Emirates Cup 2015: 7 Goals, Reine-Adelaide and The Return of Bendtner

Months ago, after the fixtures were released for this Emirates Cup, I looked forward to see any new blood that Wenger could add to team. Gibbs, Wilshere, and couple of others have been featured in their younger years in this 2 match preseason competition. So I hoped to see Zelalem, Akpom and Hayden but Wenger added Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide made waves in the games he featured and it seems Wenger is poised to keep him in the 1st team. The 17yr old no-45 shirted lad provided the assist for Arsenal’s lone goal against Wolfsburg to win the Emirates. Wenger sure has some nice words for the lad:

Yeah definitely. He is 17 years old and he looks very promising but he needs to work with us for a year in the first team. To be an adult, to play for the under-21s and to develop. There is fantastic potential there but he will stay with us.

on how much Reine-Adelaide will play…
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. But today was a good opportunity to see him. In some situations of course, he has the game of a 17-year-old player but on the other hand he has shown great potential as well and looks very advanced physically for his age, and I’m sure he has learned a lot these last two days

I also looked forward to seeing the reaction at the Emirates when Nicklas Bendtner will play against Arsenal for the first time since moving to Wolfsburg. The Dane failed to score but his shot stung Cech’s hands in the games. He was cheered when he was subbed in against Villarreal and subbed out against Arsenal. The Lord, The Legend.

With Szczesny on the train to Rome, Martinez manned the sticks against Lyon but Cech made his Emirates debut against Wolfsburg and kept a clean sheet. The Czech international has now won two trophies in just two games. Haters will say it is preseason. At least I am not saying the preseason was bought like a certain Portuguese.

A day before, Arsenal scored 6 against Lyon of France. Goals from Olivier Giroud, Chamberlain, ALex Iwobi, Ramsey, Ozil and Cazorla was enough to begin the Emirates Cup. The team from France looked turn apart by the fluidity and the pace of the team with Ozil the orchestra. You must note that this is Ozil’s first preseason with Arsenal since he joined. This season has to be better.

In all Arsene wenger is happy with the weekend and will hope that this continues till the end of the season. Arsenal’s next game is the glorified preseason game popularly called the Community Shield against Chelsea and Jose Mourinho. This may be the best time for Arsene Wenger to get one over Mourinho especially with this momentum.

In Nigeria, Warri Wolves took El-Kanemi Warriors to the cleaners with 5 goals with no response from El-Kanemi. The Seasiders are now 4th on the GloNPFL log with a game in hand. An away win in Ilorin on Wednesday will push them further up to 3rd just behind Enyimba and Sunshine Stars. Warri no dey carry last.

So many things to talk about: Jay Jay’s Nephew in Iwobi, Walcott’s runs, Chuba Akpom’s misses, Gabriel-Chambers pairing, Ramsey-Wilshere, Cech’s hat, the away kit, 7 goals from 7 different goal scorers, clean sheets and what have you.

Why is no one talking about the Gold Cup like the Copa America?

Enjoy.

Happy new week.

Not Just Another Saturday: Arsenal Return Home, NPFL Break

Cech stepped up with the ball placing it at the spot. He walked back adjusting his helmet and looking at his teammate lined up at the center of the pitch. It was the Champions League final, he has been in such final before and he remembers how Terry slipped and he hoped he wouldn’t slip like his former Captain. Roma and Arsenal have ended the 120 minutes with great saves from Cech and Szczesny to keep the scores at 0-0. The penalties had gone to sudden death and it was Arsenal’s 11th kick.

Szczesny dived the right way, giving Roma an edge of winning the UEFA Champions League. What ecstasy it brought to the young Pole. Redemption? he had mixed feelings. How much he loved Arsenal, how much he has enjoyed his 1 year in Rome. Cech was down especially seeing that he needed to save Szczesny’s kick to bring Arsenal back on level terms. He remembered that Szczesny was good at penalties and one of his kicks sent Fabianski on Injury exile some years ago. Wenger stood on the sideline, watching. The stadium was silent, awaiting the kick……. my phone rang and i woke up. It was the Engineer asking me questions on a Saturday Morning Wojciech Szczesny

