Arsenal’s problems go way beyond who their next manager will be

first_imgARSENAL need to scrap the emotion — it is at the centre of all that is wrong with the club.It is why the Gunners’ greatest ever boss Arsene Wenger was allowed to remain in the top job far too long.1 Ljungberg has made a poor start so farCredit: Getty Images – GettyBut managers, like players, grow old and have to step aside.It’s not easy to part ways with a club icon but if they are not willing to move, they must be pushed.That takes strong leadership and, unfortunately, that is what has been sorely lacking at the Emirates for a number of years.And the club only have to look down the road to see what decisiveness looks like.SPURS CONTRASTSpurs’ chairman Daniel Levy made the controversial decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino last month, knowing full well that the highly-rated Argentine would be courted by Europe’s elite.Such a decision was sure to attract intense scrutiny yet he knew it was the right call for his club — and I’m in total agreement despite being a big Poch fan.Gunners supporters groups have accused their hierarchy of being ‘rudderless’ — which is fair.The fact that club greats are now being identified to restore Arsenal to their past glory only compounds such frustrations.Such romantic notions are nonsense.PRIORITIES MESSED UPIf the right manager has a connection to the club then great, it’s a bonus, an add-on.It should never be a high priority.Freddie Ljungberg is at the helm now but has already proved in just two games it must only be temporary.The fact that a single point was taken against Norwich and Brighton says it all but his team selection and thought process further compound it.To bring Shkodran Mustafi back at the Canaries, only to discard him against the Seagulls, shows he’s for the birds.WISHFUL THINKINGAnd the Swede’s statement of being “100 per cent” sure of a top-four finish is wishful thinking, Arsenal are 10th — 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.The Gunners are on their worst run in 42 years and a battle for the top six seems beyond them.There has been no upturn under Ljungberg and I can’t help asking, ‘Why would there be?’He was under hapless Unai Emery but I never understand why the assistant of a failed boss is given the job after his sacking.Surely he is culpable to an extent?INVINCIBLE REUNION?The ex-winger may be getting by on the fact he is an Arsenal icon.And that trend could continue with Ljungberg’s fellow Invincible Patrick Vieira linked with the vacancy despite uninspiring spells with Nice and New York City.Or it might be Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta who could also make an Emirates return even though he has never managed before.His association with Pep Guardiola has surely given him an intense footballing education.Like it has been for coaches and players under Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.ARTETA QUESTION MARKSBut Arsenal must be sure Arteta is special in his own right and not just a Pep Jr.That he’s his own man who has tapped into genius of those around him.The Gunners have been down this road before, discarding their template for a successful team in imitation of Pep’s Barcelona that saw them uncompetitive and embarrassingly labelled ‘Barca Lite’.Brendan Rodgers has extended his Leicester contract, Max Allegri has distanced himself and why would Diego Simeone leave Atletico Madrid for the Arsenal mess?SMALLER PROFILE CANDIDATESManagers who have been successful in lower leagues are unlikely to be given the chance George Graham got from Third Division Millwall back in 1986.Yet the likes of Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and Sheffield United gaffer Chris Wilder have their sides playing in an Arsenal-esque fashion but with the accountability that has been lacking at the Emirates.David Dein previously set the standard for the Gunners.And it was no coincidence that the former owner’s departure in 2007 coincided with Wenger’s mid-decade decline.BLINKERED THINKINGThe fact that ex-chief exec Ivan Gazidis left north London post-Wenger was failing to learn from Manchester United’s troubles when boss Ferguson and David Gill left back in 2013.And recent rumours of David O’Leary travelling to games with the board once again show the same blinkered thinking regarding an icon’s association to the club.Although a hero of mine growing up as an Arsenal fan, it’s difficult to forget his OTT celebrations when his Leeds team ended Arsenal’s title hopes in 1999!MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidThe Emirates hierarchy have to look past club ties.Wenger didn’t have any connections when he took over — nor did Klopp or Pep. It’s a massive call Arsenal have to get right.Will they? I’m not convinced.last_img read more

