We’re way past you guys knowing my thoughts on recruiting — all of it is well-documented on this site. I do a terrible job of covering recruiting on PFB even though there’s a way to do it correctly, just because I’m so turned off by the entire process.I guess I don’t see a beneficial end game to being locked in to recruiting information. You could say the same about sports in general, I guess, but for me the fun part about sports is getting to talk about outcomes (and more so, moments) with your friends. What is the moment with recruiting?Did you see the way he signed that letter of intent that binds him to a school which owes him nothing?! Reminded me of the way John Adams signed the Declaration of Independence! What gorgeous pen strokes for a guy his size!But whatever, just because I’m not always into it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong, per se.[1. I have been lost in the 247 vortex a time or two more than I care to admit — I presume this is a safe place to disclose that.] As long as you go about it the right way and aren’t bro-tweeting at 17-year-olds about why your university is the best university in the country, then to each his own.I have, however, made a list of my favorite types of recruiting fans out there (I am not exempt from all of these either). This was brought on earlier this week when everybody went bonkers over Mason Rudolph committing to OSU over LSU and a few other schools. I laughed, searched Twitter, and started writing.This list has probably already been made — many times, even — but I didn’t Google it because I wanted some sense of originality in mine.Here we go…1. The “you have to see the arm on this kid” guy — Sadly, I probably fall in this camp [googles thousands of words written about Wes Lunt, hangs head in shame]. The best arms in the history of sports are probably something like 1. Vlad Guerrero 2. Warren Moon 3. Roberto Clemente 4. Ichiro 5. Ryan Mallett and 11,921. Dude you’re talking about. I also love the “he throws like the thing was shot out of a cannon” line. If he literally threw that way we’d have a bunch of dead wide receivers on our hands. Which would obviously be bad.2. The “wait until you see what our strength guy does with his body” guy — One of my favorite lines is “man, in three semesters with [school trainer] he’s going to gain at least 20 pounds of muscle. Gonna be a monster.” Ok…wait, why are we studying his body to begin with? What if recruits talked about our bodies…”man, three more years of blogging at home and eating chips and salsa every day, Kyle, and you’re going to gain at least 20 pounds of fat. Your kid is going to think you’re a monster!”3. The “he’s gonna go great when paired with [other person who plays his position]” — What is he, a bottle of wine?4. The “he reminds me of [legend from your school]” guy — He’s 17.5. The “I know we were recruiting 29 running backs, but this was our guy all along” guy — This is my favorite, and I’m not sure it’s even close. The brother of this guy is the guy who, when a recruit chooses a different school, says “meh, we didn’t want him anyway…he wasn’t (wait for it) ‘our guy’” This actually happened yesterday with Rudolph and LSU. I laugh every time.6. The “I know he was a big-time recruit but he didn’t really fit our system” guy — A close cousin of “this was our guy all along” guy. This is the guy who justifies not getting Jadeveon Clowney. I know he’s 6’7 280 lbs., runs a 4.05, and may or may not have murdered a QB in high school but I just don’t see how he fits with our defensive scheme. Right.7. (when the best of 29 RBs decommits after being committed for 10 months) The “we never wanted him anyway, he has some character issues” guy — We’ll call it the Bralon Addison effect. Wait, didn’t you just write, like, 120 Facebook posts in a 250-day stretch about how much ____________ was going to help your team?!8. The “we’re a 2-star to 5-star factory anyway” guy — A distant cousin of “wait until you see what our strength guy does with his body” guy. I know you think Rob Glass is going to turn that 2-star safety from Del City into the next Sean Taylor (RIP) but yeah, not happening.9. The “your gunna totally luv [college town], bro Twitter mention” guy — This is the guy bro-tweeting everybody on your school’s Rivals watch list. This is also where we start treading into “wait a second, how deep are you into this recruiting thing?” territory.And when was the biggest decision of a high school kid’s life ever swayed by some dude on Twitter using a selfie of him and his bros at the Tumbleweed as his Twitter photo and begging the kid to come play football at his school? And if that’s the case…I mean…do you really want that kid?!SO many questions…10. The recruiting service roulette guy — You know…I know [recruit you’re discussing] is 5’4 188 lbs. but Rivals has historically rated undersized linebackers too low. I prefer the rankings at National Recruitnik Nation which ranks [recruit you’re discussing] as a top-five guy at his position.Nolan (@nolancox) decided to weigh in with a few jewels at this point, I’ll let him take us home..11. The “yeah I don’t really keep up with recruiting, all I know about this year’s class is that we have seven 4-stars, 16 3-stars, three 2-stars and a couple NR’s who have signed an LOI plus four more solid verbals and a soft commit from this 3 star ATH out of Wichita Falls…plus we’re in the running for a couple other guys including this SICK receiver out of Charleston, SC who runs a 4.43 and reps 225 like 18 times..that’s all just based off of Rivals though because like I said, I don’t really have time to keep up with it since I have a lot of other stuff going on” guy12. The “well I know he’s only a 3-star, but he plays at Sand Springs and my cousin’s friend is the waterboy at Edmond North so he’s seen him play a lot and says he’s going to be better than Joseph Randle” guy13. The “you haven’t heard of that guy?” guy — Pretty self explanatory, yes?14. The name dropper — Well I was roommates with the equipment manager in college so Dez Bryant basically lived at my dorm. I just don’t think any of our receivers this year will be as good as him but I guess we’ll see.15. The non-name dropper — I can’t tell you who told me this, and you can’t tell ANYONE, but I KNOW we’re getting this guy. [sly grin, head nod]16. The “he’s from my home town so I’m going to hype him up, talk about what a good kid he is because his parents went to the same church as me, and act like I basically raised him” guy.What did we miss?If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
