Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Video: Germany 1-1 South Korea + Ghana game won't be on telly + team news.

29/09/09: Germany 1-1 South Korea

Germany have just drawn 1-1 with South Korea in the under 20 world cup. This means that Korea must win their match with the USA on Friday, especially as Cameroun beat the Asians 2-0 in the opening game. Here are videos of the goals from, first, Richard Sukuta-Pasu (GER) and Min Woo Kim (KOR)

No show

In the meantime, Ghana would be playing England later tonight. Unfortunately, none of Ghana's terrestrial broadcasters would be able to show the game. They say Canal France International, who gives them the feed, has opted to show the Uefa Champions' League games rather than the under 20s for tonight.

It makes economic sense if you ask me, as the UCL will give them far bigger audiences and revenue. So there. If you really wanna watch the Ghana game, you gotta switch to one of the cable broadcasters.

I bet DSTV will be rolling over with laughter!

Even though we're not sure about how we may watch the game,we are sure about the team Sellas Tetteh would field:

Daniel Adjei (GK), Samuel Inkoom, David Addy, Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Addo (DFs), Rabiu Mohammed, Agyemang Badu, Opoku Agyemang, Dede Ayew (MFs), Dominic Adiyah, Ransford Osei (FWs).

He's keeping faith with the team that beat the Uzbeks. All the best for the Ghana lads!

The African challenge is dying + Ortega to miss Ghana friendly.

Four African countries entered the Under 20 World Cup last week, now it seems that number may be whittled down.

With Nigeria's poor showing against Spain (they lost 2-0) they are surely going home. The Flying Eagles can also not count on mathematical calculations because Venezuela have thumped Haiti by - yes you guessed it - 8 goals to zilch.

Samson Siasia is seen as the messiah of Nigerian football. He led this team to third place in the African Youth Championships in Rwanda earlier this year. And before that he had taken his country to a fine stint in Holland 2005 Under 20 World Cup. To further cement his reputation, he did so well in last year's Olympics, finishing second.

But now, the honeymoon is well and truly over. Against Venezuela we may say that Siasia was at the wrong end of a refereeing decision by Roberto Rossetti when Lukman Haruna was sent off. It took the South America's just a few minutes to capitalise on their numerical advantage. But still, they wanted good chances.

So, what about Spain? Like their first game, Nigeria failed to convert several scoring chances and paid for it. This kind of attitude is quite symptomatic of all the African teams in this championship.

This kind of attitude is quite symptomatic of all the African teams in this championship...and it should stop!

Take South Africa. You have a healthy 2-0 lead by the 72nd minute and because you have a red card, you concede two goals, one in the 90-something minute? Really? And they claim they are building players who'll possibly play in 2010. Pooh!

And then we come to Ghana. The Satellites won 2-1, yes. But HOW did they win? After coming from a goal down. Don't get me wrong, they showed character by so doing. Yeah, but how's this for character:

I spoke to my colleague Rasheedat Kadiri in Egypt and according to her, the General Secretary of the GFA said after the Uzbek game that "they had underestimated the quality of the opposition."

I mean, come on. When would African teams learn that in a WORLD CUP, you play the BEST in the WORLD? Naivete is what would kill African teams. I would love to hear a World Cup game at any level where an African team wins 5-0 or more.

That would be the day. But till then, they gotta be more ruthless.

* Anyway, Ghana's local Black Stars are scheduled to play Diego Maradona's Argentina today in Cordoba. One man I was looking to see play is Ariel Ortega. He's been a favourite of mine since the old days. Sadly, 'El Burrito' won't feature because of an injury he's sustained.

