Thursday, July 30, 2009

Confirmed: Kolo Toure Signs for Manchester City

The sale of Kolo Toure no doubt will be heart breaking for Arsenal fans. He is one of the players the fans have fallen in love with over time.

No one will hold any grudge. He has served Arsenal in a manner that very few have. When you consider the fact he came in to take over from player like Keown, and some other Arsenal greats, his quality can not be disputed. 16 million pounds is a lot of money, but Arsene as usual 'Knows'. He has never gotten it wrong in terms of when to let a player leave. After the African Nations Cup, Kolo Toure has never been the same again. But his sale will only make football sense if that cash is plunged back into the team.
If Arsenal Brings in a world class striker and and a combative midfielder, i believe they can challenge for the title considering the quality in the team, especially now that players who were missed for the whole of last season are back.
I know a few will graduate from the youth team, but at the back Vermalean and Djourou seem Arsene's first choice, Gallas, Senderous will probably have to fight for their places in the team. In all this Arsene Wenger must not anger Fabregas any further by failing to give him a strong midfield partner. 'Arsene Knows'.

The announcement was made on the Arsenal Official website.
Kolo Toure has today signed for Manchester City for an undisclosed fee.
Toure (28), who joined Arsenal from Ivorian side Asec Mimosas in February 2002, made a total of 326 appearances for the Gunners, being a regular in the first team over the past seven seasons.

During his time with Arsenal, Kolo won the FA Cup in both 2003 and 2005, and was part of the ‘Invincibles’ squad who won the 2003/04 Premier League, going the entire season unbeaten.

Now Arsene should use this cash properly to at least asuage Arsenal fans who will all miss Toure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not Again?! Arsenal Sells Another Player (Kolo Toure) To Manchester City

I don’t know if you feel as I expect you should feel, but I know this: Manchester City was not making idle threats about their bid to unseat Arsenal from the pinnacle of the Big Four.

As if buying Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor from the Gunners was not enough, they have performed the same, er, magic still on the Gunners. Believe me, they have bought Kolo Toure as well.

It all started this morning when there was news that the Ivorian was heading to Manchester City for a medical, and a few hours later, it was indeed confirmed that the star had been transferred to the Citizens’ side.

It is not quite clear at this moment how much the deal was worth, but I am guessing within the 15-16 million pounds range. That adds another, say, fifteen million to Arsenal’s end of the account after the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor for 25m to the same club – Man City.

Eastlands so far have not spared the cash as it is now believed that their total expenditure on new players has gotten to the gut-wrenching sum of ninety-five million pounds. Make no bones about it, these people mean business!

According to Kolo himself, he feels that this stage in his career is necessary for advancement as he has high hopes and dreams for football. He claimed that he is deeply in love with Arsene Wenger and his band of merry men (I mean, after eight years of sticking together, what else was expected?). In other words, whatever move he is making now is for the best – however you look at it.

He expressed total admiration for the Sheik’s ambition and he shared Mark Hughes’ dream for the club, and he feels that with the other squad members – Carlos Tevez and Adebayor, to mention some – his hopes can actually be actualized.

Someone said that Kolo is one player who does his thing from the heart. Once he is convinced and committed, well, the sky would only be a minor touchstone.

Something more for your reading pleasure: there are some speculation that our recent addition to Man City’s side’s fellow international might also be sold this week. I mean none other than Emmanuel Eboue. Apparently, the deal will take up the figures on Arsenal’s balance sheet for player transfer to an impressive sum of fifty million pounds. Good? Or bad?

Anyway, I believe this is just an interesting move in the favour of the spirit of football. Whether these moves will favour Arsenal, or Manchester City on the other hand will be a factor of time. I know one thing: there is steadily becoming general unease in the camp of Arsenal fans. Maybe Arsene Wenger is proving too inactive for comfort? Or does he have an ace up his sleeve? My curiousity is piqued.

Meanwhile, stakeholders for Arsenal are complaining that Adebayor’s sale to Manchester City was done is blatant error. They would have preferred his sale to “any other club apart from Manchester City.”

Please Give your Comment!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Arsenal: We want Solomon Kalou to Replace Adebayor

It seems that the Gunners are not looking far in their bid to replace their departed brethren, Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor. In fact, it is so close that it has to be in Chelsea’s backyard.

Our Gunners’ manager, Arsene Wenger obviously wants to get his replacement from across London. And guess who the intending surprise replacement is? None other than star player for the Blues, Solomon Kalou.

Ever since the fateful, and not altogether profitless, sale of their former player, Adebayor, they have been on the look our for a nice and suitable replacement. True, the Ashburton outfit are right now in the market for a striker substitute. It seems their eyes have finally rested on Solomon Kalou.

