Monday, December 5, 2016

“Ground Us Please, These Heights Are Scary”, Cries the Opposition

"Ground Us Please, These Heights Are Scary", Cries the Opposition
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Ground Us Please, These Heights Are Scary

It is rare that Politicians wish to be grounded. Much rarer  too, visibly stating  or making obvious their discomfort about rarefied layers.

El Clasico. Suarez’ Boots and Bites! En Guardia, Real. 8:45 pm IST Today.

El Clasico, Barca, FCB, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla,
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El Clasico. Suarez’ Boots and Bites! En Guardia, Real.

El Clasico…..

The Classic….

Catalonia Vs Castilla
Barcelona vs Real Madrid….
MSN vs BBC (without Bale)
Lionel Messi Vs Cristiano Ronaldo
Build Ups cannot get better than this.

Stage Set for a Classic Weekend Night for Indians

The Stage is set for a great match of the world’s beautiful sport. Undoubtedly the match with maximum rivalry, we all await Europe’s top two teams with the best attacking Trios facing off today. Real Madrid will surely miss attacker Gareth Bale who is out with an injured leg.

Heading into the match, Real looks the better side being unbeaten over the past 30+ games. Barcelona has in the past few matches lost or drawn with relatively weaker teams on paper like Alaves, Malaga, Real Sociedad. However history cautions us. Most of the El Clasicos have gone to the team which looked weaker in the pre-game analyses.

From this angle we see Barcelona getting strengthened with the return of players like Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta who were out due to injury. Real would be missing the services of a few. But very critically, midfielder Toni Kroos, winger Gareth Bale and striker Alvaro Morata. But on the bright side, Luka Modric and Casemiro are back from injury.

Madrid’s Matadors

Real is bestowed when it comes to the  kinds of mid-fielders each team needs. The holding mid-fielder (Casemiro is one of the best), the chance creator (Modric, arguably the best. Others may prefer Ozil or Iniesta but Modric has come through in the past two seasons) and the passer or pass master (Kroos it is).  Though Kovacic and Isco proved to be adept at midfield in the absence of Modric  and Casemiro, they lack the passing skills of Kroos, currently the best in the world.

Benzema’s presence minimizes the worry on account of Morata’s injury.  The Real Maddening poser is whether Zidane would prefer James Rodriguez or Lucas Vazquez as Bale’s replacement. James Rodriguez may be just the sixth in the pecking order for coach Zidane. But the highest scorer in the 2014  World Cup, can, on his day, produce moments of magic. Who can forget his enchanted assist to CR7 in the 2014-15 season against Liverpool at Anfield?

Both Ronaldo and Bale being inverted wingers, cut  inside with their stronger foot allowing space for Real’s full backs to run into. Playing James in place of Bale would create a similar situation but Lucas being right-footed pushes wider. This enables him to deliver crosses where the ball cries to be headed into goal….for the likes of Ronaldo to score. Also as Lucas moves wider, it creates space for Real’s midfielders to move into.

Real Madrid are most likely to play with Goal-keeper: Keylor Navas; Defenders: Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Mid-fielders: Modric, Isco, Casemiro; Forwards: CR7, Benzema, Lucas. (Key Injuries: Bale, Kroos, Morata)

Barca’s Barracks

Unlike Real Madrid, Barcelona can feature their first choice eleven. With Marc Andre Ter-Stegen in goal; Sergio Roberto, Samuel Umtiti / Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique and  Jordi Alba form the back four; the mid-field trio will be Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta; the forward line will undoubtedly be MSN – Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

Although the defence looks solid, Barca has been vulnerable to counter-attacks especially in recent matches. Sergio Roberto also has to contend  with Cristiano Ronaldo. Unlike Dani Alves,  Roberto isn’t a natural fullback. Barca fans must miss Dani who left them this summer to join Juventus. However, Roberto along with Messi would look to capitalize on the right as Real’s defender Marcelo often gets caught upfield. On the left, Neymar will be aptly supported by Jordi Alba.  Iniesta’s link-up play between the Barca midfield and forward-line will be crucial and may well be the difference today.

Busquets, under  Barca  manager Luis Enrique has blossomed and seems to be the world’s best holding midfielder currently. But the worry for Enrique must be that Busquets has not been having great games of late.  Rakitic will be crucial to move the ball around not only as the game flows but also in set pieces. Rakitic’s improved ariel ability would make him a threat during corners and free-kicks.

