Archive for May, 2012

Random Yarns – Matrimony


Marriage is the consummation and whatever more most make of the rites to living till death with that one person who apparently has become the nucleus of your life… and nowadays it doesn’t matter from what side of gender your nucleus is from.

Sure human rights is paramount to ensure one type of man isn’t overly disadvantaged but then, I’d seriously question my way of life if I was ‘wooed’ by a homosexual male… the female ones need only say “Hello, I’m lesbian!!”

Then Barack Obama went ahead to endorse the idea of gay marriage couple weeks ago. Against his own belief for the sake of pooling votes for his reelection? I don’t know. It saddens me, whatever the case is. Worse still, Shawn Carter endorsed as well soon after.

And Jay (in case you didn’t realise he’s Shawn Carter before now) -Z was quoted as saying something about gays having as much rights to marriage as blacks have concerning racism. That quote had me utterly disheartened, why equate gay rights with the aluta against racism?

Manny Pacquaio then said good stuff about the idea of homosexuality being against God’s will, prompting Floyd Mayweather jr. to unnecessarily make a comment about the matter, “I’m behind President Obama” concerning gay marriage. Just (presumably) because Pacquiao, an archrival, is against the motion? Plain dumb!

Why not be concerned with the scarcity of longevity and/or happiness in morally upright marriages? Are the partners in love suitable for each other? Is marriage a must? And if it is, is it possible or not for an individual to not be fit for matrimony (based on certain factors ranging from persona to the economics et al)?

Your parents are happily married and have been so for two decades going on three or three going on four? We thank God for them. Then there are the marriages that last 72 days, the ones that end in the husband committing suicide because the wife did something contrary, some others in which a partner (the wife in most scenarios) remains married to a cheating partner and stays pained silently (“for the sake of the children”).

The Church, by doctrine, would ‘require’ one to be married, to “go out and multiply” being a major motivating factor there. Islam offers the option of being married to four at a time, on certain conditions; for the males.

Family, in some cases, have already decided on one’s life partner before one’s kindergarten/nursery schooling has begun… I’m curious to know what the Illuminati and Free Mason have to say about this.

Linguistics would have you believe matrimony isn’t quite an ideal idea based on the process of Coalescence which refers to the merger of two segments (husband and wife) in order to create a third, independent segment (child[ren]).

How does it not support the idea of marriage? Well, when those two segments merge, (1) each one loses certain properties peculiar to it thus (2) the new, third segment born is actually a weaker segment since the parent segments have lost properties of it that made it what it used to be.

-__-.

Nonetheless, here’s wishing facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg a happy married life with long-time girlfriend Priscilla. This nerd stays winning!

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2011/12 Season Taught Me…


It’s How Well, Not How Long
It’s become easy for the longevity of some managers career to become inadvertently ridiculed by the exploits of some younging that’s propped from retirement from active football (a.k.a. from nothing) to become a better paid and/or a more acclaimed manager.

Depending on your viewpoint, Wenger’s greatest acclaim would be leading Arsenal through the 2003/04 season unbeaten, or leading the club to 15 consecutive appearances in the group stage of the lucrative UEFA Champions League.

There’s also the favourite of mine, his ability to ‘unearth’ such names as Thierry Henry, Nicholas Anelka, Emmanuel Adebayor and Francesc Fàbregas and make surreal profits off their departures from the club for the club. Hopefully Wenger will skip the economics this time and suceed in extending Robin van Persie’s contract.

All that said, Jose Mourinho was nobody when Wenger ruffled the established order that was Sir Alex Ferguson back in the late 90s. Now, the self acclaimed Special One has so far won the Champions League twice at two different clubs.

While Mourinho’s case is still much palatable to bear; being a ‘nobody’ in the managerial sense, here is Roberto di Matteo who was still active on the field when Wenger ruffled the established order… as was Pep Guardiola.

RDM has a Champions League title to his name, Pep has two to his along with two Club World Cup wins and as many European Super Cups. Wenger? Shishi!

