Thursday, April 30, 2009
Parodi Tun Det

I haven't tried it before, and it seems to be somehow fashionable to write in that particular way. 'Che Det' way as they call it that is, but I am not sure my wit would be as clever as his in number form.


2. I turned myself quickly for missing the first number. The introduction above is meant to be numbered as first of the post. Okay I promise I'll start my points at number three.


3. It is actually quite hard to even try to elaborate your points in a confined space of numbered paragraph. It feels like being trapped in a jungle with your hands and feet tied by armed terrorists who are hiding from the powers that be.


4. I spent literally one and a half minute before starting with this number. Most people will ally number four with bad luck, as they have it in Chinese culture. But to think of it, Patrick Vieira captained the famous Highbury Invincibles in the remarkable 49 games unbeaten run wearing number four. Even so, getting goosebumps over discovering superstitious subject matter is quite an amusement.


5. I broke my promise to start writing some relevant points at three. This is what I do most of the time, especially in telling myself when to do work and crack on studying - I play a waiting game. I love to see the look on my face when the deadline is near at hand.


6. I love playing the game in relationship with opposite sex as well, but with not much positive results to swagger about. Anyway, you should give it a try.


7. Number six was actually a little trick to have more number in this post. It was in fact an extension to the fading elaboration of number five.


8. The privilege of wearing number eight usually given to holding midfielder who has the best control and flair to engineer a team's pace. Tenners are those who get most attention and money. Sevens usually play right midfielder and wear nice boots, while elevens roam the opposite flank, traditionally possess more speed than the righteys. I made them all up for it is not written anywhere in the official football paper. But it makes sense to me.


9. My target is to have as much as 10 number for a start. Well not that I will do this again, considering the obvious struggle I am having right now to make some sense.


10. A doctor by degree, a politician and a writer who writes casually in number form, Che Det is just amazing.


Have I made my point?

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 4:20 am | Permalink | 8 comments
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Ketuk Pintu

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Halim.

Halim who?

Alah buat-buat tak kenal pula.

Ha ha ha.

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 5:26 am | Permalink | 2 comments
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Merah Lawan Meghoh

In case you don't know, Malaysia FA Cup final is tonight. In case you don't know, Selangor will play Kelantan in the final. In case you don't know, KTM Komuter will end their service a little late tonight if you think driving to Bukit Jalil is a hassle. 


In case you don't know, it will be an epic match of hunger against history. Please fill the stadium dear Merah Kuning fans, for 40,000 east coast red army is set to go hog-wild about Bukit Jalil.


Something I found in my wallet. 


May this year be ours. Good luck Red Giants. 


In case you don't know, Malaysian football is where my heart is.

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 3:36 pm | Permalink | 8 comments
Kisah Stadium Trafford Tua

Kisah kedua kalau awak kisah kisah yang pertama.


*


Manchester United might be the most supported club in the world. The fans would easily gather and form a country bigger than Brazil, let alone Malaysia.


The latest ticket price rise announcement left all Devils rueing in utter disgust when capitalism gains mastery. While just few miles away, The Citizens are all smiley when their Arab owners announced seven percent reduction in ticket price, and few other Premier League clubs reported to follow suit, which left no wonder why more locals support Man City.


Maybe it is back to old cliche and simple rule of trade: you have to pay more to get more.


But in my book, none of that matters.


*


I travelled to Leeds by train and slept all the way. I reminded myself to make full use of my underused cheap digital camera to snap pictures of scenic farms en route, or at least take five to have some good time enjoying the view of woolly sheep lingering and horses jumping around.


Maybe I was too busy counting them as the next thing I knew was, a hot lady was sitting next to me and before I got to put myself together back, I had to get off the train.


*


Arsenal were a naughty team and Rafa Benitez might get it wrong to think that scoring equals winning. When a decent striker is on fire and the opposition team's defense sloppily trying to close down, expect a goal galore.


He has made attack the priority at this desperate times, at the cost of a tight defence.


I tried to be positive by pointing out individual mistakes as the main reason. It might be the case for the first 3 goals., but Arshavin's fourth goal proved me wrong and really got on my nerve.


I shook my head in disbelief over how fragile and careless the whole team, especially the defense was. The entire team grew giddy in pursuit of a winning goal and allowed themselves to be hit on the break, Theo Walcott being the villain to set up Arshavin's fourth.


