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    Why Wenger Must Spend In January Or Face The Sack Plus More Gossip….





    Arsenal faced their latest setback under Arsene Wenger as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship club Nottingham Forest. This has been a competition that has brought a lot of success for the Frenchman in recent seasons, but he made wholesale changes and the squad players couldn’t deliver the victory required.

    There have been some on social media that have suggested it is a blessing in disguise, but it is another example of how the club have declined in comparison to the rest of the top six. Their squad players should have had enough quality to overcome Forest, but they didn’t and that underlines the need for reinforcements during this window.

    The club already knows that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are likely to leave in the summer, if not before. Currently, they don’t have enough quality in their squad and they are set to lose their best two players in the next six months. Arsenal are headed towards a talent crisis and the complete inaction from the club to prevent it is a huge worry. They should have made movements to correct this last summer, but they didn’t and it has put even more pressure on this month.

    It is clear to everyone that the Gunners are the top-six most in need of January investment, but there is a concern that the club may continue to ignore the obvious. They have done so in the past and if they do it again, they will risk losing their top-six status. There would be a real chance that they would fall behind the pace and that would be difficult to recover from in the modern era, due to the importance of the Champions League to a top club.

    Against Forest, Arsenal decided to bring in a number of squad players. Arsene Wenger has seemed reluctant to regenerate his squad. There have been similarities drawn between the Frenchman and Sir Alex Ferguson, but he doesn’t share the Scotsman’s ability to keep a squad fresh. That was one of the keys of marrying longevity and success. The current Gunners’ boss has managed to achieve both, but they are no longer achieving the latter and today indicated why.

    The likes of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy have little to offer a top-six club any more. A more ruthless manager would have got rid of them a long time ago, but Wenger has kept them around. It can be argued that Debuchy especially has been available for transfer for the past few windows, but he is always offered a route back to the first team and it is too comfortable at Arsenal to agree to an exit.

    That is the major problem at Arsenal. They don’t have an elite mentality and that stems from the manager. If he had been more ruthless, the Gunners could have maintained a position at the top of the division. Now, they are simply afterthoughts and continue to regress season on season. No top club would have been desperate to keep Ozil and Sanchez deep into their final years on their contracts. No player should be bigger than the club, but that doesn’t ring true at Arsenal, as this gives the impression that they can’t cope without either player.

    Wenger now has one final chance. A major squad rehaul is needed and although it would be unwise to complete it mid-season, they need to start making movements to facilitate a changing of the guard. Players like Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy can be moved on, while long-term replacements for Ozil and Sanchez can be sourced. Riyad Mahrez is reportedly available and he would be a great capture for the club. If Arsenal don’t make a single signing this month, it will be another chapter in their decline as a top-six club.




    Manchester City are set to make a fresh bid for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 29, and believe the Gunners will allow the Chilean to leave this month. (Guardian)

    Sanchez is ready to forgo a possible £25m signing-on fee to ensure he joins Manchester City this month. (Sun)

    Arsenal will let Sanchez leave if they receive close to £30m and would want a deal to be completed early enough to allow them to sign a replacement. (Mirror)

    Sources close to Sanchez believe he could be a Manchester City player within a week. (Independent)

    Arsenal have made Monaco forward Thomas Lemar, 22, their number one target to replace Sanchez, having missed out on the Frenchman in the summer.(Mirror)

    Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim has not ruled out selling Lemar this month. (L’Equipe – in French)

    Arsenal and Liverpool are interested in Barcelona and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 29, who wants to leave following the arrival of 25-year-old playmaker Philippe Coutinho. (Diariogol – in Spanish)

    Liverpool have dismissed claims from Barcelona that Coutinho’s £142m move only happened because they cut their original asking price for the Brazilian. (Times)

    French midfielder Francis Coquelin, 26, could depart Arsenal this month, with West Ham interested in the midfielder. (Mirror)

    Valencia are also in talks with Arsenal over Coquelin. (Cadena Ser – in Spanish)

    Chelsea have stalled on a move for Juventus’ Brazil international Alex Sandro, 26, because the Italian club want about £60m for the full-back. (Telegraph)

    Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, 24, says he is happy at the club but they must start to win trophies in order to keep him. (Star)

    Leicester are willing to allow striker Kelechi Iheanacho, 21, to leave this month, despite only signing the Nigerian in August for £25m. (Sun)

    West Ham are interested in Anderlecht’s £20m-rated Belgium midfielder Leander Dendoncker, 22. (Nieuwsblad – in Belgian)

    West Ham are closing in on Newcastle and England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, 25, in a £12m deal. (Express)

    Juventus will not sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, 22, as Paris St-Germain are willing to pay up to 170m euros (£150m) for the Serb, who also interests Manchester United. (Il BiancoNero – in Italian)

    Newcastle will let Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, 23, leave in January but will want to recoup most of the £13m they paid for him 18 months ago. (Chronicle)

    Championship club Cardiff City are interested in signing 27-year-old English striker Gary Madine from Bolton(Wales Online)

    Swansea are among the clubs interested in Fulham’s English full-back Ryan Fredericks. The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and could be available for about £3m.

    Derby County are in talks with manager Gary Rowett over a new contract. The 43-year-old is being considered as a successor to Mark Hughes at Stoke. (Telegraph)

    Wolves have offered free coach travel to all supporters heading to their FA Cup third-round replay at Swansea after a goalless draw at Molineux on Saturday. (Express and Star)


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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…



    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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