Euro 2016: Players To Watch Out For From the EPL

After a surprising English Premier League season, look out for these players in Euro 2016



After a surprising English Premier League season, look out for these players in Euro 2016

Everton’s Belgian International Lukaku will look to take his good form into Euro 2016 Photo Credits:

Belgium – Romelu Lukaku – Foward
Everybody is going to look out for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale but there is this hunger about the Belgian star that is going to make him stand out during Euro 2016. Apart from being among the top three scorers in the EPL this season with 18 goals, only one behind this seasons star for Leicester, Jamie Vardy and four behind top goal scorer Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur. Reading passes well and creating goal opportunities from anything that comes his way, he definitely shows promise. And with help from in-form Kevin De Bruyne and the likes of Chadli, Januzaj, Hazard and Origi, the Belgian team will look to win as many games in the tournament and table toppers in Group E if Italy don’t do anything special.

Arsenal’s Petr Cech will play an important role against the likes of Spain in Group D Photo Credits:

Czech Republic – Petr Cech – Goalkeeper
Clearly a seasoned campaigner playing for the Czech Republic since his Under-15 days, the goalkeeper and captain of the national side will be a vital component of the Czech team between the posts in Group D which has Croatia, Spain and Russia to defend against. He is currently recovering from injury and him remaining fit to play in the tournament after two months is necessary for the Czech side whose goal scoring ability needs an equally formidable goalkeeper at the back, he’s done a decent job for Arsenal this season, it’s time to deliver for Czech Republic yet again, isn’t it?

Southampton v Leicester City - Premier League
Leicester City’s top-scorer Jamie Vardy can prove to be England’s biggest chance at winning Euro 2016 Photo Credits:

England – Jamie Vardy – Forward
If you’re an ardent football supporter and EPL follower, you know why Vardy is on this list. He has had a dream season with Leicester City and being the second topmost scorer in the EPL with 19 goals, it is going to be interesting to see how he takes his club success at the International stage for England. The English have had a great side since all of us can remember but have faltered more often than we have expected. It was a tough call between Kane and Vardy but I had to pick the latter from his performance this season with the Foxes but that does not leave Hurri-Kane (Harry Kane) any far behind. If Leicester go on to win the league, he might just carry the form and help England win the championship for the very first time.

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Arsenal’s German playmaker Ozil’s assists will be necessary for Gomez and Muller Photo Credits:

Germany – Mesut Ozil – Midfielder
If there is one player that has kept Arsenal in the scoring books, it has to be Ozil with his brilliant gameplay and regular crosses into the box. We cannot ignore 18 assists this season for which he has received the moniker ‘Assist King’. The German maybe have slacked a bit in the latter part of the season but never fails to deliver when it matters most. Germany riding on their World Cup glory from 2014 will only look to extend their world dominance in football and Ozil seems to be the perfect player to create chances for Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller.

Southampton’s Italian striker Pelle’s sturdy footing and scoring ability will prove vital or Italy Photo Credits:

Italy – Graziano Pelle – Forward
If the English Premier League 2015 – 2016 has seen the rise of new stars like Vardy and Mahrez, then fans cannot ignore Pelle and his performance for Southampton this season. The Italian opened the Saints’ account this season after scoring against Newcastle in the opening match, he has gone on to score nine goals after that and helped Southampton stay seventh in the league. At 6 ft 4 inches, the towering striker is definitely an asset to the national team with his pace and accuracy along with his goal scoring ability on ground as well as in the air. It will be interesting to see how he plays against the likes of Belgium and Sweden who look to be the top contenders in Gtoup E.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Liverpool - Goodison Park
Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel’s experience will help Slovakia spring a surprise in Group B Photo

Slovakia – Martin Skrtel – Defenders
He definitely might seem as a surprise inclusion in because he’s been there for a while.The centre-back is a promising player and is known to deliver when his side require it from him, be it those late equalisers or brilliant interceptions that prevent the opponents from scoring goals against him. The 31-year-old has also captained his side in the qualifying stages and defeated a formidable side like Spain to qualify for final tournament. His experience in the English Premier League will also count against sides like England and Wales in Group B.

de gea
Manchester United’s De Gea exceptional reflexes will strengthen a formidable Spanish team Photo Credits:

Spain – David De Gea – Goalkeeper
The once reigning champions are better this time around, while they have the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, David Silva, Santi Cazorla and the infamous Diego Costa, De Gea is hard to miss. Casillas is part of the team but definitely not first choice with De Gea around. If there is one person you can count on for a good performance in the Manchester United team today, it has to be the Spanish youngster apart from Rashford’s recent brilliance. He quick reflexes and ability with hands and feet make him the most important asset for Spain if they want to win Euro 2016. Deflecting, punching and saving those top corners convinces me that there is a brilliant performance in the waiting in this tournament.

