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Is JJ the right striker for Zebras?

He is arguably one of the maverick footballers in this country, although with little success, but Jerome Ramatlhakwane has style, attitude and skill in surplus. Ramatlhakwane has been both a darling and villain of the media and the country for his display in the playing field.

The 31-year old has been in sparkling form for both his club and the country after his career hit a rough patch during his time at South African club Vasco Da Gama, almost 5 years ago. The high profile move back to Township Rollers, Botswana’s  football giant, during this past transfer window it was argued that, a resurgent JJ one who now enjoys playing for his country will dominate- as he was no longer the sullen figure that resorted to theatrics to keep himself and the famously unforgiving national team supporters entertained. However, JJ’s new found avatar at the Zebras has yet to produce results for Coach David Bright.

But recalling the former Mochudi Centre Chiefs striker to the Zebras fold is evoking old-gone memories. Immediate memories include the goals in the last intriguing campaign for the Zebras, en route to the AFCON 2012 finals that once put him at the top of the summit as a joint leading scorer. Surely, Botswana has seen the striker being labelled as one of the best in Southern Africa, at least. Such a tag will only bid well for both Jerome and the Zebras who have struggled (and still do) to find a decent Number 9 since the days when Tshepiso Molwantwa ran the show.

In modern Botswana football, Omaatla Kebatho of Orapa United and the late Oliver Phikati have all flattered to deceive but with coaches not willing to give Mara Moloi enough opportunities, the Zebras’ striking situation has been a well documented issue. However, JJ’s past virtuoso show for his country has given the Zebras hope for the immediate future. In a team that is losing its renowned defensive stability, Jerome can however still score top marks in all aspects of the game, especially when he is working with a crafty midfielder.

Rollers’ love for the 31-year old is therefore no secret. The highly publicized transfer from Mochudi Centre Chiefs, after enduring a torrid time without a club before a late, but impressive spell at Chiefs saw Rollers taking him without second thoughts. To add the cherry on top, it is reported that JJ-who got the name from the charismatic former Zebras coach, Colwyn Rowe-remains one of the highest paid players in Botswana. Ramatlhakwane has room to thrive though age is a definite factor.

The link-up play was there to be seen in the premier league games at Centre Chiefs. With Ayanda Molefhe playing on the left and now the retired Pontsho Moloi on the right, JJ dropped deep, orchestrated play, won aerial duels, and of course took penalties. But his tendency of missing clear cut chances has earned him the wrath of Zebras supporters. His slow thinking at crucial times- like in a friendly game against Tanzania last weekend is seen to be his greatest weakness.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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Sport

Mason Greenwood attempted rape charges dropped

2nd February 2023

Charges of attempted rape and assault have been dropped against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood who was arrested in January 2022 after the allegations emerged.

The 21-year-old was arrested in January last year amid allegations surrounding images and videos that emerged online.

He was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the charges were discontinued after a key witness withdrew their involvement.

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Sport

Raphael Varane announces retirement from international football after 10 years of service.

2nd February 2023

The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina

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