Argentina Squad:

Goalkeepers: Diego Pozo (Colon de Santa Fe) and Cristian Campestrini (Arsenal)

Defenders: Matias Caruzzo (Argentinos), Ignacio Canuto (Argentinos), Rolando Schiavi (Newell's), Juan Manuel Insaurralde (Newell's), Cristian Villagra (River Plate), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes) and Fabian Monzon (Boca Juniors)

Midfielders: Rodrigo Brana (Estudiantes), Enzo Perez (Estudiantes), Leonel Vangioni (Newell's), Federico Insua (Boca Juniors), Jesus Mendez (Rosario Central) and Mario Bolatti (Huracan)

Strikers: Gabriel Hauche (Argentinos), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Nicolas Gaitan (Boca Juniors), Mauro Boselli (Estudiantes) and Luis Rodriguez (Atletico Tucuman)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Videos: Egypt 2009 - The goals so far

24/Sept/09: Egypt 4-1 Trinidad and Tobago
Goals from: Moustafa Afroto, Hussam Arafat (twice), Mohamed (EGYPT) and Jean Lus Rochford (T&T).

25/09/09: Paraguay 0-0 Italy

25/09/09: Nigeria 0-1 Venezuela
Goal from: Jonathan Del Valle (VEN)

25/09/09: Spain 8-0 Tahiti
Goals from: Aaron Niguez, Emilio Nsue and Kike (all twice), Fran Merida, Ander Herrera (ESP)

26/09/09: England 0-1 Uruguay
Goals from: Tabare Viudez (URU)

26/09/09: USA 0-3 Germany
Goals from: Semih Aydilek, Florian Jungwirth, Manuel Schaeffler.

26/09/09: Cameroun 2-0 South Korea
Goals from: Akono Effa, Tiko.


27/09/09: Brazil 5-0 Costa Rica
Goals from: Alan Kardec (twice), Giuliano, Alex Teixeira, Baquita

27/09/09: South Africa 2-2 UAE
Goals from: Kermit Erasmus (twice, RSA), H.A. Kamali, T. Awana (UAE)

27/09/09: Honduras 3-0 Hungary
Goals from: M. Martinez, A. Peralta

27/09/09: Czech Republic 2-1 Australia
Goals from: M. Rabusic, T. Pekhart (CZE), J. Holland (AUS)

28/09/09: Nigeria 0 - Spain 2
Goals from: Fran Merida (twice)

Kotoko, best club in Africa in the last century?? Where's Ahly?

With a haul of 149.0 points, Kotoko have been voted Africa's Club of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

Farcical? Well...let's take a look at one or two facts.


“The IFFHS decided to determine the African club of the century (1901-2000) and the continental ranking of the century by using the individual match results of the later rounds of the continental club competitions as played by the respective clubs”.

The competition that qualified for points in the ranking are: the African Champions Cup now African Champions League with the following point awards - 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 0 points for a defeat.

There's also the CAF Cup (2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a defeat). The Cup Winners Cup and the Confederations Cup were also used (3 points for a win, 1.5 points for a draw, 0 points for a defeat). Plus the African Super Cup (3.5 points for a win, 1.75 points for a draw, 0 points for a defeat).

Based on these, the top position went to Kotoko because they have won more continental matches in the last century than any other club on the African continent. I must also say that the ranking did not factor in the national leagues of African countries because they are “merely a prerequisite to qualification for the continental club competitions”


But based on the past decade or so, we have to say that Al Ahly are the dominant side in Africa, any day. Al-Ahly was the first club to reach the FIFA Club World Cup two times following two consecutive appearances in 2005 and 2006, winning the Bronze Medal in the latter. They are also Winners of six Caf Champions Leagues (1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008). And many many more.

Ahly would be the best in recent times but as the German-based IFFHS have given us the criteria, we should be ok with that.

No restin' on laurels

Even with this accolade, Kotoko of the current would not take any solace from it. They are in some murky shite, I tell you. They were unable to win the Glo Premier league, the SWAG Cup, the President's Cup nor the MTN Top 4. Simply put, the fans are livid and want to draw blood.

Hence, the Reds are in the hunt for a new coach and we are told that they want Heart of Lions' Paa Kwasi Fabian.

For all the gloss of the IFFHS award, the management member in-charge of Operations, Ben Nti, sees the ranking as a morale-booster for a team does has little going for it.

“It [the award] brings good feeling and a sense of on-field achievements for the club, however, instead of celebrating the ranking to the hilt, I will recommend that we all do introspection as a family to see how this success was achieved and see it as a challenge on us.

