Archive for September, 2012

Sep 29, 2012 13:45:00

By David Bonuke

Just a week after football fans all over the world were treated to a ‘Super Sunday’, filled with so much entertainment and drama in equal measure, another game week rolls in. The actions starts even earlier this time round as the London derby is scheduled for an early Kick-off. Arsenal play host to their London rivals Chelsea at the emirates. Bearing in mind John Terry’s ongoing saga, much of the pre-much build-up will most likely revolve around it. Maybe it should, maybe it shouldn’t but for the sake of the good game, a more worthy cause should take centre stage. That of Arsenal’s main man, Arsene Wenger, he just can’t stop reaching those notable landmarks. This time round, the Professor will achieve his 16th anniversary in charge of the Gunners come Monday. What a better way to crown that achievement than to win on Saturday’s early Kick off. A win will surely guarantee Wenger his 350th win in the premier league as arsenal’s Boss.

   Image Curtesy of carefree.com

Much is at stake in this match, I know it’s a bit early in the season but both teams would want to maintain their unbeaten record, their pride as well as the three points that are up for grabs. In the previous season, this fixture ended in a barren draw, and with both teams boasting with the joint best defensive record in the league, it’s possible to expect a low scoring event. But then again it being a derby, you just don’t know what to expect. This is probably Chelsea’s sternest test in the domestic league. As for Arsenal, say something like a litmus test to their title challenge surge. Varmaelen is expected back in the starting eleven after missing out in last week’s encounter with Manchester City due to illness; Jack Wilshere is also expected to play some part in the duel after a long time out due to injury. Another notable appearance would be that of former ‘Three lions’ skipper John Terry, who missed the midweek trainings due to FA Hearings.

Prediction: Arsenal 1:2 Chelsea

  Curtesy of whoscored.com

Manchester United seems to be that team that every other football fan, apart from its own fans love to hate. The team not only has lady luck on its side, but also the referees, don’t get me wrong, United is a good team, but it seem to get it easy when it comes to crucial game changing decisions. Whether it’s a mark of true champions or not, time will tell.  Away with that rant, Manchester United faces a familiar opposition in the name of Tottenham, a team that United seem to enjoy playing. Statistics show that out of the 40 games played between these two sides, Tottenham have only managed three wins and none at Old Trafford in their previous twenty attempts. Is it karma, or will the new Tottenham Boss disregard statistics and history in order to defy the odds. Tottenham have so far shown some promise with their quick attacking style of football while the once impenetrable United’s defence seem to be a leaking one too many goals this campaign. Ferguson will be glad to welcome back Rooney, who will most likely play in the middle of the pack to inject the much needed creativity. Valencia is a doubt as well as Rafael through injury. If only Dembele could repeat his heroics and Bale to attack down the left, then they might just give United some food for thought.

Prediction: Manchester United 3:1 Tottenham

Curtesy of whoscored.com

Everton have really shown what working as a team can produce. They can take on any team on their day. Could that day be now? Moyes would certainly hope so. They have certainly orchestrated some of the most thrilling football in this campaign thrashing the high and mighty United on their way. This weekend they play Southampton at home hoping to keep the momentum going. It won’t be easy though as they face a team that is full of confidence after recording their first win in the top flight against Aston Villa. Though the Saints will be hoping to get some points, Goodison Park is definitely not the place to get them, *ask United.

Prediction: Everton 2:1 Southampton

Curtesy of whoscored.com

Elsewhere, the defending Champions will be hoping to put aside their dismal start of the season with a win against Fulham. Both teams come into this game full of unpredictability. Though Manchester City remains unbeaten so far, they have only managed to get 9 pts on their five opening games from a possible 15pts. Manchester City just like the other Manchester club seems to be struggling with defense. Being a shrewd manager, Mancini will be hoping to tighten the defence since he knows that defence wins you titles, a good example is Chelsea on their road to Munich. Manchester city though are unbeaten in their last seven games against Fulham, and will be hoping to make that eight.

