No pressure to win FIFA U-17 World Cup – Manu Garba

Nigeria’s Under-17 national team head coach, Manu Garba, has declared that they are not under pressure to face Mexico in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup showpiece game in Abu Dhabi tomorrow.

Garba is confident of guiding Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets to a fourth title at under-17 level after watching his boys defeat Sweden 3-0 in the semifinal in Dubai on Tuesday with goals from Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Okon and Chidera Ezeh.

But Garba, who was an assistant coach of the Golden Eaglets six years ago when they won the Under-17 World Cup in South Korea, was quick to point out that the Mexicans have been resilient following their recovery from a 1-6 loss in their opening game against Nigeria.

The Nigerian coach branded the North Americans as “a very technical team.”

“We are not going to be on any pressure against Mexico in the final because we would prepare mentally, physically and psychologically for the final, he said.”

“The Mexican team I maintained are a very technical team and I believe the final is going to be a great one but by the grace of God, we shall win this trophy for Nigeria and Africa.

“I still maintained that the Mexican team are a very technical team and we can see their resilience by coming from a 6-1 loss to us (Nigeria) and still be in the final,” Manu said at the post-match media conference.

Mexico’s El Tri reached the final after dumping out Argentina 3-0 in the first semifinal at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.


GIF It: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger with a visible spring in his step

There’s nothing quite like topping tables left, right and centre to help you find some extra enthusiasm for your job.

Arsene Wenger was clearly delighted with his side’s 0-1 win at Borussia Dortmund last night.

We like to sing the start of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees over the top of this gif… but that might just be us.

If you need further proof of Wenger’s excitement, he also ran onto the pitch to pass the ball to Santi Cazorla.

Jurgen Klopp: Arsenal can win Champions League – if they avoid Bayern Munich

Aaron Ramsey: Proved to be the match-winner for Arsenal

Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp believes Arsenal can win the Champions League – if they avoid Bayern Munich.

Klopp, who saw his side beaten 1-0 at home by the Gunners thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s second-half strike, believes Arsene Wenger’s side can go all the way.

However, the German thinks holders Bayern Munich present a huge threat to Arsenal’s progress.

Klopp, who steered his side to the final last year, said: “Yes (Arsenal can win the Champions League). They are young, healthy and good technicians.


Aaron Ramsey paid tribute to the Arsenal fans after the side’s 1-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

“They won a clever game tonight and could go to the final and win it – as long as they don’t play against Bayern Munich.”

Despite the defeat, Klopp feels Dortmund’s qualification hopes remain in their own hands, with a home match against Napoli and a trip to bottom club Marseille the final two Group F fixtures.

While Klopp’s well-drilled side did dominate for long spells as they looked for an eighth successive home Champions League win, having never lost against English opposition, the Germans were made to pay for not converting their chances when Ramsey nodded home a knockdown from Olivier Giroud on 62 minutes.

“We had 11 shots before they scored and sometimes it was like they were defending with four legs, but football is a game of results,” he said.


Arsene Wenger reacts to Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

“It is difficult after the game, but you have to look forward. It is a very strong group and the positive news tonight is that two wins and we will qualify.”

Arsenal are in pole position to make it out of the group and manager Wenger hailed his side’s intelligence after their win at the Westfalenstadion.

“This is a huge result. We had a united, focused performance, especially defensively.

“We had a lot of possession, but it was a bit sterile possession in the first half because we could not create chances.

“It was a question of being focused and intelligent, and not to make the first mistake, to wait for the moment where we could create openings in their defence. We did that.


Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp heaped praise on Arsenal’s defence after their win against Borrusia Dortmund in the Champions League.

“We had a difficult period at start of second half, but after we scored I felt we could have scored a second goal and we were less under pressure. Overall it’s a huge win here.

“If you look at the results they have made at home in the Champions League, not many teams have achieved that.”

Wenger continued: “We looked more stable defensively because we have experience in midfield not to lose the ball in stupid positions.

“Dortmund are especially dangerous when you lose the ball, and to counter that, you need maturity.

“If you have a very young team tonight you would be overrun and lose that game by a very high score. We look more stable defensively.”


Alan Dawson3 hours ago
Arsene Wenger has lifted the lid on a; how he prepares his Gunners for away days in Europe and b; what happens if that is followed by another in the league, like on Sunday, when Arsenal take on Manchester United.

Arsenal travel to Signal Iduna Park to take on Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, November 6 in the Champions League and, if tradition dictates, manager Arsene Wenger will be preparing his Gunners as he has done since the start of his tenure in North London.

However, what was most revealing about Wenger’s policy regarding matches on the road is that, if a second away game follows a European trip, there will be very little training between games as, instead, there will be a greater emphasis placed on medical sessions and recovery.

When it comes to traveling to games in Europe, Arsenal have their final training session at their Shenley Training Centre in Hertfordshire, the morning prior to kick-off and will then depart London in the afternoon, however, there is little time to rest after the game’s conclusion as the team will leave that same night.

