Me wanting to understand Football/Soccer.

Posted in football, soccer, Sports with tags , on April 22, 2009 by subzapz

I’ve only played soccer competitively when I was 10-12 yrs old. Gave it up when I went to secondary school. It seems the sport isn’t what it used to be nowadays with the extensive media attention it gets. I understand the business model of the game more than the passion for it. The cash flow, the buying and loaning of players, the sponsorships, on/off line gaming, the manager’s role, the influence of the owner’s behavoiral patterns towards the clubs they own etc etc…

Spoke to a friend not too long ago to get some additional insight. Apart from my friend’s name, the rest of the dialog remains unedited.


11:31 AM me: bro

want to ask u something abt football

11:31 AM Football Friend: Ok.

11:32 AM me: how do u appreciate the game?

11:32 AM Football Friend: Wow, nobody’s ever asked me that. It’s like asking me how to appreciate sex.

11:33 AM Football’s all about raw passion, especially English football.

11:34 AM me: what am i suppose to look out for?

i may appreciate the biz side (money movement) of the game more than the game itself.

but what abt the game in itself?

Football Friend: Meaning gambling?

11:35 AM me: EVERYTHING – revenue streams, buying of players, merchandizing, gaming, sponsorships etc etc.

Football Friend: Hmmm… that’s part of football but not the main thing if you are a sports fan.

11:37 AM If you’re a sports fan then first you need to know why football came about – a poor man’s way of entertainment, and for the fans it was a day off to cheer themselves up during the late 1800s where life was very miserable.

me: i play futsal – average player – can defend, pass, dribble and shoot – averagely.

11:38 AM but i dont see why must be so gila.

Football Friend: So football was for the working class, cricket, horse races and tea were for the elites.

me: ok

Football Friend: Then came the clubs.

11:39 AM The clubs were about identity and competition, not money-making. Footballers were paid nuts or nothing even in the early days.

11:40 AM So people could identify with their local heroes whom they were friends or relatives with in the early days. They’d go and watch them play.

me: ok

Football Friend: Next is the game of football. Man is made to use his hands, not his feet for dextrous activities. Football reverses that.

11:41 AM So you also look at skill. In this manner football is a lot more difficult than say basketball or tennis as you use your hands which are a lot more dextrous and flexible.

me: ok

11:42 AM Football Friend: Through the years the competition turned to rivalry as more and more was at stake and as money poured into the game.

11:43 AM Playing (for leisure) and watching (following) football are two very different things. They both give you a different feeling.

me: i spose i agree with that.

Football Friend: Watching can be like watching your stocks in the market, you want them to go up but it doesn’t always do so because of other factors.

11:45 AM Same in football. Stadiums, rivalry, player’s skills, manager’s skills, tactics and formations, how passionate the fans are etc. make the game interesting.

There’s also rivalry between managers and players, and also between fans.

Lastly it’s the draw, the fact that there’s a draw in football makes it one of the more unique games.

11:46 AM me: so what are we spose to look out for in skills of player, mgr?

tactics, formations etc…

Football Friend: Players who can score are usually the most popular, but different players score different goals.

11:47 AM Some are poachers (meaning they sniff around the goal mouth waiting for half or full chances).

Some are exceptionally skillful who can run at opposing players, run around them and score goals.

Some can score from a long distance out.

11:48 AM Some can score from dead balls (meaning the ball is not moving).

me: who r some of the examples of these players?

11:49 AM for each category.

Football Friend: Next you usually look at midfielders who are in between scorers (strikers) and defenders. They are in charge of trying to feed the ball to the stirker, and at the same time stop the opposing team’s midfielders from passing the ball to theirs.

11:50 AM me: ic

Football Friend: Defenders defend lor. The highly rated defenders are also superb footballers who don’t just clear the balls whenever they get the chance. They can also beat players and pass the ball very well to turn defense into attatck.

11:51 AM Formations and tactics are the most difficult to understand because there are many – it all depends on which other 11 opposing players are on the pitch playing.

11:52 AM So you always get individual battles going on during a game. The better managers are able to assess the weaknesses of the opposing players and try to use his own to either nullify or beat their respective opponents.

11:53 AM Then there’s style of play. Some clubs/managers prefer an all attacking type of play (Arsenal, Man United, Real Madrid).

Some clubs are very defensive (Chelsea, Juventus, Inter Milan).

11:54 AM Some clubs play on the counter attack, meaning they sit back and absorb attacks and when they gett the opportunity they are trained to attack very quickly to try to score a goal (LIverpool).

So how a team plays also makes a difference in how the opposing manager approaches the game.

11:55 AM me: ic

11:56 AM i guess it’s a weekly affair for most fans? btw, why do some fans still support teams that are at the bottom of the league (eg. msians)

11:57 AM they’re not the manu, liversool, chelsea types.


