World Cup How Martinez is solving Belgium’s Hazard & De Bruyne conundrum Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent 21:30 5/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Eden Hazard Kevin De Bruyne Belgium v Portugal Belgium v Egypt Belgium v Costa Rica Belgium v Panama Belgium v Tunisia England v Belgium Southampton v Manchester City Newcastle United v Chelsea Tunisia Panama Portugal Belgium Egypt Costa Rica England Southampton Manchester City Chelsea Newcastle United Friendlies Premier League Opinion The Spaniard has signed a contract extension until 2020 and his ability to coax performances from his star duo has been key to productive Belgian form Roberto Martinez has renewed his Belgium contract and will coach the Red Devils for another two years at least. He will be in charge for the World Cup this summer and will also provide continuity through the upcoming UEFA Nations League and into the next cycle of qualifiers for Euro 2020.Belgium’s golden generation are right at the peak of their powers and should be able to play somewhere close to their potential at this tournament and the next. Their ages are right and their form is good – both for the national team and their clubs.Belgium’s great hopes for the Brazilian World Cup of 2014 were dashed by Argentina at the quarter-final stage but even up to that point, there was a lack of fluency in what should have been a more cohesive unit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash 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 Similarly, they met their end at Euro 2016 against a Wales side that they should have swept aside. Gareth Bale apart, the Welsh did not have a player equal to their Belgian counterparts but a coherent tactical structure – allied to a genuine pride in the shirt – carried the day for the Dragons.Marc Wilmots took plenty of criticism and fell on his sword for failing to get the best from his team on a consistent basis. There was lethargy and a sense in the stands that players this good ought to be scoring more goals and providing more entertainment.Chief among Wilmots’ issues was a failure to get the best of both Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in the same team. Both are playmakers, both are deserving of their star status but national teams down throughout history have been plagued by this kind of problem: how to fit two extremely gifted schemers into the same line-up and also ensuring that they hit their marks.That was something Martinez knew he would inherit from his predecessor. Back then – hard to believe it’s less than two years ago – De Bruyne was still somewhat unsure his best position for club and country.He played for Wolfsburg and Manchester City at wide left, wide right and in the centre of a three-man support line behind the forward. And anyone sketching a Belgium XI would probably have put De Bruyne in one of those positions too.Martinez, though, made a change that would not only benefit the national team – as the goals started to flow and excellent form was coaxed from both De Bruyne and Hazard – but would also help improve Manchester City into the bargain.In a qualifier against Estonia in November 2016, Martinez opted to put De Bruyne in his now familiar position at the centre of midfield and ceded the more attacking slot to Hazard. The rationale was that De Bruyne had the technical ability, the awareness and the lungs to influence a game over long periods from the centre of the field.Martinez discovered quickly that while the temptation in the early days existed to play De Bruyne and Hazard either side of a striker – or at least alongside each other in behind – it would benefit everyone most if they played in different lines of the attack.Both were usually the main targets for passes from midfielders and given their characteristics, they were bound to end up competing for the same kind of balls. By moving one further back, Martinez solved that issue. It would be more productive for the team if one was feeding the other and De Bruyne got the nod at the deeper position.Pep Guardiola admits that he began to play De Bruyne alongside David Silva in those twin ‘No. 8’ positions partly on the strength of his performance there for the national team. The night he first featured there they won 8-1. And it may have been ‘only’ Estonia but that’s where De Bruyne began to acquire the stature of a world-class centre-midfielder.Hazard, meanwhile, was enduring a tough 2016-17 season up to around that point. Chelsea under Antonio Conte were struggling and had lost heavily 3-0 to Arsenal before the Italian tried something drastic. While the 3-4-3 he settled upon for the 2-0 win at Hull the following week has been interpreted as a way to improve the defending, it could be argued that it was that tactical switch which finally got the best out of Hazard.It was something attempted by Martinez in his first competitive game in charge. He had watched his Belgium team get booed off in his first friendly – against Spain in Brussels – and endured a disappointing 2-0 defeat. He set them up in a 4-2-3-1 that night with Hazard wide on the left. It didn’t bear fruit.By the time the Cyprus game rolled around, Martinez was ready for something new. In came a 3-4-2-1 which would give Belgium more control of the midfield but also freed up Hazard.Playing him wide – in front of a wing-back – became a feature of Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning team. And it is in those positions that De Bruyne and Hazard are best deployed. There are still issues to solve of course with De Bruyne pointing out publicly that work still needs to be done. Despite injuries to both at various intervals during the qualification period – indeed they missed the hard-fought 1-1 home draw against Greece – Belgium emerged from their group with nine wins out of 10 and were joint-top scorers in Europe alongside World Cup holders Germany. Romelu Lukaku weighed in with 11 goals and Hazard got six of his own.Belgium managed to tap into their attacking weaponry and look a good bet for progress beyond the quarter-finals in Russia. For that, they can thank primarily the outstanding crop of talents but they can also acknowledge the astute analytical eye of their coach.