Funnily enough, they have declared that they won’t waste much cash on any replacement they select.

But according to my source, News of the World, they have finally come to the general consensus that they can get a grab at Solomon Kalou for the price of about seven million pounds. I’ll leave you to decide if that is a whooping sum or not.

The reason for their confidence might not altogether be far-fetched: See, our Ivorian striker’s contract is about to expire (next summer to be exact) and this might have led them to believe that the Blue team might consider that an opportunity to make some quick bucks. Logic!

You see, Chelsea manager has openly declared that he would be glad to have Solomon Kalou on for the next season. In other words, he would be happy for Solomon Kalou to remain on Stamford bridge, but there are speculations that the fact that he has not been offered a renewal of contract may mean that all pending and subsequent offers will be, and probably, are being considered. Solomon Kalou, did you know, is currently earning forty five thousand pounds weekly, and it seems that the Gunners want to butter that bread even more as they seem ready to part with seventy thousand pounds weekly as his compensation if he does join their club.

A “Chelsea Insider” (I call him, or her (though highly unlikely for it to be a she) a little bird) informed an outsider (a reporter, in my once again humble opinion) that Solomon Kalou, although flattered by Arsenal’s interest in him as their striker, is quite happy to be in Chelsea. He declared full commitment to the blues.

Times, change, people change, resolve weakens, and mountains wear off. Even Jesus Christ said something along those lines, He said If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to the mountain, be cast into the sea. Well, it may seem that Kalou is determined to stay with the blues, but I can some handwritings on the wall, although they are a little vague right now. The fact that Chelsea hasn’t come up with a new contract spells various meanings, some of which I would do better to leave to your conscience and intelligence for suitable explanation.

Comments? Excellent.

Adebayor Speaks for Man City: We can get John Terry on Our Side

This just keeps getting interesting and interesting. Curiouser and Curiouser, a famous poet once said. It seems that some teams are really determined to leave no holds barred in their bid to overthrow soccer power and unseat the previous top champs. I like it.

This Sunday, I bring you one bit of tantalizing news. At least, it was tantalizing when I stumbled on it: Our watched-after recent recruit to Eastlands has expressed absolute confidence that Chelsea’s formidable captain, John Terry can be bought over to Manchester City’s side. He believes that no man can resist certain forms of baits, it seems.

He attested vividly, in broad daylight, that there is a mighty chance that the captain could defect and come to Man City’s side of the football lines.

As much as I would love to allay the fears of all Chelsea loving fans, I cannot do that at the moment. And who is responsible for this aura of vagueness surrounding the whole issue? None other than John Terry himself! As long as he continues to be mysterious about his future with Chelsea, it will only serve to confirm many fears and suspicions that he is indeed ready to fly. The Citizens, sure know how to align a good squad, I must comment. What was that old saying? Money talks, bullshit walks.

Adebayor seems to be the mouthpiece of the gods on this issue, and it seems he feels that our Chelsea captain will do his new club a world of good, as well as complement his playing. He expressed full confidence in his club’s ability to reel John Terry in. He said this, believe me: Anything is now possible, including snatching the centre-back from Chelsea’s unsuspecting arms. He said all this to the Mail on Sunday.

He cited the fact that nobody would have believed that Man City would have been able to acquire both himself and Carlos Tevez six months ago, but the fact is, they did. In his ever-accurate logic, if they could achieve such a feat, they could summon the wells of their magic once again and do this.

He said that he, Carlos Tevez as well as other team members came to Manchester City to become a big team. Why shouldn’t Dear John be a part of the team, too?

Currently, Terry is with his club, Chelsae F.C. on their pre-season tour of the United States of America. He is the captain of the team, and led them to victory in their most recent fixture, which was a 2-1 victory over their new manager’s former team (Carlos Ancelotti’s former team was AC Milan, in case you asked).

Interesting. It seems Man City is really interested in a drastic showdown. I think this will really do to liven things up a bit on the football side in this upcoming season. I can’t wait to see where this leads. I am totally engrossed in Man City’s game plan right now, and watching them organize their playing force gives me a queer feeling of pleasure. I wonder if any of our English teams would sleep soundly while all this happens?

What is Your take on this issue? Please comment.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Victory! Kazier Beat Manchester to the Vodacom Challenge Title

Our upcoming and intending captors of the Big Four title have been beaten to the mini-tournament title for the Vodacom Challenge. As I recall, their recently bought star, Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor, was their forward and a key player in the match. How they lost, and everything else will be explained right now. I'll start with how the first half went. It was a 1-0 victory

First Half: The game kicked off in Tshwane, crowded, as the last few fans arrived to secure a packed Loftus Stadium. Manchester City kicked off, and the first few minutes of the match saw most of the play take place in the midfield, with the fans applauding good tackles and blowing their festive vuvuzelas.

