Let’s Question Pep’s Defense.

It was May 27, 2009. Stadio Olimpico, Rome. Barcelona had reached the Champions League final, losing only their final group stage match against Shakhtar Donetsk. That year, the football world was always jaw-dropping at how Barcelona won. Teams were not only losing against them, but losing heavily. Aggregate scores like 6-3 and 5-1 against Lyon and Bayern Munich respectively at the knockout stages, meant Barca were favorites against Chelsea. Chelsea though, had a renowned defensive setup; Cole, Terry, Alex, Essien (as a CDM), proved impregnable at the Camp Nuo. The aftermath of the return fixture was dominated by Tom Henning Ovrebo and Iniesta’s equalizer (fair enough). But Pep had a problem to address before the final.

Barca played that game with only 3 real defenders and 2 of them were not going to be available for the final. Abidal was sent off and Alves took a third yellow in the competition. Marquez was out for the rest of the season. Barca was left with Puyol, Pique, Sylvinho (aged 35 then) and Martin Caceres (who was having a terrible season) for the final. Going against a Manchester United side with a prolific attack in Ronaldo, Rooney and Giggs, the pundits had Barca’s defense all figured out. But Pep Guardiola, the greatest Manager of his generation, had other ideas.

Pep decided the game on paper, by conjuring a tactic that will send home Manchester United disunited. It looked frail on paper though I must admit; two veterans, Puyol and Sylvinho, on the flanks against Ronaldo and Giggs … ridiculous! Yaya Toure then had to replace Puyol in the heart of defense and his position was to be held by Busquets who had only been promoted to first team that season. The rest was a Pep tactical masterclass and a champions league title.

Fast forward to 2017 and many pundits still think to find a weakness in Pep’s team is to look at his back four and his goalkeeper; the high line they keep … a goalkeeper who plays out from the back. In his first season, the problem his team had was more of not being able to finish chances in my opinion. Yes, City had fullbacks who were aged, but most of the games City lost or drew, they lost or drew because they failed to take their chances. Pep said this many times in his press conferences. When he went on a 10-games winning streak (in all competitions) in his first season, he got carried away (he confirmed this in his interview with Gary Lineker) and underrated the intensity & the physicality of the EPL. He could get away with a game or two with those aged fullbacks, but missed chances always made his defensive setup look bad. Believers in the good old theory about the EPL, that “to win the EPL, you need world class defenders and a “De Gea” goalkeeper” went like … “didn’t I tell you?!” Well, you did, but you didn’t think City’s defense can’t go on a 16-games winning streak.

We can all agree Ederson and Walker have made this City team better, but it’s the same slow paced, hot headed Otamendi in the back four, and a Delph, who is not a traditional left back. Give this back four to any other Manager and the story will certainly not be 16 straight wins in the most competitive league in the world. When the season started, the pundits kept saying “if Kompany can stay fit” and they’ve swallowed their words because Kompany hasn’t been fit and this team keeps going. When Stones got injured, they said that this City team is now going to struggle at the back because Mangala, Otamendi’s clone (just a bit faster), was no good, but the team keeps going.

Well, let’s keep questioning Pep’s defense.

Advertisements

Destiny 2: What MUST NOT Be Repeated From Destiny Rise of Iron

I am not an ardent gamer, but I love Destiny because it is the best shooter game out there. I tried Call of Duty (Advanced Warfare) and it did not go so well. Destiny is far more detailed and quiet technical. That explains why some find it boring, but to be frank though, it is not a game for everyone. If you are not willing to commit to knowing the game by Googling something you do not understand about it, then Destiny is not for you. It’s 2017 and Destiny fans are all excited about Destiny 2, but here are some changes I would like to see if Rise of Iron is to be the benchmark. Bungie, take note!

1. Better Armor for Female Characters

I have two female characters (Hunter and Titan) and One male character (Warlock). Anytime I load my Titan, the armor available for her is so terrible I just have to stick to the Iron Banner armor all the time (even that, the leg armor is terrible). Armor for female Hunters and Warlocks are better than what is available for Titans, but even theirs can still be better.

2. Ability to Gift Items

Look, it’s not everything we loot that we have use for. I do not like hand cannons and fusion rifles, but those are found useful by some other friends. Sometimes I just have to dismantle for legendary coins, if the item is a legendary one. Bungie should incorporate the ability to gift in Destiny 2. To be fair, they can pin the light of all gift items to say 3 (except those without light) so that the receiver upgrades it, else those with less light may have items they have not really earned so (yeah, I said it, but that’s why its a gift). I really want to be able to be able to gift or receive some strange coins, weapon parts, armor or even hadium flakes!