Obviously one cannot discard his managerial abilities but Wenger needs to stop whatever fantasy that is making an inception seem to be the reality of his life and get dead serious with the job of winning trophies again or else, Guardiola, Mourinho et al will become the legends in the game and leave le Professeur to be just a manager respected just because…

At least, Sir Alex can say he’s won the Champions League twice. Wenger will say he lost a final… you see that? Lost? Remember that Valencia team that reached two successive Champions League finals after winning the UEFA Cup? History has them in the “ehyaa” folder, same folder that Arsenal team of 2005/06 is in.

Take Your Chances
Barcelona could have had 100% possession in either of the semi-final legs against Chelsea, yet we all know how that turned out for the Catalans as well as for the Bavarians afterwards.

It can be argued that Chelsea was most fortunate in both affairs but then again, Messi should’ve been a bit more precise with his penalty… or Robben should’ve hit his the other way of Cech.

In other words, all that possession will come to nothing if the team with the ball most of the time doesn’t take the chances when such come its way. And the danger in that is, possessive teams can become profligate in front of goal just because the players believe “we’ll create another chance… “… that’s fatal procrastination and how Real Madrid and Chelsea ‘unfairly’ pipped Barcelona in late April is good proof.

Penalty Won Isn’t Penalty Scored
Lionel Messi hadn’t missed a spotkick all season yet fate contrived to have him miss against Chelsea… Barça lost. A day later, Cristiano Ronaldo scored one in normal time only to see his spotkick during the shootout against Bayern saved… Real lost.

Arjen Robben scored two penalties that day, in normal time and during the shootout. Yet, Cech saved the Dutchman’s penalty in extra time that otherwise would likely have won the Champions League for the German club. He didn’t step up in the subsequent shootout… Bayern lost.

Juan Mata had his penalty saved by Manuel Neuer that night too but his teammates rallied well. Summarily, the very best players can miss six-yard sitters afterall. Even Stewart Downing did on the final day of the Premier League. Sheesh!

Circumstances Can Freeze Good Players Out
For various reasons, a number of exciting players became strangers to the field in the last season. Like movie like series, Jack Wilshere didn’t play a single competitive match. Remember the pre-season friendly Arsenal played against Köln? Remember his combination with Gervinho? I was looking forward to a lot of that but made do with Song’s combo with van Persie instead.

Then there’s Aleksander Kolarov at Manchester City, Stefan Savic as well. Both basically became surplus to requirement at the Etihad, Kolarov more due to Clichy’s consistency and Savic more for being far from the Kompany – Lescott quality.

But at Old Trafford, Berbatov’s quality is known but SAF preferred even Danny Welbeck ahead of the Bulgarian who plays at times like he can’t be bothered so Fergie must have thought ‘why bother the bros?’.

Alan Pardew on his part got Demba Ba FOC from West Ham, bang bang bang he went. Pardew got another Demba from Freiburg in January, bang bang bang Papiss went but at Ba’s expense.

All that banging however meant Leon Best became not the best option, coupled with some injury. Best simply slipped into the ‘memoriam’ folder at the Sports Direct Arena.

Then there’s Park Chu-Young. It’s seeming like Wenger only bought him to piss off Lille that was on the edge of signing him at the start of the season so le Professeur must’ve thought “they didn’t sell me Hazard eh?! Might as well jack their move for Park then!”.

The star of frozen out players though has to be Man. United’s Bebe! Seven million just so he can seldom make appearances… for the reserves?! Investigate away UEFA, please!!

Big Teams Can Lose Real Big
And it’s little wonder the north London clubs finished behind the Manchester ones after the former got shredded on the same weekend early in the last season, the weekend Man. City left White Hart Lane 5-1 winners while Arsenal got done 8-2 at Old Trafford.

Then Man. United lived through the massive, right from the gut spit on the face they got from Mario Balotelli and the rest of the noisy neighbour gang. The Red Devils also got the beat down at Newcastle United while Arsenal scored five to defeat city rivals Spurs and Chelsea in games that produced 15 goals between them.

In all that clash of the titans above, Liverpool instead got the wrath of the not titans in losing to opponents that really should’ve been beaten. They lost to Swansea and Wigan Athletic but those two…

Those two were a nuisance to the big teams with Wigan getting the scalp of Liverpool, Man. United and Arsenal before thrashing Newcastle 4-0. Swansea on their part beat Liverpool, Arsenal and Man. City, and left a mark on Chelsea and United.

