Tag Archives: soccer

THE CL FINAL, PARENTS, AND ABORTION

To be honest, that Champions League Final was not as epic as I had anticipated it to be. Maybe because the team I was supporting lost, or maybe because they lost undeservedly. There was something really off about that game especially when Salah had to leave the game so unexpectedly.

It broke my heart. Like, literally, I felt a sharp pang inside me when he went down from that Ramos tackle. And a wave of anger, confusion, disbelief, and bewilderment washed over me as I watched him try to soldier on, and eventually leave the pitch.

There is a dark, lonely hell waiting for Ramos, I hope he knows it. (Please sign this petition in order to have him punished for his intentional assault on Salah; be a trooper and let’s change the world together).

And then there was Karius. His career is obviously over, and I hope he knows that. I am not feeling empathetic towards this man and his situation right now. I doubt I ever will. And that says a lot considering I feel sorry for almost everyone and everything, regardless of what they have done. Well, except bad popes, bad US presidents, all Kenyan presidents, and the rapist that lives in the hood I grew up in (why is this man still alive?).

Anyway, back to Karius. I am convinced he half-arsed that game; all I want to know is why. Just why. He is toooooooo fine to be making such egregious mistakes at such a stage. There has to be a reason behind his poor performance. There just has to be!

I hear he could be going to Rimini FC; let’s see how that works out.

So, my heart bled that night, that game cut me really deep. But, I noticed something else, something outside the game. I really really really really enjoy my parents’ company. I thought football was just my thing because I am the only one in this family who consistently takes the time to watch these matches. It’s a big deal because I’m the only girl…in a family of five.

But, last Saturday night, I realized that football could be a family thing. Okay, not my brothers, I feel like they feel that they have better things to do. Things I’d rather die than do. But, it could be a thing for me and my 70-year-old parents to do together; our thing on top of the other many things that we do together like going to church together, and watching and arguing about Kikuyu soap operas on Inooro.

Which reminds me; we have been having a recurring conversation over the last few Saturdays that I have visited them. It revolves around my love life; specifically my lack of one. They are a tad concerned that I do not seem to be in a hurry to find someone, scratch that, get knocked up. Yes, my parents want me to get knocked up, and they do not care whether there will be a man or not in the picture. I can even quote them word for word, but I have never really known how to write in Kikuyu, so I will spare you. My dad is particularly unbemused by the fact that I may not want to have children.

That man wants a grandbaby, and he wants one now! Too bad for him because he knows my ovaries are waiting for Miguna Miguna to become president.

So, yes, football. We had so much fun that night. I made my dad laugh so hard with one of my reactions, he nearly choked. And they love how dramatic I get in life in general, but more specifically, when I’m watching football. And my mum, the antagonist that she always is, was on Real Madrid’s side. You have not had your worst football experience as a fan until you have to live through your own mother berating you and your team, and actually celebrating as you mourn. Her taunts were like swallowing hot glass; she’s really good at it (the taunting, not the swallowing hot glass part). IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!

It felt much more fulfilling than if I was at some club somewhere, or at my place, alone. I cannot wait to watch many more games with them during the World Cup. This is going to be epic.

Oh yeah, I also found out they are pro-abortionists later on that night. I was shocked, especially hearing it from my dad. They believe women do not need to go through unwanted pregnancies. They think the reason why there are so many kids on the street, and so many kids into drug abuse is because their mothers never wanted them from the get-go. Why bring a child into this world when you know you’re never going to love them the way they deserve?

I cannot wait to uncover more layers of my parents’ inner thoughts over a series of football matches.

Happy days, people! Happy days.

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‘DAT GUY WELBZ’ IS BACK, AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!

We have been treated to a couple of amazing soccer comebacks this past week, with the most dramatic being in the Manchester derby, where we saw the Red Devils coming back from two goals down to win the match against Manchester City (see my comments about the game here).

That game was superb to watch as a football fan, especially, the 2nd half, but that is not why I am writing this piece.

I want to talk about another comeback, this time, an individual one.

Danny Welbeck is back, people, and my faith in Arsenal (not Arsene) is slowly being restored. I can’t help but get a little bit emotional about his recovery and glorious return to form. He has been through so much since May 2015 owing to severe knee injuries, and this has had a profound impact on his career, his confidence, and his game. I firmly believe that his relentless spirit is what has brought his career back to life, and seeing him being able to play, and do so with the same pizzazz he had when he moved to the Emirates, is nothing short of a miracle.