Dr. Gwenigale, CSA Boss Werner Charged With Contempt

first_imgThe Liberian Senate yesterday evening served Health and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale and Civil Service Agency (CSA) Director General George Werner with contempt charges as the two government officials appeared before the plenary of that body for separate causes.The Minister of Health’s appearance was in relation to an unsatisfactory statement he is said to have made against the Senate when he appeared on Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Gender, Health, Women and Children’s Affairs.Minister Gwenigale was reported to have accused the Senate of being among those responsible for the difficulty in containing the Ebola virus during his appearance Wednesday.The Minister also repeated his vow during his earlier appearance before the Peter Coleman-chaired committee, that as long as he is Minister of Health, the two leaders of the National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL), President Joseph Tamba and Secretary General George Poe Williams, will never work for the Ministry.Dr. Gwenigale further informed the Senate Committee that his decision against the health workers’ leaders was supported by his employer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who he said communicated that in her letter to the Senate in August.However, during his appearance before the Senate plenary yesterday, Dr. Gwenigale was informed that he was charged with contempt for comments he made against the Senate plenary during his earlier appearance on Wednesday, but was required to face the plenary again on Tuesday with his lawyer to show cause why he should not be held in contemp.As for the CSA boss who faced a four-hour marathon bombardment of questions from the enraged Senators, his contempt charge was prompted by a comment he made referring to those who will not favor his agency’s new earmarked policy to declare non-essential civil servants redundant, as “irrational.”Director Werner, however, later clarified that his statement was never intended for the Senate Plenary, but those who would choose to take his proposed policy to the streets with the intention of causing chaos.Werner who stood for the four-hour period of his questioning, told the Senators that those who will be declared redundant at the end of the CSA policy, will be paid for two years, and receive other benefits including training, with the option that they may be considered for future re-employment.But the Senators unanimously condemned the policy and called it a wicked plan that may plunge the country into chaos. Some Senators referred to him as unpatriotic and asked him to inform his employer President Sirleaf that the country was already on the battlefront fighting an invisible enemy, and as such she must leave the already fear-stricken citizens alone.The Senate unanimously voted to impose a fine of L$4,999 on Director Werner, and asked him to make a verbal apology to the plenary, write a letter of apology to the Senate and publish it in seven newspapers. The CSA boss was also directed to inform President Sirleaf that the Senate is not in favor of the CSA’s proposed policy to retrench non-essential civil servants.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

17, 500 Farmers to Benefit US$25M World Bank Project

first_img(Flash back) Liberian women farmers harvesting rice..In continuation to further increase the productivity of smallholder farmers for commercial purpose, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $25 million for the Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) of Liberia. The 5-year project is expected to increase agricultural productivity and commercialize 17,500 smallholder farmers for selected value chains (rice, oil palm and horticulture) in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, Nimba and Margibi counties. According to the World Bank release, 30 percent of the targeted beneficiaries of the STAR-P are women farmers. However, the beneficiaries of project services must be active resident smallholder farmers in the project locality, who are already engaged in producing one of the targeted value chains and must be a member of a farmer-based organization (or willing to become a member). These farmers will, accordingly, benefit from increased income accruing from productivity increases and improved access to markets for the sale of their products,” the release added.The STAR-P is aligned with the World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and the emerging priorities of Liberia’s new administration as reflected in the government’s five-year Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). The project focuses on the economic empowerment of rural poor farmers, and will directly contribute towards increasing shared prosperity and helping Liberia tackle its worsening challenge of poverty. “Supporting agriculture with focus on enhanced private sector investment, and key value chains will ensure economic diversification, Pro-poor growth and boost food security,” said Larisa Leshchenko, World Bank-Liberia Country Manager.Leshchenko said emphasis will be placed on addressing critical market failures limiting the development of the rice, oil palm and horticulture value chains. The project, she said, would be seeking to increase agricultural productivity and promoting smallholder commercialization by facilitating private sector investment in selected value chains. It will also strengthen productive links between smallholder farmers and selected agribusiness firms through a business climate lens. Adaptation approaches and mitigation measures will be applied for rice and oil palm production to enhance the climate resiliency of production and to minimize climate risks.“The STAR-P is a transformative project that intends to commercialize the operation of smallholder farmers, while attracting private sector investment into agriculture. This is an opportunity for Liberians in the Diaspora to make meaningful profitable investment in agriculture,” said Co-Task Team Leaders, Abimbola Adubi and Adesimi Freeman.The project, the release said was designed based on extensive consultations with the clients, private sector, the International Finance Corporation of the WBG and development partners to leverage resources from both the public and private sectors. It will seek to support institutional capacity-building and strengthening the enabling environment for farmers, state and non state actors; enhance productivity and competitiveness; and boost project management, monitoring and evaluation, citizens engagement, and contingency emergency response. Given the multi-faceted interventions required for a competitive commercial agriculture sector in Liberia, the targeted coordination and collaboration of STAR-P’s activities with other development initiatives and the expected co-financing of US$23 million by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will augur well for the project’s impact.The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. It is is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about US$19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent coming to Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