It is Saturday morning, another day to wake up late and lazy around till you see a game in the nearby stadium or TV. This is not just an ordinary Saturday but one that has Arsenal return to action in North London. Ooooh, the lovely pitches of the Emirates – how many will love to lie down in such green pastures. Boateng may submit his application. It will be generously accepted. This is not just another weekend but one that marks the return of the Lord. Yes, the Lord, the Legend – OX will be grinning with his christening. The Arsenal-o-sphere has been clouded with a loan for Szczesny to Roma and an imminent move for Flamini to Turkey. Wenger has added gasoline to the Roma loan:

He could go on loan to Roma. Szczesny is a top-class goalkeeper and we have three top goalkeepers. If one of the goalkeepers can play somewhere then it’s good. I believe he will have a future at Arsenal because I personally rate him highly. I put him in the first team at the age of 20 and he already has huge experience. I don’t want that experience he got when he was very young to be wasted and that is why I gave him the opportunity. I believe Roma is a big club and they play in the Champions League, play in a very different championship as well and that is a big experience for him and he is 25 years old. But the experience he already has at his age is fantastic

So it is done then. No need to cry for Szczesny. I hope he doesn’t drink more water from his water bottle. Will he be allowed to smoke? This is an opportunity for the Pole to do a Courtios and return as the King of our Pole. Cech is 33 and I see Szczesny as the long term. With first team action in Rome, Szczesny will surely get better. Remember, he won the Golden Gloves with Cech two seasons ago. What if my dream comes true?

Away from the transfer league, the Emirates Cup is back – I don’t mean the Emirates FA Cup. Everyone is grinning with happiness and smiles. It is the last lap of our preseason unless you term the community shield as one. Let the boys enjoy themselves and get the required rhythm to beat Mourinho on Saturday. This break looks so short. My eyes will be on Wolfsburg, just to see if a certain number 3 will feature – The Lord.

There is no League game here in Nigeria because, we are on a 2 weeks refreshing break. Some clubs are licking their wounds and sacking their head coaches. Former CAF Coach of the year, Emordi was kicked out of Kano. The Groundnut city boys have been left chasing shadows with Enyimba and Sunshine leading the pack with teams like Wikki Tourist, Giwa FC, and Heartland coming along. The relegation threatened teams will be using their drawing board now. hopefully they have more space to start a new strategy. They may also recruit new players seeing that this is also a transfer window.

The Nigeria Federation cup has reached the quarter final stages with cupsets in the previous round. Former Cup champions, Dolphins were knocked out by non- premier league side, Niger Toarnadoes Feeders. BJ Foundation, a non-league side knocked Heartland out of the cup. There is joy in heaven when the underdogs gets the day.

The Engineer is calling again.

Enjoy.

Follow on twitter (@SoccerGunz)

Holiday, Transfers and The GloNPFL

After a long Nigerian weekend, thanks to the Islamic holidays on Friday and Monday, the rigours of office returned with emails to reply or forward, calls to return, orders to receive and give… the race continues.

The 4 days of holidays was eventful from all perspective. Arsenal finished their Singapore exercise by winning the Barclays Asia Trophy with goals from Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil. It was a 3-1 win over Aunty Brenda’s neighbours. It felt like a real Premier League game.

Cech had his uncompetitive debut and has been grinning from Somalia to Cape Verde – if you know the geography of Africa. Can we add some colour to his rugby hat? I have seen so many designs. I want to believe Puma is working on something Cech-y

The transfer window is wide open with players switching clubs and signing new deals. Sterling has added more to Nasri woes at City with Delph added to worsen the woes. Adebayor is being courted by Aston Villa and the little boy has gone to Turkey. The premier league is blessed with rivers flowing with TV deals and cashflow.

Galatasaray is reported to have shown interest in Elijah Flamini. The midfielder was spitting fire in his 1st season of return but was relegated to the bench by Coquelin. The Turks seem to love the orders he backs but Wenger must replace him if he is to leave. Arteta is ageing and Beilik looks like a bag of bones – has he gotten his senior debut?  Walcott is even yet to sign a new deal – can you imagine?

My holiday peaked with results from the Nigeria Professional Football League where the Week 19 games were played just before a 2weeks break. The stadia is being filled up from Ibadan to Akure to Makurdi and to Enugu. In Enugu, Enyimba stole all 3pts away to finish the 1st half of the season 2nd only on goal difference behind Sunshine Stars. Taraba FC gave Sunshinea scare but the Akure Gunners came out 2-1 winners.

