Sports Charcha

S2 EP1 - We are back!

January 21, 2022 sportscharcha113@gmail.com
Sports Charcha
S2 EP1 - We are back!
Show Notes Transcript

Season 2, here we go! We are back and so does the same old overseas batting collapses for Indian Cricket. Where is the problem? Wait let's blame IPL as English pundits now have “The Hundred” to blame for their horrendous show Down Under. The English Premier League has moved from a 4 team title race to a 3 team title race to a race amongst teams not to lose to Man City. Can Ancelotti take care of his unfinished business by winning LaLiga? Milan teams fighting for Serie A glory, Business as usual at Bundesliga and can Djokovic ever play Grand Slam tennis again? Let's go!

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Participant #1:
Here's a God of the game. Season two. Here we go. We are back and so does the same old overseas batting collapses for Indian cricket. Where is the problem? Wait, let's blame IPL as English pundits now have the 100 to blame their own horrendous show. Down under the English Premier League has moved from a four team title race to a three team title race to a race amongst teams not to lose to Manchester City. Can AngelOr team take care of his unfinished business by winning La Liga, Milan teams fighting for Seria glory business as usual at Bundesliga? And can Jokovic ever play Grand Slam tennis again? Let's go.

Participant #1:
Hello and welcome back to Sports Chatra, guys. Season two, episode One I mean, I'm in a new city. Issa has a new parental status. We have a new setup, we have a new logo and Isha and welcome back, bro. Good to see you. Yeah, man, it's been so long. Actually, it's strange to say that I actually missed you. I don't think that would have ever happened, but I missed more than anything I missed talking about sports. It's been a month and a half for both of us. A lot of life changes, but I'm so excited to start off season two. So much has happened. We're going to just try our best to cover most of it, but so much to look forward to as well. So I'm really excited and pumped to get season two started. Yeah, man. A lot of things happened in the last one and a half months. Ashes India Store of South Africa Trauma Within the Indian cricket Team Two new IPL franchises announced F one seasons crazy end Doku is getting deported out of Australia. Oh my God. But what we will do right now is we're not going to talk about everything that happened in the last one and a half months. But we'll give you a short summary and our perspectives on what has happened. So we will start right away with obviously the Ashes. Issa being an Aussie fan, a hardcore Aussie fan. This has been a memorable Ashes. Well, memorable, yes. But I think the usual Glenn McGrathy Ponting started off saying that it's going to be a white wash, but my memory always served me as a very strong English team because they are so good in white ball cricket. What I failed to understand was that doesn't translate into a five day format. And boy, it did not translate into a five day format. Right? I literally saw every single ball of this Ashes. It was obviously Test cricket at its best because there was drama, although I bet one sided. But it's always entertaining watching England and Australia play Test cricket. But so many heroes came out of it for Australia people who have never heard of Scott Bowland, who probably should retire right now, he has an average of eight. He has 16 Test wickets in two Test matches. It's absurd stat, but it was sad at the end. Like four nil. It should have been five nil. If it wasn't for the rain in Sydney, it would have definitely been five nil. I think even the Australian fans have felt a little embarrassed. That how bad England were. Give you some stats. The next Ashes tour in Australia will be in 2025. By that time, it will be 14 years since England have won. What a result have won a Test match in Australia. Now it's about 25 Test matches that they have not reached. 300 in an evening. It is scary how bad England's batting is right now because their bowlers did their bit. Mark Wood, my hats off to that guy. He gave his heart out in both the Sydney Test matches and especially in Hobart on a green pitch. I think there's one take away England can have when this Test. Here is Mark Wood and his determination and the Australian fans duly applauded him when the series ended. But the Ashes started off with a drama tempae being removed, stripped of his captaincy has come in. It's been a really long time since the fast bowler was a captain of a Test playing nation. Pat Cummins, what a player. He goes down as one of the great fast bowlers of all time. He's young and he's doing brilliantly and now he's a great captain and Ashes winning captain. Great gesture, by the way, at the end with those monkwaja, I think we don't need to talk about it. People can just YouTube it. But amazing series. But I feel bad for England. They're going to be back to whiteball cricket now before they tour with extended and they'll again be world beaters. But they really need to do some thinking about how they want to structure the Test team because their opening pair is weak. They don't have Rory Burns. Have you seen his style, Balla? Have you seen him back? Like I thought Shiva and Chandra Paul had a bad style, but this is like he set the tone for the Ashes, right? First delivery. He got bowled round the wicket of Mitchell Stark. I mean, that's how the entire series began. Now going back to England, right? I mean, yes, Australia did excellent. As you pointed out, squad Balland, one of the top performers that came out of Australia. In fact, Australia, you can actually pick pretty much the entire squad. I don't remember seeing a single non performing asset inside Australian squad. Everyone brilliant. But let's get into the English team. I mean, you pointed out there has been more focus on the white ball cricket. England have actually been pretty good in whiteball cricket. Obviously, they're the world Champions, Odea world Champions. They're pretty good in T 20. They have invested a lot in their own 100 format and yet they still complain their English players playing in IPL. And that is the reason why their Test performances have been going down there were some interesting points discussed. I was looking at Mark Butcher and Alistair Cook discussing about it. So one of the points that Mark Butcher bought in is that they have England. We all know they have a well established county cricket system. I mean, it's been there for almost 100 years. If I'm not wrong, if that country cannot produce quality test cricketers and there is something fundamentally wrong with their system. So in terms of, let's say batting, we have seen this happening with England