Thursday, January 31, 2013

Firecracker Mario Balotelli rockets off to Milan

Mario Balotelli may have only graced British shores for two-and-a-half seasons, yet his imminent Manchester City exit to join AC Milan represents the end of an era in the Premier League.
From fireworks to training ground bust-ups, struggling to wear training bibs to effortlessly revealing that notorious 'Why Always Me?' t-shirt against Manchester United, the Italian's spell in England has provided us with a whirlwind of memories.

Love him or hate him, you will never forget Balotelli - but for now it is time to say goodbye to Super Mario as he shoots off back to Milan.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Drogba jumps ship to join Sneijder at Galatasaray

Didier Drogba has become the latest player to ditch Shanghai Shenhua for pastures new, with the Ivory Coast striker opting to join Wesley Sneijder at Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Fellow former Chelsea player Nicolas Anelka ended a similarly problematic spell in Asia to join Juventus on loan this month - leaving the Chinese club's dreams seemingly in tatters.

However, despite interest from a host of Serie A clubs, Drogba has opted for the fiery atmoshphere of Istanbul, signing a one-and-a-half year deal with the Super Lig side...

doodling Astro Boy

Kim Thayil caricature

Balotelli to AC Milan

Monday, January 28, 2013

Premier League casualties pile up during week of Cup giant-killings

It may well be a cliche but the 'magic of the FA Cup' returned with a vengeance at the weekend as Premier League clubs far and wide found themselves dumped out of the competition by lower league opposition.

Millwall got things started on Friday night, adding to Aston Villa's woes by sending Paul Lambert's men packing with a 2-1 win at The Den.
Saturday saw yet more surprises with MK Dons thrashing QPR and non-league Luton upsetting Norwich at Carrow Road.

And Sunday saw yet more shocks with Leeds humbling Tottenham, Brentford holding European champions Chelsea and Liverpool booted out of the competition by Oldham.
 

A tribute cartoon to my fans in Russia

I made this cartoon to my great fans in Russia, after my VK page there reached the 20 000 fans.
Here is me as the K, with 20 and the zero as a heart.
check out the page: http://vk.com/momani

Mourinho tries to make his birthday wish come true

Jose Mourinho doesn't seem to be enjoying himself in Spain at the moment!

Not only are his Real Madrid side all but certain to surrender the Liga title due to languishing so far behind Barcelona, but earlier this week Madrid daily Marca reported that Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos have threatened to leave Santiago Bernabeu in the summer if their boss is allowed to remain.

But it's not all bad for the Special One. Club president Florentino Perez has come out and backed his coach until the summer, which left Mourinho free to celebrate his 50th birthday on Saturday with some degree of peace, and contemplate how to salvage a turbulent season by winning the third Champions League crown of a stellar coaching career.
 

Platini's Euro 2020 vision gets the green light

Friday brought confirmation from Uefa that the year 2020 will, for the first time, see the European Championships spread across 13 cities from all over the continent.

Michel Platini, president of the governing body, has been the biggest proponent of the idea and finally sees it come to fruition.

And now the stars of the next decade of international football, including the likes of Paul Pogba, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Gotze, can start to plan their triumphant EuroTrip!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Perez's picture perfect Real Madrid masks the reality in Mourinho war

Life at Real Madrid is rarely dull and so it proved again this week as Jose Mourinho's men hogged the headlines once more.
Reports earlier in the week claimed that there were deep divisions within the squad, with players telling supremo Florentino Perez that he had to choose between them and Mourinho.

The president quickly called a press conference where he insisted all was well in the Spanish capital while Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas released a statement supporting their coach, for now at least.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Which of Europe's card sharks is holding the aces this year?

Stick or twist? That's the real question as Europe's top bosses limber up to do battle in the second half of the season - even if they all seem to be playing their own game.

Will Arsene Wenger Go Fish this January? Who'd win in Top Trumps if Jose and Tito laid their star cards down?