Mohamed Salah Salah can win Ballon d’Or with Champions League triumph, says Luiz Joe Wright 21:30 5/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Mohamed Salah Real Madrid v Liverpool Real Madrid Liverpool Chelsea UEFA Champions League David Luiz Videos The Brazilian defender thinks his former Chelsea team-mate is on track to challenge for the Ballon d’Or as he aims to fire Liverpool to European glory Mohamed Salah has a good chance of winning the Ballon d’Or if he helps Liverpool triumph in the Champions League final, according to Chelsea defender David Luiz.The Egypt international has scored 44 goals in a memorable first season under Jurgen Klopp and has been tipped to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year dominance of the game’s top individual award.Luiz sees no reason why Salah cannot stake a claim for the prize if he can get his hands on the Champions League trophy – Liverpool meet Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday – and produce the goods at the World Cup next month. Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash 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 When asked if he sees his old team-mate as a Ballon d’Or winner, he told Omnisport : “I don’t know, it depends on the year, depends on things.”He did an amazing year in England already. He has the opportunity to do amazing in Europe with the Champions League and he has the opportunity to play the World Cup, so why not? I think if he does well now in the Champions League and then also in the World Cup, why not?”Salah struggled to make an impact during his time at Chelsea and was sold to Roma in 2016 after successful loan spells with the Giallorossi and Fiorentina in Serie A.It was there that the 25-year-old began to develop into a top-class forward, prompting Liverpool to sign him last year for a fee that could rise to £37 million (€42m/$50m) , a club record before deals were struck for Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita.Luiz thinks highly of Salah as a professional and is confident his best years are yet to come.”He’s a fantastic person, fantastic professional,” he said. “He has top quality. Every year he was improving, improving, improving. He was working hard for that. I’m so happy for him because he deserves this moment.”It’s not the end, it’s just the beginning. The other day I had the opportunity to talk to him again, I said ‘just enjoy the opportunity’, because it’s just the beginning, he’s doing amazing and the right way. I’m happy for him because he deserves it.”Fastest speeds registered this season Kph33.8 MOHAMED SALAH 33.5 Marcus Rashford33.3 Kyle Walker33.3 Ousmane Dembélé33.1 Kostas Manolas #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/QtHD6FSORO — #UCLfinal (@ChampionsLeague) May 25, 2018 Luiz, a Champions League winner in 2012, is expecting an “amazing” final when Liverpool take on Madrid.”It was one of my highest moments in football,” he recalled. “It was great, especially in the condition I was playing in that final. I was injured for three or four weeks, thinking I was not going to play, then arrived the moment and we won.”It was hard to play against Bayern in Munich and then I had the pleasure to touch the trophy and be a winner of the Champions League, it was great.”[Roberto] Firmino is my great friend, also Salah and [Sadio] Mane, they are doing amazing. It’s going to be an amazing Champions League final, both teams deserve to be there and I just want to sit on the sofa and watch this game.”David Luiz was speaking at the unveiling of the Hublot Champions’ Advice campaign. Hublot are the Official Timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Chelsea ‘Sarri is a great coach, but not a world-class one’ – Dalla Bona questions Italian’s Chelsea credentials Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 15:00 5/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Chelsea Antonio Conte Carlo Ancelotti Napoli Premier League Serie A Transfers The former Blues star is concerned about his former coach moving to Stamford Bridge, believing he may not adapt well to the English game Former Chelsea and Napoli star Samuele Dalla Bona has questioned whether Maurizio Sarri will fit in as well at Chelsea as Antonio Conte.The departure of Conte from Chelsea is thought to be coming imminently, with former Napoli boss Sarri in talks to take over as manager of the FA Cup-winning club.Dalla Bona played 73 times for Chelsea and then helped Napoli get promoted to Serie A as they were forced to climb the divisions after bankruptcy in 2004. