Naby Keita’s days are numbered at RB Leipzig

Naby Keita

Naby Keita, had a wonderful time last season for Leipzig. The 22 year old was resolute in midfield and stark in attack. It was no surprise that FC Liverpool came calling for his services. They offered 75 million Euro but was turned down by Leipzig.

According to the latest statement of the sports director, Ralf Rangnick to BILD, “Naby has the option theoretically to leave the club next season. I assume that he plays another stark season, especially in the Champions league, and there would be big clubs that he is interested in. It would be difficult to keep him.”

Leipzig are trying to extend Keita’s contract that is dotted with an exit clause of 50 million Euro next season. Unfortunately they have not been successful.

It appears his days at Leipzig might come to an end next season with a caveat-stark performance during the season.

Ralf Rangnick resigns from Schalke 04 due to health reasons.

Schalke 04 annouced today that Ralf Rangnick,the coach,has resigned due to health reasons. Ralf Rangnick is quoted as saying,”based on a burn out syndrome,i am not in a position to lead the team.” He also said, “after a long thought,i felt that i need a break.”

Rangnick took over from Felix Magath in March this year.

Schalke will hold a press conference to give further details later in the day.

After the death of Robert Enke, most clubs in the Bundesliga now take burn out symptoms seriously. I wish Ralf Rangnick all the best in his recovery.

Ralf Rangnick exits 1899 Hoffenheim.

Ralf Rangnick is no longer the manager of 1899 Hoffenheim. According to Bild am Sonntag, Ralf Rangnick resigned over the immediate transfer of Luiz Gustavo to Bayern Munich.

Ralf Rangnick is a man of principle. The diminutive man popularly called the professor,has been at loggerheads with Dietmar Hopp, his boss,for quite some time. Both of them have differences in opinion on how to run the club.

Ralf Rangnick’s goal was to build the team towards a comfortable position in the Bundesliga leading to qualification for international tournaments. While Dietmar Hopp thinks Hoffenheim is a provincial Bundesliga club that could qualify for international competition if everything works smoothly.Recently, they seem not to agree on anything.

Luiz Gustavo winter transfer to Bayern Munich was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Rangnick wanted the transfer to take place after the end of the season, but Hopp surprisingly met with Bayern Munich and the agent of Luiz Gustavo without informing Rangnick in December.

Bayern Munich announced the immediate signing of Luiz Gustavo recently for 15 million euros with a contract till 2015. Ragnick felt slighted and turned his back on Hoffenheim due to irreconcilable differences.

Rangnick helped Hoffenheim get promoted from the obscure third division to the Bundesliga within a short period of time.

The project Hoffenheim under the financial guidance of Dietmar Hopp will continue without Ralf Rangnick. It is still unknown who will lead Hoffenheim when the league resumes after the winter break.

Update:Marco Pezzaiuoli is the new manager of Hoffenheim.

Wrong call in Hoffenheim renew debate for modernization of football

The highlight of the Bundesliga match between TSG Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich in Hoffenheim was the scene that occurred in the 10th minute. Josip Simunic’s potent header had crossed the line but FIFA referee, Babak Rafati and his assistants allowed the game to continue.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw with goals from Ivica Olic and Chinedu Obasi. But the reverberation from the referee’s wrong call still lingers on.

The coaches of both teams, Louis van Gaal of Bayern Munich and Ralf Rangnick of Hoffenheim are of the opinion that modern technology should assist referees in their job. Even Babak Rafati, agree that it would be a welcomed relief.

In other sport like Ice Hockey, Tennis or American football, video is part of the integral officiating process. However, in football, there are mixed views for technology like goal camera, football chip or none at all.

The last time video evidence was used in the just concluded CONFED cup in South Africa raised eyebrow. The match between Brazil and Egypt in the CONFED cup could have ended differently if the ‘human factor’ as propagated by UEFA president, Michelle Platini, was used instead of video.

The match in Bloemfontein was 3-3 for both sides. During extra time, the referee, Howard Webb, awarded a conner kick for Brazil but changed his decision. Suddenly, he gave Egyptian, Ahmed Al Muhammadi, a red card and a penalty for Brazil. Kaka converted the penalty and Brazil won the match.

It is alleged that the fourth official saw through video that Ahmed Al Muhammadi obstruct a goal bound header with his arm in the cross line. Ahmed Al Muhammadi acted like the ball hit his face to confuse Howard Webb. Egypt filed a protest after the match but justice was served.

Officially, FIFA does not support video or the much acclaimed chip in football. UEFA, on the other hand is going an extra mile, in an experiment to increase the number of officials to six. In other words, two extra officials at the goal posts. While some argue, that we should leave football the way it is because the game is all about emotion.

The pros and cons of modernizing football is a reminder of how technology is at loggerheads with a conservative sport like football. There should be a global consensus through FIFA to effect change that could lead to fair officiating.