Is There Really A Process To Trust At Arsenal?

The mantra at Arsenal now is ‘trust the process’. On the back of 17 years of not winning the league title, 4 years of not playing in the UEFA Champions League and finally failing to make European places entirely last season, there should genuinely be a process to be trusted. The Gunners are only still tagged a top-six side based on reputation. The post-Wenger era is particularly not going well. In the little time that Wenger left, Arsenal have had three people at the helms and are on their second substantive manager. A section of the fans are already regretting that they called for Wenger to leave. While things are not going well under the present Manager – Mikel Arteta, there have been calls by the Manager and the club management for fans to trust a certain process. Should they really trust the process?

The post-Wenger years are not going to plan

The first question is, what is the process? In truth, there are no clear evidences of a process.

Style of play

For a process, there should be a style of play or signs of a style of play. At Arsenal presently, it is not the case. One of the reasons Arsenal hired Arteta is probably due to an expected style of play. Being a former player at Arsenal and having spent time under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, Arsenal fans expected to see an exciting style of play, that has not been the case. The style of play has not been defined, at times they have been defensive and counter-attacking, at other times they labour to be expansive. The excuse has been that the team does not have the players to play an expansive style but even majority of the players they are linked to in the transfer market does point in the direction of a style.

Arsenal management and fans are expecting an expansive attacking style with Arteta in charge

Recruitments

The recruitments in the past few years does not point to any process. There seems to be lots of trial and error and merry-go-round in player’s recruitments. Some of the so-called promising players they have signed in the past few years have become surplus to requirements and there are already plans to replace them with new promising players. Reports linking the Gunners to Brighton and Hove Albion defender – Ben White has refused to go away and it appears there is a genuine interest in the English defender. This is the same club that has spent big money on the likes of Calum Chambers and William Saliba as promising defenders, with no logical results yet.

The Gunners are heavily linked to Ben White

There are also reports of a bid for Abderlecht promising midfielder Albert Lokonga, few years after investing in promising midfielders – Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, who have both become surplus to requirements. The aforementioned are just some of the merry-go-rounds Arsenal have been doing in the transfer market. For a process, there has to be deliberate investments in quality footballers.

Coach

When trusting a process, there should be a manager that has the track record of a process. At Liverpool, they trusted a process and came good but it was with Jurgen Klopp, a manager that has the track record of a process. Arteta has shown signs that he could end up becoming a top manager, especially in leading Arsenal to FA Cup glory in his first season, but getting Arsenal back to the top may be asking for too much. It looks like the club’s management wants to trust Arteta to do the job but the problem is they may have gotten deeper into the abyss before they realize they need a more experienced manager.

The FA Cup success bought Arteta some time

Arsenal’s drop has been gradual and consistent and can’t be said to be a co-incidence. From contesting for the title, to becoming a top-four side, to becoming an Europa League team, to completely dropping out of European places. Arsenal’s management must realize they are in a dire situation and should take dire actions, but their approach in the transfer market so far betrays that. Arsenal fans can’t trust the process because there are no signs of a process.

Premier League Team Of The Season: Manchester Clubs Dominate, A Super Eagles Player and Others

The Premier League season 2021/22 is over but the fallouts continue to linger. The title has been won and lost, places have been retained and lost. Through 38 weeks of football action, some players distinguished themselves. At Goaldball, we have made our Team Of The Season, including the bench.

Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

The Argentine divided Arsenal fans with his brilliant performances for Aston Villa. A large section of Arsenal fans thought he should not have been let go due to his brilliant performances. He was at the heart of a strong Villa defence that stayed clear of the relegation zone.

He kept 15 clean sheets, behind only Ederson Moraes and Edouard Mendy.

Rightback – Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

Though the Portuguese was deployed at leftback occasionally by Pep Guardiola, he makes our team at right-back.

He finally proved why Guardiola went all out to get him two seasons back with some brilliant attacking plays on the flanks.

Leftback – Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

The Englishman enjoyed a season of revival. He ran the entire left-hand side of Manchester United with apparent ease. He reduced new signing Alex Telles, who was supposed to be his replacement, to a peripheral role.

Centerback – Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Arguably the signing of the season. The defender has already gotten some recognition for his impressive first season in the Premier League.