I’m going to try and do a better job of serving up football GIFs in the near future (side note: if you’re into OSU and are really good at making GIFs, email me!). Here are four of the best from Saturday’s game.Ramon Richards pickThat’s definitely triple coverage and I could be talked into quintuple coverage. Good decision, UTSA.Jhajuan Seales TDAdChoices广告This didn’t get much run because … defense, but man, he looks like a monster here. How about more back shoulder throws to 81 and fewer fades to David Glidden? Cool? Great pass by QB1, too.Deric Robertson TDThis was sort of a summary of every turnover OSU created on Saturday. Fumble, scoop, six.Emmanuel Ogbah danceWhen it’s Friday and you realize you have a three-day weekend. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Chile 0 Paraguay 3: Pizzi’s side stunned in qualifying blow Dejan Kalinic 08:39 9/1/17 Getty Images Paraguay stunned an underwhelming Chile in World Cup qualifying, claiming a 3-0 victory in Santiago. Chile’s World Cup qualification hopes were dealt a blow with a surprise 3-0 loss at home to Paraguay on Thursday.Arturo Vidal scored a first-half own goal in Santiago before Victor Caceres and Richard Ortiz struck after the interval for Paraguay, who won in Chile for the first time in 10 years.Chile dominated possession and looked threatening, but they struggled to create chances as they fell to a second defeat in three qualifiers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Eduardo Vargas went closest twice in what was a below-par display from Chile, who were left in danger of slipping out of the automatic qualification spots with three matches remaining.The win was a huge boost for Paraguay, ending their four-match losing run and moving them to within two points of Chile.Alexis Sanchez was unable to get going for the hosts as Chile lacked the creativity needed to break down the visitors.#Albirroja#EliminatoriasRusia2018GOOOL PARAGUAYO (De un chileno pero nuestro)Chile #Paraguay#VamosParaguay pic.twitter.com/ACygF3NaVS— Selección Paraguaya (@Albirroja) August 31, 2017Juan Antonio Pizzi started a strong Chile line-up, with Sanchez, Vidal and Claudio Bravo all in the XI.The hosts began brightly but struggled to create anything of note against Francisco Arce’s side, who sat relatively deep.Mauricio Isla hit the post in the 18th minute for Chile, but he was rightly ruled offside.It seemed Paraguay’s best chances would come via set-pieces, and it proved the case with the opener against the run of play.A teasing delivery from the right was met by Vidal, his flying header finding the top corner of Bravo’s net to give Paraguay a 1-0 lead.Chile continued to dominate possession, but they rarely tested Antony Silva, the Paraguay goalkeeper forced into a save by a 25-yard Vargas effort four minutes prior to half-time.Pizzi’s side went close again in the 53rd minute, but Vargas saw his volley from inside the area blocked by Oscar Romero.Paraguay stunningly doubled their lead just two minutes later through Caceres.A rebound fortuitously fell into the path of Caceres, whose powerful strike beat Bravo despite the shot-stopper almost keeping it out.#Albirroja#EliminatoriasRusia2018¡GOOOOL DE VICTOR “TOPITO QUERIDO” CACERES!Chile #Paraguay#VamosParaguay pic.twitter.com/d1HisexHQz— Selección Paraguaya (@Albirroja) August 31, 2017Chile thought they had pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining, but a tight offside call saw substitute Esteban Paredes’ strike ruled out.Along with their continued threat from set-pieces, the visitors started to look dangerous on the counter-attack, sealing their win on the break in additional time through Ortiz. read more
England Alli out of England squad for Germany and Brazil friendlies Harry Sherlock Last updated 2 years ago 19:44 11/5/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Image England Premier League England v Germany England v Brazil Brazil Germany Tottenham Hotspur Friendlies The Three Lions will be missing the Tottenham midfielder, who has sustained a hamstring injury, for the two marquee friendlies at Wembley Dele Alli has been ruled out of the England squad after sustaining a hamstring injury.The midfielder, who scored twice in midweek as Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley, was ruled out of his club’s clash with Crystal Palace early on Sunday, and it has been confirmed that he will miss upcoming international friendlies against Germany and Brazil.England 20/1 to win World Cup Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player It has not yet been announced if a replacement will be called up by Gareth Southgate, who has named a youthful squad for the two marquee games this month.Squad update: the #ThreeLions will be without @dele_official for this month’s games.Get well soon, Dele! https://t.co/iEDmLo1SBZ— England (@England) November 5, 2017 The likes of Joe Gomez, Jesse Lingard, Harry Winks, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham have been called up by Southgate, as he looks to formalise his plans ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer.England qualified for the tournament by finishing top of their World Cup qualifying group, going through the pool unbeaten.The Three Lions face Germany on November 10, before taking on Brazil four days later. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
World Cup Neymar tips Belgium and Salah to shine at World Cup Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 04:15 12/21/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Neymar Brazil Roberto Martinez’s side boast some of the world’s best attackers and the PSG star expects them to sparkle in Russia next year Brazil superstar Neymar has tipped Belgium to spring a surprise at the World Cup in Russia next year.The Red Devils, managed by former Everton boss Roberto Martinez, won nine of their 10 games in qualifying and boast some of the world’s most in-form attackers, such as Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens.Neymar, who will lead Brazil’s line as they bid to win football’s showpiece prize for the first time since 2002, has cited Belgium as dark horses, as well as highlighting the superb recent form of Premier League top-scorer Mohamed Salah, which could be the catalyst for Egypt to cause an upset. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I think the best-known teams are the favourites, as always,” he said.”Among them are Brazil, Germany, France, Spain and Argentina – these teams will be the highlights in any championship.”And for the surprise, I think Belgium has an excellent team and can be a surprise in this World Cup. Salah is a great player who can make a difference in the World Cup.”que Deus nos abençoe e nos proteja Good bless and protect us pic.twitter.com/kpPJ5pQ7a0— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) November 29, 2017Neymar was an instrumental figure in his country’s ill-fated attempt to win the World Cup on home soil in 2014 as they suffered a crushing 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals.However, the PSG star believes he is a more experienced player now and is better positioned to spearhead an attempt to win a sixth World Cup for his country.He added: “The difference is hard to explain, but I think I’m more experienced, more wise, more ‘cascudo’, as we say in Brazil.”This is because I had many experiences, I participated in a World Cup where we lost and I think I’ll be more prepared for the next one, because I know what is like to be in a World Cup, I can be better prepared.”So the Neymar in 2018 is better than the Neymar in 2014.”
