Archive | November 2016

Birthdays of Sports People – 14th November….

Thomas Vermaelen (Football) – Barcelona and Belgium defender, formerly of Arsenal, turns 31.

Jake Livermore (Football) – Hull and England midfielder, is 27.

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Giroud not worried about Arsenal future….

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud says he has “no doubts over my Arsenal future”. The 30-year-old France player has missed a chunk of this season with a toe injury, with Alexis Sanchez impressing as a central striker. “At this time, the coach has opted for the solution of Sanchez leading the attack, partly because of my injury,” Giroud told French TV show Telefoot. “So I now hope to get more game time of course. The coach makes his own choices but I am counting on myself to come back strong and I will work hard to do so. “As with each year, there is competition for places at the big clubs. There are a lot of attackers with different styles of play. We have different profiles and can be used according to the team we are up against, but we can also be played together.”

Dzeko sent off for pulling down player’s shorts….

Image result for Dzeko sent off for pulling down players shorts

Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko was sent off in a heated World Cup qualifying draw in Greece for pulling down the shorts of Kyriakos Papadopoulos. The Roma striker, 30, was on the floor in the 79th minute and with his side 1-0 up, held on to the ball, prompting Papadopoulos to wrestle it from him. Dzeko pulled the RB Leipzig defender’s shorts, earning a second booking. Papadopoulos got a straight red for pushing in the melee that followed, but his side levelled in the 95th minute.

Nagelsmann, the 29-year-old manager taking Germany by storm….

Julian Nagelsmann

When Hoffenheim unveiled Julian Nagelsmann as the Bundesliga’s youngest full-time boss in February, it was dismissed by local media as a “public relations stunt” and “a crackpot idea”. Nagelsmann was just 28 and had never coached at senior level, while Hoffenheim, a village with a population of just 3,300 in southern Germany, were deep in relegation trouble, seven points from safety and running out of games. What has followed in the past nine months is truly remarkable. Nagelsmann, now 29, kept them up and now Hoffenheim are one of only five teams in Europe’s five major leagues to remain unbeaten this season.

Newcastle want Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi….

Wilfred Ndidi of Nigeria

Newcastle United are eyeing a move for Genk’s £8million-rated defender Wilfred Ndidi. The 19-year-old is a Nigeria international and has attracted the attention of some big European clubs with a string of composed performances for the Jupiler League club – who turned down a £5million approach from Hamburg in the summer. But according to sources in Belgium, United have run the rule over him several times this season – there is a strong indication that Genk may sell one of their prize assets in January. United would have to go considerably above the £5million that the Bundesliga club had turned down, but there WILL be money to spend in January with Newcastle also set to off-load Cheick Tiote.

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Russia 2018 WCQ: Nigeria win Algeria in Uyo….

Image result for nigeria win algeria

Chelsea’s Victor Moses scored twice as Nigeria kept up their winning start to the group phase of 2018 World Cup qualifying with a 3-1 victory over Algeria at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria to make it two wins out of two in Group B. The Super Eagles took the lead through Moses in the 25th minute, and they made it 2-0 just before half-time when another Chelsea player, John Mikel Obi, beat Algeria’s off-side trap to slot home as Algeria’s defenders stood and watched. Algeria did have chances to get back into the game – the best of them coming from Nabil Bentaleb who missed from close range. Bentaleb made amends mid-way through the second half with a powerful shot from 25 yards to make it 2-1. That goal made it a frenetic end to the match, with Nigeria making sure of the three points with a third goal – a second from Moses – in stoppage time to win 3-1. Nigeria have a comfortable cushion at the top of Group B, after Cameroon were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Zambia in Limbe.

Chelsea punishing Mikel, says Nigeria coach….

Image result for pic of mikel and rohr

Chelsea are punishing midfielder John Mikel Obi for representing Nigeria at the Rio Olympics, says the country’s coach Gernot Rohr. Mikel, 29, captained his country to bronze in Brazil this summer but has not played for the Blues this season. He will play in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Algeria. Rohr said: “There is a reason why Mikel is not playing for Chelsea right now and that reason is because he played for Nigeria at the Olympics.” When asked about Mikel last week, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said: “Mikel is working very well now. In the past he’s sometimes had some injuries. But now he’s working very hard, and I’m pleased with his work-rate.”

Sharapova to be reinstated as UN goodwill ambassador….