How long before Roman increases the tension on Rafa before he hears that all-too-familiar Snap and finds a new willing victim for Bridge?
Can Pep, er, pep up the Bayern players after the upcoming depature of Old Maid Jupp? And will Sir Alex Beggar My (noisy) Neighbour to reclaim the Premier League crown?

All we know is we want to be in the room if this game ever takes place...

Newcastle's French revolution goes a step too far

Defenders Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara, midfielder Moussa Sissoko and winger Yoann Gouffran all look set to be confirmed as Magpies players this week, bolstering a squad which already boasts the talents of former Ligue 1 stars Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Mathieu Debuchy, among others.

All this comes after Alan Pardew was gazumped by QPR and Harry Redknapp in the race for Marseille striker Loic Remy. So who is next? Napoleon? Marcel Marceau? Gerard Depardieu? Some randomer wearing a hooped jumper with perhaps a greater affection for garlic than is wise?

As Goal.com's satirist-in-chief George Ankers claims, maybe it's time for Newcastle to start calling themselves Nouveauchateau. Whoever it is, we're all for it. Allez les Toon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Zaha set to take the plunge with Manchester United

Wilfried Zaha has made quite the name for himself in the Championship with Crystal Palace and is subsequently being coveted by the cream of the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger registered his interest in the prodigal 20-year-old back in November but as the January transfer window draws nearer to its conclusion, it appears Manchester United are on the verge of clinching the transfer of Zaha.

Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to offer the south London club £17 million to take the wonderkid to Old Trafford. Zaha has scored five goals from 32 games this season playing the majority of his matches from wide positions and was rewarded by Roy Hodgson with his first England cap in a friendly against Sweden.
 

الإمارات البطلة

ظفر المنتخب الإماراتي ببطولة كأس الخليج الحادية والعشرين في أرض البحرين بعدما قدم رفاق المبدع "عموري" بطولة مميزة واستطاعوا التفوق على كبار منطقة الخليج العربي والتفوق على خبرات العراق والكويت.
المنتخب الإماراتي ظهر بجيل المستقبل الشاب الذي يعول عليه كثيرًا لحمل لواء الكرة الإمارتية وإعادة الإنجازات من جديد للمملكة بعدما عادت البسمة على شفاة الشعب الإماراتي.

والآن مع ريشة عمر المومني لترسم احتفالات الأبيض بلقب خليجي 21 ...
 

Thawly not?! Wenger & Sir Alex Ferguson left frustrated after dropped points in the snow

A snowy Sunday saw both Manchester United and Arsenal suffer setbacks in the Premier League, with Sir Alex Ferguson's men losing ground in the title race while Arsene Wenger's side hindered their chances of securing a top-four spot.

A late Clint Dempsey strike rescued a point for Tottenham against the Premier League leaders at White Hart Lane, while a timid opening half at Stamford Bridge saw the Gunners ship two goals as Theo Walcott's effort after the break could not inspire a comeback against Chelsea.

The draw led Sir Alex to slam the performance of assistant referee Simon Beck, while Wenger insists his players cannot afford to drop any more points if they want to secure a Champions League place for next season.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Suarez and Sturridge are Liverpool's new A Team

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers loves it when a plan comes together.

The Anfield boss saw his January signing, Daniel Sturridge, excel in tandem with the prolific Luis Suarez on Saturday, scoring in the 5-0 victory over Norwich and playing a big role in most of the Reds' most threatening attacking play.


In Suarez and Sturridge, it appears Liverpool have found a new A Team, and a push up the Premier League table might not be too far away.

Pogba the Torpedo

The French midfielder struck twice to cap off a marvellous personal display against Udinese, and staked another claim for a regular spot in the Bianconeri XI

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Walcott contract hold-up explained

So finally he has signed. Theo Walcott put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with Arsenal and has relieved Arsene Wenger of his latest contract headache.