I was tad disappointed with how Reds fared in the game they should have won. With Stevie G left on the bench at the worst of times, things are getting all easier and nicer for Manchester United.


On a positive note, it is good to see the transformation of a more attacking Kop, characterized by breakneck pace and brilliance of Torres and Benayoun up front.


I am just hoping Benitez would reappraise his defense this summer and look forward for next season and in the words of Tory leader David Cameron when he blasted the Government after the unsettling budget announcement, the season is dead, over and finished.


*


I had few years of romantic relationship with Manchester United before I fell in love and married to Liverpool.


Like any broken relationship, it is always an emotional moment upon walking down memory lane. When I knew I would soon be sitting on a seat of the Theatre of Dreams, I wished the 10 year old Izham Ismail is here with me to live the dream.


He might go crazy to see his hero in Ryan Giggs running along the flank, and executing some trickery just like his old days.


That's when I thought of Mukhlis, who still has the dream I once had.


*


National Express were generous with their cheap promotional fun fares and with just 6 quid, we travelled from Leeds to Manchester right after Mukhlis finished his epidemiology lecture (which I attended as well).


We met Ken on the bus, a red cap with Sir Bobby pin-clad old gentleman as he was going to watch United play as well. It is just another game in his 59 years of supporting Red Devils. He paid 3p (loosely converted as RM1.60) when he first watch United play at Old Trafford and he doesn't understand why it is so hard for so-called football fans to watch football at stadium but laying it on thick that they know every nook and cranny about the world of football and even boast that they are the biggest fan of a team.


He was a healthy man when he first came to Old Trafford and today he cheered for Red Devils from the famous Stretford End with his walking stick in company.


It is not about money, it is not about where you come from, it is not about how fit you are, it is about heart, speaking in a a thick Yorkshire accent - before I slept and woke up to lose him.


*


Old Trafford is massive and I am not surprised how they can systemize the stadium, home fans and visiting fans to watch football without a hitch, given the team's stature of numero uno in the world.



The fans were crazy, singing songs I have no idea about, shouting over players' fouls, cheering over beautiful completed passes, and getting excited over chances made, and above all, when chaotic when goals are scored.


Still, I was not quite impressed - not because I have seen them all on telly, but I just don't know why such magnitude the stadium has failed to overwhelm me.


*


The game at Anfield 24 hours earlier was breathtaking and full swing with emotional roller-coaster, and it effectively put Kop's on the backfoot in the title race as United cruised easily through a pretty straightforward match against Pompey.


But I think the only think that separated the team was those 2 goals, as United had to scramble back to top the standing, and didn't play a champion quality. But Rooney's early goal surely eased his team's nerves and Pompey were as good as they get in posing threat in United six-yard box, with Crouch winning everything in the air and Nadir Belhadj gracious footwork to trouble United's back four.


It was Scholes' 600th appearance and he made more impact in the last 599 games than this one. He played it too simple and was easily outshone by Anderson, who started very well before wore off in the second interval.


My man of the match is fellow old warhorse, Ryan Giggs who will make his 800th appearance for the club when they host Spurs this evening. That Macheda guy was not even born when Giggs made his first senior appearance for United. Giggs gets younger on the pitch and was magnificent in almost every department and ultimately upstaged Scholes in the night of nostalgia.


I've told you.


*


Though not particularly impressed, it was a privilege to be among the 74,895 attendance who made it to Old Trafford that night. Being one of millions Malaysian who throng to Kedai Mamak for live English football every week, it is crazier to imagine how privileged and lucky I was.


How I wished I could bring more United fans with me that night: Mukhlis, Pak Njang and family, Ayie, Thaksin, Fakhri, who share the same belief in United and most importantly, love United enough not to look down their nose at other teams.


I had hell of a good time nevertheless.


One millon dollar teka-teki, did I put my hands together when Rooney and Carrick scored?


P.S. Anfield, see you next season.


P.P.S. Disappointing digital camera equals to no pictures of players. I will try to curi Mukhlis' pictures when he put it up on Facebook.

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 2:47 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My Breakfast Show

Today I made myself roti canai, chicken curry and wash them down with teh tarik for breakfast. 


I switched the telly on for daily doze of news. 


Minutes later, with few drops of soy sauce, I slurped telur setengah masak noisily from a transparent cup. 


