Two Weeks, No Title, Arsenal and Nigerian Football

As I start today’s post, i seriously don’t know what to title it. It is almost two weeks since i blogged on football and a lot has happened in that space of time.

My concerns as a Nigerian gooner include anything about Nigerian football, and the Arsenal ecosystem. But I have beared the consequences of being deemed excellent at work and thus the corresponding increase in responsibilities. These responsibilities have stolen my blogging time but the news have not gone by unnoticed.

So what have happened? What is happening? In no chronological order, these have occupied my footballing Galaxy:

1. Flying Eagles in New Zealand.
It was not a new song in New Zealand for the U-20 male team of Nigeria. The Flying Eagles qualified from their group but were machined out by their German counterpart captained by a Nigerian by birth. So the fairytales of Iheanacho, Sokari, Yahaya et all ended in the 2nd round. Same Germans were knocked out by another African side. This tea is sweet.

2. Okon’s Super Falcons
The senior female national team could not progress from their group of death as they lost to Australia and USA to finish bottom. The perennial African bullies flattered to deceive in their 1st game against Sweden with a spirited 3-3 draw. None of Oshoala, Oparanozie nor Nkwocha could save the team. Courtney couldn’t even finish a game. While Okon left all the job to God and Faith, others did their assignment. It is high time, Nigeria stops marking attendance in the women Worldcup. Poor outing as before.
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3. Odion Ighalo vs Chad.
Nigeria’s highest scoring striker in Europe came from the bench to rescue the Super Eagles in their AFCON 2017 qualifier against Chad. Ighalo provided the assist to Salami goal before scoring from the spot to seal a 2-0 victory. Other features of the game includes Enyeama’s saves, Musa’s thorns and Onazi’s ganja moment.

4. COPA America
The South American football fiesta kicked off in Chile with Sanchez helping his team to the semifinal currently. The Arsenal man has a diving headed goal to his name but will hope to score the winner in the final to come – Maybe against Argentina
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Other flash points from Chile includes the Neymar madness, Falcao’s sufferings, Messi and the Jamaican selfie, Jara’s fingering of Cavani – see the enjoyment on his face, and many others.
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Can Nigeria be invited to the Copa America? It will be a good form of growth for the team, especially the home base team.

5. Cech-in Arsene’s 3 World class Goalies.
Chelsea’s Cech looks set to join the Arsenal after undergoing medicals today. He may even be taking his club photos now. The tales of Cech is like a sound cracker A.K.A. banger thrown in the middle of a crowd. How the 3 “world class” goalies will react or how Wenger will make his choice has been a thing of debate recently.
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Ospina reacted to the Cech-ing tales with heroics against Argentina last night. Unfortunately he is out but made loads of saves with a little moment of porn per game especially with backpasses. Szczesny got his tiger instead and Martinez just continued to be Martinez. Ospina is more likely to join Fenerbahce. There goes our Oooooospina chant.
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6. NFF, Enyeama and Keshi.
The NFF is currently at loggerheads with Super Eagles captain and number one goalie, Vincent Enyeama. The former Enyimba goalie complained about the Kaduna stadium but the NFF is not taking the complaints likely. I have purposely locked up my mind from that saga. Incase you don’t know, Onazi was fined for his red card against Chad.

On Keshi’s part, he was shortlisted fir the Cote d’Ivoire job and the NFF is going haywire. Did he apply? Can he apply?

7. The Glamour of the Nigerian Premier League.
The League resumed after the weeks break with Week 11 fixtures. Sunshine Stars remain on top of the log after sending Kano Pillars to the cleaners in GW13. Gabros FC changed name to IfeanyiUbah FC and grabbed an impressive 4-1 away win to El-Kanemi Warriors. The Adamasingba Stadium was filled to the brim as Enyimba visited Shooting Stars and continued their impressive run of not conceding a goal -304 mins and still counting.
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With the low match activities in Europe, the Nigerian Premier league offers a gateway to football satisfaction. The LMC have done a good job in upgrading the league. Visit a stadium near you for the goal harvests on Sunday for GW14.

What a long post. The 2 weeks inactivity has caused this. Enjoy your weekend. Eat and drink football.

Enjoy.

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

Finally, Arsene Part Ways With Diaby

Abou Vassiriki Diaby joined Arsenal as a 19yr youngster in 2006 and has been “released” by Arsenal after being hindered from achieving his full dreams with the Gunners no thanks to injuries.

