Transfers Inter deny Icardi & Handanovic exit reports Harry Sherlock 17:49 6/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Internazionale Serie A The striker has been linked with a number of clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United, while the goalkeeper is reportedly of interest to Napoli Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio has denied all reports that Mauro Icardi and Samir Handanovic could leave the club this summer.Icardi has been heavily linked with an exit from the Serie A giants, with his agent, Wanda Nara, claiming that “big clubs” are willing to trigger his €110 million (£96.5m/$129.4m) release clause. The 25-year-old has been touted as a possible target for Chelsea, while Manchester United, PSG and Bayern Munich are also reportedly interested. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move However, Ausilio, who has also dismissed any idea of Handanovic leaving the club for Napoli this summer, insists that Icardi will not be going anywhere.“There’s no truth in Handanovic to Napoli. Icardi will not be leaving, absolutely not,” he told Sport Italia .Ausilio has also weighed in on potential moves for Sassuolo winger Matteo Politano and Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, refusing to rule out a bid for either player.“We like lots of good things,” he replied when pressed on links with Politano.On Nainggolan, he added, cryptically: “It’s not just Spalletti who likes him.”Inter finished fourth in Serie A in 2017-18, 23 points behind champions Juventus.
Spain Pique summons spirit of Michigan ’89 amid Spain’s Lopetegui fiasco Harry West 03:47 6/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Getty Images Spain World Cup Portugal v Spain La Roja may be in disarray heading into Russia 2018 but the defender is taking inspiration from a basketball triumph almost 30 years ago Gerard Pique is remaining defiant in the wake of Spain’s chaotic World Cup build-up, drawing on Michigan’s 1989 NCAA Basketball Championship-winning team as proof La Roja can prosper in Russia.The 2010 champions were rocked on Tuesday when it was announced head coach Julen Lopetegui would join Real Madrid after the finals.Unwilling to let Lopetegui stay on for the tournament, the Royal Spanish Football Federation sacked the 51-year-old on Wednesday and placed former captain Fernando Hierro in temporary charge. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move And Pique, a world and European champion with Spain, is taking inspiration from Michigan’s title 29 years ago, when the Wolverines sacked Bill Frieder – who had announced he would take up another coaching position after the tournament – before his replacement Steve Fisher guided the team to glory.”University of Michigan. Basketball. 1989. NCAA Champion. It wouldn’t be the first time it happened,” Pique posted on Twitter.”All together, now more than ever.”Universidad de Michigan. Baloncesto. 1989. Campeón de la NCAA. No sería la primera vez que ocurre. Todos unidos, ahora más que nunca.— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) June 13, 2018 Spain get their campaign started with a tough Group B test against Portugal on Friday, before clashes with Iran and Morocco.
World Cup Pride of Africa: How Klopp turned Salah and Mane into world class players Neil Jones Click here to see more stories from this author Last updated 1 year ago 06:00 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Liverpool Mohamed Salah Sadio Mané Jürgen Klopp Poland v Senegal Russia v Egypt Russia Poland Senegal Egypt Opinion African All Stars The attacking duo’s talent has never been in doubt – but they have become superstars under the tutelage of the Liverpool coach They’ve already taken England by storm. Europe too. Now Liverpool’s African stars are looking to set the world alight.Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are both in World Cup action on Tuesday, looking to make their mark on international football’s premier competition.Mane’s Senegal get their Group H campaign underway against Poland in Moscow, while Salah’s Egypt will be looking to bounce back after their heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Uruguay in their opening game as they face hosts Russia in St Petersburg. It’s a big day for both. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Both players arrived at the World Cup on the back of a fruitful club campaign and both will carry most, if not all, of their nations’ hopes on their shoulders. Both will be looking to continue their unrelenting rise.What an impact these two have made at Liverpool. What a treat it has been to watch them in action. Two wide players who offer so much more; goalscorers, creators, dribblers, link-men, workers. Stars.Beacons, too, for the work Jurgen Klopp has done at Anfield. The Reds boss is known as a developer of footballers, and in Mane and Salah we can see two of his great success stories.Under Klopp’s guidance, they have been transformed from talented wingers into elite-level performers. They contributed 64 goals between them last season, Salah following Mane in collecting Liverpool’s player of the year award in his first year on Merseyside.The Egyptian’s progress has been remarkable. Liverpool knew they were signing a good player when they took him from Roma, but he has surpassed all expectations. His debut campaign may have ended in tears in Kiev, but before that came the goals and the assists and the moments and the records – all of them by the boat-load.Klopp, like Liverpool, had tracked Salah from his Basel days. He’d impressed in 2013, playing in a pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund. “What the f*ck?!” was Klopp’s assessment of the rapid, skinny winger tearing his full-back apart that day.A few months later, Salah was seemingly on his way to