Louise Taylor Neville deleted his Twitter account on Tuesday evening and has yet to confirm or deny he sent the tweets. In the 41-year-old’s defence, it is possible he deleted the account before setting up a new one to reflect his new role, for which he has signed a three-year deal. “I’m honoured to be given the chance to lead England,” said the former Manchester United and Everton player. “This squad’s on the verge of something special and I believe I can lead them to the next level.”Neville was confirmed as Mark Sampson’s successor shortly after arriving in La Manga in southern Spain on Tuesday where the squad, captained by Steph Houghton, are attending a winter training camp. “There’s no greater honour than representing your country and it will be a privilege to do it again,” he added. “I can’t wait to get down to work with an elite group of players at the top of their game.”Neville’s appointment is controversial for other reasons. While he holds the pro-licence qualification and has previously served as a coach under both David Moyes at Manchester United and his brother, Gary, at Valencia, as well as with the men’s England Under-21 team, he has never been a manager in his own right. Moreover he has no experience in the women’s game and did not apply for the job when it was advertised after Sampson’s dismissal on grounds of unacceptable behaviour with a player in a previous job. Q&A Explainer: Phil Neville appointment Phil Neville appointment a kick in the teeth for better qualified coaches Neville will be thrown in at the deep end when England fly to the United States for the prestigious She Believes Cup in March, where they will face France, Germany and the US. After that comes a World Cup qualifier against Wales in Southampton in April.More immediately his appointment has provoked a mixed reaction. Katie Chapman, the former Chelsea and England midfielder, said: “Surely there must be coaches out there who’ve had experience in the women’s game, and of actually being a manager?”Rachel Brown-Finnis, a former England goalkeeper, disagreed. “He would inspire me,” she said. “He’s a great fit. This is a someone who has worked under Sir Alex Ferguson and has a winning mentality.” Read more Since Sampson’s sacking in September the squad has been under the caretaker charge of Mo Marley. Another pro-licence holder, she decided she did not want the senior role long-term and will return to her previous post leading England’s development teams.By last month, the FA had compiled a three-person shortlist but, ultimately, none of the trio wanted the top job. While John Herdman, the favourite, moved from coaching Canada women to that country’s men, Nick Cushing remained at Manchester City and Laura Harvey, the former Arsenal and Seattle Reign coach, accepted a new post with Utah Royals. Phil Neville Was this helpful? Hide Who is Phil Neville? Phil Neville is a former professional footballer who represented England and won several titles with his boyhood club Manchester United. The 41-year-old has now been appointed coach of the England women’s team, his first managerial role in the sport.How has his appointment been met?The decision to give the job to Neville has proven controversial. Firstly this is down to his lack of experience as a coach, especially in the women’s game. It has also been reported that Neville did not apply for the vacancy until he was encouraged to do so by the Football Association.Why has he become embroiled in a Twitter storm?Neville has come under scrutiny for messages he posted on the social media network. Several messages that could be construed as sexist were found on his account, including one particularly bad one about domestic abuse (seemingly intended as a “joke”). There was another about equal pay and an apparently earnest message which apologised for wishing good morning to his male followers only because “I thought the women would of [sic] been busy preparing breakfast”. Neville has now deactivated his account.Is this bad news for the Football Association?The controversy carries extra resonance because Neville was the man chosen to replace Mark Sampson, the previous England women’s coach, who was removed after a scandal in which he was found to have made racially discriminatory comments to two England women’s players, Eni Aluko and Drew Spence. Share on WhatsApp Topics Under Sampson England reached the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup and the 2017 European Championship, as his team rose to No 3 and No 1 in the respective world and European rankings. Neville’s challenge is to lead the Lionesses to glory at next year’s World Cup in France. England women’s football team Marina Hyde Philip Neville (@fizzer18)Extremely proud and honoured to be the head coach of the @Lionesses and Im unbelievably excited about the challenges ahead!! pic.twitter.com/u2AB3tBmFJJanuary 23, 2018 His first task will be to win the hearts and minds of a squad bruised by Sampson’s departure. The Welshman was found to have made two racially discriminatory comments to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence but most of England’s players remained extremely supportive of him.Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA director of women’s football, said: “We will build a brilliant team around Phil. His enthusiasm, passion and desire for the role impressed us all. Once he emerged as a candidate we knew we had the right person. We knew we needed a winner with innovative ideas who will fit in well with the dynamic setup we have at St George’s Park.” Share via Email Never managed and didn’t apply: how the FA made Phil Neville its No 1 Phil Neville says he feels “honoured” to have been given the job of coaching the England women’s team but his appointment immediately became embroiled in controversy after highly dubious tweets Neville appears to have sent a few years ago began to circulate, with one making light of domestic violence.The message, which was posted via Neville’s long-standing Twitter handle @fizzer18 on 1 July 2011, reads: “Relax I’m back chilled – just battered the wife!!! Feel better now!” Another from the same account, and which was sent on 3 December 2012, reads: “U women of [sic] always wanted equality until it comes to paying the bills #hypocrites”. news Read more Share on Pinterest Thank you for your feedback. Women’s football Read more Share on Twitter David Squires on … Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and the Class of 92’s expanding empire Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Show Reuse this content
