New York Saturday, Ospina Sunday, Chambers Monday

Saturday.

After the 2-0 win over Boreham Wood, Arsenal flew to New York City to face Thierry Henry and New York Red Bull FC. Arsene Wenger went on that trip with 20 gunners. After the Emirates Clinic and all the famzing, the preseason game kicked off at the Red Bull Arena.

The gunners started with a relative stronger side in the first half but weird looking team without an out-and-out striker. Wenger deployed Rosicky in the false 9 role with Aaron Ramsey playing behind him. Cazorla and Zelalem played from the wing with Wilshere and Captain Arteta holding the middle. Jenkinson featured at right back in what may be his last Arsenal game for at least year with Gibbs on the left. The bizarre-est  combination of the starting line-up was in front of Szczesny: young Isaac Hayden and Nacho Monreal, a left back.

Wright-Philips scored from close range after Thierry Henry’s corner was headed into the his path. That turned out to be the only goal of the game with Wilshere coming close twice to draw Arsenal level only to be denied by the Red Bull goalie. Wilshere was the liveliest in the first half.

The second half saw Wenger using all of his players on the bench. Chuba Akpom was introduced and he produced the impetus needed for a striker except to score when he was one-on-one with the goalie. Abou Diaby did put the ball in the net but it was ruled offside. Ignasi Miquel, Kris Osslon, Toral, Bellerin, Coquelin are some of the youngsters that featured in the second half. Martinez and Flamini also featured.

Sunday.

Arsenal announced the signing of Alexis Sanchez on Thursday. On the next Thursday, they announced the signing of Debuchy. In the Thursday spirit, many expected another signing on Thursday before the New York Red Bull game. They would wait longer as Arsenal announced on Sunday the capture of Colombian star goalie, David Ospina from Nice for an undisclosed fee which is believed to be in the region of £3million. 25 year old Ospina was exceptional in Brazil for Colombia. He spent 6 years in Nice featuring 189 times for the French side. He has 49 caps for his country.

Fabianski left for Swansea and Szczesny needed a competitor for the starting shirt. David Ospina is surely a perfect deputy who could usurp Szczesny if the Pole becomes complacent. He will add depth to the squad and most probably champion the Cup games as Wenger wishes. Ospina will wear jersey number 13.

Monday.

Still basking in the euphoria, the Arsenal atmosphere was saturated with the eminent capture of Calum Chambers. Arsenal finally announced the signing of Chambers from Southampton on Monday. The 19 year old is capable of playing at right back, center back and even center midfielder. An ample back-up for all three position especially at right back and center back. Chambers will wear jersey number 21.

Calum Chambers

Chambers arrival may signal limited opportunities for Jenkinson especially with the initial arrival of Debuchy. Jenkinson may need to seek a loan move to further his chances of playing regular and claiming a stake to an Arsenal starting berth in the nearest feature. Chambers premier league experience adds to the squad.

Arsenal is spending this season unlike few seasons ago, and there target must sure be high, much higher than the 2014 FA cup. With everyday good news from Arsenal, what do we expect for Tuesday and Wednesday?

The gunners are off to Austria and will be back for the Emirates Cup on Saturday.

Enjoy.

Arsenal’s Pre-Season, Debuchy, Eisfeld and Many More

Twice i was off to the Atlantic, twice i was on the Pacific, and i was near cut-off but i am back.

Germany’s victory signalled the end of the World Cup in Brazil and the European scene is taking center stage despite the misfortunes that have befallen Asian airlines. Players that featured in the world cup are still basking away their holidays while others have resumed active pre-season with their respective clubs.

Debuchy Arrives

Before the end of the world cup, Arsenal secured the services of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and a week later added Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle. Debuchy was brought in as a replacement for Bacary Sagna who joins Manchester City for their petro-dollars. Replacing France’s number 2 right back with the number is good business foe Arsene Wenger.

Mathieu Debuchy

Debuchy arrived from Newcastle after featuring for the Toons army in 18 months. He had played 9 years for Lille in France where he won the League and Coupe de France in 2010/11. He was also named in the Ligue one team of the year in 2011/12 and has 25 caps for France.  His premier league experience is would be of great addition to Arsenal. The only question is about Jenkinson.

Boreham Wood FC 0-2 Arsenal.