That is why it is so annoying to see people try to bring him down when you can clearly see he is giving his best. Yes, I am talking about those individuals who were harshly criticizing him for not being able to score yesterday against Southampton from this beautiful pass from Wilshere. Granted, he was only about three yards away from goal, and to most people, it was an obvious shot. But, he wasn’t able to stretch far enough to get his foot in, and that is perfectly okay with me. He tried; he missed, but, he tried!

It is also okay that he missed because I do not want him putting his limbs in egregious harm again. Who knows what would have happened if he had just stretched enough? Who knows what kind of pressure that would be putting on his healing form? For me, it’s better a Welbeck who misses a couple of chances here and there, but he’s taking care of himself on the field, and he’s playing in most games; than, a Welbeck who scores an amazing goal, tears one of his knee tendons, and cannot play for the rest of the season. He is a long term investment, and we need to be seeing him contribute regularly to the growth of our team.

And why are we being such gigantic pricks right now? How can we let the fact that he missed one opportunity overshadow the fact that he scored TWICE in yesterday’s game, and also had an assist? How can we play down the fact that he scored his first goal in seven months yesterday? We’ve had a horrid season, and I cannot believe we are takig his return for granted.

Anyway, I’m just glad he’s BACK, I’m glad he’s BETTER, and I’m definitely glad that he’s SCORING AGAIN!!

We are so glad to have you back, Welbz, please keep scoring for us! (I cannot wait for the day I’ll be writing a piece on Cazorla’s comeback, keeping my fingers crossed!!!)

PS: You can catch my comments about the rest of the game on my YouTube Channel.

NO TOP-FOUR SPOT FOR THE BLUES!!

The one game you would expect Chelsea to win. They have done so for the last 28 years. I’m not even 28, which means that all my life plus a year, Chelsea have been beating Tottenham in every game they have played against one another at Stamford Bridge. That is a spectacular record, people! But this Sunday, it all went up in smoke, boys, and girls, and Chelsea’s defense was to blame for the entire messy debacle.

But the Chelsea defenders are not the only ones to blame for their remarkable loss of form during that game. Chelsea’s main man, Morata, played horribly in the match. He’s not been having a very good season despite being considered the Blue’s biggest star signing. He gave his team hope by scoring the opening goal for Chelsea, but after that, the fireworks were extinguished. You could see him clearly struggling throughout the match, getting frustrated, missing chances, not connecting well with others, it was just a sad state of affairs for Morata this past Sunday. He has demonstrated a staggering lack of confidence in his own abilities throughout the season, which is surprising for a player of his stature. I also have the sense that Conte ringing in Giroud as a potential replacement for the No 9 exacerbated his esteem issues. If he had put up more of a fight in this game, the result would not have been so disastrous for Chelsea.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a young man has gotten his confidence and goal-scoring streak back. This must have been one of the most successful games for Dele Alli who scored a brace for Tottenham (in the space of four minutes), and before that, he had played a huge part in building up Eriksen’s goal. This was Alli’s 100th appearance in the Premier League, and what a way to celebrate it! And what’s even more incredible is the fact that he was still reeling from the announcement earlier in the week that his start in the World Cup for England was doubtful. I know his haters were absolutely taken by surprise owing to his brilliant performance. I hope he keeps it up because Tottenham is definitely stronger when he has the right attitude and he’s playing to win legitimately (i.e. when he’s not diving :))

On a side note, Antonio Conte, you need to go, dude, this ship is sinking and you need to save yourself quick. I swear I feel like if he stays one more day in the Chelsea camp, he’ll succumb to stress or end up depressed. It is that serious people, he needs to go for his own peace of mind! He’s expected to depart at the end of the season, but there is the little stumbling block of 9.5 million pounds that Chelsea would have to pay him if he leaves before his contract is complete. And I know you’re probably thinking that this is Chelsea, it’s always rich because its owner is Abramovich, a BILLIONAIRE!

However, it might prove difficult for Chelsea to dish out the 9.5m just like that. The Blues were unable to ring in some of their favored pursuits during the January transfer market because these pursuits were unaffordable for Chelsea. And now, some of their biggest stars such as Hazard and Courtois are aching for a move to Real Madrid where the money will be better. Chelsea management knows this and they are looking to save some cash so that they can attract the right names. Hence, they are not going to be dishing close to ten million pounds out just to let Conte go. However, this is a developing story so let us see how it goes.