He has won the Football Writers Association Player of the Season. Ever present and reliable, his solid defensive work was the bedrock of City’s success.

Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo played huge parts in City’s success

Center-back – Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Maguire was ever solid and ever present for the Red Devils till he got injured at the tail end of the season. Manchester United impressive away record was down to some defensive solidity.

Maguire finally showed glimpses of why Manchester United got him for record fee.

Central Midfielder – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)

Mr consistency – Wilfred Ndidi was ever present as Leicester pushed for a Champions League spot again.

He ranks high on the list of most tackles and interceptions.

Central Midfielder – Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

The German had his best goalscoring season yet at Manchester City. He scored 13 goals to help City’s cause.

In addition to the goals, he was most times City’s brain box in the middle and his performances made Kelvin De Bruyne absences manageable.

Attacking Midfielder – Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

The Portuguese ranks high on both the goals and assists chats. He has had a positive influence since joining the Red Devils in January.

With 18 goals and 12 assists to his name, he is a contender for the Premier League Player of the Season.

Right Wing-Forward – Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)

Despite Liverpool’s struggles, Mohammed Salah was still able to rake in the goals. He scored 22 goals and only lost the Golden Boot to Harry Kane on the last day.

Right Wing-forward – Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Playing slightly as a wing forward and as an attacking midfielder, the young Englishman was a menace to opposing defences.

He stepped into David Silva’s shoes impressively and was at the heart of City’s attacking forays.

Center-forward – Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Harry Kane won his third Golden Boot award, reiterating his quality and importance to this Spurs side.

He added another dimension to his game this season by also creating goals for others. He topped the assist chat in the Premier League with 14 assists.

Following reports that he is set to move on from Spurs, he is the hottest property in the transfer market.

Manager – Pep Guardiola ( Manchester City)

Guardiola has not done anything new. He has probably done the expected by reclaiming the title but the manner of achieving it deserves recognition.

At a point in November/December, the Citizens were in midtable and it appeared Guardiola had reached his limits but an impressive turnaround led to his third Premier League title.

Substitutes: Ederson Moraes (Manchester City), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Tyrone Ming’s (Aston Villa), Tomas Soucek (West Ham), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Son Heung Min (Tottenham)

What do you think about our selections? Let us know. Follow us on Twitter @goaldbal.

Team of the Week: Two hattrick heroes, a Chelsea Loanee and Others

Many were called, few were chosen. In a week of impressive attacking and defensive performances, it was no easy task selecting just eighteen players.

In a 4-4-2 formation, here is the first eleven:

Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Steven (Barcelona)

The performances of the goalkeepers – Ter Stegen for Barcelona and Jan Oblak for Atletico Madrid was a major reason the high profile clash ended goalless. Ter Stegen shades it with some brilliant saves, especially in the first half, to keep Barcelona in the game.

Right-back: Hamani Traore (Rennes)

The Malian hardly put a foot wrong in helping Rennes curtail PSG attackers. The 1-1 draw has thrown spanner in the works of PSG, in their bid to win Ligue 1.

Left-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

The Spaniard scored the winner and put in a solid display in helping Chelsea win 2-1 away at Manchester City.

Center-back: Ben Godfrey (Everton)

The young center-back had an assist for the only goal of the game with a brilliant pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. In addition to helping Everton stop West Ham from having a shot on target.

Center-back: Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan)

The Chelsea loanee is enjoying himself at AC Milan. He added the gloss to the scoreline for AC Milan in their impressive away win at Juventus. He was also sturdy in defence throughout.

Midfielder: Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon)

The young midfielder scored two goals in Lyon’s 4-1 win against Lorient. The Brazilian has had 31 appearances in Ligue 1. His brace were were his second and third for the season.

Midfielder: Ricardo Gagliardini (Inter Milan)

The Italian was at the heart of Inter Milan’s trashing of Sampdoria. He also weighed in with a goal and an assist.

Wing-forward: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

The young Englishman is getting back in form for Dortmund at the right time. He scored twice as Dortmund put an end to RB Leipzig’s title dreams.

Wing-forward: Alexis Claude (Nice)

Claude weighed in with a hattrick of assists as Nice were not nice in coming from behind to deflate Brest.