The forward was linked with moves to a host of Premier League clubs prior to committing to a new deal which has seen his salary climb to around £90,000 a week.

But what took Walcott so long to sign? Goal.com cartoonist Omar Momani has a theory...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wenger baulks at lofty Cavani price tag

Arsene Wenger has faced heavy criticism over his reluctance to spend money on new signings at Arsenal, and even his compliment towards Napoli forward Edinson Cavani was laced with his own financial conscience.

"Cavani is a player that I like," Wenger confessed in Thursday's press conference before quickly adding: "What is for sure is that he costs a lot of money."

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that a bid of €55 million [£46m] for the striker has previously been rejected - will Wenger try his luck? Er... don't bank on it.

Funny Wikipedia Cavani biography

That night I was planning to draw Napoli's Cavani, so I decided as always to reread about the player, and usually I read biography thru Wikipedia (the most viewed web site to me); I attend Wiki to recheck player's number and so.
Then I found this, go check the picture above, but don't worry Wikipedia just fixed the errors.

Bundesliga stock rises as Bayern claim a prize football asset

Pep Guardiola brought a premature end to the likely summer saga regarding his next destination after he was announced as Bayern Munich's next manager.

The 41-year-old, who guided Barcelona to 13 trophies during his four-year stint at Camp Nou, will take over from Jupp Heynckes when he retires at the Bundesliga club at the end of the season.

The appointment will come as a blow for both Manchester City and Chelsea, who were heavily interested in hiring Guardiola this summer, while the Premier League has lost another intriguing addition for the time being.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guardiola tries London, Manchester & Munich on for size

The race for Pep Guardiola's signature has well and truly begun. The former Barcelona manager revealed he will return to management this summer after a year's sabbatical, prompting Europe's biggest clubs into a scramble for his services.

While reports that Guardiola has agreed to manage Bayern Munich are wide of the mark, meetings have taken place between both parties, with 'FC Hollywood' ready to move mountains to land the man they think will take them back to the top of Europe.

The 41-year-old could perhaps link up with old Camp Nou colleagues Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain at Manchester City after revealing his wish to manage in the Premier League.

Or he could be the man to finally take over the reins at Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson himself hinting the Spaniard could be the man to fill his shoes.

Window pain for Wenger as David Villa slips out of Arsenal's grasp

It could have been another long-running transfer saga involving Barcelona and Arsenal, but now the Catalans have declared that striker David Villa is not for sale at any price.

The Gunners had made a formal approach, but after Barca manager Tito Vilanova said the Spaniard was not for sale, Goal.com exclusively revealed that the Londoners were relenting in their pursuit.

However, Arsene Wenger has now reportedly turned his attention to Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez, so it's clear that the Gunners will keep trying for a new striker until they finally get one in the transfer window.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Prints for sale at Mlabbas

Three limited edition prints (on canvas) are now available at our Upstairs space at 28 Rainbow Street. 
go check it out at Mlabbas store.
for more information you can contact Mlabbas via https://www.facebook.com/mlabbas







Manchester in two-horse race for the title as Arsenal and Liverpool are left behind

The two Manchester clubs look set to battle it out for the Premier League title alone after their latest victories on Sunday.

First, Manchester United beat rivals Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford, despite a second half revival from Brendan Rodgers' side, before Manchester City secured three points with a convincing 2-0 victory over Arsenal.

Roberto Mancini's side may be seven points adrift of the leaders, but the performance at the Emirates Stadium indicated the title race is very much a two-horse race.

Chelsea may remain an outside bet after their convincing 4-0 victory over Stoke on Saturday, but the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool have been left flagging far behind.

 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Parody: am sponsoring Sevilla FC

"الوطني" يكسب

أثبت المدرب الوطني في بطولة كأس الخليج الحادية والعشرين المُقامة حاليا في البحرين كفاءة ، وأحقية في استعادة المكانة الطبيعية للمدربين العرب الذين غابوا وتاهوا عن الساحة وسط زخم نظرائهم الأجانب في دول الخليج ، فالنجاح الجديد الذي سجله الناخبان الوطنيان للعراق والإمارات حكيم شاكر ومهدي علي ، حينما نجحا في بلوغ الدور نصف النهائي بعدما حققا العلامة الكاملة من النقاط بأداء ولا أروع كان خير دليل على ذلك .