In April 2016, when the FA unveiled its reported £4m per year sponsorship deal, the Ladbrokes chief executive, Jim Mullen, did not attempt to hide his central purpose. Describing football as “the holy grail of sporting sponsorship opportunities,” he said the company wanted to be “at the beating heart of the beautiful game,” and that his aim had been to “ramp up our marketing spend in those places where we know our customers are engaged. Being at the heart of football in this country is precisely what I had in mind.”Two months after its ban on Barton and his accusation of two-facedness, football’s governing body suddenly ended that four-year deal, announcing a policy not to “partner” with betting companies. The FA’s policy, its chairman, Greg Clarke, explained, was based on the need to uphold the rule against players betting, not to prevent the indoctrination of fans. EFL’s extended deal with bookmaker draws criticism from campaigners Topics Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Joey Barton, whose football career was in effect ended early by his suspension last year for gambling, now says the ban on players betting is hypocritical given the game’s dependence on gambling sponsorship and that half of all players could be breaching the rule anyway. He sharply made that point at the time of his 18-month ban last April, later reduced to 13 months; pointing out the Football Association, which solemnly imposed the suspension on him, was sponsored by Ladbrokes.Barton argues the rule, which is aimed at preventing match-fixing, is too absolute, because players like him casually or even addictively gambling on matches are a world away from taking money to throw or fix games. But given huge wages and match-fixing’s existential danger, there will be no moves to relax the rules. The FA and leagues may see Barton’s protest as a sign the ban is hurting, so it must be working.Yet Barton has a much more urgently valid argument about the relentless marketing, advertising and sponsorship by betting companies. The use of clubs’ kits as billboards and the constant, shouty adverts during the broadcast of football matches and other sports (BT Sport’s coverage of Ashes cricket being a glaring example) has become a constant haranguing of supporters to bet, a tendency which, as Barton says, was already “culturally ingrained”. Share on Messenger The EFL, though, said brazenly at the time it was “of the firm belief there is no conflict in having a commercial relationship with the gaming industry”. The SkyBet partnership will continue, as will the sponsorships of clubs by myriad gambling companies. Barton bitterly pointed out in his BBC interview that the Premier League is also drenched in betting sponsorship and advertising; its clubs, mostly owned by billionaires, feasting on the most lucrative TV deals ever, cannot be said to need the money.A dangerous culture is being stamped into British sport, that it matters more when there is money on it. Barton’s fall illustrates its power, that even young men who are prohibited by their professional rules from gambling and risk career ruination find it impossible to resist. It is an epidemic and someone needs to get a grip. Serial warnings are being sounded against this corporate campaign to convert fans into gamblers but the sports themselves are banking the money and not inclined to care. The Gambling Commission warned last year that British people lost £13bn gambling and that more than two million people had a problem or were at risk of addiction. That is a hideous trauma which can result in people losing relationships, homes and their mental health. Dr Sean Cowlishaw of Bristol university found that one in four men aged 18-24 – the prime target group for the bookies’ marketing – displayed signs of a gambling problem.The risks of excessive gambling were recognised for decades, the bookies restricted in their marketing, their high street windows frosted up, until the last Labour government ceded to their lobbying and relaxed the rules with the 2005 Gambling Act.In the deluge since then the betting companies, many registered in offshore tax havens, have worked ruthlessly to soak the urge to bet into the very experience of being a supporter. Skybet, the betting division of BSkyB which already makes fortunes from its exclusive buy-up of live TV rights, made that explicit with its endlessly repeated slogan: “It matters more when there is money on it.”That is a highly contestable claim – having a fiver on a game arguably makes it mean less than heartfelt involvement as a supporter – yet the English Football League in effect endorses this emotional manipulation by twinning the very name of its competition with SkyBet. Share on WhatsApp Sport betting Read more Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn Read more Share via Email Joey Barton claims at least half of all footballers are breaking FA betting rules Share on Pinterest comment The FA’s new policy was based on the need to uphold the rule against players betting, not to prevent the indoctrination of fans Reuse this content
Gaming World Cup glory and nearly 1,000 career goals – here’s why Romario is a PES Legend! Goal 00:30 4/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Gaming Videos Goal have teamed up with Konami to unveil a host of world football’s greatest former players. The final player in the series is Romario Born and raised in a Rio de Janeiro suburb, the Brazilian began with nothing but go on to take it all.After beginning his career with prolific spells with Vasco da Gama in Brazil, then PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Romario headed to Spain to join the mighty Barcelona.He would score a staggering 30 league goals at for the Catalan club in 1993-94 and go on to hit almost 1,000 across his astonishing career. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Five of them arrived in USA in 1994 as fired Brazil to the World Cup title, taking the golden ball as the competition’s best player. And later that year he would be officially recognised by as the greatest on the planet – becoming the first Brazilian to be named World Player of the Year.The great Johann Cruyff labelled the little man “the greatest player I have coached.”While former France international Thierry Henry insists Romario “reinvented the centre-forward position.His glittering career was recognised around the globe as he was twice named in the top two players in world football.And now you can play as Romario in Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 – as one of many real-life legends available to play with in the game.Romario is available on PES Club Manager 2018 until April 2. Download now!