Prediction Fulham 0:3 Manchester City

Curtesy of whoscored.com

Follow on twitter @Quenton53 and @@Mugera_H

Sep 26, 2012 20:48:20

By Howard Mugera

That Musonye, CECAFA secretary general, has come out hitting at newly appointed Stars coach was quite predictable. Our participation in CECAFA is somewhat important for Harambee stars’ shine.  That said, Musonye, a Kenyan, doesn’t feel our participation in the tournament is of any consequence.

“Their absence will be inconsequential because they do not add any value to us” courtesy of goal.com Kenya

 

Nicholas Musonye (left) addressing a press conference, curtesy of CECAFA

That right there doesn’t sit well with me. To be ruled out by your own kind as of being “non-grata” goes a long way in reflecting our current FIFA standing. It’s appalling. Imagine the negative vibe that resonates across East Africa with these utterances. Perhaps Michel should have used this as a chance to test drive this broke machine we call our national team. Maybe give a shot to the players that have left a print on the 2011-2012 TPL season. Anyway, this is why he is boss. The decision is his to make, leave it to the experts. Quit the fussing for a minute.  I’d volunteer to give Sam Nyamweya the number to Ndung’u- Central Bank‘s governor, but before that, I pray he stumbles on a duffle bag stacked with a cool 80 M Kshs for Michel’s pay, on his way home.

In other not so pleasant news, Sofapaka‘s new boss has axed four players from his squad asking they be released “without any conditions”. Reason? Collins Okoth alias ‘Gattusso’, Kanamuli Kapilima, Hashim Mukhwana  and Hakim Ssekumba were taking e-courses from the Joey Barton academy (sic). Poor form and indiscipline. Then again, what’s with AFC, Weche and Koops? Strange. They keep that up and  its sayonara to the league.

Matters English, Arsenal showed they are packed with some steel after a late equalizer against City. League leaders Chelsea come calling next. Maybe then, we will tell the elasticity of the Gunners’ pressure points. Questions are being raised about the defensive lines of both Manchester sides. Not to mention Vidic’s injury and City’s crumbling against Villa in the Capital One cup. As for Liverpool, well… Oh, and what do we have here? John George Terry quit the national team. Joy for Chelsea, blow for Hodgson

Arsenal players celebrating Laurent Koscielny’s equaliser against Manchester City, curtesy of Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Chelsea’s no. 26 is the only English player to make the team in the all star squad for the 2006 FIFA world cup, has been UEFA’s club defender of the year in ’05, ’08 and ’09 and PFA Players’ player of the year in ’05. Sufficient reasons to understand Hodgson’s anguish. JT has managed 76 appearances for the Three Lions with 6 goals serving as skipper. Admittedly he has lost a bit of his old self in recent times, but you all know what it is that is said about class and form. Even then, for whatever reason, one Wayne Bridge must be smiling goofily within himself.

  Former Club and National Team mates, Wayne Bridge and Captain John Terry,Curtesy of http://www.anorak.co.uk

Juventus should run away with the Serie A “bride” after an unbeaten run of 43 games. It’s no mean feat given that they are making light work of seasoned champions-the Milan clubs. Add to that the lengthy ban their manager is serving then digest their potential and mental strength. Barca are still the team to beat in La Liga. Bayern Munich seem to have learnt that Dortmund are here to stay, and are taking no chances with the Bundesliga. It’s a wrap. Shukrani.

    Juventus Celebrating their magnificent comeback against the defending Champions of Europe, Chelsea fc. curtesy of Adam Digby

Follow on twitter @Mugera_H and visit goal.com Kenya and futaa.com for extensive local news coverage.

NEXT IN ACTION….

