After two weeks of action, the 36th edition of the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) Tusker Challenge Cup will come to a conclusion on Saturday the 8th of December 2012 in Kampala, Uganda.
From an initial complement of twelve national teams the stage is now set for the two best teams in the tournament- Uganda and Kenya – to come head to head in a replay of the 2008 final that was also played in Kampala.
It is anticipated to be a tight encounter with Uganda under the stewardship of Bobby Williamson touted to be the favourites on the day. In their opening game the Ugandan Cranes as they are known, narrowly beat their Kenyan opponents Harambee Stars 1-0 but were in control for most of that match.
Uganda has played some free flowing exciting football the entire tournament and have in the process recorded impressive results. After the narrow win over Kenya they beat Ethiopia twice and South Sudan before routing Tanzania 3-0 in the semi finals.
The win over Tanzania was even more impressive as Tanzania are no push overs having earlier in the tournament posted a devastating 7-0 victory over Somalia.
The sacking of Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea coach may not have come as a surprise.
For days now the grapevine had been swamped with rumours of Di Matteo’s imminent departure. Chelsea had been in dire straits for the most part of the season and their 3-0 thumping by Juventus in their last Champions’ League Group match proved to be the last straw.
In a terse statement placed on its website Chelsea said in part:
“Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.
The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season”
Roman Abrahmovich the Chelsea owner had made a statement of intent when he hired Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player and assistant manager, on a permanent basis in March 2012.
Luis Alberto Dias Suarez or Luis Suarez as he is better known, is without doubt a player who draws attention. Sometimes the attention is negative and at times positive but there is never a dull moment with the mercurial Uruguyan.
Suarez was born in Salto, Uruguay and moved to the capital city Montevideo at the age of seven with his family. It is in Montevideo that his footballing talents were immediately recognised. Like many South American footballers of repute Suarez was a child prodigy and honed his talents on the streets. He was eventually snapped up by local team Nacional at the age of 14.
In 2009/2010 the attention of the world was first drawn to Suarez (who by then was the Captain of Ajax) when he scored 49 goals in all competitions. In the Eredivisie, the Dutch top division, Suarez had cut a niche for himself. He entertained the fans week in week out and scored some outstanding goals.
Arsene Wenger is without doubt a legend in the modern game.
When he joined Arsenal in 1996 from Japanese team Nagoya Grampus the 63 year old Frenchman revolutionized the system of play at the London club. His abilities had been evident from as far back as 1984 when he began his coaching career with French side Nancy.
At Arsenal, Wenger made some radical changes. From changing the player’s dietary habits to creating an attacking fluid system of play Wenger took little time in turning the Gunners into a formidable outfit.
His emphasis on youth and untapped talent was the platform for the club’s success. With 11 titles won in 9 seasons, including the memorable achievement of going 49 games unbeaten in the 2003/2004 season, Arsenal were definitely a club in ascendancy.
And then the rain started pouring.
Arsenal have not won a title since Patrick Vieira’s penalty handed them the 2005 FA Cup. It has been 7 painful long seasons since that moment of glory and for ‘Le Professeur’ who was once idolized by the Gunner fans, murmurs of discontent by the Arsenal faithful have pitched into a crescendo.
So what has gone wrong?
Kenyan Soccer News: Will Henri Michel's Appointment As Kenyan National Team Coach Mark The Dawn Of A New Era?
On the 28th of August 2012 the the Football Kenyan Federation (FKF) unveiled French tactician Henri Michel as the new National team coach.
The Harambee Stars, as the Kenyan National team is popularly called, was once a power house in the East and Central African region and to an extent in Africa. In recent times however the Stars have fallen on rough times with under par performances being the norm.
Football fans in Kenya have watched in dismay as their beloved Stars have slowly sunk into the dregs of football mediocrity. Even the occasional and rare victory has far from inspiring confidence ended up in exposing the rudimentary flaws in the team's system of play and in particular the management of the game in the country.
To bring to a halt the steady decline in the team's fortunes the FKF settled on Henri Michel to guide the team after a two month hunt.
The 55 year old Frenchman, who is no stranger to the African continent and African soccer, had in his earlier years played 58 times for the French National team.