Forward: Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)

The young Croat scored a hattrick for Wolfsburg in their 3-0 win against Union Berlin. The win keeps Wolfsburg in pole position in their hunt to finish in Champions League places.

Forward: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

It was goals number 37, 38 and 39 for the Polish forward as Bayern Munich celebrated their ninth straight Bundesliga title.

Manager: Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)

Thomas Tuchel followed defeating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the FA Cup with another win in the league to delay the Citizens expected Premier League win.

Substitutes: F. Bredlow (Stuttgart), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), E. Elustondo (Real Sociedad), Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), H. Mkhitaryan (Roma), V. Osimhen (Napoli), B. Yilmaz (Lille)

Boald Codes: La Liga Title Race, Mock Champions League Final and Others

We are neck deep in that time of the season. Some teams are in dire need of points to win the league, qualify to play on the continent or escape relegation. There are also the spoilers, who have nothing to play for.

More than ever, we need to pick our games more carefully. This is probably not a time for long tickets like toilet rolls, most of them will end up in the bin. As we always say, ours is to supply the pass, yours is to finish. It is either you are Harry Kane or you are Yaya Sanogo. As usual, we have the Bankers, the Banana Peels and the Boald Call.

BANKERS

We start from Africa, where table-topping Simba should at least play a draw against Young Africans in the Tanzanian league, 1x comes at around 1.2.

In the NPFL, Rivers United to win at home against Dakkada comes at 1.3, go for it. You could also play home win for Akwa United against struggling Sunshine Stars but that won’t come at good odds, an over 1.5 should come through there also.

Trust Manchester City not to lose at home against Chelsea. Both sides need the maximum three points, it could be cagey. A Manchester City double chance is a safe bet at 1.2.

Manchester City could win the league this weekend

Liverpool have to keep winning to push for a continental slot. Trust them to win at home against Southampton, it comes at around 1.3.

For Barcelona against Atletico Madrid, a draw will not be enough for both sides. Expect both sides to try get goals. An over 1.5 should be a safe bet at 1.3.

Dortmund vs RB Leipzig should be a goals game. Both teams need to go for it. Both to score comes at 1.5, go for it.

Bayern Munich need to wrap up the Bundesliga as soon as possible. Robert Lewandowski is back. They should win at home against Borussia Mochengladbach, it comes at around 1.3.

Juventus can’t win the league but they can’t afford to miss out of the Champions League. They should at least avoid defeat against AC Milan. 1x comes at around 1.2, go for it.

Atalanta should win at already relegated Parma. It comes at around 1.2.

BANANA PEELS

Spezia need the points to avoid relegation and have shown some intent lately, including a draw against Inter Milan. They also won the first leg against Napoli. Be careful with Spezia vs Napoli.

You are not sure of the Inter Milan you will get. They are already champions and they play against ba Sampdoria side that have virtually nothing to play for. Be careful with this tie.

Already relegated Sheffield United take on inconsistent Crystal Palace. As we saw in their last home match, Sheffield might want to go down in a high. With nothing to play for, anything can happen.

Be careful with Real Madrid against Sevilla. Sevilla are outsiders in the title race and could be spoilers for a Real Madrid side that may have yet to recover from their Champions League exit.

Real Madrid might still be wounded.

BOALD CALL

In Ligue 1, Nantes are giving their quest to escape relegation a good push. After back-to-back impressive away wins, they should win at home against fellow strugglers Bordeaux. It comes at over 2.0. If you are bold go for it.

At this point, we wish you the best of luck. Terms and conditions apply. Hold the players and managers responsible if anything goes wrong but send your tithes here if you win.

Have a green weekend.

follow Goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Thoughts of a Lunatic: ‘Whooligans’ United, El Cashico and Other Talking Points

Lunatic things happening in football lately, like some ‘whooligans’ preventing a match from going on to Juventus failing to win the Serie A.

Idiotism is not synonymous to drinking a bottle of Elliot alone, drinking a cup of zobo is enough to make some Desmond, Garuba and Dino think they own a multi million dollars project, even when their landlord must not know their whereabouts. Bringing us to some of the matters the Lunatic wants to talk about today.