in terms of losing a lot of wickets in heap, and this has happened in India. Also, there seems to be a tendency to go for shots much earlier. In fact, we had this problem with Indian cricket for a while. A lot of our Indian D 20 players couldn't compete in the Test Arena because they were going for shots left, right and center and losing their wicket. Is this something that you see England addressing in the near future, or this is going to continue for at least some time before they even get to where they want to be? No, I think Michael Academy made a very good point, and that really struck me. And I think that hit a core of Joe Root of the problem of the English team. The thing is that he said that England strategy for a build up to the Ashes was we need to build a squad for the Ashes. They don't look at the next series, they don't look at the next match. They're always building up to the Ashes. So what they do is that they're not selecting good players for each series. They're just trying to rest them for a series that is in the future. So what that happened, especially with COVID right now, is that none of them came with match practice. Johnny Bestow, who was a great Batchman. He had no practice. He had not batted for like three months before he was put into the squad in the second or third Test match. And that shows when they are batting right. Previously, before COVID, before every Ashes Test match, there was a warm up game. So if players were out of form or they could badge themselves into form or into some kind of Nick without covert happening, there's just a break. So all of those preparations that would have probably helped England a little were not there. But as you rightly said, focus has been solely on whiteball cricket for a really long time in England. They've, in a way tried to monetize more than what the Bspcci does in how to monetize the short form of format of the game with 100, et cetera. But I think it also goes down to the county game. I made this point. County cricket now happens in the wrong season where the pitches are actually dead pitches. They're not the green, lush pitches where actual county players are made because of the white ball cricket. So white ball cricket. That 100 has to happen when it doesn't rain. So that means the county cricket gets pushed to the time when it rains and it's not a very good weather to play cricket. So that means that the deep prioritization has happened at a fundamental level for red ball cricket. And that is a problem. Interesting. And I think while I have seen Inside Edge that show. Yes, this actually happened with the England team. For example, Skype Sports did not bid for the Ashes this time as a broadcaster. Right now, BP Sport actually won the rights and they are into a massive loss because most of the games didn't go into five days. If you can look back at the inside last season. Right. They didn't go into five days. It was a whitewashed viewership dropped because there was not too much drama. Now, the actual problem that the ECB as well as Cricket Australia has is Ash is still a money making series for them. Is it even worth having a five Test matches series anymore? So those are the conversations happening at the back. And that's all gone down to how the England team and England board, more than the team has reprioritised the long format of the game. Yeah, very interesting points. And obviously now England cricket board has to go back to the drawing board and see what they can do to bring the Test cricket back into their plans and we'll see how they are going to perform in the next action. I think that's happening in 2024, if I'm not wrong in England. So hopefully England can put up a better show and hopefully challenge Australia and hopefully we have a much closer and a more entertaining Ashes than what happened this time. I was supporting a team that won a one sided series. The team used support. I think the build up or the predictions were supposed to be the same. Right. Because I think India went into South Africa for a Tesla as a favorite for the first time ever. I feel because everyone knows the drama that has been happening with the South African Cricket Board. They struggled to put up a team and the Indian cricket team went full strength. So you saw the series over to you. Tell me how that went. Oh, man, it was so disappointing. I mean, disappointing for many reasons. First reason disappointing for Raul Travis, you know, like how much I respect the man, how much I love the man. I really wanted this to be a statement victory for him, his first away series, his first major away series as a coach. So I really wanted him or the team to perform really well. Started off really well. First Test went according to the plan. But the problem is with the team selection, I mean, we are in the WhatsApp group? I've been harping about Ajinky Rohani right from day one. It has been a mistake to first of all, take him there and to even start them. And he ended up playing all the three games. What he scored a 45 runs. Is that the benchmark right now to be a part of the starting level of the Indian cricket team? I don't know. I really don't know. What is the benchmark right now. Think about players like Shubman, Gill, Cheyas, Ayer who are waiting on the sideline to perform. What will they think, how bad their morale will be? Now, putting that aside, betting definitely was a massive problem. One point you made in the WhatsApp group, which I think is more important than our Rahana performed, is Rahana used to be the key peg in terms of breaking the momentum for the Indian squad. His wicket always happened immediately after a wicket cell because he didn't contribute anything. So the moment India got into some momentum because of two quick wickets, the momentum is to switch back. So I just wanted to add that point. You had made this previously, so I thought this is an important thing. Exactly. And that's what happened in the last Test. Also, there were times where we were actually looking to score good looking to set up a good total, and then those two quick wickets take this back. Now, coming back to the South African team, as you said, this was easily one of the if not one of them, I can say the weakest South African Test team that we have played against, at least in South Africa ever since the 1990 series. Very inexperienced bowling attack. I think KBG is the KGB. Rabada is the only experienced bowler, but I was extremely impressed with Janssen Tall Hanky. He reminded me of Bruce Reed. I don't know how many young listeners will remember Bruce Reed. He reminded me of Bruce Reid. Brilliant bowling by him and very well supported by Olivier. I forgot his name. Olivier, I believe. Olivier, Olivier, Olivier, Olivier. And