Kano Pillars threw away a 3-0 away lead in Makurdi as Lobi Stars came from behind to draw 3-3. There were wins for Warri Wolves, Abia Warriors and Akwa United. Heartland went haywire over Wikki Tourists with a 4-0 victory in Oba. The Tourists will be pondering on how they can get a goal against the Naze Millionaires after 4 failed attempts.

Football is getting more interesting here in Nigeria. Arsenal on TV, the NPFL live in the stadia.

Let the preseason continue.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

The Joy of Philosophy and Contracts

When Heraclitus said “you cannot step into a river twice“, many will have thought long to understand the meaning of his quote. Philosophy in the university was a revelation for many young minds especially seeing the Athenians and the likes of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato flexing their muscles in their worlds in searching for the ultimate urstuff or goal of living.

In Manchester, it is reported that Victor Valdes has adopted a new philosophy following reports that Louis Van Gaal is set to sell him on OLX or Ebay. What has been LVG’s recent philosophy? Memories may fail me but he tried using Pythagoras philosophy merged with Egyptian philosophy of the numbers 2, 3 and 5. The addition of these numbers gave a perfect number 10 of which Pythagoras related all things to numbers. LVG tweaked Pythagoras theory and opted to use a 3-5-2 system to campaign for the Premier League.

Valdes is not selected [for the tour] because he doesn’t follow my philosophy. The philosophy is how you play football and how you maintain your match rhythm. He refused last year to play in the second team. There are a lot of other aspects in the philosophy how you have to play like a goalkeeper at Manchester United. When you are not willing [to apply] the principles of that philosophy there is only one way, and that is out. – LVG

 

Valdes put pen to paper on an 18-month deal in January but is now heading for the exit door after just seven months at the club

The world outside football know that Idealism, realism, existentialism, pragmatism, atomism, thomism are examples of philosophies. Other branches include epistemology, dialectics, logic, metaphysics and all that may apply.

Chelsea continued their park-the-bus-ism with the news that Yokohoma Tyres will be in front of their bellies when they play this forthcoming season. As rent boys, they have no heart but bellies to do the thinking for them and the bus driver to station the bus in front of the goal post. Maybe Cech had to leave because he wanted to adopt another philosophy.

In Singapore, the philosophy of Wenger continued on the pitch as Chuba Akpom grabbed a hattrick in a 4-0 victory over Singapore Select XI. Jack Wilshere scored the other goal. The Barclays Asia Trophy is the competition and the final will be against Everton after the Toffess saw off Stoke and their Rugby-ism in a penalty shoot out.

15/16: Singapore Select XI 0-4 Arsenal - Chuba Akpom

To extend the Wenger-ism or better still, Arsenal-ism, It is reported that Olivier Giroud has signed a new contract. Does he renew annually? Bellerin has also extended his contract. Such revelation from last season. He is the reason Jenkinson is off to Westham on loan but with no Big-sam-ism philosophy. Wenger will hope that he continues his rise at the Hammers before Debuchy is spent with age so as to give Bellerin much more rivalry just like Monreal dissed the English philosophy of Gibbs last season.

Hector Bellerin

It is all about philosophy, on-the-pitch philosophy like Barca-Bayern-Pep Tiki-Taka, Big-Sam-Aeraial-ism, Wenger-ism, Benitez-ism… Will Benitez bring a new philosophy in Madrid? Will Ronaldo abide by Benitez’s philosophy or continue to sulk in his self-glorifying philosophy? Last season must be hard on him. You remember how he sulked for failing to score a single goal in the World Club competition last year – not even an own goal.

In Africa, Nigeria ended Keshi’s philosophy by claiming he was  not committed. Measurement of commitment varies as per definition of the original philosophy. What am I even writing about? Keshi was re-sacked and the NFF in its recent philosophy have now given the job to another ex-international Sunday Oliseh. Oliseh will bring his philosophy of taking long range shots from outside the post like in France ’98 although he could only manage 2 goals in his ~64 games for the Super Eagles.

Ahmed Musa et al will need to start following the foot steps of comical Shegs Okoro – is that comic still on – by shooting at sight. Hope the nets are fortified to withstand such shots, that is if they do better than Oliseh in terms of shooting from a far. But in truth Oliseh as started his major philosophy of which i will rephrase as “To play in the Super Eagles, play for a first division side”. Is Albanian or Chinese league inclusive?

