Watching Arsenal live in Singapore

Watching Arsenal defeat Everton live in the National Stadium in the Singapore Sports Hub was a delight.

Where in the world can you pay SGD$49 and get two matches to watch. At 6pm Stoke predictably defeated a Singapore selection, and at 8pm we watched Arsenal brush aside Everton 3-1 in more earnest play. In England, a match between Arsenal and Everton would set you back over 75 English pounds.


Having an early dinner with Lewis
Having an early dinner with Lewis
Famous frog leg porridge at Geylang
Famous frog leg porridge at Geylang

I was treated to the match and a dinner by my friend Lewis. We had an early lunch at the famous frog legs porridge restaurant. Heard about it but it is the first time I tasted it. Really tasty, spicy and salty and over-rated. I was very thirsty during the match and that says a lot about the amount of taste enhancers inside the dish.

The stadium is less that a year old. I have gone to the former stadium for many a football match and many evangelistic events. This is definitely a wonderful upgrade. Bright with clear signage and a spacious pedestrian foyer that stretched all around the 23 stadium gates. We preferred the assignment of seats with back rest rather than the former free seating of wooden benches without any backrest. So even though we were already into the first half of the Stoke match we had our seats reserved. No need to go early to chope the best seats.

The National Stadium a sea of red: Arsenal fans
The National Stadium a sea of red: Arsenal fans

The whole stadium was a sea of red with only a small patch of blue where the Everton fans were. I love the retractable stadium dome roof. I love the coolness of the stadium artificially created with fine mist. I deliberately did not wear my Arsenal jersey as I expected it to be humid and sticky. I regretted not doing so. At least I wore the Arsenal cap. The football pitch did not look as beautiful as those in England but it looked acceptable. The excitement was palpable when the Arsenal players went onto the pitch for their warm up and when the game finally began. The game was more earnest and energetic than the earlier match. It looked like the teams wanted to win to give themselves a psychological booster. It was not as intense as what you would see in a real Barclays’ EPL match but it was pretty to the eye and for the most part entertaining. When the team you support wins you feel satisfied.

We left the stadium about 20 minutes before the end. How were over 50,000 people going to leave the stadium and get on the MRT? How long would that take? At least 2 hours. We were glad we left early. We were among the earliest kiasus to have boarded the train from Kallang MRT after a 20 minute walk from the Stadium.

Relieved and satisfied: a good evening.

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Barclay’s Premier League 2014/15 predictions of top four places

Now that transfer deadline date has passed we all have a better idea of the new players in each squad and can reasonably predict the top six teams of this season’s Barclay’s Premier League 14/15.

All the betting companies and their expert panels have placed Chelsea as the champions. Most football pundits and reporters have done the same. Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea.


Arsenal the perennial bridesmaid is finally showing that they are willing to spend serious money on proven world class players in the last two seasons. They have also bought well but mostly I will be keen to see how the Danny Welbeck, Sanchez, and Walcott forward axis will operate. It will take time but I hope they will be as deadly and unstoppable as Liverpool’s SAS. 25 goals to Welbeck is my dream and this dark horse to take the trophy at long last.


Most reason that Mourinho will be highly motivated to make Chelsea champions for Abrahamovic may axe him for consecutive failures to haul any trophy. He now has his kind of team formed, having got rid of failed strikers, those who do not work hard at defending, the older hands, and those who take too much risks, and let the team down. His signings are astute to fill up deficits of last year. Costa seems to have a recurring hamstring problem, and in this merciless league, it may take him out for vital games, without equivalent striking capability to replace him. Thus I believe they will be beaten to the title by Arsenal by a mere whisker.


Liverpool under Rogers is like a dragon resurrected. Dangerous and unstoppable in their fiery attacks they will melt down many teams. They have lost their bite when Suarez left. But the circus clown has been hired to entertain the fans and if he puts the team results above his antics, Liverpool will surprise doubters and take the third place.


Manchester City will come in third and their focus will be on the Champions League to improve on last year’s results.  The Arab owners want this new achievement. They have the group of death and priority will be given to getting out of that group and try to enter the finals. They have won the premier league twice. Key players have had their contracts extended on improved terms. Complacency will be a recurring problem. Fourth place, and definitely above Manchester United. That alone is great comfort.

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Barclay’s Premier League 2013/14: predictions of top six places

Last year, only Sunny got it right. Manchester United won the first place. I got two of my predictions right: Chelsea for third and Spurs for fifth.  I was too biased. This time I will try to be more objective. None of the other predictions offered by other blog readers got anything right.

This year’s transfer window is shut. We know who are the players in each team.

There are a few reasons why its tough to make predictions this year. First, new managers in Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea. A good manager with good judgment and motivational skills can be worth as much as 10 points. Only Manuel Pellegrini is new to the English league teams and players. Jose Mourinho can update quickly. The Man U players will  dither between doubt and faith, and the British media will relish putting Moyes in Ferguson’s shadow,  Is Moyes good enough to lead them to silverware? We will see. Second, there are many new foreign players. If not additions to your team, reinforcements in your competitors’ teams. New players can make either a positive or negative difference. Tottenham has bought so many good players, they are almost a new team. Likewise Sunderland.

The teams with the most fearsome strikers are Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. They have the clinical finish, the experience and can change a game even in the last minutes of a game. It is already tough to make predictions in normal circumstances, but with these additional variables, it becomes less predictable than ever before.

However this uncertainty is what makes the BPL more fun than any other leagues! Having thought deeply for ten minutes (haha), here are my predictions:

1st place:  Manchester City – the squad is scary and the engineer will be able to put the pieces together and foster greater harmony

2nd place:  Arsenal – will play with authority and a mean defence, but if a January addition of a special striker can be done, may even be champions.

3rd place:  Manchester United – most of the time Moyes will be under great pressure, players disturbed by doubts and a certain Rooney.

4th place: Chelsea – some too old, some too young, and I don’t like Mourinho’s narcissism.

5th place: Liverpool – I want them to beat Spurs.

6th place: Tottenham Hotspur – if they are hit by injuries, maybe Everton will be sixth.

Please add your predictions in the comment box. Love to hear your thoughts.

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Too soon

Like funeral clothes discarded

This crimson red misery

Stained with tears and fears of a faltering hope.

Eleven atheletes in disarray

Pacing up and down, back and forth

Kicking and flicking

To patch together a win

Perhaps a point.

Red-faced over one who has ears only

For Gallic style and ideals

For the beautiful game

That the feet and hearts of boys

From many nations

Cannot carry nor hoist

With honours

For the season ends too soon

Too soon.

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