Inclusion of youngsters will enhance Super Eagles’ performance, says Disu

The Technical Director, Lagos Junior League (J-League), Tunde Disu, on Sunday called for more inclusion of  home-bred youngsters in the national senior team, Super Eagles to enhance their performance.

Disu made the clarion call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while commenting on Wilfred Ndidi who was awarded the Leicester City FC’s Young Player of the Year.

disu advice use of youngsters

Disu also commended Genort Rohr, the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, for including three home-based players – MFM FC’s duo of Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun and Akwa United’s Alhassan Ibrahim in the national team.

Reflecting on how the youngsters could be helpful in the Super Eagles’ squad, Disu said that the blend of young bloods from the local league with experience of older players would enhance the team’s performance.

“The Super Eagles need young bloods like Ndidi in the senior team which I believe will give the necessary blend the team needs to prosecute matches and achieve better performance.

“Experience has shown that these youngsters have passion for the game and they are more resilient in their approach to national engagements.

“Overtime some of the youngsters that broke into the national teams perform better than the older ones because the level of their productivity is still high.

“I will like to see some of the home grown talents being called up to the national team. We have many of their likes in the J-League,’’ he said.

Disu said that the J-League had produced players that could be regarded to as world class adding that some of the products of the league were making waves in Europe.

“Lagos J-League is a worthy example of grassroots academy that has produced world class footballers. Some of the graduates of the league are exceptional.

“We already have players such as Ndidi, Victor Osihimien, Taiwo Awoniyi, Stephen Odey and Dele Alampasu among others who can be regarded as the standing Eagles.

“There is no need of tagging them future stars; they should start to play now because this is the time the nation needs their youthful energy to perform.

“The inclusion of these youngsters will ensure better performance and results for the Eagles,’’ he said.

Disu said that the J-League would soon start and that he expected more super talents to be discovered during the season.

“The J-League will soon start and we are already screening the footballers. I hope to see more super stars discovered when we start the league.

“Within its short time in the football stage, the league is already making waves and I can attest to the fact that the league is one of the best organised junior leagues in Africa.

“The league is solely sponsored by the Lagos State Government and we are grateful to them for allowing the league to stand. The aim is to promote grassroots football.

“We have dutiful coaches who go out of their ways in recruiting outstanding players for the league, they are the ones calling the shot. We hope to see better performance this year,’’ he said. (NAN)

Source: NTA

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‘We need #WengerOut’ – Arsenal fans’ anger as Gunners miss out on Champions League

'We need #WengerOut' - Arsenal fans' anger as Gunners miss out on Champions League

Arsene Wenger’s future is up in the air after his side finished fifth in the Premier League, leading many supporters to demand his exit

Arsenal missed out on a top four finish for the first time in 20 years under Arsene Wenger, leading many fans to call for the French manager to leave the club.

Wenger has yet to sign a contract extension at the Emirates Stadium, and many supporters feel it is time for him to leave the club. On Sunday, the Gunners failed to better Liverpool’s result in the Premier League, meaning they finish fifth and will not play in the Champions League next season.

While many fans had previously called for Wenger’s exit, those calls grew louder with many prominent supporters including Piers Morgan weighing in on #WengerOut.

Look, I’m not going to tweet . But if I was to tweet it would be justified, because we need .

@IanWright0 So what’s happening with Arsenal? Is Wenger staying? Is Kroenke leaving? We need to know, our club is embarrassing

Arsenal fans: “It’s time for a change.”

Wenger: “Consider it done, Europa League.”

Welcome Koscielny to Wenger out movement. Man took a red to get Wenger out. Also explains why he conceded so many penalties.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Arsene wenger to Uefa: how many RTs to qualify for the champions league ??

UEFA:

View image on Twitter

NO round of applause from me today. This is the only scenario needed at @Arsenal

So embarrassing we’re back to fighting for fourth like it’s the title.

Dumped out of CL in 10-2 thrashing.
18pts behind PL Champions.
11pts behind Spurs.
5th.
Europa League next season.

Conte took Chelsea from 10th to 1st.

Wenger took Arsenal from 2nd to 5th having spent more.

Are we going to pretend like playing the Europa League isn’t hugely embarrassing?

Arrogant fraud thinks fans are beneath him even though we pay the highest prices in the world to watch his team of cowards https://twitter.com/JamesOlley/status/866323722474582018 

However, one supporter believes the fifth-place finish is all part of Wenger’s evil plan!

