Arsenal linked with German pair, but what will they bring to The Gunners?

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The Express suggest that Arsenal are lining up moves for young German attacking midfielders Marco Reus and Julian Draxler. Reus enjoyed a brilliant first season at Champions League runners up Borussia Dortmund and has established himself in the national side. 20-year-old Draxler was linked with numerous moves away from Schalke 04 this summer with many of the top European sides apparently willing to part with the £34 million asking price. Arsene Wenger reportedly has a substantial amount of his transfer kitty left even after the record signing of Mezut Ozil, but are The Gunners in need of Reus and Draxler?

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24-year-old Marco Reus notched his 24th goal for Dortmund yesterday in a 5-0 victory over SC Freiburg. An impressive tally considering he only joined in July 2012. The winger made himself well known on the world stage after some impressive performances in Euro 2012, scoring in the quarter final victory over Greece. He possesses all the main skills you would want in an attacking midfielder, speed, technique, agility, and versatility. He can play on both sides and down the middle. But does he offer anything different to what Arsenal already have? Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski and now Ozil can all play in those positions and are capable of match winning performances on their day. Even Serge Gnabry has come to prominence with some eye catching displays recently. The addition of Reus, whilst it would show ambition and intent from the Arsenal board may not be welcomed by the players as much as the fans. A fantastic talent nonetheless and I’m sure he would fit into the Premier League well, but there are other areas in the squad that Arsenal should focus on strengthening first.

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Despite only turning 20 on the 20th September, Julian Draxler is already known for his great understanding of the game and his technical ability. Since making his debut for Schalke 04 aged just 17 he has gone on to become known for his runs forward from midfield and a capability for spectacular long shots. The youngster is also versatile in the attacking midfield areas, but so many players are in this day and age. Julian was said to have turned down moves away from Die Knappen this summer as he didn’t want any disruption in the season leading up towards the World Cup. Wanting to establish himself in the squad he felt staying put would give him the best opportunity of this. If he were to go on and have a starring performance in Brazil then expect interest to be even greater in him. With Aaaron Ramsey having had a blistering start to this season bringing in a similar talent would perhaps cause an overcrowding situation at the club. Wenger is known to develop his youngsters and if further additions were brought to this club it could disrupt this. It could even be said that Ozil was not needed and that he was brought to the club as more of a marquee signing. More depth is needed in the central role up front and in defence, but at the moment Arsenal’s midfield is their strongest area.

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Jermain Defoe: One of the games best natural finishers, but yet so underrated

Defoe faces a huge battle on his hands this season to be Andre Villas Boas’ Jermain man up front. With AVB saying that he plans to stick with one striker in the side, it seems £26 million man Roberto Soldado will keep Defoe out of the starting 11.

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Jermain Defoe burst onto the scene in the 2000/2001 season when on loan at Bournemouth, where he managed the remarkable feat of scoring in 10 consecutive games. This equalled the post-war record set by John Aldridge and Clarrie Jordan (Pre-war, Dixie Dean managed to score 23 goals in 12 consecutive games for Everton). However, Jermain managed to do this in his first 10 games for the club, making his achievement unique. Aged just 18 Defoe managed to make himself a cult hero at Dean Court despite just spending three months there. The next season Defoe found himself in Glenn Roeder’s Hammers side, and led the way in the goalscoring charts, finishing the season with 14 goals. The following season West Ham were relgated and Defoe made his first move to Tottenham Hotspur.

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In his time at Spurs and a year at Portsmouth Defoe has showed that he is one of the most consistent strikers in England and boasts incredible goalscoring records. He has become Tottenham’s seventh all time leading scorer. In the league alone, he has scored 152 goals in 297 starts. An average of better than a goal every 2 starts. His statistics in cup competitions are even more impressive.