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova will be reinstated as a UN goodwill ambassador when her suspension for using a prohibited drug expires next April, a UN statement says. It says that the UN is looking forward to working with her to discuss her role “at an appropriate date”. The player admitted in March that she had taken the substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January. She was subsequently banned for two years by an investigating tribunal, but last month her suspension was reduced to 15 months after she filed an appeal.

WCQ: Brazil 3-0 Argentina….

Neymar scores for Brazil during their win over Argentina

Neymar and Philippe Coutinho each scored as Brazil beat Argentina 3-0 in their 2018 World Cup qualifier. Coutinho drove in a shot for the opener before Neymar, who might have conceded a penalty for handball earlier, slotted in to extend the hosts’ lead. The visitors and star player Lionel Messi struggled to make an impact and Paulinho added Brazil’s third. Argentina are now sixth in the 10-team South American qualifying group, with the top four automatically qualifying. The fifth-placed country in the group will go into a play-off with the Oceania group winners. Argentina have 16 points from 11 games, one point adrift of fourth-placed Ecuador but eight behind leaders Brazil, who have 24 points. “When they hit us hard, we struggled to recover,” said Messi, who plays alongside Neymar at Barcelona. “We are more than aware that we have to change a lot. Of all the bad points, the good one is that we depend on ourselves but we can’t be giving away any more points.” All teams have seven games remaining, with the next round of matches on Tuesday when Brazil visit Peru while Argentina host Colombia.

Pictures from Super Eagles training….

super-eagles-training7

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been training in Abuja ahead of their crucial World Cup Qualifier with Algeria. The Vice President visited them at some point to lend the support of the government. The match will be played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo tomorrow (Saturday 12th November, 2016). The kick off time is 5pm Nigerian time. Nigeria lead the group after beating Zambia 2 – 1 in match day 1 away in Zambia. Cameroon if the other nation in the group.

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Gambian wrestler drowns crossing Mediterranean to Europe….

Two people wrestling at a tournament in Senegal - 2009

A popular Gambian wrestler has drowned while crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, his coach says. Ali Mbengu, known to his fans as “Mille Franc”, was on a boat travelling from Libya to Italy when it capsized last Friday, Pateh Nying said. A Gambia Wrestling Federation spokesman told the AFP news agency the 22-year-old was one of the most disciplined wrestlers in the country. The sport is hugely popular in The Gambia and neighbouring Senegal. Last month, the goalkeeper of the Gambian women’s football team died in similar circumstances. Many of the undocumented migrants who arrive in Italy are Gambians. Mille Franc, meaning “a thousand francs”, made his debut in early 2012, working under Mr Nying at the Club Serrekunda Gome Saboppa in the outskirts of the capital, Banjul, AFP reports.

Coach Rafael Everton Lira leaves Nigeria’s FC Ifeanyi Ubah….

Brazilian coach Rafael Everton Lira

Brazilian Rafael Everton Lira has left FC IfeanyiUbah after rejecting a lesser role with the club he led to the 2016 Nigerian FA Cup. Everton’s exit comes four days after he led Anambra Warriors to their first trophy with a win over Nasarawa United. FC IfeanyiUbah appointed Japanese-American and former Accra Hearts of Oak manager Kenichi Yatsuhashi as its new head coach on Wednesday. Everton rejected an assistant coach and head coach of youth development role. Everton, the youngest manager to win the Nigerian FA Cup at 27, said on Facebook: “As of today I am no longer the coach of FC IfeanyiUbah and I would like to thank the club for the opportunity to manage here,” “The club chairman offered me a position of assistant to the new coach, but I’m going home for vacation to sit down with my agent and family to be able to make the best decision for my career. “I am grateful for the incredible results as coach of IfeanyiUbah to get the fourth position in the first division and manage to be the Nigerian Cup Champion. “I would like to thank everyone and thank you for everything.” Brazilian Alberico Barbosa da Silva – one of the stars of the season who helped them to a place in next seasons Confederation Cup – will also be leaving the club.

Birthdays of Sports People – 10th November….

Colombian Faustino Asprilla was a fan faviourite at Newcastle United

Faustino Asprilla – the former Newcastle and Colombia striker turns 47.

Jens Lehmann  – the ex-Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper is also 47.

Patrik Berger – the former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Czech Republic midfielder celebrates his 43rd birthday.

Steffen Iversen  – The former Tottenham and Norway striker is 40 today.

Aleksandar Kolarov – Manchester City’s Serbian defender is 31.

