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Archive for December, 2011

Wenger confirms Henry return

December 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hailed Thierry Henry’s impending return to the club on a two-month loan deal.

The French superstar is currently playing in American for New York Red Bulls, but as their league does not begin until March he is available to spend time on loan back in Europe.

Henry is poised to follow a similar path previously taken by the likes of David Beckham and Landon Donovan, who have enjoyed short-term spells with AC Milan and Everton, respectively.

Now Wenger has confirmed that Henry is coming back to the club on loan for two months, subject to insurance agreements being reached with New York Red Bulls.

“It was my idea. He was happy about it, but it was my idea,” Wenger explained.

 

“He is still class and has quality. He still has pace. It can only be positive, because he has exceptional talent.”

Arsene Wenger Quotes of the week

 

Class and quality

“We are doing it because Gervinho and Chamakh go to the African Nations Cup and to cover for two months is ideal.

“He is still class and has quality. He still has pace. It can only be positive, because he has exceptional talent.

“He is experienced, he is quality, and can help the players on and off the pitch.

“The deal is not completed, and at the moment we can’t announce anything. It is about insurance and I don’t take care of that but we have to respect all the agreements we need to find with MLS.

“But it shows that Arsenal is always special to players, such as Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann and now Thierry.”

Wenger admits the club’s all-time leading scorer is not yet fit to make an immediate return.

“I think he needs two good weeks work, he is here to help out. No-one expects him to be what he was 10 years ago. There’s no special pressure,” he said.

“We are concious that he is 34 years old and he will be just enough for us. He is here to help, when we need him he will play.”

 

Van Persie

Wenger is confident that Henry and Robin van Persie could easily line-up together, adding: “When they play together we will do very well, they are two good players who can give the ball and score so why would they not work together well?”

It is believed Henry could make his debut against Leeds later this month, but Wenger admits he still hopes to have Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh available before they depart for the African Cup of Nations.

“Gervinho and Chamakh could be available for Leeds, but only if we get an agreement,” he said.

Wenger also revealed that he is not looking for any permanent deals in January, saying: “We are not looking for permanent players unless we lose players, as we have a big squad.”

Finally he confirmed that England midfielder Jack Wilshere is recovering well from his ankle surgery.

“He is progressing very well, and very quickly,” he said.

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Eagles ban ear rings

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has warned the country’s players against wearing ear rings as he moved to impose a new and purposeful identity on the team.

“If we were Indians, I would understand, because it’s part of their culture but wearing ear rings by men is alien to Nigeria and no player is permitted here to wear them,” ordered the Eagles coach, who succeeded Samson Siasia after Nigeria failed to qualify for the Nations Cup for the first time in 25 years.

Skipper Joseph Yobo, Osaze Odemwingie, Victor Anichebe, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Peter Utaka, Brown Ideye, Dele Adeleye and Obafemi Martins will therefore have to do without their expensive jewelleries when next they are under Keshi’s charge.

This week Keshi began a training camp in Abuja for 30 players from the country’s domestic league.

The former international skipper therefore harped on discipline and warned against playing to the gallery as “the national camp is no breeding ground for players who want to show off”.

“We’re in for serious business, because we want to return our country to the top and any player not ready would be shown the exit door,” he warned.

“I will not quarrel with any player but anyone who flouts camp rules should pack his bag and leave the camp before I react negatively.”

Keshi promised that home-based players will no longer be used as training materials but rather given a decent chance to fight for places in his team with their counterparts from overseas.

He therefore challenged the players to prove that they are better than the foreign pros and he would stick with them in the qualifiers for the 2013 Nations Cup and 2014 World Cup.

“At the age of 20, I was already captaining the national team and I did it for 14 years, any of you here can do it and do it very well, just put your mind to it and with God we will reach the Promised Land,” he urged.

Heartland defender Chibuzor Okonkwo told the team officials he is Nigeria’s best fullback, but Keshi insisted he must prove that on the pitch.

“If you prove to me that you are the best then you make my team, otherwise you leave the team,” the coach maintained.

“But I believe that you are all good players here that was why you were invited out of thousands of other players who wished to be here.

“We have to prove to Nigerians that our league is still strong enough and it must start from you as the ambassadors of the league.”

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European drama for African stars

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

African stars scored, got red carded, were accused of penalty-area ‘theatre’ and became embroiled in a racism storm during a dramatic weekend across Europe.