What isn’t a developing story is Chelsea’s title hopes or clinching a top-four spot. Welcome to the club of despair, Chelsea, have your fans come and sit next to us Arsenal fans, hihihi!

WE WON BUT WE STILL FEEL LET-DOWN

We won, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!! But, we still suck! You know I’m talking about Arsenal. You know that warm amazing feeling that comes over you when your team wins? That feeling of ‘we’ve got this, we can scale to the top’? No sane Arsenal fan has that feeling right now. We’ve left those feelings for Burnley, Liverpool, and Tottenham fans (sadly Chelsea fans do not fall in this category anymore). There is so much apathy in the Arsenal world right now, and it was clear from the half-empty seats in the stadium yesterday. And it’s all because of one man (I won’t write his name here because my heart hurts every time that I think about him; does this nigga know that broken heart syndrome is real? Argggh!!)

So, we won, but we should not have going by how we were playing in the first half. That first half was so horrendous to watch, and I feel like my face contorted in ways that it has never done before. OMG! The way Chambers was playing in that first half, it was like he intentionally wanted to rip our hearts out and stomp on them barefoot. Passes were not being completed, and people like Chambers were busy giving away the ball. The same thing with Elneny. This was his chance to prove that he should be in the starting line-up in every game, and he almost blew. Gaaaaaaaaad! Simply put, it was mind-numbing to watch that first half for me, and for every Arsenal supporter out there.

It is just pure luck that Shaqiri did not find the back of the net in this game. I mean the man was a nightmare for our defenders. But, true to his form he lost his gusto during the second half and our boys could at least breathe easier.

The second half was more entertaining to watch. It was such a relief seeing our players completing passes, mounting credible attacks, creating chances from the midfield (Wilshere, I see you), and you know, basically playing football the way it should be played. It feels like the match opened up significantly with Lacazette’s entry into the game in the 61st minute. This man has moves, charisma, and most importantly, the grit to keep us afloat during our match with CSKA Moscow as well as for the rest of the premier league season. What I am trying to say (if you haven’t read between the lines yet) is that this man is highly impressive and has a huge impact on how our boys play.

And so does another dude, our star signing, Aubemayang. Sadly, he will not be playing against CSKA Moscow (because of some dumb rules) but watching him play on Sunday made me feel like our chances are much slimmer without him. A brace against Stoke is significant for Aubemayang, although not so for our top four hopes. I hope he will be able to capitalize on this groundwork as the premier league draws to a close.

We also saw a glimpse of how beautiful our attack would be if we played Lacazette and Aubameyang up front together. I mean, this could be the next dynamic duo that helps us save face this season. And they seem to really like playing together, and creating chances for one another. There’s absolutely no selfishness between these two as was noted when Aubameyang gave Lacazette the opportunity to take the second penalty rather than him going for his first hat-trick in an Arsenal shirt.

Wenger seems to believe there will be hardly any empty seats during our Europa match with the Russians. I am not sure about this because people are tired of wasting their money and getting their hearts broken. But I’ll watch the game just to see how Lacazette performs because now he is watch-worthy. (Please don’t flush my heart down the toilet, Gunners, please)!

IS 1-0 REALLY VENGEANCE?

I have seen numerous headlines this morning regarding yesterday’s international friendly match between Germany and Brazil and they all seem to suggest that the Selecao has reclaimed their honor by beating Germany 1-0 in the latter’s home turf. The overwhelming sentiment is that the Brazilians have managed to avenge their World Cup defeat to Germany nearly four years ago. People have already seen Brazil win this year’s cup because of that SOLITARY Jesus’ goal! They have already predicted how Germany will flop this year, the same way that Brazil sunk in the last World Cup. NKT!!!!!

First of all, hogwash! My understanding of the term ‘vengeance’ does not seem to fit this narrative being spread around. Yesterday, Brazil won 1-0 in Berlin in an international friendly. Four years ago, Germany thrashed Brazil SEVEN goals to ONE on the Selecao’s home soil in the World Cup Semi-Finals! Brazil has not managed to avenge their most humiliating game in world history. That one goal defeat cannot even be considered a sting to Germany’s brilliant World Cup record. They have only managed to anger the bull as far as I’m concerned.