Chelsea Chelsea need to keep ‘football teacher’ Conte, claims Zappacosta Chris Burton 18:54 4/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Chelsea Antonio Conte Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur Premier League The Blues’ Premier League title-winning coach continues to be linked with a summer move elsewhere, but a fellow Italian is hoping to see him stay put Antonio Conte has been hailed by Davide Zappacosta as “really important” and a “football teacher” amid the ongoing uncertainty regarding his future as Chelsea boss.Despite having guided the Blues to Premier League title glory in 2016-17, the man in charge at Stamford Bridge has seen serious questions asked of his role in west London.Conte has helped Chelsea to recover from a testing run through late January and early February which saw him faced with imminent sack reports, with a top-four challenge still in place and a spot in the semi-finals of the FA Cup secured. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Zappacosta hopes his fellow Italian will be given the chance to see those quests through and to then build on any successes in 2018-19, with there still 12 months left to run on the 48-year-old’s contract.Ahead of a crunch clash with London rivals Tottenham on Sunday, the 2017 summer signing from Torino was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “The coach is really important, he always tries to work in the best way for the team. “Since the start of the year, he is working in a really good way for Chelsea and his objective is to keep on winning with Chelsea.”He is a good coach because he is a football teacher and he makes you play in a good way. He gives you advice to make sure you are in exactly the right way on the pitch and gives you the strength of character to build your confidence.”While Conte retains the support of his players, it remains to be seen whether Roman Abramovich will keep faith with him at the end of the season.Interest from afar may also prove too good to turn down, with a second spell at the helm of the Italy national side being mooted.Conte has admitted to being unsure as to where he will be next season, with the constant rounds of rumours becoming tiresome.He responded to the latest questions on his future by saying: “I don’t know, I must be honest, I don’t know. This is not my problem. It’s a problem for the club. “For a coach it is not so sure. You can have a contract, but you don’t know what will happen after one or two games. We depend a lot on the result.”
Transfers Gremio refute claims of €40m Arthur agreement with Barcelona Ryan Benson 02:23 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Grêmio Primera División Serie A The young midfielder Arthur has been linked with a move to Camp Nou, but speculation suggesting a deal has been struck is supposedly false. Reports of a €40million agreement between Gremio and Barcelona for midfielder Arthur are wide of the mark, according to the Brazilian club’s president Romildo Bolzan.Barcelona’s interest in the 21-year-old midfielder is long-standing, having been linked with him regularly towards the end of 2017, when Arthur was a key part of the Gremio side which won the Copa Libertadores.Arthur was photographed wearing the Catalan club’s jersey in a meeting with their sporting director Robert Fernandez in December. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 Although that angered Gremio, they have been in regular dialogue with Barca ever since over a potential move, with reports in Spain claiming on Tuesday that an agreement had finally been made.But Gremio insists such claims are purely speculation, with a deal still to be struck.Speaking to Radio Bandeirantes, Bolzan said: “A deal has still not been finalised.”There have been plenty of discussions, but at this stage the transfer cannot be considered a foregone conclusion.”
Bayern München James to miss ‘a few days’ of Bayern training with calf injury Ryan Benson 00:38 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Bayern München UEFA Champions League Bayern München v Beşiktaş Beşiktaş The Colombian suffered a calf strain against Besiktas on Tuesday, but his club do not expect him to be out for long The calf injury James Rodriguez suffered in Tuesday’s 5-0 Champions League demolition of Besiktas is only a “slight problem”, Bayern Munich have confirmed.James went off just before half-time, with the Colombia international showing few signs of pain as he exited the field. There were initial suspicions he was withdrawn due to a knock to the head, having looked dazed shortly beforehand after getting struck by the ball. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 But Bayern confirmed after the game that the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder felt his calf tighten.And, following investigations from Bayern’s medical team on Wednesday, they have come to the conclusion he should only need to miss “a few days of training”.A club statement read: “Bayern midfielder James was not seriously injured in yesterday’s [Tuesday] Champions League game against Besiktas.We hope it’s not too serious, @jamesdrodriguez! #MiaSanMia #FCBBJK 1-0 pic.twitter.com/XuCapUGsw0— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) February 20, 2018″An in-depth investigation confirmed the first diagnosis of the club doctor. The Colombian has only slight problems in the muscles of the left calf and thus has to miss a few days of training.”