Enough of this Philosophy love, jargun and quotes. Today is a holiday in Nigeria. A couple of animals must have lost their lives. I can only wait for the Nigerian Premier League and its LMC philosophy by Sunday again. But before than, Wenger has a philosophical game to show us on Saturday.

Check out this Arsenal family philosophy unlike a bus-parking philosophy club that commit adultery and fornication with their teammates wives and girl friends.

Players relax in the pool

Jeez, enough of this philosophies. Socrates must be smiling in his grave or heaven or ideal world.

 

 

Monday Morning Arsenal

It is another morning, a Monday morning, the beginning of another business week. This post should have been on Friday morning but time and chance happened.

image

The Barclays Asia Trophy begins this week in Singapore and Arsenal have released the squad to partaker in the preseason  competition. Alexis, Ospina, Rosicky, and Welbeck have been left out for reasons ranging from Copa America to injuries.

The full squad include: Chuba Akpom, Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin, Santi Cazorla, Petr Cech, Calum Chambers, Francis Coquelin, Dan Crowley, Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs, Olivier Giroud, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny, Emiliano Martinez, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Wojciech Szczesny, Theo Walcott, Chris Willock, Jack Wilshere, Gedion Zelalem

So Szczesny will start his training or competition with Cech, few weeks earlier than Ospina, that is if Ospina will remain following interest from every nook and cranny. The Pole will be grinning to retain his no1 jersey following Cech’s choice of no33.

@PetrCech: Starting new chapter at 33 years of age with 333 games in the premier league … That’s an easy choice 😄

image

I am sure he would have given us another reason if the number 1 jersey is available. Let us see how this chapter will be.

Arteta expectedly signed a new deal and Wenger expressed his indecision in signing Cech and his sadness in letting his son Diaby go. Who comes in next? Podolski has bidded us goodbye after lighting a grenade at White Hart Lane. I will miss his loaded left foot.

So there it is ladies and gentlemen, will it be a two horse race this season? Will United challenge Arsenal and Chelsea? Will City be better with $35M Sterling? – the skyrocketed price of a home grown player. The transfer window is still open, hopefully we get another signing.

A Little Dose of Nigeria.
Sunday Oliseh is poised to become Nigeria’s new coach after Keshi was re-sacked. Will he take Nigeria to the promise land? I laugh in swahili with my 3D glasses.

It was a sad one for Enyimba in Warri as Warri Wolves ended their unbeaten run. The two times African Champions were looking to go 10 games unbeaten. Reigning champions, Kano Pillars were beaten by Akwa United in Uyo and Sharks crawled out of the bottom

image

with an away win.

Have a nice footballing week.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Cech in, Podolski out and Alexis Win

Last week was eventful for the red half of North London with the transfer market ongoing and the Copa America coming to an end.

Cech In
Cech decided to be cleansed of his blueness and Mourinho-ism by switching over to Arsenal after losing his place last season to Courtois. The Czech international appreciated Chelsea for the trophies and the buses. His letter had no Jose but Roman’s money was appreciated.

image

On Monday, Cech was unveiled at the Emirates without his Chelsea helmet. Arsenal will need to make a fancier helmet than the rugby hat he currently wears playing the beautiful game. Some sorrowful blue fans took to the internet to express their hate for the move. Some labelled him a snake, others wished he gets another head injury or even have his family deleted from the surface of the earth. Just imagine.

I can see Mourinho fuming, Rosicky the secret agent smiling, Wenger grinning, Szczesny fired up, Ospina packing and Martinez pondering. How Arsenal will play next season is Wenger’s headache.

Podolski Out
After 85 games for the gunners, Podolski have moved on to grab a bite of Gala (a popular snack in Nigeria) in Turkey. The deadly left footed striker saw his chances limited in North London and was away on loan to Inter last seaso

image

n.

The German prince, ever active on social media had one of the best conversion rates in the Premier League in the last 3 years and the Champions League. Aha Podoski. He will surely be missed. Ask Goonerdaily.

Alexis Wins Copa Americ

image

a

Alexis Sanchez scored a “panenka” as Chile defeated Messi’s Argentina on penalties. 120 minutes of near misses and no goals, had to be decided by penalties. Higuain started the penalty misses to add another grief to Messi’s national career. Three straight semifinals and 2nd best all through. One Alien is not enough

image

Back to Alexis, no better way to break your country’s 99yrs wait for a trophy. See the ecstasy in the charged stadium. There will celebrations in Chile for a long time. The FA cup and The Copa America Trophy all in Alexis’ bag.