رسالة من المنخفض الجوي في الاردن

Van Persie - Ready! Suarez - Ready! The battle of Old Trafford awaits

 The two giants of English football clash this afternoon, as Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in another hotly-anticipated meeting between them.

Yet with Brendan Rodgers' men languishing in eighth place and 21 points off the pace set by the Red Devils at the top of the Premier League, it is not solely the teams that are the focus of events on Sunday, but rather, which of the two sides' free-scoring strikers prevails.

The hosts' Robin van Persie currently leads the way in the goal charts with 16 so far this campaign, yet he is closely followed by Luis Suarez, whose 15 goals have almost single-handedly kept the Merseysiders above water this year...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nuri Sahin runs back to Borussia Dortmund after Liverpool nightmare

Nuri Sahin had been expected to spend an entire season at Liverpool, on loan from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

But, after a disappointing start and entirely forgettably spell, the Turkey international has cut his Anfield stay short.

Sahin is not bound for Madrid, though. The midfielder is on his way back to his former club Borussia Dortmund, to be reuinited with Jurgen Klopp, who has watched his once star player toil since leaving Germany.

Samuel Inkoom caricature

My friend Samuel Inkoom asked me to draw him in a caricature and that what I made to him.
Inkoom is a Ghanaian professional footballer, who currently plays as a defender for Ukrainian club FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the Ukrainian Premier League and the Ghana national team.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lord Heskey

A tribute to the Lord of football

Italy's big guns look to cherry-pick Balotelli

The January transfer window is open, and it appears the clamour for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has started in Italy.

Napoli are the latest club to express an interest in the Italy international, with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis dreaming of partnering the forward with Edinson Cavani, who has also welcomed a move for the 22-year-old.

Inter, meanwhile, claim to have first refusal for their former striker, and will exercise the right to bid if Manchester City choose to sell.

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi may have described Balotelli as a "rotten apple," recently, but there is no shortage of suitors aiming to cherry-pick the Italy international.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chelsea boo-boys call for Torres to get the chop

Chelsea's Capital One Cup defeat to Swansea brought misery for the fans and also for striker Fernando Torres, who once again failed to score before being substituted.

The Spain international has endured a terrible time in west London since his £50 million move from Liverpool, and was jeered on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge by his own fans.

To make matters worse, the supporters also called for new signing Demba Ba, who looked a real threat in his brief cameo and could be set to ensure Torres gets the chop from Chelsea's team.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sturridge stuck in Liverpool time warp

After swapping European champions Chelsea for Liverpool, striker Daniel Sturridge has wasted no time in revealing his delight at joining the Reds.

Despite the fact the Merseysiders have failed to win a league title for over 20 years and finished a lowly eighth last season, Sturridge is convinced he has made the right decision.

"It is the biggest club I have ever played for," he told the club's official website. "In the Premier League, there is no bigger club than Liverpool."
 

Berlusconi: Balotelli is a rotten apple

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has rubbished rumours that the club could sign Mario Balotelli, describing the Manchester City forward as a "rotten apple".

It was thought Balotelli could have been brought in to replace the already-departured Pato and Robinho, who was expected to leave the club in the current window, but the 76-year-old has officially ruled it out.

Cristiano Ronaldo remains in Messi's shadow after Ballon d'Or defeat

Lionel Messi made history on Monday night, securing his fourth Ballon d'Or - more than any player has ever managed.

The Argentine's brilliance saw him deservedly crowned the best player in the world, but spare a thought for Cristiano Ronaldo, who was once again pipped to the post by the Barcelona man.