“To me, though Kotoko played active continental matches in the 1990s to the 2000s, most of the achievements were done by the stars of the 1960s up to the late 1980s.

It therefore behoves on the present generation to do well on the continent so that in say a century from today, they would be remembered with nostalgia and fondness”.

Enough said.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swede keeper gives new meaning to 'moving the goalposts'

There is a phrase in business jargon called 'moving the goalposts' and it's not used in really pleasant circumstances. But a goalkeeper in Sweden has given new meaning to this phrase.

Kim Christensen, who plays for IFK Gothenburg, was caught in camera kicking both posts to make the goal smaller in a game against Orebro.

Later, he admitted that it was not the first time he had reduced the size of the goal.

Video: Ghana beat Uzbekistan + was it convincing?

The Satellites went into the game with the nation feeling that a loss was impossible. All the talk was of how Ghana could find their rhythm against the Asians, not about how they would give a scare.

Yet, that is what happened. The Asians went ahead through their skipper before the typical poacher's strike came from Ransford Osei's foot. And then the hope was back. Ghana played like demons were after them, steadily threading passes together and putting things in order.

The pressure paid off and Dominic Adiyiah did the trick. But there are questions about the Satellites spirit against more formidable opponents. Can they afford such laxity against England? I doubt.

Adiyiah was quite suspect and with the exception of his goal, he was not too good for me. As for captain Dede Ayew, a sterner referee may not have been too lenient with the way he kept falling so easily (and sometimes so theatrically.)

After this narrow win, some are calling for Gladson Awako to replace Opoku Agyemang.

Well, maybe Sellas would know what to tell them before the next game with England on the 29th (Tuesday)

Video: Drogba scores 6th season goal but Chelsea lose

Didier Drogba seems to be unable to do any wrong at all. He has scored goal number 6 for the Blues and he's keeping his tally intact. He's also provided 3 assists in the last 7 games, too.

Yet, some lazy play meant that Drog's equalizer counted for nothing as a spirited Wigan beat them convincingly 3-1.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hearts NCC don't want a foreign coach + Commey says it ain't true.

As the attention in soccer mad Africa stays on the just-started Fifa Under 20 World Cup, Ghana's two big clubs scratch their heads over the issue of choosing substantive coaches.

I was in town and I met the Chairman of the National Chapters' Committee of the Club. Now, Alhaji Amadu Brimah said he and his people were not too happy about the fact that the management want a foreign coach.

Now, I have to say here and now that this is only an allegation they are making because what they have is bits of 'snippety' evidence. Nothing concrete. But the NCC think that their management have even SIGNED an Egyptian coach - Ayman El Yamani - already.

"Hearts of Oak's financial situation is nothing to write home about so we do not see the wisdon in going for a foreign coach."

That is certainly true and cannot be denied. I am told that the club is in debt of just about 2 million Ghana cedis (20 billion old cedis; $133, 300).

Alhaji Brimah continues:

"There are a lot of good local coaches around. Some people like Paa Kwasi Fabian, E.K. Afranie and others are all excellent materials for the club."
Well said, but as it is, Paa Kwasi Fabian looks like he is on a one-way street to Kumasi Asante Kotoko, if this ghanasoccernet story is to be believed. E.K Afranie does not look like a man in position to handle Hearts at the moment, I think.

Back to the issue. As Alhaji Brimah said these things, I ambled over to Hearts' PRO Albert Commey to ask him if indeed the management had signed a foreign coach [Egyptian or otherwise]

"I have not spoken about this issue to anyone because I was not sure about management's position but I can tell you that the management are even yet to decide on the best person to handle the team."

However, he admitted to me that, indeed, four coaches have been shortlisted. He did not mention names. He added:

"I'd like to let the supporters know that the management has heard their concerns but at the end of the day, we have to take our time to choose the coach. They must also know that we choose a coach based on short, medium and long term plans. We are not happy about the situation that our last two coaches have lasted only for a short while and we spent that huge sum on them."

Yes, indeed. Kosta Papic was at Hearts for 11 months and cost the club in excess of $120,000. The breakdown of that amount is:

Sign on fee = $30,000; salary = $55,000; hotel bills = $33,000; flight costs = $3,000.