Anfield. The Reds were going for the Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers, and wanted the then 20-year-old to give them an extra attacking option.Detailed background checks were made, club scouts going so far as to attend a Basel training camp in the town of Davos in the Swiss Alps. There, they made notes on Salah’s mentality, attitude, the way he trained and the manner in which he interacted with team-mates, coaches and anyone else he came into contact with. The reports were overwhelmingly positive.Liverpool, though, were pipped to his signing by Chelsea, who were seeking a player following Juan Mata’s transfer to Manchester United. It didn’t work out for Salah at Stamford Bridge. He made just 19 appearances, and has since admitted it was the wrong time for him to come to England.His move to Italy, though, was a smart one. Salah’s form, first at Fiorentina and then at Roma, picked up drastically. Liverpool, through sporting director Michael Edwards and chief scout Barry Hunter continued to monitor him closely.By the time 2017 arrived, they were convinced that he was the one, and that he was gettable. The message to Klopp from the recruitment team was simple: “This guy will score goals!”They had explored other avenues – Mario Gotze, Christian Pulisic, Alex Teixeira, Julian Brandt and Julian Draxler were all looked at – but Salah was deemed the standout. It was not just his speed but his movement, his ability to get inside his full-back and open the game up, to play ‘from out to in’ and to deliver big numbers in terms of both goals and assists.At Roma, he delivered 15 and then 19 goals in consecutive seasons, but there were other clear improvements too. Physically, Liverpool staff were surprised by how strong he was when he arrived at Melwood.Luciano Spalletti, his former coach at Roma, had drummed into him the need to protect the ball in tight areas or with his back to goal. Salah had the pace of a winger, but he was solid, too. He can shield the ball well, and it gives him greater options – particularly against aggressive or deep-lying defences.Where Klopp’s influence can be seen is in the way in which the £36.9million man works from the front. Crucially, Salah’s first pre-season at Liverpool was a full one, giving him seven weeks to learn exactly what his manager demands from all players. It is not enough to score or to dribble; attackers must understand positional play too, they must work and they must be permanently engaged, in and out of possession.Salah is not Roberto Firmino in terms of work-rate, but he bought into Klopp’s ideas quickly. His debut, at Watford, saw Klopp spend 45 minutes bemoaning him for being “too high and too wide” – at half time, he got the message. He scored after the break, and hasn’t looked back.By that point, of course, Mane had already established himself as one of Liverpool’s key men. Like Salah, he was a long-time favourite of Klopp’s, having been on his radar when at Red Bull Salzburg back in 2014. Then, he declined the chance to take him to Dortmund, with Mane instead joining Southampton. Three months later, Klopp said, “I would have punched myself!”At St Mary’s, Mane proved himself a Premier League player. Ten goals in his first season, 15 in his second, at the end of which Liverpool were waiting. “No talks were necessary,” Klopp said. “It was a case of ‘let’s do it’”If Liverpudlians had doubts – and plenty did – they quickly evaporated. Mane’s debut came at Arsenal in August 2016, and just over an hour into it he chased a nothing ball down the right, worked his way inside two defenders into the box and smashed a brilliant left-foot shot into the top corner. He celebrated in the grand manner – by riding on his manager’s back!Softly-spoken and permanently smiling – he is similar to Salah in terms of personality – Mane made an immediate impact at Anfield. His pace turned Liverpool from a useful side into a deadly one, his willingness to chase and to press the perfect fit for a Klopp forward.He quickly forged relationships with Firmino, with Philippe Coutinho and with Adam Lallana. For Nathaniel Clyne, who played behind him at right-back, he was a dream, stretching the pitch one way, cutting it off the other.He scored 13 goals in his first season and would have had more had it not been for first the Africa Cup of Nations, and then an ill-timed knee injury.Salah’s arrival, though, meant a change in role. Mane was moved from the right to the left, encouraged to vary his play, to get in from the flank, connect with Firmino and co and find scoring positions. His first goal of last season, which also came in that Watford game, was the epitome of what Klopp was looking for; a well-timed run inside his defender, a sure touch and a clinical finish.There were struggles – in particular, after a crucial miss against Everton in December – while ill-founded theories suggested Salah’s arrival had upset Mane’s rhythm. It was an easy assumption, but it wasn’t true.Salah and Mane get on well, while privately Klopp remained delighted with the Senegal star’s output. His work from the left gives the team balance, he felt, his mere presence enough to create uncertainty for defenders and space for team-mates. The goals, he was told, would come.They did, too. Mane’s personality is an optimistic one, he rarely sulks or loses focus. He listens to his coaches and he believes in his ability. He is, say Anfield sources, as positive an influence in the dressing room as you could ask for.Klopp may not buy into the idea of ‘star’ players, but he certainly understands the value of keeping his main men happy. When he and Salah were nominated for the African Footballer of the Year award back in January, Klopp allowed both players to attend the ceremony in Accra, Ghana, despite Liverpool having an FA Cup tie with Everton just 24 hours later.Salah won, Mane finished second – and then played 90 minutes the following evening. The gesture did not go unappreciated by either.Mane finished the campaign with 20 goals, his best return since his final year at Salzburg. Ten came in the Champions League, where he netted in each round from the group stage on, including in the final against Real Madrid. Not bad for a ‘quiet’ campaign.The good news for Klopp and for Liverpool is that both Salah and Mane are here to stay. Links with Real Madrid have surfaced, but both are happy where they are. Liverpool will not consider selling either.Little wonder. As signings go, these two are as good as it gets. And by Tuesday evening, the whole world will know it. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
