Tag Archives: Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang

Odsonne Edouard- Celtic’s ‘French Eddy’ Who is Ripping Up the SPL

Celtic kicked off their charge for a record breaking 10 Scottish Premiership titles in a row by dismantling Hamilton 5-1 at home.

French forward Odsonne Edouard picked up where he left off last season by netting a hat-trick, and picking up the man of the match award after another impressive display.

The 22 year old is subject to Premier League interest, with Arsenal the latest club to be linked to the striker, seeing him as an ideal replacement for Aubameyang should the Gabonese international choose to leave the Gunners this summer.

Celtic are still confident of hanging on to Edouard, with their hopes of becoming the first Scottish side to win 10 league titles in a row, largely hinging on the forward staying at Celtic Park.

This is because Edouard has become such a pivotal figure for Celtic since first arriving at the club on loan in 2017 from PSG.

A relatively unknown entity at the time, aged just 19, Edouard had risen through the ranks at PSG but had failed to break into the first team at the Parc de Princes.

This was through no fault of his own but rather the star studded line up at PSG blocking his path to the starting eleven.

He first showcased his evident talent on a big stage in 2015, when he was named player of the tournament and was top goalscorer with 8 goals as France won the U17 European Championships.

After a failed loan spell at Toulouse the season after, the Frenchman swapped Paris for Glasgow, agreeing a season long loan switch to Brendan Rodgers’ side with an option to buy at the end of it.

A goal on his debut against Hamilton would set the tone for Edouard’s time on Glasgow’s East End to date. He made 29 appearances that season, netting 11 goals and providing 4 assists, a decent return for his first full season in senior men’s football.

The highlight of his and many Celtic fans’ campaign was undoubtedly his winner at Ibrox in March at the Old Firm game, which was a glimpse of what was to come from the Frenchman.

Celtic had come from behind twice in the game before being reduced to 10 men in the second half. With 69 minutes on the clock Eduoard received the the ball on the left hand side. He darted into the area before dropping his shoulder and cutting inside, curling an effort into the far corner to send the travelling Celtic faithful into hysterics.

A month later he would bag a brace against the same opposition, to really endear himself to Hoops fans as Celtic romped to a double treble.

With countryman Moussa Dembele departing in the summer of 2018 to Lyon for a fee of £20 million, Celtic were able to break their transfer record to bring ‘French Eddy’ (as he is fondly known by Celtic fans) back to Celtic Park on a permanent deal.

The deal was reportedly worth £9 million, a sum which Celtic could quadruple now if they were willing to cash in on Edouard, given his performances over the past two seasons.

With Dembele moving on, the Frenchman was now Celtic’s main frontman, with Rodgers, and his successor Neil Lennon opting to play with just a sole striker in either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation.

Edouard carried that burden superbly well, registering 22 goals and 8 assists in all competitions as Celtic secured a monumental ‘treble treble.’

He seems like a manager’s dream for a striker. He is strong and his hold up play is great, he can regularly be seen holding off a defender before bringing others into play and continuing his run into the box to get on the end of the cross.

He has an explosive turn of pace, is good at dribbling and in one v one situations and has the eye for a killer pass.

His finishing is first class, he is comfortable on either foot and his goal compilations involve various types of finishes, whether that be long range screamers, curling efforts, tap ins or deft side foot placements into the far corner, Edouard has it all in his locker.

Although in some games he may fend off scraps and be uninvolved in build up play, he comes alive in and around the penalty area. If he is presented with just one opportunity, odds he will pounce.

He showed all these admirable attributes last campaign in what was his best season in green to date. Edouard found the back of the net 27 times and provided a further 19 assists in all competitions.

With the SPL taking the decision to curtail the league with 8 games remaining it is frightening to think how many more goals Edouard could have netted, especially considering his form since the turn of the year.

Lennon’s decision to switch to a 3-5-2 formation after the winter break as well as the up turn in form of full back Greg Taylor all benefitted Edouard tremendously.

Firstly, he struck up a great partnership with fellow frontman Leigh Griffiths. After leading the line on his own for much of the season, having another player around him helped Edouard to become more involved in the game and he linked up really well with Griffiths for a number of his own goals and others scored by the Hoops.

Manager Neil Lennon was full of praise for the duo in February telling Celtic TV:

“He (Edouard) is a mercurial talent. If you look at both his goals at the weekend they are very difficult and he makes them look easy.

“His movement off the ball, I think it helps sometimes having a body around him, him and Griff, particularly at Kilmarnock, the two of them linked up brilliantly. His all-round game is improving all the time.”

Secondly, the three at the back allowed Lennon to deploy the more attack minded full backs Taylor and Jeremie Frimpong further up the pitch, which worked to devastating effect for the champions, and in particular Edouard.

