About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Fulham’s Chambers enjoying central midfield roleby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCalum Chambers is enjoying his time at Fulham, despite a disappointing result against West Ham United.In the game where Claudio Ranieri’s men were beaten 2-0 by West Ham United, Chambers was getting used to a new role in central midfield.And despite the result, the youngster admits that he enjoyed his time in central midfield and would be happy to continue there.He said to the Evening Standard: “I’m enjoying it, obviously it’s nicer if we get a win, but I’m doing what I can for the team defensively and going forward. I’m learning game by game in that position.”At the moment I don’t know whether I’ll go back to defence or stay in midfield. I’m taking on what I’ve been told to do in there and trying to execute it in the games.”Chambers is on loan at Fulham from Arsenal. He has appeared in 11 Premier League games this season.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Keane and Mourinho ‘shocked, saddened’ after Man Utd defeatby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United identities Roy Keane and Jose Mourinho slammed their old team after defeat at West Ham.Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell earned West Ham their second successive home win against Manchester United, who remain without a league win on their travels since February.Former United captain Keane said: “I don’t know where to start. I’ m shocked and saddened about how bad they were.”Everything about United, lacklustre, no quality, no desire, no characters. It’s a long way back for United. It’s scary how far they’ve fallen.”Ex-manager Mourinho also said: “We were bad last season and I don’t see any improvement. I like these three (signings) they bring good quality but the team as a team I don’t at all and I’m not surprised by the result and I don’t think Ole can take any positives from the game.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool aiming for Carabao Cup success insists Lijndersby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool are hoping to win the Carabao Cup, even if they do make changes to their team for the early rounds.The Reds will take the approach of many top Premier League sides by involving young and fringe players into the starting lineups for the competition.But assistant boss Pepijn Lijnders insists they are serious about winning the games and progressing deep into the Carabao Cup.He told the club’s website about their ambitions: “We want to compete in each competition, we want to attack each competition. We worked so hard to be in this situation where we can compete in each one. “For me, cup competitions are the soul of football because it represents a chance for smaller clubs to play against Premier League clubs and can give historic games for fans. That’s what we’re up against tomorrow. “The cup competitions are something special; when two local teams play against each other, that environment you get with the cup competitions. “We want to attack this cup, we want to attack tomorrow’s game, we will put a team in place that, for me, is a Premier League team. The players feel this responsibility as well: a highly-motivated team plays against us and the players feel this responsibility, so they really look forward to it, I really look forward to it. “It’s another opportunity to put our identity in place and show our passion. “We prepare for the game in the same way we prepared for Chelsea, with the same access, probably even more detail, but with the same hunger to win it.”
Liverpool loanee Woodburn: I handled record pressure wellby Freddie Taylor9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool youngster Ben Woodburn is determined to become a success at the club.Three years ago, he managed to gain the honour of being the club’s youngest goalscorer.But he has struggled to grab a place in the first team since, and is now on loan at Oxford UnitedThe 20-year-old is insistent that he never let the pressure or sudden attention get to him.”When I scored, I didn’t have a clue about the record,” he told reporters.”I remember walking off the pitch with Trent (Alexander-Arnold). The players were saying well done, the manager (Jurgen Klopp) was saying well done because I’d scored my first Liverpool goal. “It was probably only when I started checking Instagram I realised the significance.”Obviously that game was when I got quite a lot of attention. I was definitely recognised going out in the streets, shopping in Liverpool One, people asking for a few pictures. You had to get used to people looking.”The club helped us and I got a lot of advice from family, friends and my agent, but you also have to take quite a bit of on your own shoulders and it’s a bit strange when it happens.”I look back now and think I handled it well. I don’t think I was big-headed, I took it during the y About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Wisconsin Forward Vitto BrownWisconsin’s men’s basketball program and its fans likely won’t ever forget the Badgers’ victory against Kentucky in this past season’s Final Four. The same can probably be said about the Wildcats and their fan base about their devastating loss. A flight attendant/Kentucky fan hasn’t forgotten about it, anyway. Today, Wisconsin guard Vitto Brown wore a Badgers’ shirt while flying. A flight attendant on his plane couldn’t stand the sight of it. Walked on the plane with a Badgers shirt.. Flight attendant asked if I played. I said yes. She said she bleeds blue. I said keep bleeding.— Vitto Brown (@SenseiSwat33) June 28, 2015 Lol she was a Kentucky grad, I could see the salt visibly spewing from her face as I sat down with sly grin. She said she don’t like me..— Vitto Brown (@SenseiSwat33) June 28, 2015 Brown and his teammates will be able to brag about that victory for the rest of their lives.
