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Daily Nation : February 9th 2014
8 February 9, 2014 Sunday Nation GIG GUIDE: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14: ENJOY YOUR VALENTINES IN A PARTY MODE AT MOJOS LOUNGE, BANDA STREET, NAIROBI. THERE WILL BE DIFFERENT DJS ALL WEEKEND GIVING YOU THE BEST MIX OF MUSIC. HARDBALL Arsenal’s month of love with PHARIS KIMARU F ebruary is the month of love, cupid is everywhere and this year, Arsenal are the special ones. Cupid’s arrow is tight- ly aimed on the Emirates. In a way cupid’s arrow is perfectly timed, it comes as Arsenal make their best pretense to the Premier League throne and this month is the perfect test, one which, if they pass can earn them the title of worthy champions. Arsenal played Liverpool yester- day, and on Wednesday night they welcome Manchester United to the Emirates and then they play Liverpool again and then play host to Pep Guardiola’s mighty Bayern Munich. That is a lot of love isn’t it? I am one of those people who think that Arsenal cannot handle all of those games especially after their shenanigans in the transfer window. How does a title contender bring in a 34-year-old midfielder and an injured one at that to help boost the title challenge? Even Vitimbi could not make this one up. Arsenal have defied all expecta- tions to remain on top of the table and when you think they have been booted out by luck or some unknown universal force of kindness, they make their way back to the summit. Last weekend they received help from Jose Mourinho. There were jokes online for most of Monday about how Chelsea would park the bus and Man City would tear them apart. In the end it was nothing short of a counter-attacking master class from Mourinho, the speed of Hazard, Willain, Ramires and the bite of Nemanja Matic and David Luiz - yes I said Luiz, it’s shocking how well he plays nowadays. The Chelsea victory allowed Ar- senal to retain their place on top of the table but more importantly it throws Chelsea back into the title race. Mourinho of course continued his mind games by downplaying his team’s chances of overcoming City and Arsenal to win the title but that is nothing more than a PR stunt. Chelsea players spoke of the meticulous preparation Mourinho took them through before the city game, it was intense and it worked. No one puts that much effort into a performance when they have no plans to win the league. Mourinho wants to win the league quietly by letting Arsenal and City hog the headlines and come swooping in at the last minute to take the crown. Man City finally lost their first game at the Etihad but they are too strong a team to let this derail their season. They will know they were beaten by a well-prepared team, learn their lesson and keep on doing what they do best, score goals. Pelligrini and his players are no fools, they know they have an opportunity given Arsenal’s fixtures to make the top of the table their property and they will definitely want to take advantage. Elsewhere, somebody needs to educate David Moyes on what it means to be the boss of a football club. After United’s loss at Stoke last Saturday he told reporters” I don’t know what we have to do to win.” Coming from the lips of a Man United manager, that is a disastrous statement. David Moyes needs to understand he just cannot put Arsenal’s midfielder Alex OxladeChamberlain (R) celebrates after scoring his second goal against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium. players out on the field and expect magic to happen. The truth is the Rooney, Mata, Van Persie combination never really came to life at Stoke and it got worse when Rooney was pushed into midfield after Carrick had to go into defence. Moyes needs to work out a system that can accommodate the players at his disposal and if it means leaving one of the super stars on the bench then so be it.
February 8th 2014
February 10th 2014