Nigeria midfielder Peter Odemwingie struck a late winner for West Brom in a drop-zone showdown at Blackburn while Hoffenheim drew 1-1 with Hertha Berlin despite the dismissal of Ghana defender Isaac Vorsah.

Former Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng infuriated Siena wth a theatrical dive that earned a penalty as AC Milan won 2-0 and Morocco-born Auxerre midfielder Kamel Chafni accused an assistant referee of racism after being sent off.

ENGLAND

PETER ODEMWINGIE (West Brom)

The Nigerian picked the perfect moment to score his first goal since October as his last-minute strike clinched a crucial 2-1 win at Blackburn.

Odemwingie had gone six games without a goal and looked like extending that barren run until the 89th minute when he made a perfectly timed run behind the defence before firing a superb shot past Paul Robinson to give Albion their first win in four matches.

KOLO and YAYA TOURE (Man City)

The Ivory Coast brothers helped Manchester City restore their two-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Eastlands.

Manchester United’s victory at QPR earlier Sunday had knocked City off top spot, but former Arsenal defender Kolo and ex-Barcelona midfielder Yaya delivered composed displays as David Silva’s second-half strike killed off the Gunners.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR (Tottenham)

The Togo striker could not extend his impressive recent scoring run, but Spurs still moved into third place with a 1-0 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

Adebayor, who scored five times in his previous four appearances, was a menace to the Sunderland defence but it was substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko who scored the second-half winner.

DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea)

The Ivory Coast striker was below his best as Chelsea’s revival ground to a halt with a disappointing 1-1 draw at struggling Wigan.

Drogba had been in superb form during Chelsea’s run of victories over Newcastle, Valencia and Manchester City, but was subdued for long periods at DW Stadium.

CHRISTOPHER SAMBA (Blackburn)

The Congo Brazzaville defender set up Blackburn’s goal against West Brom, yet they still crashed to a 2-1 home defeat.

Samba flicked on goalkeeper Paul Robinson’s long clearance for Scott Dann to bundle in the 72nd-minute equaliser.

FRANCE

CHEIKH M’BENGUE (Toulouse)

Senegalese left-back M’Bengue picked a good time to score only his second league goal, claiming the equaliser with a fine strike in Toulouse’s 1-1 draw at high-flying Montpellier.

The visitors were trailing when, shortly before half-time, M’Bengue intercepted a loose pass before striding forwards and bending a glorious strike around Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren.

MAX GRADEL (Saint-Etienne)

Gradel claimed his second league goal since his summer move from Leeds United to give Saint-Etienne a 2-1 win at Dijon that extended their unbeaten run to six matches.

The Ivory Coast striker’s goal arrived in the third minute of injury time and saw him curl a low shot into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the Dijon penalty area.

KAMEL CHAFNI (Auxerre)

Morocco international midfielder Chafni found himself at the centre of a racism storm after being sent off in Auxerre’s 1-0 defeat at Brest.

Chafni was dismissed in the 55th minute following an altercation with one of the assistant referees but said the official had racially abused him, prompting the Professional Football League (LFP) to open an investigation.

GERMANY

ISAAC VORSAH (Hoffenheim)

The Ghana defender was sent off with an hour gone of Hoffenheim’s 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin when he brought down Colombia striker Adrian Ramos with just the goalkeeper left to beat.

ITALY

TAYE TAIWO (AC Milan)

The Nigerian played all of champions Milan’s 2-0 win over Siena. The defender, signed from Marseille on a free transfer, had become frustrated by his lack of chances at the San Siro. But playing at left-back, he showed great physical qualities.

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (AC Milan)

The former Ghana midfielder won a controversial penalty that Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted after Boateng angered Siena defenders when he theatrically collapsed to the ground under a challenge from Zeljko Brkic.

SALIFU AMIDU (Fiorentina)

Just 19 and already tipped as a future star, Ghanaian Amidu started his second match and impressed in the 2-2 draw with Atalanta, especially in his link-up play with Stevan Jovetic, one of the team’s scorers.

SPAIN

ODION IGHALO (Granada)

Nigerian striker Ighalo, on loan from Italian side Udinese, played in Granada’s 2-1 victory over Levante. Ighalo was dangerous throughout and prominent in Granada’s second goal, hitting the post with his right foot on the stroke of half-time and Abel Gomez followed up to give the home side a two-goal lead.

AROUNA KONE (Levante)

Ivorian striker Kone pulled a goal back for Levante in the second half with a near-post header from a corner — his sixth goal of the season.