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 04: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats points while the Wildcats practice ahead of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium on April 4, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Twitter/@tneelOn Tuesday night, we shared a clip from Gary Parrish’s radio show, in which he told a story about John Calipari accosting a fellow coach over recruiting allegations. Kentucky Sports Radio has look further into things, and as it turns out, this story might not be a new one. KSR’s Drew Franklin found an old story from Parrish in 2010, that is largely the same as the one he told this week. The coach in question? Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin.Parrish noted that Calipari will let people know when he has problems with others and he liked the fact that he is up front. He told a story about a confrontation Calipari had with Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin after he heard Cronin had told some associates that he didnt understand how he could go to every game for a kid and then Calipari could come in at the last minute and take him (presumably Marquis Teague). Calipari heard the comment, went to Cronin and basically said “you have to go see all the kid’s games…I can sit back and decide which kid I want and come and get them.”While we’re not totally sure that Cronin was the example given again, it does seem like this is the same story. It’d probably be hard for Calipari to get away with using the same rant too many times. This is probably not something Cincinnati basketball fans want to be reminded of too often, though.
Santi Cazorla scored twice as Real Madrid failed to take full advantage of their game in hand on LaLiga leaders Barcelona in a frustrating 2-2 draw at relegation-threatened Villarreal.Los Blancos, back in action for the first time since winning the Club World Cup, appeared to be headed for three points as Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane cancelled out Cazorla’s crisp early opener by the 20th minute.But with just eight minutes remaining, Cazorla ghosted in to head Pablo Fornals’ teasing cross past Thibaut Courtois to secure a share of the spoils. 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? Madrid, who lost the ineffective Gareth Bale to injury at half-time, are consequently fourth and seven points behind leaders Barcelona after 17 matches, while Villarreal are out of the bottom three but remain level with 18th-placed Athletic Bilbao.FT: @Eng_Villarreal 2-2 @realmadrid Cazorla 4′, 82′; @Benzema 7′, @raphaelvarane 20’#Emirates | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/FgA9VYLhkf— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 3, 2019Madrid had won their last three league matches without conceding but just four minutes had elapsed when Samuel Chukwueze picked out Cazorla, who curled the ball into the bottom-right corner for his first LaLiga goal since returning to the club in August.The lead lasted all of three minutes as Benzema headed a right-sided cross from Lucas Vazquez past Sergio Asenjo from eight yards and the turnaround was complete when Varane leapt highest to guide Toni Kroos’ deep free-kick back across goal.Luka Modric then converted from close range after Kroos had a shot kept out by Asenjo, only for the offside flag to cut short his celebrations.Madrid made a slow start to the second half but could have extended their lead on the hour, with Vazquez profiting from a favourable deflection but shooting right at Asenjo.That would prove a costly miss as Fornals delivered the ball into the back post for Cazorla to head past Courtois.An end-to-end conclusion to the match ensued, with Bale’s half-time replacement Isco forcing Asenjo into a late save with his bullet strike, but Villarreal earned a crucial point on their quest to dodge the drop and inflicted a big blow on their opponents’ outside title hopes. What does it mean? Madrid miss big chance to close gapA trip to a side sitting third-bottom of the division at the start of the game should have meant three simple points for Madrid, though this latest slip-up makes it just three wins from nine away LaLiga matches. After missing out on a fourth league win on the spin overall, Solari’s