Wenger’s planned it.

Sign a 2 year deal.
Win Europa League first year.
Win Champions League second year.

Retire a Legend.

The Gunners boss refused to be drawn on his future in post-match interviews with Arsenal set to play Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Source: http://www.goal.com

Kroenke Out! Champions League failures mean Arsenal must listen to their fans

Kroenke Out! Champions League failures mean Arsenal must listen to their fans

The Gunners will be playing in the Europa League next season and supporters have signalled their demand for a change of ownership


COMMENT


As thousands of Arsenal supporters chanted ‘Stan Kroenke, get out of our club’ there could be no confusion as to who the majority of fans blame for this season’s disaster in the Premier League. The Gunners majority shareholder has hit the headlines again over the past few days following the revelation that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov had lodged a £1 billion bid for Kroenke’s shares, an offer which was informally rejected by the American.

For the first full season under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League – their 3-1 home win over Everton proving irrelevant on Sunday after Liverpool defeated Middlesbrough at Anfield. While the financial consequences may not be particularly severe, the bigger picture is that attracting top level players to Emirates Stadium this summer could prove difficult due to the current instability at the club.

There are key issues which need to be resolved at Arsenal over the next three months. None are more important than the managerial situation, with all signs pointing to Wenger extending his stay at the club by at least another season. The Frenchman’s own intentions are unclear and he has gone from saying a decision would be announced in April or May to hinting that discussions will take place in a board meeting after the upcoming FA Cup final.

Wenger’s future is linked to a host of first team players, including Mesut Ozil – who will not even consider committing to the club until an announcement is made about the manager. With both the German international and Alexis Sanchez seeing their contracts expire in 2018, a summer of huge decisions regarding playing and coaching staff, as well as in the boardroom, is expected.

The small matter of an FA Cup final against the newly-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea provides Wenger’s side with a last chance to salvage something positive from what has been the manager’s worst season at the club.

Laurent Koscielny’s sending off against Everton means he will miss the showpiece Wembley final, while an injury for Brazilian centre back Gabriel Paulista has paved the way for club captain Per Mertesacker to start his first game of the season.

The German’s leadership qualities are certainly needed at the back for Arsenal against Chelsea but his own defensive vulnerabilities could be exposed by the mobile attacking threats of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Willian. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also doubtful after his recent injury absence.

 
Alexis Sanchez Mesut Ozil Arsenal

Kroenke

You can count the number of times Kroenke has been seen at the Emirates this season on one hand. That is where the brunt of the supporters’ frustrations lie. This is an owner who appears to have no interest in building a relationship with the fans or announcing his ambitions for the club. There has always been an underlying disconnect between the owner and the fan base, and this has become more evident as Arsenal’s form has regressed this season. For most Gooners, Europa League football is the final nail in the coffin regardless of the outcome of the FA Cup final.

Usmanov has already indicated that he won’t relieve Wenger of his managerial duties if he does become majority shareholder at Arsenal, so would new ownership really change the direction of the football club? The Russian has signalled his own intent to buy the best players in the world and it should be noted that Kroenke, while he has never put debt on Arsenal, has not invested a penny in transfer dealings or on-the-pitch matters.

Arsenal’s reputation as a self-sustaining club is something they should be proud of but Chelsea and Manchester City are examples of how modern football teams requires fresh investment on a mass scale each season. The answer isn’t to spend money for the sake of it, but to utilise it in a way which helps the club challenge the likes of their Champions League conquerors Bayern Munich – a statement which chief executive Ivan Gazidis made to fans in 2013.

Tottenham’s second place finish and new stadium has provided several home truths to Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke. Their wage bill is almost half of Arsenal’s, yet they are far outperforming their local rivals.

I recently spoke to an ex-Arsenal player who played under Wenger for almost a decade and he told me that when he looks at this current side, no-one is smiling on the bench and no-one looks happy. While many critics may argue that Wenger’s tactical shortcomings are the key issue, it is clear that the negative atmosphere off the pitch is contributing to what is happening on it.

Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League and they require big changes across the board this summer. Whether it happens or not is another question, but the fans have made their view clear; they want Kroenke out.