Eyal Lachman, the Israeli who preceeded Papic, took away $99,000 in costs:

Sign on fee = $40,000; salary = $35,000; hotel bills = $21,000; flight costs = $3,000.

I wonder how much Nii Noi Thompson - the guy who was put in place as a stop-gap measure when Papic left - earned in the few months he was in the post? After all he handed them the league title as you can see in this photo.

In that regard, I say that the NCC has a point, but then again they should lessen their interferences in the managerial issues of the team. At the end of the day, the NCC is not the Board and isn't responsible for the day to day running of affairs of the club.

That's the duty of Albert Commey and his bosses.

Let the under 20s begin!

Being the host nation of a major football competition comes with high expectations, and this could not run truer for the Egyptian Under-20 team as the North African Nation gets ready to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

While Egyptian teams at club and national team level have dominated the African football scene at senior tournaments they have not been as successful at age-group level.

Being the host nation affords Egypt the opportunity to use all the home comforts, such as playing with huge home crowd support. As well as playing in stadiums and under climatic and geographical conditions to their advantage, the Egyptian senior team won the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations as the tournament hosts and that is a feat that they will surely like to repeat.

Egypt’s best performance in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup was a third place finish in the 2001 tournament hosted by Argentina, that team and performance laid the ground work for Egypt’s current dominance in winning both the 2006 and 2008 Africa Cup of Nations competitions.

In current coach Czech Republic native Miroslav Soukup the Egyptians have a leader who is well clued up on dealing with youth teams, he was at the last FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada as coach of the Czech Under-20 team.

Soukup led the Czech’s to the final where they were narrowly beaten by the tournament’s form team an Argentinean team lead by Sergio Aguero. The Egyptians, in appointing Soukup, are looking to draw on his experience from 2007 to help them launch a serious bid for glory on home soil.

The coach has been fortunate enough to have had his team assembled for longer than the other teams have; he has selected his squad of 23 from a huge pool of players that he had looked at over the past six months. In his squad Soukup has opted to select only home based players and of that nine players come from the Cairo based Al-Ahly club which are Egypt’s most successful team.

At the forefront of guiding Egypt through will be striker Mohamed Talaat, who is part o the large Al-Ahly contingent in the team. Talaat to prominence earlier this year when he was the tournaments top scorer at the African Junior Championships in Rwanda, Talaat and Ahmed Fathi known as ‘Bougy’ to his team mates from the other big Cairo club Zamalek. Forms a particularly lethal partnership in attack with Talaat, such is the strength in the Egyptian team that they are equally strong at the back.

Goalkeeper Mohamed Abougabal and defender Saad Samir the latter having already played top-flight football in Libya and Egypt are part of the very miserly defence.

As the competition starts Egypt look to have all the correct ingredients to prolong their stay in the tournament, with a coach who has the know how as to what a team needs to succeed at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. As well as a team who have been playing together for a while, and who understand each other particularly well.

For Egypt starting off with a win against Trinidad and Tobago will set the platform and make their task easier for the rest of their group A matches. This will see them play Paraguay and Italy, being the host nation will definitely be a plus for the Egyptians, and a trip to the semi-finals is achievable for the young Pharaohs.

Egypt Squad
Goalkeepers: Ali Lofti (ENPPI), Mohamed Bassam (El Geish), Mohamed Abougabal (ENPPI)

Defenders: Moaz El Henawy (El-Masry), Ahmed Hegazy (Ismaili), Ali Mohamed Ahmed (ENPPI), Islam Ramadan (Haras El Hodood), Ayman Ashraf (Al-Ahly), Saad Samir (Al-Ahly)

Midfielders: Salah Soliman Ibrahim (Ghazl El-Mehalla), Hesham Mohamed (Al-Ahly), Mostafa Galal (ENPPI), Shehab El-Din Ahmed (Al-Ahly), Ahmed Shokri (Al-Ahly), Hosam Hassan (ENPPI), Mahmoud Toba (Al-Ahly), Ahmed Magdi (Ghazl El-Mehalla), Hossam Arafat (Zamalek)

Strikers: Mohamed Talaat (Al-Ahly), Afroto (Al-Ahly), Bougy (Zamalek)

How to take a penalty!

