Thursday, May 29, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - forecast

Previously I have shared my views on the preliminary roster list in Germany national team in Euro 08. This Wednesday the final team roster has been announced. Now I'm going to share a little bit my point of forecast on the Germany national team.

I think Löw would like to balance between the experience and the young power in the team. Oliver Neuville (picture) is chosen instead of Patrick Helmes can explain the team needs experience. I think he will play for about 15-30 minutes in the game. When the team is leading, he can be subbed for distracting the defenders to avoid the defenders to push up; when the team is getting stucked, he can be the key player to break the deadlock. So even he is a bit old, I think he is quite useful rather than Patrick Helmes.

Same for David Odonkor (picture), even he is not fit in the club, but his pace and experience can break the deadlock for the team. I expect him to play about 30 minutes in the game. He fast pace can bring threats to the opponents.

A little bit forecast to the Germany team. I think normally the team can go to the final. This is not only becoz I'm supporting Germany, but their route to final can't be easier. The opponent they are facing in the same group are Austria, they are not very keen on performance this year, Poland, they didn't do very well recent years, and Croatia, they are strong, but not experienced enough to match Germany. So it can be predicted that Germany will win the group. When qualifying to the quarter final and semi final, the strongest opponents will be Czech Republic and Portugal, which are the worst case already, but for Germany, it is still capable to beat them. So you may ask where are Italy, France, Spain, and Netherlands? They are in the other side that Germany will only meet them in final. So that's why bookmarkers favours Germany to be the winner. So, what I can say is, they are only themselves to beat. If Germany goes home early, they are only person to blame.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Australia - Europe

I wanna talk a bit about Australia soccer (football). As fans know the soccer in Australia is improving, I realized that the Australian players are mainly comes from the Europe and play in European club, but represent Australia. It's OK for me, but it is quite interesting.

Mark Viduka (picture) for example, he was a former captain of the Australian national team (Socceroos), but he has the Croatian descent. He did pretty well in the Socceroos, and helping them to enter the World Cup in 2006. However he is still struggling with the injuries so he needed to retire from the international football. He is one of the examples of the Australian European.

Mark Schwarzer (picture), is the other example who has the other European descent. He has German descent even though he plays for the Socceroos. He was the crucial hero for qualifying the World cup 2006. He made 2 saves in the penalty shootout against Uruguay to lead the team to qualify. He is now transferred to Fulham from Middlesborough but before that, he was rumoured to transfer to Bayern Munich just becoz of he has German descent. Anyway, he did played in Bundesliga for a long time.

In opposite, some players are born or grown up in Australia but playing the other countries. Many of you know Christian Vieri (picture), right? He born in Italy but grew up in Australia, and he was one of the most important player in Italy. He had a great career in soccer and he is one of the best strikers in the world. This season even though he wasn't a regular starter in Fiorentina, but I think he is the important bench player in the team. Don't forget he is now going to 35. In soccer, he is very old man now.

Josip Simunic (picture), probably you may remember he has special "discount" in World Cup 2006, getting 3 yellow cards before he was sent off. He actually born in Australia and grew up there. If I'm right, he also gained a scholarship from Australia Institute of Sports (AIS). However, he chose to represent Croatia and played against Australia in World Cup 2006. Even though he didn't do well in Hertha Berlin this season, he is one of the players who made from Australia.

I'm not claiming any credits here, I just wanna say - who said Australia didn't contribute to the soccer world??

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Germany roster in Euro 2008

Last Friday Germany national team coach Joachim Löw (picture) had announced the preliminary roster for the upcoming Euro 2008. For me there are few surprises and upsets in the list. You can see the squad list on http://www.dfb.de/. Here I'm now sharing some of my views in the squad list.

Normals: Michael Ballack is nothing more than normal, and he deserves to be in the list. He was recovered from the injury in Janurary this year but his form had been improved drastically. He is the most important member in the national team and I do think he is the key player to lead Germany to success in this year's competition. Even though he failed to win any title for Chelsea this season, I think his experience and ability can help him to get over the curse and win the title for Germany.

Surprises: Marko Marin (above) and Rene Adler (below) are absolutely the biggest surprise to the German fans. They both weren't being chosen in the national team before, but this time they are appeared in the squad list. Marko Marin is a 19-year-old young gun who plays for Gladbach, the 2nd division champion. He can play at left wing or right wing, and according to the reports, he is very good at pace. Rene Adler also a surprise. Every German fans predict the the top 3 goalie (ie, Jens Lehmann, Robert Enke, and Timo Hildebrand) will be chosen for sure. However, this time Löw decided to drop Hildebrand and chose him. He had an excellent season in Bayer Leverkusen. I can say, without him, Leverkusen never reached the UEFA Cup Quarter Final, but unluckily he was powerless to stop the champion, Zenit St. Petersburg. Adler will be in the final list for sure, and Marin I think he will be in the squad as well.

