The Star (Nairobi)

15 December 2012

Kenya: Why the Fuss About Arsenal Yet Teams Like Magpies With a Larger Fan Base Are Also On a Bad Run?

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Newcastle Vs Manchester City Today 3:45pm

My Prediction: The Magpies 2.... The Citizens....1

When I look at teams like Newcastle, I wonder why all the fuss is around Arsenal and how poorly the Gunners are performing.

Newcastle are one of the biggest teams in England; infact it has the largest fan base in the U.K. And yet they have a string of unnecessary losses to their name and they sit 14th in the league after 16 games. Last weekend, they went 2-1 down to Fulham but since the season started, we've seen them lose to teams like Swansea, Southampton, Stoke City and others.

Man City on the other hand haven't been as impressive as they were last season. Losing to Man United last weekend wasn't a shock but their European campaign has left every team in the world believing they can beat them.

If the Senegalese boys are fit and well and thinking straight, and if City turn up with the defence they had last week against United, then Alan Pardew will be able to breathe a little sigh of relief today.

Liverpool Vs Aston Villa Today 6pm

My Prediction: The Reds... 3 The Cottagers....1

I am done making fun of Liverpool because they are now one point behind Arsenal. However, I'm not sure if that is really an achievement or not.

Any team behind Arsenal should be ashamed of themselves. But this isn't about Arsenal. The Reds won a game last weekend which is rare.

But it was good to see that they can score goals even without Luis Suarez in the team. That will be encouraging for a team that is so great but with limited fire power.

I am such a huge fan of Raheem Sterling who despite his petite frame, is giving defenders across the league a tough time. Oh my! Aston Villa are just above the relegation zone and have 15 points from 16 games.

That isn't good at all. Two teams here, who both need to win, but I predict Liverpool will have a better showing. They are after all at Anfield, where they never walk alone.

Man United Vs Sunderland, Today 6pm

My Prediction: The Red Devils.... 3 The Black Cats... 3

I finally conceded last week after the Manchester Derby that the league is Manchester United's to lose. Painful but true. Yes their defence is mediocre but yes Sir Alex is a genius. Score and I'll out-score you.

And he knows he has the fire power to do so. Sunderland are coming off a 3-0 win over Reading which will give them a boost but they are playing United at Old Trafford. Martin O'Neill is one coach who I have said for years should be in charge of a team like Arsenal.

He works with minimal investment and delivers wonders. I still remember the season Villa nearly beat The Gunners to a top four position despite O'Neill playing about 15 players all season.

Sadly that good performance saw big teams come for his players and so, naturally, Villa's performance went down and saw the coach out of a job.

You could say Sunderland are struggling in 16th but they are playing well and they will climb up the standings; I'm confident of that. And that might even start today considering O'Neill fears no-one!

Reading Vs Arsenal Monday 11pm

My prediction: Reading....1 Arsenal....2

5-7 is what comes to mind when I picture these two teams and that isn't pretty. Even though it was a victory, The Gunners conceded five goals to lowly Reading.

And coming off the loss to Bradford isn't pretty either so the mind-set of the players today is the pits! Confidence in the Gunners squad is at an all time low and Reading know this.

Arsenal have become the team to beat; and not in the way that the phrase is usually used. It is really the team to beat! Reading will come into this knowing that Arsenal is breakable and Arsenal will come into this ... well we'll just come into this.

Sometimes I think our players have no thoughts at all in their minds and just enter the pitch blank. Perhaps thinking about their 12th birthdays and how they ate many lollipops! Seriously, is football on the players' minds at all?

I don't think so. I'm even asking myself why I should stay awake until 1am watching this game on Monday? Aaargh! Frustration!

But because I'm a Gunners for life; I'm being positive only because Reading is in the relegation zone. But Bradford are in League Two. Positivity Radull tho!

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