charges remain fourth in the division and have surely relinquished any slim hopes they had of challenging Barcelona for the title.Cazorla shows signs of his bestNot only did Cazorla score both of his side’s goals, the former Arsenal ace also chipped in with five key passes during the 90 minutes. The opening goal early on was special, working the angle well to send the ball out of Courtois’ reach, but he also showed great awareness in the final 10 minutes to get away from his man and guide Fornals’ cross from the left into the back of the net.Bale ineffective before injury scarePlenty of eyes were on Bale, who top scored for Madrid at the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last month, but he endured a frustrating opening 45 minutes here and did not emerge for the second half – the 15th time he has been replaced in LaLiga this term, more than any other player.The Wales forward failed to capitalise on some poor positioning from opposition right-back Miguel Layun and left the field with the lowest pass completion rate of any outfield Madrid player. After succumbing to another suspected calf problem, which twice required treatment before he was replaced by out-of-favour Isco, Bale’s playing time may be curtailed during a crucial period.Key Opta Facts: – Villarreal’s Santi Cazorla has scored his first brace in La Liga since September 2011 for Malaga against Granada, 2670 days ago. – Real Madrid are the LaLiga side with the most headed goals scored this season in all competitions (11) and their striker Karim Benzema is the player with the most headers (five). – Benzema has scored 12 goals in 27 games this season in all competitions, as many as he did in the whole of last season (12 but in 47 games). – Cazorla has scored his first headed goal in La Liga (41 goals in total). – No other Real Madrid player has made more assists than Lucas Vazquez since the start of last year in all competitions (12, the same as Karim Benzema). What’s next?Both sides face a quick turnaround in fixtures as Madrid play host to Real Sociedad on Sunday, while Villarreal travel to Eibar on the same day. read more
Bruno Fernandes continues to hint at a summer move to England, with the Sporting midfielder talking up the qualities of suitors Manchester City and Liverpool.The 24-year-old has become a much sought-after asset on the back of a 2018-19 campaign that delivered 20 goals and 13 assists in the Portuguese top-flight.He is now wanted in the Premier League and across Europe. 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? Goal revealed in early May that City were leading the race for his signature, with a €50 million (£43m/$56m) deal in the pipeline.They are, however, facing competition from the likes of Liverpool and arch-rivals Manchester United.Fernandes has been keeping the door open for a switch to be put in place on the eve of the summer transfer window.He is a big fan of the 2018-19 treble winners, but is also an admirer of the ‘heavy metal’ football favoured by Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.Fernandes told De Cadeirinha: “Pep Guardiola has made the best of the players in the team, he knew that it was going to be difficult in England and he adapted.“It’s a City that plays, more or less, in the way of Barcelona, but not just because the championship is different, the intensity is different, the aggressiveness is different, the competition is different and he knew how to change it.”“City, without the ball, has the intensity of the XI, can in a moment of pressure put the [opposing] team in a corner, in block, and ends up stealing the ball.”Fernandes added on a side that City pipped to the Premier League title by a solitary point: “I like Liverpool a lot more, it’s a more direct, more offensive, maybe less organised, but more intense football, when you do not have the ball possession you are more intense.“In Liverpool they are more individual players, especially in the midfield, usually playing three very aggressive players and recovering the ball, then they have three players at the front who are lethal, when they have the opportunity, to be the difference.”The Reds could stake a serious claim to being Fernandes’ first choice on Saturday when they take on domestic rivals Tottenham in the Champions League final.