In the 4th minute Chiefs won a corner, and Lebese sent in a fine cross which caused problems for the Citizens, but the defence was able to clear the ball and switch quickly into a counter attacking move. In the 15th minute Vidal was injured in an unfortunate collision with Chiefs and Bafana keeper Khune, forcing Ben Haim to replace him on the pitch.This game saw the debut of City’s new signing Emmanuel Adebayor, and the player was soon in the thick of things, combining well with Petrov in attack and being tightly marked by the Amakhosi defenders.

The game was tight in the midfield, with both sides working hard to keep the other from creating opportunities to push forward into attack. Snap shots from distance seemed to be the order of the day for the South African club, with Jambo and Yende having a go from long range on a few occasions.

The first half an hour produced few memorable chances with neither side looking particularly threatening. The fans in the crowd were keen to see attacking play from one of the potential English Premier League hopefuls, but it was not as entertaining as some of the previous Vodacom Challenge clashes.

In the 31st minute Adebayor had a shot on goal from distance, but the Chiefs defence did well to block the attack and frustrate the Togolese international.In the 40th minute Chiefs broke the deadlock after a few minutes of sustained pressure, as a corner filtered through to Ntuka, who controlled the ball and blasted the ball past Given in the Man City net. The reply seemed to show a mistaken touch from his hand, but perhaps the referee believed that it was not done intentionally. Manchester City’s response was quick, but Adebayor could not find the breakthrough, as his shot went wide of the target. The half ended with the score at 1-0 for Chiefs over their English visitors.
Second Half: Both teams made a number of substitutions at half time in an effort to bend the game in their favour, with Man City introducing Zabaleta, while the Amakhosi sent Nale and Dladla onto the pitch. In the 52nd minute Adebayor struck another shot at goal, but Khune stood tall and stopped the African Player of the Year from scoring his first City goal.
In the 54th minute Man City were once again on the counter attack, and a fine slide tackle from Ntuka gave the Amakhosi time to recover so that Adebayor’s eventual shot could not beat Khune.In the 57th minute the crowd were pleased to see the arrival of Brazilian superstar Robinho, thrown into the mix for the Citizens in an effort to find an equaliser.
On the hour mark a free kick from Nale slipped agonizingly wide of Given’s post, as the crowd responded with a groan of disappointment, before applauding the effort.The Citizens were pushing forward, desperate for a leveler, but the Chiefs defence did well to hold strong and stop them from advancing.
In the 67th minute Mathebula hit another free kick for the South African club, and Given had to be on alert to make sure that the strike did not slip past him into the goal. After the Soweto giants scored their goal they were in control of the game, with Manchester City struggling to find their form, despite the arrival of Robinho onto the scene.With time running out, the fouls became more frequent, and Chiefs were forced to play a quicker possession game in order to avoid the aggressive play.
In the 84th minute Chiefs had yet another break away, but Torrealba’s shot from an angle was weak and Given took it easily. A few minutes later Robinho had the Loftus crowd on their feet with a shot that was inches wide of Khune’s goal. Adebayor had a final chance to make a memorable debut for the Citizens, but he could not redirect a cross towards the goal. A few nervous final minutes passed, and the referee blew the whistle, as Kaizer Chiefs took the 2009 Vodacom Challenge title with a 1-0 win.

Good for the Kazier Chiefs, bad for Man City.

Wonder how they will still carry on about their taking over the Big Four Monopoly?

Comments? Please do.


It is with an immense feeling of football tension, tingling nerves, and excitement that I bring this juicy piece of news. Who said Action thrillers beat football? Tell that bugger: wrong again!! I am feeling the passion for football right now and I know that in a few, you would join me.

Let me inrroduce one who needs no introduction: Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor, star player and former player for famous club, Arsenal F.C. (the Gunners). In case a bit of news has eluded you so far, from last week counting up to today, the young Togolese is no longer a gunner, but has left to find greener pastures with Manchester city. Arsene Wenger, I heard sold him to the club for twenty-five million pounds, I think. Well, that is beside the point. the fact is that the Togolese now has a new allegiance, and he has openly declared that his new team has all it takes to strip his former club of their enviable position in the Big Four Monopoly.

Kind of reminds me of the movie: Renegade.