3. Make Swords a Second Primary Weapon

I still don’t know why swords must fall under Heavy Weapons. I believe a guardian can carry a sword and a Rocket Launcher. If they create a forth weapon category for just swords, it will be great.

4. Fireteams

Maxing out a fireteam to 3 guardians is not ideal in my opinion. Sometimes 4 players want to do a mission together and that is not possible. I also do not support 6 guardians for Raids. I have been playing Destiny for at least, 2 years now and I have done Raid on just two occasions because I could not find 5 other players; timezone.

[Destiny] How to get Exotic Shard easily. 

For newbies, “what on earth is that” will come with that disappointment look when Exotic Weapon Blueprints are accessed in the Hall of Guardians, especially when you have a pile of Glimmer and need just one Exotic Shard to acquire an Exotic item.

I’ve been playing Destiny for a while now and I’m yet to come across any exotic shard (i.e. getting rewarded with it like Legendary Marks). If you’ll want to get it through playing, you’ll probably play forever and have about 1 under your belt … for effort maybe. Let’s just get straight to it.

1. Download “Where is Xur?” from the PlayStore … it’s not available on iOS yet I’m sorry.  Continue reading

Twitter Verification; Why Your Request Will Be Declined

Twitter.pngThe only blue tick the coolkids acknowledge is that of Twitter. You’d want one, every ardent Twitter user wants one, but the truth is you won’t get one. There’s a reason why only 0.06% of active users are verified. Forget your ability to amass followers, forget all the sense you tweet, forget your 10k+ RTs … you’re just not going to get verified my dear follower.

To get verified though, your account must have;  Continue reading

HTC 10 Impressions

… before we get on with that, I received a $100 promo code from HTC to preorder or buy the HTC 10. Why? Well, they just said “for being an HTC customer.” My first HTC device was T-Mobile’s G1. I did not buy it when it was released, I bought it used in 2009. The battery performance was so abysmal I sold it after 4 days. Then came 2011, when I had the chance to purchase the Droid Incredible. That device was good. I sold it and downgraded to Wildfire S that same year; slow and buggy OS. I sold it and got myself either the Droid Incredible 2 or the Incredible S (can’t seem to be sure) … that was in 2012. That same year, I traded that (whichever device that was) for HTC SENSATION! That was it! I used that phone until 2013 when I traded it for a new HTC One XL (my first ever new in a box HTC). That phone was everything amazing, until dumsor bricked it beyond repair. I had to save for the ONLY phone then, the HTC One (aka M7)! There! That! I had finally found the perfect device. Premium feel, built tougher than a Hummer Limousine and a UI so beautiful you could just look at your screen for minutes without running any app. Then came a tweaked version of the One, M8, which was everything perfect but for the camera and I’ve stucked with that since.

Usually “Impressions” blogs or vlogs requires some hands-on experience. I had the chance to set-up the HTC 10 for my boss, so yeah, we can do this. Continue reading

Top 3 Android N Features 

It’s been announced! Too soon? I agree. Pick 10 android users and 8 will tell you that what they dislike most about the OS is delayed updates. If you want updates quickly, you’d probably have to risk rooting your device (and in most cases void your warranty) in other to flashing a Cyanogen or other custom ROMs. If you ball with HTC, then you can risk unlocking the bootloader to convert your device into a developer edition in other to receive OTA updates quickly. What I can guarantee is that this cycle will continue until you get an iPhone in frustration.

I’ve been using Android M on my HTC One M8 since January … the most significant tweak from Android L has been battery life. The M8 however wasn’t made for Android M. It’s not USB Type-C enabled, neither does it have a fingerprint scanner. So those kickass features Android M promises cannot be experienced on my device. I’m not therefore in a good position to judge Android M beyond the basic tweaks. The worst tweak I’ve come to accept with M is the emojis! They are horrible, and I hope Google goes back for the Lollipop emojis in Android N (if that falls under HTC Sense, which I doubt, then HTC should fix it). Continue reading

Why You Should Ditch Whatsapp for Signal

Signal is reportedly the messaging app Edward Snowden uses for its security features; the ability to send and receive encrypted messages, plus the freedom to prevent whoever you’re chatting with from taking screenshots of your conversation. Also, the Signal servers do not have access to your conversations, neither do they store any of your data. To prove this, they made it open source! This is not another Telegraph, or another Whatsapp clone (btw, servers of those apps have access to your conversations and stores your data). This app fixes everything you probably hate about Whatsapp. Last week, one of the brains behind this app was hired by Apple to augment their security team. Continue reading