Source: http://www.goal.com

Ignore the Barcelona conspiracies, Real Madrid will be deserving champions 

Ignore the Barcelona conspiracies, Real Madrid will be deserving champions

Despite talk of refereeing decisions and question marks over Malaga’s motives on Sunday, the Blaugrana have simply not been as good as Los Blancos


COMMENT


The league table rarely lies. Like last season, La Liga will be decided in the last round of fixtures and if Real Madrid, as expected, go on to claim the title for the first time since 2011-12, then they will have deserved it.
Madrid are away to Malaga on Sunday and there are already a number of conspiracy theories being put forward by Barcelona fans ahead of that match at La Rosaleda, including question marks over the Andalusians’ coach and also the influence of a possible windfall for the Costa del Sol side from the Isco transfer in 2013.

Malaga are coached by Michel, a Madrid symbol in his playing days after coming through the youth system at Real and a man who said after beating Barca in La Liga last month: “Real Madrid will be the champions, but a Malaga man from Real Madrid has lent them a hand.”

And many concerned with Barca believe the 54-year-old will lend Los Blancos another helping hand, especially as Malaga have nothing left to play for in the Primera Division. However, the coach distanced himself from all of that with a tweet on Thursday which simply stated: “Focused on ourselves.”

Malaga GFX

For his part, Malaga president Abdullah Al-Thani has reacted angrily to press speculation over Michel and late last month sent out a tweet in Arabic responding to a question on whether his team would beat Madrid: “With the help of God, we’ll beat them on the pitch,” it read. “But the scum of Catalunya won’t get a whiff of La Liga after their lies about Michel.”

In the meantime, Malaga are also set to receive a payment of €1 million from Madrid if Los Blancos win La Liga as part of the agreement which saw Isco move from the Andalusian club to Real in 2013. That deal included €3m in variables, €1m for each league title won by Madrid in the player’s first five seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, and the first of those payments could be triggered this weekend.

On top of all that, there has been yet more talk of officials in the current campaign and Gerard Pique spiced up the rivalry between Barcelona and Madrid earlier in the season with a tweet listing the decisions that – he claimed, using links from Madrid media – had gone in Real’s favour.

Pique was captured on camera after Barca’s winner in the Clasico clash at the Bernabeu last month mouthing “we are infinitely better” than Madrid. However, in La Liga this term, that has simply not been the case.

Marcelo Sergio Ramos Marco Asensio Real Madrid Valencia LaLiga 29042017

HD Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid

Barca have won the Primera Division in six of the last eight seasons, although many fans of the Catalan club argue that their title hopes were persecuted in the two years that they failed to win it – in 2011-12 as Jose Mourinho’s Madrid were perceived to benefit from a number of decisions throughout the title race and in 2013-14 as Lionel Messi was denied a perfectly legal goal in the decider against Atletico at Camp Nou on the last day of the season.

This time, however, there can be no doubts. Although conspiracy theories abound among Barca fans, the fact is that their team has not been good enough in La Liga in 2016-17. Although Madrid have had their problems on occasions as well, Zidane’s side have been able to come through them more often – which is why it is Los Blancos who go into the final fixture needing just a point to be crowned champions.

If they can clinch it, the title will be deserved. Barca have been the dominant force in La Liga in the past decade, but this time Madrid have been the better team in the Primera Division over the course of the past nine months. Instead of conspiracy theories, the Catalans would be better off looking at just what went wrong in their own performances this season.

Source: http://www.goal.com

Alexis has massive respect for Wenger but knows his time at Arsenal is up

Alexis has massive respect for Wenger but knows his time at Arsenal is up

Recent comments from the Gunners star provides further hints as to why he’s likely to leave this summer


COMMENT


Alexis Sanchez rarely talks to the media unless it’s an interview with Arsenal’s in-house team or a PR event related to the Chilean national side, but over the past few weeks, the 28-year-old’s policy of speaking out publicly has changed dramatically.

Pundits have tried to read the enigmatic Sanchez, who has 23 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, from his body language, his passion and commitment. But in recent weeks, such advanced techniques have not been necessary.

There has undoubtedly been a shift in Sanchez’s outwardness on the pitch this season. He looks more frustrated, angrier and more selfish in possession. It’s easy to understand why when you take an overview of Arsenal’s season. Arsene Wenger’s side were out of the Champions League and Premier League title race by mid-February and have never really got going, despite starting the season with a handful of positive results.