The news went for a commercial break and Malaysia Truly Asia advert made a feature.


I paused for a minute, and gulped the unfinished teh tarik.


I did the dishes, turned the telly off and went back into my room.


I rambled through Malaysian news online. Malaysian football news then followed.


Then only I decided to wash myself. 


Playlist Di-Raja was high-pitched with Aris Ariwatan and Awie when I was in the shower.


Minutes later, I found myself stuffed, squeaky clean and most importantly, all there for the day.


No matter how far I go, I start my day Malaysian. 


I hope the other 28 million too.


Seroja masih di kolam, remember?

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 4:28 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Monday, April 20, 2009
Touché

A former schoolmate of mine dream up an exciting idea as a way out of intense Premier League top four race for glory and a reasonable stop to any Premier League banter this season in his Facebook profile's status.

Sunil Shanaz Redzuan : to make it fair; how about arsenal winning the CL, chelsea winning the FA cup and since man utd already won the carling cup, let liverpool win the league. OK? :)

Works for me. 

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 1:58 pm | Permalink | 10 comments
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Eat And Drink, For Tomorrow We Will Die

Ah world of football is getting lively as the second half of the season looks to provide some exciting dramas and happenings. This undoubtedly be fitting to be my favorite period of the season, where competitions nearing the climax and battles are heated up on and off the field.


Suddenly everyone gets emotional and started to feel the heat as the pressure piles up. That might be the case in Alex Ferguson's duel with his Liverpool counterpart, accusing the latter for being arrogant and breaking the Reds' traditional dignified managerial demeanor. 


Liverpool have been knocked out from highly-publicised Champions League war, we know that. That leaves only 3 English clubs in the tournament, in their bid to prove English clubs' prowess in European football.


Ironically, only few Englishmen were seen traveling for it. Maybe the same explanation could be offered on why no English player was seen to be playing anywhere in Austria and Switzerland a year before. 


As usual, I would support the team that defeated Liverpool and put my money on them to clinch the silverware. There is one exception however, if the team is Manchester United. So I wish Chelsea the best of luck.


Let me just rephrase, I would like to wish any team other than Manchester United to do well in the semi-final.


I reckon we put too much light of publicity on English teams that we discard the brilliance of the other European team, just to state the obvious: Barcelona.


Their country won Euro for the second time and I have this feeling that this is an era for Spaniards to shine. 


Obviously I was not talking about Rafa Benitez unfortunate forehead.


Guus Hiddink is a real messiah. I will not be surprised if he stays at the Bridge a little longer than expected. Roman Abramovich is a fool if he let this bloke ride the plane back to Russia without stopping him using some moolah. 


Champions League semi-final, and just yesterday, Chelsea confirmed their place at Wembley - the stadium Pele described as the church of football - for another FA Cup final.


(Coffe break)


Faiz Hafizi and Iqbal Hakim, unquestioned inductees of KMB Football hall of fame. Talented midfielders on the field, and great company off the field.


(Coffee finished)


Arsenal were a brave team yesterday, and were unlucky to lose. But with a game with such magnitude and pressure, experience usually outplay young 'uns. I bet Lukasz Fabianski is now looking for personal hired gun rather than a new club to play for, as his error and Drogba's grandeur was the only thing that separated both teams.


Arsene Wenger has no one to blame but himself, for not luring the Ivorian captain when he was a young, 100 grand quid worth 24 year old Le Mans' poacher. Anyway mind you he had Thierry Henry to say no. But still?


Didier is now priced at 24 million pounds, with nice looking CV and great referrals, most notably being Jose Mourinho's favorite striker. I bet he will be the engine for Chelsea's glorious season (off Premier League), mind the propensity of him falling down easily upon any sort of contacts. 


FA Cup is the oldest surviving football competition in the world and like Champions League, it loses its 'seri' when Liverpool are not playing. 


Not a problem at all for me, as Malaysian Liverpool is also doing well in the FA Cup. Selangor will meet Kelantan in Malaysian FA Cup final next Saturday.


They beat Perlis in the second leg of the semi-final with two goals from Amri Yahyah, the captain. You know what is the name we darlingly gave to him? Wak Am. 


Stadium Bukit Jalil (akin to Wembley Stadium) will play host to the final which set to flare up the fiery temper of controversy-laden Kelantan fans, after the ugly incident in Kota Bharu which result in RM100,000 worth of damage, remaining season long ban for Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV and certainly a black mark in Kelantan and Malaysian football scene.


