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Argument- Can Manchester City Defend their Premier League Title?



Manchester city

Last updated on September 24th, 2018

Manchester city scored a perfect 100 points as they emerged out champions of the  season 2017/18, but can the team repeat the heroics and become champions for the second time running?

City have begun from where they left of last season, with two impressive wins in two matches played thus far, the teams confidence is certainly a sky high. Beating Arsenal by a margin of couple of goals and thrashing six past Huddersfield’s net, speaks volumes about their strength. The team is presently scoring goals for fun and running through oppositions defense like a tracer bullet, and as the trend suggest they are not going to stop any time soon.

Manchester city

Vincent Kompany, city’s defender, believes that the team are well placed to defend their Premier League title and “not fall in the same trap” as previous champions. Kompany has already tasted victory thrice at the club and does not have a shadow of doubt in his team’s ability to yet again win the Championship.

He also added “There’s been so many warnings we have had and every single time we almost have to fight against ourselves and our nature, not to fall in the same trap as the other teams have done, my teams included, a few years ago.”

Kompany made a return to his side in a match against Huddersfield, as Pep Guardiola left Nicolas Otamendi, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez on the bench. Besides, with such amount of strength left on the bench and the results still flowing only one way, Manchester City are indeed the real contenders to lift the trophy once again.

However, on the other hand flagship sides, namely Liverpool and Chelsea have also showcased brilliant form in winning their respective matches. Therefore, it is least expected that these sides would go down without a fight. Also, with only two matches into this season, it may be pretty early to declare who will win the championship, but City out of all the sides look the strongest on papers.


Drake – From Rapper to a Curse on Footballing World




Drake is certainly one of the finest artists that this world has been blessed with. The Canadian rapper made the world dance to his tune when his album “Scorpion” smashed records last year.

Though the rapper is still making the world dance, but his rhythm has completely changed within a span of months. As regulated all around the media, Drake has repeatedly posed for photos with footballers, only for their teams to go on and lose in the near future.

“All Roma players banned from taking photos with Drake until the end of the season,” as Roma jokingly tweeted in response to the curse that has went viral across media.

The recent example of his curse extends to the loss of French side Paris Saint-Germain by 5-1 to Lille, only a day after defender Layvin Kurzawa posed for a picture with the rapper.

The superstar on his “The Assassination Vacation” of Europe cursed a long list of players, who dropped significant points or went out of the competition after losing the match.

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang attended a Drake concert at The O2 in London three days before his side lost its Premier League game against Everton. Manchester United also made the list, losing to Wolves in the FA cup quarter-final only a while after Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba posed for pictures with Drake.

However, just like the red side of Manchester cursed, the blue – Manchester City, wasn’t spared. City’s striker Sergio Aguero gifted Drake with one of his shirts when the duo met in March, and the striker missed a penalty in Champions league against Spurs in the first-leg.

Interestingly, the curse continued in second-leg, with Aguero scoring a goal in dying minutes, only to be flagged-offside moments later, as the team’s dream of becoming European champions once again crashed.

Therefore, with the rapper’s curse causing trouble in the footballing world, it would be spellbinding to find out who will gather the courage to host him next.

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Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey Hopeful of Returning after Injury against Napoli



Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal’s midfielder Aaron Ramsey suffered a muscular injury during the match against Napoli in the second leg of the Europa league quarter final. The Gunners won the match by 1-0 in Naples, Italy and will now play against Valencia in the semi-final.

Unai Emery, manager of Arsenal, acknowledged that after going through an injury in left hamstring, the match against Napoli could be the last game for Ramsey – if he does not recover within three weeks. Ramsey is expected to join Juventus at the end of this season.

However, the Welsh footballer still believes that he can make a comeback for Arsenal with a quick recovery. Since the normal recovery time for a minor strain is minimum three weeks, Ramsey is in a race against time to make an appearance in the final of Europa league, should the team get past The Oranges.

Speaking of Aaron Ramsey with Sky Sports, Emery said, “His progress this season is amazing. At the beginning (of the season), he was a little confused maybe, because he is in the last year of his contract.”  

