Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, gesticulates during his side’s 0-0 draw against Sunderland.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, gesticulates during his side’s 0-0 draw against Sunderland.

Jury is still out on the vision of Arsene Wenger



"A gamble" is how Arsene Wenger described this summer's transfer dealings. If the strategy cannot be assessed on a single fixture, yesterday's outcome had a certain grim logic to it.

At the end of the week in which Arsenal's manager finally allowed the Premier League's most prolific goalscorer last season to join Manchester United and agreed to sell his most potent midfield provider to Barcelona, Wenger's team went scoreless at home to Sunderland. As one leading scout put it last week, "Some statistics are deceptive, but not goals and assists. They are crystal clear."

Wenger has signed Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla to replenish the numbers he offloaded to his Champions League rivals. Only one of the three delivered on their debut.

Cazorla, who would have been an Arsenal player last summer had Wenger not stalled on a transfer from Villarreal as he battled to retain the previous generation of stars who craved new pastures, was excellent. A bundle of inventive energy, the Spain international almost scored with his first shot and continually threatened.

Podolski was never quite in tune, often failing to be in the right place in the penalty area or missing when he was. Giroud replaced the German for the final half-hour and spurned the best opportunity of all.

Cazorla's reverse pass set him up, 12 yards from the target with not a single Sunderland opponent near him. The France international's shot was firm, yet wide. Cazorla threw hands to head in dismay. Wenger threw his in the air then scowled in anger.

Despite a previous season spent telling supporters that he could tie Van Persie to a new contract once it had ended, Wenger had long known his captain was playing footsie with richer suitors. Actually, the striker had been slipping in and out of bed with multiple admirers.

First there was the provisional agreement of a contract worth an annual €13 million (Dh58.9m) with Manchester City. Nothing was signed - that would break Premier League rules - but Van Persie committed himself to moving to the champions elect if they could agree a fee with Arsenal; and make him their best paid player.

The futures of Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli were to interfere with that plan. Tired of their ill discipline, City planned to sell both. Yet as the summer approached, Balotelli's desire to live with his Italian girlfriend departed and Tevez finally focused on delivering for his employers again.

Realising that Tevez could end up staying, Van Persie's advisers went back to City and said their client's wages would have to be brought in line with that of the Argentina international. The player, meanwhile, had Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta round his house to discuss another contract.

Italy's biggest club were informed that Van Persie did not want to join City if Balotelli and Tevez stayed and began to believe they could complete a deal.

Sir Alex Ferguson, however, proved to have the best chat-up lines. Waiting until the night was late as they struggled to seduce younger talents Lucas Moura and Eden Hazard, United appealed to the romantic in Van Persie. It did not matter that their salary ceiling was £150,000 (Dh864,658) a week. Unlike Samir Nasri 12 months previously, the Dutchman would accept less money to be at Old Trafford.

If Van Persie's departure was forced upon Wenger, Alex Song's exit to Barcelona was elective. With three years remaining on his contract, the Cameroon international could have been retained for at least one more season. The manager's calculation was that the still rehabilitating Jack Wilshere, the-for-once-rehabilitated Abou Diaby, and the incoming Nuri Sahin will provide more than adequate replacement.

Only the season will tell whether Wenger's latest call was good. His "gambles" have certainly grown familiar.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Keep it fun and engaging

Stuart Ritchie, director of wealth advice at AES International, says children cannot learn something overnight, so it helps to have a fun routine that keeps them engaged and interested.

“I explain to my daughter that the money I draw from an ATM or the money on my bank card doesn’t just magically appear – it’s money I have earned from my job. I show her how this works by giving her little chores around the house so she can earn pocket money,” says Mr Ritchie.

His daughter is allowed to spend half of her pocket money, while the other half goes into a bank account. When this money hits a certain milestone, Mr Ritchie rewards his daughter with a small lump sum.

He also recommends books that teach the importance of money management for children, such as The Squirrel Manifesto by Ric Edelman and Jean Edelman.

Where to submit a sample

Volunteers of all ages can submit DNA samples at centres across Abu Dhabi, including: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre+(Adnec), Biogenix Labs in Masdar City, NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City, NMC Royal Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, NMC Royal Women's Hospital, Bareen International Hospital, Al Towayya in Al Ain, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain

Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.