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash 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 The 37-year-old was impressed by Sarri’s style of football at Napoli, but ultimately the Partenopei were unable to break through and win a trophy during his three seasons in charge.”[Sarri] played great football all of the time,” Dalla Bona told Goal. “[Napoli] had a good system but Juventus were able to play a worse style but still win every year.”I think Sarri needs to make that last step to be a champion and a top coach. He is a great coach but he is not a world class-coach because he hasn’t won anything – that means he isn’t at the top.”I like to see a good style of football but in the end, if you don’t win but play good football, it doesn’t mean a lot. Juventus don’t play good but win all the time. I knew when Conte was going to Chelsea. I was sure that Conte is a winner and, in fact, he has won two titles and proved it already: the league and FA Cup.Dalla Bona does not believe Sarri is a natural fit at Chelsea and has questioned whether the environment in London will be conducive to his success. “If Sarri goes to Chelsea, he hasn’t won anything despite being a good manager. He needs to start winning something,” Dalla Bona said. “I don’t know if he will do it in Chelsea. It is a difficult club to go to right now, even under Roman Abramovich. I think it is difficult for Italians to adapt because you don’t speak the language perfectly.”For Sarri, at around 60 years old going to London, a change of environment, he speaks a little bit of English but I don’t know if it will be an easy move for him.”I am not sure about him, I know he is a good manager but I don’t know if he is a good fit for Chelsea. Probably they will ask him to not smoke at Stamford Bridge or Cobham too!”I had the good fortune of adapting well from Italy to London. I preferred London and English football actually, so it can be done. However, I am not as sure about Sarri at Chelsea. I was more sure about Conte coming to Chelsea because every year he wins something. He had shown the whole world he is a winner already, Sarri hasn’t.”Sarri led Napoli to a club-record 91 points in Serie A in 2017-18, but it wasn’t enough to win the Scudetto as Juventus got 95 points to win their seventh title in a row.Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has since announced that Carlo Ancelotti will manage the club next season.Dalla Bona thinks that Ancelotti is a great appointment by his former club and a statement that they will fight to win the title again next season.”It has been a real shock because I didn’t expect that De Laurentiis could get Ancelotti,” Dalla Bona added. “Sarri has been in Naples for three years doing very good work but football is strange. I think De Laurentiis knows that now is a time to try and win something so he took one of the top managers in the world.“De Laurentiis is giving them a great story. He took them from Serie C and now they are always second in the league. For me, it has been great to be part of the story, to win Serie B and score a few goals and then football changes very quickly. I think De Laurentiis needs to be supported because he is trying his best to make the club into a winning team.”It was unbelievable that they didn’t win the Scudetto. It is only because Juventus is an incredible team. I thought Napoli could win it but in the end it was unbelievable that Juventus won it again. Juve are also a special team. Napoli taking Ancelotti shows Serie A that they really are ready to win something.”