The Frenchman thrives off crosses into the box, and the two full backs are experts at delivering pinpoint balls into dangerous areas.

Given his considerable height he is good in the air but Edouard is also incredibly quick and intelligent. His movement is incredible. He often starts at the edge of the area and makes darting runs across the defenders before arriving on the scene just in time to latch onto the ball and score.

Celtic won nine of their next 10 games after the tactical tweak with Edouard getting on the scoresheet nine times and setting up four other goals, as Celtic landed an unprecedented quadruple treble and Edouard scooped the club’s

Celtic reverted to a back four for their opening game of the 20/21 season, with Edouard again the sole striker, but the outcome was the same, a roaring success as the Frenchman was too hot to handle for the Accies.

Celtic have slapped a £40 million price tag on Eduaord’s head to fend off interest, as they are hell bent on keeping the striker for at least another year, with boss Lennon telling reporters after the game at the weekend:

“We don’t want him to go anywhere!”

Given that the full extent of financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic on clubs have yet to been revealed, it is a hefty price to pay and a huge gamble to take for a Premier League club, especially one like Crystal Palace who are rumoured to be interested, given that that could amount to nearly all their transfer budget.

Edouard will feel indebted to Celtic for giving him his break in football, and he seems settled in Glasgow. He has a great relationship with the fans, who adore him, he is a well liked member of the squad and has embraced the ethos of the club very well, understanding the history and what it means to play for Celtic.

It is therefore difficult to see him leaving this summer with the allure of the opportunity to write his name into Celtic and Scottish folklore looming very large in the background. It will take a huge offer to prise Celtic’s jewel from their all conquering crown.

If a lucky club manages to do so they may have unearthed another gem from Scotland, and Edouard will hope to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Andy Robertson and Virgil Van Dijk before him, fellow exports who have made it to the pinnacle of world football.

Aubameyang double sees Arsenal secure their fourteenth FA Cup against Chelsea

This season was not the easiest for Arsenal as they struggled with manager Unai Emery, before making the change and bringing in former player and Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta. After an improvement in their form since the restart, The Gunners were able to win the London Derby FA Cup matchup against Chelsea, 2-1.

The Blues were able to capitalise first after Christian Pulisic received the ball from Olivier Giroud and found the back of the net just five minutes into the game.

 

Twenty-minutes later, however, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from the penalty spot after drawing a foul from César Azpilicueta, who was shown a yellow card for his actions.

 

In the beginning parts of the first half, Chelsea were looking dominant and it seemed like Pulisic’s goal was going to be the start of a great match. However, the latter half of the half was all Arsenal. Overall, it was not a great first 45 minutes for either of the defences.

After both teams had their fair share of chances to score, it was Arsenal who took the lead in the 67th minute. Captain Aubameyang was once again able to punish Chelsea, who felt that the goal should have been disallowed after an incident between Andreas Christensen and Héctor Bellerín.

 

Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Mateo Kovacic was shown a controversial second yellow card of the game by referee Anthony Taylor for his challenge on Granit Xhaka.

Ultimately, the fourth-place finishers of the Premier League were down to nine men when Pedro, who is set to depart London for AS Roma, needed to receive oxygen before being stretchered off the field to put the cherry on the top of what was already a horrendous match for The Blues.

Although Chelsea were able to have 60 percent of the possession throughout the match, it was Arsenal who were able to finish their chances. The eye-opening statistic was that The Blues committed 14 fouls compared to two for The Gunners. 

The North London-side were subsequently able to their 14th FA Cup in the competition’s history, which has helped them clinch a spot in next season’s Europa League, while also knocking out Wolverhampton from the competition.

 For Arsenal, they will start its preparations for the next Premier a League season, which is set to start on September 12. Chelsea, meanwhile, will face off against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena next Saturday, but are currently trailing 3-0 on aggregate.

Football stars to join on the grid for Sunday’s Virtual Monaco Grand Prix

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang  will be among the guest stars logging on to show off his sim-racing skills in this Sunday’s Virtual Monaco Grand Prix.

The Gabon International is due to partner F1 driver Lando Norris in the McLaren Mercedes for this online race around the famous Monte Carlo circuit.

Aubameyang will join Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on the starting grid .  The Belgium international is set to race for Alfa Romaro again after securing an 11th place finish in the Virtual Spanish Grand Prix last time out.

Aubameyang and Courtois are due to compete against other professional F1 drivers such as Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon, who will also join the Virtual Grand Prix grid for the first time this weekend.

The race also features Virtual GP regulars Alex Albon, Antonio Giovinazzi, Charles Leclerc, Nicholas Latifi and George Russell – who secured a brilliant victory in the series last time out in the Virtual Spanish Grand Prix after a thrilling battle with Leclerc.

How to Watch

Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 1700 UTC (1800 BST).

