Hornets are buzzing

From the brink of administration to the brink of Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Etihad Stadium

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Tags: epl and Watford

By the numbers

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'Gunners won't win EPL'

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Tags: arsenal and chelsea

Mourinho monkey off Wenger's back, at last

Huge psychological boost for Wenger as he gets Mourinho monkey off his back

14TH TIME LUCKY: Arsene Wenger (far right, in white) finally has reason to celebrate against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, having failed to win in any of his previous 13 attempts.

ARSENAL 1

(Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 24)

CHELSEA 0

The carcass of an unwanted primate was left on the Wembley turf.

Arsene Wenger got the monkey off his back, with the help of an ox.

For the first time, in 14 attempts, the Arsenal manager got the measure of the man; the manager he loathes the most.

Wenger defeated Jose Mourinho.

He's no longer the punchline for the Portuguese showman at press conferences. He's no longer a quirky fun fact. He's no longer a beaten man.

After 13 winless games, he found victory.

The occasion was the otherwise meaningless Community Shield last night (Singapore time), but the 1-0 result should not be understated.

Mourinho mocked his opponents all week. He talked but, in the end, his players walked.

They didn't show up. They were toothless in attack and savaged by an ox.

In a pedestrian contest, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain powered through to publish Arsenal's statement of intent.

The Gunners are genuine title challengers now. They have the makings of a winning squad and their manager now has Mourinho's number.

While the Ox was inspired, the Blues were mostly insipid.

Arsenal edged the contest because they had the edge in attack.

Community Shield contests are often somewhere between summer stroll and tranquil training session and, for most of the game, it was a lazy Sunday afternoon for all concerned. Even the crowd had nodded off in the drowsy sunshine, until Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived with the wake-up call.

And it took 506 minutes.

Arsenal had endured 506 agonising, infuriating, debilitating minutes since their previous goal against Chelsea.

And the strike was sublime when it finally arrived.

Theo Walcott, picked ahead of Olivier Giroud up front, dropped deep to feed Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right.

FEROCIOUS EFFORT

The 21-year-old cut inside Cesar Azpilicueta like a runaway lawnmower, before bending a ferocious effort into the top corner.

Thibaut Courtois couldn't get close. His teammates knew the feeling.

Chelsea's pre-season preparations have been laboured and it showed.

Loic Remy got the nod ahead of Radamel Falcao, but he was no less anonymous than Eden Hazard. Willian buzzed sporadically, but little else fizzed for the flat Blues.

Despite being started in an advanced position, Cesc Fabregas dropped deeper in a dogged attempt to pick up possession.

It didn't work. Instead, the Gunners swopped passes for fun, with Mesut Oezil, Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin linking with Oxlade-Chamberlain to skip past the statuesque Chelsea midfield.

Remy left the field at half-time with a question mark hanging over his head and didn't return.

His ineffectual performance will makes Mourinho's transfer activity all the more puzzling.

Remy was woeful. He was lost when play drifted away and a liability in possession. The Frenchman lacks the calibre to defend titles and Falcao, who replaced him, has lacked consistency for two seasons now.

Mourinho must go to market one more time before the window closes.

But then, the jury has yet to return on Arsenal's leading man.

Typically, Walcott started brightly but tiptoed out of the spotlight as the game petered out before being replaced by Giroud.

Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez are still to return, but the absence of such brutish competitors underlined how lightweight both sides are around the box.

Neither side lack panache in the final third. Power and penetration are a little harder to come by.

The clock ticked towards 70 minutes before Petr Cech was finally tested against his former club, tipping around Oscar's free-kick.

And Giroud's miss from six metres moments later had Wenger rocking back and forth on the bench like newborn's cradle in the breeze.

Both teams are defensively sound, but outscoring the two halves of Manchester might prove to be the greater challenge in the upcoming season.

Of course, the Community Shield can be interpreted in any number of ways, most of which prove to be wrong.

Arsenal stuffed Manchester City 3-0 last season, but still finished behind them in the final standings.

This was a curtain-raiser, however, where the show was less relevant than the result.

Wenger's losing streak against Mourinho is over. He's no longer manacled to that Mourinho statistic. He has beaten the belligerent one.

Both sides plodded in midfield, but the Gunners had the cutting edge in attack.

And it could be Arsenal's year, if it proves to be the year of the Ox.

Myanmar's flood woes

More than 150,000 affected by monsoon downpours, death toll likely to rise: UN

COPING: An aerial view shows the flooded area of Kalay in the Sagaing Region in Upper Myanmar on Saturday. The Sagaing Region is one of four areas that has been declared a disaster zone.
STRANDED: Dogs on the roof of a submerged house in Kalay.
STRANDED: Dogs on the roof of a submerged house in Kalay.
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Woman hit by car in Bukit Panjang

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'He was dripping with blood'

Man's throat allegedly slashed in bar brawl

GRUESOME: A trail of blood could be seen on the road.

A brawl in a bar turned bloody in the wee hours of Sunday.

In the melee, a man is believed to have been slashed in the throat.

The police were alerted to the incident at Maude Road, near Jalan Besar, at 2.40am yesterday.

A taxi driver, who witnessed the fight from a coffee shop nearby, told Shin Min Daily News that he saw a bloodied man walk out of the bar.

"His face and body were dripping with blood. It was a horrible sight," he told Shin Min, which reported that the manhad injuries to his throat.

Though injured, the argument between the man and a few other men continued while he rested against a black car parked outside the bar.

According to the cabby, more men came out from the bar, forming a crowd of at least 20. One of them had a small knife in his hand.

