision schedule and I think I'm going to go crazy. I feel I don't have enough time to revise everything, even though everything does not have to be revised. Even topics I have revised before and feel I know well are slipping out of my brain. I know everybody in my class is feeling this way but it doesn't help. Making things worse is my Mum nagging me to continually study without breaks. She doesn't know my depression has lead to a loss of attention and concentration for me. I have to flip over to the internet for a while before resuming studying. It's the only way I can manage so I don't get depressed and to maintain whatever focus I have.


I'm disappointed my team Arsenal lost in the Carling Cup semi-final last night but it was inevitable. The match had the feel that it wasn't going to be our night and Tottenham would beat us after eight long years of trying. Spurs totally deserve the victory - they wanted it more than us. Arsenal still have the Premier League, Champion's League and FA Cup to win. I'm not even going to use the excuse of playing youngsters, since most of the team are first team regulars - they're not reserve players. I just hope Everton beat Chelsea making the final something worth watching - a trophy could be won by a non Big Four team.


There are many critics of the January football transfer window - mainly managers. However most of us fans like the transfer window since the situation brings up great news stories into a condensed period. Agents and the media also love the transfer window for various reasons.

To get my mind of studying, I decided to analyze which Premier League teams transfer criteria. I know it is pretty pointless, so if you don't like football (i.e. you're an XX or a poofter), don't continue reading this.

Wenger might think of bringing in an emergency centre back since Senderos & Djourou are injured and Toure is on international duty. In my opinion he won't but if he can find someone who can come on loan for the rest of the season, it would be good.
Out: There are possibilities for Lehmann and Gilberto, with the German goalkeeper more likely to leave as he wants to prove himself for Euro 2008.

Aston Villa
O'Neill must bring in a right back as soon as possible, with rumours of Justin Hoyte being floated around. Other areas such as a secondary left-back, a right winger and a secondary left winger can wait until the summer.
Out: It seems Gary Cahill is going; to where is another question with Sheffield United and cross town rivals Birmingham City seek his employment. Another player that could be going is Patrik Berger, with Portsmouth, the MLS or a return to Czech Republic likely destinations.

Birmingham City
McLeish has already brought in David Murphy, James McFadden and Zarate. The manager still needs to bring in a centre-back.
Out: Tebily and Danns have already left, leaving the last deadwood as Martin Taylor. The transfer of Murphy will lead to questions of the future of the two other left backs, Sadler & Queudrue, but that situation won't be resolved until the summer. Also during the off season will see the departure of a goalkeeper.

Blackburn Rovers
Like Aston Villa, Rovers need a proper right back instead of playing footballers out of position. They also need some back up for the likes of Bentley and Pedersen, since they don't have creativity anywhere else in the side.
Out: I wish Paul Gallagher realizes he has not future at Blackburn and just move on. It is most likely he will go out on loan and then be sold during the summer. It is more likely Jason Roberts or Stephane Henchoz will move before him.

Bolton Wanderers
They really didn't need to bring any new players in. This was the same side who have qualified twice for the UEFA Cup and already have too many players. Two definite areas they need to reinforce is in the forward department, now that Anelka has finally buggered off to Chelsea, and another centre-back now that Gerald Cid has returned to France.
Out: They have far too many players (currently 27 first team players) but I don't think anybody will leave now - they are most likely to leave in the summer once Bolton's future has been resolved.

Now with Anelka and Ivanović on board, Chelsea have already done what they needed in the transfer window.
Out: The only player who could go is Steven Sidwell. He must have been really stupid or greed to agree to sign with Chelsea during the summer.

Derby County
How about a whole new squad? At this rate Derby are already down and out. Paul Jewell is right in thinking he should be planning for the future but he should really wait for the summer before deciding to buy any players.
Out: It seems more likely most of the squad's future will be resolved in the summer but Jon Macken and Robbie Earnshaw are most likely to go during this month.

Moyes really need some wingers, since he doesn't have much creativity outside of Arteta or Cahill in the midfield.
Out: Nobody seems to leaving but Andy Van Der Meyde should leave.

In: I really don't know what kind of player Roy Hodgson is going to bring in. He seems to be bring in his own players.
Out: Quite a number of players could go: Warner, Volz, Christanvaal, Pearce and John. Others may bale out if they think the Cottagers are going to be relegated.

With the future of club up in the air, it seems unlikely other players apart from Skrtel are going to come in. What they most need is a proper left back.
Out: Some of the players that have linked to go out of Mersey include Carson (finally making his move to Aston Villa permanent), Sissoko and Crouch.

I'll do the rest of the teams next time...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Constantly choking cockerels

I'm currently ending my second week of studying for my Finals (why does the word "Finals" have to start with a capital letter when referring to the final examinations in university?). It's currently very boring and I always feel I don't have enough time to cover all topics. I think everybody feels the same way as I do... hopefully. The worst thing is this carries on through another six weeks, through the Lunar New Year (which I'm thankful since it gives me a reasonable excuse not to visit relatives I don't really want to see) and another event which I hate mentioning.