Manuel Neuer Neuer finally makes Germany comeback but bad weather delays kick-off Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 00:16 6/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Austria v Germany Germany v Mexico Germany v Sweden South Korea v Germany Friendlies Germany World Cup The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has been out of action since September with a foot injury, but will make his return in Saturday’s friendly Manuel Neuer will make his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday after being named in Germany’s team to play Austria in a pre-World Cup friendly.Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer has been out of action since September due to a foot injury, putting his World Cup place in doubt.TEAM NEWS @Manuel_Neuer makes his Germany return in today’s friendly vs. @oefb1904 #DieMannschaft #ZSMMN #AUTGER pic.twitter.com/wxgGiFWAvn— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 2, 2018However, Germany’s goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke said prior to the game that Neuer would face Austria and national boss Joachim Low has selected the 32-year-old to start in Klagenfurt. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash 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 Neuer’s chances of going to the World Cup as Low’s first choice goalkeeper appeared to be boosted after he was handed the number one shirt when Die Mannschaft’s squad numbers were confirmed.Nils Petersen will make his international debut in the fixture, while Premier League stars Mesut Ozil, Leroy Sane and Antonio Rudiger are also included in the XI. Neuer and Co. have been made to wait even longer for the game to begin, however, as bad weather forced kick-off to be moved from 18:00 CEST to 18:35 initially, before a further delay occurred.Germany complete their preparations for the tournament with a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on June 8.
Transfers He’s one of the world’s best – Thauvin urges Balotelli to join Marseille Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 20:17 6/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Ligue 1 Olympique Marseille v Nice Nice Olympique Marseille Mario Balotelli The striker looks set to leave Nice this summer and he has been urged to move within Ligue 1, instead of returning to Italy Florian Thauvin is excited by the prospect of playing with “one of the best in the world” in Mario Balotelli and urged the Italian to join him at Marseille.After a difficult couple of years at Liverpool and AC Milan, Balotelli surprised many by joining Ligue 1 side Nice ahead of the 2016-17 season.In France, Balotelli has gone some way to rediscovering his best form, scoring 33 times across two Ligue 1 seasons and he looks set to move on once again, with his contract about to expire. 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 Although Balotelli is expected to return to Serie A, Marseille coach Rudi Garcia expressed his admiration for the striker at the end of May and Thauvin has echoed his manager’s words.”I spoke for a few seconds with Mario Balotelli during half time against Italy,” Thauvin told reporters.”Of course, it would be a pleasure if Mario Balotelli joins us at Marseille. He is a really great striker.”For me, he is one of the best in the world when he is at his best. Of course, it would be a pleasure to have him with us at Marseille and we are waiting for him.”
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Are you, or do you know, a dedicated young athlete, coach or official participating in a state or national sporting championships? Are you aged 12-18 years old travelling further than 250 kilometre return for a state or national championships?If yes, then you or your team could be eligible for a Local Sporting Champions grant to help meet costs such as uniforms, travel, accommodation and equipment.Grants of $500 per individual and $3,000 per team are available for young people participating in a nominated National Sporting Organisation-endorsed state or national sporting championships or a School Sport Australia national championship.This program is an Australian Government initiative managed by the Australian Sports Commission and supports 8,000 young people each year.The grants are designed to help athletes, coaches and officials achieve their sporting goals and are distributed across all 150 federal electorates of the national parliament.Applications are open, so apply now!Applications must be submitted prior to the commencement of the nominated championships.For further information, including application forms and eligibility criteria, go to: http://www.ausport.gov.au/champions
Simple post-workout habits that’ll help you come back stronger in your next workout, thanks to Karley Banks, assistant coach for the Men’s 20s team at the 2018 Youth World Cup1. Make sure you post-hydrate. It’s not just about hydrating during exercise. If you’ve exercised in the heat and sweated a lot, you may benefit from consuming electrolytes, not just water. The best bet is a low-calorie drink that contains electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.2. Warm down. An active rather than static recovery is best – a light jog including replicating a few game movements at a very reduced level. Then go through major muscle group stretching exercises for a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.3. Get on the roller therapy train. Self-massaging with foam rollers, bands and balls helps reduce muscle soreness and allows tissues and muscles to repair, regenerate and recover. Of course if you can have one, a full body massage can also aid recovery.4. Try water therapy. After a particularly hard session is when ice baths, pool sessions or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) can benefit to help you recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury.5. Eat right. Post-workout, you must refuel your body with high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates to recover, repair tissue, get stronger and be ready for your next session. Popular options: wholegrain toast with hummus; yoghurt with muesli; a protein shake and banana.6. Wear compression garments afterwards. Even if you didn’t wear compression gear during the workout, wearing them after can reduce muscle swelling and fatigue.