Anyway I believe it is promised to be a neck and neck encounter, with both teams look comfortable filling the top two spots in Super League.


It will surely be a vengeful comeback for former Red Giants in Indra Putra Mahyuddin and Khalid Jamlus. I just knew that Kelantan fans call themselves Red Warriors and they are quite as interesting as Kedah fans mind you, except for their renowned tantrum and ability to raise the definition of the word 'gocoh'.


Unlike Selangor fans, who will only go to the stadium when Selangor are doing well. 


Ah second half of the season, so many stories. 


I left English clubs' relegation battle, North East's headache and ever-exciting transfer gossips on purpose before I lose your interest. 


But just a quick peek, Kenny Dalglish is rumored to be coming back to Merseyside. No, not to replace Rafa, but as special advisor to the Spaniard. Necessary? I don't think so. But like the presence of Alan Shearer at Tyneside, it would surely a boost for the fans' confidence.


Cristiano Ronaldo is going nowhere and hinted that Real switch is not real.


Rafa is offloading Ryan Babel to make way for a star striker. David Villa?


Anyway the transfer window is opening in 3 months and surely things will get even more crazier. Especially those Arabs of Manchester City's who might already ready to splurge 1 billion pounds for Kaka.


Interesting moment of football. Carpe diem!

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 3:45 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Sihir
Aku sebenarnya ahli sihir, boleh bertukar wajah. Tapi aku miskin, tak mampu bertukar baju. Jangan tenung lama-lama, nanti aku sihir kau jadi duit. 
 
posted by Izham Ismail at 8:55 am | Permalink | 7 comments
Saturday, April 18, 2009
One-night Stand

Semalam aku baca blog kawan aku sebelum tidur. Pagi ini, blog tersebut masih terpapar di monitor.


Oh Tuhan, aku telah meniduri kawan sendiri!

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 1:08 pm | Permalink | 8 comments
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
You Will Never Walk Alone

It was a night of hope for Reds and a glory for Blues.


A mission impossible as it was, we had to walk into Stamford Bridge without Steven Gerrard in our search for 3 away goals to set a date with the Catalan giant in the semi-final. 


I made myself tomato and cheese pizza layered with sheer anxiety and faith. 350 degree fahrenheit in the oven, this will go down as the hottest match I will ever see. 


I told myself that if we were to paint the Bridge red and settle the game in our direction, we had to play the first twenty minutes right and score at least two goals before the first interval.  


I think the players heard me and did just that. 


I questioned the inclusion of Lucas in the first eleven after his dismal performance in the first leg and with Babel and Riera on the bench, I thought Rafa was crazy. 


He does not believe in miracle, but in his team. Lucas was the man to watch and Mascherano, Kuyt and Alonso were equally brilliant in engineering the possession. 


Torres had a fortune as Benayoun flick inside 12 minutes sent him a one-on-one opportunity to set the pace early on. But if it was Adriano's left foot that was on the trigger, it might be another story.


Fabio Aurelio genius found the hole in Chelsea's defence to pull an audacious trigger to make it one-nil Liverpool. 


Chelsea made it hard for themselves with clumsy defending and careless possession. They lost their nerve completely in the first half.


The pizza is now ready and while waiting for it to cool down, Xabi Alonso converted the penalty that made the dream and hope looked in the cards. 


End of 45 minutes and it was the best pizza ever. 


I did not miss Steven Gerrard at all as I washed down the pizza with a glass of blackberry squash.


Second half was a different story. 


What differs a good manager with excellent manager is the way he handles half-time team talk. 


I wonder what Guus Hiddink said to Chelsea players when they were two-nil down but whatever it was, I think that was fit and inspiring enough for a movie.


He got under the players' skin and turn the game around in Chelsea's way.


I guess the biggest turning point was Reina's fumble which saw him palmed Drogba's flick from former Reds Anelka's cross into his own net. 


If we scored our third, the match had to be settled in extra time. We were not ready for that.


Alex loaded the gun back again for Chelsea with a sensational free kick before Lampard colored the Bridge blue again.  


I shook my head in disbelief and was ready to hand in the semi-final ticket to Chelsea. I think Rafa did as well, substituting Torres out in focus for next game against Arsenal and brought N'Gog in. 


