Group A 2018 world cup preview: Salah to help Egypt through the stage.

worldcupI can almost hear the sound of the whistle of the opener between host Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Husbands will go missing from their homes. Ladies like me will forget our home chores for some time,as we will be following the world’s most spectacular event.

I can vividly remember my sister dropping her phone unknowingly and crushing it as we celebrated Ghana’s quarter final qualification in 2010 world cup held in South Africa. The famous Vuvuzelas could be heard across the stadium. I must mention that Shakira’s world cup song was the best ever, my opinion though.

Being team Africa, let me look at Group A consisting of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay. Egypt faces Uruguay in the second match of the tournament. All eyes are on Egypt as it is the hope of every African that the Pharaohs will beat Uruguay in a revenge mission after Suarez denied Ghana a chance for a semi final spot in the 2010 world cup. The Barcelona star handled the ball on the goal-line, preventing a last minute win for the black stars. Asamoah Gyan went ahead and missed the penalty. It might be almost eight years since the infamous intervention in a memorable quarterfinal clash, but it is fresh in my mind so is to other Africans.

It is a crucial match for each side, it is likely to feature arguably three of the best attackers in the world-Egypt’s Salah and Uruguay’s  Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Egypt hopes that Salah will still be hungry for goals as he did in premier league.

Russia and Uruguay seem to be the people’s prediction of the two teams to advance in this group, while Saudi Arabia is the lowest ranked.

No African team has ever gone past the last eight in a world cup tournament; therefore every African team feels tasked to go forward and write a new history.

Yes, Russia has a home advantage but I have to go for Egypt and Uruguay qualifying in this group.

Players to watch

Fahad Mosaed Al-Muwalla- Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Salah- Egypt

Suarez and Cavani – Uruguay

Interesting fact

Egypt goal keeper Essam El-Hadary will become the oldest player to play at a world cup at 45 years, if he makes it to the pitch.

Well we don’t expect a winner from this group but we can expect some little drama from Suarez after his Controversial handball in 2010 world cup in South Africa and biting Giogio Chiellieni’s shoulder in 2014 Brazil world cup.

Advertisements

Any Hope for Arsenal?

ImageArsenal’s recent poor performance has sparked criticism from the entire football fraternity with Arsene Wenger being on the spot light as the man to blame.

Fans around the world keep on lamenting that Wenger should go but the question still remains is he really to blame? For me the answer is no, because Wenger has managed to put Arsenal in the level they are right now.

Bringing in a new coach will take more time to rebuild the team because it will mean changing the whole system.

Has it occurred to anyone that the problem might be players’ attitude and lack of concentration? Lately they have been playing poorly, their usual entertaining sleek passes and moves are hardly seen and this means there is something wrong with the players.

Last season Arsenal lost in the finals of the Carling cup against an average side Birmingham, it was so painful because the players and also the fans believed their drought for silverware would finally be over but it was not to be.

In my outlook this is when Arsenal lost track, with their key players Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy leaving in search for greener pastures. The greatest dream of every football player is to win titles before they reach the prime years of their careers and this is what they went for.

Since then Arsenal has not got direct replacement of these three crucial players making it even hard for the team to perform well. Yes, Arteta, Mertesacker and the rest of the new signings are good but they have not made a very notable change.

The beginning of this season’s English premier league saw Arsenal as every team’s meat loosing match after match, with players such as Song and Gervinho starting off on a bad note receiving red cards in the opening match of the season.

The 8-2 torture in Oldtrafford was a clear indication that Arsenal was going down despite the long list of injuries at the time.

Recently they had their worst night in Europe, after they were outclassed by AC Milan 4-0 in the first leg of the Champions league. A score line that even magic cannot possibly overturn in the return leg considering Arsenal’s pitiable performance.

It is very sad to hear supporters saying that this is probably the worst Arsenal team they have ever seen in all their time of watching football.

I believe this is the time each Arsenal player looks directly into the mirror and asks himself, have I given my all to my team? If no, it’s time to do it and just maybe this can make a big difference.