Waiting for the Kick-off

With Real boasting CR7 and Ramos to compare with Pique and Rakitic, today’s set piece play would no doubt be exciting and important as well. Barca also has the world’s best striker at the moment, Suarez.

To conclude,  whether you are neutral or one of these teams’ ardent fans, you would not want to miss the action today at Sony Six at 8:45 pm IST. Let’s watch Real players  guarding both their goal and skin from Suarez’s boots and bites!

Deified in Cuba. Defied US. Defiled Cuba?

defied, defiled, deified, US, fidel, castro,
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Initially Deified in Cuba. Defied US.

Cuban Leader Mr Fidel Castro, who defied the US for many decades and escaped many attempts on life, is no more. Aged 90, Castro had for sometime now moved away from an active role in Cuban politics. Fidel handed over the reins of Cuba to brother Raul a few years back.

Castro is well remembered in India for his famous hug of ‘sister’ Indira Gandhi while handing over the leadership of the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Summit in 1983 at New Delhi.

Along with Che Guevara, Fidel Castro came to symbolize

Currency not so current, but do the Gods note mind ?



Currency not so current, but do the Gods note mind? demonetization development
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Currency not so current, but do the Gods note mind ?

One of the immediate beneficiaries of the demonetization move are the richer temples of India. Places like the Tirupati Balaji temple in Andhra Pradesh or the Siddhi Vinayak temple in Mumbai are reporting collections in excess of their daily average.

Amma ‘Poes’ ed to return, says Apollo

Amma poes ed to return says Apollo
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Amma ‘Poes’ed to return, says Apollo

It has been over two months since Amma left Poes Garden, her Chennai residence more than eight weeks ago. Selvi Jayalalithaa or Amma  is recovering well at the renowned Apollo Hospitals. We understand this from the regular statements released by the Hospital administration. The

RIP Mr Dileep Padgaonkar

RIP Mr Dillep Padgaonkar former Editor The Times of India TOI second most famous job in India
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RIP Mr Dileep Padgaonkar

The former Editor of the Times of India passed away at Pune due to heart attack and other organ failures. He was  72. Among the eminent journalists of his time, he famously said that he held the second most important job in the country. Second only to the Prime Minister’s job.

Cool Chilli’s Comments

It is not for Cool Chilli and the NewsTikka team to write

While we sleep



chalta hai attitude suresh prabhu indian railways accidents sleep dawn arise
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While We Sleep

We Assume that someone is awake

To do the job we ought to have done,

Ere sleeping.


While We Sleep

Market opens for Alibaba backed ‘Paytm’


Market opens for Alibaba backed 'Paytm'

Market opens for Alibaba backed ‘Paytm’

The magic words used to open the cave with treasures hidden inside were ‘Open Sesame’ or ‘Khul ja Sim Sim’. In the Story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Ali Baba manages to

Love locates missing Mrs. Deliverance for Babita as Tapeshwar’s 9 month search ends.

Love locates missing Mrs. Deliverance for Babita as Tapeshwar's 9 month search ends. meerut haldwani
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Love locates missing Mrs. Deliverance for Babita as Tapeshwar’s 9 month search ends

Tapeshwar marries Babita three years ago after she is left behind in a dharmashala (charity home). Her relatives leave her because she is slightly disturbed mentally.  Then she suddenly disappears. Tapeshwar has been travelling across North India on an old bicycle, displaying photographs of his wife. Trying to get

“Asli Wadia ya Nusli “, Tata may wonder

Nusli Wadia Ratan Tata Sons Britannia Bombay Dyeing
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Asli Wadia ya Nusli

Nusli Wadia is the latest independent Diector on the boards of Tata Group companies to openly back Cyrus Mistry. Nusli (Chairman of the Wadia Group – Bombay Dyeing, Britannia Industries) has been a close associate and also has some Tata blood. Thus one can understand the feeling of chagrin and betrayal Ratan Tata and the old guard at Tata Sons could feel.

One can almost hear Ratan Tata say, ‘Et tu, Brute’…… Julius Caesar’s last words may echo in Tata’s ears. Among his assasins, Julius is surprised to note Brutus, a close friend, and by some accounts possibly his own son.

Please Note : Asli (genuine in Hindi) and Nakli (fake in Hindi) are used colloquially.

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Nusli becomes a ‘turncoat’ for the Tatas ?


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