Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Gunners on a Roll

The third and final day of Orientation was, I think, interesting. Plus the fact that the freshies did a presentation. Thanks especially to Edrickson, Mathew, Arun, Amira, Moddy, Zechariah, Heng Shen and others for helping out.

I read this report in The Malay Mail about Twitter messages. US-based Pear Analytics randomly sampled 2,000 messages from the public stream of Twitter and separated them into 6 categories: news, spam, self-promotion, pointless babble, conversational and pass-along value. And not surprisingly, “pointless babble” accounted for 811 tweets or 40.55% of the total number of messages sampled. Conversational messages – defined as tweets that go back and forth between users or try to engage followers in conversation – accounted for 751 messages or 37.50%. Tweets with “pass-along value” – messages that are being “re-tweeted” or passed on by users to their followers accounted for 174 messages or 8.70%. Self-promotion by companies was next with 117 tweets or 5.85%, spam with 75 tweets or 3.75%, and tweets with news from mainstream media publications accounted for 72 tweets or 3.60% (August 18, 2009, p 14). It does make twittering sound so frivolous an activity, does it not?

Celtic versus Arsenal: How the two teams reached the play-offs

Runners-up in the Scottish Premier League last term, Celtic owe their place in the play-off round to Georgios Samaras's last-gasp strike at FC Dinamo Moskva, Scott McDonald having struck at the end of the first half as Celtic recorded a 2-0 victory following their 1-0 reverse in the opener.
Arsenal enter the fray at this stage courtesy of their fourth-placed finish in the Premier League last season. The Gunners have contested eleven consecutive group stages, earning an automatic spot each time until 2006/07, when they defeated NK Dinamo Zagreb in qualifying. They then progressed past AC Sparta Praha in 2007/08 and FC Twente last term.

From all of the possible opponents for the last qualifying round for the Champions League group stage, Arsenal were the team Celtic most wanted to avoid. But alas, it was not to be – and two of my fave teams had to face each other in the qualifying first leg on August 18 (yesterday). And if we had examined the goal scorers’ list in Arsenal’s demolition of Everton, we should become painfully aware that Celtic went into this game, knowing that the Gunners carried a goal threat in almost every position.

Who did I pick to win? Of course, Celtic. No matter what, I had to choose Celtic, the first team I had supported when I first went to the UK many, many years ago.

Celtic matched Arsenal for the best part of 45 minutes in Glasgow before a deflected William Gallas effort and a second-half own goal from Gary Caldwell put Arsenal in control of the Champions League play-off with Celtic – the final score read 2-0. Sigh! It’s one of those luckless days…

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