David Luiz has never had any of the qualities Arsenal need, says Tony Cascarino

first_imgAdvertisement David Luiz has had an unsteady start to life at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)David Luiz has absolutely none of the qualities needed by Arsenal manager Unai Emery, according to former Chelsea and Celtic striker Tony Cascarino.The Brazilian arrived at the Emirates from Chelsea this summer in a move which was widely praised as a positive signing for the Gunners.However, it has been a dodgy start to life in north London for the 32-year-old who has not kept a clean sheet in his four Premier League appearances for Arsenal so far.He was criticised for his performance in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last month and was at fault again against Watford on Sunday as he felled Roberto Pereyra in the penalty box, giving away a spot-kick for the second time in his short Arsenal career.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTRepublic of Ireland international Cascarino has been scathing of the Gunners’ display at Vicarage Road as they tossed away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2, specifically calling out Luiz for his lack of positive influence.Cascarino wrote for the Times: ‘Arsenal had no control, no composure. They needed to sign a defender this summer, someone who is cool under pressure and has leadership qualities — and they went and spent £8 million on David Luiz, a player who has never embodied any of those qualities.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal had been in total control at Watford, leading 2-0 at half time, but defensive mistakes cost them two points after the break.Before Luiz gave away the penalty, Sokratis Papastathopoulos was at fault by giving the ball away in his own box, allowing Tom Cleverley to score.Cascarino believes that little has improved since Unai Emery took over as manager last summer as the players are not capable of carrying out the Spaniard’s plans.‘Emery has been at Arsenal for more than a year and, while they have improved in some areas, the same problems remain,’ the 57-year-old continued.‘Last season we were talking about whether they had the players to always be passing the ball out from the back, and we are still having that debate now — it must be infuriating for Arsenal fans to watch and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.’Arsenal are looking to bounce back from the disappointing draw at Watford with a busy week ahead of them, traveling to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Sunday before hosting Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday and Nottingham Forest in the League Cup the following Tuesday.MORE: Who is to blame for Arsenal’s defensive deficiencies after Sunday’s epic collapse against Watford?MORE: Arsenal defender Sokratis admits he cost his team the game against Watford Metro Sport ReporterMonday 16 Sep 2019 5:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link27Shares David Luiz has never had any of the qualities Arsenal need, says Tony Cascarinocenter_img Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Egypt pins Africa Cup of Nations hopes on Salah