He declared easily: That is why I am here. that is exactly why I am in this club, at this time, and at this season. his reasons for his staunch confidence in his newfound love: They have got the players needed for this feat, they also have the squad required, and finally, they have the spirit. We should never forget that: the spirit; very important. The spirit to fight, tenaciously, until they get to the top Four. Hmm. Those are his reasons for signing into Manchester City.
And in the manner of great orators, after taking our hopes up to cloud nine, he confessed that he couldn't assure us (yes, us: the loyal fans and critics) of a position at the higher-ups, but he chipped this in: This club will do everything, fighting tooth-and-nail so in the end, we would all have to applaud. They will fight on the pitch, and try to hold the upper hand, and they hope they can gain the upper hand eventually. Bravo, bravo!!

Our dear beloved forward says that with the quality of players in his new club, and comparing them with the quality he noticed in his former club, he says that he is sure that the Citizens have almost equal, if not better chances of claiming a Champions League title as the Gunners.The forward also felt that having seen the quality of players currently at Eastlands, and comparing them with those at his old club, the Citizens have as much chance as the Gunners of claiming a Champions League place.Meanwhile, Manchester City, we know, prepared for and lost the match against Kazier Chiefs - the one for the Vodacom title - thereby giving the title by default to the Kazier Chiefs. It was a one nil game, and Emmanuel Adebayor featured in the game. Oops!
By the way: City's manager, Mark Hughes, is full of praise and admiration for his newly-acquired player.

Nothing could possible go wrong, or could it.

Please say something on this matter.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Can Manchester City Break the Big Four Monopoly at Arsenal's Expense?

Wow! The second “Blues Revolution” is here! And Manchester City seems to be riding the waves this time. Guess What? Manchester City seems about to break the Big Four Monopoly!!

Too much money, they say. But in this case, the money (or modestly put, Manchester City’s newfound wealth has earned them the ability to overtake the rest of the Premier League financially. Many of us are enthusiastically shouting “Go, Go!” as we believe that they may take over on the pitch in the next season.

Talk about the Big Four Monopoly: Manchester City is set to bring it all crashing down!! Take the eighty million pound outlay by Mark Hughes, and you can already see Man City buying Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry and adding to their ammo stock Carlos Teves from Manchester United. Whoopee!!

It might seem a general attack; a free for all brawl, but it seems that our nouveau riche club has a primary target: Arsene Wenger and his loyal boys. Yes, Manchester City now has the power to break the Big Four Monopoly in the Premier League. Smashing!

One reason why we have come to this conclusion is Man City’s buying of star player Emmanuel Adebayor from the Gunners last Saturday. Yeah, some Arsenal fans may jubilate that finally, the pain-in-the-ass player who always plays a game of come-get-me with their favorite club is finally rid of, but the basic thing is this: they have been further deprived of their top net-finder since Henry Thierry’s departure to Barca in 2007.

Fans of the Gunners are also becoming nervous as Arsene Wenger has failed to strengthen up front of their team. This has led them to believe that their position on the top Four position is weakly placed, and may soon come crashing down with the wind of change.

We know that Arsenal was recently threatened by the Spurs, but they were unable to follow through due to lack of financial clout, but this newly rich club, thanks to Sheik Mansoor’s cash, won’t have to lose a night’s sleep over this: they can take it head-on. They would never have to complain over squad depth or ability.

I am enjoying myself immensely: I like this. However, I don’t think that writing the Gunner’s off as a non-issue at this point would be considered as football wisdom. Infact, it would reek of folly. Yeah, I know that the Gunners have been down when compared to the other top Three in the last season, and there has been little activity in their transfer market in all four top teams. However, Arsenal should not be written off.

For one: Manchester is considerably weaker that the Gunners’ strength. In fact, all rivals for the fourth place are inherently weaker that Arsenal. Man City may have the stronger set of strikers up front, but they cannot make up for their weak defense as well as their inferior midfield.

One other thing: Arsenal’s team consists of players of high ranking and should therefore be given their due respect.

Bottomline: toppling the Gunners from the Big Four won’t be easy, although I sure would love to see it happen.

What do you feel about this bit of news? Comment, Please.

“Sharks, you are warned!” NFF Yells

What is it with people that make it impossible for them to accept no as an answer? The average man in the streets finds it quite almost impossible to take rejections gracefully. That is why they pester the souls of the hapless young gals they profess undying love for. But I digress, forgive me. I am here to speak football (We all speak football!), not to explain men’s seduction deficiencies. You would acutely remember the last post regarding the Sharks versus Warri Wolves Saga that degenerated into a fiasco of name-calling, back stabbing, and dung throwing. I even commented that they were dragging the name of Nigerian football in the mud at that time. That was when allegations of the Wolves bribing NFF officials for their position crept up. I heaved a sigh as the NFF said they were set to clear up the mess (not oil spillage), and I thought that would be the last I would hear of the ugly situation. But alas! Some folks just won’t just let sleeping dogs lie , and have been up to enthusiastic antics to create unwanted excitement. Of course I am talking of the Sharks of Port Harcourt. Now that they have decided that mama NFF won’t sleep, NFF has decided to make it worth their while. Last I heard, the NFF has issued a threat to the Sharks, since they stubbornly continue to press their claims for a position in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Let’s go over this one more time: the Warri Wolves finished fourth in the League, and so they were awarded the ticket to the chagrin of our dearly beloved Sharks, and they are bitterly refusing to see the light.

