The Star (Nairobi)

15 February 2013

Kenya: Things Are Certainly Looking Up At the Emirates

column

Last week I got into trouble with a few Arsenal fans on social media because this Gunpoint column did not mention Arsenal at all.

It was a week where Harambee Stars deserved some attention and I just had to talk about our rugby 7's team after they made us so proud in New Zealand. And since Arsenal weren't doing anything new, I had no choice.

But I'm back on the Gunners' beat because I'm quite pleased with what is happening. Andre Santos has been sent away on loan which is great news now that we have Nacho Monreal, but it is a worry that Kieren Gibbs is still out injured for at least another month. February is the make or break month in the European season.

All competitions are at a critical stage and the frequency of games means the teams that survive are those with great options on the bench. Arsenal are looking good right now on the pitch but the options on the bench are a bit of a worry. In terms of quantity, we have back up talent, but its talent that's inconsistent.

I wish we were at the point where we could be assured that Lukas Podolski for instance, would score in every game or at least every second game or Olivier Giroud for that matter. Unfortunately they are every third game people. What I do admire about the spirit at Emirates is the fact that we have unleashed our fighting spirit on the league and if the Sunderland game last Saturday was anything to go by, we will get that top four finish.

I couldn't believe how hard I was cheering Manchester United along last Sunday when they were playing Everton, but it was for purely selfish reasons. Everton were a threat to our Champions League qualification spot and we needed them out of the way. Now it's just to chase Tottenham who are currently four points ahead of us.

They have a London derby against West Ham this weekend which means the gap between us will be reduced to one point by Monday. I'm excited! We're unbeaten in the last four games with only one of them ending in a draw but we play Aston Villa tomorrow and Bayern Munich on Tuesday. I'm not worried about Villa at all but I must admit that Bayern are a scary prospect.

But I'm sure there are fans in Munich right now saying Arsenal are a scary prospect too, so that's cool. Back home I would like to wish Gor Mahia and Tusker FC all the best as they begin their quest to conquer club football on the continent. Gor play Anse Re-union of The Seychelles at Nyayo Stadium tomorrow in their first leg Confederations Cup tie; while Tusker are already in the Seychelles where they play St Michel in their CAF Champions League opening tie.

The two teams have been preparing very well for these assignments and as Tusker's new slogan is: It's Our Time! Yes, it's our time to shine!

Talk to me on @CarolRadull on twitter or www.facebook.com/CarolRadull

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