Whooligans United

Till now, I don’t really know why some people disrupted the Manchester United vs Liverpool match from going on. I have heard all sorts. From, Adidas making a zebra design jersey, to too much red pigment in the home jersey, to David Beckham joining Real Madrid bla bla bla. Maybe I do not really have a head for the economic side of football but who dictates to a business owner how to run his business? Who really owns most of these clubs? The highest share owner who invested his money in the business or the man who loves the club and buys some Aba-made merchandises?

Glazers out?

I really do not get the protest against the Glazers. Manchester United have the most expensive defender and midfielder in the Premier League. They spend money to buy players and manage the club resources, which is what fans (including Arsenal fans) expect of their owners. The protest by the whooligans appears more like an attempt to postpone Manchester City’s league-title party. Manchester City will win the league, Manchester United are simply accompanying them to the title like they did in 2018. City are in the final of the Champions League while United are on the brink of the Europa League final. United are wishing they are City right now. The noise is coming from the red side these days.

El Cashico

Manchester City are in the final of the Champions League because Neymar is still alive. Neymar was so bent on being the star of the day while his teammates tried to overturn the first leg deficit against City that he ran about like an headless chicken. The Citizens won because they were the better team (emphasis on team), not because the referee told Paredes and Herrera to f*ck off. In truth, the referee could have called some of the PSG players pussy (as in, pussy cat) because they behaved like one. I can’t totally blame them, I am also a proponent of ‘when you lose the match, don’t lose the fight’. However, I hope the referee was able to get Fernandinho’s shirt and autograph after the match, the only thing Fernandinho had to do to get a yellow card was to headbutt Neymar for being an annoying compatriot but he didn’t.

Neymar was in his own circus, joking

Congratulations to City, billions of dollars after, they are in the Champions League final. One must also salute the genius of Guardiola for taking an expensive assemblage of players to the final. Afterall, it is not necessarily the richest kid that has all the books and facilities that comes first in class. Chelsea or Real Madrid awaits them in the final. We dey here.

Bottlelona FC

Beat Granada at home and go top of the table, Barcelona did not draw, they lost. Bottling is becoming very synonymous with Barcelona. Remember Rome, remember Anfield, I mean they allowed Divock Origi have the best night of his life. If he will ever have such a night again, it will never be on a football pitch, it will be on the bed.

The title race in La Liga is still a three-horse or a two-horse and a Chihuahua race. Barcelona must prove they are not the Chihuahua by winning what looks like a play-off against Atletico Madrid next weekend. They seems to have mastered the art of bottling better than a certain club in North London.

Juve and Pirlo

Juve and Pirlo sounds like Duvet and Pillow. A perfect match on a cold morning but this Juve and Pirlo do not look like a perfect match.

Apart from being a lookalike of the pictorial representation of Jesus, the only reason Juventus must have hired Pirlo as coach is because he is Andrea Pirlo. I mean, it is not like he did apprenticeship under Pep Guardiola, like someone else we know. Juventus must have felt being a good passer of the ball is synonymous to passing tactical information.

Having Ronaldo is not enough

Well, when you have done something consecutively for nine years, there is everything tendency to get bored and want to do something else. I mean from winning the title to contesting for top four trophy, variety is the spice of life. Anyway, congratulations to Inter Milan.

Jose Mourinho finds himself in Rome. When you are in Rome, act like a Roman but trust Mourinho won’t. The same way he acted like a Mancunian while he was in North London, expect no difference.

I always said Sam Allardyce’s jazz was going to fail this time. It is looking like I am a prophet? No. It is simple, everyday no be Christmas. Every lunatic knows that. It is high time clubs stop that sh*t of going into the season with flamboyant coaches only to sack them for Allardyce to try escape relegation. Appoint Allardyce from the beginning if you trust him to do the job.

I am tired of writing, I have to go face other hustles. If you see a guy talking to himself on your street, that’s me, holler, I won’t bite you.

Follow Goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

A Nigerian Forward, Hattrick Heroes, A Former Man. United Player And Others In Our Team Of The Week

It was a weekend where it was difficult to select from a number of forwards that had stellar performances. It was also a week were some teams upset the odds in impressive fashions in their bids to beat the drop. From the best of the best from the top five leagues, here is our selected XI and the substitutes.

