Left-back Edmilson happy in his dual role at City
Wenger admits Arsenal were to blame for Alexis Sanchez’s missed drugs test
MANAGER Arsene Wenger said yesterday that Arsenal were responsible for striker Alexis Sanchez missing a drug test on the day he completed his move to Manchester United, and that the player’s absence had been down to special circumstances.
Sanchez, 29, was due to be tested at Arsenal’s training complex on Monday but had already travelled to Manchester to complete a swap deal that saw Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading the other way.
“Honestly, on the administration side certainly it would still be our responsibility because, on the day, he had not moved, so maybe it will be down to us, to our responsibility,” Wenger said.
“I don’t know what happened but usually we try our best to get our players available and coordinate well.”
Wenger said the club had not yet been contacted by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) or the English Football Association ( FA), but that Arsenal had nothing to hide.
“I’m quite relaxed because we have nothing to hide here. He has been tested so many times here, it is no worry he has any doping problem, just a bad day for him to be tested,” the Frenchman added.
“It’s a special event for him to miss a drugs test because he will certainly be somewhere else with his agent.”
Embattled Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said yesterday that he would resign immediately if he felt he was no longer able to get through to his players at the crisis-hit club.
The stumbling European and Spanish champions were sent packing from the King’s Cup by Madrid minnows Leganes after losing 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
They sit fourth in the league standings, a remarkable 19 points adrift of runaway leaders Barcelona.
“If I thought my message wasn’t getting through I would leave here tomorrow,” Zidane said.
The Frenchman was only recently hailed as a master manager of Madrid’s famously tempestuous dressing room for leading the team to historic back-to-back Champions League triumphs as well as ending a five-year wait for a league title.
His qualities as a coach have been thrown into doubt this season, however, as he has been unable to resuscitate his side, who have lost three and drawn two of their last eight games in all competitions.
Real’s only realistic chance of saving their season is in the Champions League, where they face Paris St Germain in the last 16.
“Football is full of good and bad moments and I have to try and turn this situation around and I still feel strong,” Zidane added. – Reuters FOOTBALL IS not just about opportunity – it’s the ability to recognise the potential of the opportunity and then making the most of it. So, with Cape Town City blessed with two top- quality left- backs – Ebrahim Seedat and Edmilson Dove – opportunity becomes that much more critical.
City are back in action tomorrow afternoon when they are in the Free State to face Bloemfontein Celtic in a PSL fixture at the Dr Molemela Stadium ( kick- off 3.30pm) – and, if the secondplaced Capetonians want to stay in touch with log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, then this is a fixture they cannot afford to lose.
The competition between Seedat and Edmilson for the left- back slot has been an intriguing contest. Neither has let the side down. Head coach Benni McCarthy has the luxury of knowing that, it doesn’t matter who he picks of the two, he is guaranteed a good performance.
Earlier on in the season, Seedat was the man in charge of the jersey. He turned in some good displays, with Edmilson offering support from the bench.
But, with Seedat taking some time off to support his wife giving birth, Edmilson was drafted into the starting side again. And he hasn’t looked back – the 23-year-old Mozambican has been one of the more impressive performers for City in recent weeks.
“I feel very good to be playing regularly again,” said Edmilson. “I am feeling more fit which helps me to get forward a lot more to help in attack too. There is a healthy competition for left back between myself and Seedat, so he pushes me to keep doing well.”
In Celtic, City are up against a difficult opponent, especially at their home ground. The Bloemfontein side has had an erratic time of it, but are nevertheless in a comfortable ninth position on the PSL standings.
“It’s always difficult to travel to Celtic because they have good home support and they know how to use their home advantage,” said the classy Mozambican left-back. “They have been doing well in the league and they beat us in the first round.
“We know that we can expect a tough encounter, but we are all up for it. We managed to get some points away from home this season, and I am looking forward to this challenge.”
City are, of course, still on a high after defeating arch-rivals and neighbours Ajax Cape Town in the Cape derby last week. It was the fourth time the Citizens have emerged victorious in the derby since the formation of the club.
Edmilson was happy to have played his part in last week’s triumph, but admitted it was time to look forward; the derby success is over, now the focus was on the three points against Celtic.
“It was a very good occasion for all of us to play in another derby,” he said. “We really enjoyed ourselves in the match, especially to get the three points and another clean sheet.
“We had a good team performance to get the win and to keep Cape Town blue. I was happy to do my job in defence and attack for the team.”
LET’S MAKE SOME TROUBLE: Percy Tau celebrates a goal with Khama Billiat of Sundowns in a recent match. The Chiefs defence will have their hands full when these dangermen call the shots tonight.