Liverpool legend Fowler keen on Bristol Rovers jobby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Robbie Fowler is keen on the Bristol Rovers job.Fowler has moved to declare his interest in the post at the Memorial Stadium which became available when Darrell Clarke left earlier this week.Clarke had been at the club for four and a half years but left with them 21st in League One and four points from safety.“I’ve thrown in a few [CVs] over the years, still waiting for a call,” Fowler told Soccer AM.“Bristol Rovers has obviously come up; would I be interested? Of course I would!“I went over to Thailand and loved being a manager.”People in this country think I’m inexperienced but I’ve done it before.“I came home, did all my badges, I’m properly, properly qualified, so I think it’s just a case of watch this space.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Napoli coach Ancelotti: I want Sarri’s Chelsea in Europa League finalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to meet Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea in this season’s final of the Europa League.Sarri left Napoli to be replaced by Ancelotti last summer.And the latter says: “I will be judged on the results of the team, but I think Napoli is doing a very good job. We did not qualify for the Champions League, but we knew from the start that it would be very difficult. “Napoli was up against two of the best teams in Europe. I would like to reach the final. It would be even better to be able to play against the Chelsea of Sarri. I think even Sarri would be happy to face Napoli. “Napoli versus Chelsea in the final of the Europa League, it would be magnificent. For me, it would be special to play Chelsea, one of my former clubs.”
TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Free & nasty: Why Pepe the old ‘basket’ this Man Utd needsby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: They’ve already had the conversation. Jose Mourinho and Jorge Mendes. The Manchester United manager will have been all across it – and well before yesterday’s announcement…’So, do you want him? He fancies it…,’ the pitch from Mourinho’s agent will have been made. Short. To the point. Just as he offered Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to the then Chelsea manager some four years ago. That is, before delivering them to Ed Woodward, United’s vice-chairman exec. Mendes will have given Mourinho first refusal on his latest client to become available. A player to parachute into the shambles that is United’s back four this season. A player who has gone to war for Mourinho. Who has spilled blood for the manager. Both his and the opposition’s. One who revels in being a right old basket. The sort of basket this United locker room has sorely missed. Ryan Giggs, the Wales coach, said as much yesterday. Picking over the wreckage of what was left at Anfield, Giggs took aim at Romelu Lukaku – though with a twist. As bad as the Belgian was, argued United’s famous No11, the lack of confrontation inside the locker room was doing him no favours.”I look at Lukaku and his touch was bad,” stated Giggs, “but also I don’t see any other player having a go at him, saying: ‘Listen we need you to hold it up.’ “What that does is, Lukaku might have a go back and you get fired up.”It’s like when you get tackled or fouled, you get fired up. You don’t see that in that Manchester United team. “We’re playing in a different era to when I used to play when you had a lot more leaders and characters but if your team-mate isn’t performing, you tell them. You must do.” Step forward Pepe. The three time Champions League winner. Of Real Madrid fame. Now wrapping up his stay with Besiktas. In a day or so he’ll be a free agent. A leader. A winner. A personality to organise those around him. To demand they follow the manager’s instructions. And one who won’t flinch if a rollicking is needed for a young teammate – even if that young teammate boasts a World Cup winner’s medal.We know Mourinho has been seeking such a player. Those Andreas Granqvist stories weren’t plucked from thin air. United had a presence at Helsingborgs games this season. The veteran centre-half – at 33 – was a consideration for Mourinho. Granqvist knew it. The HIF board knew it. Like Pepe, the Swede’s experience and organising know-how was what had attracted the United manager. Though this is one we can’t confirm, it’s perhaps no coincidence that Granqvist – after some excitement last month – announced over the weekend he was “99.9 per cent sure” an Old Trafford move was now off. Maybe, just maybe, the word had reached Granqvist’s reps that another veteran was now Mourinho’s focus.After Liverpool. After the confusion. The chaos. Mourinho needs something different. Something to stop the monotonous lurching. From crisis to inevitable crisis. He needs a circuit breaker. And Pepe can be just that.The 35 year-old isn’t leaving Besiktas because of form. Nor any type of personality clash. With the Black Eagles struggling to pay the bills, the Portuguese has agreed to terminate his contract. The defender made an on pitch farewell yesterday for Besiktas’ draw with Trabzonspor. This just days after he left thousands in an envelope for club staff to share as a personal Christmas bonus.So now he is free – and been offered to Mourinho. Someone to help bring on Diogo Dalot. To guide and develop the raw talent of Eric Bailly. The potential of Victor Lindelof. And one to demand better from those around him. The leader on the pitch. The personality inside the dressing room. The one Mourinho has lacked since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure a year ago.That call from Mendes last week could be just the Lifebuoy Mourinho has been desperately seeking all season.
