Olivier Giroud explains key reason behind Chelsea move

Olivier Giroud has admitted that he took the opportunity to join Chelsea from rivals Arsenal after holding a brief communication with manager Antonio Conte. The France international was initially tipped to join Borussia Dortmund in a deal involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he ended up inking an 18-month with the Premier League holders.

As a result, Michy Batshuayi was permitted to join Dortmund on loan to complete a transfer merry-go-round between three clubs, and Giroud is obviously content to have joined a massive club, where he is hoping to achieve further success in the backend of his career.
Continue reading “Olivier Giroud explains key reason behind Chelsea move”

Kalou picks his ‘5-a-side dream’ team

Former Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou has picked three of his former Blues teammates in his ‘dream’ 5-a-side team. The Hertha Bertin forward won the Premier League and Champions League during his six-year spell with the west London giants, and his squad consisted of the likes of David Luiz, Petr Cech and compatriot Didier Drogba, who were key to the 2012 Champions League success.

The experienced forward also picked countrymen Yaya Toure and Gervinho – both of whom are still plying their trades with Manchester City and Heben China Fortune. In an exclusive with 90min, he said: “I’m going to say Yaya Toure, and obviously Didier [Drogba]. I have to put Gervinho for sure…and David Luiz, because I need a defender! They’ll all want to play forward, so I need a defender. And my keeper is obviously Petr Cech, he’s won everything.” Continue reading “Kalou picks his ‘5-a-side dream’ team”

Salomon Kalou Happy with Point against Bayern Munich

Salomon Kalou claims that his Hertha Berlin team could have done slightly better in the match against Bayern Munich, despite coming away with a 2-2 draw against the defending champions.


Hertha Berlin came into the game on the back of a strong start to the season, but they were not expected to get much out of this match considering that Bayern Munich are extremely strong. However, the Allianz Arena recently witnessed a major change with manager Carlo Ancelotti departing after a poor run of results. Bayern’s confidence was low after the recent 3-0 loss against PSG and Hertha Berlin were able to take full advantage of this situation.

Bayern made an excellent start of the game and were leading quite comfortably by the 50th minute through goals from Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski.Duda pulled one back for the home team but the crucial goal came from former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou who came in with the equaliser in the 56th minute. This was the second goal in the last three matches for the former Chelsea forward, who has been playing with Hertha Berlin for the last four seasons. Continue reading “Salomon Kalou Happy with Point against Bayern Munich”

Salomon Kalou Remains Focused and Ambitious Even at 32, Claims Hertha Berlin Coach

Hertha Berlin winger Salomon Kalou says that he is still extremely ambitious despite being 32 years of age.


The former Ivory Coast international and Chelsea forward says that he may have gone through different phases of his career over the last few years, but he has finally found a settled place in the form of Hertha Berlin. Manager Pal Dardai recently claimed that the player was looking to have another strong season with the German outfit. Last season, he came up with figures of seven goals and four assists in 26 appearances in the league. This happens to be one of his best seasons overall, although his first campaign with Hertha Berlin saw him score 14 and create two in just 32 league matches.

Dardai says that he has seen exceptional quality and workrate from the 32-year-old, who is still looking to face some of the biggest teams in the business. After all, Kalou has been immensely successful in his career after winning almost every major role in with Chelsea. Continue reading “Salomon Kalou Remains Focused and Ambitious Even at 32, Claims Hertha Berlin Coach”

STARS AVAILABLE AS TIOTE IS LAID TO REST

Ivory Coast internationals, past and present, were all available at the funeral of Tiote.


Kolo Toure, Wilfred Bony, Boubacar Barry, and Salomon Kalou were pictured among the stars that came to say farewell to their compatriot.

The funeral saw former and current teammates, current players of the Ivorian national side and other well-wishers present. The body of the dead player was flown to Abidjan where the country gathered to pay their last respects.

The Prime Minister AmadouGonCoulibaly and other top government officials were present at the funeral. Officials of the Ivorian football federation were also present at the event. Full military honours were bestowed on the star at the funeral where the coffin was covered with the national colours; orange, white and green.

The body was first taken to a mosque in the district of Riviera Golf for prayers ahead of the funeral ceremony. Continue reading “STARS AVAILABLE AS TIOTE IS LAID TO REST”

MANCHESTER UNITED TO SIGN KHAMA BILLIAT

In an unbelievable rumor, English Premier League Giants, Manchester United is currently linked with a move to sign Khama Billiat, Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker.


The reports emanating from media houses which are yet to be confirmed say that the English League team has agreed to a deal in principle to sign the player.

It won’t actually be surprising news as Manchester united coach, Jose Mourinho is quite a big fan of African players. So far in all teams he has coached, he has made use of a lot of African players

Sources have it that Manchester United has agreed to personal terms between them and the Zim attacker. Billiat is rated £1.75 Million (R15.4m) and Manchester united will be going all out to foot his bills.

Since the past few months, Manchester United has been on the radar of the attacker. However, after watching him perform during the AFCON Tournament of 2017, the club was convinced of his abilities.

Mourinho who made known his belief in African players says he is ready to give the player a chance to prove himself.

”I want to give the young man a chance to prove himself on international level. I personally think he is a great player with awesome talent like most African players i have worked with,” stated Mourinho. Continue reading “MANCHESTER UNITED TO SIGN KHAMA BILLIAT”

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.