The gunners started their preseason with a friendly game against Boreham Wood FC at Meadow Park. Two second half goals from Kris Isslon and Benik Afobe were enough for the Gunners to grab a deserved victory. The 1st half had Sanogo continuing his barren sheet of goals for the gunners as his shots was kept away by Russell.

Arsenal had to wait until the 68th minute to open the scoring when Kris Olsson finished confidently from a beautifully-weighted Tomas Rosicky pass. The lively Chuba Akpom twice went close as Arsenal’s fresher legs began to tell on a hot afternoon, and five minutes from the end they won a penalty after Benik Afobe was barged over. The 21-year-old swept the spot kick home himself.

In all, it was a good game to bring the lad up to speed and prepare for the trip to the US to face Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls.

Thomas Eisfeld Joins Fulham.

I have always wanted Eisfeld to break his way into the Arsenal starting eleven, but it seems i was asking for too much. The 21 year old German had limited opportunities since joining from Borrusia Dortmund in January 2012. It is sad to hear Wenger’s Pires-like superlatives about Eisfeld after the games he has played and yet see him join Fulham.

Thomas Eisfeld had a wonderful debut in that famous 7-5 Capital One Cup Quarter Final at the Madejski stadium in 2012/13. He was instrumental in the late goals. His love for attacking football and his drive upfront bought him some love among the Arsenal faithfuls. He was clinical in front of the goal as Arsenal he scored Arsenal’s only goal away to Westbrom in a capital one cup game last season.

I wish him good luck in relegated Fulham. I hope Wenger has his weird bye-back clause in the sale.

Others

Arsenal will play New York Red Bulls tonight and it is all about Thierry Henry. Wenger left out Sanogo on the trip to the US and traveled with one striker. Will Henry feature for the gunners today? I hope we thrash the yankees just as Van Gaal and his United lads sent 7 past LA Galaxy.

will 3-4-3 work for Van Gaal? Will Manchester United rise above the Moyes level? Will Drogba be Drogba again after re-joining Chelsea? Who will be England’s new captain since Steven Gerrard has hanged his international boot? Is Vermaelen on his way out of Ashburton Grove? Will Iheanacho get his work permit to feature for the Citizens after impressive debut? When will Ospina arrive the Emirates? Answers….

The Nigeria Premier League resumes on Sunday with week 20 games across the Federation. The weekend will be really occupied for an average Nigerian Gooner.

You have got to read one of the finest detailed post i have ever read about Cesc Fabregas and his Transfers: Barcelona’s Most Damaging Signing in a Generation.

Enjoy your football.

 

All Hail Germany, The Champions of the World… With 3 Gunners

After sending Brazil down the drain like a roll of used toilet tissues, Germany had one last hurdle to jump to lift the greatest Cups of all footballing cups, The FIFA Worldcup. Their opponent of this 64th game of the tournament was Argentina, brandished with Former world footballer of the year, Lionel Messi.

If there was a team in this world cup that had no dependency on any player, that team was Brazil Germany. Mescharano spared Argentina’s blushes in the semifinals when he blocked Robben’s goal bound shot before Romero took all praises for stopping two Dutch spot kicks. But the Argentines still had dependency on Messi.

Germany lift the World Cup.

The Final began and Higuain had the chance to punish Kross and Germany. Kross laid before his enemy the history books and provided the Napoli striker with a good pen but the former Madrid man fluffed the chance as Neuer watch the ball skip out for a goal kick. Higuain did put the ball into Neuer’s net bet even Sabella knew that it was an offside.

Messi had his runs but the German defense held still. Klose and Muller came close but nothing clear cut. Ozil silked his way through but Mescharano and his gang were up and running. Neuer commanded his area as the Germans continued to press on. But Palacio had a chance to kill off the game only to see his ball miss the target.

Gotze wonder goal crowns Germany champions

As the game approached the end of the extra time, a cross from Schurrle was superbly converted by Mario Gotze to the admiration of every football fan watching in the Milky way. Schweinsteger held on despite being battered by the South Americans and he was rewarded with the man of the match award.

Messi could not achieve his dream of winning the world cup. FIFA awarded him with the golden ball but his contenance was like a lady that have lost a baby. Ronaldo may have shrugged his shoulder with a wry smile.

