Schalke strike late to add to Arsenal’s woes

first_img0Shares0000Arsene Wenger @ Capital SportLONDON, England, October 24 – Schalke piled on the misery for Arsenal as the German side struck twice in the closing stages to clinch a shock 2-0 win in Wednesday’s Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium.Dutch duo Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay netted in the final 14 minutes to deal another significant blow to Arsene Wenger’s team just days after they crashed to a dismal 1-0 defeat at Premier League strugglers Norwich. Wenger could have few complaints about the result as Arsenal paid the price for a lacklustre display that saw them out-fought and out-thought for long periods.The Gunners’ 100 percent record in Group B was shattered in emphatic fashion and they are now behind Schalke in second place, with tricky trips to the German club and Olympiakos among their remaining three fixtures as they try to edge into the last 16.To make matters worse for Wenger, he is due to attend the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday, with already angry shareholders likely to make their feelings known.France striker Olivier Giroud, replaced by midfielder Francis Coquelin, was the only casualty from the Norwich embarrassment as Wenger opted against making wholesale changes and gave his flops a chance to make amends.How he must have rued that decision after his side were booed off.Watching from the Arsenal directors’ box as he completed his three-match European touchline ban, Wenger cut an anxious figure as Schalke opened up with some slick approach play.After Gervinho squandered an early chance for Arsenal, the Ivorian shooting well wide after good work from Lukas Podolski on the left flank, Schalke had a strong appeal for a penalty controversially turned down.Jefferson Farfan played in Afellay and, seizing on hesitation from Carl Jenkinson, he poked the ball past sliding Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who made no contact with the ball as he caught the forward with his arms.Afellay tumbled to the turf and turned to demand a penalty, but Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson responded by booking the Schalke star for diving.Schalke were probing away intelligently around the Arsenal penalty area and Dutch forward Huntelaar should have done better when he tried to steer Atsuto Uchida’s cross goalwards in the final moments of the first half.Schalke’s poor finishing let Arsenal off the hook again early in the second half when Farfan skipped past Andre Santos and cut a pass back to unmarked skipper Benedikt Howedes, who had the goal at his mercy but blazed high over the bar from just 10 yards out.There was alarmingly little response from Wenger’s team, who seemed to lack the belief or the will to wrestle the initiative away from Huub Stevens’ men.It didn’t help that Gervinho repeatedly picked the wrong option whenever he had a chance to drive at Schalke’s defence and the striker earned a booking after throwing himself to the floor in a desperate bid to win a penalty.Gervinho departed to sarcastic cheers from the home fans when Giroud was sent on to replace him with 15 minutes left.But Arsenal’s supporters were venting their frustrations even louder moments later as Huntelaar broke the deadlock in the 76th minute.Huntelaar netted 48 times in 47 games for Schalke last season and he ruthlessly exposed Arsenal’s defensive frailties with a clinical finish after Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen reacted slowly to Afellay’s looping header.That forced the hosts to throw players forward in search of an equaliser and Schalke picked them off again when Farfan got away down the left and crossed for Afellay to slot home from close-range in the 86th minute.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

City Stars considering disbandment over financial constraints

first_img0Shares0000Nairobi City Stars team posing for a team photo in a previous SPL.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19- Nairobi City Stars chairman Peter Jabuya has dropped a bombshell that he is willing to disband the team if the club’s financial status does not improve.The Kawangware based side has been struggling without sponsorship for more than half a decade and speaking to Capital Sport, Jabuya says his taps are running dry and might not be able to single handedly run the club if they do not find a sponsor. “If things do not improve, then I might be forced to disband the team. I have been struggling to finance the club from my own pocket, but now things are not looking very good for us. You know how the country’s economy is and there is only so much I can do,” Jabuya declared.This comes barely a week after head coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla said the players’ motivation was at an all time low and accused the management of not doing enough to aid the club’s crippling financial side.“As the management, we are doing more than enough. We have a wide marketing team which has been talking to potential sponsors and we are waiting to hear what will come from them. I remain positive but if nothing comes up, then I will have no option,” he added.According to Jabuya, salaries for the last two months have not been paid.The club has a wage bill of approximately Sh1.3million monthly and the Sh600, 000 grants from Kenya Premier League is only a drop in the ocean.The chairman also added that to run the club smoothly, they need at least Sh2million, an amount he says he has been forking off his own coffers.Last year, City Stars secured a sponsor, German cosmetic firm, PM-International who brought on board a three year deal worth Sh81million plus additional benefits.But close to a year down the line, City Stars have never received even a single cent from the company.At the start of the season, the club stopped donning jerseys with the company’s product fitLine, one they donned from June last year till the end of the season with Jabuya saying he has tried talking to the company over financial remittances but it has been in vain.“There is a clause in the contract that I think we left loose and that is where the problem is. They (PM-International) said would only start releasing money to us when ready and that is the clause that was never clear. I don’t know how it passed our eyes and those of our lawyers. I have written to them and every time the answer is soon,” Jabuya stated.City Stars is currently placed second from bottom on the SportPesa Premier League standings on 10 points and has won only two matches this season.Having been perennial relegation fighters for the last five seasons, they look destined to head in the same direction, but head coach Ogolla remains optimistic they can rescue their campaign.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more