These choices are strictly mine, would love to see your list of players đŸ˜€

World Earth Day: The Need To Stop Littering

We can plant trees but we need to stop littering too

We can plant trees but we need to stop littering too

Garbage being thrown ceaselessly around us every single day Photo Credits:

Travel is never associated with cleanliness. It is always about luxury, backpacking and experiencing something new. Little do many realise that it is also about preserving our surroundings, it is a responsibility that every backpacker or vacationer should take. I’ve been on the mission to tell people to not litter the place.

I’ve noticed it is rather difficult for people to not dirty a place as it is habitual act. Every single day I somehow happen to count the number of times people spit paan around me. One particular day, I counted five people on a railway platform in one minute. Having forgotten my attempt to count, I was reminded of it when I met an over-enthusiastic rickshaw driver who spoke through mouthfuls of red liquid we fondly know as paan. He also habitually spat it out when he realised I didn’t understand what he was talking about, without checking if it splashed on a passerby.

It is hard to explain how people do not think twice before spitting around on railway platforms, on railway tracks, roads or randomly in thin air. However it is easier to tell them not to do it but that too has its own share of amusing incidents. One of the earlier times I remember telling somebody not to spit on the road, he immediately told me, “Tera baap ka rasta he kya”; that  it was rhetorical is understood from the tone and the fact that I was left dumbfounded at his retort. Another interesting reply I once received was ” Sab log toh idhar thunkte he”. Spitting is one of the many problems that India faces in terms of littering. Throwing garbage on the road, or even on the platform while a bin is just behind is usual.

Also Read: Locals Speak: Why Is Goa becoming a second home to Mumbaikars? 

On this Earth Day, we could just help make an attempt to tell people who don’t know, and the people who deliberately do it about the importance of keeping our surroundings clean.

A few years back when I visited Mysore, there were officials at public places who fined people for throwing garbage on a clean road. It was no surprise that in 2016, Bangalore received the award for the cleanest city in India.

Five Steps To Keep Our Surrounding Clean

1. Carry a plastic bag in your work bag to dispose of thrash while travelling.

2. Make use of the bins that are present at regular intervals.

3. Carry a spittoon if you eat pan and avoid painting the town red.

4. Do not dispose of garbage anywhere unless it is a garbage bin.

5. Create awareness among people.

While we may talk about planting trees this Earth Day, we cannot ignore cleanliness.

Local’s Speak: Why is Goa becoming a second home to most Mumbaikars?

Goa is now a permanent getaway rather than just a holiday destination

Goa is now a permanent getaway rather than just a holiday destination

goan house 4
Mumbaikars and city dwellers are resorting to the Goan lifestyle Photo

We know Mumbai as the ‘City of Dreams’ and that many people from all over the country come to earn their livelihood here but it works the other way around for Mumbaikars. While all these years they liked the adrenaline rush and the ability to adapt to worse conditions; the crowd, pollution and the pace at which the city moves is now taking a toll on many too.

Many Mumbaikars are now shifting, and their most popular destination is none other than Goa – the land of beaches. My roots having been in Goa, I’ve never found the state amusing; one can take in the beaches only so long as they are on holiday mode, otherwise it is just like any other place in the country but only with thousands of tourists flocking the land every day. I’ve noticed a trend in the past few months, many people from Mumbai are choosing to shift permanently to a place like Goa because it offers peace and runs at a slower pace, especially for a Mumbaikar.

Hindustan Times Brunch in a late January issue did a story on people from Mumbai that have shifted to Goa to spend the rest of their lives there; in a similar story, Homegrown, a popular website on art, food and culture did a story on people shifting to other cities and states in India to avoid the chaos. While the HT article revolved around people who have shifted to the southern state, I noticed that the Homegrown article too had many people shifting to Goa more than any other place in the country. They are shifting to places like Assagaon, Panjim, Miramar, Calangute, Colva, Salvador do Mundo, Caranzalem and Corlim. So that gets me to the question, why Goa?

Also Read: Meandering Through Thrissur in Kerala

And there is none better than talking to Goans who have seen both places in the past few years. Alisha Patel, a 24-year-old Goan who has recently shifted to Mumbai, elaborates about the trend she notices says, “I think it’s a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ kind of thing. People in Goa want the rush of Bombay whereas people in Bombay want the calm of Goa.” She further adds that a lot people from Mumbai have settled in Goa not just as retirement homes but also for work in the IT sector, hospitality and industries.

Twenty five-year-old PR professional, Suezelle D’costa, shedding some light on the trend says, “I think it’s not just the scenic beauty, it’s more to life life at a relaxed pace. People often talk about retiring in Goa. I think what they mean is just take a break from the mechanical metro lives. And Goa lets anyone have this own-paced life.”

While migration seems to be working for fast-paced Mumbaikars, Patel highlights a problem among the locals, she says, “It works for them, but I guess not so much for the locals who are in constant fear of becoming an outsider in their own state. But that’s the other side of the coin that comes with what happens when Goans move to other states to work.” I would agree with her on the fact that it works both ways but it is important to note that the number of opportunities in Mumbai are innumerable while in Goa it maybe lesser, from what I’ve seen.

It would be interesting to hear experiences from Mumbaikars who’ve shifted to various places in India including Goa and vice versa đŸ˜€