As you might have noticed by now, I am an ardent Die Nationalmannschaft supporter, and I have been for several years. To me, the German national team is like a well-oiled fighting machine that destroys everything in its path (clearly, I’m into violence; blame it on my obsession with video games). I love their tenacity, their strength, and their ability to wear their opponents down minute by minute. And, they do it so mechanically, so methodically, that you often find yourself pitying their opponents. It’s usually a ‘bringing the sheep to the slaughter’ kind of scenario everytime a team is set to face the Germans

Hence, my complete astonishment at these frenzied reports that have surfaced regarding my favorite national team’s performance last night. Let me let you in on a little secret, people, that game was purely experimental! Did you see Muller play? Did you see Ozil on that pitch last night or Can? No! Because this was not a must-win game, and what better opportunity to try out your other guns than a friendly against the world’s number two. Several major changes were made to the usual German line-up, and there were many young players on that pitch because, as Low put it ‘ ..that is why you have such games, to try things out.’ And try things out they did!

Granted, their performance was not as stellar as it usually is, and Brazil capitalized on the clear lack of cohesion in the German side by absolutely covering themselves with that 6-3-1 formation. But, we saw a lot of young, untapped talent as well as some flashes of glory from the German side that I hope we’ll get to see more of in the World Cup. Wagner, as usual, was impressive, although he missed the mark a couple of times. Boateng brought nearly his all to that match, and I liked his energy and persistence throughout the game, all hallmarks of a great captain (let us just be honest, this boy can do no wrong in my eyes, he is as perfect as they come! Seeing him play always excites my little heart! I almost cried when he went down after Jesus stepped on his back quad, it was really devastating to see him in pain!). Moving on swiftly…

Least impressive for me was Mario Gomez, and so it was a sigh of relief when he went out for Wagner. Needless to say, we are in this mess because of Trapp’s error, but there is no point kicking a man when he is down is there?

Brazil had everything at stake going into this game, and they played their hearts out to secure that lead. Dani Alves, Marcello, Willian and Jesus (goal-scorer) played really good football yesterday, and they had me gasping for air at certain moments. (Especially Willian, I cannot get enough of this boy! He puts everything he has in every match he plays, I don’t know how he does it). I just hope they have something left for the actual World Cup matches. The only let-down for me from the Brazilian side was Coutinho. His head was never in that game and it was clear to see. He better pull his socks up or he’s going to end up costing his side big time on the big stage.

Despite the win, and Brazil managing to stop Germany’s 22-game unbeaten run, Brazil is far from ever redeeming themselves or avenging their catastrophic World Cup semi-final loss to Germany four Decembers ago.

Anyway, I hope both teams are prepared for Spain. After the thrashing the Spaniards gave Argentina yesterday, you best believe that Spain is a formidable opponent in this year’s World Cup!

THAT LIVERPOOL PERFORMANCE WILL LEAVE YOU SECOND-GUESSING YOUR ALLEGIANCE

That Liverpool game was everything!! At first, I was not going to watch it. PSG vs Real Madrid was on at the same time, and this is the game that everyone was talking about. Ronaldo vs Neymar/Mbappe/Cavani, people, what could be more exciting than this tantalizing clash of the titans? Turns out, Liverpool vs FC Porto, baby!!

I watched the RealvsPSG match for the first 10-12 minutes, and I kid you not I was getting bored. Plus, I was not really feeling Cavani on that Wednesday night, I just did not like seeing him on the screen for no apparent reason. Then, a small voice inside me told me to switch to the Liverpool game for just a few minutes then come back to this ‘main event’, hopefully, more refreshed. That small voice was like a calling! People, I never went back to that PSG game, and I do not regret it for a second! Liverpool was on fire, and if I wasn’t such a staunch Arsenal supporter, they would have converted me.

I’m talking about moves that could give a girl straight orgasms; goals that could give a healthy 26-year-old, heart palpitations, a game that moved so fast, there was hardly any time to breathe or blink, an intense coach who hardly sat for the entire match (I love Klopp’s theatrics on the sideline, they are always entertaining), a defensive wonderkid who is delicious to watch (and he gets better every game), and a midfielder who, for the life of me, has not let age define him. Yes, that was what the Reds brought to Porto on Valentine’s day. That and much more!

Let me begin with James Milner, this midfielder who seemingly re-invents himself every season, nay, every match! Every time I see him play, I make fun of him for being too old to be on this particular team. I know that is kind of mean, but in football years, Milner is ancient! I first heard about him in 2010 when he was moving to Manchester City from Aston Villa where he had spent two years. Before that, I came to find out, he had been in Newcastle, preceded by a loan transfer to Aston Villa, which was after his first stay in Newcastle who had bought the then 18-year-old from Leeds United. In short, he’s been playing professional football since I was a pre-teen, and my head just cannot get around that!