first_imgSalah began attending Nagrig’s modest sports club when he was eight years old.“I coached Mohamed Salah when he was still a child and his talent was clear from the day he was born,” Ghamri Abdelhamid Al-Saadani, his coach then, recalled to AFP.He said Salah’s success was not built on talent alone: “He had an iron will and huge amounts of perseverance.”Encouraged by his football-mad father, Salah moved on to Tanta, the main town in his home region of Gharbeya, before moving to Cairo. Opportunities in Europe soon beckoned, starting with Swiss club Basel.In 2014, Salah moved to Chelsea but success did not come in that first stint in England. It was only when he moved to Roma that the goals began to flow and he earned his move to Liverpool.Salah make no secret of his religion, falling to his knees after he scores. His wife Maggie, wearing a headscarf, and his daughter appeared on the pitch at Liverpool’s Anfield home on the last day of the Premier League season.Compared to the excesses of Premier League footballers, Salah leads a modest life.Back home, his distinctive smile and curly hair features in TV adverts, on billboards and on wall murals.He has made a point of speaking up for women in the Muslim world.“I think we need to change the way we treat women in our culture. It’s not optional,” Salah said after he was chosen as one of Time magazine’s Top 100 most influential people in the world.He has also lent his highly visible support to anti-drug campaigns aimed at teenagers.With the idolisation comes the inevitable media attention and Salah has hit out at journalists who besiege his house in Nagrig where he still spends holidays.“I call that a lack of respect for my private life and a lack of professionalism,” he tweeted.Yet that outburst did not prevent him posting, a few days later, photographs of his toned stomach as he sunbathed.Share on: WhatsApp Mohamed Salah. PHOTO via @MoSalahCairo, Egypt | AFP | Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will carry the hopes of the Africa Cup of Nations hosts on his slender shoulders just weeks after winning the European crown with his club.Egyptians say that all 97 million of their compatriots will be rooting for Salah when the Pharaohs kick off the tournament against Zimbabwe on Friday.Salah, 27, will also be hoping to banish the nightmare of last year’s World Cup in Russia when he played with a barely healed shoulder injury, Egypt were eliminated in the first round and their hosts in Chechnya used the team for political purposes.He comes into the tournament on a high, having scored the second-minute penalty that put Liverpool on their way to winning the Champions League final against Tottenham in Madrid.The Egyptian also won the Golden Boot for the top scorer in England for the second season in a row, although this time his 22 goals were equalled by Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who share the award with him, making it an all-African affair.Liverpool though were pipped to the Premier League title by Manchester City.“As soon as Salah touches the ball, he’s dangerous,” Tunisia player Naim Sliti told AFP after facing Egypt in a qualifier.“You just mustn’t let him get the ball, because something always happens when he has it.”Salah’s mood and fitness contrast to this time last year when his shoulder was injured as he was wrestled to the ground by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev. He had to go off and Liverpool lost 3-1.Although clearly not recovered, Salah arrived in Chechnya for the World Cup and was promptly paraded with the republic’s president Ramzan Kadyrov.He was only fit enough to be a substitute in the first two games but returned for the final match against Saudi Arabia and scored, but could not prevent Egypt slumping to a third defeat.The World Cup debacle also revealed that Salah’s supporting cast is nowhere near the level of their star man — everything revolves around him.“The Egypt coaches plan their tactics around Salah,” said Karim Said, chief editor of sports website Yalla Kora.– ‘Sacrifices’ –Leading his country to its eighth African title would be the crowning glory for the man who grew up in the Nile Delta village of Nagrig.After Liverpool beat Spurs in this year’s Champions League showdown, an emotional Salah said: “I made many sacrifices for my career. I came from a small village and went to Cairo. To be an Egyptian at this level (of the football world) is unbelievable.”last_img read more

Moving the chains…San Francisco treat

first_imgHey, I know most of us “baby boomers” remember this excerpt from the popular jingle from the ’60s; “Rice-a-Roni the San Francisco treat.” Most of us will not readily admit it but there were always a few boxes of Rice-a-Roni up in the cupboard to get you through just a few days before the “eagle” was scheduled to fly and dough was low.  Hey, a “jumbo” sandwich, some RAR always tasted like “mo.” This past Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers were handed a San Diego delicacy; “Ravens” under glass by the Chargers, who made the Ravens with their “sometimey” Quarterback Joe Flacco and his hot and cold offense appear as if they were willing and able to jump into the frying pan of the 2011 post season. All the Steelers had to do was defeat the San Francisco 49ers, the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns and the “Holy Grail” otherwise known as home field advantage would have been theirs. However, on Monday night Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin decided that starting Ben Roethlisberger, whose health was less than 50 percent, gave his team a better chance of winning the game than 2nd or 3rd string QB’s Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon. Instead Steelers became a real treat for the 49ers and three picks and a fumble by Roethlisberger definitely satisfied the hunger pangs of the team from “Frisco.”Anyone could’ve performed better than the injured Roethlisberger. Sometimes courage can evolve into selfishness and foolishness.  I’ve said this many times, when Pittsburgh loses the chance to host a playoff game the taxpayers who helped pay for Heinz Field also lose the chance to make money. Big Ben has his dough. The decision to start Ben Roethlisberger was ill-advised and Mike Tomlin and anyone else who affirmed or supported the choice should be taken to task. There were two power outages at Candlestick Park.  The power just may have gone out on the Pittsburgh Steelers season regardless of their 10-4 record. The Pittsburgh Steelers “treated” the San Francisco 49ers to a 20-3 victory, shhh……………last_img read more