Participant #1:
God, how would I forget him? So, yeah, pretty much. I mean, obviously, if you look at the base attack like we had Boomera, Shami, Suraj and Takur, but then their bowling definitely perform well. And it also goes to show how much the bowlers have bailed us over the last one and a half years. Yes, we have performed really well outside India, Australia, England. We have done it so very well. But if you look at the victories, look at those victories. Most of the times a lower order has battered out of the skin to save us the game. And this is kind of exposed the top orders failings in the last one and a half years. Veracoli again showed brilliance in terms of that first innings, third Test match, first innings. He was extremely good. It was one of the most disciplined innings I've seen him play in Test. But he eventually didn't work out for us. And the drama behind it, man. Now he's off being the Test keeper even before the series started. Rocharma not playing the Test, not playing the ODIs. I'm not sure why this happens around Rahul driver. I don't know. When he became the captain, there was too much drama. Now when he's the coach, there is too much drama. Hopefully this all gets sorted out and hopefully in the next series, from next year onwards, like we have a proper team and challenge for the Test Championship again. But has a new Test captain been announced? Not yet. There's been a lot of speculation going around. The names that have been thrown in the hat Arema Keel Rahul. Some are suggesting even Rishar Punt, or some are suggesting, like keep Risha Punt as a vice captain and under a temporary captain, groom him and then handed over the captain to them, like how they did with Kumble and Doni. Kumble was a captain for a year and a half and then Doni took over the range. So that could be a possible option. Ashwin is a possible option, but again, Ashwin had a very horrible series. So I'm not sure the problem right now with the captain is there is no performer. There is no single performer other than probably Boomerang is probably the only standard performer. Other than him. I really don't see any player who came out top out of this three match series. I think one person, before I ask you a question, one person who I think there's a lot of credit is Peterson from South Africa. Nobody had ever heard of him. The only Peterson I knew was Kevin, who I didn't particularly like because he's a fresh Australia, but he played an unbelievable series, especially in the finale. The last inning, second inning target or 200, not easy, but they made it look very easy and that was all thanks to him. But question for you, Balla. Before we move on, what do you think about the futures of Rahana and Pujara? Pujara has been in a very bad patch for a really long time right now. What do you think happens to them? Can we even replace the life of Pujara or just the symbolism of having pujaara is more important than the value? I mean, Pujara also brings in Pujara does bring in a certain value. I mean, he's a specialist number three batsman and number three is a very special and a crucial role, especially when it comes to test cricket. So that's why Pujara might get one other chance, probably one extra fee or one extra match. But again, if it doesn't perform, then the team management has to take strong decisions and kick him out. Because unless you give someone a chance, you will never know whether you're going to get another very good quality number three by one. And we do have good quality players. Unless you put them in the ring, unless you get the opportunity, we'll never know how good they'll come out. Maybe we'll find a great number three in sugar and Gill. Who knows? We'll never know. Maybe we'll find an excellent number six in Anuma Vihari. There are talent, so we'll probably have to put them, give them the opportunity to see if they can come. Good. So that's great. But apart from these two series, one excellent series that happened down under, not in Australia, but a country right next to Australia, the home of the World Test Champions. What a surprise series. It was not a great series. In fact, it was the first time Amazon actually live telecasted cricket series. Bangladesh, who would have thought Bangladesh to defeat New Zealand in New Zealand? I couldn't catch the live action, but I saw the highlights. Pretty inspiring performance. Yeah. And it was not like an easy game. It was not like New Zealand collapsed and Bangladesh took advantage, bowled them out for two innings. The New Zealand team, which is commendable for a Bangladeshi team and a lot of new faces in the Bangladeshi team as well, the people we know shaky was not there. There were new faces, shadow and all that. But I think great about bloody time, I would say they've been in this. They only show up at World Cups generally to show, hey, we are there to create upset, but otherwise they're pretty silent in the Test scenario. So it was a great result for them and it was a full strength New Zealand squad. So no excuses there as well. But then New Zealand showed their class in the remaining matches. But I think the entire series, the finale was all about the man himself, Mr. Ross Taylor. What a final Test match man. Did you see it? Oh, my days. Amazing. The final delivery, the final wicket. What an end to an outstanding career. Easily one of the greatest New Zealand players. I mean, you said to produce some real gems of cricketers. I mean, Ross Seller will definitely be amongst the top great servant to the game. Very nice person. I mean, you gently see his interviews, his on field Behavior newsletter team in general have set up a lot of standards in terms of being a gentleman in the game. So I'm really happy for Ross Taylor great career. Won the Test Championship, played a very important role in winning the Test Championship for New Zealand. If New Zealand were an IPL team, they would still be bottom of the Fair Play Award because nobody knows how the Fair Play Award points goes.

Participant #1:
So, yeah, good job, Bangladesh, good job. Newsland for giving us a great Test series to watch. Now there's another major event happening, guys. It's the under 19 Cricket World Cup. We all know India have been performing really well over the last three editions of the Underending Worker. We reached all three finals, won one, lost two. And yeah, that's happening right now. Many teams have played two games. Some teams have played one game. So it's on hot Star Sports. So watch out for it. Lots of new talents, lots of new stars will come out of this under 18 World Cup. So yeah, that's about it, guys. That's about it. For the cricket action. Now in the next section, we will see what has happened in the world of European football.

