SPORTS REVIEW – 3RD EDITION 31.07.2017

Hungarian Grand Prix

So let’s just start off by saying that the Hungarian grand Prix is predominantly one of the more boring races on the F1 calendar. There is very little room for overtaking and usually the fastest and most consistent package wins the weekend. The 2017 edition was no different. Sebastian Vettel led the race from start to finish with team mate Kimi Raikkonen cruising to second on the podium. Kimi was the faster on the day and could have probably taken the win, but “AS IF” Ferrari were ever going to let that one play out. If we have learn’t anything about Ferrari as a team over the years its that they have a very “communist” style philosophy of throwing all their weight behind their number 1 driver and this weekend was no different. You kinda gotta feel sorry for Kimi, but he is under no illusions and is fully aware of his current predicament and understands his place. Love him or hate him you have to respect him for that. So Ferrari 1, 2 finish expected and delivered.

So where was the excitement this past weekend? Well like many races it happened on the first lap and as is the growing trend these days it included Max Verstappen. Already having gained a reputation as being somewhat of an “animal” behind the wheel he did not do his reputation any favors at the Hungaroring as he “over-aggressively” tried to make his way to the front of the pack in the first few corners, made a couple of massive errors of judgement the last of which sent his team mate Daniel Ricciardo off the track and out of the race. I am going to be clear as I can in my thoughts on this now, Verstappen is an amazing talent, what potential in one so young and I have no doubt in my mind that he is an F1 champion of the future. But, and here it comes, he “fucked up” royally yesterday and his reputation took a bit of a hit. His mistakes were so amateur in nature that they were absolutely clear for all to see and the incident earned him a 10 second pit penalty. Even more than that he “took Daniel Riccardo out” (my mind automatically goes to that Pulp Fiction scene where Vincent and Jules are discussing the “taking out” of Marsellus Wallace’s wife Mia)…

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…and it is the cardinal sin in F1 for one team mate to take out another causing the team to lose those ever elusive and valuable points. Add to that the fact that Dani Ricc is one of the most loved figures in F1 at the moment and Max has a bit of “ASS LICKING” to do post race. I am sure he will learn a big lesson from this and hopefully begin to mature on the race track from here on end. To be fair he is not the first driver to get such a reputation. In my life time at least I remember several examples of drivers of a somewhat questionable temperament behind the wheel. The late great Ayrton Senna was not one to take being overtaken lightly and was not averse to “putting someone into the wall” if it needed to be done. Another great, Michael Schumacher was very much the same. I still remember his great championship victories and losses in battles with Jacques Villenueve and Damon Hill which had several questionable incidents along the way. Then there is the battle between team mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in their Red Bull days which was quite a feisty one which saw them clash and take each other out on more than one occasion on the track. And of course more recently Sergio Perez, who like Verstappen started his career with a bit of a combustive disposition, another great talent who has since matured and come on to be a very solid race driver. So Verstappen is not the first and won’t be the last. He is a competitor, he wants to win and sometimes those “demons” can get the better of him but he will learn and it will ultimately put him in great stead later on in his career.

I would have paid anything to be a fly on the wall in the Red Bull post match meeting. 🙂

As a final point regarding yesterday’s race I want to give a special mention to Lewis Hamilton. Many of you may know that I am not his biggest supporter, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Lewis started from 4th on the grid and had a pretty average start to the race, by his standards quite poor. But, he did something during yesterday’s race that gains a lot of respect in my world (PLANET OZ). After cruising his way through the first two thirds of the race it was clear to see that Lewis had more pace on the track than his team mate Valteri Bottas who was ahead of him in third. Lewis asked his team for permission to be let past in an attempt to see if he could catch the two Ferrari’s up ahead, and promised that if he did not manage to do this he would hand third place back to his team mate. Ultimately he did not manage to catch the pair of Ferrari’s and even though he is locked in a tight battle for the drivers championship where every point could mean the difference, he stuck to his word and slowed to allow Bottas to pass on the final lap to take the podium finish. A man of his word, a very noble act and I stand up and applaud it. Well done Lewis Hamilton. You showed a little humility in a sport which seems to be lacking, a great team spirit in a sport where team mates seem to grow further and further apart. It was great to see.

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In saying that though I still find myself wanting to be completely honest with you. His face and overall demeanor still makes me cringe and want to set fire to my own genitalia.

There is now a 4 week summer break until the season resumes in Belgium.

THAT NEYMAR THING

Recently I discussed the madness that now is the football transfer market and I was pretty straight forward about how ridiculous it has all become. Well if recent reports are to believed that whole situation is about to escalate like a mother fucker. That’s right, recent indications are that Paris St. Germain are willing to trigger Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior’s release clause which is set at a whopping €222 million, and whispers behind the scenes say the player wants to move to happen also. Let me just state this for the record, THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

Why is it ridiculous, well let us start with the transfer fee, it will break the world record by over €100 million. Then there is the salary they are willing to pay him as well which could take the overall cost of the deal including agents fees and everything to around HALF A BILLION EUROS. Let’s put that figure into context a little. In 2010 John Henry and a group called New England Sports Ventures purchased Liverpool Football Club for a total of €335 million. For a more recent example, in April 2017 a Chinese Consortium purchased a 99.93% stake in AC MILAN for a total of €740 million. And now we are saying that buy the end of August 2017 a single player may be sold for a total investment that relates to two thirds of one of Italy’s most prestigious football clubs?

Let me be clear in my opinion on this, for the love of all things sane in this world this transfer CAN NOT be allowed to happen. It just cannot. It will clearly break FFP rules which were put in place to try and avoid this very scenario. It will also set a precedent which will see the gap between the top 5-10 clubs in the world and the rest grow to such that it quite possibly will never be bridged. It will be so unhealthy for the sport overall that it cannot be put into words. I mean the transfer market is already at breaking point. Clubs the world over are being held to ransom for the quite simple reason that clubs, especially the filthy rich ones, no longer need to sell to buy. And at the same time smaller clubs who do need to sell to buy see the opportunity to “RAPE THE SHIT” out of the potential buyers.

Its a problem which began some time ago in Spain when both Barcelona and Real Madrid started to flex there financial muscle in the transfer market which caused a ripple effect that has spiraled well out of control and put us in the state we are in to today.

There is a fair and just system out there somewhere, but we are so far away from both finding it and potentially implementing it that we may be all better served by migrating to a sport where the playing field is level, the competition is fierce and sport as we know can be sport as we love it. Not about money but about passion, the battle, one human against another or one group of humans against another. A sport where it is about having the physical and tactical edge that will allow you to win matches and titles. Just gladiators in the arena, there to entertain the crowd and be crowned champions for the glory and not the money.

Deep down I really wish the scenario would change in football, truly i do. But I am also honest enough to admit that I am caught up in the glamorous game just like the next fan. And as much as i despise the way the sport is heading overall, I could never abandon my beloved Liverpool Football Club no matter what the circumstances are. I just can’t do it. My love for them is just too long and too deep.

All I can do at this stage is hope, that one day some purist with influence will come along and pull the breaks on this runaway train.

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