In an age where penalty taking is a chore many many teams worldwide, there has come the need for more and more experts.

And so when, in Russia, a Spartak Moscow player got ready to take a penalty and was confronted with the surprise of his life.....

...it invited not-a-few laughs.

After the fan's lesson, the player (Alex) took the actual penalty, then had to retake it, and finally scored by putting the ball almost exactly where the fan did.

Seems Spartak Moscow should have kept that fan (and maybe his mate) in the game though, as Saturn went on to win 2-1.

Thanks to offside for the vid!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mamadou Niang: no sweat, he's just good!

Mamadou Niang scored this fine goal over the weekend and thought you should see it. Once again, the Senegalese captain showed the way in Marseille's demolition of Montpellier 4-2.

With an assist and a goal in five minutes, Niang confirmed once more that he was one of the best players in Ligue 1 and has been exceptional for several years now.

His tireless work led to Edouard Cisse scoring Marseille's third goal in the 39th minute. Here's Niang's goal:

Remember the time: new film about Liverpool - Milan Champions league final (2005)

Have you ever wondered what happened in the dressing room when Liverpool were down (and as some thought, out?) at halftime of the 2005 Champions league final?

If so, then you are not alone. But now a production company has taken a stab at recreating those 15 minutes before the Reds came back to overturn the deficit so spectacularly.

In a film called 15 minutes That Shook The World, Miracle Productions have done quite a good job.....at least from what this trailer projects!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And the tour begins!

The World Cup trophy is set to embark on its longest ever global tour, with Fifa and Coca-Cola taking the solid-gold trophy to 86 countries during a 225-day journey.

The route of the tour, which will allow thousands of fans to enjoy a rare close-up view of the trophy, was unveiled in Zurich Monday by the world governing body and sponsors Coca-Cola.

The trophy will travel 134 017 kilometres and visit every nation in Africa to give African fans the once-in-a-lifetime experience of having their picture taken with the trophy.

Later in the week, the trophy will be flown from Zurich to its first stop in Cairo, Egypt.

“Through this event, we are really engaging football fans on a global scale, giving them the unique opportunity to have their picture taken with the most prestigious prize in world football and to embrace the excitement surrounding the Fifa World Cup,” said Blatter.

“I am especially thrilled that the Fifa World Cup Trophy Tour takes in all 54 nations in Africa and that this opportunity is thus afforded to all African football fans.

Asamoah Gyan is really back now.

When he featured for those few minutes in Ghana's game against Sudan, many may not have seen the comeback nature of Asamoah Gyan. But even before that game, the former Udinese man hadd scored for Rennes.

Last Saturday, missiles were launched onto the pitch and flares set off as the Rennes - Grenobles in the Ligue 1 game was twice interrupted, with both sets of players leaving the field in the second half.

Yet Asamoah Gyan scored twice, the first after only 27 seconds, with Kader Mangane and Sylvain Marveaux also on target.

Monday, September 21, 2009

African Champions League roundup

This weekend there was African football action on the continent in the form of the ACL.

Fortunately, many people think that the best four sides in the African Champions League group stages have made it through to the semifinals.

In the past, suspect refereeing and plain bad luck has spoiled the chances of some good teams from moving on in the competition.

It is a great time to be a Nigerian club football fan, as the two teams in Kano Pillars and Heartland have advanced. Democratic Republic of Congo's TP Mazembe and Sundanese side Al Hilal are all moving on.

Home form in this competition is crucial and wins are a must. And so we now have a all-Nigerian semifinal between Heartland and Pillars, while TP Mazembe will tackle Al Hilal.

Mazembe coach Diego Garzitto has already stated he believes his side will face Heartland in the final, which would be a repeat of their Group B clashes in which both teams won 2-0 on their home patch.

“Heartland are a tactically disciplined side and I hope meet them in the finals of the competition where I hope to lead my team to a resounding victory,” Garzitto said.