North Peace Minor Baseball teams win medals at Dawson Creek tournament

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Two North Peace Minor Baseball teams competed in a tournament in Dawson Creek last weekend.Pimm’s Production Equipment went 4-0 to take home first place, while Remax Action Realty finished second in the five-team tournament after going 3-1.Remax Action Realty. Photo by North Peace Minor Baseball.- Advertisement -Final standings for the tournament are shown below:Pimm’s Production EquipmentRemax Action RealtyArrasDawson Creek ExposDawson Creek CardinalsUp next for North Peace Minor Baseball is their year-end tournament in the Energetic City this weekend.last_img read more

$825,000 to battle crime in Palmdale

first_imgPALMDALE – Hoping to continue the city’s declining crime rate, city officials announced Thursday that they will spend $825,000 a year on an anti-crime initiative that will rely heavily on citizen volunteers. Partners for a Better Palmdale will include enhanced Neighborhood Watch programs, new and expanded youth programs and the creation of a citizens academy and neighborhood commissions, as well as a home-repair financing program. In addition to annual operating costs, the program will cost an estimated $82,000 to launch. “We’re so convinced we’re on the right track with this, we’re looking at an influx of resources on this,” Mayor Jim Ledford said. The idea for the program came out of strategic planning sessions held last fall among council members, city staffers, and law enforcement and criminal justice representatives. City officials were pleased with Palmdale’s 5percent decline in crime last year and want the trend to continue. Ledford said the city hopes the three-prong approach to fighting crime – the city, law enforcement and residents – will have a lasting impact on public safety. “Without the community, this doesn’t work,” Ledford said. A key component will be supporting the city’s youths, adding classes for anger management, life skills, community service, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and safety. A program coordinator will be hired in May to oversee the workshops. “The key to this is the youth,” Councilman Tom Lackey said. “If we are unsuccessful here, we will have limited success.” The city also hopes to designate a number of “neighborhood homes,” which would serve as a base of operations services such as tutoring, hosting Neighborhood Watch meetings, and meet-and-greet sessions with city officials and staffers. The city would look for donated properties, but it also could rent or purchase the homes for up to five years. State laws regarding redevelopment require the homes to be made available for low-income housing after five years. “Hopefully, within that five-year period, we will make a significant impact on the community,” said Mike Adams, Palmdale’s housing manager. The first neighborhood home is planned for Fifth Street East and AvenueQ-3 – an area where a teen was fatally shot in November and where shots were twice fired at deputies last summer. Plans also call for two crime-prevention officers to be hired and the Neighborhood Watch programs expanded in April. Two more crime-prevention officers would be hired in July, according to the plan’s tentative schedule. A volunteer coordinator would be hired in May to recruit, screen, assess and assign residents to various city efforts, officials said. Between July and October, other elements of the program would start to come into play, including the citizens academy to train people about how city government works and what programs and resources are available; the expansion of family-oriented programs, such as parenting classes; the neighborhood councils; and the expansion of city grants and loan programs that are used to spruce up neighborhoods. To gauge the effectiveness of the effort, the city is planning to form a citizens task force that would set measurements for which the program would be judged. The city is also looking at conducting surveys of residents to see whether the effort is having any impact. (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Accountability matters

first_imgCHIEF William Bratton is an outsider in city government, a product of neither the Los Angeles Police Department nor the city’s political machine. For this, we should all be grateful. Because if Bratton came from the same mold as the rest of city leadership, there’s no way he would have reassigned two top cops who were in charge during the May Day melee. In most city departments, accountability doesn’t exist. Mess up, even steal from the taxpayers, and your employment will remain assured; your climb up the bureaucratic ladder won’t be thwarted. Bratton, on the other hand, is demanding accountability in the LAPD, and that’s a refreshing change for city government. But in the meantime, even if all the officers’ decisions and actions turn out to have been licit, they certainly were faulty. What happened in MacArthur Park was an outrage, and the chief is entitled to surround himself with people whose judgment he can trust, just as the public is entitled to know this kind of bungling will not be tolerated. Rather than reflexively attacking the critics, the police union should be zealous about seeing to it that whoever is at fault is held accountable. After all, bad conduct on the part of a few cops makes the vast majority of good, competent officers look bad. Trying to deflect accountability and deny wrongdoing may be the norm in L.A. city government, but it’s a recipe for more and greater abuses. Fortunately Bratton, the outsider, seems to understand this better than City Hall’s insiders do.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! On Monday, Bratton demoted Deputy Chief Caylor “Lee” Carter, a 33-year veteran who was head of Central Division and oversaw 1,700 officers, to the rank of commander, and reassigned him to indefinite home duty. The chief also reassigned Carter’s second-in-command at the scene, 40-year veteran Cmdr. Louis Gray, to the Operations Bureau. While the Police Protective League has been shrieking about a supposed rush to judgment in the wake of the May 1 fracas, the evidence was clear that the LAPD messed up. The question is who was responsible, and Bratton made it clear that the people in charge would be the first to pay, saying the reassignments were personnel decisions, not disciplinary. He’s right to act now. It may be possible, albeit unlikely, that neither Carter and Gray nor anyone else in the LAPD did anything in violation of the law or department policy on May 1. Time and investigations will tell, at which point discipline may be appropriate. last_img read more

