KALOU CONTINUES GOOD FORM FOR HERTHA

Ivorian Salomon Kalou was on target as German side Hertha Berlin returned to winning ways when they clashed with Augsburg.


The former Chelsea star was impressive in the Bundesliga match, helping them win 2-0 at the Berlin Olympiastadion stadium. Of 43 points the team has competed for this term at home, they have claimed almost 80 percent victories; so they entered the game as heavy favourites against a struggling opposition.

Ahead of the game, the club had lost three games but they seem to have gotten back their form with the strong display. John Brooks scored the opener within 12 minutes after a Valentin Stocker error. The home side tried to double the tally when Kalou combined with VedadIbisevicbut goalkeeper MarwinHitz denied them.

Both Hertha players were not deterred as they combined to get the second goal of the game. Kalou created space for himself before sending a good cross for Stocker to tap in. This time they had Ibisevic do the build-up.

Before the brilliant showing against Augsburg, Kalou had struggled. He had to be replaced in all of the last three games that ended in losses. His average is still above par as he has netted six times after 20 matches. The former Cote D’Ivoire international has been a brilliant addition to the Pal Dardai team since his move.

Hertha are eyeing continental football action next season and the victory lifts them to the fifth spot. On the other hand, Augsburg are still facing relegation threats as they continue to struggle.

KALOU RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou has announced his retirement from international football as the defending champions of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) were knocked out in the group stage of the 2017 edition in Gabon.


“I am 31, this is my sixth Africa Cup of Nations. I have been to a final and won another. This time things did not go so well. There are young players like [Frank Kessie, [Wilfried] Zaha… I think they are the future of Ivorian football and I wish them good luck,” Kalou said after the favourites were knocked out.

The former Chelsea forward who now plays in the German Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin was awarded the Man of the Match against Morocco but it was worthless as they would not progress to the quarter finals of the tournament.

Morocco’s lone goal was enough to earn them a spot in the next stage ahead of the Elephants.

Worthy of note is that the Ivorian side did not show that they wanted the game more as they struggled to create just two chances. Zaha was able to send a weak shot outside of 12 yards and Kalou’s headers hit the woodwork. They barely put up a fight despite needing nothing short of a victory to progress.

Morocco showed a sense of urgency as they wanted to avoid a draw as it might not be enough for them to go beyond Group C. They scored in the 64th minute through Rachid Alioui. They remained compact, frustrating the efforts of the Ivorian side.
Morocco could have scored another from a counter attack but for the poor accuracy of full back Hamza Mendyl. The 19-year old player ran half the entire pitch only to shoot the ball into the side netting.

Morocco and DR Congo are the two sides that are moving to the next stage.

DORTMUND QUALIFIES FOR GERMAN CUP QUARTER FINALS

Borussia Dortmund have qualified for the quarter final stage of the German Cup after they defeated Hertha Berlin 3-2 in a penalty shootout.


Recently retired Ivory Coast international Salomon Kalou missed his kick to hand the opposition the straight ticket.

Kalou was the man that opened scoring for the visitors as he scored in the first half. The hosts started the game slowly before Kalou converted his chance with a volley in the 27th minute. The visitors would have thought they would end up winners of the third round clash. However, skipper Marco Reus equalized for Dortmund after the 15 minutes break.

Dortmund kept up with the pace as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted but it was disallowed. Ousmane Dembele threw wide his opportunity. The hosts kept the pressure but could not get the winner in regular time.

The game went into extra time but Dortmund lost a player as defender Sokratis was sent off for dissent. Then the shootout came.

Shot stopper Roman Burki emerged the hero for the home team while Kalou quickly became the villain despite his earlier goal. Burki saved the second kick of Hertha taken by Vladimir Darida. He also got a hand unto Sami Allagui’s effort but the ball still scored. When Kalou got his chance, he sent it over the framework to send the opposition into celebration frenzy.

In other matches player, Bayern Munich reached the last eight for the tenth year running as they thrashed Wolfsburg 1-0.