Leading Real Madrid to the Liga title over the Blaugrana was not enough for the Portugal captain, who couldn't even grab more attention with his suit than Messi at the glitzy ceremony in Zurich.

Monday, January 7, 2013

You're free to go - Mourinho forced to concede defeat in Casillas bench row

Jose Mourinho's battle with Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas took another twist on Sunday night, when the Portuguese boss was forced to call upon the Spanish goalkeeper to replace Antonio Adan after his red card in the 4-3 win over Real Sociedad.

In the build-up to kick-off, the Santiago Bernabeu crowd cheered the shot-stopper's name as it was read out on the tannoy, which was in stark contrast to the greeting that welcomed the manager, who was roundly booed by his own fans.

After being pegged back twice, a Cristiano Ronaldo double ensured victory for the Liga champions, yet for Mourinho, he was forced to concede a notable defeat as Casillas returned to the fold..

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Super Van Persie rescues Manchester United in the nick of time

Robin van Persie scores when he wants. What started as a defiant chant by Arsenal fans last season has now been adopted by gleeful Manchester United supporters but, no matter who is doing the singing, they appear to be right.

The Dutchman has continued the blistering form which enabled him to light up north London last season, and on Saturday he notched his 20th goal of the season for United with a last-minute equaliser against West Ham.

Sam Allardyce's men thought they had booked their passage into the FA Cup fourth round courtesy of two James Collins headers but, at the death, substitute Van Persie sensationally took a brilliant lofted pass from Ryan Giggs in his stride before rifling the ball low into the net with his supposedly weaker right foot.

The two sides will now have to do battle again to see whose FA Cup dream will stay alive, and only a fool would bet against Van Persie making the difference again.

A helping hand

Pato back to Brazil

 

Sam Allardyce picks up Raggedy-Ann dolls Joe Cole & Marouane Chamakh

Limp and hung out to dry, Joe Cole and Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh had become two of the footballing wilderness' most high-profile members in the last six months.

Fortunately, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has always been a man to appreciate the quality of vintage goods, and was quick to sign the duo on Friday in the early days of the January transfer window.

Snapped off the shelf and handed a second chance at Upton Park, 31-year-old Cole will be hoping for a happy return to east London, while the Moroccan's six-month loan spell is a perfect chance to show his worth to his parent club in the north of the capital...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mancini finally explodes after reaching Balotelli boiling point

Roberto Mancini has stood by Mario Balotelli through all the fireworks in the bathroom, red cards, camouflaged Bentleys and grass allergies.

But tensions finally seemed to come to a head at Manchester City's training ground on Thursday, when Mancini took exception to a tackle by the striker on Scott Sinclair, leading to a physical altercation.

However, despite the fireworks at Carrington, Mancini does not appear to have severed ties entirely with the striker.

“Will Mario have more chances? I will give him 100 chances as long as I can see him trying to improve and working hard for this football club,” he told reporters on Friday morning.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Redknapp teaches dopey Benitez a lesson

Down, out and languishing at the foot of the Premier League table, Harry Redknapp's QPR seemed all but relegated going into Wednesday's clash with Chelsea.

Prior to kick-off, the former Tottenham boss had teased his counterpart Rafa Benitez, insisting he would have to be "a dope" not to succeed with the talent-laden squad available to him at Stamford Bridge.

Whether Redknapp's jibes were intended or not, they most certainly worked, with the Rs snatching a shock 1-0 win against their west London rivals, and Benitez well and truly taught a lesson by 'Arry...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chicharito & Van Persie two peas in a pod

Manchester United continued their march towards reclaiming the Premier League title with a 4-0 victory over Wigan on Tuesday which came largely thanks to Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

The strikers bagged two goals apiece at the DW Stadium to ensure the Red Devils maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the table, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson later hailing his peashooting duo.

Indeed, Van Persie and Chicharito's form could be concerning for fellow forwards Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney, with the pair making goalscoring look easy peasy as of late...