The British in India: Three Centuries of Ambition and Experience

by David Gilmour

Allen Lane

SHAITTAN

Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Other simple ideas for sushi rice dishes

Cheat’s nigiri 
This is easier to make than sushi rolls. With damp hands, form the cooled rice into small tablet shapes. Place slices of fresh, raw salmon, mackerel or trout (or smoked salmon) lightly touched with wasabi, then press, wasabi side-down, onto the rice. Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Easy omurice
This fusion dish combines Asian fried rice with a western omelette. To make, fry cooked and cooled sushi rice with chopped vegetables such as carrot and onion and lashings of sweet-tangy ketchup, then wrap in a soft egg omelette.

Deconstructed sushi salad platter 
This makes a great, fuss-free sharing meal. Arrange sushi rice on a platter or board, then fill the space with all your favourite sushi ingredients (edamame beans, cooked prawns or tuna, tempura veggies, pickled ginger and chilli tofu), with a dressing or dipping sauce on the side.

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Could We Be More

Artist: Kokoroko
Label: Brownswood Recordings
Rating: 3.5/5

The Woman King

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Stars: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega 

Rating: 3/5

'Top Gun: Maverick'

Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Ed Harris

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

The specs: 2024 Mercedes E200

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo + mild hybrid
Power: 204hp at 5,800rpm +23hp hybrid boost
Torque: 320Nm at 1,800rpm +205Nm hybrid boost
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
On sale: November/December
Price: From Dh205,000 (estimate)

Monster

Directed by: Anthony Mandler

Starring: Kelvin Harrison Jr., John David Washington 

3/5

 

Sui Dhaaga: Made in India

Director: Sharat Katariya

Starring: Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma, Raghubir Yadav

3.5/5

How it works

Each player begins with one of the great empires of history, from Julius Caesar's Rome to Ramses of Egypt, spread over Europe and the Middle East.

Round by round, the player expands their empire. The more land they have, the more money they can take from their coffers for each go.

As unruled land and soldiers are acquired, players must feed them. When a player comes up against land held by another army, they can choose to battle for supremacy.

A dice-based battle system is used and players can get the edge on their enemy with by deploying a renowned hero on the battlefield.

Players that lose battles and land will find their coffers dwindle and troops go hungry. The end goal? Global domination of course.

The specs: Macan Turbo

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 639hp
Torque: 1,130Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 591km
Price: From Dh412,500
On sale: Deliveries start in October

Mobile phone packages comparison

 

 

if you go

The flights

Air Astana flies direct from Dubai to Almaty from Dh2,440 per person return, and to Astana (via Almaty) from Dh2,930 return, both including taxes.

The hotels

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Almaty cost from Dh1,944 per night including taxes; and in Astana the new Ritz-Carlton Astana (www.marriott) costs from Dh1,325; alternatively, the new St Regis Astana costs from Dh1,458 per night including taxes.

When to visit

March-May and September-November

Visas

Citizens of many countries, including the UAE do not need a visa to enter Kazakhstan for up to 30 days. Contact the nearest Kazakhstan embassy or consulate.

Awar Qalb

Director: Jamal Salem

Starring: Abdulla Zaid, Joma Ali, Neven Madi and Khadija Sleiman

Two stars

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

UAE results
Ireland beat UAE by six wickets
Zimbabwe beat UAE by eight wickets
UAE beat Netherlands by 10 wickets

Fixtures
UAE v Vanuatu, Thursday, 3pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium
Ireland v Netherlands, 7.30pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium

Group B table
1) Ireland 3 3 0 6 +2.407
2. Netherlands 3 2 1 4 +1.117
3) UAE 3 1 2 2 0.000
4) Zimbabwe 4 1 3 2 -0.844
5) Vanuatu 3 1 2 2 -2.180

Brave CF 27 fight card

Welterweight:
Abdoul Abdouraguimov (champion, FRA) v Jarrah Al Selawe (JOR)

Lightweight:
Anas Siraj Mounir (TUN) v Alex Martinez (CAN)

Welterweight:
Mzwandile Hlongwa (RSA) v Khamzat Chimaev (SWE)

Middleweight:
Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Rustam Chsiev (RUS)
Mohammad Fakhreddine (LEB) v Christofer Silva (BRA)

Super lightweight:
Alex Nacfur (BRA) v Dwight Brooks (USA)

Bantamweight:
Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) v Tariq Ismail (CAN)
Chris Corton (PHI) v Zia Mashwani (PAK)

Featherweight:
Sulaiman (KUW) v Abdullatip (RUS)

Super lightweight:
Flavio Serafin (BRA) v Mohammad Al Katib (JOR)

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Stars: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Rating: 4/5

The 12 breakaway clubs

England

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Italy
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Spain
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

The Little Mermaid

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem
Rating: 2/5


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