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    Comparing Arsenal’s New Coach Unai Emery With Predecessor Arsene Wenger

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    A new era dawns at Arsenal as Unai Emery prepares to succeed Arsene Wenger in the Emirates Stadium hotseat.
    The 46-year-old Spanish former manager of Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain emerged as a surprise candidate on Monday, beating former player Mikel Arteta to the position.
    It is the first time in 22 years Arsenal have appointed a new manager and Emery will be expected to deliver the same levels of success he achieved at Sevilla and PSG.
    But how will the incoming boss compare to Arsene Wenger? We take a closer look at some of the important areas.

    TRANSFER RECORD
    Arsene Wenger: After 22 years in charge, there are naturally plenty of hits and plenty of misses when it comes to Wenger’s acquisitions in the transfer market.
    According to Transfermarkt, Wenger spent a grand total of £827.1million on new signings after arriving at Highbury in September 1996, while the sale of players brought in £577.28m.
    This means a net transfer spend of £249.82m over those two decades.
    Transfer spending rose percipitiously at Arsenal in recent seasons as they attempted to keep pace with the spending of their wealthier rivals in the top four of the Premier League.
    This season, for instance, saw Pierre-Emericak Aubameyang at £57.38m follow hot on the heels of another striker Alexandre Lacazette at £47.70m.
    he years before that witnessed the expensive arrivals of Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi, while 2014-15 saw the Gunners buy Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Danny Welbeck at considerable cost.
    The requirement to finance the Emirates Stadium saw Wenger restricted in terms of transfer budget for a number of seasons, but the reality of missing out on Champions League windfalls brought about a change in attitude.
    Unquestionably the finest signings of Wenger’s tenure came towards the beginning – Thierry Henry joined from Juventus for £11m in August 1999 and Sol Campbell moved across north London from Tottenham on a free in 2001.
    As for the misses, probably Francis Jeffers, £8m from Everton in 2001, and Gervinho, £10.8m from Lille in 2011, stand out.

    Unai Emery: The first major club Emery managed was Valencia, between 2008 and 2012, and his clout in the transfer market was severely limited by their financial problems.
    In his first two seasons at the Mestalla, Emery’s top spend was a mere £4.5m and he didn’t sign any player that cost more than £9m in his four seasons with them.
    In order to balance the books, Emery also had to cope with the sale of star players including Raul Albiol to Real Madrid, David Silva to Manchester City and David Villa to Barcelona.
    Despite these restrictions, Emery managed to guide Valencia to a sixth-place La Liga finish in his first season, then three consecutive third-place finishes, emphasising his managerial talents.
    After a brief spell with Spartak Moscow, Emery returned to Spain in January 2013, taking over the Sevilla job.
    Once again, he worked wondered despite a relatively shoestring budget – in his time there, the most expensive purchase was Ciro Immobile from Borussia Dortmund for £9.9m.
    And, as at Valencia, he had to cope with the club cashing in on star assets. Alberto Moreno moved to Liverpool and Ivan Rakitic to Barcelona in 2014, recouping £32.4m.
    The following summer, Carlos Bacca was sold to Milan for £27m and Aleix Vidal to Barcelona for £15.3m.
    Not ideal for any manager, but Emery worked wonders once more, leading Sevilla to three consecutive Europa League victories.
    Given this, arriving at Paris Saint-Germain, with their boundless Qatari wealth, in 2016 would have come as quite the culture shock for Emery.
    In his first season, they spent £124.65m on the likes of Julian Draxler, Goncalo Guedes, Grzegorz Krychowiak (from Sevilla) and Jese, but much more followed.
    In 2017, the club’s owners sanctioned the £198m purchase of Brazilian star Neymar, not only breaking but smashing the world transfer record.
    Kylian Mbappe soon followed from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco, initially on loan with a view to a transfer worth £166m.
    So while Emery can’t expect such an enormous transfer budget at Arsenal as he enjoyed at PSG – nowhere near – he has consistently proven himself capable of delivering impressive success on relatively low funds.
    He is also willing to work within a structure at Arsenal that falls well short of having complete autonomy when it comes to transfer targets.
    With Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment and Raul Sanllehi as head of football operations, Emery will be subordinate when it comes to the market.

