Will Arsenal Sell & Buy More Players?

David Ospina allowed to leave despite Petr Cech rumours. Ospina was No 2 behind Petr Cech last season with Unai Emery also signing Bernd Leno this summer. There is doubt over Cech’s future though with former club Chelsea linked to a surprise move for the Czech keeper. Leno is expected to be Emery’s No 1 but with Cech potentially leaving, it could leave Arsenalshort on goalkeepers. Even so, the Evening Standard report that the Gunners will allow Ospina to leave if he finds a new club.

Besiktas have been strongly linked with the Colombian as the Turkish club could lose their current keeper. Emery is keen to bring in two more players before the end of the transfer window, but the north London side will have to sell players first in order to raise funds. The Gunners have already secured the services of Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Matteo Guendouzi in recent weeks and Emery remains keen to add to his squad. Arsenal had a £70 million ($91m) budget heading into the transfer window, however, and will have to sell before making any additional signings.

They are believed to be willing to listen to offers for the likes of Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech, David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez. The arrival of Leno from Bayer Leverkusen means Cech will likely end up on the bench after three years at the Emirates, with Ospina another potential victim of the German goalkeeper’s signing. Mustafi faces extra competition for a starting berth in defence from Sokratis following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund , with the centre-back enduring a difficult 2017-18 campaign.

No Blogging Schedule As Such

What does your blogging schedule look like?

I don’t have a schedule when it comes to blogging. Usually I set aside 30 minutes to an hour for writing blog posts. I usually like doing that and selecting a prompt at times when I don’t have anything ready made to post around 11am to 12pm. This time is usually right after I have had my first cup of coffee and gone through various sports and other related news and am checking videos on Youtube.

By this time normally I am in the mood to write although on weekends it can usually be in the evening hours. I prefer to write two posts a day, no matter how small and sometimes it’s videos that I share, some of which I shot and photos that I have taken or just sharing some videos and images I find on the net. But writing wise, I really try and make myself post something atleast once a day.

Again, coffee helps. Music in the background or a podcast also helps as I can listen to it and still concentrate on writing.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF JULY WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

Pot Hole City

It’s been cold for several days. It’s been raining almost every day and on some days it’s been raining almost non-stop. My last post was about floods in the town of Pala in Kerala but it’s bad everywhere. Kottayam, Kozhikode and even Cochin. The railways stations in Eranakulam North Junction and in South Junction are both flooded and people are even using boats to float on the waters above the railway tracks.

Worst parts are the roads! Cochin is famous for having potholes that the local government take their own sweet time to address and when they do get to fixing it, they do a barely minimum job which they either ruin by having pipe work done on the sides immediately after or they fix the roads just before the monsoon season. All this ensures that the contractors get their contracts signed every year regularly and the corrupt politicians gets to steal money.

Yesterday the cab I was in had to use two diversions because of huge pot holes on two side roads onroute to my office in the evening as the waters were deep and sedans as well as smaller cars and bikes won’t get through without damages. I lost a lot of time, almost 30 minutes because of this.

Can You Pass a Basic Religion Test?

Can You Pass a Basic Religion Test?

I guess so. Now it depends on which religion. But yeah, basically I feel like I could pass a basic religion test for Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. The rest of them aren’t ones that affect us too much and Buddhism is way too pacifist for most of us to actually worry about.

Not that I have read much of the stuff but then I pick up things from here and there and it’s also kinda hard to escape from it when you have so many religious nutcases on tv, Youtube, Facebook and all around you at work, school or whatever saying this stuff over and over again.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

The Easy Life Gone By

What was the hardest part of being a kid?

None. What was so hard about me being a kid? Nothing much. I know I had some issues growing up but childhood uptil the age of 15 was actually very good. Great almost. I had a rough patch at the age of 13 when I was a rebel without a cause but I guess most 13 year olds are like that.

The hardest decision was which movie to watch while on vacation with my cousins. That was how difficult life was. Things were easy. We had less choices in places to go, things to do and where we could go to eat but we still had a lot of fun and it was peaceful, minor squabbles aside.