Champions: Schweinsteiger, Mertesacker, Neuer, Grosskreutz and Podolski fly the flag in celebration

From the Arsenal perspective, three gunners shared in the German glory: Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Metersacker. The trio had their share of the toiling with Ozil featuring in all the matches. Even Platini had to take Ozil’s shirt for a memorial.

In the 3rd place game, Brazil lost 3-0 to the Netherlands. excruciating for the Samba Nation.

Congratulations to Germany, the best team. A deserved victory. One step ahead of South Africa 2010. Russia 2018 is next.

Alexis Sanchez Joins Arsenal as The Gunners Release New Puma Kits

Arsene basked in the Brazilian sun, played volleyball in the Brazilian beach and some Blue fans went gaga comparing him with another coach that didn’t get a ticket to Brazil. Little did they know that the Professor was pulling some heavy strings to get his Arsenal ready for the beginning of the season.

After all the brouhaha Arsenal have announced the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee. The Chilean forward who was a star for his country in the World Cup becomes Arsene Wenger’s first signing of the transfer window.

Sanchez Arsenal training kit

The Chilean scored 39 goals in his 88 appearances for Barcelona winning both La Liga (2012/13) and the Copa del Rey (2012), as well as the Spanish Super Cup on two occasions (2011, 2013), the UEFA Super Cup (2011) and the FIFA Club World Cup (2011).

The 25 year old striker, who has now made 71 appearances for Chile, scoring 24 goals, started his career with Cobreloa, based in Calama in north Chile, where he spent a season before moving to Santiago-based Colo-Colo, where he won the Chilean Primera Division in 2007. He moved on to River Plate in Argentina before coming to Udinese in Italy and finally Barcelona in 2011.

As many people have seen during the World Cup this summer, Alexis is a fantastic footballer and we are delighted that he is joining us at Arsenal Football Club. Alexis will add power, creativity and much quality to our squad and we are all looking forward to him joining up with us in a few weeks. He has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons now and we are all excited to see him integrate into the Arsenal squad. I’m sure all Arsenal supporters will join me in welcoming Alexis to our club. – Arsene Wenger

’m so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London. I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy. – Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez will wear jersey number 17 and is expected to make his debut in the forthcoming Emirates Cup. Monreal will wear number 18. The fans still expecting the confirmation of Debuchy and the purchase of a defensive midfielder, a goalie and whosoever Wenger wants.

While the fans were still basking in the euphoria of their new signing, Arsenal and Puma released the new kits for the season. Each of the three kits has a unique design, inspired by the values identified by PUMA as being the foundation of Arsenal Football Club, and which form the basis of the ‘Future, Forever, Victorious’ story.

Kit Launch

The home kit stays traditionally red-and-white representing ‘Forever’, The iconic yellow and navy blue coloured away kit represents ‘Victorious’ while the blue and lime green cup kit represents ‘Future’. The Future jersey will be worn at away cup games including the Champions league.

The kits will be worn at the forthcoming Emirates cup.

For now, enjoy the Sanchez signing and start getting your jerseys for the season.

Enjoy

Tears in Brazil as Germany Face Argentina in the Worldcup 2014 Final

Colombia left Brazil with their tears cleaning the dusts on the streets of Brazil and overflowing the rivers in South America causing flood. James Rodriguez cried his eyes out but David Luiz was there to console him. With hands beating chests, Brazil worked their socks into the Semi final with some extra controversial decisions from the ref, although losing Star man Neymar to an injury.

Brazil would wake up to know that Neymar would be out of the world cup no thanks to the injury against Colombia. The Samba nation could feel how difficult their semifianl game against Germany will be. With Thiago Silva out due to suspension, the Samba boys would face the yet-to-perform Germans.

Overhyped and overrated, Brazil faced Germany without defense Lord Thiago and accelerator cum star man Neymar and they were blown away. Tears left, right and center as Muller, Kross, Klose et all ran riot over the yellow-shirted South Americans. The host were like the biblical phrase: “…scattered like sheep without shepherd…”

After using all available energy to sing their beloved national anthem, Brazil had no strength to face the Germans. The Back four lacked discipline and could not keep the Germans at bay. Muller opened scoring in the 1th minute and the Brazilians marshaled by captain Luiz went on rampage, head-on to their fall. The dream was still on but in a space of 6 minutes, there was no dream but reality check and the greatest nightmare. Klose got his 16th World Cuo goal on the 23rd before Krose got a brace in 2 minutes (24th and 26th minutes). Khedira will worsen matters for the Selecao as he scored in the 29th minute.