Bournemouth boss Howe warns Fulham: Mousset going nowhereby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham will not be getting their hands on Lys Mousset anytime soon.The struggling Premier league club had hoped they would be able to sign the youngster, but Bournemouth see him as a key part of their plans.He started the 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea in midweek and was impressive.After the game, Howe spoke about the possibility of Mousset leaving: “It sounds like we’re going to be left with no strikers at this rate!”Lys [Mousset] did very well. That was probably his best performance for the club.”His fitness levels were much improved and technically, he produced a really high-level game and he’s a big part of our future.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
West Ham boss Pellegrini: Enough chances for at least Watford pointby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini felt they created enough chances to earn something from defeat to Watford.Gerard Deulofeu sealed a 2-0 Watford victory after Troy Deeney had scored a first half penalty.“I think we deserved a little bit more, at least to draw the game, as we had too many options,” Pellegrini observed. “We played most of the game one goal behind and it is always more difficult for the team to play under pressure and it’s easier for Watford [once they are in front].“They are a very good team and they played a good game and when you are winning 1-0 you have more time to prepare the actions in the last third. We hit the post twice and had two or three clear options to draw this game.“Maybe we felt the pressure losing 1-0 at the beginning of the game, but there are so many things in football that can happen and be why you don’t score. In the last game [at Fulham] we had two chances and we scored two but today we couldn’t score one.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal keeper Martinez: The defence kept saying ‘clean sheet, clean sheet!’by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEmiliano Martinez was delighted to keep a clean sheet in Arsenal’s win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.The Gunners kickstarted their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Martinez said after the game: “We said before the game that we had to stick together. We worked to make sure we kept the clean sheet. “The back four were talking all the time and saying, ‘Clean sheet, clean sheet’, even when we scored the first goal. We need to build on that, keep more clean sheets and we know that we can create loads of chances with Pepe, Auba, Bukayo and Martinelli. “They’re really good going forward so we have to stick together to keep more clean sheets.”
Atletico Madrid fullback Santiago Arias: I spoke to James about moveby Carlos Volcano15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid fullback Santiago Arias admits he spoke to James Rodriguez about a possibly joining him this season.James was tipped to leave Real Madrid this summer, with Atletico being touted as a possible destination, but he ended up staying at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.”We talked about Atleti,” Arias, who plays with James in the Colombian national team, told Onda Madrid.”I asked him if the rumours were true and I explained how things were here, but not much else.”There were options, but we didn’t speak about it much more because it was down to the clubs.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
It’s been a long year for both Michigan and Rutgers on the hardwood. Saturday, the basketball Gods decided to make it just a little bit longer. During the first half of the contest between the Wolverines and the Scarlet Knights, the lights went out at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. Here’s video of the incident.Lights going out at Rutgers-Michigan game mid-play. #B1G pic.twitter.com/DjuypIi3gw— Matt C (@05HAWKI) March 7, 2015The issue was quickly fixed, and the teams have resumed play. Michigan is up 41-26 with two minutes to play in the first session.