Goalkeeper – Martin Dubravka (Newcastle)

The goalie kept Newcastle in the game with eight saves. The bedrock of the Geordies eventually leaving Anfield with a point.

Rightback – Benno Shmitz (Cologne)

Cologne gave their survival bid a boost with a 3-2 win at Augsburg. Shmitz was instrumental to the win, with an assist for one of the goals.

Leftback – Matto Darmian (Inter Milan)

The former Manchester United fullback scored the only goal in Inter’s win against Hellas Verona. The win takes Inter closer to their first Serie A title since 2010.

Centreback – Gerzino Nyamsi (Rennes)

The Frenchman scored one of the goals in Rennes commanding 5-1 win against Dijon.

Center-back – Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

Another Frenchman partners Nyamsi in defence. Laporte scored the only goal as Pep Guardiola’s men won their fourth consecutive League Cup. Sturdy in defence, he was able to head in the only goal at the other end.

Center-midfield – Kavin Phillips (Leeds United)

The English midfielder was massive in midfield, sniffing out the danger posed by Bruno Fernandes as Leeds held Manchester United to a goalless match at Old Trafford. Manchester United had to go recover Fernandes from his pocket after the match.

Center-midfield – Ashley Westwood (Burnley)

Westwood pulled the strings in midfield and also contributed a goal as Burnley annihilated Wolves like they were chickens at the Molineaux. Westwood combined with Wood to do the damage. Luckily for Wolves, Burnley don’t have Eastwood, Southwood and Northwood.

Attacking-midfield – Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta)

Atalanta put five past Bologna at the weekend. Malinovskyi was at the heart of the brilliant attacking play. The Ukrainian had a goal and an assist.

Forward – Terem Moffi (Lorient)

Moffi continues to show Gernot Rohr he deserves a place in the Super Eagles with a hattrick in Lorient’s 4-1 win against Bordeaux. He has now scored 14 goals in Ligue 1 this season.

Forward – Chris Wood (Burnley)

Wood smashed Wolves into smithereens, they thought they were hit by an iron. The New Zealand forward scored a hattrick in Burnley’s 4-0 win away at Wolves.

Forward – Joel Pohjanpola (Union Berlin)

Pohjanpalo scored a hattrick as Union Berlin smashed Werder Bremen 3-1 at the weekend. The Finnish forward, on loan from Bayer Leverkusen scored all his goals in the second half.

Manager – Bo Svensson (Mainz)

A performance that restricted Bayern Munich with Robert Lewandowski to just one goal in the dying minutes of the match. Mainz’s Bo Svensson is our manager of the week.

Substitutes: A.Lafont (Nantes), I.Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), R.Bensebaini (B Mochengladbach), R.De Paul (Udinese), F.De Jong (Barcelona), J.Correa (Lazio), B.Yilmaz(Lille)

Goaldball full team of the week

What is your opinion on our selections? Let us hear from you. Follow us on Twitter @goaldball

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Super League Brouhaha, Mourinho’s Sack and Other Talking Points

What a dramatic week it has been in football. Lots of gbas gbos left right and center. I have been munching my popcorn and sipping my bottle of cold somethings as I enjoy the drama, which may not be all over yet. Talking about all over, it is definitely all over for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham. Like say I be prophet, I spoke about when Mourinho starts calling out his players being the sign of the end-times. Musa continues to see a lot at Kano gate. Fellow lunatics, let me share my thoughts with you.

Super League Brouhaha

It was like some civil war in football. It looked like a military take over of football. The defenders of democracy cried foul and it seems there’s reprieve albeit temporarily.

The birth of the Super League might be delayed since everyone is pulling out, instead of going in with a condom. The fear of the result seems to have overwhelmed the ‘rebels’, so they are pulling out and keeping their hungry one-eyed men in their pants.

What’s the Lunatic’s take on this matter? You should have guessed right, I don’t give a damn!