Sometimes 3. Why do you watch Futsal? Maybe Volkswagen Mercedes Bundesliga Audi Yes Volvo Yes No They are too expensive 7. What is your opinion on Electric Vehicles? 5. Which of the following do you associate Volkswagen with? They are cost effective Yes Kia Faster games 4. Which of these car brands is Official Mobility Partner of UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 and UEFA EURO 2020? English Premier League Chevrolet They are safe and reliable Better goals I don’t trust them They are unreliable 0% Audi No 1. Do you play Futsal? Learn from SurveyGizmo experts that, by surveying your customers about your brand, you can gain valuable insight into specific areas of knowledge and associations. Please take my survey now Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries. Opel France national team Opel 3. Which of these car brands do you associate with European football? 9. Would you consider switching to driverless cars when the technology is available? Skip survey header German national team Hyundai BMW Champions League No Volvo Toyota Hyundai No UEFA Euros Toyota BMW Youth football DFB Pokal UEFA Futsal Mercedes 2. Do you watch Futsal? 6. Does Volkswagen’s association with football grow your appreciation of this brand? Ford Yes Women’s football They are good for the environment Chevrolet Spain national team vw futsol Premier League Did you watch UEFA Futsal EURO 2018? Goal Last updated 1 year ago 18:00 23/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Getty Premier League Two weeks ago, Portugal were crowned European Futsal champions for the first time and now we want to know your thoughts on the sport Creative, fast-paced, skillful. Futsal has it all. And the five-a-side game is becoming more and more popular for football fans across the globe.But do you play Futsal? Do you watch it?Let us know by filling out the short survey below! Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 Nissan 8. Would you consider buying an Electric Vehicle in the future? Games are full of skill I play and so it is relatable to me Maybe Ford Volkswagen No Yes Kia Nissan
Manchester City Man City Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Arsenal Sam Lee Last updated 1 year ago 19:14 23/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Guardiola Yaya Touré İ. Gündoğan Kevin De Bruyne Raheem Sterling Leroy Sané Sergio Agüero Everything you need to know ahead of the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon Manchester City could be without Raheem Sterling as they try to claim the first piece of silverware of the Pep Guardiola era.Fabian Delph will not be available for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, though Gabriel Jesus could return from a knee injury which has kept him out for more than six weeks.MAN CITY INJURIES Sterling suffered a muscle problem in the Champions League game against Basel which kept him out of Monday’s shock defeat at Wigan, and Guardiola says he does not know if the winger will be ready for Sunday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 Jesus returned to training on Friday, February 16 and he could be in line to make Guardiola’s match day squad.Only Benjamin Mendy remains on the sidelines, though he could be back in the next month or so.City will be without either of their first-choice left-backs for the next three matches, however, as Delph will miss three games through suspension.MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS Delph will miss Sunday’s game as well as Thursday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium and next Sunday’s meeting with Chelsea as a result of his red card against Wigan.MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP If Sterling is not fit it is likely Bernardo Silva will take his spot on the right-hand side.Guardiola will also have to decide who plays left-back given Mendy’s injury and Delph’s ban. Danilo has tended to play in games with more defensive demands, while Oleksandar Zinchenko has tended to play at home in matches City are expected to dominate. Guardiola may err on the side of caution and use Danilo.There are other selection considerations for Guardiola, too. John Stones did not look entirely comfortable against Wigan and in fact he has struggled slightly since returning from injury in January. Aymeric Laporte will be trusted to play in City’s biggest matches this season and it would be no surprise if he started on Sunday. Nicolas Otamendi was rested on Monday and is likely to come back into the side.Claudio Bravo has played all of City’s Carabao Cup matches and he will start on Sunday, with Ederson on the bench.ARSENAL TEAM NEWS Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have no injuries for Sunday’s game. There had been concerns over Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil but Wenger believes both will be fit.”I don’t know what kind of state [Alex] Iwobi is in, we will know that today [Friday] – but overall we have no injuries.”I’ll make a decision on Aaron Ramsey on Saturday, he looks to be available but he’ll have another test today. So we will know more about it tomorrow [Saturday].”On Ozil, the Frenchman added: “He had a good session yesterday [Thursday] which he absorbed well. We’ll have to see how he responds to it, but I think he will be alright.”OPTA MATCH FACTS Arsenal have won just two of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Manchester City, drawing five and losing four. Arsenal have recorded just two victories in their last 16 Premier League matches against fellow ‘big six’ teams (D6 L8). They beat Spurs in November 2017 and Man Utd in May 2017. The Gunners have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine Premier League matches – they last went 10 without a shutout in the top-flight back in February 2002 (11 games).TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME Kick off is 16:30 GMT (11:30 ET) on Sunday, February 25, and the game will be shown on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. It will be shown on ESPN in the United States, and on various channels around the world, details of which can be found here . Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