But, here is the funny thing about Milner that leaves me in awe. He is doing what normal 32-year-old professional footballers cannot do. He’s changing roles on the field on a regular basis making him one of the most versatile footballers some of us have ever come across. Last season, he was playing in the left-back position; this season, he’s playing as a midfielder! How absolutely amazing is that?

Another fun fact, he currently holds the record for the most assists in this Champions League season. He set up two of the five goals scored by Liverpool on Wednesday taking him to the top of the assist table. Imagine, he’s ahead of players like Kevin De Bruyne! Wow.

That’s not all! Milner (alongside Henderson) clearly dominated that midfield and controlled that game. He showed so much tenacity and maturity that promulgated throughout the Liverpool team. Milner was not allowing any of his teammates to make mistakes, not on this day!

Milner was not the only one showing maturity on such a big stage on Wednesday. Mo Salah, the King of Egypt, demonstrated that exact sentiment throughout his game, and he was so impressive to watch. I find the way this man moves with the ball, dribbling across defenders, and linking the ball up with teammates, at times who are in his blind spots, so enticing. Like, I cannot resist him when he is on the field.

And did you see his goal? This was one of those orgasmic, heart palpitation causing moments I was talking about earlier. That goal wasn’t just magical, it was pure art! How can he have such composure to score a goal like that? To me, it’s just mind-blowing! Can Salah do anything wrong at this point? I doubt it!

Firmino was also on point in this game, and what a spectacular goal that was. I loved his celebration after he scored, it was so boyish (I also like his teeth, but this is a story for another place). And, I have to be honest. I fell in love with the Firmino-Salah combination in their match against Southampton last Sunday. They played off each other so well at the front during this game, and it was exciting to see them doing that again in the Porto game.

The duo seems to have so much chemistry, and so much fun playing together and scoring amazing goals. That is why it was so surprising to learn that they are not best friends. Guess who is Salah’s closest friend at Liverpool?

I’ll tell you. It’s the man who completely destroyed Porto on Wednesday. Sadio Mane, baby!! What a performance! What a way to seal the destiny for your team in the Champions League. Mane’s three goals against Porto is another testament of how mature, and composed these boys have become under Klopp, and how precise their game is. It also shows the breadth of talent within Liverpool, wow!

Of course, Mane’s performance on Valentine’s day was also testament to the player’s self-belief and self-awareness. Just a couple of weeks ago people were talking about how he sucked because his form had nose-dived a little. But, now look at him, scoring hat-tricks in one of the biggest competitions in the world! That is truly inspirational, and Liverpool is a wonderful team for giving him the space and the encouragement he needed to recover and reach these new heights.

So, yeah! I am basically in love with everything about Liverpool including their coach and their orange kits. It was the perfect match to watch on Valentine’s, and I hope performances such as those keep coming from Liverpool. (Don’t worry, I have not converted yet. Once a Gunner, always a Gunner, but a little flirting with a rival never hurt nobody).

Subscribe, and leave your comments about the game below. You can also follow me here, here, here, and here.

Have amazing, safe, and love-filled weekends, people!!

WILL TOTTENHAM EVER STOP SHOCKING ME?

Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! Who saw Tottenham’s performance on Tuesday night coming? Who? Certainly not me! I spent an entire blog post belittling Spurs before their match against Arsenal last weekend, AND their Champions League match against Juventus this week (you can catch that post here). Little did I know how truly resilient Spurs can be.

I had to eat my own words after they completely outclassed Arsenal on Saturday, and now, I have to do the same thing again after their breathtaking performance on Tuesday night. Before this game, even before the week began, I was so sure that Spurs had no chance against the Italian side. On such a big stage? Pshhhh! There was no way they were going to hack it (I have to admit that some of the negativity stemmed from them beating us on Saturday). Boy, was I wrong! And, boy, was I glad to be so wrong.

For me, the match was not only entertaining, dramatic, and full-blown intellectual (the way Spurs was passing that ball was just incredible), it showed a different class to Tottenham. These boys are poised, organized, confident, mature even, and all this is evident in that amazing comeback from 2 goals down to a draw. This has not happened at the Juve Stadium since 2011, and for Tottenham (of all the teams) to be able to do that was just mind-blowing!