Broken Ankle: The Effect of Dan’s Smith Tackle at Sunderland

According to the Premier League website, Premier League rules require all clubs to submit their retained and released lists to the Premier League by the third Saturday in May. So the clubs have submitted the list of players that they will be keeping in their squads and the ones they will be releasing for 2014/15.

The following players were released from Arsenal and are available on free transfer.

  1. Ajayi Oluwasemilogo Adesewo
  2. Diaby Vassiriki Abou
  3. Jebb Jack
  4. Lipman Austin
  5. Miyaichi Ryo
  6. Ormonde-Ottewill Brandon
  7. Vickers Josh

 

Please note that players signified as a “free transfer” or released by a club on the expiry of their contract on 30 June 2015, could remain there next season and so this list should not be seen as definitive for players leaving their club.

So there we go people, the romance has ended. The contracts for Rosicky and Arteta will most likely be renewed seeing that they were not listed on the free transfer section of the list. But our dear lovely Diaby will looks certain to leave Ashburton Grove for “greener” pastures. Whether he finds the pasture that will make be on the pitch again is a story for another. Curse be to Injuries, for they have robbed us of a fine youngman, a good midfielder, a fine gentleman.

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Diaby will be allowed to use the Club’s training facilities while he searches for a new club. Will Wenger do a U-turn? Such love he had for Diaby, how this decision may have hurt him so much. But he has to be objective and less emotional.

Despite having such weird stats as playing 16 minutes in a possible 6840 in the Premier League since August 2013, scoring 19 goals in 180 games and having 42 injuries, I will always love him for kicking racism out of football.

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Kick Racism Out of Football

What was your best Diaby moment?

One last thing, I feel sad that Ryo was unable to make it with Arsenal. Wish you better luck son.

FIFAWWC & FIFAWYC: Nigeria’s Super Falcons & Flying Eagles

Before Arsenal, I was Nigerian. During Arsenal, there is Nigeria. After Arsenal, there is Nigeria. Arsenal have rounded up for the season but football lives on in Canada, New Zealand and all over the world.

Nigeria’s U-20 Male team have been in New Zealand aiming to win the FIFA World Youth Championship for the 1st time. The flying Eagles have never won this title. They came closest in Holland 2005 when a certain alien in human skin scored two penalties to make Chinedu Ogbuke’s header useless. That alien has gone on to win the FIFA Footballer of the year/ Ballon D’or while Mikel, who stood beside him on the podium 10 years ago is comfortable with the cold benches in West London. Messi was the alien. Where is Ogbuke? recently dumped by Schalke 04. What of Kaita? Jumping from one NPFL club to the other. Taye Taiwo? Gift Atulewa? Ambrose Vanzekin?

Flying Eagles

Flying Eagles

Back to the current Flying Eagles, they are blessed with “age” and pace upfront. They have a certain Iheanacho in the youth ranks of Manchester City, Yahaya with Spurs and others like Success, Awoniyi and a good coach in Manu Garba. They started with a 4-2 defeat to Brazil before defeating North Korea and Hungary 4-0 and 2-0 respectively. Will they break the jinx and bring back the trophy for Buhari? Change? Nigeria has been successful in the u-17, U-23 Olympics and will be happy to add the U-20 to their cabinet in the glass house. 1st, they have the German hurdle to jump.

In Canada, The Falcons served the universe with one of the best comebacks of the FIFA Women Worldcup. The Super Falcons from 2-0 down to nick a point from Sweden thanks to goals from player of the match, Ngozi “Ozil” Okobi, Asisat Oshoala and Ordega. The Falcons have never gone beyond the quarter final of the Worldcup and have generally been woeful with just 3 wins in 20 Worldcup games. They face Australia on Friday night before squaring up against the USA, a team they have never picked a point from.

Oshoala

Can Oshoala inspire the ladies to a breakthrough in the world stage. The ladies have performed well in the youth Worldcups and will hope to transfer their success in the big stage. Can Perpetua Nkwocha’s experience push them further into the tournament? This will most likely be her swansong, being the oldest lady in the tournament. Same is applied to Precious Dede; can she give way for the younger goalie like Whyte and Ohiaeriaku, the latter being the youngest babe in Canada?

Nigerians have their hopes on the Super Falcons and Flying Eagles especially seeing how the Ladies put up a great comeback and how the Lads have kept their cool in the land of the kiwis. Many believe that the Super Eagles may never have recovered from a first half 2-0 defeat.