According to the mighty Sharks of Garden Club, they should have been the ones with the ticket, and not the Wolves of Warri. They have even cited CAF regulations and all its precedents. However, NF secretary, Bolaji Ojo-Oba said they were in the wrong, and even went a step further to issue a tacit threat to them.

He expressed unhidden surprise at the recent behavior of the Rivers State Football Association. He said their communication pattern recently had been totally disapproving and debasing, and that their correspondence with the Nigerian Football federation was totally appalling. He emphasized that the NFF had hierarchy and structure, and not a kingdom of apes.
He said that the Sharks have been saying that the CAF Confederation Cup did not make permission for a fourth-placed team in the League, but they have also not been able to show where CAF permits a second-placed team.

He said that their arguments were born of desperation, that their have been citing vague and irrelevant contexts, and that their language has been grotesque and utterly bizarre. He said that the NFF would not debase itself by rolling in the mud with the Sharks, but that the Sharks should be very careful at this stage. He said everything the NFF was doing was in Nigeria’s best interest.

So, Sharks, guess you are warned!

What do you think? Please Comment.

Battle of African Legends: Amokachi Opts out.

Come July 25th 2009, several past African legends are slated to file out to showcase some of the skills that saw them achieve so much influence in the African game of football.
Some of the names expected to feature are:

Ghana's Anthony Yeboah, Tony Baffoe and Nii Lamptey;=
South Africa's Phil Masinga and Lucas Radebe;
Guinea's Titi Camara and Kalusha Bwalya of Zambia.

Others include,
Ivory Coast: Youssouf Fofana and Abdoulaye Troare
Cameroon's Roger Milla and Stephen Tawtaw.

These are the people who willdo battle with a Nigerian team made up of players who featured at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.

Uche Okechukwu, Taribo West, Victor Ikpeba, Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha, Tijjani Babangida and many more yet to confirm participation.

This is not as. The organizaers will be parting with an appearance fee of $5,000 per player.

Meanwhile, Daniel Amokachi may not participate in the events as according to him, he has not been invited. No official invitation has been extended to him.
The former Everton and Anderlect star claims he might be in the stadium on that day but will not be playing as he is yet to hear any thing official about the said game.

“I have to be honest with you, I don’t know anything about this event,” confessed Amokachi in a telephone interview from his base in Kaduna.

“Yes, I have heard about it, and I have been called up by a lot of my former Super Eagles team mates but I don’t know anything more about it as I have not received a phone call or letter from the organisers.”

Many other Nigerian stars have already confirmed their participation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mikel Obi Stuck with the Blues For another Five Years

This is further good news for all Blues lovers. If you are a fan of the billionaires’ club, or you just love seeing your club scoring points all way round, this might just be another day to smile. Remember Jon Mikel Obi, the Nigerian Pride? Well, he has signed a new five – year deal with our Stamford buddies. He will now join the French player and winger, Florent Malouda. In case it eluded you, Malouda also signed a contract binding him to Chelsea F.C. for another three years. Talk about commitment.

Believe me, nobody’s forcing the young twenty two year old star to put ink to paper, as he was all smiles and good humour as he was announcing to website of the Blues that signing the contract was probably the easiest thing he had done in his life as he was glad to be with the Blues. Yes, he even said that immediately the opportunity came to sign, he grabbed it eagerly after discourse with the club.