When Higuain scored the first goal (in the 2nd minute, mind you), I was like ‘Here comes the bloodbath!’, and then he scored the second goal, and for me, that game was over before Spurs could even blink. Two goals in less than 10 minutes of the first half of the first leg of the knockout stage of the Champions League, Tottenham was clearly way out of its depth here! To make it worse, they are the underdogs, they have less experience compared to Juventus across all competitions, Juventus have Buffon who is a matchmaker on his own, and Juve’s defense (BBC) was until most recently considered unbeatable, absolutely impenetrable! Talk about having all the odds stacked against Tottenham.

And yet, Spurs continued to play their hearts out. They kept attacking and they kept coming, and Juventus kept making mistakes. Higuain had two amazing opportunities to widen the score in the first half, one of them being a penalty that he missed right before halftime. Can you believe that? He and Mandzukic also missed seemingly straightforward goals in the early minutes of the second half. What were they thinking?

A special shout out to Kane for being so unafraid in front of goal. Did you see his goal? Did you see how he drew Buffon in, then darted from him, leaving the veteran goalkeeper completely floored, and then striking the ball into the net with his left foot? He did it so unassumingly, you wouldn’t believe that he had just done that to THE Gianluigi Buffon! I mean the cheek of it all!

That goal was special; that goal was the first goal that Juventus have conceded in 2018! That goal, along with the Eriksen one, could shove Buffon into retirement, people! There are already calls for the legendary goalkeeper to pack up his gloves and leave after his ‘not so good’ performance against Tottenham on Tuesday.

Personally, I do not think Buffon was solely to blame for the calamity that befell Juve this Tuesday. Tottenham ARE that good, and it was wrong for so many of us (I’m pointing at myself here) to under-estimate them!

And the beauty of this match was how every Tottenham player contributed immensely to that successful comeback. I’m talking about the likes of Dembele, who hands down, controlled that mid-field and single-handedly set the tempo for that entire game. He made incredible passes forward, he stole the ball, he dribbled, he tackled, he created chances, restarting lost ones, and he linked well with the others. He..was..UNSTOPPABLE!

Dele Alli was also quite impressive, mainly because he was absolutely instrumental in both goals. His possession was not as clear-cut as fans would have hoped, but, for me, he showed a bit more maturity than usual (in other words, I’m glad I’m not spending my post-Valentine’s day calling him out on his diving antics again).

The Spurs’ defense was a bit shaky from the start, but I liked how Sanchez continued to remain calm even with all the pressure. I feel like Tottenham fans are making too much unnecessary noise about Sanchez here. He’s been good so far, give the boy a chance (as I secretly hope he is your weak link and causes you to tumble out of the running for the top four spot in the EPL #COYG)!

One Tottenham player who will not be happy with his performance on Tuesday night is Serge Aurier. It was just a bad night for him, although, it is turning out to be a series of bad nights for him. Free loan transfer, anyone?

But that was a beautiful game, a wonderful show of sportsmanship, and I CANNOT WAIT for the return leg. It is going to be absolutely awesome, and I cannot believe that I am saying this, but I really hope Tottenham go through. Chances are they will, but this is football, and I know Juve will put up a strong fight! Good luck to both teams!!

What did you love about the TottenhamVsJuventus game? Leave your comments below and you can also follow me here, here, here, and here!

PETR CECH-ARSENAL’S SAVING GRACE ONCE MORE-BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER?

Well, clearly Tottenham and its fans were more ready for their clash with Arsenal than I had earlier anticipated and I would gladly want to be in the shoes of a Tottenham fan right now. This means I have to eat crow, and actually applaud the team for a job well done. (I would also like to send a special thank you to Arsenal for breaking a piece of my heart yet again this season; kudos, you guys! You’re totally on fire and I hope you are really proud of yourselves)

What can I say, Tottenham outplayed us everywhere it counted, and we did not help our case when we made blunder after blunder throughout the game. At least in the first half, we tried to make the game work, but in the second half, we lost all composure. It was downhill all through the final half, and it was one of the most gut-wrenching performances I had seen all weekend.

I do feel that Spurs could have scored more goals, especially Harry Kane. Majority of the Arsenal players had obviously checked out of the game by the start of the second half, and Tottenham should have worked harder to take advantage of this. That being said, another important reason there wasn’t a bloodbath at Wembley on Saturday, and I still have the strength to write today, my main man Petr Cech.

I did not even expect to see him play in this North London derby, but, boy, are we glaaaaaaad he did! Otherwise, we would have been looking at 4-0 or more in favor of Tottenham. I mean the Lilywhites had 18 shots at goal with six of them on target while the Gunners had six shots at goal with only one…ONE shot on target!