The Super Eagles will need to draw inspiration from the two national teams on FIFA assignment and beat Chad on Saturday in an AFCON 2017 qualifier.

In case you don’t know, the Nigeria Professional Football League resumes this weekend. Yipeeeee.

Till we meet, #SupportTheNPFL

@AmosCP

UCL Final, Flying Eagles Sunday

Since Arsenal won the FA cup my footballing world have been all about the Flying Eagles of Nigeria in New Zealand, Sepp Blatter’s FIFA and the FA “shitty” case of Jack Wilshere. Even Tottenham know that the FA must have been on some cheap weed before charging Wilshere.

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Champions of Europe

Last night, Barcelona completed their 2nd treble of all time, beating Juventus 3-1 in the UEFA Champions league final. Rakitic opened scoring before Morata levelled for the Old Lady in the 2nd half. Suarez grabbed the winner before Neymar sealed victory with the last kick of the game. Juventus had no Chellini, he may have tasted good in Suarez’s mouth – yummy.

How Pirlo wept, Pogba consoled. How Suarez jubilated, after so many years of trophylessness in Anfield. In just a season, he has gotten 3 cool trophies. How Neymar screamed, enjoying the largese of the superhuman, Messi. How Ronaldo sulked, seeing Messi lift another trophy.

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Pirlo Wept

This is the only trophy that Arsene and Arsenal have failed to win. When will they win it? Soon? Next season?

Away from the Cremè de la cremè of European football, Nigerians journeyed to New Zealand by 6am and got a brace from Taiwo Awoniyi as The Flying Eagles defeated Hungary to book a place in the 2nd round of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

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Flying Eagles

The Eagles finished 2nd behind Brazil in Group E after conceding 4 goals and scoring 8 with a sole defeat to Brazil. Nigeria will face high scoring Germany in the Round of 16. This will be the 3rd meeting between Nigeria and Germany with a win a piece.

It was good news for Africa in the U-20 World Cup with all four representative qualifying for the Round of 16 – Mali, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria.

In far away Canada, The Super Falcons are gearing up for their opening Worldcup game against Sweden. Nigeria have been grouped with Australia, Sweden and USA. The odds are against the West Africans but they would put their faith in the hands of BBC Women Footballer of the year, Asisat Oshoala.

Nigeria have not progressed beyond the quarter finals of the FIFA Women Worldcup despite being ever present since 1991. Will they do so this time? Let them qualify for the group 1st.

The Nigeria Premier League is still on break till next week. Glory-hungry clubs have been involved in friendly games while others are fighting tooth and nail to keep their house in order.

There will be no Arsenal games for now. I will have to make do with the Flying Eagles, Super Falcons and the GloNPFL.

Did i forget that the Super Eagles have an AFCON 2017 qualifiers against Chad? My bad.

Going to Church now. Can we have another final next week. Later

Enjoy.

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

Behold The Arsenal – 2015 FA Cup Winners

Arsenal - FA Cup winners 2015

Unless you are in Mars or some unknown planet in the Milky Way, You should know that Arsenal have retained the FA Cup after a classy win over Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa on Saturday. Goals from Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Metersacker and Olivier Giroud gifted Arsene Wenger his 6th FA Cup and Arsenal’s 12th FA Cup surpassing Manchester United with 11 FA Cups to become the club with the highest FA Cup holders.

Match ReportESPN Player RatingsWenger’s Comment – Match Highlights

There is no better way to end the season than to earn a silverware. The atmosphere was glorious and the goals top notch. Walcott’s opener, Alexis’ screamer, Meteracker’s 7th goal and Giroud’s flick de la flick. Aston Villa had no response to the four goals with Szczesny having a free day. The Pole kept a clean sheet, was confident and decisive in the air. He sure has aerial command than his Colombian colleague.

Aston Villa met Arsenal three times this season and Benteke that breathes fire and brimstone could not even muster a shot on goal thanks to Koscienly, Metersacker and Coq the detective.

Few years ago, Arsene Wenger’s head was needed on Herod’d plate for refusing to follow the trend of buying trophies. He was labelled Specialist in Failure but have now gone two years winning the FA Cup and becoming the most successful FA Cup coach of all time – tied with Ramsey who coached Aston Villa before technology came to be.

This repeat of the FA Cup was more sweeter and calmer than 12 months ago when the gunners needed an extra time winner from Aaron Ramsey after coming from two goals behind to lift their first silverware in 9 years – almost a decade. This is how an Arsenal final should be – 4-0. Clean sheet. No yellow card. No error leading to a conceded goal. Just grace and joy as goals kept pouring in.