    SILVERWARE
    Wenger: Historians will probably divide Wenger’s reign at Arsenal into two eras. The first decade saw the Gunners as one of the pre-eminent forces in English football, tussling with Manchester United for the Premier League title year after year.
    Wenger won the title three times, with three outstanding sides. The first came in his first full season in charge – 1997-98 – as they hunted down a United side that had a 12-point lead at one stage, also adding the FA Cup.
    In 2001-02, they finished seven points clear of Liverpool in second and 10 clear of United in third, whom they beat at Old Trafford to secure the championship. The Gunners also beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup.
    But the 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ will be the most fondly remembered. No team before or since completed a Premier League campaign undefeated, this truly exceptional Wenger team finishing well clear of Chelsea and United.
    In 2006, after many years of trying to crack the Champions League, Arsenal reached the final, losing 2-1 to Barcelona in heart-breaking circumstances in Paris.
    The second portion of Wenger’s reign saw a drift in the league – even if they invariably finished in the top four – and regular last-16 exits in Europe.
    They did manage to win the FA Cup in 2014, 2015 and 2017, adding to Wenger’s earlier triumphs in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2005.

    Emery: The Spanish coach shot to prominence with a hat-trick of Europa League wins at Sevilla.
    Their 2014 win came on penalties against Benfica, they retained the trophy in 2015 with a 3-2 win over Ukrainians Dnipro, and made it three by defeating Liverpool 3-1 in 2016.
    Success was, of course, expected at PSG, so Emery didn’t make the best impression when they surrendered their Ligue 1 crown to Monaco during his first season.
    The signings of Neymar and Mbappe enabled the Parisians to wrest it back this season, also retaining the French Cup and the French League Cup in the process.
    But Emery was meant to deliver progress in the Champions League and fell short in this regard, hastening his departure from the Parc des Princes.
    Having thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the last-16 in 2017, they memorably collapsed late on to lose 6-1 in the Nou Camp.
    And this time around they were beaten 3-1 away and 2-1 at home by Real Madrid, again dropping out in the first of the knockout rounds.
    TACTICS
    Wenger: The Frenchman’s tactical approach evolved during his tenure at Arsenal but his commitment to playing attractive and attacking football never wavered.
    Initially, they favoured the 4-4-2 set-up because Wenger believes that no other formation was as efficient in covering space across the entire field.
    At times during the early seasons, it was an attacking variant of this, with Marc Overmars pushed further forward on the flank and Patrick Vieira anchoring the midfield with Emmanuel Petit.
    In 2005-06, Wenger did adopt a more pragmatic approach, almost a 4-5-1 with a packed midfield, as Arsenal overcame leading sides to reach the Champions League final.
    There was a spell of 4-3-3 to make best use of the passing vision of Cesc Fabregas, before the adoption of the vogueish 4-2-3-1 formation in more recent times.
    Showing he wasn’t completely set in his ways, Wenger also deployed a 3-4-3 set-up, also very much in fashion, at times during 2016-17.

    Emery: Any Arsenal players hoping to coast through next season will be in for a rude awakening.
    Emery is highly-demanding of his players and staff on the training ground and in the meticulous preparation for each fixture. He firmly believes that the little things make all the difference in the heat of battle.
    In terms of his tactical approach, he stuck religiously to a 4-2-3-1 approach at Valencia and Sevilla, with an accent on fluidity through midfield.
    Hallmarks of these sides included an urgency in pressing the goalkeeper and pinning back the defenders in so doing, forcing them to spread out and hopefully force a mistake.
    The two defensive midfielders were also under strict instruction not to press too far forward and leave the back four exposed, though they remain vital to the press when the opponent crosses the half-way line.
    The central figure of the attacking midfield three was also required to drop back and offer a link to and from the base of midfield. Ever Banega played this water-carrier role well at Sevilla.
    At PSG, with such attacking talents at his disposal, Emery always fielded a 4-3-3 system that would allow Neymar, Mbappe, Edinson Cavani et al to steamroller teams.
    We’re unlikely to see anything of this nature at Arsenal, but a well-organised and fluid 4-2-3-1, adept at counter-attacking, would keep alive the club’s best traditions.

    PERSONALITY AND METHODS
    Wenger: Wenger basically lived Groundhog Day thousands of times during his 22 years at Arsenal, such is his love of routine.
    He would begin each day with exercise, leave for the training ground at the same time, eat endless salads and vegetables, return home at the same time and spend three moments watching every football match on television.
    He has such an obsessive love of the game that his first instruction upon boarding the team coach on away trips would be to turn the television screens to whatever match happened to be on.
    In his early years at Arsenal, Wenger completely transformed attitudes within the club. Influenced by his time in Japan with Grampus 8, Wenger was a devotee to a healthy way of life.
    Out went the players’ boozy drinking sessions and junk food, in came healthy and balanced diets, specialist nutritionists, muscle-strengthening exercises and even a Wenger-approved method of stirring sugar into a cup of tea.
    His methods weren’t popular at first but were gradually adopted universally by the Premier League when other managers started to learn the secrets of his winning teams.
    In all his time at Arsenal, you could probably count the number of training sessions Wenger missed on one hand. Always in a tracksuit and on the sidelines, he led pretty much every 90-minute session but delegated exercises when he had to.
    On the touchline, Wenger was never a ranter or raver – unless he felt hard done by a contentious refereeing decision – and not one to celebrate too wildly.
    Highly astute and intelligent, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of football and was also learned about a number of other subjects, including politics, current affairs and the stock markets.
    A polyglot, Wenger was fluent in a number of European languages and also made a concerted effort to learn Japanese during his time there. When signing Mesut Ozil, it was Wenger’s phone call to the player in German that tipped the balance.