Participant #1:
Welcome back to Sports Chatter. It is time for European football and as usual, we will start with EPL. Now Ishaan during the beginning of the season, we were all talking about how this season is going to be one of the closely fought season, a four way competition between Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United. And by about game weekend, we all went, oh, it's going to be a three team race between Liverpool City and Chelsea. Now, after almost 1819 games, I don't see a race at all. A City are absolutely going to walk away with the League once again. Oh, my God. I think, wow, man. I have no idea what's going on in the Premier League other than Man City, because they're just doing Man City things very consistently. And since we've done the last since we did our last podcast, we've seen an unbelievably consistent Chelsea. Now we are seeing an unbelievably, consistently bad Chelsea. We've seen a consistently bad Manchester United. We've seen a resurgence to Arsenal. We're probably playing the best football they have in many years. Arteta has finally got things going. They actually might be in a serious shot for a top four. You never know. We saw West Ham. Both of us were very excited with West Hampling. Well, when we last spoke about it and they are pretty low now. Context have become much better. So for me, I don't know who the top four will be by the end of the season. I know City is going to win it. I'm pretty sure Liverpool and Chelsea will be the one, two and three. I'm putting my money on it. It's not going to be Manchester United. Yeah, I think that's pretty much everyone's guess too. But then we'll still don't know Manchester United's quality, what will come through. Pokba is back in training, so hopefully that will probably create the necessary spark for the team to move forward. But yeah, number four is pretty much a great race. In fact, you have West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham United, all these four teams are pretty much shown for the fourth spot. Tottenham again under Conte. I mean, last time when we spoke, Conte wasn't in charge. I think right now Conte is in charge. Tottenham have shown some steel in their performance. Obviously, they are not as consistent as Kante want them to be, but then they will get there. They will reach there. Now, apart from the top three teams, which team you think have actually underperformed or which player you think have actually underperformed, which we thought. I mean to remind you, we said Lukaku is probably one of the signings of the season and that's the way it started. Also, he started off pretty brilliant, but as it stands right now, there's a lot of problems on and off field problems, we all know that. So yeah, when it comes to teams and when it comes to players who have caught your attention and who you think have underperformed. If you were a lawyer, Bala, what you said right now would be inadmissible in court. You led me on to say Lukaku, you asked me a question and then I partially answered it. But no but you're right completely. Both of us know this very well. It's that second Chelsea season with the manager who won everything in the first. They go through this phase where they can't win anything and Lukaku is the face of this problem right now and it's all his own doing. A couple of weeks ago he had this unnecessary interview with an Italian newspaper. I think it was Gazette Dela Sport where Sky Sports, where he basically was pioneered for a return to Inter Milan and how life there was amazing how Luthero Martinez is Casanova in a way, but it was so badly timed because he's just recovering from an injury to Kelvin, still not putting him in the squad, it just created unnecessary fix friction, which was not right because if you have 100 plus million pound striker who's not performed to that limit, the last thing you need to do is talk too much, just shut up and drive in a way, right, which has not happened. So it's all triggered a huge problem for Chelsea in terms of their results. Obviously they just beat spurs in the Carabao. Or was it the Carabao Cup? Carabou, yeah, semi finals. So they're in the finals there, but they were so Meek against City this weekend in the League with basically handed City the title was such a disappointing performance. So yeah, Lukaku, the entire United team, I would say Rafael Veron, Jaden, Sancho. It's going to be very unfair for me to say Ronaldo because he's done everything he can possibly can at his age. I will not say Ronaldo underperformed, but I would say Sancho for sure has been very poor. Then I would say teams. Everton, meaning what has happened to Everton? Wow. Rafa Benitez, by the way, news flash is already gone. He was fast, I think a couple of days ago. The mid table is pretty poor this time in the Premier League. This is not the usual Premier League we've seen this season with COVID et cetera. There's a huge disparity in quality I'm seeing suddenly after the West Ham, after the 6th and 7th, you see a serious drop leads. United is crap this season. Bls has completely lost the plot. They won their game right now with best time, but they're not a very good team anymore. So it's a lot of disappointments. But I would say the United team and Lukaku would be my highlight. Great. I mean pretty much my same fix, but I'll have to add a couple of more teams. I'll probably say Leicester hasn't performed the way they have in the last two seasons, so there's a drop in quality in Lester also. But to be fair to some other teams, like Leads, et cetera, they had a lot of injuries. Everton had a few key injuries, but still with the team they have, they should not be in 16th position, they should not be five, six points away from the relegation scrap. So definitely not a place where they should be. Rafa Benitez was pretty much thought out to be one of the early managers to get sacked. It's a price that he is the fourth of the 6th manager to be sacked when he should have been sacked a long time ago. But yeah, some of the teams have done pretty well. Also, Wolves start out of pretty slowly, but now they are picking up. They have becoming a very good team and Wolves in the last two, three seasons under Nuno and now under Bruno Laj have really impressed. I mean, at least I was personally impressed with Wolves. Steven Gerard has started really well. He's showing a lot of signs of good life. We will get to Barcelona when we get to La Liga, but what a relief that one player has left Barcelona. I mean, I'm happy for Kotino himself. He was completely lost in Barcelona. At least he came to Aston Villa and hopefully found his magical touch and hopefully has a better career in the next four or five years. So, yeah, that's pretty much the season right now, guys. I mean, top four, as we discussed, man, City spinning pretty much. You can very well handle that profit to them. Liverpool can get closer. Even if they win the match in hand, they probably can get closer. But I don't see City losing eight points. That is not happening. I don't think that's happening at all. I mean, City, they have cracked this Christmas season brilliantly in the last three or four seasons. In fact, all the seasons when they have won the title, this is the time where they actually put the pressure on the pedal. This is when they actually go on the run. Twelve match, 15 match, 20 match run where teams actually slack off due to the number of games due to the fixture pilot. A lot of teams slack off, but this is where City actually put the pressure on the pedal and go on this victory. And so City pretty much winning. Liverpool, Chelsea, you can pick either or it's just a coin toss between Liverpool and Chelsea, who could be second and third and pretty much Lupon and Chelsea are also, in my opinion, they've kind of given up on the League and started focusing on the Cups and the FA Cups and the Champions League fourth. Yes, there is definitely a very good race for the fourth position. I mean, that's something that I'm totally looking forward to. We have four really good teams who are fighting for it and then the relegation scrap, which is always fun to watch as long as your team is not fighting the relegation scrap. Hopefully all these games get played here. I mean, there's so many postponements happening in the last two or three weeks, it's a little disappointing. The North London Derby got postponed. And do you really think teams are postponding games because of Kobe? Because I personally feel some teams are misusing it. No. The Premier League has been touted as people who like the League that has been constantly misusing this leverage because USA's rule and a lot of the leagues have their own rules that if you have eleven players to field, you play a game. So if you look at the, you look at the La Liga, it's not like there's no covered in those countries. They have been very strict. If you remember there was one bastard game where they literally offer you, but they played and that's full respect because if you're a big club and the Premier League is the rich, they have so many players in their squad list. Of course they can put up a squad. I think it's a lot of excuse because they have the amount of broadcasting rights they have. I think it's tied down to that. But like North London Derby getting skipped when actually it matters. Ten games down the line where Tottenham or Astronaut don't have a shot for a top four, this game might not be so interesting. That's true. So all those things put into context, I think it's a bad move by the Premier League authorities. They should take you from the other European leads. Great guys, enough of EPL. Let's move on to La Liga. There is a slight title race happening. Real Madrid definitely on top. They are fresh after winning the Supercopa, the second Supercopa in the last three years. In fact, the second new format Super Copa, I would say happen that Saudi Arabia. Don't ask why. They defeated Athletic Club in the finals, two nil. They defeated Barcelona the semi finals, three, two. But the League, they have a five point lead and the second team is severely on who's actually performing really well. They lost their Copadels game against Pettis, which is a drama in itself. And they also got knocked out of the Champions League. Well, they are in their favorite League. They are in Europa League, which they love. But yeah, from Sevilla's point of view, it is a failure. But they are a shoo in when it comes to the League title. They have one game in hand which they are playing tonight. They're playing against Sevilla. If I'm not sorry, Valencia, if I'm not wrong and they have their head to head game against Ryan Muddy. So do you see a title race or is this the usual severe year who do very well in the first half but towards the end, they paid off. So I'm very superstitious about Real Madrid and Juicing anything. So I'm not going to say anything, but I think Real Madrid when it matters. And if you see in the last couple of months, every single tough game they've had, their one, they lost to the likes of Espanol and Kadik, which are like or get a as well in the first game of 2022, right? Like Anomalies, I would say. But when Riyadh Madrid up playing Servya, they played severely. A month and a half ago, they beat Sevilla. All the competitors they played, they went into. I think there was a ten match streak where they played the entire top five of the League and they beat all of them. So if you look at Ancilorty squad that he puts up for these big games, all the players that have left are the only players missing from the squad of the Decima.

