Rafa_Benitez_280x39_921611aThe Champions League is proving to be really weird this year people. Barcelona struggled to beat a team that sounds like a really delicious sandwich. Liverpool need to get their prayer mats out and hope for a miracle. Bayern Munich do not look like German giants. Inter Milan are not so special. Real Madrid really need Ronaldo back. And Manchester United should look into cloning Rooney 10 times, despite moving closer to the knockout stages.

Did one of you rival fans put something in their nutritional beverages? Or could it be the clocks going back? That always messes with one’s alignment. Whatever the problem is, these teams need to snap out of it and fast.

Bordeaux, Arsenal, Sevilla, Juventus, Lyon, Chelsea, Fiorentina and FC Porto are looking the best thus far in the competition. Arsenal and Chelsea have been regular cast members in the Champions League group stages. And if you are a player, manager, executive or fan of either of these clubs, you have to believe you have a great shot at winning Europe’s greatest prize, especially when you look around and see the big boys struggling.

I’m sure the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan will make the knockout stages. That’s not what’s in question. What’s in question is how they are playing. Real Madrid should really be beating this particular AC Milan team. They’ve been poor in the Italian league and nobody really thought they were the AC Milan of old when the season started. Ronaldo has been sorely missed by Real Madrid, but after buying so many expensive and quality players this summer, are Real Madrid really a one man team?

Inter Milan were lucky to have walked away with a win against Dynamo Kiev. The Champions League is the piece of silverware the club wants badly. You can see the reflection of the Champions League trophy in Jose Mourinho’s eyes as he observes his team from the touch line. Schevchenko almost came back to haunt the man who didn’t really give him a chance at Chelsea. But a couple of last gasp goals from Milito and Sneijder saved the blushes of Mourinho and his men. And what’s happened to Eto’o since his move from Barcelona to Inter Milan?

Manchester United – although sitting comfortably at the top of their group – just don’t seem to be the same team this season. The loss of Ronaldo has been far greater than even the genius of Sir Alex Ferguson could have imagined. They fought back once Rooney came on as a substitute. But what if Rooney gets injured? What then? Where will their inspiration come from? It’s tricky times at Old Trafford. The amazing thing about United is they are drawing or winning and not playing their best football. They don’t warm up to their sublime best until December/January. The question is, do they have the talent to shift into their usual 5th gear this season?

Liverpool are a mess. Alonso is another player who left for Real Madrid in the summer and Liverpool have not recovered. Aquilani could be the answer, but we just haven’t seen enough of him yet to compare. Voronin and Lucas are not the answer. Benayoun, Kuyt and Torres are the only players that are trying to make an impact and difference on the pitch. Carragher has been a disaster all season and with Gerrard being injured, they don’t have that final driving force in the midfield to make things happen going forward. I don’t like to talk about people losing their jobs, but Benitez is one bad result away from losing his.

Of course this could all change next week and that’s the beauty about the game we fans love! What do you think of the European giants struggling in the Champions League? Which team is looking the most dynamic for you? Is it possible that a Lyon, Fiorentina or Sevilla could win the Champions League? Did you drink wine or beer when watching the games this week?

Comments

4 Responses to “What’s up with Europe’s big boys..?”

  1. Jonesy on November 6th, 2009 7:08 am

    The Champions League is a little different, every time i check the scores/results i expect to see the BIG teams destroying the new first time/part-time teams, but they are holding their own and good on them.

    After watching Revista De La Liga and listening to Guillem Balague’s comments on Barca and Real it’s really refreshing. Guardiola warned Barcelona that the team’s that win the Champions League the year after they struggle to make it through the group stage and told the team to be aware of this and it is showing. With Real they are already talking about Pellegrini, that he might not be there in the new year, i think he has done a good job so far, only one point behind Barca without Ronaldo for the last few games, but no one is safe as Real Madrid Manager.

    AC Milan have picked up a little form in Serie A and have climbed up to 4th, highest position so far and doing very well in Champions League. The team is not it’s strongest but i think Leonardo is starting to get some results and might be winning the fans over, it’s very early to say though. They need to sign someone to give them that little bit extra, cos the oldies are a little bit older.

    United will get through, but they haven’t started playing, and I’m not sure they really will, there team is missing something, a spark. Arsenal and Chelsea look good and with teams struggling they have a real shout and with Ancelotti’s experience in the competition they got to be one of the favourites.

    Liverpool.
    They deserve their own paragraph. Where to begin?
    They are really making it so hard for themselves. I don’t think they will qualify they concede too many late goals. You can’t expect to win stuff with Lucas and Voronin who both are guilty of wasting chances. No doubt they miss Stevie G, who wouldn’t?
    How do you go beat Man U comfortably and then struggle against Fulham? That is little team syndrome, raise your game against the big teams and not against the smaller teams.
    They are also in danger of losing their 4th spot in the league with Spurs, Man City and Villa all sniffing around. Rafa is on the edge i think, the name Klinsmann has been floating around, maybe Rafa could be the new Real Madrid manager?

  2. Soccer Diva on November 6th, 2009 12:13 pm

    Rafa to Real, Jose to Liverpool…Liverpool need an infusion of energy…Jose would be great there. I’ve said many times they have no team spirit or identity. There’s no backbone if Gerrard isn’t playing. They need someone to come in and rebuild that first team around Gerrard and Torres, if Torres stays should Rafa go…

  3. Jonesy on November 10th, 2009 2:01 pm

    Jose to Liverpool would be awesome for the scouse. He loves Gerrard and i think he can bring a lot out of Liverpool, bring in a couple players sorted, they’ll be challenging for the title in no time.

  4. Soccer Diva on November 10th, 2009 2:27 pm

    It’s also the type of English team he would leave Italy for. Not sure he’d want to manage a London club after Chelsea. But he’d sure like to battle it out with Fergie and he’d savour the challenge of making Liverpool as great as United have been in the modern day game.

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