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Mohamed Salah Crowned African Player Of The Year For Second Straight Year

Peter Okunoren

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Mohamed Salah of Egypt is the African Player of the Year 2018, for the second time in a row, it was announced in Dakar, Senegal Tuesday night.

He beat two other competitors shortlisted with him, Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang of Arsenal.

“I have dreamt of winning this award since I was a child and now I have done so twice in a row,” Salah said soon after receiving his trophy.

“My thanks go to my family, my team-mates and my fans and I dedicate this trophy to my homeland, Egypt.”

It was an identical outcome to last year when Salah became only the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mahmoud al Khatib to be voted the best footballer in Africa.

Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa was crowned African Women’s Player of the Year 2018 at the Aiteo-CAF awards, while Nigeria’s female team won Women’s National Team of the Year.

Achraf Hakimi was named African Youth Player of the Year 2018.

Mo Salah was also not surprisingly named among Africa’s Best X1 players that did not include any Nigerian.

Other players are Aubameyang, Mane, Mahrez, Keita, Partey, Koulibaly, Bailly, Benatia and Aurier.

Onyango as the goalkeeper completed the Africa Eleven.

Mauritania are the Men’s national Team of the Year.

The coaches were also recognised with Herve Renard winning Men’s coach of the Year and Desiree Ellis, coach of the Bayana Bayana, winning Women’s Coach of the Year. (NAN)

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BREAKING: Arsenal Sacks Unai Emery After 18 Months

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Arsenal has sacked head coach Unai Emery.

The 48-year-old has left the club following Arsenal’s worst run of form since 1992 with the Gunners winless in seven games and eight points off the top four in the Premier League.

Freddie Ljungberg will lead Arsenal for Sunday’s game away to Norwich City.

A 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League proved to be the final straw for the Arsenal hierarchy, who had hoped to be able to wait until the end of the season before making a decision on Emery’s future.

The Spaniard faced mounting criticism for fans not just for results but for a style of play at Arsenal that was viewed by many as too conservative.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Josh Kroenke said: “Our most sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who were unrelenting in their efforts to get the club back to competing at the level we all expect and demand. We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success.”

In his only full season in charge, Emery led Arsenal to fifth place in the Premier League, a run of two wins in their final seven games seeing them throw away a top-four finish and a Europa League final where defeat to Chelsea cost them Champions League qualification.

Returning to Europe’s top competition is a major priority for Arsenal both in terms of finances and prestige. It was felt that the club’s chances of qualifying were greater without Emery than with him.

Arsenal will be appointing just their third manager in 23 years with the likes of Mikel Arteta and Massimiliano Allegri expected to be under consideration for the role.

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Mourinho Meets Arsenal Chief, Set To Replace Embattled Gunners Manager Emery

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Arsenal is reportedly close to making their move to replace manager Unai Emery with former Chelsea boss, Mourinho.

Arsenal head of football, Raul Sanllehi dined with Jose Mourinho this week as the club considers pulling the trigger with a managerial change, according to The Times.

The Gunners have struggled to make progress under Unai Emery and growing concerns over fractures in his relationships with senior players have led to contingency plans being put in place.

According to the newspaper, Mourinho and Sanllehi had dinner together, with the former Manchester United boss said to have impressed with his plans for their squad.

It is claimed Emery has just one or two games remaining to save his job as club bosses seriously consider a move ahead of the November international break.

Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at the Emirate by Wolves on Saturday, with pressure mounting on Emery.

Mourinho has been holding out for a return to the Premier League as he eyes his first job since being sacked at Old Trafford almost a year ago.

The former Real Madrid boss have also retained a home in north London.

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Ukraine vs Nigeria: New Super Eagles Invitee, Maja Takes Over Mikel Obi’s Number 10 Shirt

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New Super Eagles invitee, Josh Maja, will be wearing jersey number 10 for Tuesday’s international friendly against Ukraine at the Dnipro Arena, according to Sporting Life.

The iconic jersey was worn by John Mikel Obi, who retired from international football after this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Maja who plays for French Ligue 1 side, Bordeaux, was a late call up for the friendly following the withdrawal of key players.

Alex Iwobi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ola Aina, William Troost-Ekong, and Leon Balogun have retained their shirt numbers ahead of the match.

Rohr’s men will be facing a Ukraine side, that has never lost to an Africa side in the last seven years.

Kick off is 7.30pm.

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