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February 20, 2019

Gabriel is here for Arsenal but whats up with Kenya?

Gabriel Armando De Abreu
Gabriel Armando De Abreu

Gabriel Armando de Abreu or Gabriel Paulista to you; or simply Gabriel, is a Brazilian footballer who just about plays for Arsenal.

He’s passed his medical, he has a work permit and he is now an Arsenal player. He is fully “Gunner Red!” Last week I had fake enthusiasm that Wenger had signed 17-year-old Krystian Bielek.

Not that I think he isn’t good for Arsenal; because he definitely is; but we needed a centre back with a little bit of experience and grit! And right now, right here; that’s what Paulista will bring. Hard core grit at the back; although I still have faith in Laurent Koscielny and World Cup winning Per Mertesacker.

Arsenal are still in three competitions and we all know Koscielny gets more red cards than any other player in Arsenal, so cover is great. Manager Arsene Wenger however, needs to learn to trust Francis Coquelin more.

Coquelin is only getting playing time because our captain Mikel Arteta is injured; and we’ve all seen what the 23 year old can accomplish even against opposition as tough as Manchester City.

It’s strange how Wenger believes so much in grooming the youth but then he never gives them a chance to star if he has an older player in the house. Give Coquelin time or we’ll lose him.

Already he’s stalling on a signing a three year contract despite his contract running out at the end of the season. I know he’s waiting to see whether he’ll still be a starter when Arteta returns.

At 23, Coquelin should be playing regular football and while he hasn’t had enough playing time for us to really be assured he’s that man for our defensive midfield position; we can only find out if he’s played more often.

Anyway, Arsenal are looking good right now unlike other “big” teams who were startled in the FA Cup last weekend so I’m rather settled this week. What I’m not settled about right now though is Kenyan football.

We are two weeks away from what should be the start of the 2015 Kenyan Premier League season and we still don’t know for sure whether there’ll be 16 or 18 teams. KPL and FKF have hit a another wall after Fifa reportedly ruled in favour of KPL and 16 teams, but FKF don’t want to back down; saying Fifa’s recommendations aren’t binding; but just recommendations.

As we go to press, it looks like we’ll have two parallel leagues running once again with the people who’ll suffer the most being the players.

I want to ask Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario to find time in his busy schedule to remember that Kenyan football needs his intervention.

Right now it’s all such a farce that I wouldn’t be so against a government interference; which will invite a much deserved Fifa ban, but that ultimately fixes our damn football! It’s frustrating to see what so many people have worked hard to revive going down the drain because right now no-one in the management of the game seems to care.


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