Friday, February 25, 2005

Auxerre - Ajax, UEFA Cup and Ronald Koeman

Yesterday I put on the telly and Eurosport announced that they will be sending out the UEFA Cup match live between AJ Auxerre and AJAX. Woohoo!!! It's not every week I get to see an Ajax match live on the telly here.

So I made dinner quickly, had some beers and watched the game. Ajax had a 1-0 advantage from the home leg but are missing some players for this game. Tomas Galasek, Steven Pienaar and Zdenek Grygera are all out with injuries. Rafael van der Vaart is ill and Wednesday morning Rasmus Lindgren woke up ill as well. So that's the essence of the midfield out.

Ajax didn't start well and was basically inviting Auxerre to attack. After 30 minutes Auxerre got the goal they were looking for. Before that Stekelenburg did some excellent saves to keep his goal empty. Seven minutes later Ryan Babel (remember this name) equalised with a nice shot on goal. 1-1 at half-time and it looked like Ajax is going through.

Then the second half started and Auxerre began attacking. And instead of holding posession, Ajax just hooved everything away, which was more of an invitation for Auxerre to attack. And Anthony Obodai was just giving the ball away each time he touched it. The guy can't even make a simple pass to his teammate. I don't know what he was doing out on the field. Auxerre got the second goal and then came running out for the third goal.

Five minutes before time, Ronald Koeman decided to make a substitution. He's taking out Obodai (finally!!! about 40 minutes too late) and putting in debutant Hedwiges Maduro (remember that name). Unfortunately he did it while Ajax was defending a corner. So Auxerre took the corner while Maduro was still running towards the box and *boom* the third goal for Auxerre. Ajax was out. Koeman made the simplest mistake, never make a substitution when defending a corner.

It was hard for me to see Ajax lose against Auxerre like that. Some players played well (Stekelenburg, Trabelsi, Babel) but this was a long way from the Ajax I saw three years ago in the Champions League.

And today came the news that Ajax and Ronald Koeman have parted ways. I wasn't surprised although I wished they should do it at the end of the season. But football is a hard game and Koeman hasn't done much with this pool of talented players. In the space of three years there isn't a hint of development within the team. A coach should make a team play better, not be stuck at the same level.

I don't know who will replace him. The ideal one is already the coach of the Dutch team, so we'll have to do with somebody else. We'll see.

"Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, we're coming from Amsterdam, Que sera sera."

Monday, February 21, 2005

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

When I got my PS2 (courtesy of a nice F1 team) I bought two games. Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Both are great games. I like football so PES4 was an easy choice. I always preferred Konami football games over EA Sports because the play is more realistic. I'm playing a Dutch league right now with Ajax and am winning everything but the level is still at two stars.

As for GTA:SA, well, so far it's an amazing game to play. It promotes violence like nothing else. You play an African-American who goes back to the hood and slowly but surely becomes a gang boss in a city with lots of gangs. It's the ghetto and it's obvious that it's based on LA and the Blood vs Crips gangwar. The districts even sound like LA districts. Canton (Compton), Idlewood (Inglewood), etc. Then there is one character who looks exactly like Eazy E from NWA, complete with the cap and sunglasses.

The music is excellent and I love to just hijack a car and drive around for ages just listening to the radio. The city in the game is so big you can be driving around for ages. Also the character building in the game is excellent. CJ came in as nothing, and you have to dress him up, make him buff, get some tattoos, eat, etc to gain respect and sex appeal.

You can even play a video game inside this video game. Some sort of meta-videogaming.

I'm still in the early part of the game (can't seem to kill those damn Ballas in Sweet's Girl) but I'm enjoying every moment of it. If you only have enough money for one video game, then get this one. It's a good way to let go of all the daily frustrations life gives.

"Situation is sereeeoouuuus"

Monday, February 14, 2005


I went to a tournament this weekend. In the pool games we won 2 and lost 2 but what pisses me off is that we lost both games by one single point at the last moment of the game. And then to make things worse, both teams went all the way to the final while we had to content ourselves playing for 5th spot (which we duly got). Now I know what it feels like to lose in injury time. And it's not that great feeling.

I still don't understand how we lost it. We played well on both matches but we just lost the edge on the last minute of the game. Unbelievable. Maybe we are too nice of a team. Maybe we are not assholes enough during the game. Note to team: need to psyche ourselves up more during the game. Make them feel that we are winning the game, that we are confident.

I guess I just found out the art of losing.

On another note, I lost out for U2 tickets. They were on sale this morning at 8. I logged on to the website just before 8 and it said 'reload'. So I reloaded and reloaded, I even had 4 browsers open, but I couldn't get through. I got through once but by the time I browsed through the website stopped and went back to the front page. After 45 mnutes of trying I raced to the mall to go to the ticketbox. They opened at 9 with an announcement that the tickets are all sold out! AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH.

Now my only hope is ebay. Damn.

Oh, yeah, Happy Valentine's Day to you as well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


So my car has reached 60,000 kms. That means a big service. I took my car to the garage and when I came back to pick it up they had changed the brakepads, a brake disc, some stuff on my passenger window, changed all the oils and filters, done the usual check but didn't clean it. It was a big shock to see the total cost though. The amount of money I had to pay to the garage could pay me a week trip to the Carribean. Yes, it was THAT much!

On another note, it was Shrove Tuesday yesterday (or Mardi Gras in French). That means pancakes. I don't know this pancake tradition though and only started it last year when my friend invited me over for pancakes. This year again.

What else? Got my PS2 the other day and started playing Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Just driving a car in GTA while listening to the different radios they have is satisfying. It's more than enough. I don't even feel like beating up everyone I bump into or doing all the briefs. All I wanna do is drive and listen to the music.

"These are the things I could do without"

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Note to self

Working with a huge hangover is shit. So next time try to not work when having a hangover. Call in sick.

But then again I was drunk with office people so who cares? They knew I was drunk and they knew that I was going to be shit the following day. Can we do it more often, please?

"You got us into this, so get me out of this"