‘Usually we have our last training session here in London the morning the day before the game, and then travel in the afternoon,’ Wenger said, as quoted by the club’s official website.

‘You have a press conference when you arrive [and] the next morning you get the players up at around 10am… we have a pre-match meeting where we talk about the opposition, and what we need to do. Then lunch, followed by an afternoon sleep, then tea, another meeting where I give the team out then head to the stadium.

‘After the game we always like to come back to London straight away. Some teams stay the night in the country they have played, but we always return immediately, no matter where we have played.’

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See also: Former Gunner discredits Arsenal’s title challenge: NOT favourites!

Wenger prefers operating this way because he says the team, if they have won, are generally too excited to sleep straight away and can often be up until five or six in the morning. If they did not travel straight away then they’d have to leave first thing, which would disrupt their sleep patterns and it would also, effectively, waste a day’s work.

‘If you come home straight away, even if you don’t get to bed until 4am that night, you can leave them in bed until midday and so you don’t lose sleep, and you don’t lose the next day. I always found it better to recover that way.’

Arsenal’s title challenge was supposed to hit hurdles in November. The North London outfit have already cleared one obstacle, an examination against Liverpool which they duly answered thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, but this weeks fixtures, against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, will no doubt be the most gruelling. Not just because of the quality of the opposition, but because it is two away games on the trot.

Arsenal play on Wednesday, then have three full days to recover until a Sunday afternoon encounter with United. There will be few actual training sessions between these two tests, though, as Wenger explained that it is ‘all based on warm-downs, recoveries, treatments and assessments: who is tired, who isn’t tired, who has knocks and so on.

‘Basically during the time between a Champions League game and a Premier League game there is more medical work than technical work. If you play on Wednesday night in Fenerbahce and then play at 12.45pm on Saturday at Fulham, what else can you do?

‘You arrive at five in the morning on Thursday, you get them warmed down, then the next day a recovery session outside, then you go again to the next hotel.’

Arsenal are top of both their Champions League group and Premier League table, however, any positive result obtained against either opposition will no doubt fortify their standing as the favourites to finish Group F and the domestic campaign in pole position


Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his admiration for Arsenal ahead of their CL Clash

The two sides go head-to-head in Wednesday’s Group F tie level on points, with the winner looking likely to advance into the knockout stages.

But ahead of the game Dortmund coach Klopp has expressed the respect he has for his opposite number Arsene Wenger in an interview with several national papers.

“He is really something. I love him. For me, he is Sir Arsene Wenger,” said Klopp.

But the German explained that his Arsenal counterpart’s personality was the antithesis of his own.

“He is ‘hello’,” Klopp said while miming a polite handshake. “But I’m this guy,” he added, miming a high five and then making a “boom” noise. “I always want it loud!”

But despite the eccentric Klopp’s admiration for the Arsenal boss, he states that he would never coach his side in the same manner as the Frenchman.

“He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It’s like an orchestra,” he continued, going on to mime someone playing a violin.

“But it is a silent song, yeah? I like heavy metal.”

“I like (Arsenal’s philosophy). I love it but I cannot coach it because I am a different guy. If you watch me during the game I celebrate when we press the ball and it goes out.

“He can win, he can win, post, goalkeeper, save — that is what I love.”

Klopp’s evident love of exciting football extends even further than that: he is clearly appalled at the rise tiki taka football, and claims that it’s enough to put people off the game.

[LINK: Tiki taka or totally tedious?]

“If, in the last four years, Barcelona were the first team I saw playing when I was four years of age — this serenity of football, they win 5-0, 6-0 — I would have played tennis,” he said.

“Sorry, that is not enough for me. What I love is that there are some things you can do in football to allow each team to win most of the matches.

“It is not serenity football, it is fighting football – that is what I like. What we call in German – English [football] … rainy day, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face and they go home and can’t play football for the next four weeks. This is Borussia.”

Despite his reverence for Wenger, Klopp did take a swipe at Arsenal’s eight-year trophy drought.

“When I watch Arsenal in the last 10 years, it is nearly perfect football, but we all know they didn’t win a title. In Britain they say that they like Arsenal but they have to win something.

“Coaches will say that it’s not important for their team to run more and they prefer to make games the right way. I want to make games only the right way AND run 10km more.

“It’s a rule to give all and it can make the difference if you work more. If you don’t have to give all and you still win, what’s this? You don’t like this game? It’s like this,” he continued, miming a yawn.

Klopp also alluded to offers that he’d had to leave for other clubs – Chelsea and Manchester City were both thought to have offered him the managers’ hot seat – but that he will not move on until the end of his contract, which following a recent new deal will now mean the summer of 2018.

“Borussia Dortmund is the only club in the world where if I speak to a young player, he knows that I am his coach for the next four-and-a-half years,” Klopp said.

“We want to have this situation. The players are similar to the journalists. They always think: ‘Ah, he says this and then Real Madrid call and he is away.’

“But this is the message: Everybody can call but nothing will happen.”