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first_imgThe 6,000-mile round trip to Baku for the climax of the Europa League will deliver the defining verdict on their first seasons in charge for Arsenal Manager Unai Emery and his Chelsea counterpart Maurizio Sarri this evening.According to BBC, the final will shape how their campaigns are viewed – although for Italian Sarri there is no guarantee that even victory will see him handed a second season at Stamford Bridge.A major European trophy is at stake. Sarri’s job may be at stake. And Arsenal’s future is at stake, as they know only victory will lead them to the riches of the Champions League next season. So who does this confrontation in far-flung Azerbaijan mean most to – Unai Emery or Maurizio Sarri?The final may mean little more than a successful conclusion to a complex, contradictory season for the chain-smoking Italian, who arrived at Chelsea after his work at Napoli drew glowing references from the cream of the coaching crop, including Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.It may yet rank as only something Sarri leaves for Chelsea to remember him by.Sarri’s season at Chelsea has been conducted against the backdrop of discontent among supporters who grew tired of his predictable substitutions.Those reached a low point in February when his go-to replacement of Mateo Kovacic with Ross Barkley (it was vice versa at various other points), was greeted with ironic laughter and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” from his own fans during the FA Cup fifth-round loss to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.It came after a 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth and a 6-0 mauling by Manchester City and just before goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s open challenge to Sarri’s authority when he refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final before a penalty shootout which Chelsea.The much-vaunted ‘Sarri ball’, which was meant to be high-paced attacking football combining pressing and short, quick passing exchanges, has turned out to be largely tedious and relatively easy to rumble by teams of higher class.He has also alienated Chelsea fans by marginalising N’Golo Kante, regarded as the world’s finest holding midfielder, on the right of a three-man midfield to accommodate his favoured son Jorginho in the Frenchman’s favoured position.The big-money buy from Serie A is simply not in Kante’s class as that sort of operator.Sarri’s use (or lack of use) of precocious teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi was also an issue, with England manager Gareth Southgate seeming to show more belief in his talents.As a result of this lack of game time, it seemed this outstanding young winger was determined to leave the club. A serious Achilles tendon injury has put a stop to that for now.Their win percentage in the Premier League was 55.3% from 38 games, with exactly the same number of wins, 21, as Emery. The overall ratio was a highly respectable 61.3% from 62 games so far.Sarri’s problems, however, have extended beyond the field of play.There has been no connection between him and Chelsea’s fans, with not even the presence of Stamford Bridge legend Gianfranco Zola helping form a bond.And yet, if he wins in Baku, Sarri may be able to present a strong case to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that he has actually fulfilled his remit and deserves to build on the last 12 months.If a crystal ball of Sarri’s season in August had predicted a third-placed finish, the League Cup final only being lost on penalties to the team that completed the domestic clean sweep and an appearance in a major European final, surely this would have been deemed acceptable?If he had achieved this at other clubs there would be talk of a contract extension, not of a parting of the ways.Chelsea finished fifth under Antonio Conte last season and although the FA Cup was won, his relationship with the club’s hierarchy had fractured.Would anyone else have done any better this season? No-one marked Chelsea down as serious title contenders but they finished above Tottenham and behind two of the outstanding Premier League teams in recent memory.This Europa League final means much to Sarri – whether it means a lot for him at Chelsea or somewhere else remains to be seen.If Chelsea win, he can give Abramovich tangible evidence of his success and may even persuade the Russian that an alternative, such as Frank Lampard, is a romantic vision rather than a realistic one.If that is not enough for Chelsea, the sight of Sarri holding the Europa League trophy aloft will confirm in the eyes of Serie A giants such as Juventus, Roma or even AC Milan, that this is a coach of serious substance who should be given the appreciation in his homeland he may feel he has never been afforded in England.For Emery, the final means a return to familiar territory for the man who has made this tournament a spectacular speciality – winning it three times in succession at Sevilla, the last time when impressively outmanoeuvring Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool in Basel in 2015.Emery has shown the sure touch of an expert in guiding Arsenal past Napoli and Valencia in the knockout stages and, from a personal point of view, winning in Baku would simply strengthen the confidence of the Gunners’ hierarchy that they have the right man to move the club forward after the 22-year reign of Arsene Wenger.In many respects, however, overcoming Chelsea tonight will mean more to Arsenal’s long-term future than to Emery’s, who will be given time and patience to shape the club irrespective of the outcome in Azerbaijan.Arsenal risk falling further adrift of the Premier League elite if they are out of the Champions League for another season – especially with neighbours Spurs, who lived in their shadow for so long, contesting the Champions League final with Liverpool in Madrid on Saturday.For Emery, securing his status as the man to win Arsenal’s first European trophy since the 1994 European Cup Winners’ Cup will increase his own confidence and that of those who employed him.To claim the trophy for the fourth time as a manager would also be a remarkable personal feat.It would, crucially, mean his first Arsenal campaign would be regarded as a success on two fronts – a trophy in the cabinet and a return to European football’s top table after the stale end to the Wenger eraShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