United States Ellis selects USWNT roster for 2018 SheBelieves Cup Thomas Floyd @thomasfloyd10 Last updated 1 year ago 06:15 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Greg Bartram United States SheBelieves Cup United States v Germany Andi Sullivan and Savannah McCaskill are among the prospects to make the final 23-player squad for matches against Germany, France and England U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis has selected her final 23-player roster for the SheBelieves Cup, with Andi Sullivan, Tierna Davidson and Savannah McCaskill among the prospects to make the cut.The squad announced Friday included a veteran-heavy core, including the likes of Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, mixed with players looking to break into Ellis’ regular rotation.Ellis trimmed three players from the 26-woman roster selected ahead of a pre-tournament camp in Orlando, Florida: defender Hailie Mace, midfielder Rose Lavelle and forward Ashley Hatch. Veterans Becky Sauerbrunn (foot), Samantha Mewis (knee) and Tobin Heath (ankle) were omitted from the preliminary squad because of injury. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 The U.S. opens the SheBelieves Cup against Germany on Thursday at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, before traveling to face France three days later at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The Americans conclude the round-robin tournament against Phil Neville’s England side March 7 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando.”We have an experienced and hungry group of players,” Ellis said in a news release. “The players relish the opportunities to play the absolute best teams in the world and after a really productive week of training in Florida, we’re ready for the unique challenges that each of these teams will present.”Here is the full roster:GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)DEFENDERS (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), 17-Tierna Davidson (Stanford), 14-Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals), 2-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit), 16-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns)MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Morgan Brian (Lyon,), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 20-Allie Long (Seattle Reign), 3-Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)FORWARDS (7): 19-Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), 21-Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 23-Christen Press (Houston Dash), 11-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage)
Transfers I thought he was an actor! – Barca’s Valverde dodges Arthur questions Ryan Benson 04:38 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Ernesto Valverde Barcelona v Girona Girona Grêmio Primera División The Gremio midfielder Arthur has been linked with Camp Nou, but the Blaugrana coach tried to convince reporters of his ignorance on Friday. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde dodged questions about the club’s reported interest in Gremio midfielder Arthur, claiming he thought he was being asked about an actor.Arthur has been linked with Barca for several months after establishing himself as one of South America’s most promising young players during Gremio’s successful Copa Libertadores campaign last year.Reports of Barca’s interest initially began circulating in December when Arthur was photographed wearing the club’s jersey during a meeting with sporting director Robert Fernandez. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 Although that moved angered the Brazilian club, negotiations have taken place since and reports have even suggested the two clubs are closing in on an agreement worth an estimated €40million.Though, when asked about Arthur, Valverde tried to convince reporters of his ignorance.He said: “Arthur? What’s his last name?”I thought he was an actor! He’s at another team. I’ve seen him, like a lot of others.”News rocked Spain on Thursday when it was confirmed a police officer died of a cardiac arrest during violent clashes between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow at the former’s San Mames stadium before a Europa League meeting.Although the officer’s death was not directly caused by physical trauma, it was pointed out by official statements that a flare thrown from a group of Russian supporters had landed near him just a few seconds before.Valverde, who coached Athletic before Barca, expressed his sadness at the situation and rued the fact some people use football as a “shortcut” to give other things “visibility”.”We’re all affected,” Valverde said. “Especially in my case, as it happened in Bilbao.”Football is there to be enjoyed, but there are people who use football as a shortcut to other things. It’s not a footballing problem, it’s just that that’s where it gets visibility.”
Transfers Lewandowski’s ‘heard nothing’ from Real Madrid following agent change Chris Burton 18:34 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Real Madrid Bayern München Bundesliga Primera División Robert Lewandowski The prolific Bayern striker continues to be linked with a big-money summer transfer and commented on his change in representation Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has rubbished reports suggesting a change of agent means he is off to Real Madrid, with no contact received from Spain.The prolific Pole has turned to ‘super agent’ Pini Zahavi to manage his career, with the Israeli taking on one of the most sought-after talents in world football.Lewandowski is enjoying another productive season at club level, with the 20-goal mark reached in the Bundesliga for a third successive year and the sixth time in seven years spread across spells at Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 It is those exploits which continue to see him linked with big-money moves elsewhere, with reports of interest from Madrid refusing to go away.The 29-year-old has, however, once again moved to distance himself from the rumours and play down the importance of a change in representative, telling reporters: “No, that [agent change] has nothing to do with this speculation.“I haven’t heard anything from Real Madrid, I don’t know whether my agent has and people will write what they want, but it doesn’t interest me.”Lewandowski drew a rare blank in his latest outing, as Bayern were held to a goalless draw by Hertha Berlin, but he remains a talismanic presence in Munich.With that in mind, the Bundesliga leaders have no intention of sanctioning a sale, with manager Jupp Heynckes having said of the incessant transfer talk: “A player is allowed to change his agent, it doesn’t mean anything.“Bayern want to – and will – keep our top players.”Zahavi has also played down the Real reports, with no talks held with the La Liga giants at this stage.He told Bild after being confirmed as Lewandowski’s agent: “Of course I have a lot of contacts in the industry, but that has nothing to do with it.“However, one never knows what will happen in the future.”