The fight ended only when a man arrived at the scene in a taxi and shouted at the group which then dispersed. The men went off separately in cabs.

A trail of blood from the man's injuries could be seen on the road, Shin Min reported.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman told The New Paper that a man in his 30s was taken conscious to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Police said the case has been classified as one of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with dangerous means.

Investigations are ongoing, said the police spokesman.

- Additional reporting by FOO JIE YING

A reminder to public to be careful

Reader alerts TNP to taxi which crashed into drain

THE NEW PAPER, JULY 29 (top) and THE NEW PAPER, JULY 31 (above)

As Mr Michael Tai, 68, was on his way to lunch at a market in Toa Payoh at around noon on July 28, he saw a sight that made him stop in his tracks.

The retiree said: "I saw a crowd of 10 or more people, and I was shocked to see a taxi halfway into the drain."

Mr Tai said he was worried because many of his friends are taxi drivers.

The taxi had crashed through the kerbside barricade at the junction of Toa Payoh Lorong 3 and Lorong 4.

One woman, who was feeling unwell, was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

After making sure that no one was critically injured, he called The New Paper because it was "a good reminder for the public to be more careful".

Mr Tai's story was published last Wednesday.

Another TNP reader, Mr Franklin Tan, 44, an administrator at a hospital, called about another incident that was published last Friday.

When Mr Tan picked his wife up from work on July 23 at 8.45pm, she noticed a bird hanging upside down from a tree.

Upon investigation, Mr Tan realised it was a mynah with its feet tied up and hung from some rope.

He then asked three foreign workers to help him bring it down. The four men tied two bamboo poles and an L-shaped hook together, and used it to get the bird down.

Mr Tan called TNP because he wanted to highlight the cruelty to the bird and the kindness of the foreign workers.

Mr Tan said: "I wanted to create awareness and give recognition to foreign workers. They are sometimes put in a bad light, so I wanted to give them credit."

For their calls, these readers will each receive a $100 Pizza Hut voucher.

We value your calls and e-mails, so keep them coming. Call us at 1800-733-4455, SMS or MMS 9477-8899 or e-mail us at tnp@sph.com.sg

I saw a crowd of 10 or more people, and I was shocked to see a taxi halfway into the drain.

-Mr Michael Tai

General Election: How big a role will social media play?

Politicians have been noticeably active on social media since the 2011 General Election. TNP looks at the role of social media in the upcoming elections

"Besides voting for the party’s political ideology, it’s also voting for the person. Social media allows that side of you to be revealed." - Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng
CONNECTED: Pasir Ris- Punggol MP Gan Thiam Poh (above) and Non- Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong are both active Facebook users.
CONNECTED: Pasir Ris- Punggol MP Gan Thiam Poh and Non- Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong (above) are both active Facebook users.

He has a personal Facebook account that he uses once in a while.

But Member of Parliament Gan Thiam Poh's public Facebook page is updated every other day with photos of house visits and posts on updates in his constituency.

"It's for the residents," the MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol told The New Paper.

Set up in the days leading up to the 2011 General Election (GE), it has helped to bridge the time gap, as residents can have first-hand information quickly, he explained.

But he draws the line at constituency-related updates, as he believes more personal things should be reserved for face-to-face interactions.

"Residents have told me that (the visits) are more important. They prefer to see me in person and I, too, prefer to see them in person."

Unlike Mr Gan, Tampines MP Baey Yam Keng peppers his posts with snippets of his personal life - his workout regime, what he had for lunch or his selfies.

"I think voters would be interested to know about MPs or candidates, to know our interests, our views, to relate more to us as a person," he said.

"Besides voting for the party's political ideology, it's also voting for the person. Social media allows that side of you to be revealed."

For Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong, social media has become a battleground for garnering support.

"Elections are fought on many fronts, of which social media is one of them," said the Workers' Party NCMP, who became an active Facebook user and blogger since 2011 GE.

For Singapore People's Party member Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, social media platforms offer an alternative channel for expressing views.

"Many citizens are increasingly relying on social media to seek the balance of the views and news not covered by mainstream media," she said.

Political analysts The New Paper spoke to said politicians have been embracing social media to reach out to the digital natives.

COVERING ALL BASES

National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser said: "They need to cover all the bases since many people, especially the young ones and busy working folks, get their news through online sources," he said.

In the upcoming GE, which many suspect will take place next month, political analyst Eugene Tan said "it is clear that candidates would also have to do virtual campaigning".

Despite its growing influence, the Singapore Management University law don does not think it will be a game changer.

"At the moment, social media sites still operate very much like echo chambers. Readers gravitate to the sites where the views and content are very much aligned with their own political inclination and perspective," he said.

He added that social media can make a difference only if it manages to persuade someone to change his views about the different parties.

Assoc Prof Tan Ern Ser pointed out that while it is easy to "like" a post or follow a politician on social media, the question is whether the same people are willing to help canvass for votes for the politician.

"It doesn't take a lot of effort - you can be controversial and online traffic goes your way. But what matters is getting people to change their minds and to vote for you," he said.

Which politician do they think is the best at the social media game?

Assoc Prof Tan Ern Ser said that while he cannot compare, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is "doing very well".

Prof Eugene Tan cited names like Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, Aljunied MP Chen Show Mao and PM Lee.

"There is no shortage of examples but those who can convert their social media presence and popularity into physical presence and real-time popularity are the ones who have actually used social media effectively and with very powerful outcomes," he said.

It doesn't take a lot of effort - you can be controversial and online traffic goes your way. But what matters is getting people to change their minds and to vote for you.

- Associate Professor Tan Ern Ser

Drug cheat numbers 'very alarming'

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