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 Saturday, 22nd September two pm, East African time- the duel begins. If you’ve missed them before don’t miss them again. I’m talking the famed Kenyan derby.  AFC Leopards (Ingwe) take on Gor Mahia (K’ogalo). In a blockbuster weekend, it’s probably for the best, that the clash epitomizing the intrigues of the newly branded Tusker Premier League was moved to Saturday. FKF played their hand. Well done I say. Ticketing starts Friday with Bob Morgan outlets in Nairobi charging 200 bob for the terraces and a manageable 500 for VIP. This clash will witness the greatest match attendance for the season and Supersport must be smirking their lips. Maximum viewership. Undoubtedly- the silver lining that sponsors have been blowing candles over cake for. On a good day, security will see to it the fight remains within the green area. For the goons out to spoil the party…a quick word. There are taxpayers working their butts off, to spend that money on things they won’t regret. Like Saturday’s derby.

                                          AFC Leopards fan’s supporting their team ( courtesy of Goal.com )

Okay now, while Gor have been busy building momentum, AFC sat back to admire the leopard spots they have printed on the league this year. While Gor were busy cutting down the 17 point difference from their arch rivals, AFC blessed log leaders Tusker by letting go their seven point advantage. Understand that this is the ultimate title decider, especially with Tusker edging AFC on goal difference. A trophy-less 13 year wait is in the balance. As the derby’s hitherto and pomp paint the city in the next few hours, Gor’s preparation comes to mind. Logarusic, the Croat took a sunset trip home. Who would have thought? A trip? At least not now. Not when the league decider is playing to your hands. Even with the all-time, best FCB team, Guardiola had his sabbatical after slugging it out with the Special One to the last minute. The kind of franchise player who needs no water breaks. Not till it’s done. Now Vilanova might get into eye-poking feuds without “compadre” Pep on his side! Black belt lessons perhaps?

The K’ogalo faithful saluting their stars  ( Courtesy of  Kenya forum )

Unlike Koops, who is burning the midnight oil through the week in search of inspiration for his side, Dravko is playing a different ballgame. In his wake (a week’s absence), Gor is under the close watch of fitness trainer, Igenda, and second in command Ogolla. The effects of this remain unknown, but in football…well??  Maybe that’s just a result of me paying unnecessary attention. The Gor camp is in high spirits, and rightly so. SSerunkuma can’t wait to get going; George Bwana just organized a motivation dinner for the squad, while Solomon Nasio, Moses Odhiambo and Chris Wekesa made the cut for Michel’s squad in the upcoming Stars’ CECAFA challenge in November.  That’s a morale booster. Leopards, on the other hand have kept their poker face. Considering the quagmire they are in, it’s in their best interests to keep the surroundings of Mumias Complex serene.

That said, the management board at AFC does not lack in inspiring and marshalling belief in staff- qualities of an effective HRM. Leopards squad have been assured a cool 50,000 Kshs on beating Gor, and pissing on their pride and title hopes. Time for the players to give the title a second shot of adrenaline? Indeed! In sweetening the deal, AFC players might land another 250, 000 Ksh. for winning the league. Configure that alongside the gross benefits from sponsors for winning the league… not bad.

Well, last time out, this derby faded to a paltry, goalless draw. Odds for another? Unlikely. I’d go all in for a counter-wager at Gaming International. 8 games to go and all sides are gunning for points. Hunting season. Keep it Chengafunga for more.

TPL 2012 log (top 10)

Rank

Team

Played

Wins

Draws

Loss

Scored for

Scored against

+/-

Points

1 AFC Leopards 24 13 6 5 33 19 14 45
2 Gor Mahia 24 12 7 5 26 15 11 43
3 Tusker 23 11 9 3 27 12 15 42
4 Thika United 24 12 6 6 33 26 7 42
5 Sofapaka 24 11 7 6 26 17 9 40
6 Ulinzi Stars 24 12 4 8 30 23 7 40
7 Western Stima 25 10 6 9 25 18 7 36
8 Chemelil Sugar 24 7 10 7 14 15 -1 31
9 Karuturi Sports 25 7 8 10 17 24 -7 29
10 Mathare United 24 6 10 8 26 29 -3 28

(Tusker won their game in hand)