He claims that his future with Ancelotti would be a dazzling one – he can foretell that: good! – and that he already has a splendid working relationship with him already. That really is something to desire, if you ask me.
He also had this to say: so far, all the managers who have championed the Blues have had their differences, making changes here and there to the strategies and procedures of the system. He also said that whoever came in as the new manager of the Stamford bridge club would want to make changes to the playing pattern. He also made it clear that it would be very little or infinitesimal changes, nothing drastic, and that the new manager would want to make changes to things like the team’s formation so that they quickly get used to it before the start of the season.
Young Jon Mikel Obi recently featured for the Blues in their friendly against Inter in the Rose Bowl last night. Under the management of Carlos Ancelotti, our recently signed-in Chelsea star is moulding himself back to his optimum sharpness. Might I add, Carlos Ancelotti has already altered the previous tactics of the Blue team, changing it into a four-four-two (4-4-2) formation, giving it a diamond-shaped midfield to boot.
Mikel admitted that getting back to fitness and all is really hard work, but the glory ahead makes it worthwhile. The manager wants them all sharp for the beginning of the season. For that to happen, it obviously goes without saying that they have to train – disregarding the strain and stress it comes along with.
Of course, the new formation also doesn’t affect out Nigerian International. He declares that he has had some experience with it in defensive midfield, so it should not impose some new regimen of learning too many new tricks. But he also agreed that it would make it harder because he would have to cover more ground for his team. Not to fear – Mikel says he is up to the task: he can, and will, do it.

Comments? Please do.

Steven Gerrard Admits Throwing The First Punch

We all know him as one helluva midfielder, and we respect his prowess on the field. Some might even confess that Steven Gerrard is their dream player. Yes, the Liverpool midfielder is well-known.

But I can tell you one thing you didn’t know: our Liverpool star is one hell of a boxer. Yes, you probably heard of the case from December last year. Well, since then some more light have been shed on the issue and it seems like our star was in the wrong. When the case was originally opened, Steven Gerrard didn’t admit throwing the first punch, but now he has come out in the open to say yes, I did it first.

Fighting for music! Sounds like the lyric for a weakly constructed song. I never knew some people could let music rule their lives. Talk about that for defending the food for the soul.

Gerrard, like I said earlier, admits throwing the first punch, but he says this in his defence: “I only threw about three punches. Only connected” The Mohammed Ali of Soccer!

If you are lost as to what started the squabble, let me take you down memory lane, to December 29, 2008 when our jolly star was celebrating Liverpool’s victory in the wee hours of the morning in a lounge. He was in company of some friends. He was also celebrating the victory of Liverpool over Newcastle. Now, you know that during celebrations like this, people don’t drink water. They just don’t. Therefore it would be right judgement to assume that our superstar was enthusiastically guzzling quite a considerable helping of alcohol. That was when he decided to change the music that was playing on the stereo. As he claimed, the manager of the bar had given him such privileges. However, as he was about to exercise his privileges, a certain businessman, Marcus McGee, thirty four years of age, confronted him and refused to grant him access to the card controlling the music. That was when Steven bellowed, allegedly, “who the f*** do you think you are?” (This has been censored for the benefit of young soccer lovers)

Because of this hindrance to the music change, it seems Gerrard, who admitted that on a drunkenness scale of one to ten, he was on a seven, pulled the man’s jumper over his head, so he couldn’t see who was hitting him. Gerrard say otherwise, he declared that the man raised his hands as if to attack, and he, who was used to mither (trouble, or bother) swiftly gave the first punch. It was also confirmed that his friend John Doran, 29, of Huyton, Liverpool, also helped in doling out the punches.

It took the barman, one Nathaniel, to separate the two men who seemed bent on converting the bar into a boxing ring.

All these have been revealed from police interviews with Gerrard and McGee. Marcus said it was not his permission to give over control of the card, but his job, so he just had to say no.

Steven Gerrard, however wants the dispute quickly settled so he can attend to other matters as this court case is making him mithered.

What do you think of this? Please comment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Drogba Signs with the Blues AGAIN!!

Those fingers that have been nervously and expectantly crossed as to where the fate of our dearly cherished Ivorian, Didier Drogba, lies can now uncross their fingers as all things have now been given better illumination. Finally we can tell you that the Chelsea player still remains a Chelsea Player: he has signed a three year extension contract at his present club, Chelsea FC.

It might bee good news for some, or bad news, depending on which side your bread is buttered, or depending on whether you think Drogba is performing at his best at his present location.

Yes, I know all summer, Drogba’s bearing and future in the Football ring had had a dark and mysterious ring about it, but now it looks as though the Ivorian star is ready to end his career with the billionaires’ club. Seems Stamford bridge is it, then.

Here is something from The Times , the deal has been drawn up for the sum of - wait for this - the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds weekly (120,000). The only thing remaining now is for him to solemnize the deal – sorry for the marriage term, but I think it is fitting – later during this week.

We all know Carlo Ancelotti, the manager. Yes, that’s him – he agreed readily that Drogba himself wanted to stay, and the club was more than happy to have the star on its list of players. Quoting him verbatim: “Drogba is a very Important player for us and we want him to play for Chelsea.”

He also said that the Ivory Coast Player was indispensable because there is no other striker in the world who would be able to do the same things as Didier. Hmm, hear, O hear!