Football Friend: If the opposing team have very good midfielders then a manager sometimes opts to play 5 midfielders instead of 4, and only 1 stirker up front. Usually this means the ball stays in the middle of the park most of the time.

Passion ad loyalty lor.


11:58 AM In football it’s not looked upon too nicely if you only support clubs which are currently succesful and then you switch. Identity is very important.

So if you say you support United then sometime later support Chelsea it’s a no-no.

11:59 AM me: y not?

Football Friend: Win,lose or draw you shoulod stick with your team, that’s what a true fan is.

me: if the team sucks – bad manager, money mgmt dumb players or whatever reason, so u want to switch….

12:00 PM Football Friend: That’s the beauty of football, you’ve got a relationship with the club and the players and the managers.

For those who live in the source countries they will speak their minds when the team sucks – bad manager, money mgmt dumb players or whatever reason,

12:01 PM But you don’t switch clubs.

In fact in England, you are expected to support your home town club, and if there are a few you must choose one.

This is also another fascinating aspect of football.

12:02 PM When 2 clubs from the same area play each other it’s called a derby game.

They are usually very fierce because a family of 6 could be half supporting one and the other half supporting the other.

12:03 PM So at the stadium they sit at opposite ends.

So when they leave the house they are siblings, when they get to the stadium they are opposing fans.

me: interesting

12:04 PM Football Friend: There’s also the part of a 0-0 score which can be very exciting as it usually means neither team got the better of the other.

There are also matches where you can wait 90 minutes and your team scores 1 goal to win the game, or worse, the other team scores.

12:05 PM Nobody introduced me to football. After Whye Ling dumped me I had little to do (you folks were either busy or overseas) so I started to watching a lot of tv, which also included football.

12:06 PM When I started watching United were the best and they played very attractive football so I started to support them untilo now.

12:07 PM So if you want to really know what it’s like, then you must first choose a team you like (usually by the style of play, or because you like a certain player).

me: ic

can i join in as a neutral. i support players, not teams.

12:08 PM Football Friend: Then you just follow all the results, player issues/problems/battles/attitudes, observe tactics, read news on how the manager is planning to play the next game, learn which players are injured or coming back (and what it means for the team) etc…

Then on match day you watch to see how the players he selects turn out. In football you are allowed to make 3 changes during the entire game.

So substitutes play a big part also.

12:09 PM me: ic

Football Friend: Oh, there are 2 types of competitions, cup competitions and league.

me: i see some games where they bench the good player till the end. why bench a good player till the last 5 mins?

12:10 PM Football Friend: Cups are usually one-off, meaning if you win you go to the next round, if you lose you wait until the next season (1 year) to try again. The FA CUp in England is the most famous cup competition in the world.

12:11 PM Then there’s the league where you play for points. The team with the most points at the end of the season wins the league.

Now there are 4 professional leagues and other semi-professional leagues in England.

Pro leagues mean the players only play football for a living.

12:12 PM Semi pro means the bloke could be a plumber ft and football player pt.

me: ok

at least now, i’m getting more insight.

12:13 PM Football Friend: The top league is the premier league with 18 teams competing. The bottom 3 teams at the end of the season get relegated to the next league beneath them.

Conversely the team in League 1 promotes their top 3 to the Premier League.

12:14 PM This applies to all 4 of the pro leagues.

This offers fresh competition and also an incentive for teams to try to either remain in the top league to compete, or to try to get promoted.

12:15 PM This means you must be of a certain standard to play in a certain league.

The beauty of the FA Cup is that non-league sides can get drawn with a top league side like say United, which in their lifetime may only come once.

12:16 PM me: ok

Football Friend: It’s like Man United playing Subang USJ, and you have every chance to win.

12:17 PM Lastly, the top teams in Europe’s leagues get to play in a special competiton called the Champions League.

12:18 PM So there’s incentive to finish top of the top league in each European country.

me: but i see that in world cup, england sucks quite a bit compared to the other countries. overrated?

12:19 PM Football Friend: Yeah sometimes.

The best players in a country usually come from rival clubs, meanig the players may not even like each other.

Or worse, they are sworn enemies

12:20 PM So to give them minimum training time and expect them to play a team game is a real challenge.

me: i recall c ronaldo and rooney case.

Football Friend: This is why teams who are more patriotic and have more national unity have a better chance as each players really plays because they love their country.

12:21 PM In country vs. country games, the manager and his tactics are very crucial. In league games it’s the skill of the players which usually wins the game.

12:22 PM me: ic ok

12:23 PM i’ve watched a few games before, but i cant seem to figure out the mgr’s strategies most of the time. can you?

Football Friend: Takes time.

12:25 PM The key is to follow the same team, go to their website and others like Soccernet to find out more.

me: is soccernet the best site to get info?