Muller Baby… Learning from Klose

5-0 First half. Brazil may have contacted FIFA to have the second half cancelled but Scolari’s plea may have fallen on deaf ears. But the Germans will slow down their guns so as not to humiliate the Brazilians especially in a stadium where they have never lost, Belo Horinzonte. Seeing so many Brazilians in tears, the Germans had a change of heart and added just 2 more goals in the 2nd half. Schurrle came in from the bench to get his brace. Ozil even missed a sitter. Oh Brazil, this is hell. Oscar would save some face for the host with a late goal.

Total Highest Goal Scorer in the World Cups

Everyone cried, the rich, the poor, the coach, the players, the workers on strike, the fans, the politicians and even the president. Tears in Brazil but Joy in Berlin. The Germans just clicked and the Brazilians were in pieces. For the neutrals, it was a great match and so many were happy to have Germany in the final.

In the other semifinal, Argentina won the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties after 120 minutes of goalless affair after Romero stopped two Oranje spot kicks. None of Messi, Higuain, Robben or Van Pierse could get a goal. Robben came closest but Mescharano was on hand to save the shot from being on target.

Luis Van Gaal couldn’t call on his heroic Tim Krul to save him some penalties, he had used up all his subs and Cillessen could not save the Dutch. They would have to battle out 3rd place with injured Brazil.

Finally, the World Cup is coming to an end. It is Germany versus Argentina in the Final. who wins? I pray the Germans take it. Not just for the Arsenal contingent sake, but because they are the best team in the tournament.

Summary of Nigeria’s Group Stage in Brazil 2014 World Cup, France Next.

Nigeria arrived Brazil with mixed feelings after losing Uwa Echiejile to injury and having to recall home-based Ejike Uzoenyi.

The Rangers player who was voted MVP at the 2014 CHAN competition in South Africa had been left out of the team but fate had him in. The Eagles were left with just Juwon Oshaniwa as a left back and he has not disappointed.

Still basking in the controversy of the final 23 man list, the fans gave Stephen Keshi little faith especially after leaving out Sunday Mba, the midfielder that scored the winning goal at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.

But the boss held his ground, and was poised to justify his selection.

Match 1: Nigeria 0-0 Iran.

Line up: Enyeama, Oshaniwa, Ambrose, Emeruo, Obaobuna (Yobo 29′), Mikel, Onazi, Moses (Ameobi 52′), Musa, Azeez (Odemingwe 69′), Emenike
Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the West African nation of Nigeria expected a win over Iran but the Asians put up a dogged defense to deny Nigeria from grabbing a goal.
Tagged as a boring game, the match became the first goalless match and first draw of the tournament.
After the game, the backlash was much. Only few had hopes and they were vindicated against Bosnia.

Goals dry up as Iran, Nigeria draw
MotM: none
High: Enyeama, Oshianiwa, Odemwingie. Low: Moses

Match 2: Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Line up: Enyeama, Yobo, Emeruo, Oshinawa, Ambrose, Mikel, Onazi, Musa (Ameobi 65′), Odemingwe, Babatunde (Uzoenyi 75′), Emenike

The Super Eagles put up a better display against the debuting Europeans with a lone goal from Osaze Odemwingie (27th minute). Bulky striker, Emmanuel Emenike bullied his way through the Bosnian defense before he squared on to Odemwingie who scored creating a record as the 1st Stoke City player to score at a Worldcup.

The Eagles had chances to finish off the Europeans but they switched off and seemed content with the lone first half goal. They nearly paid for their lacaisidcal attitude as Enyeama saved Dzeko’s last-minute shot to give the Eagles 3pts.
MotM: Osaze Odemwingie.
High: Enyeama, Emenike, Babatunde

Match 3: Argentina 2-3 Nigeria.

Line up: Enyeama, Yobo, Emeruo, Oshinawa, Ambrose, Mikel, Onazi, Babatunde (Uchebo 66′), Musa, Odemingwe (Nwofor 80′), Emenike.
Lionel Messi stunned the Super Eagles with a 4th minute strike, the 1st that the AFCON champions will concede in Brazil. But the South Americans were more stunned 80 seconds later. Ahmed Musa scored a peach of a goal to draw level.