It’s been just over a week since Arsenal collapsed so dramatically against Chelsea in the Europa League final, but the fall-out is already well underway.Failure to secure Champions League football for a third successive season means some difficult decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks as Unai Emery attempts to reshape a squad that missed out on a top-four place in the Premier League by a single point.Without Champions League football, however, finances are going to be tight once again at the 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? It’s not going to be as bad as in January, when the Gunners could only shop in the loan market, but Emery knows he is heading into the summer with a limited budget of around £45 million.That’s a figure that will be dwarfed by every other side that finished above them last season, aside from Chelsea who currently will be heading into the new season with a one-year transfer ban.It is a clear indicator of how difficult a job Emery is facing ahead of his second season in charge at the Emirates.The Spaniard admitted immediately after the defeat by Chelsea in Baku that reinforcements would be needed before the start of the 2019-20 campaign.“We have good, big players with experience and some young players,” said Arsenal’s head coach.“I think this year we’ve been closer to the other teams. But next year we need the same idea, also to add some new players to give us some situations we can improve.”The process of adding to the squad started well before the end of last season, despite the club currently operating without a technical director – with Edu not due to arrive until the end of the Copa America next month.Emery has been working on deals alongside head of football Raul Sanllehi and head of international recruitment Francis Cagigao, with the Gunners looking to bring in several new faces.A centre-back, a left-back, a replacement for Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey and a wide attacker are all viewed as a priority – with the Gunners also showing interest in Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier.But the big issue for the north London club is being able to finance the deals they are hoping to secure while working to such a minimal budget. The fact that PSG are looking for around £25 million for Meunier shows the difficulty they face.So to be able to fund such an overhaul, it’s clear that players must be sold to bring in money which can be added to the transfer budget.And that has led to the possibility being raised of the club cashing in one of their two star strikers.Between them, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 50 goals last season, with the latter ending his first full campaign in England with 31 in all competitions and 22 in the Premier League, a tally which earned him a share of the Golden Boot.Lacazette, meanwhile, chipped in with 19 on his way to being voted Arsenal’s player of the year by the club’s supporters.Both are huge fan favourites, but both have also been linked with moves away in recent weeks – with Lacazette believed to be on the radar of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid while Aubameyang is attracting interest from China.Reports suggest that multiple Chinese teams are willing to offer Aubameyang £300,000 a week to lure him away from the Emirates and they would no doubt stump up more than the £55 million it took for Arsenal to sign him from Borussia Dortmund in 2018.For a player who will soon turn 30, that would be a very tempting offer for both parties. Arsenal would make a profit on an ageing striker and Aubameyang would guarantee himself one last big payday before retiring.But the fact is, Arsenal are not going to go out and get a better striker than Aubameyang. His goalscoring record is astonishing. He is one of only six players across Europe to score more than 25 times in each of the last five seasons.How can you sell a player who guarantees you goals at that sort of regularity? Yes, Arsenal may have to hand him a new deal to ensure his head does not get swayed by China’s riches and – given his age – that will mean he will have very little sell-on value down the line if he were to eventually leave.But there is still plenty of life left in Aubameyang and you could actually argue that he will get even better, should Emery bring in the top quality wide attacker he craves this summer. Such a wideman could supply the Gabon international with the sort of service he thrives on from the flanks.So as much as Arsenal need money to invest – and as much as they need to cut the wage bill – there have to be better options than selling one of Europe’s most fearsome forwards.And the same goes for Lacazette, who the club will soon open contract talks with in a bid to extend his stay in north London.Speaking ahead of the Europa League final, the France international admitted that he would be sitting down with Arsenal to discuss his future amid links to the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.”For me, I just think about the final, then after we will see with the club,” he told Standard Sport. “If the club is really happy with me and I’m happy, I will stay. In France, they say 27, 28 is one of the best ages in your career.