World Cup Maradona, Henry and the top 10 World Cup handballs Lewis Oldham 20:29 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Composite World Cup Luis Suárez Brazil Argentina Germany Scotland Uruguay France Both in the qualifiers and the finals tournament, there have been numerous infamous handballs. Here, Goal takes a look at the top 10
Leading sporting footwear manufacturer, Azuma Sports has signed a three-year deal to become an official partner of Touch Football Australia (TFA).The partnership agreement will see Azuma become TFA’s leading sponsorship partner.The six-figure agreement is one of the most significant partnerships TFA has brokered to date and has been designed with benefits for all affiliates from the elite player through to the park level.”Azuma is very excited to be the major sponsor of touch football and look forward to establishing a great relationship over many years.” said Paul Smart, Managing Director of Azuma Sports.Azuma have also created a new shoe, Bexsta, designed specifically for Touch Football and Australian conditions and will be available exclusively through TFA and associated distribution channels.Azuma’s Touch Football boots have been designed to provide greater comfort through superior cushioning, support and grip. They are extremely lightweight and provide elite players with a significant competitive edge.Through their partnership with TFA, Azuma will become the presenting partner of the National Open teams and squads and will also be the official footwear of Touch Football Australia.”As a young Australian company we are excited by the challenge of entering new markets and look forward to working with elite sports people to further develop our products with their valuable feedback,” said Mr Smart.TFA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Thompson believes TFA’s sponsorship consultant’s, P4 Group have been instrumental in securing the support of Azuma and TFA looks forward to seeing the benefits of the deal flow through to all levels of the sport.”The signing of Azuma is very exciting for Touch,” Kevin said. “Azuma have come on board during a period of change in the organisation and we know their support will help us service the needs of our sport even better,” he said today.For more information please contact:Kevin ThompsonTouch Football Australia Chief Executive OfficerP: (02) 6285 2703Rachel GrantTouch Football Australia Media ManagerP: (02) 6285 2703E: email@example.com Paul SmartAzumaDirectorP: (03) 9857 8811www.azuma.net.au
Welcome to another edition of 60 Seconds in Touch, which will do it’s best to summarise the mountain-load of news that has been bombarding the front pages of Touch websites Australia-wide… Remember, if you have any news for the weekly column of 60 Seconds in Touch, simply email it to firstname.lastname@example.org The Queensland State of Origin and Beach Touch launch was a huge success, with Beach Volleyball Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Cook helping to launch the series and the Beach Touch competition and donning the Queensland #1 supporter jersey. With just a few weeks until the State of Origin takes place, the competition is certainly heating up. In the TFA tipping competition ‘Kiwi Mongrel’ is still leading the way on the NRL ladder, while the AFL split round and several upsets could shake a few of the ladder leaders next weekend. The TFA shop is up and running with the initial technical problems sorted out. Already orders have been coming in for different items, including the Fox Sport 2006 NTL DVD, referees uniforms, publications and ESUS Touch Shoes. To visit the shop and either look through the products or purchase something, just click on the TFA Merchandise picture/link on the left hand side of the website. Then you can browse through the different categories of items. If you have any questions call 1800 654 951. Touch Footy was a hit at the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders on the weekend as a Mixed and Womens match took centre stage for 30 minutes before kick off. In the Womens, it was the ACT Women who held off the Victorian Womens, while in the Mixed it was a 7-7 draw between the Victorian Aussies and Victorian Kiwis, with guest Aussie Tony Eltakchi leading the way. This year’s Queensland Primary School State Champs are being held in Bundaberg from the July 27-30. Referees are required for this event. Please contact David Bonser on (07) 41551104 or email@example.com if you would like to officiate. Come and have a great time in the winter sun in Bundy! Nominations for the 2006 NSW Touch Association Vawdon Cup close this Friday June 23. Check out www.nswtouch.com.au for more info. TFA would like to welcome Tracey Thompson to the national office, she’s just started her role as Assistant Finance Officer, helping TFA staff keep on top of all the financial ins and outs of the organisation. Welcome aboard Tracey, it’s good to have you here! The Federation of International Touch (FIT) have released their new website. Make sure you check it out at