Ed Woodward is one of the casualties of the Super League

There’s already lots of money in football and it is already looking very unfair. If countries can pump money into clubsides and make them very heavy chested like Cosy, leaving others with chest looking like overgrown pimples, it stopped being fair. Manchester City and PSG are world powers today and semi-finalists of the UEFA Champions League because they have undue advantage and can spend money endlessly. Money took over a long time ago and it stopped being fair.

As a football fan and analyst or lunatic, I enjoy what I get served. The structures of the local leagues and continental competitions as they are today, were not determined by me but I enjoy the game nonetheless. Maybe a lot of football aficionados are just impervious to change. If the Super League had gone on or when it finally happens, the football world will get used to watching and loving it. Many of the critics will enjoy and lick from the soup that will trickle down.

Whatever happens, heaven will not fall. Everybody go dey alright last las.

The Sacked One

They say coaches are in the business to get sacked. I can’t remember a manager that went through his career without getting sacked, or at least ‘leave by mutual consent’.

Mourinho seems to have gone full circle

For Jose Mourinho, it looks like he has gone full circle. With and without a disrespect to Tottenham – even though they also flirted with the Super League, they represented like a drop down for Mouinho. After Porto, Mourinho was at Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester United, those are in a higher class than Spurs. Mourinho appears to have gone full circle. ‘Same coach, different players’. Very few clubs can afford to give him the class of players he referred to when insinuating the players at Spurs are not good enough. Out of those few clubs, very few will be willing to hire Mourinho and his sometimes tactics of the 90s.

When he ran his mouth and call other managers various names at his early days in Chelsea, those were the things the managers were going through then – inferior players to the ones he had at his disposal. Maybe a lesson in humility but one Mourinho will not learn and I will not want him to learn. What is Mourinho without those jibes? Anyways, he has gone from the Special One, to the Chosen One to the Sacked one. We await his next destination. Maybe it is time Mourinho returns home like Musa.

Musa at Kano’s gate

Maybe we should first applaud Kano Pillars that they chose to unveil Ahmed Musa. A round of applause. I actually find it boring that at this time and age we are still talking about branding and packaging in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Even the Governor looks shocked

Back in school, there were those students that will still fail an exam even when the answers are given to them – Timo Werner must have been such a student, even with the goal gaping, we know what he does. Kano Pillars had a lot of examples to copy from. They should have gone to check how Manchester United nearly brought the internet down with ‘Pogback’, even though the jury is still out about how successful the deal has been on the pitch. Anyways, maybe it was a ploy by Kano Pillars, the unveiling of Musa still got people talking anyway. Different approach, same result.

For Musa, we hope it won’t end in tears. Musa can end up seeing what he does not expect at Kano’s gate, if he thinks he has seen it all. As I said earlier, the move appears like one for the twilight of a career, left for Musa to prove me wrong.

This is where I end it for today. Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Good Father Mourinho, Captain Musa and Other Talking Points

PSG knocking Bayern Munich out of this year’s UEFA Champions League butreses the point that what Zinedine Zidane achieved with Real Madrid in the competition between 2016 and 2018 is unreal. I can’t associate managerial wizardry to a particular type of hairline. However, It is funny that for all of Zidane’s achievement, he is not considered as a tactical genius while the other guy with his type of hairline is regarded as one. After another win in El Clasico, Zidane could be on his way to back-to-back La Liga titles with a ‘Ronaldo-less’ and ‘crocked- Hazard’ team. Talking about managers and hair, maybe grey hair does not necessarily translate to wisdom (especially those tinted ones), as posited in this clime. We saw two managers with grey hairs drag each other at the weekend, taking me to the Mourinho Derby.

Good Father Mourinho

You know, especially as a kid, when you have bottled anger and someone mistakenly touches you, you explode. For Jose Mourinho, there will always be something to talk about when things are not going his way. He starts reminding everyone of how he invented football, won all the trophies at a swoop while controlling the players with a pad from the comfort of his sitting room. He reminds us of what he has won in the past. How does that change the fact that they have increased the price of a bottle of beer at my favorite joint, it’s paining me sha. Hello Mr Mourinho, that does not take away the fact that you are not meeting expectations at your present club, like in your last two jobs.