So yeah, except for a few small issues I had the good life. After 16 things got a lot more complicated, as they say.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF JULY WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

RIP Ray Emery

Former NHL goaltender Ray Emery drowned while swimming in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, on Sunday. He was 35. According to the Hamilton Police Department, Emery was reported missing just after 6 a.m. Sunday in Hamilton Harbour, which is on the western tip of Lake Ontario. His body was recovered in proximity to where he was last seen later in the afternoon, police said. The cause of death will be confirmed following an examination.

“They went out for a swim, and unfortunately, he did not emerge after diving in,” police Inspector Marty Schulenberg told The Hamilton Spectator. “We responded along with Hamilton Fire and EMS. Unfortunately, our efforts on the water and in the area just around the piers were met with negative results.”

Emery was an Ottawa Senators fourth-round draft pick in 2001. Over 11 NHL seasons, he played for the Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. Nicknamed “Razor” for his aggressive style, Emery helped the Senators to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 and won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 as a backup to Corey Crawford. Emery last played in the NHL in the 2014-15 season for the Flyers, though he played one more professional season in the American Hockey League and in Germany’s DEL. He had a career NHL record of 145-86-28 with 16 shutouts and a 2.70 goals-against average.

Emery battled avascular necrosis, the same serious hip ailment that ended two-sport star Bo Jackson’s career. Emery played in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game Saturday night in Hamilton. Emery dealt with off-ice problems throughout his career, including an incident of road rage, assault of a trainer in Russia and behavior that led to him being sent home from Ottawa’s training camp. Emery spent a total of seven seasons in the Senators organization. With Ottawa, he sometimes found himself in hot water, including the day he missed a team flight. Another time he fought his pal, Brian McGrattan, during practice.

France Crowned 2018 World Cup Winners

France won the Fifa World Cup for the second time by overcoming Croatia’s bold challenge in a thrilling final in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Didier Deschamps’ side repeated the success on home soil at France ’98 by a margin that hardly looked possible as Croatia stood toe-to-toe with the favourites for an hour. France’s victory meant Deschamps, who captained them 20 years ago, became just the third man to win the competition as a player and coach. Croatia also felt their luck deserted them, but ultimately France ran out victorious to erase the memories of the loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final in Paris.

In one of the most exciting World Cup finals of the modern era, played out to a soundtrack of thunder, Croatia and France delivered an enthralling spectacle that brought the joint highest goal tally in a final since 1958, a pitch invasion, and a controversial intervention from the video assistant referee that had a huge influence on the outcome. France took the lead after 18 minutes when Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick deflected in off Mario Mandzukic’s head – but Croatia were by far the better side in the first half and deservedly equalised courtesy of Ivan Perisic’s left-foot finish. Croatia were left nursing a burning sense of injustice when France restored their lead seven minutes before half-time through Griezmann’s penalty, awarded by referee Nestor Pitana for handball against Perisic after a lengthy delay while VAR was consulted.

In a compelling second half, France looked to have wrapped it up with two strikes in six minutes from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe either side of the hour mark. Croatia, however, showed unbreakable spirit and even threatened a comeback when Mandzukic took advantage of France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris hesitating over a clearance to pull a goal back. But France closed out the win to bring redemption for Deschamps after defeat at the Euros two years ago, sparking wild celebrations and ensuring Lloris lifted the World Cup.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a 2018 American science fantasy adventure film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine. Produced by Walt Disney Picturesand Whitaker Entertainment, the story follows a young girl who, with the help of three astral travelers, sets off on a quest to find her missing father.

This movie is bad! I cannot tell you how many times I have cringed at the dialogues and the pseudo-cutesy moments made to try and make it a children’s movie and feel good moments. It does not have much going for it except for some really awesome special effects. While I did like the three main kids in the movie and Storm Reed is convincing as the smart kid who is struggling to adjust to both her school and home life ever since her father Alex, a well-renowned scientist, mysteriously disappeared, there are moments when I am reminded that this is a Disney movie trying to mix science fiction (well, just a little) with the faries, Mary Poppins, mysterious realms and all that jazz into one messy bowl and not doing a good job at it.