    Emery: Known as one of Europe’s most studious coaches, Emery is a workaholic who gets by on five or six hours’ sleep and doesn’t waste a moment when it comes to analysing the opposition.
    Expect him to bring a sizeable video analysis team with him to Arsenal – Emery will spend up to 12 hours working on videos, which he then distributes to his players on memory sticks.
    The aim of the ‘homework’ is to ensure every member of the team knows precisely their instructions, which are tailored depending on the opponent.
    Emery has always believed that the smallest nuance of the match can make all the difference and he isn’t a manager who will leave anything to chance.
    ‘Emery put on so many videos I ran out of popcorn,’ said Joaquin of his methods. ‘He’s obsessed by football, it’s practically an illness.’
    He isn’t the most charismatic of personalities, but those who have played under him say as a one-on-one coach coaxing little improvements out of players, there are few better.
    He even tried to use video evidence to tell Neymar where to improve last season – something that didn’t go down well with the Brazilian star, who didn’t take kindly to hours of video watching either.
    A far more successful example was his work with Adrien Rabiot at PSG, ironing out the midfielder’s inconsistencies and encouraging him to play box-to-box.
    There are shades of Wenger in his belief in the benefits of sports science and he was one of the first to insist on regular blood and hydration tests.
    Emery will have to quickly learn English, meaning he could appear at his first Arsenal press conferences with a translator, but he is meticulously prepared and organised.
    Any translator will have to be attentive, with Emery known as a speedy-talker, while he is an intense and brooding presence on the touchline.

    Even at cash-rich PSG, he maintained an admirable focus on youth development, with defender Pascal Kimpembe and midfielder Giovani Lo Celso among those he brought on.
    So as Emery assesses his squad over the summer, it was handy timing that Arsenal’s under-23 side have just won their Premier League and the under-18s reached the FA Youth Cup final.
    Wenger was always intent on maintaining an iron grip of all aspects of life at Arsenal, but Emery, regarded as more of a coach than a manager, will be content to take a back seat. This is especially true when it comes to transfers.
    But when it comes to his philosophy, these words from his book Winning Mentality: The Emery Method will be encouraging: ‘Fans want their emotions to come to the surface and the only way to make that happen is to give them a team who transmit emotion: Intensity, attacking, scoring goals, competing, fighting. That awakens them.’
    RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER COACHES
    Wenger: His fractious relationships with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and Jose Mourinho at Chelsea came to define the great rivalries of the Premier League era.
    The United vs Arsenal clashes of the late nineties and early noughties were combustable affairs with controversy never far around the corner and stakes unfathomably high.
    As Chelsea emerged to challenge Arsenal’s success, Wenger and Mourinho engaged in a war of words in the same way Wenger had with Fergie.
    Things boiled over during Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge with the ludicrious sight of the two managers grabbing at each others ties and swinging handbags on the touchline.
    In the end, time mellowed Wenger and he buried the hatchet with both towards the end of his reign.

    Emery: He clashed with Mourinho during the United manager’s time at Real Madrid and this could be a fascinating sub-plot to next season.
    When Real beat Sevilla in 2010, Mourinho entered the post-match press conference with a piece of notepaper on which he had written down 13 errors supposedly made by referee Carlos Clos Gomez.
    Asked for his view, Emery didn’t hold back, saying: ‘Mourinho’s stance is that of a cry baby. We have reasons to draw up a list with errors and to make a public complaint for every time we have been adversely affected, but we don’t.’
    Emery’s Sevilla beat Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League final, while Emery has a good relationship with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
    Guardiola was impressed by Valencia’s brand of football when Barcelona manager and Emery was one of the few coaches the Catalan used to invite into his office for a post-match drink.