(Including substitute appearances)
League – Games 418  Goals 152
FA Cup – Games 36 Goals 22
League Cup – Games 27 Goals 18
Europe – Games 38 Goals 22

The majority of these goals would have been very pleasing on the eye too. He very rarely scores scrappy goals. Instead executing fantastic finishes with aplomb, whether it’s a scorching volley into the top corner, or a cheeky dink over the ‘keeper. I have watched a lot of Football in my life and not many if any come close to making scoring look as easy as Jermain Defoe does. The chances are if you give him a good enough chance he will score, and finish it emphatically. He’s played at the top level pretty much all his career and has been in and around the starting 11 that whole time too. Surely someone of his quality in the peak of his career should warrant a start in the Premiership and not just European games?

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In an interview recently conducted with the BBC for Football Focus, JD said he doesn’t want to sit on the bench and just be an impact player, and who can blame him? No one wants that role, despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Tor Andre Flo making careers out of it. It would seem you need three names for that role anyway. Tottenham are an ambitious side, and have invested heavily but wisely with the money brought in from the sale of Gareth Bale (Who saw that one coming?…..). Therefore it was not a surprise to see AVB bring in another striker in Soldado. But it shouldn’t result in Defoe being overlooked and only used as an impact sub. Whilst it seems the manager is unwilling to experiment with a 4-4-2 formation it is a shame that we are yet to see how Soldado and Defoe could combine up front together. The latter has played with many different types of strikers in his career; Crouch, Keane, Rooney, and has complimented each of them well. He is also capable of leading the line alone, and could be a better option than Soldado for certain games. He has the ability to create a chance out of nothing, and that shouldn’t be ignored.

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Jermain Defoe’s England career has never really taken off. Since making his debut against Sweden in 2004 he has gone on to make 54 appearances scoring 19 goals. 32 of those appearances were from the bench, and he did not complete a full 90 minutes for his country until his 51st appearance. Despite making his debut 9 years ago, he has only been included in the last two tournament squads. Missing out on Euro 2004, and more surprisingly on the 2006 World Cup when an untried and untested 17-year-old Theo Walcott made the squad instead. If we look back to the disastrous 2010 World Cup in South Africa, it was Defoe who was turned to in the hour of need. After disappointing results against USA and Algeria, which mustered up one goal for England, Defoe started the must win match against Slovakia and duly delivered scoring the winning goal. You can count on this man for a goal, but yet his chances for the national side have been very limited. Whilst Rooney is obviously one of the first names on the team sheet for England, his strike partner has often changed. With the current options available Defoe finds himself competing with Lambert, Carroll, Welbeck and Sturridge. Perhaps Sturridge aside Defoe is far more clinical than the others, but yet in the recent matches against Moldova and Ukraine he wasn’t given any game time even with many injuries and suspensions for the other strikers. If Defoe was given 20 minutes or so against Ukraine, then there would definitely have been a few opportunities for him to break the deadlock and take England one step closer to Brazil.
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Harry Redknapp allegedly tried to reunite himself with Defoe once again this summer, this time at QPR. You cant blame Harry for trying but to see Defoe in the Championship would be a great shame. He can still score plenty of goals at the highest level when given an opportunity. Andre Villas Boas will know this and must not be afraid to leave Roberto Soldado on the bench now and again. Furthermore the experiment to try them both up front together must be tried. If not then perhaps Jermain will seek a move away from White Hart Lane. He would surely have many Premier League suitors, and I for one hope that he has a good season and then goes on to play a big part for England in next summer’s World Cup.

INTERVIEW: Dele Adebola insists Rushall Olympic can compete with promotion chasing clubs #NonLeagueDay

After scoring Rushall Olympic’s first goal in a 2-0 win over FC United of Manchester, Dele Adebola says that his side have shown that they can compete with the best sides in the Evo Stik Premier Division.

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Good result but it’s still early doors in the season, I think FC United are a very good side, and I think we’ve shown that we can live with the likes of the teams that are going to be up and around the top six”.

Dele went onto say that after seven games at this level now, he was impressed with the overall fitness levels of the players in the league.

The fitness levels are better than what I thought they would be, there’s a lot of good players in this league“.

There’s not much difference between the divisions when you come down from the Conference, I think they perhaps cut out the mistakes a little higher up but I’ve seen some really good players so far“.