Well, he says that he has spoken with Drogba and that he knows what Drogba wants. This is just to imply that there has not been a breach of contract, I think. Or maybe he is just trying to tell us that he and Drogba have a relationship very much akin to God the Father and the blessed Son.

Frankly, I think Didier Drogba is one fine player, and I am always proud to associate myself with Africa as a result. Well, if he has decided to chart his course with the blues, fine with me (my own personal conviction, not yours). They are not a bad set of people themselves, and I think Drogba himself has proved his mettle in the club in more ways than one.

The fact that he has chosen to continue his tenure and probably end his career with Chelsea might mean that he finds their terms and conditions, remuneration as well as their team spirit and managerial skills well above average and satisfactory enough to endure another three years.

To this I say: Didier, More Power to your Elbow (Or should I say foot?)

Do you think Drogba’s signing with Chelsea again is a wise thing to do? Do you disagree with Drogba’s choice? Maybe you can foretell his career with Chelsea. Any dark signs? Handwritings on the Wall? Feel Free to Drop a Comment.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nigerians In the Israeli League: Favourable or Not?

As we very well know, most of our Nigerian players are aiming high: joining one of the glamorous and exciting career-building European leagues. It's cool, but some, and overtime, increasing numbers are finding their bearings and are migrating to Israel. Yes, Israel is small, but crazy about soccer.

One may comment that Israel is small, but we should konw that despite its size, it competes quite favourably in european competitions, for example the Champions League as well as the UEFA Cup. These make it suitable for Nigerian players seeking a headway for our upcoming Nigerian talents.

One good thing that scores well in Nigeria's favour is that the Israelis are actually searching for African Players. Yes, you just have to believe that: they are looking up to Nigerian Players. Reason: sheer physical strength and endurace.

Take an example from our next-door neighbour: Ghana. Ghana's midfielder Derek Boateng, after playing for several seasons in Greece and Sweden, suddenly leapt and found himself in Israel. So far, he has signed with the Israeli Club, Betar Jerusalem. His reason: he heard that Betar Jerusalem was about to challenge in the Champions league. The one-time player for AIK Stockholm and Panathinaikos said that since his joining the team, they have won one championship and are on their way to a second one. How about that for career advancement?

One point in favour of our Nigerian teams building up their careers in the Israeli leagues is the relative minimization of competition. What I mean is, our talents have the opportunity of showcasing their prowess without the hassles of the bigger European leagues. More bang for your buck? You could say that, and I would agree totally.

Listen to more good news in our favour: During the last African Cup of Nations' in Ghana, Israeli scouts attended with an ear to the ground, searching for players to conscript to their teams.
Israeli leagues now have players from Rwanda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Zambia and they intend to take more. I candidly this is a welcome approach as it will strenghten the Championship muscles of some of our green boys so they can go out and do greater things. Don't you agree?

So far, Betar (The Israeli team I mentioned earlier) which is owned by a certain billionaire Jew, Arkadi Gaydamak, is now leading the Israeli league by eleven whole points. Now, get this: If Betar Jerusalem wins the title, that would put them at the top rung of the ladder, and give them a chance to attain the group stage of next season's Champion's league. Who says Derek won't feel the breeze, too?

The basic philosophy guiding this recent African player hunt on the part of the Israelis is the fact that for a Nigerian footballer, even though he may not be skilled, he would most of the time be physically fit. Fitness is the watchword: that is what they are looking out for.
Candidly, I believe that the Israeli league would be a satisfactory means of building and strengthening our Nigerian Players. Don't you?

Feel free comment on this piece: either in favour of it, or against, it would be appreciated.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Warri Wolves Instead of Port Harcourt Sharks? Fair Choice??

The chairman of the Delta State Sports Council for the Delta-based football club, the Warri Wolves, Amaju Pinnick declares satisfaction on the recent choice of his team, the Warri wolves for the Confederation ticket by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). “It is an act of God,” he was heard telling reporters when asked about his general opinion.

It has however been gathered that the rival team, Sharks Football club of Port Harcourt, is not pleased with the choice. According to them, the choice was purely political, as they believe that their Deltan rivals were not supposed to be given the ticket; they claim they were the rightful choice. They have even gone a step further to say that the Warri Wolves are not playing fair and are bribing top NFF officials for the prestiged ticket.

Amaju Pinnick vehemently denied these allegations, stating that it was absurd and facetious. He declared that neither the Warri Wolves not the Delta state Sports Commission has had any dealings with any top official regarding manipulation of the team’s placement. He said it would be a dirty deal, as well as political football. He also declared that such statements against the Warri wolves were a stab in the back of the football fanatics and general football lovers of Delta State.

