Monday, 15 October 2012

Factual sport analysis with a bit of fiction thrown in..

To start off this chunk of sporting news, I am pleased to announce that I am a Football Manager 2012 Europa League champion.

My mighty Newcastle United side, currently at the end of the 2013/14 season, battled through a tough knockout draw of Valencia, Borussia Dortmund, Udinese, Leverkusen, leading to a clash with Bayern Munich at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. Not for me the dour 0-0 that Chelsea ground their way to - 1-1 after normal time gave way to 2-2 after extra-time. Penalties was again the decider, 3-1 to the Toon was enough. I think that makes me the first Northern Irish manager to conquer Europe..

In real news - Man United's Tom Cleverley thinks Man United's Wayne Rooney should be England captain. Talk about sucking up. Young Mr Tom should concentrate on cementing his own place before letting his own opinions loose - although he was probably gently nudged in the direction by a desperate journalist searching for a quote in the barren wasteland of stories that is the international break.

In tennis, 20 year-old Heather Watson has become the first British women to win a WTA singles title since four years before she was born. I must admit, after the Olympics I thought Laura Robson would get there first, but the two seem to be pushing each other to greater heights, which is exactly the way it should be in professional sport.

The same seems to be happening in the men's game - Djokovic got a measure of revenge over Murray in winning an epic Shanghai Masters final. While it would be foolish to write off Federer and Nadal, it is undeniable that the Scot and the Serb are in their own little private duel at the moment - I get the feeling they will trade the number one spot for a couple of years before another new generation sweeps the rug from under their feet.

Formula One's musical chairs is well underway. Well sort of. With Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes a cert, Vettel and Massa are also currently in the headlines, with rumours of Vettel moving to Ferrari in 2014 and Massa's place perhaps being under threat if he does not deliver the goods next year. After the injuries the Brazilian has had to recover from, I hope he fends off the double world champion's play for his seat.

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