Adebola sees a promising partnership developing with Ahmed Obeng, one which shone throughout Rushall Olympic’s win over FC United.

Ahmed has got bags of pace, but i think first half they had us chasing a lot so Ahmed couldn’t get into the game and I couldn’t get into the game“.

When the game settled in the second half and we got our foot on the ball you could see how quick and wide we can play. He’s got us the corner for the first goal and the second goal he’s got on the end of a through ball and done really good“.

The 38-year-old striker said that even with all his experience it’s important to take on what the Manager says and develop his game after Neil Kitching said that he told Dele to improve in the second half.

I’ve got my own opinions but advice from other people is always good. I should have been getting the ball out quick enough in the first half, but the second half was a lot better”.

By Josh McLoughlin – @Josh_McLoughlin

INTERVIEW: Karl Marginson admits FC United off the pace in Rushall defeat #NonLeagueDay

FC United of Manchester Manager Karl Marginson felt his side’s tempo of passing and overall decision making was not what they are used to as they went down 2-0 at home to Rushall Olympic at Gigg Lane.

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We were a bit off it today and the tempo of our passing was not what we are used to. Our decision making and quality of play let us down a little bit today. We got sucker punched by the better team who came for a point and have gone away with all three”.

Marginson said that his side allowed Dele Adebola to play to his strengths in the second half but was not too downhearted after the game.

We sat too deep in the second half which gave him the opportunity to use his physique whereas in the first half we dealt with him quite comfortably“.

When you’re not playing as well as you can do it’s important you nullify any kind of threat“.

But we’ve got a great group of lads there who will bounce back on Tuesday”.

The Red Rebels Manager went onto say that it’s good to have another game in just three days time which will allow the team to put this defeat behind them.

It’s like riding a bike; when you fall off you get straight back on and that’s what we’ll be doing on Tuesday”.

Despite the result Marginson insists he is happy with FC United’s start to the season.

We’ve had a fantastic start, normally we’re down in mid table or even worse, so it’s been a great start, a bit of a dip today, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back in a positive way”.

By Josh McLoughlin – @Josh_McLoughlin

INTERVIEW: Neil Kitching happy with Rushall Olympic second half display #NonLeagueDay

Rushall Olympic manager Neil Kitching was particularly happy with his side’s second half performance as they beat FC United of Manchester 2-0 at Gigg Lane in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

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We gave them too many opportunities in the first half, we looked like we were going to concede so we changed our shape“.

In the second half we matched them up with a 4-3-3 and we dominated, had the better chances and overall deserved the victory“.

Kitching felt Dele Adebola was unplayable in the second half and he is a valuable player for his side.

He held the ball up well, turned with it and got a couple of shots off, perhaps could have scored a couple more goals“.

He scored his goal with a great header. That’s why we brought him to the club he gives us that presence“.

Dele has bought into what we are doing here at Rushall, he wants to be here, he wants to play which is all a manager can ask for really”.

The ‘Pics manager went on to say it’s good to have a quick turnaround with a game on Tuesday at home to Ilkeston.

We’re on a good run now, unbeaten in three, we’re playing well with a clean sheet today too, so yeah you like to come thick and fast every Saturday and Tuesday”.

By Josh McLoughlin

@Josh_McLoughlin

MATCH REPORT: FC United of Manchester 0-2 Rushall Olympic 7/9/13 #NonLeagueDay

A goal from Dele Adebola and a penalty from Ahmed Obeng gave Rushall Olympic all 3 points in a 2-0 victory over FC United of Manchester, that now brings them level on points with the Manchester side, writes Josh McLoughlin at Gigg Lane.

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Playing towards the very vocal home end of the stadium, FC United of Manchester started the better of the two sides, with Astley Mulholland providing a real threat down the right hand side.

However it was Rushall Olympic’s Kyle Haines who had the first real opportunity. Coming forward from his right wing back position, he tested James Spencer with a low shot fizzing across the ground.