With great spending clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid all finishing the season without any silverware – unless you count Fourth Placed Trophy as one – Arsenal will have a good feeling and will surely see this 2014/15 season as a success especially seeing that they finished 3rd in the league and will avoid the two legged playoffs that adds to the stress of a new season.

Arsenal celebrate winning the 2015 FA Cup

With two FA Cups in the Emirates Trophy Cabinet, Arsenal must look ahead of the FA Cup and win the English Premier League and maybe even the Champions League. Since 2004, the Gunners have not tasted Premier League glory. In 2006, they came close to Champions League glory but Henry had Barcelona on his minds and fluffed his chances. Now he has the golden UEFA balls to hit his country man Giroud for his recent deep in form. I was happy Giroud scored in the FA Cup final just to spite Henry. With almighty Henry we couldn’t win the Champions League.

This is not about Henry. It is about Arsenal and the parade is just crazy with fans left right and center. The Blue have of West London will be green with envy to see so much love from the fans and even the queen. When the queen is on your side, you are safer. Ask those that play chess.

I am still basking in the euphoria of the victory. Hopefully this becomes the new trend at the Emirates – at least a trophy per season is not bad. Two trophies will be good for next season.

For now i can only thank the squad for giving us good football for the season and finishing with a silverware. I also congratulate the gooners worldwide including the craziest family – Goonerdaily.

On the lighter side, Lord Bendtner also won a trophy – DFB Cup with Wolfsburg, same day Arsenal won the FA Cup. One Lord. Vermaleen’s case is unique. zero minutes, he has a double already.

Enough of the FA Cup talks, Nigeria will play Brazil in FIFA Youth World cup in New Zealand. I wish the Flying Eagles the best.

Enjoy

Before The FA Cup, Nigeria, FIFA and Other Friday Rants

It is Democracy Day in Nigeria, the happiest Country in the world. It is a public holiday for me as i finally have a breathing space to open this blog and share my thoughts on footballing matters especially Nigeria and Arsenal concerns. *panting*

The English Premier League came to an end with Theo Walcott grabbing his first and only hattrick of the season as the Gunners defeated Chelsea’s conqueror, West Bromich Albion by 4-1. Jack Wilshere got his name on the scorers sheet and the internet gooners went haywire as they voted his goal the goal of the season. Never underestimate the power of Gooners on the internet. They rule the internet. Imagine Wilshere’s goal being better than Charlie Adam’s goal against Chelsea. Who cares, after all, he is an Orc. Bullies.

Theo Walcott

Back to the beautiful thoughts of Arsenal – The gunners played out a goalless draw against Sunderland before the final game of the season. The Black Cats rented Chelsea’s Beoing 747, and Ekene Dili Chukwu’s Marco Polo bus as they made sure Arsenal huffed and puffed for nothing. The result was not good but third spot seemed all secured with LVG usurping Wenger to the infamous Fourth Place Trophy. Well, the dutch can celebrate a trophy with the other dutch with the little boy in him. Do you know that our Henry-bewitched-recently-none-scoring Olivier Giroud have scored more goals than the little boy in the Devils Lair?

To Arsenal, all roads leads to Wembley for another taste of Cup glory. Last year, the trophy-less run was broken and the Gunners will hope to end this season with another trophy – if you count the Community Shield as one. Aston Villa is the stumbling block with Gooner Tim Sherwood the boss. Will Benteke rise to the occasion? Hopefully not. Koscienly is one of the hardest defenders to play against, you can ask Suarez, as far as you are not Italian or Serbian.

Goonerdaily have already started rating the Arsenal Goalies, Defenders, Midfielders and Forwards. You can add your ratings to his. I already have my nominees for the players of the season: Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin, Alexis Sanchez, Lauret Koscieny, Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky. Don’t ask me why I chose Rosicky. I will make my final choice after the FA Cup Final. Hopefully, we don’t have another Kos-Szc nightmare. Where is Obafemi Martins and Birmingham?

To some Nigerian matters, the Glo Nigeria Professional Football League is on a three weeks break to carry out some checks on the clubs. The full story is on the LMC website. Hopefully after the break, the league will be better suited for the season that is 10 football weeks old. Sunshine Stars of Akure still tops the log with Kano Pillars and Enyimba breathing down their necks. How will the new government in Nigeria take Nigerian football? EnyimbaEnyi has given us a tip of Enyimba’s iceberg relating to the new governor of Abia state. Will he continue to support the Peoples Elephant?

