Wenger: We must prove we’re champs

first_img Asked if people were right to question Arsenal, Wenger said: “Yes – we haven’t won the league for a long time, so that is why they question us. “It is not (about nine seasons) without winning a trophy, it is without winning the Premier League. “If you win the League Cup, it does not change anything. “It is the Premier League that is the most important thing, and we haven’t won it for nine years. “Of course, it does not strengthen your belief, because if you win it every year, you go in there and (say) ‘it is just ours’, so it makes the challenge (now) more interesting.” Wenger continued: “At the moment everybody still questions us, even more after our defeat at (Manchester) City. “But I see the game at City the other way round, that we can have even more belief after the game at City.” Wenger maintains his men can rise to the challenges of character they will face again in the first of their hectic festive fixtures. “It adds pressure, but you cannot play in the Premier League without pressure,” the Gunners boss said. “There are periods where the pressure is a bit bigger and periods where it is smaller. “You have to live with that and resist that kind of stress.” Wenger added: “People are only keeping in their mind the big matches that we lose, but we have won some big games. “What is at stake is if you want to win the Premier League, you want to win the big games at home. It is as simple as that.” One player who is certainly due a big performance is Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker has only shown glimpses of his class since a £43million club-record move from Real Madrid. Wenger, though, has every confidence Ozil will come good on a regular basis soon enough. “I believe that he has a personality. He works quite hard and is adapting to the physical challenges of the Premier League at the moment,” said Wenger. “Ozil looks to me like (Robert) Pires. It took a while for Pires to adapt to the physical side of the game. “Once he had adapted he was absolutely amazing and Ozil is a similar type of player.” The Gunners were knocked off the top of the table after Liverpool’s win over Cardiff on Saturday lunchtime, and were soon pushed down into third place when Manchester City won 4-2 at Fulham. Should Chelsea win at the Emirates Stadium tonight, the Gunners – who once held a five-point lead – will be fourth at Christmas. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepts people will always question his side until they have proven themselves as Barclays Premier League champions once again. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Clear Lake approves new ambulance service agreement with Mason City, will result in faster service to some parts of county

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council has approved a revised ambulance service agreement that should result in better service for residents in the western part of the county. A 28E agreement between Clear Lake and Mason City regarding ambulance service coverage to various parts of the unincorporated area of Cerro Gordo County expired in June of 2017. The new 28E agreement shifts about 95 square miles of territory from Mason City to Clear Lake. Clear Lake Fire Chief Doug Meyers says one of the first discussions he had when Erik Bullinger became Mason City’s fire chief last year was on restructuring the service area for both departments to provide faster service.  “The service area in question incorporates ours, of Clear Lake’s and Ventura’s rural fire district, everything west of Killdeer Avenue within those two districts. Looking back at the closest ambulance to where people may need it, Mason City can get to that area east of Killdeer faster than we can, so it was a it was a good trade-off.”Meyers says the increased service area likely won’t mean a significantly higher call volume to the Clear Lake department.   “What we would anticipate is an additional 10 calls per year in this increased service area. Most of the area is incredibly rural, there’s very few households. The exception would be the Ventura Heights area just south of the grade in Ventura. Currently our fire department, our volunteers respond for technical rescue incidents on the interstate. The only difference would be now that we would have our ambulance accompany with that heavy rescue truck on an extrication on the interstate.” The Clear Lake council approved the agreement at their meeting on Monday night. Mason City’s city council approved it last week, and the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors gave their approval to the agreement at their meeting this morning.last_img read more

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Salah’s Iraqi lookalike dreams of football glory

first_img0Shares0000Iraqi footballer Hussein Ali plays for the Iraqi Al-Zawraa FC © AFP / SABAH ARARBAGHDAD, Iraq, Jun 7 – With his black beard, curly hair and football shirt, Iraqi striker Hussein Ali is often mistaken for one of the world’s top players: Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 20-year-old Ali is frequently stopped in his working-class Hurriya neighbourhood by people wanting a photograph with their idol. Although he is himself a striker, for the Al-Zawraa club, it is Ali’s likeness to Salah which piques Iraqis’ interest.“At the first training session, he introduced himself as ‘Hussein Ali’. I replied, ‘No, no, you are Mohamed Salah,” said Ali’s coach Adnan Mohammad.Like Liverpool’s Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, Hussein Ali plays as a striker for his Iraqi club © AFP / SABAH ARARBack when Salah was playing for AS Roma, Ali was aware of the resemblance but took the comments as “a joke”.But when the Egyptian shot to global fame in the Premier League — becoming “the number one footballer for all Arabs” according to Ali — his Iraqi doppelganger started to seriously work on his image.Since then, he has started wearing the red shirt of Salah’s club Liverpool.“It’s the real shirt, bought from an official supplier,” he said proudly from his small house, where the shutters are closed against the Baghdad heat during the long hours of electricity cuts.– Centre of attention –Ali said he paid $40 for the shirt, which he takes carefully from its hanger, while working every day to support his large family and without a wage from playing football.Lately, the “Mohamed Salah of Iraq” can’t leave his house without being stopped for photographs or approached by football fans who mistake him for the Egyptian star.Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, who plays for Liverpool, shot to global fame in the Premier League © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV“The day before yesterday I was in a mall; the security guards, the shop workers and the clients, everyone wanted to take a photo with me… even the girls!” said Ali.He attracts similar attention at football matches. When Ali’s team played against the Lebanese club Al-Ahed, “people were taking photos with me for an hour and a half,” he said.Last month Ali joined a group of supporters in the city centre to watch Salah’s Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final.Hussein Ali has even started wearing the red shirt of Salah’s club Liverpool © AFP / SABAH ARAR“When Mohamed Salah was injured, there were some who came to see me as if it was me who was suffering,” he said.“In my neighbourhood, over a number of days, people who passed me would say ‘Get well soon’,” he remembered, laughing.While such confusion amuses him, Ali’s similarity to Salah has prompted him to rethink his own life.– ‘Imitate and copy’ –Passionate about football since his was little, Ali made it onto the B team of Al-Zawraa, Iraq’s most decorated club.One day he hopes to live the same dream as Salah, who was thrust from his Nile Delta village into the heart of international football.“We play in the same position and I do everything to imitate and copy his movements,” said Ali, smiling widely.The Iraqi player is also keen to follow Salah’s example off the pitch, which in the past has led English fans to adopt an “I’ll be Muslim too” chant praising the footballer.Lately, the “Mohamed Salah of Iraq” can’t leave his house without being stopped for photographs or approached by football fans who mistake him for the Egyptian star © AFP / SABAH ARAR“He reads the Koran and he asks God to help him before his matches. I also read the Koran and pray, like Abu Makka,” said Ali, using a nickname for the Liverpool striker who named his daughter after the Muslim holy city of Mecca.After Salah’s injury fans globally were on tenterhooks to find out if their hero would be going to the World Cup which kicks off on June 14.He has now been included in The Pharaohs squad and Egyptians will be hoping he can continue his record goal-scoring streak in Russia.For Ali, his hopes will rest in one day coming face-to-face with his hero: “My life’s dream is to meet Mohamed Salah… Perhaps he will invite me to the World Cup in Russia?”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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