Miscelleanous
Oil money is good please, very good. City have won the league, Anzhi stays poaching at the big clubs… they’ll get it right soon. PSG have only itself to blame for Montpellier’s Ligue 1 triumph but we all agree le Parisien is set to dominate the Ligue 1 as Lyon did not too long ago.

Chelsea’s oil money finally won a Champions League and now, I can’t but pray Alisher Usmanov buys enough shares at Arsenal! Praying for some tycoon to buy Lazio and restore the glory days of Sergio Cragnotti albeit without the boardroom troubles.

Further up the Italian league and the Old Lady is back. Unbeaten through the league season and beaten by Napoli to the Coppa Italia means Juventus went through the Italian football season with just a defeat… greatness!

While Juventus seems to be back, along with the promotion of Torino to Lega Calcio; bringing back the Turin derby to Serie A fixtures, Italy waved farewell to a number of fond names there.

Alessandro Del Piero played his final game for Juve in the Coppa Italia final loss while veterans Filippo Inzaghi, Gennaro Gatusso and Clerance Seedorf will leave AC Milan this summer. An emotional end to the Italian campaign all round.

And an emotional campaign it was,especially with the Livorno player (Piermario Morosini) that died of a cardiac arrest. May he rest in peace, amen. Makes Fabrice Muamba’s recovery from same situation all the more appreciated.

To Stay Quiet Till Full Time
No I don’t mean how City win the league in the afterlife, sort of. Someone here had wagered on a Bayern win and (no) thanks to Thomas Müller begun to brag how he’d become N30,000 richer.

We were happy for him… then Drogba equalised!

The End.

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How Chelsea Won the Champions League


If ever there previously was a team more undeserving to win a title, Bayern Munich last night went a few steps beyond such courtesy of their display in the Champions League final ‘at home’ against Chelsea.

Contrary to being abject, the Bavarians were lively for most of the two hours of normal and extra time played at their Allianz Arena, piling intense pressure that bore 34 attempts on goal with 21 of those on target along with 20 corner kicks and 55% of the ball.

Chelsea may have showed up in Munich for the final, but the players’ approach throughout invoked the spirits that made the Blues knock Barcelona out at the Camp Nou late in April.

The Londoners could only muster nine attempts at the Bayern goal, with just six of them giving Manuel Neuer something to do instead of being a spectator. Chelsea also only managed one corner kick all night. It came two minutes to full time in normal time, five minutes after Thomas Müller had given the ‘home’ side a ‘deserved’ lead.

Didier Drogba rose gracefully to head the ball past Neuer at his near post to equalise to restore belief for the Londoners and knock the tempo down from a cocaine high to a lucozade high for Bayern.

Drogba could’ve won it in normal time but he sent his freekick, the last kick of normal time, well into the stands similarly to Mario Gomez earlier in the first half after the striker had used body movement to displace Gary Cahill and have a full view of goal.

Gomez disappointed on the night, but Arjen Robben somehow went from being denied from his numerous menacing forays into the Chelsea area to being a welcome nuisance to the Chelsea defence that found it difficult to contain him yet would’ve been forgiven for feeling assured it would all come to nothing.

Robben had made some space in the box in the first half of normal time and fired hard and low at the Chelsea goal, denied by a combination of Cech’s limbs and the post.

He, along with Franck Ribery, created good chances for Gomez and Müller that went begging but the moment was in first half of extra time after Drogba had fell Ribery in the box… PENALTY!

Robben smacked his spotkick hard and low to Cech’s left but the Czech goalkeeper followed to smother and save… and knock the tempo from a lucozade high right down to the pitch itself.

This was when I believed it was not going to be Bayern’s night, with the rest of extra time ticking away for the lottery of penalty kicks.

Phillip Lahm’s kick barely evaded Cech’s gloves, but he scored. Juan Mata, enjoying a fine Cup run in his debut season for Chelsea, saw his kick saved by Neuer. Advantage Bayern.

Gomez finally found the net, Neuer also scored. David Luiz and Frank Lampard kept Chelsea in it with successful penalties. Then up came Ivica Olic for Bayern’s fourth.