Grey hair, same old Mourinho

In response to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s jibe at Son Heung Min acting to get a Manchester United goal chalked off, Mourinho insinuated that Solskjaer is a bad father, which we don’t know. Many fathers won’t be good fathers in Mourinho’s books then, especially father’s from this clime. Apart from going to bed hungry for some misdemeanor, you also get some lashes. Many people from my climes will have telling tales but dare not tag their fathers bad.

It has been turpsy-turvy for Mourinho at Spurs

Anyways, the issue is not about fatherhood. That’s what Mourinho does, he takes attention from the matter. The matter is that Tottenham have lost ten league matches this season, the highest in Mourinho’s career. He can’t start saying this players are not good, he once said they had better players than Manchester United. Make Mourinho no turn am to family matter, man should fix his rot.

A man that disrespected his elders does not even have the moral rights of talking about respect.

Good father Mourinho, face the job.

Captain Musa

So Ahmed Musa is returning to play for Kano Pillars ten years after initially leaving for Europe, while Musa and I hope this will only be a temporary arrangement, at least for now. I can’t help but try to analyze the stage of Musa’s career.

Musa is 28. At 28, a player should be at the peak of his career. A decline is expected at the other side of 30, then the twilight. We have seen players return to play for their boyhood clubs at the twilight of their careers or return to their local leagues, it is nothing new. But it is not when they supposed to be at their peak, especially when they have not been blighted by injuries. Is Musa at the twilight of his career? Elder Arjen Robben recently returned to play for Groningen at 36. Even the likes of Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and some others are playing well in their thirties like they are still ‘peaking’. Maybe those ones are exceptions but a player should not be at twilight at 28. I am not insinuating anything. Decipher what you want.

That’s the way to CHAN

It is of more concern because Musa is the captain of the Super Eagles and expected to still be part of the team. Should a 28-year-old at his twilight be captaining the Super Eagles when there are many young players doing well?

So, since Gernot Rohr suggested that home based players should concentrate on doing well at the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) – specifically for home-based players, Musa should also play for the CHAN team.

Will Allardyce laugh last?

I have not forgotten that I said Sam Allardyce’s ‘jazz’ will fail this time at West Brom. After back-to-back wins, 8 goals scored in two matches and moving to within eight points from safety, could the big Sam perform another miracle? I still believe he won’t do it. It is easier for one Dollar to exchange for a hundred Naira than for West Brom to beat the drop this season.

I am tired of writing. There are many other hustles to do. Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Manchester United, Leeds Players Star In Our Team of the Week, Including An African Hattrick Hero

Many of the top matches lived up to their pre-match analysis at the weekend. The ‘Mourinho Derby’ and the ‘El Clasico were not devoid of drama. Some teams did their push for survival a whole world of good. Some of the players came to the party, we have made a selection of the best players across the top leagues, plus seven substitutes and a manager.

Goalkeeper- Ilian Meslier (Leeds United)

The young French goalkeeper was one of the heroes as 10-man Leeds United defeated leaders Manchester City 2-1. He made six saves to help the cause.

Rightback – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Despite questions about his defensive abilities, Trent served the attribute that has endeared him to football fans once again – impact in the attacking phase. Trent scored the winner as Liverpool saw off stubborn Aston Villa 2-1. Thankfully, he was not playing against Vinicius ‘Akpororo’.

Leftback – Quini (Granada)

Quinni did not play left-out, the leftback helped Granada come from behind to win at Valladolid with a goal in the 2-1 win.

Center-back – Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

The French defender was a rock in defence like Zuma rock as Chelsea won comfortably at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace. Zouma contributed a goal in the 4-1 win.

Center-back – Martin Erlic (Spezia)

Not always will you see a center-back with a goal and an assist that helps his side turn defeat to victory. That was what Martin Erlic did in Spezia’s 3-2 win against Crotone.

Midfielder – Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Salon D’Or star Paul Pogba turned up with a performance, this time on a football pitch. He was instrumental as Manchester United came from behind to earn a win that has brought out the ramblings from Jose Mourinho.

Midfielder – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

The German midfielder set Madrid on their way to an El Clasico win with a free kick goal that took Zidane’s men two up. He gave another composed midfield performance young midfielders will be envious of.

