I know I've titled this post the Big Game, but it could just as easily be called the Beautiful Game. Football is fast filling the void left in my heart by cricket. India's galling performances rankle less and less every day, to the extent I don't care about it anymore except to suggest that maybe they should just stop playing altogether. Or atleast not go to the World Cup next year so as to save some billion Indians from embarrassment. But I suppose no-one cares as long as the BCCI keeps getting richer.
As far away as I want to be from this, I can't help being drawn into the whole Greg Chappelle debate. Which was what led me to make the football comparison: there is NO WAY, and by that I mean a snowball's chance in hell, that Chappelle would still be coach were this a football side. In many situations the disposable nature of the coach is lamentable, because as often as not all the coach needs is time. But if the team in question is one of the giants (i.e. India, here) and the coach has been around for two years with only a steady decline in performance, there is absolutely no doubt that he would've been replaced well before now. I'm even willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he really believes that all the tinkering will eventually come together. But that just means the man has no awareness of whats good and bad in the game of cricket anymore, atleast not beyond his own ego.
Contrast this with two of the most successful current managers in football: Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. Very different men both, and the way their teams are playing is very different as well. A top of the table clash is always exciting, and Chelsea V. Man Utd had all the makings of a classic, thankfully lacking the edge that makes Arsenal - Man Utd games so mean spirited.
And it was a good game. Though it invariably did not quite live up to the hype, you got see United dominate Chelsea in the first half and then vice versa in the second. My concern that United will ultimately lose out to Chelsea because of Chelsea's depth was demonstrated yesterday by that second half performance. Mourinho's bench strength must be the envy of every Premiership manager right now. Hopefully United can set things right in January when the transfer window opens.
As of now: Kudos to both teams, and may the best man, so to speak, win.