Upsets: No doubt, the biggest upset is Timo Hildebrand. Everyone, including himself, supposed he is the 2nd choice goalie in Germany national team, but Löw didn't feel this way. Valencia had a tragic season, I think they are a bit lucky they didn't relegate to 2nd division to be honest. I'm not blaming anyone in Valencia, as many of fans in the world blamed Ronald Koeman. Problems everywhere in Valencia this season, and Hildebrand cannot guarantee in term of his consistency. Yes, he helped Valencia in Spanish Cup, he had made 12 saves to kept the draw against Barcelona in the league, but he also lost 5 goals in 1 match. So I think Löw prefer the consistent goalie. Little message for him - don't give up!!

Little tactic prediction: Base on the preliminary roster, I think the tactic of Germany in Euro 2008 will be the pace of attacks. The team wanna use the speed of the wings to run to the baseline or cut back to the centre to create attacks and spaces for the forwards. Short passes and quick tempo are predicted to see. Players like Schweinsteiger, Podolski, Marin are the fast pace players who can create threats in the attacks. Ballack will be at the center and make through balls, long shots, and headers to create goals. Löw would like to make the attacks more variety by the wingers and Ballack. Torsten Frings will be at the back of the attacks, the home base you can say to protect the count attacks from the opponents and continue the attacks when the wingers, Ballack, and forwards lost the ball.

Personal point of view the roster is pretty young and energetic. These 2 factors can be the success factor of Germany in Euro 08. Later I will share with you my little view on the Germany chances on winning the Euro 08.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Game on

Last time I have talked about what State of Origin is and a little bit of my feeling, this time I talk about both teams this year and my little analysis and predictions.
Both teams have announced the lineup last Tuesday as follows:

New South Wales:

1. Brett Stewert
2. Jarryd Hayne
3. Matt Cooper
4. Mark Gasnier
5. Anthony Quinn
6. Greg Bird
7. Peter Wallace
8. Brett White
9. Danny Buderus
10. Ben Cross
11. Ryan Hoffman
12. Willie Mason
13. Paul Gallen

Interchange: Anthony Laffranchi, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon (picture), Ben Hornby


1. Billy Slater
2. Brent Tate
3. Greg Inglis
4. Justin Hodges
5. Israel Folau
6. Karmichael Hunt (picture)
7. Jonathan Thurston
8. Carl Webb
9. Cameron Simth
10. Petero Civoniceva
11. Michael Crocker
12. Sam Thaiday
13. Dallas Johnson

Interchange: PJ Marsh, Ben Hannant, Nate Myles, Jacob Lillyman
The winning captain of Queensland, Darren Lockyer, is omitted because of injury. So the lineup couldn't see him. The five-eigth position is filled by his Brisbane mate Karmichael Hunt. It is pretty surprising for me that he takes this position. However, what I predict is even though Hunt is taking this position, the task I think will be taken by Greg Inglis, coz he plays five-eigth at Melbourne. From the lineup of Queensland, I think the halves and backs are very fast, highly skilled and bring a lot of threats to the New South Wales side. I predict the Queensland halves and backs will be the key to win the Game 1.

New South Wales once again their forwards are very threathening. Willie Mason once again got his speed and strength and can crush through the Queensland forward. Craig Fitzgibbon has a great year so far and his goal kicking is remarkable. One thing they are improved is the halved combination. Peter Wallace played a great footy since he came to Brisbane this year. I think this is the best halves lineup in these 3 years. So Queensland must be awared of the forward coz this is the biggest advantage of the New South Wales.

My little prediction is the match will be very close, maybe like the Origin 1 in 2006, when New South Wales only just won by a point. So I think the difference will be within 1 try in this match.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

State of Origin

State of Origin, one of the biggest rival Rugby League match series in Australia, or even one of the biggest rivalries in the world, is going to play the Game 1 in Sydney next Wednesday. Every year the representative of New South Wales (the Blues) and Queensland (the Maroons) will play a series of 3 games against each other and decide who the winner is. This year is the 29th State of Origin series, and the defending champion is Queensland, they have already won 2 years in a row.