IBRAHIMA BLADE (Osasuna)

Senegalese striker Blade scored in Osasuna’s 2-1 home win over Villarreal, reacting quickest to a centre on the 74th minute and equalising. Balde has now scored five league goals for his new club since switching from Atletico Madrid.

© Sapa – AFP

Anelka to make January Shenhua move

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Chelsea star Nicolas Anelka is to join Shanghai Shenhua on a two-year contract, the club said today, in a huge boost for China’s scandal-hit Super League. The 32-year-old French striker – by far the biggest name yet to sign for a Chinese club – will join next month, Shenhua said in a brief statement that did not mention the value of the deal.

“Shanghai Shenhua and Chelsea have reached consensus that French striker Nicolas Anelka will officially join Shanghai Shenhua in January 2012 after the winter transfer window opens,” said the statement on the club’s website.

There was no immediate confirmation of the deal from representatives of the former Arsenal and Real Madrid star, who will be the first ex-Premier League player in China’s Super League.

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Rwanda .:. Record against Uganda

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment
Friendlies M. V P D goals
at home 5 3 2 0 7 : 3
Away 4 1 0 3 4 : 9
Neutral Place 5 2 0 3 5 : 7
14 6 2 6 16 : 19
Africa Cup Qual. M. V P D goals
at home 1 0 1 0 0 : 0
Away 1 1 0 0 1 : 0
2 1 1 0 1 : 0
overall M. V P D goals
at home 6 3 3 0 7 : 3
Away 5 2 0 3 5 : 9
Neutral Place 5 2 0 3 5 : 7
16 7 3 6 17 : 19
Friendlies
2009 December Rwanda Uganda 0:2
2009 January Uganda Rwanda 4:0
2007 December Uganda Rwanda 0:1
2007 December Rwanda Uganda 0:2
2006 December Rwanda Uganda 4:2 pso
2006 November Rwanda Uganda 0:1
2006 July Rwanda Uganda 1:1
2005 December Rwanda Uganda 1:0
2004 August Uganda Rwanda 1:2
2004 May Rwanda Uganda 1:1
2002 December Rwanda Uganda 2:1
2002 December Uganda Rwanda 2:1
2000 July Rwanda Uganda 2:0
2000 June Uganda Rwanda 2:1
Africa Cup Qual.
2004 Group 13 Uganda Rwanda 0:1
2004 Group 13 Rwanda Uganda 0:0
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The Decalogue Mou Barca to win

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Jose Mourinho intends to rescue the best of Real Madrid in the last Classic and prop with the virtues that have made him an outstanding leader of the League. In his notes contained in the Ten Commandments that highlights the absolute need for involvement of both the computer and the crowd.

The Decalogue of Mou

1. Not conceding a goal or at least the first game.
2. The public to the Bernabeu all hell.
3. Forget the referee. Beware of cards.
4. Leveraging the strength of the aerial target.
5. We must not lose sight of the ball for a second.
6. Seal up the space, staggered markings.
7. Intensity, pressure, vertical and rhythm.
8. Extreme exertion and mobility to exhaust the club.
9. Concentration and coordination of movement.
10. Self-esteem. should not play with anxiety.

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Brazilian legend Socrates dies

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Former Brazil captain Socrates died today aged 57 from an intestinal infection, a spokesperson for the Albert Einstein Hospital announced. Socrates – who in 1982 captained what is widely regarded as the best Brazil side never to have won the FIFA World Cup™ – was taken to the hospital late Friday after suffering food poisoning.

The hospital said he had gone into septic shock and placed him on a ventilator and a dialysis machine but he was officially announced dead at 0630GMT. He had already been hospitalised twice in August and September this year with bleeding in his digestive tract, and recognised after these incidents that he had problems with alcohol.

A report in the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo claimed that Socrates would be buried later on today in a private ceremony in the town of Ribeirao Preto, 300 kilometres outside Sao Paulo, where he began his playing career in 1974 for Botafogo. The Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) also announced that there would be a minute’s silence before all today’s matches in honour of ‘one of the most brilliant players in the history of the Brazilian national side.’

Socrates also played in the 1986 FIFA World Cup but was not fully fit and is mainly remembered for missing a penalty in the quarter-final defeat by France. At club level he played for Brazilian giants Corinthians (1978-84) and had an unhappy sojourn in Italy with Fiorentina (1984/85).

While at Corinthians he was one of the founders of a movement known as Corinthian Democracy, which formed in the 1980s. Under its principles, all decisions made by football clubs, including the contracting of new players and training schedules, had to be approved by a vote of all members.

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