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    Complacency, Family, Nationality: Why Özil Was Left Out Of Arsenal’s PL Squad, With 8 Months To Run On His Contract…



    Mesut Ozil (Coutesy photo)

    World cup winning German midfielder and Arsenal FC highest earner, Mesut Özil will stay out of action for the Gunners, until at least January.

    After being left out of the Europa League squad about only a fortnight ago, Mesut Özil will also now officially not participate in the Premier League for Arsenal, as he doesn’t appear on the 25-man list that will be submitted to the English FA. Not until next year in the January transfer window can Özil feature for the North London club again, when reversible changes can be implemented.

    For keen followers of football, moreso the EPL, such a decision could honestly not be unexpected, the club’s desperate search for a number 10 in the summer transfer window ideally suggested the dire need of replacing the German at the Emirates, it was a signal that aroused so much anticipation about Özil’s future at London based club.

    It’s a genuine speculation therefore that not only will Özil miss out for Arsenal for the coming fee months, but he might as well never play for Arsenal ever again!

    And the fact that Ozil has not featured for Arsenal in any competition this season hinted on the possible “end” of his time at the club.

    Mesut Özil is still under contract at Arsenal for the next 8 Months, and will still remain the club’s top earner at £350K per week for the rest of the season.

    Greek veteran defender, Sokratis Papastathoupoulos is the other foreign senior player expected to be left out. Sokratis, like the German international was also not named to the Europa League roster either.

    The Gunners apparently have 19 non-homegrown players, having added in Ghanaian Thomas Partey from Atletico, Brazilian midfielder Willian from London rivals Chelsea and another Brazilian Gabriel Magalhaēs from French outfit Lille.

    Arsenal can only nominate 17 of the foreign players to fulfill the 25-man squad, with the remaining 8 having to be homegrown, according to the English FA requirements. As a result, both Özil and Sokratis have been sacrificed, and they will not make the final squad.

    Per Mertesacker, the Arsenal academy chief and former teammate to Özil revealed that Özil’s priorities might’ve shifted to his family.

    He said, “A lot has changed for Ozil away from the field, he got married, has a family. Perhaps his focus has changed. Nevertheless, he is still happy and happy to play football”

    “He’s the only player I’ve played with for three teams – Bremen, Arsenal and also at the DFB (Germany). So I’m very sorry that he’s currently in a situation where he’s not really used,” he added.

    Theoretically, Özil who joined Arsenal as the record signing could still leave the club, the MLS transfer window is still open until October 29th and there are several clubs interested in signing the German. But Ozil, who last featured for Arsenal in March against West Ham in which he assisted the winner after featuring in the past 10 consecutive games then, has vowed to regardless stay at the London club until he sees out his contract.

    “I am here until the last day of my contract and will always give everything for the club,” Özil had said back in August.

    After the coronavirus break and due to back problems, Özil has since lost in standing and was also one of the big losers in the latest Premier League market value update.

    The boss, Mikel Arteta’s perspective on former teammate is ideally justifiable that Özil is not part of the long-term plan, and he probably wouldn’t want to deny minutes away from any other player who is slated for a longer project with the Gunners.

    Failed interrelations between the boss and player might also be a factor, to a smaller extent though, but it clearly is turning out lately that Arteta finds Özil too incompetent to fit anywhere into his high end pressing tactical setup, and neither does the German’s purely technical game match the way Mikel wants the club to play, with a feasibly more physical approach to the game.


    By Baron Kironde



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



    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…



    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…



    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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