http://www.internationaltouch.org/ The survey on the 2006 NTL Fox Sports package has been completed and a story with all of the results and the random prize winner will be uploaded to the website ASAP. Overall, the feedback has been regular, with a large majority of viewers appreciating the package and its contents. Make sure you check out the story when it appears. The 2006 Queensland Junior State Cup is being held from July 7-9 at the Glasshouse and with around 130 teams nominated it certainly looks as though Junior Touch in Queensland is thriving. ESUS footwear will be attending the Junior State Cup and their shoes will be available for purchase at the event. The 2006 NTL package that was shown on Fox Sports and also the raw footage of each of the 3 Open finals combined (footage shot from the tower camera) is available for purchase either by calling 1800 654 951 or visiting the TFA shop. Despite the 2-0 loss to the Brazilians Socceroo fever is still at an all-time high and TFA are still looking for a name that can symbolize our National teams traveling to South Africa next year for the 2007 Touch Football World Cup. We need something original…suggestions received already include the Wallaroos, Bilbies, Emus, Bandicoots, Southern Stars, Aussie Sixers and more. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org Rachel Grant and Marianne Maguire are working their way through building the new AusTouch website. For those who aren’t aware, AusTouch is TFA’s junior Touch program and the site will contain loads of information on the program Australia-wide, resources, coaching examples and much more. The website will even contain some of the information available for leaders and other interested coaches found on the AusTouch DVD/CD resource, which is available for purchase in the TFA shop. Keep an eye on the TFA website over the coming weeks for the launch of the new site. Until then, all AusTouch enquiries can be directed to email@example.com
Day 3 was full of classic action in the 2007 X-Blades National 18 Years and Under Touch Football Championships. The finalists were decided, some teams were on fire and some teams fizzled. In the boys’ division Sydney Mets, Queensland State Schools Touch (QSST) and Central Queensland (CQ) qualified as the top three teams having progressed through the pool rounds undefeated. Mets have the best defensive record, only conceding 11 touchdowns in their six games so far. QSST have the best attacking stats, notching up a massive 91 touchdowns in just six matches. Cobras qualified in fourth position, dropping just the one match last night to 2006 champions Mets. Cobras look the real deal after they accounted for NSWCHS 6-3 in the quarterfinal. ACT, Hunter Hornets and New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) all made it through to the quarterfinals but were no match for the top three seeds. Local hopes Northern Eagles were edged out on for-and-against for a spot in the Championship finals but will be in a good position to make a charge for the Shield tomorrow. The 2007 Plate will be fought out between Northern Territory, Sydney Scorpions, Sydney Rebels and Tasmania. South Australia came achingly close to a maiden victory for the tournament when they faced Northern Territory this afternoon but fell short, going down 6-5. In the girls’ division QSST finished at the top of the table and earned the top seeding for the finals. NSWCHS and Southern Suns were also undefeated in their pools and progressed through to claim second and third positions respectively. But in a major upset in the third quarterfinal the underrated Cobras gave Southern Suns their first taste of defeat and sent them packing from the tournament. NSWCCC qualified in fourth position and would have been confident of getting a win in their match against Sharks. But Sharks had other ideas, blowing CCC away with a devastating 8-2 trouncing. NSWCHS also fought their way through to the final four, disposing of Scorpions 11-1.Sunshine Coast was unlucky to miss out on a Championship finals berth but is the favourite to take out the Shield. NSWCIS, Central Queensland and Hunter Hornets will all have other ideas as they set their sights on the Shield after also missing out on the top eight spots today.Emerging states ACT, Tasmania, Northern Territory and TouchWest are in the running for the girls’ Plate final. None of the four have had a win thus far but will be pulling out all stops to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon. 9.00amBoys’ Pool B R5 NSWCHS (12) def Rebels (4)Boys’ Pool B R5 Sunshine Coast (4) def Scorpions (3)Boys’ Pool B R5 CQ (8) def Eagles (4)Boys’ Pool C R6 QSST (17) def NT (1)Boys’ Pool C R6 TouchWest (8) def Tasmania (4)Boys’ Pool C R6 Hornets (11) def Suns (4) 9.50amGirls’ Pool C R5 Sharks (8) def ACT (2)Girls’ Pool C R5 Suns (6) def Tasmania (0)Girls’ Pool C R5 Scorpions (6) def Hornets (5) 10.40amBoys’ Pool A R5 NSWCCC (8) def NSWCIS (6)Boys’ Pool A R5 Mets (20) def SA (0)Boys’ Pool A R5 Cobras (5) def Sharks (4)11.30amBoys’ Pool C R7 Suns (11) def TouchWest (3) Boys’ Pool C R7 Hornets (19) def NT (2)Boys’ Pool C R7 ACT (11) def Tasmania (1)12.20pmGirls’ Pool A R5 NSWCCC (9) def Eagles (4)Girls’ Pool B R5 NSWCHS (10) def Rebels (0)Girls’ Pool B R5 Cobras (12) def NT (1)1.10pmGirls’ Pool A R5 QSST (19) def TouchWest (0)Girls’ Pool A R5 Sunshine Coast (8) def CQ (7)Girls’ Pool B R5 NSWCIS (7) def Mets (6)2.00pmFeature match Coaches (5) def Referees (0)2.30pmBoys’ Champ QF1 Mets (11) def NSWCCC (2)Boys’ Champ QF2 CQ (12) def ACT (5)Boys’ Shield QF2 Sunshine Coast (5) def NSWCIS (3)3.30pmBoys’ Champ QF2 QSST (13) def Hunter Hornets (3)Boys’ Champ QF4 Cobras (6) def NSWCHS (3)Boys’ Shield QF1 Suns (7) def TouchWest (6)4.30pmGirls’ Shield QF1 Hornets (7) def Rebels (2)Boys’ Plate QF 1 Northern Territory (6) def South Australia (5) 5.30pmGirls’ Champ QF1 QSST (8) def Mets (1) Girls’ Champ QF3 Cobras (5) def Suns (4) Girls’ Shield QF2 CQ (7) def Eagles (6)6.30pmGirls’ Champ QF2 NSWCHS (11) def Scorpions (1)Girls’ Champ QF4 Sharks (8) def NSWCCC (2)