Not until I saw the best last 10 minutes of football where all mother of craziness began to lift the roof of Stamford Bridge.


It was my bone of contention in the form of Lucas Leiva who made believe that we are still up for the challenge. He scored a deflected goal to make it 3-3 and Dirk Kuyt confirmed that we are the King of Comeback with a superb header to meet Riera pin-point cross.  


Now we only need one more goal to seal the deal and suddenly, every Kop missed Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard as a goal looked too far to catch.


Hope was all around the ghost of Istanbul looked to be heading to Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea was nervous in their defence.


But certainly not in their attack. They were ruthless in the six yard box with deadly combination of Drogba and Anelka and ever hungry Ballack and Lampard. 


It took the man with an unusual high IQ to colour the Bridge blue back for good. Frank Lampard rounded it up with a fantastic shot for his second of the game and fourth for Chelsea to kill our hope of lifting sixth Champions League silverware.


It was a brave Liverpool team and they were all heroes tonight, bowing out with their heads up high.


People say only the Premier League title can cure this defeat. I beg to differ, for my football is more than just winning, and Liverpool this season had given me more than enough inspiration and love for me to love them more next season.


Well done, lads. Just play the remaining game in the league with your heads up high because we are all winners this season.

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 6:08 am | Permalink | 7 comments
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
C'mon Baby Blue
I have been enjoying myself watching lots of witty British automobile talkshow Top Gear on telly for a while now and I got addicted to browse for more on YouTube. I think British reality show has everything to talk about for being more dramatic and less staged, other than having exceptional mannerism of elevating profanity to entire new level. 

Certainly I was refering the latter to Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare. 

Photography has pretty much killed painting, while telly has made going to the theathre seem pointless and YouTube comes to kill telly and spoil everything up. 

This video might come out a little bit old for some, but certainly not for me.

Coming from a person who has massive passion in cars and automobiles, and the kind of guy my dad would love to talk to, he got it spot on when he described Perodua Kelisa as unimaginative junk with no soul, no flair and no passion.

If only they put a little bit of love in making it - really sit down to come up with proper design, compelling engineering and all that jazz - rather than cleaning up a jungle and churn something out to prop up the nation's GDP. 

I am being more than patriotic to agree with that lad, despite the fact that he was born in Doncaster

We all have to agree that if automobile market is a pool of Premier League players, Perodua is someone worse than Titus Bramble.

I think most of us are grown-up enough to know that ignorance kills, and being patriotic and emotional are just not enough to cover things up. 

Most importantly, refusing to own up to our mistake (or stupidity if you may) is worse than being dumped by a stupid, hideous girl. It is a pathetic little act. 

It is a great insult to those who has passion in car and those who love it too much to name them after a girl's name (other than feed, wash and take it for a spin). 

The same way they insult me with what they did to Malaysian football scene. 

Let there be love because all you and we need is love.
 
posted by Izham Ismail at 9:34 am | Permalink | 6 comments
Friday, April 10, 2009
Cancer

You bought a jersey to support the team you proudly say you root for. 


You know every players on the pitch by some computer game you play everyday - because of that, those on the substitutes and reserves too. 


You have enough stamina to catch live football telecasts and you know every details of the match you watched. 


You know every happenings in the world of football by rambling through football news portal and live news.


You now call yourself a 'football fan'.


Your team win and you brag like you know it. You belittle in any way possible the opposition team. You try to humiliate the supporters with all dexterity. 


You start to feel that no one can ever touch you for you are the new Earl of football world. 


Your team lose and you start to take the Lord's name in vain. You are so naive that you scoff at opposition's brilliance and despise their flair. 


You blame the man with whistle and you make a mockery out of the men with flags.


You blatantly inflict hatred towards opposition team's fans and loyal supporters. In all folly, you feel you are doing the right thing for your team.  


You are the demonic reason why football is not held aloft as a game of gentlemen.


Football is not just about winning, mind you, for winning does not make you a better player, and losing does not move you down the esteem. 


It is how you play it that makes all the difference. 

 

I hate it when you think football is just a sport you have to love because everyone loves it. The game doesn't need people like you to make it all merrier.


Please, I mean please, understand the game before you try to love it.


Whistle blown. This is just an end to just another 90 minutes, not the lesson. 

 
posted by Izham Ismail at 5:52 am | Permalink | 8 comments