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Offside Cocktail
I 8-2 Much Last Night, Watching Six and the City

By Osama Rahman

We all know what happened weeks ago, right? City went crazy on Manchester United leading to a 6-1 debacle, while Chelsea faltered at two consecutive minor obstacles in the form of QPR and Arsenal. While United were left damaged, they came back and won the next game. City went on to triumph some more. Chelsea were left asking Terry if his shoes are made of ice as Van Persie basked in the glory of all the luck in the world. And then Messi scored over 200 goals. But all of this is already known, so what's the purpose behind this article? Dissection is what's going to take place.


First off, Manchester City is on the table. They are a force to be reckoned with. But being bankrolled by the Oil billions isn't the only reason. Mancini has really brought the unit together. They are as cohesive as it gets and it would not be an overstatement to say that they have the best attacking line up in the league today. Sure, their strikers may refuse to play or burn their house down, at the end of the day though, they do what matters. They score goals. Hear that, Drogba? That's what a striker is there for. Goals. Not Photobombing. So, let's not hate Manchester City. They are a great team in great form. And that's commendable. Although their European form looks suspect. The idea that a team should not spend money to be better is stupid. It isn't anything unfair. Large corporations spend millions hiring the best workers and they bankroll it because they can. And because to survive, you need to be the best. Therefore, Manchester City aren't doing anything wrong. Those who are banging on about the Youth Academy, should remember, that all big teams, when they can afford it, will settle for a better player. And Manchester City does have a strong youth backbone to the team as well.

The Rampant Reds is next on the menu. No, we do not mean Manchester United. We are talking about Arsenal. The Gooners. Those guys have suddenly found a new zeal of life. Look at them, play. Such attacking football. Joga Bonita and what not, right? Wrong. Arsenal are running on a tide of luck. The only real good thing about them is their Captain, van Persie. That man's captaincy has elevated him to another level of classiness. Is he the next Theirry Henry? No. But, provided that Arsene doesn't have to sell him, which he will, Arsenal can actually reap the rewards of making a team around the Dutchman. But, what happens when Van Persie is injured, which he will be? Well, it's back to 8-2 defeats again. 8-0, more like it. And don't start the 'We have Walcott', thing. He's a speedy little winger at best. As for Liverpool, for some reason, they seem very quiet this season. But Gerrard has uplifted them and they look much more threatening than before. As for Chelsea, their defence is suspect. It's high time that Bosingwa is benched. And sold. The Blues shouldn't rely on wonder-goals, like other teams who sell their best players every season.

Finally, we come to the man of the hour, Lionel Messi. He just surpassed two hundred goals for Barcelona! That's like 194 goals more than Torres has for Chelsea. And Messi reached the feat in 286 games only. 34 more goals and he will become Barcelona's all time high goal-scorer. And he's only 24. And he's being nominated as World Player of the Year for the third consecutive. AND he's not even a pure striker. Therefore, if anyone says Messi isn't all that good a player, they probably don't know what they are talking about. But C'ron is a much better player, you say? The comparison cannot be made. They both have different styles and both add different things to the game. Also, both of them are extremely important for their team. Such comparisons should be stopped, but we'll do it at the end of the season anyway.

Other things have also happened in the French League and Italian League. This is not were we talk about them. Sorry. Now, before anyone is jumping to conclusions and being disheartened; the season has hardly taken off. City are 5 points clear. That can be changed in a matter of three games. So, relax and cheer loudest for the team of your choice. Don't if you are a Gooner. One game means nothing.

Her Master's Henchman

By Anashua

I have known him for seven long years. Never, in this time, have I seen a smile break below his thin, Mexican moustache. His face is a blank cube, his shoulders like sliced red meat straight out of the freezer. Sometimes he is like Darth Vader, sitting in my auto wearing a mask of nonchalance, and sometimes he is a ninja, appearing out of the thin air behind my shoulders as soon as I take a step out of the Protected Territory, in search of edible goodies.

My rucksack slung limply on my back, I search for an opportunity to slither out of his omniscient eyesight, and edge inconspicuously towards the Gates of Freedom. But not the slightest movement of the imprisoned escapes his gaze, not the quietest shuffle passes his army-print earmuffs unheard. Quicker than a fat boy reaching for a doughnut, he is by my side, sentinel.

His Communicator vibrates noiselessly, and he informs the Overseer of my latest escape attempt. I am sent to the concentration camp again. Locked inside a void of white walls, squirming like an overturned cockroach, The Wires are the only way of communication for me. But they just lure me further and further towards the Unprotected Territory, where the existence of other people like me provides a beacon of hope.

Seven years is a long time for love or hate, for like or dislike. My soul gives off strong vibes of dislike at its extreme, and I'm sure his sensors can detect them. My cage is monitored at every moment.

When all this gets on my nerves of steel, I shout at the Overseer, 'Why can't you let me be? I'm not your Russian to spy on, okay? Why would you do this to me, Master?'

'For the better,' comes the infuriating reply.

'One day, one day, you all will pay for this.'

'Not as long as we pay for this,' the Overseer replies, pointing a finger at me.

Sometimes, for rare golden moments, I escape him. I run towards the Unprotected Territory, and return a happier person. But return, I must.

Then the same routine every day. He leads me from one place to another, equipped with the latest heat detecting radar and night vision glasses. I feel like I'm stuck in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

But then comes the blissful days of Eid, when my chauffeur takes a vacation, and around Dhaka I travel, a free person, a leap in every step.




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