Friday, August 14, 2009

Analysis on Awani

I was invited by Astro Awani's Fadzrie Hazis and Ian Johan Ariff recently to talk about the English Premiership 2009/10 season kicking off Aug 15. Awani ran the special report on four consecutive days.

Uttering barely audible words on Sukan Awani

Manchester United
What I said on TV: They may have lost their star attraction Cristiano Ronaldo but United appear the favourites for the title yet again. Crucial to United's season is Wayne Rooney's exact position. Nani and new signing Gabriel Obertan, both equally adept on either flank, will gradually fill in the void left by Ronaldo. Michael Owen, judging from his performances in Kuala Lumpur, has not lost his goalscoring touch, though he was a bit unlucky against Valencia in front of Fabio Capello.

My personal opinion: United has a rich tradition of using the width of the pitch through fleet-footed flankers. Through Obertan, Nani and Valencia, Ferguson will continue to uphold the tradition. A throwback to the days of George Best, Gordon Hill, Steve Coppell, Andriiy Kanchelskis and Ronaldo. United for the title. (I'm not a Red Devil).

What I said on TV: Liverpool's players are sub-standard, with few exceptions of course. The Reds continue to be over-reliant on Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, Lucas not in the same standard of Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso and though new signing Alberto Aquilani is attacking-minded and a great addition to the squad, he's injury-prone and currently plagued by an ankle injury. Redeeming factor - the wily Rafa Benitez.

My personal opinion: Most of my friends, relatives and colleagues are die-hard Liverpool fans, really. I pity them. I'm sorry but the 20-year wait for the league title will continue for yet another season lah...the worst part for these Scousers is that they have to go to Singapore to have a closer look at their idols...

In memory of loose cannon's trip to England with Harian Metro's Azahar Mohd Taib in 2002

Alone at the Shankly Gates...somewhere near Nottingham, eh, Liverpool...

Loose cannon with Azahar. This picture could have been taken somewhere in Liverpool...can't remember exactly...but looking at the poster in the background, it must be...

What I said on TV: I've admired Carlo Ancelotti since his playing days at AC Milan and AS Roma. He could be the coach to maintain the winning mentality into Chelsea following the brief tenure of Guus Hiddink. Not too old as a team but tactically mature and disciplined.

My personal opinion: I hope Chelsea's left-channel is set alight by the combo of Ashley Cole, new signing Yuri Zhirkov and Florent Malouda. If Malouda performs below par, Zhirkov's mazy dribbling skills will compensate for it, provided he adapts quickly to the Premiership.

What I said on TV: No way they can lift the title. This Arsenal team is being built for five years down the road, not today. The possible return of Pat Vieira smacked of desperation on Wenger's part to seek a leader and stabilising factor for a team too young to win anything. The departure of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure is a huge loss. Still one of the most attractive teams that play cultured football.

My personal opinion: I wish them well and the 4-3-3 formation could prove crucial. Let's see if Jack Wilshere is over-hyped or not and whether or not Wenger can keep holding on to Fabregas.

The other contenders would be Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City. Everton, with Fellaini, Arteta and Osman supplying the ammunition to Cahill, Saha, Anichebe and Yakubu, may finish among the top three. City, backed by the Abu Dhabi Group, will not be able to gel as a team immediately but I expect them to provide something spectacular!


Anonymous said...

Cheh! i cant believe you said such nonsense on Arsenal.
- Once an angry young frenchman.

KakiBola said...

sedih amat..again, so much publicity and coverage on foreign football.

rizal hashim said...

Coach Kakibola,

Sebenarnya Awani ada bertanyakan saya mengenai Liga M...ia turut diberi liputan...saya memberi pendapat FAM harus membuat dasar yang menitikberatkan meritokrasi...tanpa mengira status pasukan sama ada kelab atau negeri...

Anonymous said...

ARSENAL 6 Everton 1 ...Spurs 2 Liverpool 1

Anonymous said...

Sukan Awani is not just about foreign sports,.please watch our buletin on 501 at 1.45pm,6.45pm and 11.15 pm before making such comment,tq.

I openly wellcome any comment on our bulletin, hope could email your comment at

Mohd Fadzrie Hazis
sports editor Astro Awani

Anonymous said...

We wonder why many sports journalists usually dressed in casual ....sometimes in tee shirts to function despite some dress code. Who do they think they are??

Anonymous said...

Because they are sports journalist not a politician..:)