Neuer named on Ballon d’Or shortlist along with Messi and Ronaldo

first_img1 Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been named on the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.The Germany shot-stopper is joined by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.Neuer enjoyed a stellar season last campaign, winning the Bundesliga title and German Cup with Munich, and the World Cup with his national side.Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for a record three times, while Ronaldo was last year’s champion.Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) will contest the women’s award.The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards have also been announced.The contenders are: Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF), Joachim Loew (Germany/German national team) and Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico de Madrid), along Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg), Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-19 and U-20 national teams) and Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan national team) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 12 2015. Manuel Neuer in action for Bayern Munich last_img read more

Exclusive – Former Burnley hero tells Ings: Reject Real Sociedad for Liverpool or Tottenham move

first_imgFormer Burnley hero Robbie Blake has told Danny Ings to reject a Real Sociedad switch in the summer – because a move to Liverpool or Tottenham would be better for his career.The 22-year-old has reportedly flown to Spain to thrash out a deal with David Moyes, who is currently in charge of the La Liga side.Some reports suggest the ex-Bournemouth forward could QUADRUPLE his wages by moving to the continent in the summer, when his contract with the Lancashire side runs out.But Spurs, Man United and Liverpool have also been linked with the England Under-21 striker and Blake, who won the Play Off final with the Clarets in 2009, believes staying in the Premier League would be better for his development.“Danny Ings was on fire last season in the Championship and people were wondering whether he could do it in the Premier League,” he told Extra Time. “He’s proved that he is a top class player at this level and he scores all sorts of goals.“It would be a shame if he did go to Real Sociedad in my opinion because it wouldn’t further his career.“He needs to move on and go to a top team in the Premier League this summer, a club like Liverpool or Tottenham.”last_img read more

Hazard still keen on ‘dream’ Real Madrid move

first_img0Shares0000Real Hazard for Chelsea: Eden Hazard has again stated the lure a move to Real Madrid holds for the Belgian © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 8 – Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has cast fresh doubt over his future despite a blistering start to the season by admitting he is still tempted by the childhood dream of a move to Real Madrid.Hazard has been instrumental in Chelsea’s unbeaten start under Maurizio Sarri, scoring eight goals in all competitions, as the Blues sit joint top of the Premier League alongside Manchester City and Liverpool. The Belgian was crowned the second best player at the World Cup and, after leading his country to third place in Russia, stated he felt the time was right for a fresh challenge with Madrid his preferred destination.“I spoke after the World Cup and I said that I think it is time to change because I played a great World Cup,” Hazard told the British media after scoring in Sunday’s 3-0 victory at Southampton.“I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment.“Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today. It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club.“We will see. I don’t want to talk about this every day. I don’t have time but we will talk about my future soon.”Real could do with Hazard’s firepower in the absence of the departed Cristiano Ronaldo, having failed to score in four consecutive games for the first time since 1985.– Different case to Courtois –Eden Hazard doesn’t want to follow Belgium team-mate Thibaut Courtois’ example in forcing an exit from Chelsea to Real Madrid © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEHazard is out of contract in 2020, but doesn’t want to follow the example of international team-mate Thibaut Courtois in forcing his way out of the club.Courtois had just a year to run on his contract, lowering his transfer value, when he refused to return to pre-season training with Chelsea before sealing a move to Real in August.“I don’t want that,” Hazard said. “I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything.“I don’t want to say: ‘Yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing. So I will see.“Sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go. Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I am 27 and I will turn 28 in January.”Madrid have won the Champions League for the past three seasons, while Chelsea failed to even qualify for Europe’s premier club competition this season after finishing sixth in the Premier League.However, Hazard insisted it is not trophies, but the enjoyment he gets from his football that will be the determining factor in his decision.And he is thriving in Sarri’s more expansive set-up after two seasons under the more cautious approach of Antonio Conte.“It is not trophies. Of course, when you play, you want to win,” added Hazard. “But I just want to enjoy things on the pitch, like I am at the moment. Then I am happy.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more