The draw of the champions league quarterfinal created some excitement for soccer fans around the world. The premier league clubs Chelsea and Manchester United face off for a battle of England. Alone this set-up is promising soccer at its finest. No less excitement for the third English club in the competition: Spurs are facing Real Madrid! And, they were lucky, the first game is in Madrid. Spurs have a great chance to advance into the semis. While Real is a great team and getting better every month, they are still everything else than solid in defense. Of all the attractive opponents, this is the best Spurs could get. A great name and no further motivation needed and a chance to win. Paradise for every coach and player. Good luck, Spurs!
Barca drew the, on paper, least attractive opponent for the quarter-final. Donetsk is not necessarily a cracker in European soccer. However, they are dangerous and can give Barca lots of trouble. The outcome of this duel is not as clear as it looks like. The first game is played in Barcelona and that is an advantage for the Russians. Barca needs to be ready for a “hot dance”.
While Bayern Munich is probably in tears at this moment, Inter Milan is smiling all over their face. They clearly, if that can be said of a quarter-final, drew the easiest team in the pott. Schalke at this stage, is not a team that can create fear. With all the troubles from the past week and the way things in Schalke go after such events, they will still be trying to force themselves out of the “chicken stable” they put themselves in to. There chance is the goalie Neuer and a goal from Raul. Without those two doing magic, they have no chance.
Inter Milan will make the semi-final and most likely Barca. The two other games are completely open. Awesome!
Cole off the hook
Ashley Cole just got a break from some of his headaches. After shooting a student on Chelsea’s training ground with an air gun, investigations were stopped. Charges were never pressed. Cole brought an air gun to the training ground and accidentally shot a student. He claimed he didn’t know the gun was loaded. The question is, why did he bring an air gun to practice? Some people!
Fabregas facing not so happy times
Ces Fabregas saw better times. Injury and missing the Carling Cup final, not being fit and playing his “love” Barca, helping Barca to a goal and now missing the FA Cup clash against Manchester United. According to Wenger, Fabregas is very disappointed. Dear Ces, don’t be disappointed, there is worse in life. You will one day lift a trophy as an Arsenal captain and possibly have another chance to play Barca, unless he is leaving in the summer. Is he?
Bayern and Schalke firing their coaches
Bayern Munich has fired coach van Gaal, not immediately, but to the end of the season. Probably because no one else was available. One is surprised van Gaal is playing this game. The Dutch coach has contract until the end of season 2012, but faced headwinds due to a few losses after their last Champions League win against Inter. After the Inter game Bayern lost against the future German Champ Dortmund and the Cup semi final against Schalke 04, both at home. They also lost the important game against Hanover in their efforts to secure second or third in the Bundesliga. Champions League participation for the next season is in jeopardy, which equals an earthquake in Munich.
Schalke is desperately trying to get rid of Felix Magath. The coach/manager has too much power, according to some board members and members of the club. While the club has no chance for glory in the Bundesliga, Schalke is in the German cup final and just advanced to the quarterfinal in the Champions League. Magath has spent Millions on creating a competitive squad and many board and club members don’t like the debt that was created. Debt combined with lack of success in the Bundesliga, Magath’s power in the club and the incredible success of Schalke’s biggest rival a few miles down the road, Borussia Dortmund, has triggered an incredible campaign against Magath. Schalke is known in Germany for their escapades in management and trouble is always luring around the corner. Success or not is not the issue with the club.