They’ve got the best seat in the house for the all the exhilaration and flare of the 2008 X-Blades National Touch League but the referees’ job is often a thankless one. The tournament wouldn’t be possible without the men and women with the whistles, but the refs also receive a great deal of assistance by a team of dedicated behind-the-scenes personnel.One such valuable contributor is veteran Touch personality Al Williams. For more information visit the NTL website
The National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout confirmed for Dubbo’s Apex Park on 11-12 November 2017.Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service’s Quit B Fit – Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in conjunction with NSW Touch Football & Touch Football Australia and Dubbo Regional Council will host the 2017 National Indigenous Touch Carnival Knockout.“The organising committee agreed to change the date and also review the registration and competitor criteria to encourage more registrations to ensure a highly successful event for Dubbo,” said WACHS CEO Darren Ah See.The Knockout will be open to senior men, women’s and mixed and will feature a prize pool of up to $40,000 for winners and runner’s upThe key changes to the competition criteria include:The 2 day event will be open to senior teams only, with a minimum age requirement of players to be 16 years before 31 December 2017The event will be open ONLY to Men’s Open, Women’s Open and Mixed.Minimum of 10 players and maximum of 14 players per team with a minimum of 70 % players per team with Confirmation of Aboriginality (COA)COA is required otherwise players are deemed non-indigenous and NO protests allowed on COA if Common Seal Stamp is submittedFirst in best dressed policy with a maximum of 32 teams per divisionEntry fee $500 per team non-refundable to be paid by 16 October 2017Referees to be supplied by the Event organisers“The revised registration and competitor details are now available on the event’s website www.indigenoustouchknockout.sportingpulse.netMr Ah See encourages all interested players to get involved.“We have received overwhelming support from the community and we thank the sponsors on board already including the Western NSW Local Health District, Cloudwize, Sydney University, and Western Plains Zoo.“We will be moving forward in November with our plans to host a health hub and kids activity/entertainment area at the Knockout to promote healthy living,” he said.For more information visit the KO website www.indigenoustouchknockout.sportingpulse.net or www.wachs.net.au and follow @quitbfit on Facebook and #quitbfit on Twitter and Instagram.Media Contact: Rebekah Bullock 0407959781
Real Madrid coach Solari: January signings? C’mon guys…by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari has pleaded with the media to allow his players to celebrate their Club World Cup triumph.After their 4-1 final win over Al Ain, Solari was immediately asked about his transfer plans for January.”Recruits this winter? What I’m saying is that we deserve to breathe a bit, we have earned this title with a lot of merit and we must enjoy it,” said the Argentine.”The only thing I’m sure of is that this team deserves this trophy. “For now, the sequel is a deserved holiday.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Everton loanee Vlasic slams Allardyce: It wasn’t footballby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNikola Vlasic has said that Everton played terrible football under Sam Allardyce.The winger has admitted the players were even scared of the home supporters, as they knew that no one was happy with the way they were playing.Vlasic thinks that it has improved under Marco Silva, even though Everton are below the 8th place where they finished last season under Allardyce.”Everything changed after Koeman left. The football played by Big Sam was awful, if it could even be called football,” Vlasic told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti.”In such football I do not have a place. The football team was terrified by everything, the fans mostly. This season, Marco Silva plays different, much nicer football, but has not got results.”It is true that Everton did not make an expected breakthrough but at least fans now look at the normal football in which the guys, through their actions, are trying to score and win.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
West Ham boss Pellegrini coy over season targetby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is coy over their season target.Skipper Mark Noble says they should be going for the top six.Pellegrini said, “I never say what our team target is for the season. I think though, that if pundits have those feelings, maybe it is because the team is showing in games, we are able to do that. “Our duty as a team is not to hear what happens, it is to play every game and demonstrate we are able to do it. “We know we have a very strong team to play and we have a good test against Manchester United and we will try to beat them. That would be the only way to arrive in the top six position, by demonstrating in every game we can do exactly that.