And I know what you are thinking right now. Cech is currently in bad form and making him my man of the match is a classic case of a deluded girl desperately trying to clutch at straws. This is Cech’s worst run across all competitions having conceded a goal or more in each of the last nine consecutive matches. But, whichever way you look at it, he was our saving grace on Saturday, even after conceding against Kane. I mean he saved us from that powerful, goal-bound Eriksen free-kick amongst several other attempts! For me, he kept eyes his eyes peeled the entire game, unlike some other people (names withheld, but you know who I’m talking about)

I firmly believe that our defense has contributed significantly to the veteran goalkeeper’s poor form lately. The state of affairs in our defense department is appalling, to say the least, and I’m sure this was not what Cech was expecting when he came over from Chelsea. He is working overtime in every game just to cover their asses, and it’s just sad!

However, we need to be real here. Cech is not growing any younger, and it seems his best goalkeeping years are well behind him. To be honest, when he was brought in, I was just expecting that he would be a short-term fix until we could get someone more suitable (age-wise) for the position. The minute Szczesny was through with his loan spell at Roma, we should have made him our first choice, first-team goalkeeper. Then Cech would have just been in reserve, until his retirement, only being called upon when it was absolutely necessary. But, as you know with Arsenal, we are in the business of selling our best talents and not providing the ones who stay with the kind of support they need to be at their best.

I really hate saying this, but I think it is time to let go of the aging goalkeeper and purchase someone younger who is able to cover the asses of our disparaging defense, get those boys in check while on the field, and make crucial saves regardless of the opponent. Someone who is just aching to make a mark in the EPL and beyond, and someone who is not afraid to take charge when things are going south.

Problem is even if we do find the perfect replacement for Cech, it’s going to take a miracle for Arsene Wenger to actually spend the kind of money required for such talent. Luckily, that is a problem for another day, I just hope Petr Cech can hold on a little while longer without us completely tanking!

What do you think? Is it time for Cech to leave? Do you have a replacement in mind? Comment below and do not forget to subscribe.

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Have amazing weeks people!!!!

PS: If you are an Arsenal fan, and are religiously inclined, say a word of prayer for Lacazette. I do not know if he will ever be able to redeem himself after his ghastly performance this weekend, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!

 

OF BAD BOYS AND EYEBROW RAISING TRANSFERS

Did you catch the Supercup derby last Sunday? Well, I did (on TV of course) and it was a hoot! It was right after church (where, btw, I am a Sunday School teacher), I had eaten, taken a nap, and I was more than ready for it. Down here, we call it the Mashemeji Derby, and every time these two teams meet, there’s bound to be fireworks for fans and players alike!

Can you believe these two teams have met 97 times, including last week’s match? Amazing!!

I was kind of jealous of the people who had made it to Afraha Stadium to watch the game. It felt like the teams and their fans were part of something familial and I was just an outsider looking in. This is perhaps one of the greatest and longest football feuds in our nation, and it sucks not feeling connected to the history of these two amazing teams!! 😦

Anyway, enough of the melodrama! Let me get right into it. It was a spectacular game with Gor looking stronger from the onset, in my point of view, and it was kind of disappointing that there weren’t as many goals as you would want in such an exciting clash! What did catch my attention, though, was the roughness of the game. This game was so intense and the referee had to make some tough calls throughout the game, including giving one ‘Gattuso’, a yellow card in like the first 15 minutes of the encounter.

I was struck by how aggressive he could be, but hey, he’s a midfielder, it’s bound to happen. What caught me off-guard is what the commentators said once he was shown the yellow. Their comments went along the lines of, ‘oh, this is normal, he’ll probably end up with a red, most probably won’t last the entire game’…(they were speaking in Swahili by the way just in case you were wondering). Shots fired!!

Gattuso is a skilled midfielder, with a stellar football career that has spanned more than five years. Having played for Gor Mahia, Sofapaka, and Tusker FC in the past, he has gained a reputation for being combative (in and out of the field) and an individual who is not squeamish about putting his body on the line in order to get the much-needed results for his team. He gets the job done……when, and if, he decides to show up.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bad boy as much as the next girl, and his antiques over the years, especially while he was in Gor, were definitely newsworthy. From arriving late for training, missing training sessions, going missing completely from training camps, to numerous fines, and fights, and social media rants, this midfielder has earned a place on the list of  Kenyan football bad-asses!!