Enyeama continued to pull saves upon saves but his wrong position gave Messi the chance to go ahead just before the break from a free kick.

Ahmed Musa came out smoking as he drew Nigeria back into the game after 2 minutes of restart. His pace was timely as he collected a sublime pass from Emenike to score his brace, becoming the first Nigerian to score a brace in the Worldcup.

The Eagles went on to concede from a corner kick. The game ended 3-2 with both teams qualifying for the next round.
MotM: Ahmed Musa
High: Emenike, Odemwingie, Babatunde, Enyeama, Oshianiwa. Low: Mikel

So the Eagles became the first African side to reach 3 knockout stages of the Worldcup. They were joined by Algeria after Cote D’Ivoire disappointing 2-1 loss to Greece. Cameroun and Ghana were also knocked.

Finishing second, Nigeria will face France on Monday. Will they qualify? Will Yobo and Emeruo shut Benzema up? Will Mikel continue his slow motion football? Will Musa replicate his Argentine spirit? Will Emenike grab his first goal? Will….

3 games played, 3 games scored, lets face the Blues from Europe.

Go Super Eagles.

follow on twitter @soccergunz

Brazil 2014 World Cup Group Stage in Numbers

1 – Clint Dempsey of USA scored the fastest goal of the tournament within one minute (32 seconds) against Ghana in the first round of matches of the group stage.

– Two hattricks: Thomas Mueller(Germany 4 vs Portugal 0), Xhendan Shaquiri(Switzerland vs Honduras 0).

– 4 goals is the biggest margin of victory so far in the competition and came up in the games between Spain vs Netherlands (1 – 5) and Germany vs Portugal (4 – 0) in the first round of the group stage and Cameroun vs Croatia (0 – 4)  in the second round of groups stage matches.

 – The highest number of goals scored by a team in a match Netherlands vs Spain and Switzerland vs France.

– Six minutes after kickoff was all it took Haris Medunjanin of Bosnia and Herzegovina to get into the referee’s book against Nigeria. The fastest Yellow card issued in the competition so far.

 7 – In the game between France and Honduras, seven Yellow cards were issued – the highest in a match.

– The highest number of cards issued in a single game – France v Honduras saw the issuance of 8 cards (7 yellows and 1 Red)

 – A total of nine Red Cards have been issued in the competition with Steven Defour (Belgiumvs Korea Republic), Claudio Marchiso (Uruguay vs Italy), Ante Rebic (Croatia vs Mexico) and Antonio Valencia (France vs Ecuador) joining Kostas Katsouranis (Greece vs Japan),Alex Song (Cameroun vs Croatia), Maxi Pereira (Uruguay vs Costa Rica), Wilson Palacios(France vs Honduras) and Pepe (Germany vs Portugal) in the Red card zone.

 10 – Ten is the total number of penalty kicks awarded in the competition – nine of which have been scored.

11 – Eleven braces have been scored in the competition with Jackson Martinez (Colombia),Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia),Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Enner Valencia (Ecuador), Neymar – 2 (Brazil), Robin Van Persieand Arjen Robben (Netherlands) and Karim Benzema (France) on the list.

 19 – Aged 19 years 2 months and 4 days, Divock Origi of Belgium scored the only goal against Russia to be the youngest goals scorer so far in the competition.

 24 – 24 of the 136 goals in the competition have been scored by substitutes.

 37 – 37 years old Noel Valladares of Honduras is the oldest goal scorer in the competition so far. He scored an Own Goal against France in their first group match.

 43 – Goal keeper Fayrd Mondragon of Colombia became the oldest player in World Cup history having come on as a substitute in Columbia’s game against Japan.

 48 – The number of games played so far in the competition – 9 draws (5 goalless draws), 39 wins

 50 – Xhendan Shaquiri’s hat trick for Switzerland against Honduras is the 50th hat trick of the FIFA World Cup.

 90 + 5 – Silvestre Varela of Portugal’s equalizer in the game against USA is the latest goal scored in a match without extra-time.

 100 – Netherlands, Argentina and Belgium maintained their 100% start to the competition having won all three group matches.

127 – Total number of Yellow Cards issued in the competition.

 136 – Total number of goals scored so far in the competition – an average of 2.83 goals per match.

via @osesax.

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