    Source: Dailymail

     

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    She Cranes Star Nuba Reveals Why She Decided To Play For Uganda Not South Sudan; Why She Regrets Giving Birth Early…

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    She Cranes player Mary Nuba

    Born in South Sudan but grew in Uganda, that’s the story of the She Cranes goal shooter Mary Nuba Cholhok who was voted as the best shooter in the just concluded Fast5 Series tournament which was held in New Zealand.

    Uganda emerged in fifth position in the tournament. theGrapevine had a chance to talk to Nuba before she went back to England for her professional career.

    Grapevine: Why did you decide to play for Uganda and not for your native country South Sudan?

    Nuba: South Sudan is still lagging behind in Netball and I’m getting old, that’s why I decided to play for Uganda’s She Cranes.

    Grapevine: What challenges have you faced so far in your career?

    Nuba: Thinking about my five-year baby who stays in Uganda yet I’m in England playing for my professional club.

    Grapevine: Then what about your husband [the baby’s father] ?

    Nuba: I’m not married, though I gave birth.

    Mary Nuba was awarded Fans player of the Fast5 Series tournament

    Grapevine: How did you manage giving birth and playing Netball?

    Nuba: I realized that later that I made a mistake of getting pregnant. But I stood on my feet, forgot all the past and decided to move on with my child and my career.

    Grapevine: How do you manage those good performances?

    Nuba: I work very hard ever day in order to achieve my goals.

    Grapevine: Where do you see She Cranes in four years to come?

    Nuba: I see She Cranes winning the Netball World cup because we have good players who are still young.

    Grapevine: Tell us about the best game in your career?

    Nuba: When we defeated South Africa in the Common Wealth games in Birmingham.

    Grapevine: Who’s your role model in the game of Netball?

    Nuba: Peace Proscovia because of the way she managed to lift her life from a poor background. She is now superstar in the game.

     

     

    By Juma Ali

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    MIRACLE: All She Cranes Players Return After Incidents Of Players Disappearing While On Duty Abroad…

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    She Cranes players and one of the start player Goal Shooter Mary Cholhok Nuba

    It was a miracle this time around after all the She Cranes players returned from New Zealand.

    It has been a habit for some Netball players to escape when the team travels for international tournaments.

    Just last month, two She Cranes players; Nakanyike Shakira, who was a Police Player and Rose Namutebi, who was a KCCA Player, disappeared in UK, during She Cranes international friendlies.

    The disappearance of these two players followed the disappearance of centre Player, Halimah Nakachwa, who disappeared in UK, in 2017 during another international friendly in UK.

    However, this time around, all the nine players who went for the first five series tournament in New Zealand, where She Cranes emerged fifth, after wining three games and losing three games, all returned with the team.

    National players disappearing while on duty abroad is also a habit in other sports disciplines like; boxing, table tennis, Rugby among others.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    It’s Time For Golola To Rest: I’m Going To Punch Him Into Retirement – General Fungu Vows…

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    Moses Golola (L) and General Fungu (R)

    General Hamza Fungu has vowed to fight Moses Golola and send him into retirement come 26th December. 2022.

    Fungu said this during the launch at Akamwesi gardens today.

    Uganda’s middle weight kick boxing champion, Golola Moses is set to face his former trainer, General Hamza Fungu on bixing day at Akamwesi shopping mail gardens.

    Golola, who is known for his many words said that he has beaten many fighters who were better than Fungu, “now look at this piglet, I’m going to show him why I’m called Golola Moses ‘of Uganda ‘  and I call upon Ugandans to come and be witnesses on that day.”

    Though Golola said that he signed a contract which allows both fighters to fight until one gets tired, officials in charge of organizing the show said they will fight K-1 style for five rounds.

    Grapevine had a chance to sit down with Golola’s challenger General Fungu and and this is what he had to say;

    theGrapevine: How are you prepared for this fight?

    Fungu: I’m well prepared but they have also given us enough time. So, I’m going to prepare more.

    theGrapevine: Why, among fighters did you choose Golola?

    Fungu: I have been asking to fight Golola for the last five years but he has been dodging me. He one time asked for 20,000 dollars to fight me.

    theGrapevine: Why do you think he accepted this time around?

    Fungu: I think this time, he has been given a lot of money.

    theGrapevine: Which tactics are you going to use to defeat Golola?

    Fungu : Golola has words but I have the tactics which will defeat Golola.

    theGrapevine: Many people have come out to challenge Golola but he finally wins?

    Fungu : He has been favoured many times.

    theGrapevine: Is it true that the contract you signed for the fight allows you to fight until one of you gets tired?

    Fungu : The contract is a disadvantage to Golola not me because I was born a fighter.

    theGrapevine: What next after this fight?

    Fungu : After this fight, I will fight three more three bouts and retire.

     

    By Juma Ali

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