Participant #1:
Everyone who's not there has just left. They don't play for anymore. Barring, Marcelo, you've seen a resurgence of Venezuela, who before me right now in the top three best players in the world right now in terms of form, I don't know what Angelotti has done to Venice because last year he could not shoot and this year he cannot stop scoring and he's scoring great goals. Like great finishes. Benzema has been Benzema like. There was a stat that Benzema finishes combined has caught more gold than Barcelona this season. It's been a great season for Madrid, but it's also been a very poor season for the likes of Atlantic Madrid and obviously Barcelona. I still don't consider Sevilla title contender because in my mind I'm always worried, like when Bossa wins the game, I'm like, what the points difference is reduced, but then I look at the table, it's like 18 points. So it's a psychological thing. I hope I have the same problem I do and they grew up in midway. But yeah, it's been interesting. We are the favorites, without a doubt, but anything can happen. But let's move on to your club. Last time we spoke, Xavi Hernandez was outed to become Barcelona manager. He has now not only become manager, his honeymoon period at Barcelona is over. But I feel and what do you think about it? The media is so in love with Zavi that even a loss with Real Madrid was treated like a victory in the catalunion newspapers everywhere because this, quote, who goes against the best team in Spain? What do you think about Barcelona right now? Well, see, it's about expectations versus reality, because nobody expected Barcelona to go even and compete against Real. So the fact that they drag that game to extra time and lost an extra time was a positive. Obviously, a loss is a loss at any point. I mean, loss is a loss. There is no argument there. But yeah, the way they perform, the performance was better. So that's why probably the Catalan media was very positive and obviously they all love Chavezhavi is their star boy. So obviously the criticism on Chave will be very less and everyone expected that. Also when Chave came in, pretty much every part of the Catalan media and the Spanish media kind of laid down the rules that Chavez will be given time. It won't be right to judge him based on only this season's performance. And also they have done some decent business. They were able to send Philip Coutinho on a loan to Aston Villa. They were able to resign. Samuel Lumtoti revised his contract. Who is again injured, who will again miss about pretty much the rest of the season. So they were able to sign Ferrantorres and register. So now when it comes to Barcelona, right now it's not just on the signing players, it's signing and registering players. Barcelona taught me a lot about how transfers work. I didn't know about the registration.