Recent comments from Alexis provided a telling glimpse into what is going on in his mind right now, even though many will suspect that he is being told to speak about his future by a representative or agent. From the quote in which said he wants to play for a “winning club” to his more recent murmurings about his frustration with the mentality of this current Arsenal side, it’s clear that Alexis is keeping all of his options open going into this summer.

Arsene Wenger Alexis Sanchez

“Sometimes the frustration more than anything is about the fact we could be challenging for the Premier League title,” he said.

“I’ve always said we have great players here, it’s just about having the mentality of being a great player and going out on to the pitch already thinking about winning.”

And mentality is key here. Alexis spent his childhood growing up playing football on the rocky streets of Tocopilla in Chile. He knows what it means to win and will do anything to make it happen. Can the same be said for every single player in the Arsenal team? Results this season, particularly the implosions at West Brom, Bayern Munich and Crystal Palace, are examples of the collective disappointment that has taken over at the Emirates Stadium this season.

By no means should excuses be made for the way Alexis has conducted himself on and off the pitch at times, however. A training ground fight that was denied by Wenger and subsequently confirmed by Theo Walcott and Robert Pires reinforced the notion that the attacking maestro has become increasingly frustrated with his team-mates’ efforts. The stats show that Alexis loses possession the most out of anyone in the Arsenal team in almost every domestic game this season. Different theories have been put forward as to why this is the case: is he always looking for the ball and trying to make things happen or is he someone careless in possession and wants to avoid passing to certain team-mates?

Arsene Wenger Alexis Sanchez

Then there is the relationship with the manager. Wenger brought Sanchez to Arsenal at a time where the Chilean couldn’t get into the world’s best attacking frontline. He has proved that he is world class but this season has shone a light on the Frenchman’s inability to manage his team successfully in the biggest games. The comments from Sanchez about his manager were interesting because he chose not to defend the performances which Wenger has presided over this season – instead, he voiced his disappointment at the protests which have gained traction over the past few months.

“For me, [fan demonstrations are] very bad. He is the manager who gave a stadium to the club, won cups, and he has been 21 years in the job. He is the creator of the stadium, the players and style of the club,” he said.

Whatever happens in the coming months, you can be sure that Alexis Sanchez will be a man in demand. Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are just a handful of clubs who are monitoring his contract situation, with the deal set to expire at Emirates next summer.

The most important thing for Alexis is clearly winning trophies, and while an FA Cup may go some way to softening the blow of not being able to compete for the biggest prizes, it surely won’t be long before he realises that he needs to go elsewhere to win the most sought after silverware.

http://www.goal.com

Ronaldo’s belated birthday bash looks like gifting Madrid the title

Ronaldo's belated birthday bash looks like gifting Madrid the title

The Portuguese forward scored twice in the rearranged fixture at Celta Vigo, originally scheduled for February 5, as Los Blancos close in on La Liga


COMMENT


Real Madrid were furious. ZInedine Zidane’s side were eager to play away to Celta Vigo in February despite damage to the Galicians’ Balaidos stadium. However, the game was postponed and Cristiano Ronaldo had a night off on his birthday instead.

The fixture had seemed ideal for Madrid at the time. Celta were in the middle of their two Copa del Rey semi-final matches against Alaves and their coach Eduardo Berizzo had admitted he would play with reserves in the Liga clash.

Madrid put pressure on Celta to make repairs to their stadium or find an alternative venue, but there were no viable options and the game was rescheduled for the final week of the season because both teams were in action in Europe – Real in the Champions League and their rivals in the Europa League.

And even though the Galicians had lost their last five in La Liga as they focused on Europe, they were clearly up for this one, angered by Madrid’s attitude back in February when they were accused of sabotaging Real’s title tilt.

Karim Benzema Real Madrid Celta LaLiga 17052017

In the end, however, it may just have worked out well for Madrid because Los Blancos needed four points from their trips to Celta and Malaga (on Sunday) to end the season as league champions for the first time since 2011-12. They now need just one.

Ronaldo rifled home with his left foot from outside the area after 10 minutes to give Madrid the lead and after Celta dominated the closing stages of the first half and the early exchanges in the second period too, Isco led a quick breakaway before expertly finding the Portuguese to make it 2-0.

Iago Aspas was later dismissed after receiving a second yellow card for diving, although he may have been shoved by Sergio Ramos, and John Guidetti got the home side back in it with a deflected effort.