He said that the NFF was governed by various laws, and they have not stepped out side the fringes of the law.

He also went further to state that the Sharks of Port Harcourt were a good team, having the essentials to bag a Confederation ticket of their own, but the Warri Wolves were also magnificent. It was therefore left to the NFF to make a choice between two good and engaging teams, and Warri Wolves FC was it. He considered a lack of professionalism and sportsmanship on the part of the Sharks of Port Harcourt if they could not accept defeat gallantly, but instead resorted to name-calling and bullshitting. He said it was essentially tantamount to throwing stones in a market place: generally hurting people indiscriminately.

The NFF is not quite over this, however it may seem. Various meoves are right now being made to clear up the mess and establish tangible reason for the choices so that these squabbles do not degenerate into a fist fight where mud will be slung on the whole picture of Nigerian football. In the spirit of Professionalism and sportsmanship, I think this is a welcome move.

Personally, If I were to give my opinion on this, I would rather go with the choice of the NFF as the Warri Wolves have played a really refreshing game this period. I am not saying the Sharks of Port Harcourt haven’t, but the fact remains that in a race, there would always be one who come first, and in this case, well, the Warri Wolves have clinched it. The NFF has been a really efficient governing body of Nigerian football: I doubt they were irrational in their selection.

What is your take on this issue? Please drop your comment.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Amodu Barred From Eyimba FC Lifts Federation Cup! 0-1

It was a rainy morning but the rain suddenly gave way for a beautiful warm afternoon of Federation Cup at the new Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere Lagos.

I made it a point of duty to be among those who will savor all that the rechristened competition has got to offer. Today i will stay with the positives. It was a day Nigerian football league had it rosy from start to finish. Except for some very minor hitches that i prefer to talk about in the next piece, all was well.

The Lagos state Government most be given full credit for this one.
I arrived the stadium about1.30 pm and tried to purchase one VIP ticket but was told its all been bought. I guess i should have made it earlier. I needed a VIP ticket in order to stay away from the usual trouble of the popular side but as i later found out, there really wasn't a need for that as the entire event went smoothly.

I met the chief coach of the Super Eagles at the gate trying to identify himself. The Security man there will not grant Shuaibu Amodu entrance. His reason? He does not know Amodu. I was shocked really that despite his colleges and some of Amodu's entourage and even plea from Amodu himself, the gigantic creature at the gate still refused to allow the super Eagles coach inside the stadium. That is how tight security was! This is not hear say, i saw it with my own eyes.

Well i needed a ticket so i left them and struggled my way to the next gate reserved for ordinary Nigerians so i can't tell if he was later granted entrance. Like i said, i will leave my comment on this till the next post and reserve today for counting the positives.

It was my first time in the Stadium and immediately, after passing through three check points to get to my seat, I realised why Jack warner had eulogized it so much. The picth was perfect and unlike Wembly in England, did not tear off as players kick and tear on it.

The first game wasn't really what i expected but the electrying atmosphere at the stadium can easily make one forget the low standard of play. It was a mamorth crowd; something we have not seen in the league for quite a while. Some spectators were so carried away they started requesting the super Eagles should be brought back to Lagos for their remaining World Cup qualifying matches, as for them, Lagos was the Eagles natural home. The 3rd place match ended 1-3 in favor of Lobi stars. As a matter of fact, many were disappointed with Bayelsa united whom they queried how they managed to win the league with such an abysmal display on a day like this.

Thank God we didn't sleep off! Then it was 4 pm and the teams of the moment were sighted. To cut a long story short, a new order has been created in Nigerian football today. The reign or magic of Kadiri Ikhana refused to work over a more shrewed and purposeful Austin Eguavoen's Eyimba. From start to finish, Sharks displayed excellent skills but always seem lost at the final third, when it matters most. They dominated the play, worked very hard and went very close at about 4 minutes into the first half.

At the opposite end, it was the exact opposite, Eyimba didn't really get into game till in the second half. But whenever, they manage to get to the box of their opponent, they appear more likely to score. They were much more business-like in the box than sharks and i knew that was going to separate the two sides and it did. A single first half goal was all Eyimba needed to lift the Federation cup for the second time as well as leave Sharks of port Harcourt in their trophy drought.

The positives here was that, the standard of play was good enough, officiating was excellent, crowd control was good until the end, and the CROWD. No one could believe that Nigerians can turn out in such numbers to watch a football match that does not involve Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal etc. It shows that with proper organisation and publicity, our league can become very big despite the dearth of big names in the local league.

Thumbs up to the Lagos State Givernement, Super Sports and don't forget our own Brila for Reala.

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