Lionel Messi ‘Best in history’ Messi lauded by Barcelona colleagues Coutinho & Busquets Iain Strachan 19:14 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Lionel Messi Barcelona Luis Suárez Philippe Coutinho Ousmane Dembélé Barcelona v Girona Girona Primera División The Argentine produced a typically dominant performance during a La Liga mauling of Girona, drawing gushing praise from his Camp Nou team-mates Philippe Coutinho and Sergio Busquets hailed the performance of the “amazing” Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s crushing 6-1 La Liga victory over Girona.The Argentina international set up Luis Suarez for an equaliser after Girona had taken a third-minute lead, and netted twice himself, the second an inventive free-kick steered under the opposition’s defensive wall at Camp Nou.Coutinho, a January arrival from Liverpool, also supplied an assist for Suarez before getting on the scoresheet, and the Brazilian is already revelling in a productive relationship with his superstar team-mates. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 “Leo is amazing,” he told Movistar.”He fooled everyone with his goal. It’s incredible how good he is. Each game we understand each other better, with him, with Suarez, he’s very important for us. “Bit by bit I’m learning and I have a lot of work to do.”Holding midfielder Busquets echoed the sentiments of Coutinho, saying of Messi’s contribution: “He always makes the difference and that’s what makes him the best player in the world and in the history of football.”Ousmane Dembele could not find the back of the net himself but did tee up Suarez for the Uruguayan to complete his hat-trick, and Coutinho expects the young France international to hit his stride soon. “Barcelona play unique football,” he said.”Dembele is a great player, I’m sure that with time and work we will learn. We want to do the best we can.”
Premier League Premier League Team of the Week: Liverpool quartet star after West Ham rout Goal 04:00 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Premier League Liverpool Sadio Mane, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can and Andrew Robertson make the cut after the Reds rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Hammers
Neymar ‘I played the ball’ – Sarr insists he is not responsible for Neymar injury Jamie Smith 07:56 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) AFP Neymar PSG PSG v Olympique Marseille Olympique Marseille Ligue 1 PSG v Real Madrid Real Madrid UEFA Champions League The Brazilian was left in tears after tangling with the Marseille man in Le Classique, but Sarr is convinced he is not to blame for the injury Neymar’s suspected ankle injury was sustained entirely accidentally, says Marseille’s Bouna Sarr, who challenged the Brazilian before he left the field on a stretcher.Paris Saint-Germain led Le Classique 3-0 in on Sunday, with Neymar having set up Edinson Cavani after 55 minutes to wrap up the victory after Kylian Mbappe’s opener and a Rolando own goal.But with PSG coach Unai Emery having already used all three substitutes, Neymar was hurt in a collision with Sarr in the closing stages at the Parc des Princes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 The pair challenged for the ball in the air and the PSG forward appeared to damage his right ankle when he landed awkwardly.PSG head coach Unai Emery said he is optimistic about Neymar recovering from his twisted ankle in time to face Real Madrid in the Champions League on March 6.But captain Thiago Silva told Canal+ he does not expect his compatriot to be fit to take on Marseille again in Wednesday’s Coupe de France quarter-final.19 – @KMbappe has become the youngest goalscorer in a “Classique” played in Ligue 1 at 19 years, 2 months & 8 days, overtaking Samir Nasri (19 years, 2 months & 17 days on 10 September 2006). Wonderkid. pic.twitter.com/qJqWKJJeUa— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 25, 2018Neymar was hit by a heavy challenge by Florian Thauvin early in Sunday’s clash and the 26-year-old was seemingly targeted by Marseille, having been fouled eight times over the course of the game.Sarr, however, claimed he was not at fault in the incident, which left Neymar in tears as he was carried from the pitch on a stretcher.”Neymar? Me, I saw only one thing is that I played the ball,” Sarr told reporters post-match. “I didn’t go at all with the intention of doing it. This is not my type of game at all.”Apparently he twisted his ankle. It’s unfortunate for him, but it’s a game fact like any other.”
Chelsea ‘Hazard should play 90 minutes’ – Courtois surprised at Conte’s Man Utd substitution Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 20:25 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Eden Hazard Manchester United v Chelsea Manchester United The Chelsea goalkeeper wants to see his Belgian team-mate play the full match where possible after he was withdrawn in the second half at Old Trafford Thibaut Courtois admits he was surprised to see Eden Hazard substituted by Antonio Conte during the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.The Blues slipped out of the Premier League’s top four after goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard earned United the points following Willian’s opener.Lingard’s winner came two minutes after Hazard had been substituted by Conte, with Pedro coming on for the Belgium international. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them 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 Chelsea were then left without their most creative spark when chasing the game and Courtois has aired his surprise at his compatriot’s withdrawal. “I have no explanation for the substitution,” Courtois told Belgian outlet Play Sports. “I did not expect it, but it’s the manager’s choice. He’ll explain it. I can’t look into his head. “Of course, you want players like Eden 90 minutes on the pitch. He can always bring something extra.”Conte has been under pressure in recent weeks, with the Blues struggling domestically. Chelsea are currently fifth in the Premier League, two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and 19 behind leaders Manchester City.Speaking after the defeat at Old Trafford, Conte suggested that Hazard had failed to maintain his high standards in the second half and that his withdrawal was merely a tactical decision.”No Hazard [is not injured], no,” he told a news conference. “It was a tactical decision. “You have to keep the same performance for 90 minutes, we didn’t have a great balance, and every single player has to try to work with the ball, without the ball, otherwise we lose our balance.”I think he’d finished his energy because the first half he ran a lot. The second half he started the same way, but when I see a player is a bit tired, my task is to find a different solution.”Meanwhile, Courtois was left deflated by the defeat at United, which came on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Barcelona in the Champions League when Chelsea had also taken the lead.”After our goal, we conceded a counter-attacking goal just like last Tuesday but in the second half we had less of the ball, but even then we should never have lost this match,” he said.”If you do not do the small things well in top matches, you lose, which is what happened.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.