Attacking Midfielder – Stuart Dallas (Leeds United)

The Northern Irishman was the hero for Marcelo Bielsa’s men with two goals that downed Pep’s men at the Etihad.

Wing-forward – Jesse Lingard (West Ham)

‘J Lingz’ is discovering his inner CR7 at West Ham. The goals, the performances and dances are back. He scored another two at the weekend to help West Ham to a 3-2 win against Leicester City.

Wing-forward – Wahbi Khazri (St. Etienne)

Former Sunderland forward Wahbi Khazri went home with the match ball as St Etienne defeated Bordeaux 4-1. The Tunisian helped St Etienne go nine points above the relegation zone.

Center-forward – Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)

The Uruguayan was a menace as Manchester United ran riot at the New White Hart Lane. He scored a goal and saw another controversially chalked off as he turned back the years with a class center-forward performance.

Manager – Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds)

El Loco delivered a managerial masterclass as Leeds recorded a 2-1 win against Manchester City, despite playing with ten men for a long spell away from home. Pep must have taken lots of notes from this one.

Drop your comments and contributions. Which of our choices do you disagree with? Follow us on Twitter: @goaldbal

Boald Codes: El Clasico, Mourinho Derby and Other Betting Tips

Make we hustle for our quick 2k. As we have always said, Boald Codes is to guide you, the choice is yours. The most important thing in betting is to know the matches to avoid, else the bookies won’t be in business. When you select the matches you expect to come through and they do come through, you don jam quick 2k.

After the teams returned from international breaks last week, this week should be clearer BUT some of the teams on the continent will be more focused there. It is also the time relegation threatened clubs start upsetting the apple carts, as we saw with West Brom winning at Chelsea last week. As usual, we have the Bankers, the Banana Peels and the Boald Calls. We will be as direct as possible, too much analysis no dey bring money.

BANKERS

In the Premier League, Manchester City vs Leeds should produce goals. Over 2.5 comes at around 1.4. For bigger odds, you could go for both to score.

Chelsea should bounce back from last week’s defeat, away at Selhurst Park. They are in a comfortable place in their Champions League tie, they should focus here. A Chelsea win comes at around 1.5. Don’t sleep on it.

Tottenham vs Manchester United, the Mourinho Derby is too close to call. Expect both sides to go for goals. Tottenham’s defence especially, can’t hold water. Over 1.5 comes at around 1.3, if you must play this game at all.

Son will hope for another dance performance

Real Madrid and Barcelona go into the El Clasico in good forms. They both know a win will take them closer to the tittle. It is a game that should produce goals. Both to score comes at around 1.5, go for it.

Barcelona and Real Madrid go head-to-head

In the Serie A, both Inter Milan and Juventus have home matches against Cagliari and Genoa respectively. Both should win. Juventus should overcome their recent struggles here. A win for them comes at around 1.3. Inter Milan are in good form and coasting to the title, they are also valued at around 1.3 for a win.

Atalanta should win away against Fiorentina. It comes at around 1.5. Atalanta should do enough for a win, to solidify their push for Continental places. Over 1.5 could be a safer bet.

BANANA PEELS

There are many matches you should be wary of this weekend but we have highlighted some and their alternatives.

Bayern Munich might play a depleted side against Union Berlin, with the Champions League return leg against PSG in their sights amidst lots of injury worries. Be wary of a Bayern win which comes at around 1.5. But the game should still produce goals. Over 2.5 could be safe.

Same goes for Borussia Dortmund, who have been poor in the Bundesliga, by their standards. They have a tricky away game at Stuttgart. It is also a game that should produce goals. Avoid a Dortmund away win.

PSG are valued at around 1.7 to win a match in Ligue 1, that should tell you something. They go away to Strasbourg, with the Champions League also in their sights. You should also go for goals in this one.

BOALD CALL

West Ham and Leicester are jostling for Champions League places. They play at the London stadium this weekend, with both in good form. West Ham are due a bad result and the signs are there. Expect Leicester to avenge the first leg defeat. If you are Boald go for a Leicester away win at around 2.4.

Kelechi Iheanacho and his teammates should find joy at the Olympics stadium

We have supplied the passes, put your finishing touches to score the goal. Wish you a green weekend. When you win, pay your tithes here.