Participant #1:
Half of Spanish football fans have understood how football finances work. Thanks to Barcelona in the last one and a half years, one and a half million debt. How can they sign 100% case? It's a case study that every B school should have on how not to run a sports club, a sports business. It should be a mandatory case study. I would say. Where Barson, where and where barsona are right now there's a slight improvement, but again, definitely not where they want to be. But when it comes to this season's objectives, they're still in line. Top four is still something that they can achieve. They are just two points, in fact, one point away from top four. Athletic Tickle Monitor as you pointed out, having a terrible season. Pretty much they have the best quad, but they are having a terrible season. My opinion, the penultimate season for Semillion. Maybe this season, maybe one more season. I think he'll be gone after it. Bettes.

Participant #1:
Yeah, it's going bad for him. Battis. Pretty much. They are the surprise factor of this entire season. They are doing really well. Pellegrini showing once again to the entire world that he is not done yet. So if your dad, they have been consistently doing good. Riocano from nowhere. They have been exceptional. In fact, they have the best home form in all of the top five European leagues. Rio Vayakano, it's not real Motor, it's not Buy and Munich, it's Rio Vayakano. They have the best home form. It's Falcon, it's Falcao. Exactly. And you know who is one of the most improved players in La Liga this season? Obviously, I'm not looking at Venezuela Hector Belarin. Oh, Hector Belarin. He has done really well. I mean, Arsenal fans might have different opinion about it, but yeah, Baron has done really well for better. So yeah, that's where we are right now with Laga guys. Real Madrid on top with 49 points, Sevilla with a game in hand, 44 points. They are playing Valencia on Wednesday night, Thursday, early morning. Indian time. Betty third, Atletico Fourth Society at fifth and Barcelona 6th. So hopefully we will see a much tighter race for 34561 and two are pretty much sorted. So hopefully we'll see a title race and a 3456 race in La Liga. So enough of La Liga, enough of EPL. Let's move on to Saria where there is an excellent title race going on. When we spoke last time Napoli was pretty much having a great form and they had a few losses but right now they are in third. The toppers are Intermalan. How impressed are you with in Zagi? I had my doubts but man, he is brilliant. What he has done to that squad, it's very difficult and I realized if it's facts and so any team that Conte leaves goes into this phase of disaster. Post is similar to Mourinho because they can completely break a squad. But what Moni Nzagi has done is made the site better after losing almost two of their best players under context Astra Faqimi and Lukaku, as well as if you want to count Ericsson, right. So the three very important players for it and they're now better because they now win in multiple ways. Contrary has one specific style of winning. Simone understands the opponent and can beat you accordingly. Yes, their form in the Champions League is not very good but in the series they've been very consistent. They win the big games, they've been doing that consistently and they've been doing that very well. Eden Zeko, when will you retire? I don't know. He's doing so well. Rota Martinez is amazing and then they've got this Tony guy, man. Like have you seen that Tony Plague? It reminds me of the age old Italian behemoth defenders who can score. He's amazing, super ways. He's like Barassy, if you remember, he's one of Kante's gems. Like Kante actually developed. As you said, some of the smart signings. You rightly pointed out that they lost three of their play base players. I mean Hakimi, Eriksen and Lukaku. And look at the replacements they bought. Tensile Dumfries. Very smart signing. Eden Jacob. At that time a lot of people were had a lot of doubts. You just pen force. Why are you signing a 35 year old striker to replace Hot Lukaku? But Jeko has I think more goals than Lukaku in the season. I mean if you look at Lucako for Chelsea and Jacob for Inter Chaloglu, what a smart signing from Milan, from AC Milan to Inter Milan. Again, he has done pretty well. So Inter Milan, they are on top right now. They are two points away from AC Milan whom we'll talk about who are again impressing. I mean I'm pretty impressed with AC Milan also, unfortunately they lost their game against Pet CI yesterday against the run of play. But yeah, at this point of time they are my favorites. But not far behind AC Milan who have found this new lease of life Zlatan once again showing what a true leader he is. He's again talking about Jeko, we don't know when he's going to retire. I don't know when is he going to retire. He's still scoring goals for them. And did you see the game yesterday? That referee made a horrible mistake. So he blew the whistle for a foul. He didn't play advantage and by the time he blew the whistle, a second after he blew the whistle, Miller actually scored the goal. So the goal got chopped off and the reaction was so brilliant. Like Theo Hernandez literally held the referee's face and he was going like what the fuck did he just do? But to be fair to the referee, he held his hand up and he said I made a mistake, I'm sorry. But on the other side went Milan. Let's get to Milan right now. Do you think they can challenge or they'll fall short? Because remember they don't have Championship, they don't have European, they have no European action. No, I'm very confident that they can challenge because they have a great squad. It's not just Latin, they've got CAA who's probably the most sought after midfielders right now in Europe in terms of defensive midfield. So they've got a really good squad in terms of Theo Nanda,