FC United then wasted a great opportunity when a corner from Liam Brownhill found Mulholland at the back post. He had plenty of time but ended up scuffing his shot wide.

In the 12th minute Rushall’s Luke Bottomer found himself space on the left wing and put in a beauty of a cross which was met with a thumping header from Josh Craddock, but it didn’t trouble the home keeper.

A slip from FC United defender Andy Pearson allowed Ahmed Obeng in behind the defence and from a tight angle his shot was pushed behind the goal by Spencer for a corner. Pearson’s blushes were spared.

38 year-old Dele Adebola was providing an obvious target for Rushall Olympic up front, and his hold up play and lay-offs were causing the home side’s defence some problems.

After a period of dominance and two successive corners for FC United, the ball fell to Lee Neville 30 yards out whose ambitious shot flew wide of the goal.

The Manchester outfit’s main attacking threat was coming from the right hand side with Brownhill and Mulholland linking up excellently. However a cross field pass to the left hand side gave Neville a rare opportunity to whip the ball in. His cross flew across the goal line and only needed a touch to be diverted into the net. But it instead went out for a Rushall Olympic goal kick.

Mulholland received the first yellow card of the match after a challenge on Matty Wood which was met with an angry reaction from the home supporters who believed the referee had made the wrong decision. Mulholland was then himself fouled shortly after, for which Carl Palmer also received a yellow card for. Wood was to get his revenge bringing down Mulholland on the edge of the area, from which Jerome Wright’s free kick was cleared for a corner.

Six minutes into the second half Rushall Olympic took the lead. Haines’ corner found an unmarked Adebola who powered his header beyond Spencer and into the back of the net. Adebola’s first real chance of the game and the experienced striker took it well.

In the 60th minute Neville found Mulholland on the edge of the Rushall area, he turned his man and looked to line up a shot but instead tried to find Neville again but his wayward pass went out of play. That was to be Mulholland’s last bit of action as he was replaced by Rhodri Giggs.

Another substitution for the Red Rebels was Mike Norton who immediately had a chance thanks to some good work from Matthew Wolfenden. His low drive was saved by visiting keeper Chris Gemmell.

Norton was again in the action, releasing Neville down the left, and his ball into the area clipped the crossbar before going out for a goal-kick.

A long ball up field gave Ahmed Obeng a chance, he was quickly closed down however and his shot ricocheted behind for a corner. Dele Adebola then found himself in space shortly after and his volley was also blocked and out for a corner.

In the 80th minute Obeng was played through with a perfectly weighted ball and FC United defender Andy Pearson ended up bringing the pacey striker down in the area. A yellow card followed and Obeng himself stepped up and sent Spencer the wrong way giving Rushall Olympic a 2-0 lead.

Neville pumped a ball into the area as United searched for a goal and Norton found himself with a chance in a crowded area, but he was brilliantly tackled by the visitors Captain Gavin Caines. Norton did find the net five minutes later but the linesman deemed him to be offside.

Rushall striker David Walker found himself lucky to only receive as yellow card after kicking out at the home side’s Captain Dean Stott.

The last chance of the game came as FC United’s Chris Worsley found Jerome Wright at the back post, but his header failed to trouble Gemmell.

That result leaves Rushall Olympic in 8th place in the league table. FC United of Manchester are two places above in 6th place by virtue of goal difference. Rushall have a home game on Tuesday against 3rd placed Ilkeston while FC United travel to lowly Frickley Athletic the same night.

FC United of Manchester: Spencer, Brownhill (Davies, 78), Neville, Stott (C), Pearson, Raglan, Wolfenden, Mulholland (Giggs, 61), Greaves (Norton, 61), Wright, Worsley
Subs not used: Coo, Birch

Rushall Olympic: Gemmell, Haines, Wood, Eckersley, Tolley, Caines (C), Palmer, Craddock, Adebola (Walker, 82), Obeng (Downes, 90), Bottomer (Turner, 65)
Subs not used: Martin, Mugisha

Goals: Adebola, 51, Obeng, 81 (p).

Attendance: 1860