Borussia Moenchengladbach defeated Greuther Fuerth 2-0 courtesy of goals from Oscar Wendt and Thorgen Hazard.

Hamburg defeated Cologne; Second division side Arminia Bielefeld defeated fourth division club Astoria Walldorf in a penalty shootout; Schalke won second division outfit Sandhausen 4-1; Eintracht Frankfurt beat second division club Hanover 96, while third division minnows humbled second division outfit 1860 Munich 2-0.

BARCELONA DRAW PILES MORE PRESSURE ON EMERY

These are not the best of times for former Sevilla coach Unai Emery.


The Spaniard took over the reins at Parc Des Princes last summer and was charged by the Qatari owners with transforming Paris Saint-Germain into a top team, into a level where they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Ever since oil wealth took over the funding of PSG in 2012, many coaches have come and gone and in each case were deemed to have come short of the club’s ultimate goal. Carlo Ancelotti – current Bayern coach – and Laurent Blanc both delivered two league titles apiece during their respective two year reigns, making it four in a row for Les-Rouges-et-Bleus yet the owners feel an inability to perform satisfactorily inEuropean inter-club competitions – the UEFA Champions League – is a big mark indicating the limitedness of the coach in charge.

Not that they are wrong though, after all they’ve done their bit in ensuring funds are provided for the coaches to entice whatsoever player they think will help them attain the ultimate heights of PSG’s long term goals.

Still, there is an increasing feeling that a little exercising of patience, the patience to build a team and watch them gel together seems to be a rational fans sentiment which actually makes sense. The amount of money pumped into the PSG project by the Qatari Sports Investment led by Nasser Al-khelaifi might be suspect for the seeming short temper on their part.

Everything now pointed to Unai Emery as UEFA held the round-of-16 draw in Nyon on, and the poor guy’s heart might have surged up as it became inevitable that fate was setting a knockout fixture between Les Parisiens and La Blaugaranas. Both teams met last year at the quarterfinals and the Catalan giants came tops with a 5-1 aggregate score over the two legs.

The problem with Emery’s case is that before now, PSG were only seen sweating their butts off in European fixtures – not domestic ones. French football has grown accustomed to seeing Les Parisiens at the number one spot of Ligue 1 standings in virtually every match day barely noticing if any team surged past them. It’s been a common sight.

Not for Emery though, his side currently occupy the 3rd top most spot behind surprise table toppers Nice and 2nd spotters AS Monaco. With his troops failing to mount a convincing league title defence, losing to Barcelona come February will most certainly spell doom as it will used to grade him on his paymasters’ score card.

KALOU: CHELSEA KEEP IT TOGETHER

Diego Costa reckons that because Antonio Conte has been like a mate with the players and not like a coach, it has eased everything in the Blues change room and the team has started giving its best which it couldn’t do while defending its title during the 2015-16 Season.

Costa discloses that Conte always shares funny stuff and stories and makes sure everybody’s mood remains lifted. When the head of the camp has such a light nature, it rubs off all around and it generates positivity because nobody thinks too much about unnecessary stuff like criticism and public perception.

Salomon Kalou is also impressed by the Italian coach, with his former team-mates informing him on a regular basis about how the tactician keeps them on their toes. He has previously invited players such as John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic to come out and see him play (fans can click here) and he remains a Blue at heart.

In Costa’s view, Conte has come across as a type of person whom everyone has developed a bonding with and everyone knows that he will be there for their help every time they are in a tough situation.

A lot of Chelsea players were frustrated last summer and Costa was no different as he was keen to switch clubs and get back to the Spanish capital which is also his home, not his motherland, but, home in the sense that his family is based there.

That thought would not have been in his mind anymore though as he is finding the net at will in the English top flight at the moment and is the highest goal-scorer.

However, Costa denies that his desire for a transfer was, at any point, driven by the disastrous failure that Chelsea had or by the lack of enjoyment at Chelsea. The striker stresses that it was only the home factor which was behind it and no other factor.