Participant #1:
forward, not brain. Wow, he's a talent man. He's a talent, right. And he was always like prospect. But this year he's been playing and he has been scoring quite a lot of goals. So they've got a squad going on. And as you said, they don't have the pressure of other tournaments, other cups. So their full focus is serious, which is not going to be like interview I think have Europa League to think about. So I think they will challenge interval still be favorite for me. But if Milan will be very close this season and because Eventus will not be breathing down anyone's life this season, I think it will give them more room to breathe and actually place them and play with at ease. So there is an interesting race going on between three, four, five. I mean Napoli, we can still have a shoe for the second spot in Sinier. I mean he will be gone after this season. He is going to Toronto. That's public news right now. That's public news right now. Atlanta Hua are fighting for the fourth spot. But Roma, I am extremely I thought like Maureen, you still have one final shot. But I think it's that, I mean serious has become so weird right now where Atlanta and Inter are producing nilnil draws, whereas a more Union and allegory game was three four. But let's talk about that game. That game I think was the best game of the season. I swear to God, I saw that game. Unbelievable. And you're completely right. Who would have thought an allegory versus Mourinho would be a four three? Like no way in hell, right? But I feel Mourinho is like a bad stock trader. He joins teams at the wrong time. He joined Roma when the area is being resurgent and every team is really strong now, right? It's not when Roma enter and the only 3D team when Milan start. So I think it's done for him. I think he just needs a national team job. I think that's his next foray. He's not going to be looking into clubs after this. He might last this season, might do another season with Roma based on the results, but it's not going to go for him. So also let me talk about what do you think? When we last spoke, you went bad, really bad. And we both said that allegory has always done this but let's be very honest, they've not become very good. They're still pretty bad. Yeah, they are bad. But then Dabala has actually kind of come into some kind of form when there is contract tax happening. Like you will definitely see Dabala performing really well on the field. So dear Baller has been supposed to leave you venture for the last five, six years. He was supposed to go to Barcelona, he was supposed to go to Tottenham, he was supposed to go to Bay and he was supposed to go to Manchester United. Like he's been in Juventus forever and looks like he may sign a new deal with events again. But coming back to Juventus, they are able to find some results, they are able to spring some results like the one against Roma being three one down. They were able to get back and win four, three. But their biggest loss of the season has to be KS injury, not just Juventus loss, it's Italy's loss also because they might be playing Portugal in their World Cup playoffs and KFC, I mean we all know how important he is and how crucial his injury is going to affect you as chances of achieving top four and also in Champions League. So best of luck for UAE, hopefully. I don't think it might be. It's confirmed versus Portugal playoff. So they have a semi final and a final. So Italy and Portugal are in the same path. So Portugal are playing Turkey and Italy are playing North Macedonia. So if they both win their respective games, they'll be playing each other. And this time it's not a two legged game, it's one leg, it's one game, one leg out. Yeah, it's a direct knockout so anything can happen. So as I was saying, Kiesa such a crucial figure for Italy and for UBI. So hopefully UBI can find some other inspiration from some other player and post a very good top four fight. So that is it for Seria. Inter right now on top, AC Milan second, Napoli third and Atlanta on Ford. Now Bundesliga, nothing much has changed. It's Buy and still all the way. In fact, just an update. Guy Lewandowski Deservingly won the FIFA men's best player of the year for the second consecutive year. Obviously there is no surprise there. This man has been in amazing form again. But 20 goals, 22 goals and 18 games or something like that. I mean, he's a machine man, he's just a machine. But there is a machine that is coming up in Italy, Dusan Lavich, who got an unbelievable scoring recorder. But the one thing which really pissed me off with the best awards is that in the best eleven of the year, Benzema was not in the squad and I could not believe how you cannot have Benzema on Sala, not in the sport.

Participant #1:
It depends. If you're going with Ralph Randy's formation for the best eleven, then I understand because that team will probably lose. You saw the formation.

Participant #1:
Okay, see, I thought like three, three, four. Because they had messy Ronaldo, Holland and Levin. I thought you were talking about Dragon formation. No. Even in the women's best level, there was no bars on a player. Like, how come you can have. There was no bars. There was not a single Bar Stoner player. But in the final top three best players, there were two bars on a player. I don't understand this logic of FIFA probe level. Anyways, going back to Bundesliga, Dortmund and Bayern are easily the top two. Dortmund has a minor chance. No, that's not happening.