“For us, and for me, he is a very important player but his confusion maybe did not help us at some moments in the season – not like his performances now.

“In his last few performances he has been helping us a lot – and in some of the key moments of this season. His injury is bad news and I don’t know how long he will be out of the team, maybe two or three weeks,” Emery added.

Emery is aware of the fact that he now has to make changes in the team against their match with Crystal Palace, as the Gunners now devote their attention to race for the top four.

As the Gunners boss indicates changes in the team, looks like Aaron Ramsey is not the only player to miss out the match with the Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“It’s very important now to do some rotation. Some players are injured and we need different players with a new energy and a different physical condition,” Emery said.

“Sunday will be very important for us. We need the three points and maybe some players cannot play. But we are going to prepare well. The most important thing is to rest, work a little with the players who didn’t play today, and make sure the players are 100 per cent for this match.”

As Arsenal has reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, full back Ainsley Maitland-Niles asserts that the team is not under pressure now. He claims that Gunners will be doing everything required to win the league as they sit fourth in the Premier League, just ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and one point behind bitter rivals Tottenham.  

Till now, Aaron Ramsey has scored 65 goals in 371 games for Arsenal since 2008 – his transfer from Cardiff City. During his time with the club, the Gunners have won three FA Cups and two Community Shield trophies.

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Unai Emery Asks Arsenal to Ignore External Factors Ahead of Game with Napoli



Unai Emery

As the Gunners prepare to take on Partenopei tonight, Unai Emery is confident that the away crowd will not affect his team’s game. Arsenal will be playing against Napoli at San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Italy.

With a lead of 2-0 from the previous match against Napoli, Arsenal’s main objective will be to win the match and enter the semi-final of Europa League for the second time in two years.

An expected crowd of 60,000 will be gathered in the stadium to support their home team Napoli and hope for its comeback in the game.

But, Unai Emery trusts that the team can play the game without the support of the crowd. He said, “We know it’s going to be a different match. We are waiting for their best performance here with their supporters, the stadium, the atmosphere, the skills and the capacity tactically. We know 90 minutes here can be long. But I think we are ready.”

Arsenal’s centre-half Sokratis Papastathopoulos admitted that not letting the crowd affect their game play is as important as what happens in the game. 

“The atmosphere will be very good. I already played a lot of times here but I don’t think that changes anything for us. We have a very good team and we trust ourselves. We have players who have played here before. We have to play like the game is 0-0,” Sokratis said.

Unai Emery agrees with the line of thought of Sokratis that they have to play with the mindset of score being equal to both the sides.

However, Arsenal manager asserts that their prime objective will be to not play defensive and score one goal, which would put Napoli on the back foot and to win the game they would have to score a minimum of four goals.

“Our first target is to win. When you score in matches like this, we can take a good advantage with this goal. We are starting the game by attacking when we have the ball and have the space to run but defend when we need as well.

“We want to play thinking to win, thinking to score, thinking to push. We know it will be difficult but our mentality is to play the match thinking to win. They have players with experience, they have a big history. And also, they have a great coach,” Unai Emery said.

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Arsenal def. Watford 1-0; Courtesy Ben Foster Howler




Last updated on April 17th, 2019

Arsenal are back in the top 4 of the Premier League; courtesy a Ben Foster howler in the 10th minute and a red card to Troy Deeney the very next minute, gifting Gunners a 1-0 triumph over the Hornets.

Arsenal were presented an opening goal after Foster made a mess of the back pass in the 10th minute, allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to close him down and easily net one past him.

The victory made Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, believe a Champion’s League spot is in his team’s hands. Yet he agreed to the fact that his team should have controlled the match better against 10-man Watford.

“We were working to push the goalkeeper when he wanted to play like he was playing. It’s a very good action from Auba,” Emery said. “I think we can control the match better, and I think it was very important in this position with one player more, to break their lines and to attack the last third better,” he added.

Arsenal had only managed winning two of their away games in 2019 before this match, both of which came against the low ranked sides – Huddersfield and Blackpool in the FA cup draw. The team has stuck together as a good unit all throughout the season, but losing some crucial points, especially in the away games has made their ride topsy-turvy.