Which is why I was sort of surprised to hear about his recent transfer to ‘The Den’, Gor Mahia’s main rival. I mean, doesn’t AFC Leopards have enough problems to deal with at the moment without having to add a temperamental, headstrong bad boy with a penchant for flouting team rules on to its worry list? And, doesn’t the coach know that bad boys equal heartbreaks? Take it from me, I am a girl, I know these things!

The Leopards could possibly be on the brink of financial collapse and the last thing the team needs is indiscipline or even a hint of it amongst its ranks. Otherwise, their entire 2018 campaign is in jeopardy.

But, who knows, Gattuso could be exactly what they need right now in these dark financial times. Drama, passion, action, and heat follow this man wherever he goes and he could be a critical ingredient to one of their most fierce cup challenges yet. This could be the home he has been looking for, and with proper management, Ingwe could be looking at their next midfield talisman. Only time will tell!!

Good luck to both team and player!

MY LOVE FOR SOCCER: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

What inspired me to start a blog about football? (Slight update: it’s no longer just about football, but also about everything in this crazy head!)

The same thing that inspires me to get out of bed every morning, pure, intense passion!

I love football, I have since I was in primary school. If I can remember correctly, I was a puny girl in Standard Four or Five that was socially awkward and loved to read. You know what else I loved back then? You guessed it, playing football! I was not good at all, but I loved running up and down chasing after that ball every break time, home time, and games time. A big thank you to the dudes in my class that allowed me to play with them.

And then came the moment that would change my love affair with football forever. Before this, it was just a game, but it would soon become more than that. It would become a way of life.

It was around June 2002, I was in Standard Six, and by all accounts, it was shaping up to be a good year for me. Academically, I was doing good, I had managed to make a few friends in school, and my crush list was a mile long! World Cup fever was at its peak all over the world, and in our home. I remember my brother and I having stuck newspaper pullouts of Ronaldo,Rivaldo, Ballack, Beckham, Roberto Carlos, and Khan on our closet doors. On second thought, I think it was just me doing that! This was the first time I had ever even heard these names in my life, and seen so many football games in such a short span of time. I was soooooooooo excited! The World Cup, Brazil, to be specific, was all we could talk about in school, and all we could talk about at home. It was a spectacular time!

I cannot remember which game it was. I cannot even remember which day it was. I don’t remember if I had eaten, or done my homework. In fact, I don’t even remember if it was day or night! All I remember is catching a glimpse of him on the screen every few minutes. If he wasn’t ‘chengaing’ defenders with his amazing dribbling skills, he was threatening goal. I swear even the cameras could not catch up with him in that match.

And his hair! Gosh, I think he’s the reason I am obsessed with men with long hair to this day. You would just see a kasmall ponytail move from left to right every time he got the ball. I did not know it then, but I was laying my eyes for the first time on one of the greatest loves of my life for decades to come! It was not about his physique, (okay, maybe except his hair!), it was more about his skills on the pitch that absolutely blew my mind!

But, as far as I can remember, no one talked about him as much as I wanted. Everyone else was head over heels with the likes of Ronaldo. It didn’t matter, this special young man had caught my attention, and he would hold it hostage forever!

His free kick against England sealed the deal for me. I faintly recall I was sitting in my mum’s favorite chair when the highlight of that came on. I was witness to magic and my young, pre-adolescent brain was stunned.

Seeing him play that game that way ignited a flame of sorts within. I was hooked on football after that. It’s like he introduced me to a new world that I could engage with nearly every weekend. A world I felt comfortable in where I wasn’t shy, or scared, or ashamed about my excessively huge forehead, or the fact that I did not have a single ounce of confidence in myself. The more I engaged with this new world, the more I connected with people around me, because now I had something in common with them.

I have followed Ronaldinho’s career since that game up until he announced his retirement this year. I was so enamored by this guy that for the longest time I used his name, Moreira, as my surname on Facebook. This connection is deep, yoh, it’s deep. When he retired last month, I cried, and told everyone about him leaving the game, even my mum. Speaking of my mum, according to her, he was my first boyfriend because I could not shut up about him!! And she kept making fun of his teeth to infuriate me. And I would shout back that it wasn’t about how he looked, but about HOW HE PLAYED!!! You should hear how she pronounces his name…it’s heartbreaking!

Anyway, he was my first MVP, and I want to dedicate my future posts on this blog to individuals like him who make this and other sports so amazing, so magical, so life changing!

PS: A big shout-out to Radio Jambo for always having my back when the local TV channels were unable to air football matches, and we didn’t have DSTV and I was too young to go watch in a bar! You guys are also MVPs.