Cech saved.

The Chelsea goalkeeper had followed every penalty kick taken against him on the night, and now he’d saved two of four. Ashley Cole complemented Cech’s effort by scoring Chelsea’s fourth kick. Up came Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Well… I thought it was the moment. Schweinsteiger saw his penalty calmly hit the post and he may not have, but I hoped to the gods from where I sat watching in Ilorin that the ball’d hit Cech’s back and casually roll into the net.

The gods must’ve been watching Avengers and be chuckling from the scene Loki got bamboozled at Stark Towers by the green one… I digress.

Having won League Cups and FA Cups for Chelsea, Drogba stepped up and did what John Terry should’ve done four years ago. Drogba’s winning spot kick killed a lot of demons from that night in Moscow.

It likely also signals the start of the end of Essien, Bosingwa, Malouda, Lampard and Drogba’s Chelsea careers but more imperatively, the beginning of a new era at Stamford Bridge orchestrated by Juan Mata, Ramires, Meireles, Gary Cahill, Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres and Marko Marin.

This new era will see Chelsea not whimper about missing the Special One but hopefully, keep faith in an interim manager that has taken the club beyond expectations with personnel available to him.

Roberto di Matteo has tinkered with the squad almost as much as Andre Villas-Boas did from August to March, but the Italian played his cards so much better than his Portuguese counterpart, choosing the high risk path and forfeiting a good finish on the Premier League table for the glory of the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League trophy.

*takes out Arsenal related paragraphs*

*considers putting them in another post… *

They certainly didn’t play beautiful football, they may actually not be as good as previous Chelsea teams but they have won Europe’s top club prize and after losing at home in Moscow, it was a fitting was to have Roman’s ego restored at their opponent’s home turf.

Congratulations to Chelsea FC.

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2011-12 Premier League: Pulsating End to Quite a Season


The neighbours have just got too loud and what frenetic manner to do so, making the Red Devils bel19ve they’d pipped them to the title at 93 minutes only for Edin Dzeko and Sergio Agüero to equalise right as Howard Webb blew for full time at the Stadium of Light and just as Manchester United was starting a ‘lap of honour’ respectively.

Manchester City, with those two strikes well into stoppage time, showed just why they deserved to be the champions, never failing in hope despite losing 2-1 at the time.

Yesterday, and later today when ‘noisy’ City parade the title through Manchester, saliva will morph to a choking stone down the throat of United fans who I’m sure would rather shut their door to the outside world for the day. Alotta folks will call in sick today over there, and that’s the ones that bother to call…

Meanwhile, Kieran Gibbs’ last ditch tackle in stoppage time proved crucial for my Arsenal, that huffed over the finish line in that lucrative third spot a point ahead of bitter neighbours Tottenham.

From the low ebb after ninety minutes at Old Trafford, the Gunners blazed from a point and a place above the relegation zone to third place, albeit with some mind numbing results along the way.

Liverpool provided us with most of those sort of results, ending a mediocre season with a lone goal loss at Swansea to finish in 8th place and ensuring Europe will be devoid of fallacies as Stewart Downing.

The Kop’s utterly disappointing season allowed for Everton to deservedly finish in 7th place and above their Merseyside neighbours for only the second time in the Premier League era.

The blue side of Merseyside should make the Europa League, as (I’m craving) the blue side of London do too. Chelsea finished 6th, have booked a Europa League place with their win at the FA Cup… but will want Champions League football by winning that competition.

Whatever made Jack Wilshere believe “every gooner will be a Chelsea fan (this) Saturday” needs to be expelled from his soul. No, we’d rather they be humbly satisfied with the Europa League place they have with the hope of having the Tiny Tots join them after losing their ensuing Champions League qualifying round affair early next season.

Relegation

Briefly, Bolton Wanderers had a sniff of surviving the relegation battle but Queens Park Rangers eventually survived instead, despite losing to Man. City with those goals.

Sad to see the Trotters go down, along with the abject Wolves and Blackburn Rovers, that needs to sort its administration out quickly or actually become what Portsmouth is now… a shadow.