The matches will be played on the weekends of October 2-4 (first legs) and October 16-18.

This weekend in European football videos

Y'ello people. Another week of football and we're back.

This weekend saw the world football highlights stolen by the much-hyped United - City game. It did live up to the billing.

But I'm more interested in the goals of Frederic Kanoute, Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue.

Here's Keita's goal for Barcelona. This man is now an integral cog in the Blaugrana wheel, no doubt.

Mali's Kanoute also powered his Seville team to a 2-0 victory. Here are the highlights.

Didier Drogba got carried off his Chelsea's 3-0 win, but not before he helped with this goal.

Nigeria's Joseph Yobo also scored as in the crucial win against Blackburn.

Emmanuel Eboue was carded for 'cheating' and yet scored a legal one too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Adebayor reactions...

The English FA has spoken:

"Under the fast-track disciplinary process, Adebayor has been charged with violent conduct following an incident with Robin van Persie, which resulted in the Arsenal player receiving facial injuries," the FA said.

"Adebayor has also been charged with improper conduct following his actions when turning and running the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal supporters after scoring."

Adebayor has until 6pm on Wednesday to respond to the violent conduct charge, which carries an automatic three-match suspension.

The forward, who has scored in all four of unbeaten City's Premier League matches this season, has until September 30 to respond to the improper conduct charge, the City website said.

So here are the offences and reactions...

And then...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Emmanuel Adebayor is set to miss derby day after his poor behaviour in City’s victory over Arsenal. The FA are set to fast track the disciplinary for the in-form striker but it’s not entirely clear which incident they will be punishing. His celebration is worthy of at least a fine, although Greater Manchester Police have got involved and condemned Adebayor, which might mean he faces a ban. Then there was the kicking of Robin van Persie’s face, which was just inches away from his eye. But there was also a stamp on Cesc Fabregas.

In reaction to Adebayor’s goal, the Arsenal fans went mental, and rightly so in my opinion. Liverpool FC weren’t punished for their fans’ reaction to Gary Neville’s celebration in 2006, where they ripped out seats and threw them on the pitch, so it would be double standards to dish out Arsenal with any sort of fine. Some would argue that fans should be responsible for their own behaviour though and a player sliding on their knees shouldn’t warrant behaviour which resulted in a steward being knocked unconscious and taken to hospital.

He said:

“I can go and play at the Emirates for the return game, why not? I play for Manchester City and if they want me to go and play, I will play… After the game I saw him [Robin van Persie] and said sorry but he didn’t even want to speak to me… I don’t know what I have done wrong to get banned. I have not heard the police or FA want to talk to me. The club have not said anything. I heard that a steward was injured and I regret that. I have apologised to Robin van Persie. It was silly to run up in front of the Arsenal fans. But these people have been insulting me all game. Even in the warm-up they were insulting me. They were saying things that are not nice to hear, personal things. I didn’t plan it, not at all. I didn’t even know that I would score. The way things were going from the warm-up, at the end it came into my head. I would like to apologise to the steward for what happened, why not?” - Emmanuel Adebayor.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cecil the legend

A few weeks ago the GFA boss and his people honoured past Chairmen of the Football Association. That was, for me, the beginning of recognition, appreciaition and thanks in Ghanaian football after so long.

It may have been done in the past, but not at this high level. Now, I am pleased to see that Accra Hearts of Oak have followed suit.

The honour titled “Most Valuable Coach of the Century” was conferred on veteran coach, Cecil Jones Attuquayefio at a special ceremony in Accra yesterday.

The celebrated coach guided Hearts to four Premier League titles (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) and two FA Cup titles (1999, 2000). The most notable, surely, is the Caf Champions League in 2000 and the Super Cup in 2001. He returned in 2005 to lead Hearts to win the maiden edition of the 2005 Confederations Cup.

For me, this is the beginning of gratefulness in Ghanaian football. Hearts say the decision to honour the coach is to immortalize his contributions to the success of the club.

Commodore Mensah, Board Chairman of Hearts of Oak said:

Jones can be described as the most celebrated coach of a club side in Ghana, especially among the coaches that have worked with Hearts of Oak.

