After the FIFA confederation cup held at Brazil won by the host nation in that 3-0 hammering of reigning world champions Spain, the new European season began on the first day of July 2013. I had summarized my last season and had look forward to the new season 2013/14.
While the European leagues are gearing up for the challenges that face them in their chase for silverware, relegation battle and top 4 as Arsenal has always been tagged in the last 7 years of barrenness, the African continent braced up for the CHAN qualifiers.
The CHAN is a Nations Cup competition for players plying their trade in Africa’s domestic leagues. As big as Nigeria is, they have failed to qualify since the inception. The competition is geared to foster competition among leagues in Africa and grow them immensely.
On Sunday morning, I dressed up and went to work thinking it was Monday. This is because I have gotten used to fact that Sunday Mba only scores on Sunday for club and country since the beginning of this year. Prior to the Saturday 4-1 routing of the Ivoirian National team, Mba has scored only 2 goals for Nigeria and they were in the AFCON 2013 held in South Africa.
African Nations Cup 2013 hero, Sunday Mba Saturday proved to be the slayer of the Elephants of Cote’d Ivoire, when he scored a brace and made two other goals in the home-based Eagles’ 4-1 victory over their Ivorian counterparts in the CAF African Nations Championship first leg qualifier decided at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna
At the confederation cup, Mba missed a glorious chance against Tahiti and the shame of it made him rise so slow like a lame lamb on the grass. He failed to score in the neither Uruguayan nor Spanish game where Nigeria was beaten. His fellow home based compatriot, Gambo Mohammed also missed a sitter against Spain.
I dont have any confession to make like Telema Davies but you need to talk about Sunday Mba. I am not a super fan of Mba or Gambo, but I do expect them to prove their worth when given the chance. They finally delivered in Kaduna: Mba with a brace and Gambo Mohammed with the opening strike. Mba finally scores on another day other than Sunday.
As for Arsenal, After Snapping Yaya Sanogo what next? Higuan has failed to arrive and the enthusiasm about his arrival has petered down with drops of unbelief and mistrust generating among fans and sports writer. Suarez is being linked and goonerdaily has taken time to see out the pro and cons associated with the purchase of the danger man of Liverpool.
Vito Mannone’s eight-year stay at Arsenal came to an end when the Italian goalkeeper signed for Sunderland. Meanwhile, Francis Coquelin and Johan Djourou agreed loan moves to Bundesliga sides SC Freiburg and Hamburg respectively. Elsewhere, some of the first team returned to training and youngsters Zachari Fagan and Anthony Jeffrey signed their first professional deals with the Club, with Zak Ansah and Hector Bellerin also agreeing new contracts. Finally, Arsenal launched a new away kit for the 2013/14 campaign and it was announced that Members’ Day will return to Emirates Stadium this summer.
Just as Arsenal has continued to put me in suspense and expectancy and with Roger Federer and Rafal Nadal’s absence from the Wimbledon final, Andy Murray’s win was the only spark in the none-football world. Andy Murray broke a 77 year old jinx of having a Briton lift that trophy.
I am happy for Murray even if I rooted a little for Novak Djokovic to usurp the title. Well, a Wimbledon won’t take Novak’s number one from him nor would it take Roger’s tag as the greatest ever.
So Murray has broken a jinx, when would Arsenal break theirs? I hope this season.
Tomorrow I would tell you of a weird Nigerian match.
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