Something Joey Barton may likely become as well. He subsequently has apologised to the team and its fans for his moment of shame in the second half when he had a thing against Argentines

And agreed, he’s an overly passionate footballer but Barton needs to control that otherwise his career will stay going downhill. Lord knows what drama would’ve unfolded had Balotelli found his way to him?

Highlights

I can imagine Alan Pardew with a sigh when he watches his former captain’s moment. Too bad Barton isn’t part of a Newcastle team that came close to clinching Champions League football but nonetheless, got a Europa League place by finishing at a very commendable 5th position.

That is largely thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa’s creativity behind, initially, Demba Ba who threatened to keep scoring but ended with 17 following a goal drought, and Papiss Demba Cisse who picked up from where the first Demba left off, scoring 13 goals since his move from Freiburg in January.

His goal in stoppage time at Stamford Bridge must surely get the nod for goal of the season. Followed by any of Peter Crouch’s volley against Man. City, Robin van Persie’s flying winner against Everton, Ben Arfa’s solo effort or Papiss Cisse’s second against Swansea.

There were lots of stunning goals this season, a season that became the Premier League’s highest scoring season ever as yesterday’s 32 goals meant 1,066 goals were scored in the just concluded season, to break last season’s record of 1,063.

More Records

At 2.81 goals per game, this season is the best as regards that, beating last season’s by .01. Van Persie also came one short of equalling the most goals scored in a 38 game season with his 30 goals.

The Dutchman also hit the woodwork the most times in the league, 10 times according to Opta Sports’ @OptaJoe.

It’s the second time in Premier League history that all three promoted sides maintained their Premier League status and kudos to Swansea and Norwich City for finishing on a high.

And champions Manchester City won 20 successive matches at home before that thrilling fightback against Sunderland at the end of March.

Squad of the Season

Goalkeepers
I’ll go with City’s Joe Hart, Swansea’s Michel Vorm and Tim Howard of Everton.

Defenders
Kyle Walker and Bacary Sagna get the right back slots. Leighton Baines and Gaël Clichy get the slots at left back. Vincent Kompany, Gary Cahill, Laurent Koscielny and Fabrizio Coloccini fill the centre back positions.

Midfield
I’m going for nine midfielders, comprising Yaya Toure, Juan Mata, Paul Scholes, Mikel Arteta, Gylfi Sigurðsson, John Mikel Obi, Scott Parker, Steven Pienaar and David Silva.

Forwards
These will be Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Agüero and… Nikica Jelavic… and Jermaine Defoe.

All said and done, I’ll have to find something worthwhile doing for about a dozen weekends when the EPL will be in hibernation. The Euros and Olympics will provide some consolation through that period.

For now, congratulations to Manchester City. The longstanding throne of the ‘Big Four’ is now a myth with their triumph coupled with the Sillywhites finishing fourth. Next season will be a new era in the Premier League and hopefully, new tidings for my Arsenal.

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Colonel Stauffenberg's Lounge

El-Farooq: Aye yo wassup? Wassup? Wassup? It’s that ignant nigga El-Farooq here again. Been a while. The boy RJ AKA Mr. Birthmark On The Nut-sack has been running his RJ Show so I’ve had to step back for him but he be having writer’s block & shit like that so Imma take advantage of that & host my own version of the Idols show, the C.S.L. Idols. Now PLEASE NOTE THIS… the following contestants u’re about to see ARE NOT parodies of real life Nigerian rappers. I know some of you over intelligent mutherfuckers might be tryna equate that shit so before you get ur Sherlock on imma say this only once… DON’T TRY TO BE SMART & PUT ME IN TROUBLE. For example Larry Tha Rapman IS NOT a parody of Terry Tha Rapman. In fact I’ll twist shit up, like niggas that like wearing extra clothes, u know…

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Random Yarns – Mavins, Avenger Cravings…


… but first, a grinding sound gets to me from the distance just as I’m leaving my hostel to get what would be my dinner. The road is dark, there’s no light (as almost always) and unlike at Lagos, the nightlife here… is… in this part of Ilorin… the kind that allows wind to break the silence.

The grinding sound gets louder as I step on the sidewalk (sort of) yet the source of the sound remained unknown until some other fella crossing the road stepped back just in time to watch a death rider speed past and miss him by a hair’s breath, literally.