In other news, RVP’s career is believed to be heading to borders of Turkey. Hope he doesn’t join ISIS. His sidekick, Nasri is also in the news – regrets?

Can the preseason begin please – this no activity involving Arsenal is suffocating, unless you are following the Nigerian League.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Last Week Next Week in Nigeria: Stephen Keshi Re-sacked, GloNPFL GW15 and GW16

Stephen Keshi’s return to coach the Super Eagles have been terminated after just one game. As quoted by the NFF website:…

The Nigeria Football Federation has terminated the appointment of Stephen Keshi as Head Coach of the Senior National Football Team, Super Eagles. A statement by the NFF Executive Committee on Saturday said this decision was made, “having thoroughly reviewed the reports/findings of the NFF Disciplinary Committee and NFF Technical and Development Committee, as well as having reviewed the actions and inactions of Mr. Stephen Keshi, in the performance of his duties as Super Eagles’ Head Coach, which we found to lack the required commitment to achieve the Federation’s objectives as set out in the Coach’s employment contract.” The statement went further: “To this end and pursuant to the provisions of Clause 4.3 of the Employment Contract between Mr. Stephen Keshi and the NFF (The Contract) and the various clauses therein, the Nigeria Football Federation has decided to exercise its option to summarily terminate the employment contract of Mr. Stephen Keshi with the Federation with immediate effect.” It added that the termination was “without prejudice to the settlement of any existing and due financial obligations between the NFF and Mr. Keshi.” NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, speaking on behalf of the entire Executive Committee of NFF, assured Nigerians that the decision was not taken lightly or with any prejudice, but in the ultimate interest of Nigeria football. He thanked Mr. Keshi for his services to the country and wished him the very best in his future endeavours. “In the interim, the Super Eagles’ team affairs will be jointly managed by Assistant Coach, Salisu Yusuf and the Technical Directorate of the NFF headed by Coach Shuaibu Amodu, until the Federation names in due course a new Head Coach, who, along with the NFF will chart a new direction for the Super Eagles to ensure credible participation in international competitions and assist in building a sustainable football culture for the country,” said Akinwunmi.

Why reinstate the former Eagles captain and sack him after just one game? Is this connected to the fact that he applied for the Cote d’Ivoire job? Or because of the 2-0 victory over Chad? This continuous discontinuation of the bench has to be curbed. Snail Sai Baba has no time for Nigerian football in order to save him like his predecessor. Away from the headaches of the National team, the Nigeria Premier League continues to add smiles to millions of Nigerians who crave for more in the local league. After game week 15 played on Wednesday, Sunshine returned to the top of the table with Enyimba’s away victory over Kwara United pushing the Elephants to 2nd spot. Wikki Tourists could only enjoy the top for three days as they were held at home to Giwa FC. Sharks continue to dig their feet in the murdy waters of relegation after they were pipped by Shooting Stars in Ibadan. Their Port Harcourt brother were also pipped by Elkanemi Warriors. The Oriental derby between Heartland and IfeanyiUbah ended in a favour of Heartland, while Bayelsa United were beaten in Aba 3-1 by Abia Warriors. Today, The league continues with the Abia Derby the juiciest of the fixtures. ThatEnyimbaFan has a preview for you. Other matches include: Dolphins vs Wikki Tourists, Giwa FC vs Heartland FC, IfeanyiUbah vs Shooting Stars, Sharks FC vs Nasarawa United, Bayelsa United vs Warri Wolves, Lobi Stars vs Sunshine Stars, Akwa United vs Rangers, Kano Pillars vs Elkanemi Warriors. Taraba FC drew 0-0 with Kwara United yesterday.

Small boys are in town. Enyimba vs Abia Warriors Match Preview.

Enyimba FC (via ThatEnyimbaFan)

The Abia Derby between Enyimba FC and Abia Warriors will be live on Super Sports 9 by 4pm Nigerian time. Don’t miss it. The two times African Champions are currently unbeaten in their last 8 games and look set to get the League trophy from Kano Pillars this season. You can get more information from the LMC website: www.npfl.ng That is all for Nigeria, till next week Enjoy.

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