andrew harrison racial slur frank kaminsky final four kentucky wisconsinKentucky sophomore guard Andrew Harrison took to Twitter early Sunday morning to apologize for an offhand comment he made regarding Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky at his team’s post-game press conference after the Wildcats’ Final Four loss. As his teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns, was being asked a question about Kaminsky, Harrison appeared to mutter the words “f*** that n****” to himself. Unfortunately, his microphone was turned on, and his words were far more audible than he’d likely have hoped. Harrison told his followers that the phrase was “used in jest.” He also claims that he called Kaminsky himself to wish him good luck in Monday’s title game.First i want to apologize for my poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) April 5, 2015When I realized how this could be perceived I immediately called big frank to apologize and let him know I didn’t mean any disrespect— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) April 5, 2015We had a good conversation and I wished him good luck in the championship game Monday.— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) April 5, 2015Here’s a Vine of the incident, if you somehow haven’t seen footage yet. Harrison is most likely headed to the NBA, so we’re not sure if there will be any repercussions here. Regardless, it’s good that he addressed the situation immediately and took ownership for the mistake.
Twitter/@OU_AthleticsCollege football week five features a very deep slate of games from noon through past midnight. For Oklahoma fans, things are kicking off at 11 am central time, with a huge game against an impressive West Virginia team. To celebrate the morning Big 12 battle, OU put out a unique hype video, featuring the song “Good Morning,” made famous by the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain. Fry up some eggs, pour yourself a glass of orange juice, or maybe a screwdriver if you’re so inclined, and get ready for some early Sooners football.No matter the time, it’s always a great day for Sooner football! Get ready for tomorrow with a little twist! https://t.co/lOz473epYX— Oklahoma Sooners (@OU_Athletics) October 2, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, IN – OCTOBER 14: Jim Harbaugh the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines watches the action during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) YouTube/Jim HarbaughWe knew that Jim Harbaugh would respond to the recent NCAA vote to ban satellite camps. That was a certainty. Even with the Michigan head coach’s history of lashing out, we wouldn’t have predicted just how hard Harbaugh swung back in response. In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh slams the NCAA, and even the term “student-athlete” in light of the vote.As Harbaugh tells SI : “The incompetence of the NCAA has reared its ugly head yet again.” …Harbaugh says the ruling was “knee-jerk … like somebody was shaving in the morning, cut themselves when they were shaving and said, ‘Let’s just ban satellite camps.’“I mean, what’s it based on? A survey? There wasn’t a lot of discussion or study. What are the facts? What are the perils and merits of making that decision? It just seemed lacking in that regard.”Satellite camps are no new concept, but Harbaugh put a special emphasis on them after taking over at Michigan, with a specific target on the Southeast, home of many ACC and SEC power programs.“During the NCAA basketball tournament we discuss the term ‘student-athlete’ ad nauseam in promoting our governing institution and our member institutions. Then, when we have an opportunity to truly promote the ‘student-athlete’ with a concept shared by educators and football men from all backgrounds, our leadership goes into hiding.“I suggest we drop the term ‘student-athlete’ for consistency.”Harbaugh wasn’t afraid to take targeted swipes at rival coaches either, specifically Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze who recently defended the decision.“It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC,” Harbaugh says. “They power-brokered that out … the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn’t the best thing for the youngsters. It’s not the best thing for the student-athletes.”Harbaugh saw Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze say, “I’m away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go,” and it did not sit well with him.Says Harbaugh: “You’ve got a guy sitting in a big house, making $5 million a year, saying he does not want to sacrifice his time. That is not a kindred spirit to me. What most of these coaches are saying is they don’t want to work harder.” While some may assume Harbaugh is the coach affected most, he’s done a great job at Michigan so far, and that program rarely needs help on the recruiting trail. He’ll get his players. This really hurts small schools that aren’t in talent-rich areas this most, and players who aren’t in position to receive the exposure that those in places like Florida, Georgia, and Texas receive. We’ll see if Harbaugh’s complaints hold real weight, or if they will just fall on deaf ears.[Campus Rush]
Alabama head coach Nick Saban got a little heated during somewhat of a rant about satellite football camps and the need for a college football commissioner. Simply against the idea of satellite football camps, and with little belief in the positive narrative surrounding them, Saban let loose Tuesday afternoon in front of the media at the SEC Spring Meetings. As usual, AL.com was on the scene and posted the video to YouTube. AL.com did a terrific job describing the scene as Saban went off, and you can watch their video in its entirety here.