Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Turning point?

This was a week-end full of story-lines to say the least...

Let's start with racing where Ebony Flyer flopped badly in the Queen's Plate. There have been no real official excuses for her tame effort from the connections. There are a couple of things that could have undone her. First, her high draw could have taken a bit out of her as she tried to angle for a stalking spot from the start. Second, the hard race might have come too soon for her. Sure, she came out second in her prep race 3 weeks before, but maybe she needed more recuperation time in between races, particularly coming back from a wind operation. Anyways, her no-show was disappointing, and I would need to re-assess her real chances in her future races.

In football, Real won and Barcelona only drew; I am convinced that the silly points that the Blaugrana are losing on the road (think Sevilla, Espanol) will prove their undermining at the end. My recommendation in previous posts to load on Real for the title is looking good at the present.

But the football news of the week-end were the returns of legends Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry to their respective clubs. Scholes' return was necessary to fill the void left by a missing playmaker in the Red Devil's midfield. It remains to be seen if the red-headed genius still has the legs to perform at this level. Henry's return was fairy-tale as he notched the winner on his return. His game is no longer about speed, so it remains to be seen how he fits in the Arsenal attack.

How Man Utd's win at the Etihaad against neighbours Man City in the FA Cup, will affect the title run-in will be interesting. The Red Devils were on a 2-game slide and their mental strength would have been seriously rocked if they had faltered again. Clearly, the game was changed when Kompany was red-carded. If City can cope with his 4-game absence, they will get out of it full of belief and confidence. If not, this could be the turning point of the season. Mancini can complain all he wants about not having a complete squad. Like everyone, he knows has got the best in the Premier League. The title is still theirs to lose.

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