Home > The Straight Bat > Adrian Considers (Roar/Beckham/Man Utd+City/El Clasico + more)

Adrian Considers (Roar/Beckham/Man Utd+City/El Clasico + more)

Christmas came early for Melbourne Heart (Source: Getty Images)

While I didn’t back up last week, I’m here again to consider a number of topics from around the sporting world.


What happened?

In my last blog, it was fair to say I didn’t hide my admiration for the Brisbane Roar. They’ve now lost their last two fixtures, with the 2-1 loss at home to Melbourne Heart perhaps the most devastating.

Critics are popping up everywhere, and it seems now the Roar are doomed, if said critics are to be believed.

I’m here to say I won’t be joining the anti-Roar bandwagon any time soon. So, they had a few rough games? Get over it. A football team can’t remain undefeated forever, especially not with a salary cap in place. They will return to their winning ways sooner rather than later.

That being said, these results have blown the A-League wide open. I like the look of the Central Coast side, as well as Sydney and the youthful exuberance of Melbourne Heart. At this stage I think one of these four sides will be the 2011-2012 champion, but I think it’s still too early to completely write-off the rest of the competition.


Becks – retired, Europe or… A-League?

I don’t think there’s any doubting the quality player David Beckham has been and still is. In Australia last week with the LA Galaxy, Beckham showed he still has what it takes to play the game, perhaps not at the highest level, but still at a reasonable standard. But he’s not just a good footballer. Wherever he goes he brings the David Beckham brand – the man has huge drawing power.

Now that his contract with the Galaxy is up, many have been speculating as to where he’ll end up next.

French side Paris Saint-Germain reportedly offered some big dollars. This would seem like a pretty solid move. He’d be playing at a fairly high standard, making plenty of cash, and Vic would be living in the fashion capital of the world. A win-win!

There’s also been speculation of a move back to England, perhaps to a side like QPR with money to spend to ensure they stay in the top flight. Personally, if he did move back home, I’d love to see him return to the club where he became a star – Manchester United.

United aren’t travelling too well at the moment (more on that in a bit), and their midfield stocks in particular need to be added to. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs both have shown that it is possible to play at the highest level, even after they had lost a bit of their pace. He has played in the centre of midfield before, and would certainly add a bit of much-needed creativity in attack.

Another (perhaps less-likely) scenario would be a move to the A-League. This would be the move that would well and truly take the competition mainstream. I honestly believe if he played either in Sydney or Melbourne, crowd numbers could easily reach the 30,000-40,000 mark on a weekly basis. Newcastle is another option (mainly due to finances), but I’d say he’d need to play in one of the major capitals for the most impact.


NRL + Twitter

Released alongside the draw for 2012, the NRL included the official Twitter hashtags for each game.

While this might be sad for some (gone are the days of #NRLtitman), what a great initiative. It certainly allows the NRL to maximise the popularity in the game.

It could well be a first in world sports (if not, let me know in the comments), so good on whoever pushed for this idea.

If you missed the announcement of the first five rounds for next season, click here. Click here for the hashtags.


Champions and league-leaders headed for Europa League

While Chelsea and Arsenal managed to qualify past the group stages of the Champions League this season, both Manchester clubs won’t be joining them in the last 16.

Amazingly, both Chelsea and Arsenal won their respective groups, meaning they will avoid Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at this stage of the competition.

But while Man City and United sit on top of the Premier League table, they will both have to play in the second-tier European competition for the remainder of the season.

To be brutally honest, this really isn’t good enough for either side, is it?

Man City has the talent to win the Champions League. But, it was their first season back in the competition for a while. This has shown it takes time, not just cash, to become a legitimate CL contender.

Man Utd, on the other hand, have plenty of experience in the competition, but a combination of injuries and poor form has seen last year’s finalists bow out far earlier than expected.

Where to now for both these sides? The Premier League will now no doubt be their main focus. They meet each other in the next round of the FA Cup, and they still do have the Europa League to play in. Either side could easily win the Europa League, but when push comes to shove, I don’t know if either side will put too much effort into the competition.

Man City have plenty of funds and a brilliant squad – they’ll be fine. If this core group of players stick around, and they offload Tevez and bring in someone who actually wants to play, they will be unstoppable in years to come.

Man Utd have to buy a few more players, namely in the centre of midfield and also in defence. Once they do though, you just know they’ll still be there or thereabouts in the years to come.


El Clasico – damn it!

I really thought Real Madrid, at home, could knock off Barcelona in this one…

Ronaldo missed two clear chances, but I guess it wasn’t to be. Credit to Barca for dominating this fixture yet again.

It did ruin my Punt, however…


That’ll do me for another week. As always, if you agree/disagree with anything I’ve said above, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter – @adrmcm. I’d love to hear your take on what’s been happening lately in the world of sports.

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