However, a dominant Madrid went back in front through Karim Benzema and, after Ronaldo missed an extraordinary chance from close range, Toni Kroos made it 4-1 later on to leave Los Blancos needing only to draw at Malaga to claim the title.

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Celta LaLiga 17052017

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Celta LaLiga 17052017

Ronaldo was substituted to avoid the risk of a booking and a subsequent suspension in the final fixture at Malaga on Sunday and the Portuguese appeared frustrated to have missed the chance to claim his hat-trick.

However, it was he who set Real on their way with those two opening strikes and he now has 20 goals against Celta as a Madrid player, while his first also saw him become European footballer’s all-time top league scorer as he surpassed former Tottenham and England great Jimmy Greaves to reach 367 – and then 368 – goals.

It was a belated birthday celebration for Ronaldo as he helped to gift the title to Madrid. But for Real, the Champagne will be on hold until Sunday because defeat in Malaga will let Barcelona back in it. And after one title in eight years, that would be a huge blow.

Anything other than a Madrid win in La Liga now seems unlikely, however, and it should be confirmed at La Rosaleda at the weekend. So, Cristiano got to celebrate his birthday and, in a few days, he should be celebrating the title as well.

Source: http://www.goal.com

Could Arsenal & Liverpool face a Champions League play-off?

Much of the Premier League table has been decided, but the Gunners need a favour to finish in the top four, and may even face a one-off game

The Champions League race is going to the final day.

The destination of the Premier League title is set – Chelsea will get their hands on the trophy after this Sunday’s game against Sunderland – and the relegation places have been filled by the Black Cats, Middlesbrough and Hull City.

Yet there remains intrigue to be had. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are all vying for two spaces in the league table. City are currently third, while Liverpool lie fourth and Arsenal fifth. While three wins from the three teams would leave the table as it is, there are many permutations that could potentially see a play-off for a place in the Champions League…


LEAGUE TABLE AS IT STANDS


PL Table

With both Chelsea and Spurs certain to finish in the top two positions, City are best-placed to secure qualification. A victory over Watford at Vicarage Road will confirm their spot in third, while a draw would also put them out of reach of Arsenal.

Liverpool, meanwhile, know that a victory is necessary against Middlesbrough, while a draw could see them fall below the Gunners if Arsenal defeat Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal, lastly, need a favour. They must hope that either Liverpool or City drop points in what appear to be relatively straightforward fixtures, and then do their job of beating Everton.


A THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF?


HD Jurgen Klopp

Now it gets really interesting.

Liverpool have two potential play-off routes, but both appear relatively unlikely. City only lie two points above Liverpool, so a draw for Pep Guardiola’s side against Watford, and a victory for the Reds, with the correct goal difference swing, would see Jurgen Klopp’s men tie City for third.

Thus, a one-off game would have to be played to decide who enters into the Champions League group stages and who faces a qualifying match.

City currently have a positive 36 goal difference, as opposed to Liverpool’s 33, though a play-off would hinge on goals scored and goals conceded being identical. Thus, a 3-0 win for Liverpool over Boro, and a 3-3 draw between City and Watford would mean both clubs have scored 78 goals, conceded 42 and accrued 76 points.


A FOURTH-PLACE PLAY-OFF?


Pep Guardiola Manchester City

This appears more likely, though it still stretches the bounds of probability.

A 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Everton, who were themselves once chasing qualification for the Champions League, and a 2-0 defeat for Liverpool against Middlesbrough will mean both clubs finish on 73 points, with an identical goal difference of positive 31 – 75 scored and 44 conceded.

A 2-2 draw for Arsene Wenger’s men, coupled with a 3-1 Middlesbrough win over Liverpool would similarly lead to a play-off.

Boro’s form, though, has been woeful on the road this season and they have not won away since August.


ARSENAL V CITY?


Arsene Wenger Arsenal Premier League

This one is exceptionally hard to fathom.

Arsenal could still face City in a play-off, but they would need a mighty performance from Watford to see it happen.

A 4-0 defeat for Pep Guardiola’s men, coupled with Arsenal defeating Everton 1-0, would see both teams end on 75 points with 75 goals scored and 43 conceded.

Liverpool’s result against Middlesbrough would then confirm whether or not the two clubs were playing off for third or fourth place.

Watford, though, have only recently announced that Walter Mazzarri will be leaving the club, the manager having overseen a run of five straight defeats. We did say it was hard to fathom.

Source: http://www.goal.com

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