Costa asks who doesn’t want to pursue his career with his whole family around? As per him, family is family and it’s special for everyone. So, that’s the reason he was open to the Atletico transfer, but, he was absolutely fine and satisfied at Stamford Bridge too.

Kalou’s hat-trick against Monchengladbach was a remedy for him

2 family members of Salomon Kalou have recently passed away and these recent events have seriously taken a toll on the Ivorian player as the player himself has stated that it has not been easy having to play games with Hertha BSC at a high level with these things that have been occurring in recent times.


Salomon Kalou’s father and his aunt were the family members of the 31 year old player that have recently passed away back on August.

Having to perform at a top level and make impressive performances is something that can be extremely difficult for a player if they are going through issues outside of the pitch as this can distract them and hamper their performances.

Salomon Kalou’s current season as a player of Hertha BSC has not been a memorable one as the Ivorian performer has not consistently managed to get playing time in the first team but he was recently given the starting role against Borussia Monchengladbach and the 31 year old player managed to secure a hat-trick as he helped his team overcome Monchengladbach and secure all 3 points.

This hat-trick of Salomon Kalou was particularly more meaningful for the Ivorian player as it represented more than just 3 points for his team but it was also a type of remedy for him, especially now with the passing away of his family, Kalou stated that matches and goals like these help him far more than just a simple victory as he said:

“That was something like a therapy for me. The first goal was a relief, and that I managed to score three in the end was madness.”

SALOMON KALOU PARTYING IN JAMAICA

Former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou was pictured partying in Jamaica with world fastest man Usian Bolt.

Both stars posed for pictures that quickly circulated in the social media. Kalou posted the photo on his Instagram handle, captioning it “Wat dem say St Leo #SKLEC #Bolt #jamaica #ivorycoast.”

The Ivory Coast international has not played for his club Hertha Berlin this term. He was in the news for suffering a loss of two close family members few months back. The UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea is still waiting to get his fitness to former levels after a back problem he suffered.

He has played in the Europa League three times for the German club and has featured in the domestic games. He is believed to be close to making a return fully for Hertha. It is not certain if he would lead the Ivorian stars as they seek to defend their African Cup of Nations title in January. On the other hand, the 31-year old might feature before finally retiring from international football like other top stars of his generation.

Bolt, a regular on the spotlight, was filmed when he made a handshake with his partner Kasi J Bennett and as the pair did a ‘dab.’ Bolt has been involved in some charity work since his history-making feat at the Rio Olympics this summer.

The 30-year old has been documenting his work for Heroes in Action organized by the Jamaican National building Society. The Society is focused on helping citizens of Jamaica reach their potential. The parents of the Jamaican superstar Wellesley and Jennifer were on ground to support him. They praised his efforts on social media as well.

“Day one supporters..Always a joy having my parents around #MyHeroes #HeroesInActionRun #RunForRights #Charity #Falmouth,” Bolt wrote.

KALOU ABSENT AS HERTHA DRAW

Salomon Kalou was notably absent in Borussia Dortmund’s draw at home to Hertha Berlin on Friday last week. A goal from Pierre-EmerickAubameyang in the 80th minute was enough to ensure that Dortmund levelled the scores and came away with a draw.

This came on the heels of a previously missed penalty by Aubameyang. On the other hand, Hertha Berlin’s Valentin Stocker made sure to silence the home crowd after slotting in a sensational back heeled pass sent to his direction from Vedad Ibisevic at close range.

Valentin Stocker was later sent off at the final minutes of the game after a dangerous tackle. The same also happened to Dortmund as Emre Mor was also dismissed for having pushed an opponent.

Thomas Tuchel’s side, who played host to Hertha Berlin, were not able to get a win against their opponents. Dortmund have been recently plagued with injuries which saw almost a dozen of their players absent due to injury related issues.