The only advantage that Arsenal has with the business end of the season well underway, is that they do not play any of Premier League’s big-six before the season ends. However, it still won’t be a walk in the park for them, as the battle for the Champions League spot continues to invite pressure.

Besides, Watford manager Javi Gracia, speaking to BBC Sport said: “I am very proud of my players. I am not interested in the result, we had our chances, hit the woodwork and created chances with 10 players.”

“I respect the referee’s decision. In my opinion, it is clear, maybe a yellow card but never a red card. I do not agree with the decision,” he added.

Undoubtedly, Watford were the better team that night, but things just didn’t go their way, specifically in the last 20 minutes as they pressed for an equalizer.

Nonetheless, with Arsenal now at 4th, Watford still remains at 10th. Further, as Arsenal plays at the Crystal Palace on Sunday, Hornets would travel to Huddersfield on Saturday for their next encounter.

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Saudi and Infantino Caught Smearing FIFA World Cup Red Handed



Saudi Arabia and FIFA president Gianni Infantino

The FIFA World Cup 2022 began as a peace prospect to bring closer the Gulf nations, but is now witnessing ambush of unexpected events, as internal feuds continue to multiply. With less than 4 years before the penultimate bonanza in footballing history kicks off, the efforts to denounce its host have multiplied to an unexplainable event.

Laying ground on the basis of what transpired in June 2017, the charges against the host nation of sponsoring terrorism are still in place. However, the roots of such claim still remain unclear.

Besides, what was first billed as an event to host 32 teams, is now widely rumored to become a 48-team event.

Having said that, hosting more teams than expected challenges Qatar, which is pretty much on time with the deadline with a precondition to entertain 32 teams. With the ongoing facade across boundaries, the sensitivity of the decision questions what could be the real motive behind the move.

As FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino would state, the concept of expanding the tournament is directly linked to building the peace from the scratch in the Middle East. His notion of peace in the East is a plan with a great outlook. However, if seen logically, the decision made demands sharing the tournament with Kuwait and Oman.

Under the plan being considered currently, Qatar will host the majority of matches while the remaining ones will be played in Kuwait and Oman. The reason for it is beyond explanation because diplomatic tensions won’t heal in such a process.

Saudi Behind the Scenes

Now, while Infantino and his bid of stability is spread as a great initiative, the reality appears to be otherwise. His bid for expansion is allegedly linked to the money he was offered in the process. According to the account published by the ‘New York Times’, the President told his top board that a fund of investors from Middle East and Asia wanted to pay about $25 billion to buy an expanded version of FIFA’s Club World Cup.

Further, without revealing the identity of investors, Infantino tried hard to convince them and said that they do not have much time up their sleeve. However, the technique did not work as the council rejected the proposal saying that ‘it need more information’.

Nonetheless, Infantino’s bid for accepting such a proposal illustrates how the current state of flux in international soccer has added money to the equation.

At first, only a few details came forward about the deal that was struck by the FIFA President. However, as per the people briefed in the matter, the money offered was a covert way of expanding the tournament to China and Saudi Arabia.

Surprisingly, as soon as complete details emerged it became evident that the Saudis by using their Japanese conglomerate Soft Bank Group, tried to hollow FIFA. The gulf nation aimed at creating its committee using the $25 billion bid. The sole reason for it – to create international tournaments for the governing body of football, FIFA.

The influence of such a move would have directly hampered Qatar’s image, especially in the West. A region where the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has already been exposed for hoaxing his modernization agendas; also a region he tries to influence the most.

The fight for 2022 FIFA World Cup has been mired in controversies since Qatar won the hosting rights. Now, as consideration from Saudi and UAE reaches Kuwait and Oman, the extent of lobbying to hamper the interest of FIFA for personal use continues to raise eyebrows. Moreover, the additional income estimated at $400.1 million if the tournament is expanded, is only justifiable to state how Infantino is lured into spearheading Saudi’s bid for expanding the tournament to 48 teams.

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