first_imgHis arrival has given Head Coach lmama Amapakabo and his assistants more attacking options ahead of the tournament.The Olympic Eagles are expected to the leave shores of the country on Thursday for the tournament which holds 8th – 22nd November in Cairo, with Nigeria playing in Group B which also has Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa.Another overseas –based professional in camp is Tom Dele-Bashiru, who featured for the U20 National Team, Flying Eagles, at the FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland in the summer.The 20 -year old midfielder plies his trade with English Premier League side Watford FC, and was born in the city of Manchester, England to Nigerian parents. He scored Nigeria’s third goal as the Flying Eagles obliterated Qatar 4-0 in their opening game of the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Overseas –based professional players, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Orji Okonkwo have joined the camp of the Nigeria U23 team, Olympic Eagles preparing for next month’s U23 Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Egypt.Earlier, midfield lubricator Kelechi Nwakali, who captained the U17 National Team to World Cup glory in Chile four years ago, had rejoined the squad that he helped secure victories over Libya and Sudan in the qualifiers to earn Nigeria a berth at the finals in Egypt.Okonkwo, who plays for Canadian side, Montreal Impact joined the rest of the team on Monday as the overseas –based professionals continued to stream into camp ahead of this week’s departure to Egypt.last_img read more


first_imgDiego Costa It was marked as great goal after being operated play the Champions League game against Liverpool. The technician will also have Morata in good condition, after playing the final stretch of the match against Valencia. Blacksmith He trained in an annex field and also made a career. It seems complicated that he may be against Liverpool, although he does aim for Sunday’s league match against Villarreal. The same as João Felix, who trained once the rest of the team withdrew from the field. The Portuguese could also have minutes in the match against Villarreal. Coast it can be the great novelty in the Simeone call for the Champions match against Liverpool. The forward has Many options to be on the list of summoned for the party and we will have to see the development of the meeting to know if it could even play some minute. Costa sees the end of the tunnel and his only presence in the call will be great news for a team that needs all its troops to measure the European champion. The Atlético player participated as one more with the rest of his teammates in yesterday’s training session in Majadahonda. After the general, Diego Costa and Carrasco they had a training personalized while his colleagues left the work session. Both were performing career sessions Y sprints under the watchful eye of the physical trainers and the members of the rojiblanco coaching staff and they were progressively increasing his Workload in this sense. They were not long, but it was intense and the two took advantage of the minutes that were on the pitch. TO Costa looked pretty good, very lively … center_img Coast was operated on November 21 of a cervical disc herniation and the estimated time of low it was about three months. Coast it got lost eleven meetings of the league championship, one of Copa del Rey, two of the Spanish Super Cup and two of the Champions League. In total, he stopped playing sixteen encounters from official competitionThe tip has played fifteen matches this exercise and has scored two goals, both in the league tournament, against Mallorca and Valencia. And he gave three assists, two in LaLiga and one in Champions. Diego Costa returns at the moment important of the season, just as it happened last season, where he played the Going match from eighths of Champions against the Juventus. History repeats itself, although it seems complicated to play from the beginning, as happened a year ago. Costa is the Atlético signing for the rest of the campaign. Last season he played a very good game against the Juventus, but a silly card left him without disputing the back crash, of such a bad memory for the Madrid team.last_img read more


first_imgGail Weber is the President of the North Peace Senior Housing Committee. She says that while Fort St. John has a number of great things going for it, housing for seniors is presently lacking.“The city of Fort St. John has a lot going for it; a lot of things are here for people. Sadly we are very lacking in senior’s housing,” she says. “We need places where people get to the point. These are people that have paid their taxes for years, and years, and years in this community and they need somewhere where they can have safe, comfortable, affordable living, and good meals.”She says the new apartment will provide seniors with a number of rooms and will prevent seniors from being isolated from other people.- Advertisement -“This facility helps with this because it has 18 units. We have two couples in too so that’s 20 people that now have somewhere to come and socialize with our long cold winters. It’s very important that you can get out and visit with people. Being stuck in your own home when you’re elderly is not really the answer.The opening the new apartment is one of three phases Weber says. The other two will bring “Phase two will be the south end of this building formerly known as Intermediate Care and the Alzheimer’s Unit. We plan to start next month making designs for how we’re going to renovate that end. Phase three will be across the road behind Triple X. The rest of that property is our property and phase three will be an independent living apartment block in that area.”Advertisement It’s hoped that having the apartment attached to buildings one and two will provide seniors with a chance to socialize without needing to go out in the cold.last_img read more