AEK is alone on top of the Super League table after beating Lamia on Sunday, while Olympiakos narrowly escaped a home loss to Asteras Tripolis. The weekend produced just six goals in seven games, with four of the goals coming from the penalty spot as Greek fans were treated to a diet of very poor soccer.
SANCHEZ’S FAMILY IN LONDON AHEAD OF MOVE
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has been linked with a winter window move away from the Emirates. The Chilean’s family is reportedly in London ahead of the likely move. The 29-year old is keen on moving to Manchester City to feature under former coach Pep Guardiola. However, there are strong indications that Manchester United want to wade into the deal.
The player is worth around £25-35 million as his deal with the Emirates is less than six months out. Guardiola want cover for the injured Gabriel Jesus, with Sergio Aguero the only option in centre forward. The Catalan manager is very open to the idea of a false nine, which he employed while at Barcelona. Sanchez fits this role very well but the deal depends on so many factors.
CITY TO COMPLETE ALEXIS SANCHEZ BEFORE DEADLINE
Manchester City are set to complete the deal for Arsenal playmaker Alexis Sanchez before the transfer deadline on Thursday, according to reports.
The Chile international netted 24 times in the Premier League last term but he wants out from Arsene Wenger’s side.
Wenger insists on forcing the player to see out his deal at the club instead of selling to a top rival. The last time the Frenchman did that Manchester United emerged the league champions.
Coach Pep Guardiola is keen on landing the former Barcelona player as he is confident that he would boost the City attacking prowess. The 28-year old still has up to three years at top level and he could help City win titles before he tires out. If Sanchez arrives at the Etihad, Raheem Sterling would be on his way out of the crowded City attack line.
BUFFON DESERVED THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MEDAL
Twenty two years ago, 17-year old Gianluigi Buffon was resting in a hotel camped by Parma a day to a classic showdown with AC Milan.
The Crociati had just finalized the training for the day and in the process, lost chief goalkeeper Luca Bucci to injury.
Coach Nevio Scala was said to have visited little Gianluigi later that night and informed the teenager he would be thrown into the starting line-up. With the very composure that Gigi will later come to be known for, he succeeded in shutting out an AC Milan attack boasting of Roberto Baggio and George Weah, keeping a clean sheet and effectivelyannouncing his name to Italian football.
Years on, and none could be more symbolic nor popular than the Tuscany-born as far as Italian football goalies go. Gianluigi has become a legend and not just any legend but the type that are lucky and good enough to be viewed from a decentralized template.
Just like Totti and to some extent Andrea Pirlo, Buffon is the kind of player whose reverence thrives above rivalry, tribe or language. There are some players whose substitution even during a derby compels every spectator both for and against to register a standing ovation. Gigi is one of such.
KANTE WINS PFA PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Chelsea midfielder N’GoloKante has been awarded the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year award for the year 2016/17.
The 26-year old ranked ahead of his teammate Eden Hazard, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Manchester United top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Arsenal playmaker Alexis Sanchez.
On the other hand, Dele Alli beat his competitors to retain the Men’s Young Player Award for the second year in succession. Also, Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze won the Women’s Player of the Year award. Birmingham star Jess Carter picked up the Women’s Young Player of the Year award.
Kante is arguably the best buy in the Premier League this season after Chelsea snapped him up from the league winning side of Leicester City last summer. He has been spectacular in the role and he is on course for a double as Chelsea are favourites to lift the Premier League and the FA Cup.
ARSENAL CHAIR – WE PLAYING FOR PRIDE AGAINST BAYERN
Arsenal Chairman Chips Keswick has conceded defeat ahead of the return leg clash with German side Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League next week.
Keswick knows Arsenal would need more than a miracle to come back against Bayern after losing 5-1 in the opening leg.
There have been renewed criticisms against the manager Arsene Wenger who despite record transfers spending has not achieved anything different this term. However, he has kept the club afloat financially.
Keswick announced a pre-tax gain of £12.6 million on a six-month period up to the end of November last year. He added that the team would give their best in the return leg at the Emirates but could not say anything further.
“Everyone, including Arsene, our players, board and staff share our fans’ disappointment at our first-leg result against Bayern Munich. But we will approach the second leg with professionalism and a desire to reclaim pride,” he said.
The turnover for Arsenal increased to £191.9 million, compared to £160.2 million last year.
WENGER HAPPY SANCHEZ OUT OF CHILE SQUAD
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal faithfuls would be delighted with the fact that top-notch striker Alexis Sanchez has been left out of the Chile squad competing in January’s china cup.
This is an early Christmas gift for Wenger who is looking to keep his top man fit in other to mount a credible title challenge in January.
The 27-year-old Arsenal striker has been in fine form all seasons scoring an incredible 12 premier league goals and providing five assists. His performance so far is responsible for his team’s overall success, and it would be a huge setback should Sanchez be injured anytime soon.
Wenger who is aware of the busy premier league fixtures at this period of the season is looking to manage collateral damages by keeping all his players fit in other to mount a title challenge in January. This news would no doubt bring some relief to the Arsenal boss who harbors the fear that Sanchez could be injured should he be selected in the Chilean squad for the January’s china cup competition.
Coventry City coach threatens to quit
Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray has threatened to resign from his post if the team doesn’t end their winless league run.
Mowbray has been in charge for 18 months, and after the draw played with AFC Wimbledon, Mowbray said: “I won’t be a burden to this club. I think I’m an honourable guy, and I won’t be around too long if we’re not winning. I won’t expect to be paid. I know this club needs every penny.”
After ten League One games, City are bottom of the log. The former Celtic coach took Coventry to the top of the League One just few months back, but fortunes have quickly changed. Mowbray took charge in March 2015 but after frustration in the summer transfer market, it seems he would take a walk. There have been continued protests from the club’s supporters against the club owners. Happenings are taking its toll on the players as only five goals have been scored in ten games. City have played six draws, and it seems the issues with the club would not end anytime soon.