Thursday, September 30, 2004

John Nicholson: Rooney blows my mind like mushrooms

I've long been a fan of John Nicholson's column on Football365, but this time he exceeded himself...

"He looks like a creature of Middle Earth with funny little ears and a globular head. His skin seems strange like a shape-shifter who has not quite got his 'human' right yet. His eyes look unworldy and seem to peer from behind his face like a pair of eyes moving behind a painting in Scooby Doo."

Read it here.


As expected...

Moaninho's side beat Porto by a clear 3-1. And that's not only his merit, it's mostly Porto defence's...

This team (Porto) is just a very pale image of what it was. The brand new brasilian soon-to-be-stars (and probably sold to some Italian or Spanish team in the process) are just not used to this type of football yet. Luis Fabiano and Diego came to Porto for astonishing prices, and they're just not delivering. Diego cost about 13m € and frankly, he's not half of Deco.

I'm not a follower of Brasilian football, so I'll have to ask someone to explain it to me: is football in Brasil really that soft? Every year a new batch of Brasilian players roam to Portuguese teams, hoping to triumph in Europe and, if they're really good, be sold to Barça, Milan, Real, etc... And every year people say that they take some time to get used to European Football. Is it really that different? Do they play with square balls in Brasil?

When playing in Europe for the first few matches they always seem so disconnected from the rest of the play. Luis Fabiano, branded as a fantastic striker back home, just couldn't get to a single ball. It was Chelsea's defence, you might argue, but don't think he's doing better in Portugal against the likes of Guimarães (1-0, Costinha), Braga (1-1, Maniche) and Leiria (1-1, Quaresma). Diego has shown some value, but he has a long way to go before he can become useful.

If you see other brasilian players in the Portuguese league, who may not have the "star" brand on them yet, they're just so much more reliable. Luisão in Benfica had a pretty bad start to his european career, and now is one of the best brasilian defenders in the world, playing (and well) for the national team and being a solid rock in Benfica's defence. Rochemback, from Sporting, whose injury is widely blamed for his team's underperformance, has also claimed a firm spot in this team fully by own merit and not any media intervention.

These new Porto stars will have to start playing at a much higher level than they are now if they want to live up to the expectations they created themselves.

Anyway, a fully deserved victory for Chelsea, they will be very hard to beat by any team this year, and you can thank it to Mourinho. And Drogba seems to be settling down correctly now, he did a pretty good match yesterday.

Also worth mentioning:
AC Milan's struggle to get by Celtic at home;
Anderlecht's defeat at home to Inter (come on, these belgian guys only played one decent match this season, and it had to be against my Benfica?)
Deco's continuing improvements in Barça, showing everyone that didn't believe in him (Graeme Souness, are you reading this?) how good he really is;
CSKA Moscow proving that the 2nd place in the group will be hard to snatch;
And finally, Arsenal being slowed down by Rosenborg.

Goal Average: 2.875 or one goal less per match compared to yesterday. Still, it's not bad at all.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Este Pinto da Costa...

Há pessoas que vão longe para impedir os outros de fazerem bons negócios. Tão longe que deixam de ver os horizontes mais próximos.

Esta história do Porto ir buscar o Rossato para o pôr na prateleira e depois mandar para Espanha só para evitar que ele fosse para o Benfica é uma das histórias mais indecentes na história recente do futebol português.

E como se não bastasse, o gaijo está-se a safar muito bem em Espanha...

É bem feito, eu digo.
Goals goals goals

Jeezes, that was a great Champions League night! Real proving that they're still around, Rooney showing that Manyoo got a bargain for him (3 goals on his first match!), Kiev blasting Leverkusen, Bayern showing Ajax how to play ball and Liverpool beaten by Olimpyakos!!

Good impressions:
Figo - what a match!
Rooney - no words would do justice.
Makaay - almost the best. This guy should go and play somewhere with more global reach, today he caters only for the german and (proud) dutch TV market.
Goal average: 3.875 goals/match!

Bad impressions:
Ronaldo - still fast, still dangerous, but only 3-4 times per match. I wonder how much longer will he be able to keep Owen and Morientes on the bench?
Italian Football - Watching Roma play just kept reminding me of the Euro 2004 final between Greece and Portugal: 8 defenders. The only way to beat (over) defensive football is to do like Real yesterday and beat the crap out of them.

Tonight Chelsea's coach Moaninho will take on FC Porto and probably beat the hell out of them. Porto's been playing at about 50% of what it can, and though it has loads of money available and quite some brilliant stars-to-be in the group, it seems to be indisciplined, directionless, unambitious.

I would love to see Porto go far in the Champions League this year, but I'm starting to doubt it will be the case. Let's hope I get proven wrong.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Large projects also end

There's this huge huge huge project going on at xxxInfoWitheldxxx to implement CRM - the Delphi project. Some of my projects interact with this one, and one is directly related to it, but apart from this I always saw this project just as a big, costly, over-spent project.

Well, I tend to think like that about projects that spend over 2000 man/days per month, that have Big Blue, ex-Andersen (read Accenture) and some other more obscure large-scale body-shoppers involved.

The good news is: they have 3 weeks to get the damn thing finally working. And my God are they far from it.

What is it that makes me feel so good about watching those guys work like mad men, staying late and starting early - after spending over a year doing on-the-job-training - and getting their ears pulled off daily? I sure don't know but I'll keep enjoying it for at least 3 more weeks... ;-)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Mais um domingo à noite...

Esta casa por vezes parece um escritório de advogados. A Zé está de volta do laptop dela a acabar um documento, eu estou aqui no meu canto com o meu laptop a escrever aqui enquanto espero pelo meu mail, enfim...

A boneca já dorme, amanhã toca o sino cedo. E para alguns mais cedo que para outros... E entretanto o Benfica está a jogar com o Braga, estou a ouvir o relato pela TSF. Vamos lá a ver se eles continuam a ganhar.


Friday, September 24, 2004

I think I have found my replacement. Will schedule an interview and measure up the guy. That would be perfect news...

Rain and drain
Can someone - anyone - please explain me why Belgium roads don't have any draining capacity? It's not like it never rains around here, is it?

It's also the only country I know where when it starts raining you get more water from below than from above...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bolas com creme

Descobri hoje (shame on me) o Xelente site bolas com creme. Já há muito que não me ria assim com um website. Well done.
I'm getting close to the time to leave my company. 100 reasons to do it, only important one being that I'm sick and tired of putting my career before my family - which I've been very good at for the past 5 years.

Creating your own company is certainly fun, and can get you somewhere. If I see where we are now, compared to where we were 6 months ago, it's very easy to spot the trend. But it just eats your life away. And contrary to popular belief, I'm not filling up my pockets -- quite the opposite.

So, I decided it's about time I call it a day and go home. Any Technical Project Managers around looking for a good position in Brussels? Know of any company in The Hague looking for a very experienced Technical PM?

A big sense of sorrow goes through me when thinking of this - E-Solutions might end up going belly-up because of this decision (or so my partners say) and it's something I want to avoid at (almost) any cost. Too bad.

I'm getting back my life (and so is my wife and daughter).

OK, isto é tardíssimo, mas tem que ser feito.

Voltei a este blog. O meu antigo site vai ser abandonado, ligado também à minha "imminent departure" da E-Solutions e este volta a ser o meu sítio de poiso.

A correr, a correr: não está nada bem, estou cheio de merdas para resolver, vou mudar de país outra vez, o trabalho continua a correr muito bem.

Eu já volto.