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Should Arsenal Abandon Wenger Style For Simeone?



Diego Simeone and Arsene Wenger

An abandonment of principles, values and footballing philosophy or a pragmatic, whatever-it-takes approach to winning football matches?

That’s the decision facing Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis as he goes through the process to find the next manager at Emirates Stadium.

While Arsene Wenger heads into his 250th European match as a coach, the decision makers above him continue to assess their options, with Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone perhaps the most unlikely choice of the lot.

Simeone said he hadn’t been contacted by anyone at Arsenal about the vacancy before the Europa League semi-final first leg in north London. But the Argentine has long been touted as a potential replacement for Wenger, despite his contrasting footballing philosophy, which is starkly opposed to the attractive football foundations the Frenchman has laid for the Gunners since he arrived in 1996.

The first leg between Arsenal and Atletico provided an intense clash of footballing styles, beginning with an early red card for Sime Vrsaljko, which saw his coach sent to the stands following his protestations over the decision.

On the pitch, Arsenal looked the better side but Atleti’s typically resolute style saw them eventually edge back into the game when Antoine Griezmann capitalised on Laurent Koscielny’s error to equalise and take the vital away goal back to Madrid.

“They have no real weak points,” Wenger said ahead of the first leg.

“We have to play to our strengths. We like to dictate the game, to have the ball and as well must try to annihilate the strengths of Atletico.”

While the obvious fit for the Arsenal job is a manager who possesses a footballing philosophy built upon wanting to entertain the fans, coupled with finding a balance between attack and defence, there can be no doubt that Simeone represents an interesting option for the powers that be at Arsenal.

La Liga and Europa League winners, twice runners-up in the Champions League and consistently challenging at the forefront of European football, the pragmatic Argentine has put Atletico on the map. Their new 67,000-seater Wanda Metropolitano stadium has brought them even further forward but their coach could be tempted by a new challenge in the coming seasons, be it at Arsenal or another Premier League team.

“Above all, I want my team to have a style,” Simeone told Marca in 2006.

“The intelligent supporter is the one who does not obsess over whether the team plays well, but rather that the team wants to win.”

Simeone’s emphasis on the collective over the individual is nothing new, but his tactics and expectations for those who play under him make him a motivator and hard taskmaster – something that Arsenal need going into next season.

Arsenal need to be different to move forward as they’re unable to compete with the billions chucked at the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United.

The new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is also involved in the process to appoint a new manager, along with head of football relations Raul Sanllehi, and they’re expected to play a major part along with CEO Ivan Gazidis in creating a more European-type managerial model, which sees power more evenly shared between those at the top.

While the search for a new manager continues, there can be no doubt that fresh ideas will be welcomed at Emirates Stadium. It’s crucial that those ideas are transformed into a balance of entertainment for supporters to bring back the previous apathetic fans, who have stayed away from games in recent months.

Indeed, it doesn’t have to be Simeone, but the profile that fits is someone who can take Arsenal forward while maintaining the values that Wenger has encouraged and displayed for much of his 22 years in charge.

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Welcome the next set of MTN Scholars!



360 young Nigerians receive scholarships from MTN Foundation

MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 360 university students at a virtual ceremony on November 12, 2020. The scholarships were awarded under the MTNF scholarship schemes made up of the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS). In attendance were the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Honourable Minister of Science & Technology represented by the Acting Director-General of the National Space Research and
Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson amongst other notable dignitaries.

Speaking at the ceremony, the representative of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting people with disabilities by funding their education and this is very commendable. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is constantly working towards elevating skills over degrees. We are also committed to ensuring that individuals are empowered with the right tools and skills.”

Also speaking, Honourable Minister of Science &  Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu represented by Dr. Francis Chizea said: “I am glad that MTN, in giving back to the society through its foundation, set up a scholarship scheme to empower the youths and as well, drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organizations need to emulate.”

A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat themed “Insight. Influence. Impact” with thought leaders sharing inspiring insights with the scholars. Nigeria’s former Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterated the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country. “We need to get a workforce that is very comfortable with technology. We are in a state where we need world-class educational institutions and interventions such as this that will enable students to be very vast in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Johnson said.

Leading to the ceremony, this year’s graduating students from the scholarship programme were hosted to a career incubation boot camp facilitated by experts from Google, Oracle, Cisco and Jobberman. Facilitators shared insights on various opportunities amongst other vital employability tips.

Speaking on the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunity for the youth of our nation. We know it does not stop there. We need to also ensure that they are adequately prepared for the
workplace. We hope that the fireside chat at the award ceremony will inspire the students to reach for greatness and innovation. Furthermore, it is our belief that the employability workshop held earlier will enrich the career path of the graduating students. The MTNF scholarship scheme is more than just funds; it is a commitment to
build the capacity of our youth. We wish all our graduating scholars success as they set out to take on the world and congratulate all awardees as the next set of young nation builders in the making.”

The newly awarded scholars will each enjoy a scholarship grant worth N200,000 annually till graduation as long as they maintain a CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent. The scholarship covers tuition, book allowance and stipend. Till date, MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 3,829 students valued at over NGN 2.1Billion.

The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.

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Local News

Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt



Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.

An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.

According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.

The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.

Also Read: We Spend N4,500 Daily On Meals Of Each COVID-19 Patient: Bauchi Govt

Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.

He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.

He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.

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Local News

Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin



Funke Olakunrin's killers

Funke Olakunrin’s killers

The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.

Also Read: BREAKING: Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin Arrested – Police

They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.

The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.

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