Participant #1:
Sorry. Dortmund have no chance. But the only game buy and loses is again Boris, Monster and Gladback. Otherwise they don't lose anything every season. This is the same case. Other than early Holland, there's nothing to notice about Dortmund because their defense is nonexistent. So it's buyins League, it's buying world. We all live in it in a way. They can do what they want. So nothing much to talk about. Nothing much has changed since we last spoke as well. Yeah, and the top two are pretty much way above the rest. Buying on 46 points, dotted on 40 points. And there is an interesting file for the third and fourth position, which if you are a hardcore fan of Bundesliga, you can follow this Leverkusen Hoffman building. They all are in that fight. Leverkusen, again, as usual, have a lot of bright young talent who will move on to bigger clubs in another one or two years. So that is again, as Ishan was pointing out, it's business as usual in Bundesliga right now and I really don't want to discuss much about League. Psg pretty much shoe and they are like, I think 1015 out of 100 points. They'll probably wrap the League up in another five or six games. The one highlight in League, at least for PSG, is Sergio Ramos finally played a game for PSG. I think he started. He came in as a sub, I don't remember, but I think he did play a game for PSG. I want to say something. The one thing which has brought the normal fee is that Sergey is what a red card is. Yeah, everything is. But I think is this probably the lowest scoring, messy season since both of we've known each other? Yeah, definitely. I barely heard him score. He scored one goal in Liga so far, one goal. That has never happened. This has never happened. And he started practicing every game. Yeah, pretty much started every game. Initially, he didn't play a few games, but then he started a lot of games. And then in the last three or four weeks, he hasn't started because of Cobalt. But yeah, it's by far the worst goal scoring season for Mercy. So that's not a surprise. Great guy. So that's about it. For all the European football action, Champions League draws have been made, so we will have Champions League somewhere in February time AFCON was going on pretty interesting. Champions League draws are made twice. Yeah, that's also right. Another drama which we missed. Champions League draw made twice. We can do a separate episode of the Champions League draws. So that's happening in February, Afghanistan going on the African Cup of nations. A lot of good games. I mean, obviously, Indian viewers can't watch those games. None of them are telecasted live. So we will come back again next week and talk about all the rest of the football action and other action. Now, next section, we will do a quick speed point section and we'll wrap it up because we have taken a lot of your time.

Participant #1:
Welcome back to Sports Guys. We are in the speed point section where we will start with the Australian Open drama Novak Jokovich. Or should we say no wax Jokovich has been finally reported, guys, because this is an audio medium. You can't see Shawn's reaction to my Novax joke. For those who know Ishaan he just gave me your dead to me. Look. So yeah, no, Akjoku has finally been deported out of Australia. So correct me wrong. He can't play the next auction Open also. Right? So they say. But obviously Jockovic's legal team is now taking this matter to court. And the other new update which happened today is that Roland Garrison also banned Novak Djokovic unless he shows his vaccinations certificate, which is the origin of the problem at the Australian Open. I don't know what to say. We're not going to talk too much about it, but I'm on the fence on this because I'm not a nomiac Jockovich fan and he doesn't do himself any favors by doing all of this. But should we or not suspend abilities? It's very silly to me. It's very silly because as a country, they have a law and I'm fine with the Australian government and the Australian authorities taking a strong action against it. I don't have a problem. But yeah, as you Shawn pointed out, that's why the problem is Joko, which is not vaccinated and doesn't want to get vaccinated. That is one problem. And another problem is he tested positive, yet he attended a public event. So that added more problems to his case and eventually he got deported. So Austrian Open have started. It's been two days. And as we all know, like every other Grand Slam, the real action begins from the second week onward. So we will bring you all the updates as a tournament to move along. All right, let's move on to NBA. We have a significant number of games being played. There's still a large portion of the season yet to be completed. But where we are right now Ishan in terms of the favorites, in terms of players, what's happening? So I'm going to give you a quick just a lot of things have happened, obviously, because so many games in the NBA season, we are almost at the midway before the All Star break. On the Eastern Conference, we've seen the 76th come up with all the drama they had at the initial start of the season with Ben Simmons being saying that he won't play because he has mental health issues to now being top of the Eastern Conference, which is great. The Bucks are doing well as well. But on the Western Conference, you've seen the resurgence of the Golden State Warriors. And I called it at the beginning of the season with Steph Curry back into form and the way their team is structured in. Clay Thompson has returned after two years out from an ACL injury. So now the Splash brothers are back. It's amazing the Lakers still suck. Unfortunately, they're an aging squad. But LeBron James and LeBron James is going to get the Lakers somehow into the playoffs. And then the Lakers in the playoffs is a different team. So quick highlights. I'm going to do more detailed analysis, upsets great players, MVP candidates. There are too many things to talk about for the NBA will do that in the next episode when we have some time. Laksha Sen has won the Indian Open Batman men's singles title, whereas Jiraj Shatti and Saturday Saraj won the men's double Championships. So Congratulations, guys. Wonderful achievement. Pv Sundar Unfortunately missed out. She lost to the semi finals. So the next tournament is part of the Saudwi International. So all Batman fans watch out for that. All right, guys, that's about it for season two, episode one. Thank you very much for listening, guys. We had fun recording it. Hope you had fun listening to it. And hopefully for the next episode onwards, we will bring a more shorter version, a more concise version. Obviously, this was a longer one because we ourselves had a lot to catch up in terms of what happened in the last one and a half months. Thank you very much Ishaan for staying up so late in spite of all the things that are happening around in your life. And good to see you again, man. And thank you very much to all the listeners. We will see you next week. And until then, it's bye from Bala and bye from Ishan guys see you next week. Thank you everyone for listening. If you enjoyed what you heard, please make sure you hit the subscribe button and also please like we are literally begging to read our podcast on whichever app you are listening to. It not only helps us but also helps new listeners to find our podcast easily. You can also reach out to us on Twitter and Instagram at the ratesports a big shout out to the jam room audio for our theme music. You can follow the jam room on Facebook at the rate the jam room audio. Bye.