“I wish it is not the last [good season] at Arsenal and I hope I will be better and better in the next years.”It would be no surprise to see a big-money offer arrive from Spain this summer for Lacazette, especially if Atletico Madrid lose Antoine Griezmann – who could end up at Camp Nou.Barcelona do have an interest in the Arsenal striker, but he is behind Griezmann and Valencia’s Rodrigo on their shopping list. Lacazette would also have to settle for a place behind Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should he move to the Liga champions.But even if a bid did arrive, Arsenal should reject it out of hand. Selling your player of the season would send out entirely the wrong message and would have a terrible effect on morale ahead of the new season – both in the dressing room and among the fanbase.Lacazette is approaching his prime, his partnership with Aubameyang is up there with the best in Europe and his impressive link-up play is key in terms of the Arsenal attack. He may not be as prolific as his strike partner, but his game is about far more than just goals – something which is highlighted by the 10 assists he contributed last season.There are not many unsellable players at Arsenal – but the club’s two star forwards should very much fall into that bracket.If Arsenal need to raise funds then there are other areas that they should focus on. A buyer needs to be found for Shkodran Mustafi. If the interest from Inter in Granit Xhaka is genuine, then Sanllehi should do all he can to strike a good deal.Xhaka has had a good season under Emery and is also key to how Arsenal play, but he can comfortably be replaced with some smart scouting.Calum Chambers could also be sold. His stock is high following his impressive loan spell at Fulham but he is well behind Rob Holding in the pecking order at Arsenal and could bring in around £20 million in today’s market.Then there are the likes of David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson – not to mention Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil. The latter two will be incredibly difficult to shift given their wage packets, but Arsenal need to be ruthless when it comes to those high earners.There are so many areas of the squad that need improving, but up front is not one of them. That is the one position where Arsenal are the envy of most teams in Europe. Emery should build a team around Aubameyang and Lacazette, not look to cash in on one of them.
Matthijs de Ligt has been warned off a move to Paris Saint-Germain, with Ronald de Boer urging the Ajax defender to head for Barcelona or Manchester City.As things stand, the 19-year-old centre-half has the pick of Europe’s top clubs.The current holder of the prestigious Golden Boy award is wanted by leading sides in La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Premier League. 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? PSG have emerged as a leading contender to secure his signature, although so-called ‘super agent’ Mino Raiola has branded talk of a deal already being done “fake news”.Former Netherlands international De Boer hopes an alternative destination can be found for De Ligt, with it his opinion that Camp Nou or the Etihad Stadium would be preferable to Parc des Princes.He told reporters: “[De Ligt] is a player who can play for any team and for me it would be better to see him playing at Barcelona, because they are a club with the same philosophy as Ajax.”He started at Ajax as a 10-year-old and he has a philosophy and a way of playing which is very close to that of Barcelona”He wouldn’t need to adapt, and he would be ready to play.”People see him with a ball, but without the ball he is also very good”[PSG] are a very good team with great players, but they are a team that don’t play like [De Ligt] is used to.”It’s different and philosophy is important, and if you ask me I’d prefer to see him at Barcelona or Manchester City.”He must have confidence in his own character. If he doesn’t play the first few months [at Barcelona], he should remain calm.”De Ligt has this character as he’s patient and he’s going to be a great signing for Barcelona, if it’s finally done.”If De Ligt does move to Catalunya, then he will be reunited with Frenkie de Jong.The highly-rated midfielder has already secured a €75 million (£66m/$85m) move to Barcelona.De Boer is expecting the 22-year-old to thrive with the Blaugrana, but can understand when fellow Dutchman Jasper Cillessen is looking for a way out of Camp Nou amid struggles for regular game time.He said: “[De Jong] is a very talented player and he’s had a spectacular year.”His potential is great and his style is close to that of Barcelona, so I think he’s going to be successful.”Sometimes you have to see who is in front of you and [Cillessen] has [Marc-Andre] ter Stegen who is an impressive goalkeeper.”[Cillessen] is also a great goalkeeper and he wants to play in the important games.”He has the quality to be in a good team and I understand that he wants to go out.”He has learned a lot at Barcelona, but he has to look for his own success.”