Wilfried Zaha  – Crystal Palace’s winger celebrates his 24th birthday.

Trump election win sparks protests in US cities….

Protesters in New York

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of several US cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump. Many shouted the slogan “Not my president”. Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman. Mr Trump will become the 45th US president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton. He is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition. Mr Obama – who had branded Mr Trump “unfit” for office and campaigned against him – urged all Americans to accept the result of Tuesday’s election. “We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” he said. Defeated Mrs Clinton also told supporters Mr Trump had to be given a “chance to lead”. Despite their calls, protesters gathered in several cities across the country.

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CR7 signs mega bucks ‘life deal’ with Nike….

It is sure to see Ronaldo increase the £14.1million-a-year he banked previously with Nike

Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a deal tying him to Nike “for life”. The extension comes in the same week the 31-year-old penned a new five-year deal with Real Madrid, which will see him earning a reported £365,000-a-week after tax, but if reports are to be believed the Nike deal is similar to LeBron James’ – meaning it’s worth around $1 billion. Whether or not those reports are correct, Ronaldo’s bank account is sure to see more than the £14.1 million his previous Nike contract earned him each year. The two-time Ballon D’Or winner’s love affair with Nike started back in 2003 with the boots he wore in a friendly for Sporting Lisbon against Manchester United, recording two assists in a 3-1 win against his future employers. Ronaldo just released his latest pair of Nike boots, inspired by that pair and the game that changed his life “forever”. Nike have not confirmed the length or value of the contract, although Ronaldo’s comments about a deal for “life” were posted to their YouTube channel. A spokesman told The Sun: “The successful partnership between Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue well into the future with a new, long-term contract.”

The rise of Nigeria’s Victor Moses….

The institution of Chelsea’s robust 3-4-3 system has been nothing short of a revelation. When Chelsea were trailing 3-0 at half-time against Arsenal, no one could’ve foreseen the series of five successive clean sheets that would follow, attaining the maximum 15 points available in the process. Despite the impracticality and the unlikelihood of this absurd turn of events, this is exactly what the Pensioners have achieved. A side tainted with defensive ineptitude and a frustrating tendency to concede ‘soft goals’ have been transformed into a rigid and formidable defensive unit, currently flaunting the second best defensive record in the league. This evolution has been utterly staggering, especially considering the pitiful standards achieved last season. One of the most prominent beneficiaries and influencers of this new system has been Victor Moses.

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Joaquin Caparros is Osasuna’s new coach….

Joaquin Caparros

La Liga relegation battlers Osasuna have named Joaquin Caparros as their new boss on an 18-month contract. The 61-year-old, who left Granada in January 2015, was strongly linked to the Spain job in the summer. Osasuna sacked Enrique Martin, the man who led them to promotion last season, yesterday. They are second from bottom after 11 games.

Birthdays of Sports People – 9th November….

Alessandro Del Piero

  • Alessandro Del Piero (Football) – Former Juventus and Italy striker, born 1974.
  • Luiz Felipe Scolari (Football) – Former Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea manager, born 1948.
  • Andreas Brehme (Football) – Former West Germany defender who scored the winning goal in the 1990 World Cup final, born 1960.
  • David Duval (Golf) – American former world number one, won the Open Championship in 2001, born 1971.
  • Gabriel Tamas (Football) – Former West Brom defender, born 1983.
  • Michael Turner (Football) – Norwich defender, born 1983.

Lahm to retire next summer….

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm, who turns 33 on Friday, has hinted he may retire at the end of the season. The German retired from international football after winning the World Cup in 2014 and the could now walk away from the Bundesliga champions. He told German newspaper Bild (via online translation): “I would not rule out. I said nine months ago that this situation could occur and that has not changed since then. “The season still lasts seven months, in which much can happen. “I will certainly not make my future dependent on the titles won at the end of the season, but rather feel into my body and then decide how it will continue.”

Naki acquitted in Facebook post trial….

We told you earlier about former Germany Under-20 midfielder Deniz Naki going on trial for promoting the Kurdish PKK rebel cause. Well he was acquitted after a court session which lasted only 35 minutes, according to reports. The 27-year-old was prosecuted for a message he posted on Facebook after scoring the winning goal for his Turkish club Amed SK, in a crucial match in January. He dedicated that victory to victims of the Kurdish conflict. He is Alevi-Kurdish and moved to Turkey in 2013. The charge could have resulted in Naki getting five years in jail. He argued that his Facebook post was intended as a message of peace.