“No Coach in Ghana, before him and till now, has won three (3) CAF Inter-Clubs competition gold medals.”

Not only in Ghana.

He was also named the CAF Best Coach in 2001 and guided the Squirrels of Benin to their maiden attempt at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004.

I hope other clubs follow in this regard especially with builing stadiums and naming after club legends.

That would be very special.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Arsenal - Man City: The African connection

Much of the focus ahead of this encounter will surely be trained in on Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Both players returned to Manchester in midweek as the Ivory Coast and Togo had just one World Cup qualifier and should be buoyed by recent events. Toure was named as the Manchester City captain in midweek whilst Adebayor has so far scored in every Premier League game.

This match will be a major test for City’s rearguard which is yet to concede a goal this season.

This fixture has taken on even greater importance this season as big-spending Manchester City look to buy their way into the Big Four, and many pundits have predicted that Arsenal would be the team to drop out of the Champions League spots.

On the evidence of the 2009/2010 Premier League season so far, Mark Hughes’ side are well capable of finishing in one of the top four positions and whilst Arsenal look good enough to challenge for the title.

A back four of Richards, Bridge, Lescott and Toure looks great on paper, how it fares against the free flowing Gunners attack will be an indicator for the rest of the season.

Cameroun's Alexandre Song, has been one of the most impressive Arsenal performers this season, the nephew of Rigobert Song looks capable of filling the role filled by the likes of Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva and Mathieu Flamini in recent years.

Arsenal fans will most likely be most worried about Emmanuel Adebayor. Whilst Kolo Toure was part of the “Invincibles” and was stagnating at the Emirates, the Togo hitman became too big for his boots after just one season and his antics on Football Focus and kissing his shirt last season became tiring for many.

So far this season, all of Emmanuel Adebayor’s goals have come early on in the match, within the opening half hour. A similar outcome would not be a surprise here but expect Arsenal to keep the natural order of things by dominating the latter part of the match when their superior passing and teamwork kicks in.

What do you think?

Ghana 3 - 4 Japan: post mortem please

The Black Stars threw away 3-1 lead against Japan as they conceded three goals in five minutes!

So Ghana lost 4-3, days after sending the nation on a high with the World Cup qualification. So here's what i think of the game played at the Stadion Galgenwaard in Holland. Good news first...

1. Asamoah Gyan is still national team material. After a long injury layoff, I think he has proven himself especially considering he was not able to show a lot of himself against Sudan because he came on a bit late in that game.

2. Matthew Amoah can also be counted on in hard times. He has scored consistently for Ghana and it bodes well for the team.

3. Is John Paintsil having issues with defending or is it complacency. If I am not wrong he caused most or all of the goals Japan scored. Maybe it is a whole defensive fault?

Eric Addo, who cam told kickoffghana that:

“Once we were in front, we seemed to slow down and then they completely begun to dominate in midfield.

We had chances and should not have lost this game but hopefully we will pick the lessons from this.

“The biggest one I think is that until a game is over you play at your biggest strength, which it is key to concentrate throughout the game.”

He is right. We totally lost it. But more to the point it really seemed that John Paintsil could not accommodate the pressure on his side of the field and with John Mensah not around to accommodate and cover, Ghana conceded 3 goals in 13 minutes.


My pal Erasmus Kwaw thinks Painstil needs to be blamed:

Our defense was stretched to elastic limits by the Asians.

Our lack of pace at the back was exposed and then the 13 minutes of madness which was triggered by John Paintsil, NOT William Amamoo.

I'm sure Milovan would find a solution to this, otherwise Ghana is going nowhere in the World Cup, to be honest.

Now, my second beef is with Ghana TV. They failed to show the damn game. The state-owned broadcaster had said for ages that they will show the game but as at the time it started they were showing highlights of the Ghana-Zambia friendly and later the Ghana - Sudan match.

And characteristically, they had NOT the decency to apologise. The idiots.

So, I had to see the highlights online and some listened to it on radio.

Sigh. Public service broadcaster my butt!