The 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?