On Pep’s 2017.

Pep has finished the first half of the 2017/18 season in England by winning 19 and drawing 2. That didn’t happen in his time in Spain (where he had arguably the best team in history), neither did it happen in Germany. Before his arrival in England, many people who argue that the English league is only competitive because you have a group of average teams all going for the title said that Pep was going to sweep the league away in style, but that didn’t go as planned for many reasons. The most obvious was an aged squad and “time.”

When Pep said many times in his press conference last season that his team will improve in the boxes, he knew very well that his team had defensive and finishing issues. He addressed the defensive issues by bringing in Walker, Danilo, Mendy and Ederson. He solved the finishing issues tactically by improving the positional play of Sane and Sterling. What De Bruyne is doing doesn’t surprise me because everyone who watches football know his quality.

I saw a very interesting tweet which suggested that Pep hasn’t done anything extraordinary because a lot was put in place for his arrival; to make his job easy. Well before I go on, I want to ask the same question Tim Sherwood asked … “how many of Man City’s defense will get into the teams of Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham?” No way United will accept Ederson over De Gea. Mangala won’t be good enough to replace Smalling or Bailly, neither will Otamendi. Can Delph replace Davies or Alonso? The list can go on. I won’t move up the pitch because I acknowledge that Man City has some of the best midfielders and a proven finisher in Aguero. The point I’m trying to make is, Pep hasn’t assembled the modern day galacticos to achieve 19W 2D 0L.

What he has done is to adapt to the quality of the squad he met, signed those he needed (Nolito didn’t work out though), improve positional play and ball retention. When Mendy got injured, I saw Danilo as his obvious replacement but that wasn’t the case for Pep. In stepped Delph; a tactically disciplined midfielder, whose role is completely different from Mendy’s. One thing Pep does well is his desire to give his team an identity. At Barcelona & Bayern we could identify his teams because they had a style. This City team has the similar style. What’s more fascinating is, this City is no where near as strong on paper as his Bayern or Barca teams. So, to do what he’s doing, in the leagues many believe to be the most difficult in the world, is remarkable.

I don’t mind if Pep doesn’t gets the credit he deserves. I mean, he doesn’t even care really. This team hasn’t won anything yet. All he cares about is his team playing well in the next game. I appreciate good football, I love his approach to games. He’s the only reason why I took interest in the EPL last season, and he’s the reason why I support Man City. His team will get better, even with some major injuries because he’s always finding profound solutions for complicated problems and that’s why history will remember him as one of the managers who revolutionized how football should be played.

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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.

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