The broadcast, which will be available here on F1.com and the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch, Weibo, Huya and Facebook channels, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes, with a qualifying period followed by a 39-lap race.

The Virtual Grand Prix will also be broadcast live with international broadcast partners in over 100 countries, including in the UK on Sky Sports F1, Main Event and Mix.

In the US meanwhile it will be shown on ESPN and FOX Sports Asia across Southeast Asia.

Article written by Subeer Suri

Au revoir Claude 3 possible replacements at Leicester

After another defeat in the Premier League, a 4-1 thrashing at home to Crystal Palace, Leicester manager Claude Puel has been axed by the the club, a departure that had in all honesty been coming.

The defeat means that the foxes are now 7 games without a win and and are lying in 12th place in the league. Leicester aren’t going to get relegated nor are they making the European places, so now its time to move on.

Leicester fans have never really took to the frenchman nicknamed ‘whispering Claude’ due to his quietly spoken press conferences, Puel feels like he lived on the edge of the sack since he joined the club in October 2017 after being sacked by Southampton. The stoic and unenergetic Frenchman’s demeanor seemed to irk some foxes fans and not that charisma is a vital character trait of being a manager but you feel if former title winning Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri was in charge getting the same results the fans wouldn’t be so forceful in the feelings towards the manager.

Now Puel has been sacked, who might be in the frame?

  1. David Wagner

The enthusiastic German is now out of work after leaving Huddersfield by ‘mutual consent’ in January. After performing miracles with the terriers since he joined in 2015 Wagner may feel he has a point to prove following a disappointing season this year. Wagner plays attractive attacking football and is very tactically adept. With no money needed to prize the German away from a club Wagner could prove a strong candidate.

2. Brendan Rodgers

Since Rodgers left the Premier League for North of the border Giants Celtic he hasn’t looked back, winning multiple Spl championships, Scottish cups and Scottish league cups including the treble in his first 2 seasons. The Northern Irishman will know that English fans will say his accomplishments in Scotland don’t hold much weight and the Spl is a one club league so he would be eager to prove doubters wrong, he also has no more to achieve at Celtic. Rodgers also nearly guided Liverpool to the premier league title in the 2013-14 season, he has made no secret of his desire to return to the premier league, so is it now time?

3. Slavisa jokanovic

Another free agent, the Serbian was dismissed by Fulham in November 2018 after 7 winless results and the Cottagers languishing in last place, however the football Jokanovic had Fulham playing in the Championship was very exciting and attacking which resulted in Fulham being promoted to the premier league after a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the playoff final. The Serb plays the type of football the Foxes would enjoy and with a squad featuring Vardy, Maddison, Gray, Ndidi, Maguire, Schmeichel et al he could certainly get the club going in the right direction again.

Wayne Edge @oasis1711

‘Sexy Football’ – Özil becomes the highest scoring German in Premier League history

Özil declares ‘sexy football’ in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Leicester City at the Emirates on Monday night. Captaining the team, Özil had potentially his best game in a Gunners shirt yet. Often accused of being lacklustre in recent performances, Özil silenced his critics with a goal, an assist, and played a key part in one of the most spectacular team goals seen in a long time.

The Foxes who haven’t won on Arsenal soil since 1973 took the lead in the 31st minute through a counter-attack in which recently called up England star Ben Chilwell beat the pace of Hector Bellerin, who unfortunately turned the ball in off his own boot. After Leicester had deservedly took the lead, Arsenal suddenly awoke, bagging the equaliser just before half time with a stunning off the post finish from captain Mesut Özil, making him the highest scoring German in Premier League history.

The second half saw the Gunners come out with force which is typical Arsenal, with 14 of their 19 goals this season coming after the break. A brilliantly guided pass from Özil freed up Bellerin, who was able to tee up the readily waiting super sub Aubameyang to bury his 7th of the season after only being on the pitch a matter of moments.

The third Arsenal goal was something of absolute brilliance, started by none other than Özil himself. After manager Unai Emery moved him back to his preferred position in the middle, the pay off was superb. Within 7 passes, Leicester were cut open. A guided pass from Lucas Torreira bought on a stunning back heel from Özil. He then masterminds a dummy to Lacazette, before his second touch to Aubameyang resulted in his second, and the final goal of the game.

Özil took to Twitter moments after the game to say he was ‘proud to captain the team and club’ and says the Gunners played some ‘sexy football’.

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When the players returned to training Tuesday, Aubameyang posted a story on Instagram showing Özil watching back his own goal, with the caption ‘I’m the best’.

Bellerin hailed Özil a ‘born champion’ who has been through a lot of ups and downs in his career. This comes after Mesut retired from international football due to racist remarks and being accused of not being ‘creative’ enough. The critics have certainly been silenced after that performance.