So while studying astrophysics Dr. Alexander Murry, a NASA scientisys, is supposedly whisked away or teleported to an another world. 4 years later Meg’s younger adopted brother Charles Wallace somehow knows these three woman – Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, who is the oldest and appears as a giant. The three reveal themselves as astral travelers, and lead Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace through a tesseract taking them to a distant planet named Uriel. Yup, a tessaract! Anyways, Meg & Charles is joined by Calvin, a classmate of Meg. And then it’s all mumbo jumbo but some good scenes on Uriel, a lovely alien planet.

But there is the IT, a dark and cunning force a malevolent entity plotting to take over the universe. They must try and avoid the It and find Alex. Charles Wallace is hypnotized by Red, The It’s assistant and he turns “to the dark side”. Using her love for her brother and the knowledge that she is imperfect, Meg frees Charles Wallace from the control of the IT and releases Camazotz from the control of the evil entity. The three Mrs. return and tell Meg that it is time for her to tesser for herself. After returning home, Meg thanks the women for their help rescuing her father. They part ways, and Veronica begins acting nicer to her. The film ends with the Murry family celebrating a joyful reunion and Calvin going home to confront his father, who is on his case a lot.

I totally expected a different kind of film and was highly disappointed. I didn’t pay any attention to the trailer or any reviews. I will give this film a 5.5 outta 10 just for the special effects. With a total production and marketing budget of around $250 million, the film was a box office bomb, grossing just $132 million worldwide and losing Disney at least $86 million.

Belgium Wins 3rd Place – World Cup 2018

England’s World Cup campaign in Russia ended with a 2-0 defeat by Belgium in St Petersburg that meant the Three Lions finished in fourth place.

Gareth Southgate’s team were unable to bounce back from the despair of Wednesday’s extra-time loss against Croatia in the semi-final in Moscow – but this still represents a highly creditable tournament for England.

Thomas Meunier put Belgium ahead after just four minutes when he slid in ahead of Danny Rose to divert Nacer Chadli’s cross past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

England had chances to level in the second half as Toby Alderweireld cleared off the line from Eric Dier, while Harry Maguire also headed wide from a good position.

Eden Hazard wrapped it up for Belgium with eight minutes left when he got the better of Phil Jones to beat Pickford, who had just saved magnificently from Meunier, with an powerful finish.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku missed two chances and was substituted without scoring, leaving England captain Harry Kane in pole position to win the World Cup’s Golden Boot with six goals.

World Cup 2018 Semi-Finals

France will face England or Croatia in the World Cup final after edging past European neighbours Belgium in the semi-final in St Petersburg. Defender Samuel Umtiti scored the winning goal for the 1998 champions in the second half with a towering header from Antoine Griezmann’s corner. Didier Deschamps’ side were on the back foot for large periods of the game, but emerged victorious to reach their third final, having been beaten by Italy on penalties in 2006.

Belgium came through the quarter-finals by impressively beating Brazil, but they were unable to find the equaliser, as Axel Witsel’s powerful, long-range drive was pushed away by Hugo Lloris, who also brilliantly kept out Toby Alderweireld’s turn and shot. At the final whistle, the France substitutes ran on the pitch to celebrate with the players, while manager Deschamps was mobbed by his staff before dancing around in a circle.

England’s bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an agonising end as they lost in extra time to Croatia in Moscow. Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute of the semi-final, slotting in from Ivan Perisic’s flick-on into the area. England – in their first World Cup semi-final since they were beaten on penalties by West Germany at Italia ’90 – were given the perfect start through Kieran Trippier’s 20-yard free-kick after only five minutes, but Perisic’s 68th-minute equaliser sent the match into extra time.

England’s players were inconsolable at the final whistle as the dream was snatched away and the pain was etched on their faces as well as that of manager Gareth Southgate – but they can take great pride and credit from this tournament. Croatia, in sharp contrast, were jubilant and will now face France in the final in Moscow on Sunday.

Random FaceBook Posts From This Week

I wonder if far, far into the future down the evolution path or perhaps in an alternate universe, fish catch humans for sport, bring them into water and then throw them back out to land!

