“Patriot Day” – as billed by SuperSport, soon became Sunday with all eyes on Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace who were aiming to become the first South Africans to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge since Trevor Immelman in 2007. But ice-cool Swede Alex Noren ran amok and stifled any such lofty ambitions.
Along came former Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko, who took a rather unexpected route in showing his dissatisfaction in Bosnia’s World Cup qualifier against Greece on Sunday. Having already picked up a yellow, the 30-year-old who now plays for Roma, initially went down for a challenge from Kyriakos Papadopoulos about 78 minutes into the game.
The tussle continued as Dzeko lay on his back with the Greek trying to rip the ball from his grasp. Infuriated, he proceeded to pull Papadopoulos’ shorts down. There the poor RB Leizpig defender stood exposed trying to restore some much needed pride, but not for long as he and Dzeko were both given their marching orders seconds later. Greece went on to equalise in the dying minutes earning a vital point and it goes without saying that the Bosnians weren’t too happy with referee Jonas Eriksson’s call.
We all know players do funny things, but this incident must go down as one of the most bizarre … bottoms up to Dzeko for creativity and the balls, of course, to pull it off. Moving on to more serious stuff… It’s that time again – the Mourinho versus Wenger showdown is only two days’ away. And what a mouthful it promises to be when the two powerhouses meet for a rendezvous at noon.
The high-flying Gunners are obviously hoping to abolish any hint of previous results which are heavily stacked in the Special One’s favour. The rivalry between the two dates back to 2004 and in those 12 years, Wenger has never recorded a competitive win against Mourinho who labelled him a “specialist in failure” in 2014.
It was also two years ago when Arsene shoved Jose 20 minutes into the game after a contentious foul on Alexis Sanchez at Stamford Bridge which the Blues won 2-0. The feuds haven’t always been physical and have produced some gems during the years.
So here’s one from each party in the spirit of fair play: “He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent,” Wenger was quoted as saying in 2005, a year after his counterpart first took the reins at Chelsea.
Mourinho, the winner of three Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, produced another beauty 11 years later, this time sporting United colours: “There are some managers, the last time they won a title was 10 years ago. The last time I won was a year ago. If I have something to prove, imagine the others! To finish fourth is not the aim.”
Fast forward a couple of seasons and hardly anything has changed with the hype at an alltime high. Arsenal are going in as favourites buoyed by newfound magical combinations and a hot run of form, while the Red Devils are still carrying the “work in progress” tag lagging six points behind their rivals. After all is said and done, someone will be caught with their pants down … but who?