On the bigger stage, the Flying Eagles will seek to win the FIFA Youth World cup for the first time in New Zealand. The people of Nigeria wishes them well. Watch out for Manchester City’s Iheanacho and other goal scoring members of the squad. They love to score. The Falcons are already in Canada for the world cup. Will Asisat Oshoala, the new BBC Women Footballer of the year, help the team to their maiden World Cup trophy? They must be tired of being just African Champions. Haba.

BBC Women Footballer of the Year

BBC Women Footballer of the Year

 

Not forgetting the Super Eagles as they prepare to face Chad in an AFCON 2017 qualifier. The squad is nearly all home based. The LMC must be happy.

In faraway Zurich, the FIFA politiking and voting will hold today to see if Sepp Blatter will win another tenure of being the FIFA president, despite the recent arrests made to top FIFA officials for corruption charges relating to World cup bids to South Africa 2010, Russia 2016 and Qatar 2022. Will Prince Al Hussien usurp Blatter?

EASports have also included some features in the FIFA16 popular game. Women football have been included. Have Nigerian football been added? It still baffles me that Nigeria is a not a country in FIFA15 despite being in the FIFA worldcup 2014. The Super Eagles have been omitted and the Nigerian League does not exist in the sight of EASports.

Enough of Friday rantings. Time to think of the FA Cup and the Beerhugz gathering tomorrow.

Enjoy your Friday.

 

The Five: Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal – Anniversary, 4th Place and Many More

14/15: Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal - Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott forced Tyler Blackett to commit a late own goal as Arsenal grabbed a point at Manchester United after a fine second-half performance. The Gunners fell behind on the half-hour mark as Ander Herrera ghosted in to volley in at the far post.

Match Report – Wenger’s Comment – Players’ Rating

1. FA Cup Anniversary.

Arsenal marked their one year anniversary of winning the 2014 FA Cup by visiting the Red Devils in Manchester. By this time last year, there was joy in heaven that Arsenal had finally won a trophy after so many years in the wilderness of no trophy. I doubt any of the players remembered the FA Cup final but Ramsey put up a final-like display to pick out Walcott for the goal.

2. Olivier, Theo and Victor.

Thiery Henry seem to have cast a spell on his countryman Olivier Giroud. Since he proclaimed that Arsenal need more than Giroud to win the Premier League, the Frenchman have been in the wilderness searching for goals. he has been poor and hos touches have been awful. His magical flicks have turned to smoke flakes and his confidence is fast deserting him. How will Giroud get his scoring boots back?

On the other hand, Wenger introduced Jack Wilshere and Theo James Walcott. The latter was involved in the equalizing goal although after showing great signs of lost form and confused pace. To be fair on Blackett, that was intended for a cross but the ball felt, he could reward debutant Valdes with a weird goal. How long have Valdes sat on United’s bench. Before he could face a shot, he had already conceded a goal. With De Gea almost in the whites of Madrid, what will be fate of Victor Valdes?

3. Arsenal Crossed.

Arsenal have conceded just 8 goals since losing to Monaco in the UEFA Champions league. 13 games have been played since then and that is about 0.62 goals/game. But 7 of the 8 goals have been scored off crosses. Young’s cross to Herrera resulted to United’s opening goals. Can the gunners do better to prevent those crosses? can they defend those crosses? Gomis’ goal comes in mind.

4. The Fourth Placed Trophy.

Arsenal’s loss to Swansea at the Emirates added another twist to the final chase of the season. No one wants to finish 4th and 2nd won’t be a bad idea. Manchester City seem to have locked up 2nd place thanks to goals from Toure and Bony. A win for United may have given them hope of finishing 3rd but Arsene Wenger took a giant step in handing over the 4th placed trophy to LVG with that late equalizer. Sure, LVG will be so grateful to win a trophy in England in his first year. There are no 3rd placed trophies. Ask Wenger.

5. Others

Arsenal took zero shots in the first half. The last time they had zero shots in a league game was a 2-1 loss to Liverpool in 2004. The gunners took 5 shots in the second half, with 3 on target.

The Gunners need just 2 points from their next two games – two home games. First against Sunderland on Wednesday night.

Till then, enjoy this post from Goonerdaily on the Lord – Lord Bendtner to Feature at the Emirates Cup this Summer

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