Things that didn’t exist the last time England played a World Cup semi final: Social Media, Mobile phones, Various internet technologies & Croatia!

It’s been raining almost non-stop and raining heavily that people in Kerala are planning of building a large ark. Not one like’s Noah’s arc from mythology but a real large boat or ship. And in it – since we are talking of Malayalees – they plan on storing lots of alcohol, beef, coconuts and kappa!

I really wish they would start more large supermarkets in Kochi. It would be nice to shop without half the population beside me.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Stephen King Movie Adaptations

This here is my little ole list of top & favourite movie adaptations of Stephen King’s novels, novellas, short stories or his original script work. I haven’t watched all of them so this is based on just what I have seen. This list may change depending on when and if I do watch more of them. So here goes:

  • It (2017 & the mini-series)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • The Mist
  • The Green Mile
  • Shawshank Redemptions
  • Pet Semetary
  • Cujo
  • Dolores Clairborne
  • Thinner
  • The Running Man
  • Apt Pupil

Friday The 13th

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year. Today is a Friday the 13th!

The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: “triskaidekaphobia”; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greekwords Paraskeví (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (meaning thirteen). The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages, “originating from the story of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion” in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday. While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.

As a child I was frightened by the original movie of the Friday the 13th franchise, which came out in 1980 and have 12 films have grossed over $464 million at the box-office worldwide, and having seen it a few years later. My cousins made up all scary stories about Friday the 13th when we were kids to the point that we scared ourselves. I ofcourse love the film franchise and am watching it right now.

Arsenal Sign Teenage Midfielder Matteo Guendouzi

Arsenal have signed France under-20 international Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient for an undisclosed fee. The 19-year-old, who started his career in Paris St-Germain’s academy, joined Ligue 2 side Lorient in 2014 and made his first-team debut aged 17 in 2016. Torreira is Unai Emery’s fifth signing as Arsenal manager following Lucas Torreira’s arrival on Tuesday. “I want to become part of the club’s history and to achieve great things here,” said midfielder Guendouzi. “Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart and a side I’ve wanted to join since I was a child.”

Guendouzi made 30 appearances for Lorient during his time at the club and will wear the number 29 shirt at Arsenal. The Gunners have also brought in goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus and defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund. Head coach Unai Emery said: “We are delighted Matteo is joining us. He is a talented young player and a lot of clubs were interested in him. “He has big potential and gained good first-team experience last season with Lorient. “He wants to learn and improve and will be an important part of our first-team squad.”

Guendouzi will wear the number 29 shirt and could make his Arsenal debut on Saturday in a pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood. One for the future and we will be watching.

Arsenal Sign Uruguayan Lucas Torreira

Arsenal have completed the signing of Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria. Torreira, 22, completed his medical at Arsenal’s London Colney training base on Tuesday before the club announced the deal for an undisclosed fee. The midfielder, who featured in all five of Uruguay’s games at the World Cup, will be given a break before joining up with the rest of his new team-mates in early August. Arsenal head coach Unai Emery told the club’s website: “In Lucas Torreira, we have signed a young player who is a very bright talent in the game.

“A midfielder with great quality, I have enjoyed watching his performances for Sampdoria in the past two seasons, and we all saw him do very well for Uruguay in the World Cup. “He is a young player already with good experience, but who wants to keep on growing. We welcome Lucas to Arsenal and look forward to him joining us soon for pre-season.” Torreira said he is excited to get started in London, with the club confirming he will wear the No 11 shirt.”I feel very happy,” he said. “I want to make the most of this opportunity life has given me. I am really looking forward to starting this new adventure.”I feel calm. I am used to coping with this kind of thing in the best possible way. It’s a very positive thing that people want to welcome me.”It makes me feel comfortable. Now I am calm and I look forward to the future, which for sure will be very nice.”

Emery has been busy in the transfer window already, signing Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, free agent right-back Stefan Lichtsteiner and Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno. He has been handed the number 11 shirt for the 2018/19 campaign and will join up with the squad in early August.