How to define the players in the representative team? Right now it defines as the players where they played at their first professional club. Take Greg Inglis (picture) as example, he is currently playing at Melbourne, Victoria, but he can represent the Maroons because his first club was playing at Queensland. So on the other side, a player can represent the Blues as they played at New South Wales as their first club even he is currently playing at a Queensland team. This is the meaning of "State of Origin".

As the Queensland and New South Wales are the rival of Rugby League for a long time, so every year the series is very exciting. So many great plays, great moments, great tries. This is the best quality match in the whole Rugby League season. I started to watch this series in 2005, when was the first year I studied in Brisbane, where it is in Queensland. I didn't get it at the beginning, but somehow after I watched the series, I started to get hooked with. I followed the series matches in the following year. It is very hard to describe but the feeling, I just love it, I just get hooked with. I go crazy when the Maroons scores, and I go angry when the Blues scores. I feel like I'm a part of the team.

When I finished the studies and went back to Hong Kong last year, I didn't stop following the series. I was lucky enough to find a channel in one of the paid TV network which broadcast the State of Origin series live. So how will I miss it? I can say this is the most important match beside Germany national football team in the World Cup Final. So no matter what happens, I will sit at the front of the TV and watch it.

This year, the first and final match will be played in Sydney, and second game will be played at Brisbane. My personal point of view that the Maroons will win by 2-1, maybe Game 3 will be the decider. The game is very close, nobody can be sure who will win. However I think the Maroons can win by the better halves combination, even without Darren Lockyer (picture). Speaking to Darren Lockyer, HE IS THE KING!! And maybe this is why I love to watch Rugby League so much. Lockyer is captain of Australia, Queensland Maroons, and local team Brisbane Broncos. If you have chance to watch Rugby League, he is one of the legends that you must know.

Maybe you don't feel what I said, hope this video can get you some feeling of how exciting it is.

And here is the link of what State of Origin about:

Monday, May 12, 2008


If you guys know me much, you know I love coffee. In fact I don't know much about coffee. What I know is coffee is made from coffee beans, milk, cream, maybe some sugar (as I don't like sugar in the coffee), and some flavour.

Every morning, as the other coffee addicts, needs a cup of coffee to recharge myself and have a kick start of the day. Or maybe sometimes I have coffee in the noon, when I feel tired, a cup of nice coffee can refresh me up and kick back to work again.

When I walk around the coffee shop, there are more and more choice now. It's just making me a bit confused - what is it all about? Not only having the latte, mocha, cappuccino, espresso, etc, they have the other type that I've never seen. It makes me wonder it is coffee or not. The name, I don't even remember it. All I know is they are all come from espresso and get some more cream, milk, and so on so forth (please correct me if I'm wrong). Well, when I go to coffee shop, frankly I don't even know what it is.

The size - is it too much? I think it is a bit too much. There's a problem, or dilemma for me, should I stop having coffee, or should I go on having it? The point is, when I don't have coffee, I'll look like a robot without a bettery. "In-co-ordin-ate", yes, I won't be coordinate. However, when I have coffee, yes I'm fully charge but cannot stop. Usually my problem is my brain can't stop working and I realize that I was talking to myself when I sleep. Maybe the coffee works too much or maybe the size is too crazy. How many people need a Venti size of coffee a day? This is nut!! My limit is Grande (whatever you call), and that night, I will be awake all night long and the next morning, I need a coffee to wake me up again. This is a cycle.

Coffee beans, how many of you know how many types of coffee beans in the world? Frankly I don't know. For me... yes there's a difference but is it neccessary to be that good? Do you know where the most expensive coffee beans come from? It's from the animal's poop!! I don't know the name of that animal, but how it work is, they eat the coffee and they can't digest the beans so they will come out with the poop. However, the beans are being "processed" and the coffee comes out from it will be more tasteful. And becoz of this process is so "special", the price is very expensive. Ummm... maybe I have a try, I don't know if you will.

Maybe you are just saying, "Oi, just get the freaking coffee". Yep, sometimes it's just a freaking coffee, do we need that? I just want a cup of coffee. Relaxing or not, keeping you awake or not, sometimes it's just up to you. Well, I still have coffee, I won't change my attitude. Yes, I will still buy a coffee from Starbucks or some coffee shop, but at least I realize, tasting coffee is only up to me, not up to the coffee.

Public Announcement

I have now changed the new blog from xanga to here coz I would like to use this opportunity to signify my new start. So from now on I will post my blog here. The xanga blog will still be opened so you are still welcomed to visit the old passage there: www.xanga.com/slim_kahn

I will post and polish this blog as soon as I can, as I'm currently working when I'm writing this announcement :P