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp lauds Leicester counterpart Rodgersby Ian Ferris21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been speaking of the return to Anfield of former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers with Leicester.”He is doing really well – and to be honest, I am not surprised about that. I knew when I came here that he was not the reason that things did not work out. Since then he has done an incredible job at Celtic and now at Leicester.”A lot of players were in before him and are still there, but [he has made] good signings as well, really good signings, and a brilliant team. What they do is really good.”I don’t have to say that because I think everybody knows it in the moment when you watch the Leicester games, it is just exciting, they are fresh, they are good. Just good.”They defend well, play football and especially [their] counter-attacks are pretty threatening. The reception will be good, from my side and from the supporters as well, but still it is not a friendly game and that’s what we want to make sure. We are there to perform as well and hopefully that’s what we will do.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Royalty to attend Man Utd v Liverpool clashby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNorwegian King Harald V will be at Old Trafford tomorrow.While a fan of Tottenham, King Harald will attend Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool to support Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Harald was delighted when the Norwegian was named manager of United last season.”It’s impressive. Really,” stated Harald. “I hope with all my heart that he succeeds.”
The 2019 Asian Cup will come to a head on Friday when first-time finalists Qatar prepare to face off against four-time champions and front-runners Japan.Japan have been the team to beat this tournament following the early exits of South Korea and Australia, having clinched the top spot of Group F in a straightforward manner with wins over Turkmenistan, Oman and Uzbekistan, before beating Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iran in the knockout stages.Qatar emerged as an unlikely powerhouse after knocking out favourites South Korea in the quarter-finals, and will head into the final backed by the momentum of their 4-0 semi-final victory over hosts United Arab Emirates. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Japan vs Qatar Date Friday, February 1 Time 2pm GMT / 9am ET Stream (US) DAZN (one month free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live with DAZN (one month free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Univision NOW DAZN (one month free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 2 and livestreamed on BT Sport Live. UK TV channel Online stream N/A N/A Squads & Team News Position Japan players Goalkeepers Gonda, Higashiguchi, Schmidt Defenders Nagatomo, Yoshida, Sakai, Makino, Tomiyasu, Shiotani, Miura, Muroya, Sasaki Midfielders Haraguchi, Inui, Shibasaki, Endo, Aoyama, Minamino, Ito, Doan Forwards Osako, Muto, Kitagawa With holding midfielder Wataru Endo injured, Al Ain defender Tsukasa Shiotani could be set for a return to the XI following his only start against Uzbekistan in the group stages.Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Hidemasa Morita is also unavailable to feature.Potential Japan XI: Gonda; Sakai, Yoshida, Tomayasi, Nagatomo; Haraguchi, Shiotani; Minamino, Doan, Shibasaki; Osako. Position Qatar players Goalkeepers Al Sheeb, Hassan, Al-Bakri Defenders Ro-Ro, Hassan, Salman, Ismail, Al-Muhaza, Al-Rawi, Al-Ali, Madibo Midfielders Fatehi, Hatem, Mohammed, Boudiaf, Al-Hajri, Khoukhi, Moustafa, Afif Forwards Alaaeldin, Al-Haydos, Afif, Ali The eligibility of Qatar players Almoez Ali, 22 and Iraqi-born defender Bassam Al Rawi, 21 have been questioned ahead of the final – with Ali having scored his record-equalling eighth goal of the tournament.Potential Qatar XI: Al Sheeb; Ro-Ro, Khoukhi, Salman, Hassan; Boudiaf, Afif, Madibo, Al-Hajri; Al Haydos, Ali.Betting & Match Odds Japan are priced at odds of winning 23/20 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 2/1. A win for Qatar is priced at 3/1.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Japan are on course to win a record-extending fifth continental title as they take on Qatar at Zayed Sports City following their 3-0 victory over fellow favourites Iran in the semi-finals.Head coach Hajime Moriyasu is set to become the first manager to win the tournament as both head coach and player, having been part of the Samurai Blues’ title-winning 1992 team.Thirty-year-old Tsukasa Shiotani was drafted in for the injured Morita and scored the winner during the 2-1 group stage victory over Uzbekistan, and could be in line to be included in the XI for the final.“If the manager picks me, I’ll be ready to do my best,” Shiotani said in the lead-up to the game. “It’s not every day you get to play in an Asian Cup final. I want to enjoy it.”Debut finalists Qatar have reached their first continental final in their nation’s history, with a win over neighbours UAE following an impressive 1-0 quarter-final victory over tournament favourites South Korea.Hasan Al Haydos and Hamid Ismaeil scored late on for Qatar during the politically-charged semi, and have won all six of their matches and are yet to concede a single goal – becoming the first nation to ever do so at the Asian Cup.Qatari players were pelted with plastic bottles and shoes by furious local fans during their 4-0 semi-final thrashing of UAE.The protests stemmed from a history of political and economic boycotts of Qatar, which the UAE had launched alongside Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017 – with the four countries accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism, which it denies.The tensions has also meant that almost no Qatari fans or media have been present in the UAE to report on their run to a first continental final.”We have already realised a dream that the whole country had,” said striker Almoez Ali, who equalled Ali Daei’s record of eight goals in a single Asian Cup against the hosts on Tuesday.”We will need patience in the final but if we are patient, we have a chance of being champions.”