Notable amongst them is Andre Schurrle who celebrated Aubameyang’s goal on Instagram. This draw means Dortmund have so far gone two consecutive games without a win. Their last game with Bayer Leverkusen ended in a loss just before the start of the international break.

A cut back by Ousmane Dembele came on time to reach the Gabon international who slid at the far post to ensure that the ball found its way well into the back of the net.

“We struggled for a long time against a disciplined and tough defending opponent,” said Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who due to injuries plaguing his team, had no other choice than to field a starting 11 with an average age of under 23.
“The equalizer was in the air for some time. It feels as if we should have deserved to win,” he said.

DROGBA: SCORING IS NOT LUCK

Saloman Kalou’s old team-mate at Chelsea Didier Drogba insists it is not just luck that he keeps on to plague the Gunners, after finding the net against the Premier League giants for the MLS All-Stars in the friendly match in July.

The Ex-Chelsea forward, Drogba netted on the stroke of half-time to bring back the All Stars to 1-1 draw level but it was not enough as Chuba Akpom made it 2-1 late in the game to seal an Arsenal victory on Thursday 29th of July.

That happened to be Drogba’s 16th goal in as many appearances against Arsenal, having tormented Arsene Wenger’s men throughout his time at Stamford Bridge, London. If you’re going to have a bet on football, Drogba scoring against Arsenal seems to be a pretty safe one!

When he was questioned if he feels fortunate to constantly find the net against Arsenal, Drogba responded: “I don’t know, I don’t know, I want to say that I’m lucky but when you score 16 goals against a team I don’t think it is luck anymore.”
Meanwhile, the Ivory Coast international was left in disappointment due to the 2-1 loss despite it being only a friendly fixture.

“I want to help my team to win games. And I always say that the goal that I score and then we lose, for me that doesn’t count,” the Montreal Impact striker said. For me it’s for fun because I scored against [former Chelsea, now Arsenal goalkeeper] Petr [Cech], but the result matters more than my goal or my own performance. It’s a bit disappointing to have lost this game in the last minute.

The 38-year old tested former Chelsea team-mate Cech early on, and had another shot blocked before he eventually found the net in the opening period at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

“He has always harmed us, and he continues. He’s a winner and I think that he’ll be like that until the end of his life,”

Wenger said about the striker. “At half-time, I was thinking ‘He’s still haunting us, even in the United States!’ Drogba is a typical poacher of a goal. He can do that in the box. When I see him in the box and fighting with young defenders I always think that now there is danger there because you know he will get the upper hand and score you a goal and that’s what he did.”

TROUBLING TIMES FOR SALOMON KALOU

Former Chelsea player Salomon Kalou is undergoing a lot of troubling times as he is reported to have lost two family members within a fortnight, local media say.

The 31-year old Hertha Berlin player would be travelling to meet his family in light of the losses. This means the Ivory Coast international would not be in action when his country plays Sierra Leone in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in September.

Kalou lost his father, Antoine as he suffered from heart attack. While he was nursing this pain, his aunt died two weeks later. The player would be required to plan for the burial of the dead.

“I’m travelling home to support my family. Of course I am unbelievably sad and feel empty. Football is a therapy for me at the moment. It will take a while to get over this,” Kalou told German news outlet Bild.

His brother, who is also a professional footballer Bonaventure Kalou, is also expected to join family members during these trying times. Kalou has two brothers and eight sisters from the same mother. The mother is the parent to the children now, though other family members are on ground as they bury the dead.

Ivory Coast have enough hands to prosecute the game against Sierra Leone, particularly as they require just a point to against their opponents to qualify for the 2017 finals set to be hosted by Gabon. They are the current holders of the title after their win in 2015. Nigerian won the 2013 edition but were couldn’t qualify for the 2015 edition. Going into the next edition, Ivory Coast remains the favourites to retain the title. Kalou would surely be missed, as he is enjoying a decent form. He was the highest goal scorer last term for Hertha with 14 goals in 32 games in the league.