Football Friend: You can get a better idea when you read pre and post match views from players and managers.

12:26 PM Soccernete,, Espnstar are among the most popular.

Then of course there’s the club’s website,

If you support United I can tell you more!!!! LOL!!!!

me: haha

12:27 PM if i support a team that gets relegated to another league, can i switch aalegiances?


12:28 PM Football Friend: That’s like asking if God doesn’t answer your prayer should you switch to Santa Clause.

NO!!!! A thousand times times NO!!!!

12:29 PM me: haha

coz i’m thinking, u wont get to read much abt them thereafter.

12:30 PM Football Friend: Not really.

The English league is the most exciting now as they have many great players and the style of play is very fast and furious – like a lion fighting with a cheetah.

12:31 PM The Italian league is like a swan fighting an albatross, very pretty, very slow and like ballerinas. Spanish is in between.

The most passion is in English football.

The most attractive football is playes usually by Arsenal, but they are lacking in defense.

12:32 PM United and Liverpool are good bets.

But if you support Liverpool you’re not my friend anymore ya hear?

12:33 PM me: 4-1 i heard


Football Friend: Yeah, very bad day at the office.

But it was a very exciting game, had everything they usually say (2 penalties, red card, bad tackles, tempers flaring, managers fuming etc.)

Anyhow, gotta run.

12:34 PM United and Liverpool have the most fans in Malaysia so you can’t go wrong with either (except losing friendships).

Gotta run for lunch. Chat later.

me: k

Football Friend: I’ll send you the United membership form later.

me: tks for the info mate!

appreciate it.

12:35 PM Football Friend: Long as you don’t support “them”.

me: mbership – i’ll take it under advise and consideration.


Football Friend: Waste my time you…

12:36 PM After all that evangelising you won’t convert?

12:38 PM me: sue me.



13 motnhs……

Posted in Uncategorized on January 24, 2009 by subzapz

It’s been a good run by God’s grace! So much to thank HIM for.
As much as I’m interested in what’s in store, I’ll let HIM surprise me.

One of God’s Great “Don’ts”

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2007 by subzapz

Following my previous blog entry…..

Do not fret— it only causes harm —Psalm 37:8

Fretting means getting ourselves “out of joint” mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It’s easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” ( Psalm 37:7  ) until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then? If this “Do not” doesn’t work there, then it will not work anywhere. This “Do not” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.

Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God.

Have you been propping up that foolish soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God to handle? Set all your opinions and speculations aside and “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” ( Psalm 91:1  ). Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.

Don’t Plan Without God

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2007 by subzapz

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass —Psalm 37:5

Don’t plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account. We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that we have not even considered Him to be a vital, living factor in the planning of our lives. And yet the only thing that will keep us from even the possibility of worrying is to bring God in as the greatest factor in all of our planning.

In spiritual issues it is customary for us to put God first, but we tend to think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to put Him first in the practical, everyday issues of our lives. If we have the idea that we have to put on our “spiritual face” before we can come near to God, then we will never come near to Him. We must come as we are.

Don’t plan with a concern for evil in mind. Does God really mean for us to plan without taking the evil around us into account? “Love . . . thinks no evil” ( 1 Corinthians 13:4-5  ). Love is not ignorant of the existence of evil, but it does not take it into account as a factor in planning. When we were apart from God, we did take evil into account, doing all of our planning with it in mind, and we tried to reason out all of our work from its standpoint.

Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind. You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1 ). God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command— “Let not. . . .” To do it, continually pick yourself up, even if you fall a hundred and one times a day, until you get into the habit of putting God first and planning with Him in mind.

Bending it in badminton

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2007 by subzapz

Just finished my badminton game in Puay Chai Primary School in SS2. I’m REALLY getting old lah. Coupled with my back injury, my game isn’t the same as before. I can hardly recover my posture in time when retrieving a drop shot.

I love the game but my physical situation makes it frustrating. It’s a consolation that my badminton partners can tolerate a losing game with me. Sheesh!

Gonna start gym soon to build up my muscles to support. Been looking at some of the best ways to build strength. Not just look good. But feel overall good. One of the weight-lifting techniques that caught my eye is the Deadlift. I’ll probably have to start with just my body weight. Can’t be too gung-ho.

Best Pork Combo Meal in town!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2007 by subzapz

The eatery is located a few roads behind Istana Hotel. It’s at a corner of a shophouse row. Don’t really know the name of the place though.

My personal rating:



Char Siew, Siew Yoke and Pai Kuat. Yum!!! Comes with chilli and sweet sauce.


The preserved veggie dish was a complementary dish for us.



Went there for lunch with Ben Gan and Jason Cheah before meeting a customer. 😛

Again and again…..

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2007 by subzapz

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.