Romelu Lukaku’s “time in England is over”, according to Andy van der Meyde, with the Manchester United striker being tipped to form an “unbelievable” strike partnership with Mauro Icardi at Inter.Speculation regarding a move away from Old Trafford for the Belgium international is starting to intensify.Initial rumours have seemingly taken on more substance, with the 26-year-old now expected to take on a new challenge. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Lukaku has openly admitted in the past that he would welcome the opportunity to test himself in Serie A at some stage.That wish may be granted in the summer of 2019, with former Inter star Van der Meyde hinting that reported interest from San Siro may deliver a big-money deal.He told FCInterNews: “I’ll tell you what I think, not what he told me in front of the cameras. For that, I refer you to the episode [of my show] that will be broadcast in a few weeks.“I think this time in England is over and he can move to another like Serie A.“On the other hand, Romelu’s message to one of your [Italian] TV stations in which he praised [Antonio] Conte by claiming that he is the best manager in the world, makes it clear.“But to avoid specific problems, again this is just my personal opinion.”Inter already have a star frontman on their books in the form of Argentina international Icardi.He has been linked with a move of his own, with Van der Meyde admitting that a long-runner saga has become an unwelcome distraction.The Dutchman said of Icardi: “I think he is a very good player and he was a good captain. So the situation is a bit bleak.“But this is football. The players come and go. The team is more important than the single athlete.”While fearing that Icardi could be offloaded in the current window, Van der Meyde hopes that his services are retained and used alongside Lukaku.He added: “They could be a pair of deadly strikers. Unbelievable. Do you know how many goals they could score?”Inter are expected to bring in a number of fresh faces now that they have Conte at the helm, with the club eager to force their way back into contention for major honours and end Juventus’ dominance of Italian football.
Fulham wonderkid Harvey Elliott was in attendace for an easy friendly victory for Liverpool on Thursday as he closes on what would be a dream move to Anfield.The Champions League holders raised few eyebrows at Prenton Park in a dominant 6-0 defeat of Tranmere Rovers to kick off pre-season preparations. Nathaniel Clyne opened the scoring after just six minutes and Rhian Brewster hit a double to effectively end the game as a contest before half time, before Curtis Jones and Divock Origi further widened the margin in the second half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Steven Gerrard’s cousin Bobby Duncan rounded off the rout with the sixth goal of the evening to mark a perfect start to pre-season for Jurgen Klopp’s men. And in the stands at Prenton Park was Elliott, who Goal can confirm will soon be signing terms on a move to Liverpool. In May, Elliott became the youngest player in Premier League history when he came on for already relegated Fulham against Wolves aged 16 years and 30 days. While he will not be able to sign professional terms until his 17th birthday in April 2020, he is nevertheless free to pen a youth contract with Liverpool after his deal with Fulham expired. He is expected to complete his move in the coming days, with Fulham set to receive a significant compensation package for the player. The signing represents a coup for Liverpool, who had to beat off interest from a host of rival clubs in order to land the teenager. Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were all linked with Elliott, whose support of the Reds seems to have been key in his decision. He certainly comes with the highest of recommendations from his former club. “He’s been a sensation since he joined in training a few months ago,” Fulham captain Tom Cairney said. “He doesn’t look out of place and does some bits of magic that everyone says ‘wow’.”His attitude and his belief in himself at such a young age is frightening. He’s got a great football brain, an eye for goal and is a very entertaining player.”Elliott would be Liverpool’s second signing of the summer window, after swooping for PEC Zwolle’s 17-year-old defender Sepp van de Berg at the end of June. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
When Christian Pulisic left the United States to join Borussia Dortmund at the tender age of 16, he was by no means the first young American to try his luck abroad.However, there is no denying that the success of the Chelsea winger has led to a bit of a trend.In fact, the USA team that made it to the quarter-finals at the Under-20 World Cup back in June relied heavily on players plying their trade in Europe, with expats such as Timothy Weah, Sebastian Soto and Alex Mendez the standout performers. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Another member of that talented squad who has already made the jump to Europe is gifted midfielder Richard Ledezma.The 18-year-old joined Eredivisie giants PSV at the start of 2019 and, even though an injury initially slowed him down somewhat, he is now slowly but surely getting used to his new surroundings.