Death Riders, by my humble definition, are the blood thirsty, bone-break craving riders who ply the roads at night and often have a family or two wake in tears off news of a relative falling victim to these menaces of the night.

Really though, they are plain okada riders who for some rhetoric reason decide they don’t need to fix their jincheng’s illuminating eye hence, they are unseen at night when they go about living up to Rick Ross’ first big song.

Lord knows, you want to have your ossicles see them coming otherwise you’ll be up for a date with Mephostophilis down under or Jesus beyond the Pearly Gates. That’s assuming your soul’s not one fine print like Constantine’s was.

Constantine, one of my favourite all time movies portrayed aptly by my favourite actor. It’s in the top five for me along with “The Dark Knight”, “The Dark Knight Rises” (yes, it already is :|) and a couple others that doesn’t include all or any one of “8Mile”, “Shaft”, “The Godfather” trilogy, two instalments of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Star Wars” of old, recent or animated and none of the “Harry Potter” ‘septology’ either.

That said, the Avengers may well do a TDKR with me and overtake all to become a top five all time favourite… and that’s based solely on the “ooohs” and “aaahs” that have been said about it, including whatever it was Hulk did to Loki somewhere along.

It’s no beans though when a movie guzzles a little over $200m from your pockets over three (weekend) days, and it’s only a matter of time the billion dollar, James Cameron/George Lucas mark is attained in another record time I presume… leaving John Carter side eyeing from Mars, pondering what could’ve been.

I also wonder who between Daniel Anderson and Don Mavin would ‘side eye’ the other from a speck of the universe’s glitz “after all said and done.” And quite a bit has been said and denied and hinted and yada yada yada since the two parted company; JJC will ever be blessed for his cameo in the motion picture.

So when all I saw was “#Mavin”, “teamMavin” and a certain Otobong with “Mavin” inscribed on her (or anot[her]’s) upper milk factory when I peeped into silicon valley from reality to see what’s happening… yea, the bit that should follow is what precedes above.

Then I saw a thread of tweets by 2shotz in which he basically takes Don Jazzy’s side, imagines what would happen if Mr. Anderson drops two “WEAK” singles before washing his intentions clean and wishing “both all the best”…

“Abegi!” was my first thought but in deep structure, the thread makes sense somehow. What I make of the split and new beginnings by both is it could end up being beneficial for both.

Don Jazzy has, excluding one who wasn’t referred to as a talentless slut though could have, in a much more polite manner (in short, D’Prince sha), a founding set of acts that can get Mavin going. Going to the height he and Mr. Anderson took Mohits? We await.

For now, they’ll need to do much better than the ‘preview’ of what Mavin Records will sound like. I really wish I had waited to preview it off someone’s music player instead of downloading the songs. Whatever I feel about it, I imagine Coal going “They must be stoopeed!!” to it all.

As for Mr. Anderson, there are many ways he can stay successful though some may mean he won’t be in the spotlight as we’re used to him being. It’s hard to imagine D’banj as a label executive; which is why I’ve referred to him as Mr. Anderson all along instead, but I think he’ll do fine whichever path he treads ultimately.

The thing about his side of the tale is, it involves much more risks than Don Jazzy’s but imagine the rewards of being at the helm of “Def Jam Africa” and all. Besides, both are still signed under GOOD Music…

The journey from Mushin to Mohits was a jolly one we all enjoyed but there’s a bigger picture to paint. Evidently, the majority would’ve preferred they painted it together.

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Memoirs of a Gooner


Good morning gooners. How are you enjoying your start to the weekend? I mean…you’ll work for less hours today so if I were you, I’d make it count, get all the work done and prepare for a weekend of exciting footie.

The FWA awards were held last night and RVP was in attendance to receive a deserved Player Of The Season Award. It was an enjoyable evening from what I’ve read.

He gave a fine speech about how proud he is to be captain of Arsenal and he also complemented his team mates (Song and Theo especially) for the assists and support they have given him this season. He mentioned the volley against Everton as his favourite goal of the season before apologizing to an Everton fan (who groaned) in the room. Top man!

One part of his speech however caught my attention and raised my fears of him leaving…

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