I have to admit I am a very sexually frustrated man. I spend too much time thinking about sex, looking at beautiful half-naked ladies on the Internet and masturbating. Thankfully I have been doing less of the latter two acts lately due to my studying but I still have images of shagging Rachel Stevens on my mind. I know I think about sex more than the average person and sacrificed too much sperm in the process. I tried to rationalize my predicament and have come to some conclusions why I spank the monkey on a constant basis:

1. I'm still a virgin

This is a fact I don't mind admitting but I'm still embarrassed about. My current sexual status is not by choice. I'm not one of those bible bashers who chose to remain celibate because "it is in the Bible" despite the fact slavery is allowed by the Bible. Neither am I "saving themselves for the right one" since nearly 40% of marriages end in divorce. I'm a virgin by circumstances out of my control, mainly due to my shyness & ugliness plus the environment I have surrounded in.

My morals are loose enough for me to go to a bar and try to pick a girl for a one night stand... but I don't. I just don't have the confidence in front of a lady who I like. My lack of self-esteem is also shaken when I look in the mirror and see the bastard love-child of Jiang Zemin staring back. Just like guys, women go into looks as well and when they see the Michelin man approaching they are not going to fall head over heels for him. I know reality and it stares at me everyday.

My opportunities have been very limited. Going to a mainly boys boarding school limited my options and most Caucasian girls do not go for Oriental boys, no matter how rich they are. Coming back to Hong Kong has not increased my chances either. Being a predominantly Chinese-oriented conservative society, many of the girls are not to my taste (more of that later).

This virgin status wouldn't be so bad if I was younger and everybody else was in the same situation but it is not. I know people who are more shy than me who are now pregnant. I hate comparing but that is how you assess your life, by comparing yours to everyone else. I know friends who are getting regular sex. I'm jealous but also happy for them. I'm over the peak regarding my sexual health and I know it is downhill all the way.

2. I never had a girlfriend (and don't currently have one).
Probably my sexual frustration is just my way of manifesting my other frustration that no girl likes me. I'm batting 0-6 in terms of girls who have dated me compared to girls who rejected me. That's not a great statistic - even Shaquille O'Neal shoots better from the three-point line. I'm probably more frustrated girls seem to go for guys who are worse than me. I hate to compare and say I'm better but there are guys who treat their girls like shit and still the girl continues to date this bastard. It's the "Nice Guys Finish Last" phenomenon.

I know I'm not perfect - I suffer from depression, I'm heavily too sarcastic, I'm way too negative and I have piled on the pounds to look like Professor Klump in "The Nutty Professor". Yet I know I have many virtues - I'm intelligent, organized and a nice person (probably too nice). I know love and relationships are not about sums and figures but about chemistry but I hate it when girls don't give me a chance. I also hate the way society pressures guys to for the chase. Why can't girls, if they like a guy, ask the guy out? Who makes these silly rules? Isn't society suppose to be equal now or is that just a myth.

3. I very disappointed with the options I have in Hong Kong.

Perhaps my frustration is more widespread and just reflects my views that Hong Kong women are just crap. I look at other nations and just see better women. I find girls from other nations are more willing to improve their appearance and put in a bit more effort. They are more willing to put some make-up, wear some high heels and wear some skimpy clothing to attract the other sex. In Hong Kong this is just not the case. I know it takes time and effort to put some mascara on and wear platforms. Yet it is the effort that I'm looking at - girls in Hong Kong simply don't try. You wonder why Hong Kong has one of the lowest birth rates around the world - men are just not stimulated enough.

I know there is more to a relationship than appearance. I'm not that superficial to just go for looks. Yet they only way to attract my attention in a strange place is looks - I don't what your personality is like just be looking at your face. If you are pretty but have a dull personality, I will simply move on. Guys do like a pretty face but we prefer a brain over big tits any day.

And its not just appearance that Hong Kong girls rank very low in my agenda. Maturity wise Hong Kong ladies are just like little girls. The maturity between the ages of 13 to 33 doesn't vary much for Hong Kong females (or Hong Kong males for that matter). Hong Kong girls still think black leggings/stockings go great with white shoes and denim skirts, "Twins" are the great pop act in the world and the greatest way to happiness is money. I shouldn't be so harsh on Hong Kong girls - guys from Hong Kong think the same way as well and the tendency to get out of Hong Kong is less compared to other countries. Yet I find the same with Hong Kong females who go abroad for university - they still act like little girls. It's something in the food or water in Hong Kong that makes everybody stupid.

4. I hate the attitude towards sex in Hong Kong.
I probably covered this topic before (or probably will) but I just hate this conservative view towards sex. Sexual intercourse is just and only equivalent to sexual intercourse and I hope girls/ladies stop reading more into it. Love is equal to love and that is all there is. You can have sex without love (prostitutes do that very often) and love without sex (elderly people do that very often). As long the sex is consensual, performed safely and nobody is hurt, it is fine by me.

A prime example is my mother's view on sex. She thinks looking at beautiful women on the internet equals to surfing for pornography. She thinks I'm banging away whenever I'm looking at the news of Nicole Kidman being pregnant on BBC News as X-rated smut.

I really should stop worrying about how Hong Kong females think and dress. I really need to get back to a forward thinking society.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Since I'm deep in study for my Finals, with revision lectures and remedial classes to attend, I don't think I will be having too much time to write a blog entry. I have a lot of things to write about - ignorance, the irrelevance of gossip to human society and much more - but I need to focus on this part. If I manage to conquer this part, I feel I can set free.