“It wasn’t that difficult to make the move to Netherlands,” Ledezma told Goal and Voetbalzone. “I’ve been away from my family for almost two, three years, playing with Real Salt Lake in Utah. So we were living in dorms and I don’t think it’s much harder.” That’s not to say nothing’s changed at all for the youngster, though, as he’s had to accept a change to his diet. “When I arrived, I was a little chubby – they called me fatty!” 😂#USMNT youth international Richard Ledezma tells us about Christian Pulisic’s Fortnite advice, and Ruud van Nistelrooy tells us about PSV’s next promising talent 🔥 pic.twitter.com/xclNXTg8zs— Goal (@goal) July 22, 2019“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s!” Having spent the first six months of his PSV career with the Under-19 team, he worked closely with legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and the former Manchester United ace is impressed with Ledezma’s potential. “He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team,” the PSV U-19 coach stated. “So a very promising talent, I was really happy to work with him for now.” Ledezma himself, meanwhile, agrees with Van Nistelrooy’s assessment of his biggest strengths. “I play as a No.10 or No.8, although I can also play the No.6 role. But I’m more flashy as a player, so I like going forward more,” the USA U-20 star said. “I like to assist, to create goals. I’m not about scoring goals, but about assists, you know, that’s my thing.” With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Ledezma idolises former Barcelona superstar Andres Iniesta, as well as his aforementioned compatriot Pulisic. “Role-models? Iniesta… He’s a big player obviously. I know it’s hard to compare, but I think I could do it one day. You have to aim high,” he added. “Pulisic is an inspiration too. I played Fortnite with him once, the video game. It was nice talking to him, giving me a little advice. I look up to him, he’s the number one when it comes to Americans playing soccer in Europe.” But whereas Pulisic has already earned himself a big-money move to Chelsea after making over 100 appearances for BVB, Ledezma still very much has his work cut out to prove himself in the European game. His contract with PSV is due to expire at the end of the 2019-20 campaign and he’s well aware of the importance of the season ahead, with the Eindhoven side having a unilateral option to extend his deal by two years. “My ambition here at PSV is to convince the club to trigger that option. So hopefully I get those two extra years and move up to the first team quickly. And then just experience first-team minutes. “My ideal route would be to get those two extra years, but to be playing with the first team and some games with Jong PSV obviously. And hopefully move higher and higher. “[I would] play in the first team for a few years and then maybe move to Spain. “Real Madrid are my favourite club in the world, but I don’t necessarily see myself playing there…”
European champions Lyon have announced the capture of England international and Manchester United captain Alex Greenwood.The clubs had previously announced an agreement over a fee for the 25-year-old defender, with United promising a further announcement on Twitter.Greenwood celebrated her move on Twitter, writing: “So excited to be joining @OLfeminin the best women’s club in the world and to test myself against the best players everyday. Excited for the journey ahead.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Liverpool-born Greenwood played one season with United in the Women’s Championship, England’s second-division, joining the club in their debut season.She scored four goals in 18 league games for the club, helping to guide them to the title and promotion to the Women’s Super League.But her successful campain for United will be her only one, as she moves to France to suit up for Europe’s most dominant side.Lyon have captured six of the last nine Champions League crowns, including four straight from 2015-16 through 2018-19. The club have also dominated domestically, having captured the title every season in the French top flight dating back to 2007, a run of 13 straight seasons. Greenwood joins a side that features reigning Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France stars Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer.L’Olympique Lyonnais est heureux d’annoncer l’arrivée de l’Internationale anglaise @AlexGreenwood au poste de latérale gauche en provenance de Manchester United.Bienvenue Alex ! 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/vfKFBGYb3f— OL Féminin (@OLfeminin) August 8, 2019The defender’s Lioness team-mates Lucy Bronze, Nikta Parris and Izzy Cristiansen also feature for Lyon.Parris’ move from Manchester City to the European Champions was announced in June, as she joined on a three-year contract.Greenwood started four games for England at this past summer’s Women’s World Cup, scoring a goal as she helped the Lionesses to the semi-final, where they fell to the eventual winners, the United States.Prior to her time with United, Greenwood featured at Everton, Notts County and Liverpool, all in the Women’s Super League.Lyon get their 2019-20 season underway when they face Marseille at home August 24.