About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery reluctant to change XI over Christmas programmeby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery won’t ring the changes over the Christmas programme.Emery will not unnecessarily rest players during the next week despite the threat of further injuries.He said: “In my career I never made these decisions. We are going to play the next match in Brighton and we are going to play full, not with considered options or playing with more caution.”The same three points are in Brighton that are in Liverpool and we are going to play first in Brighton. It’s a tough match and we will need every player with 100 per cent focus to do everything on the pitch to win.”I was speaking with Koscielny about the possibility of playing against Burnley and he said ‘not today’ because he was very tired after two matches in a week, so I decided for him not to be with the group. He said, ‘I’m not Matteo Guendouzi, Matteo is 19 and I’m 33!’.”
Man Utd Transfer Watch: Four centre-backs Solskjaer should targetby Phillip Ekuwem10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFollowing Jose Mourinho’s exit, Manchester United are looking to get their season back on track under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s guidance going into the second-half of the season. Considering the team’s defensive woes, the one area United undoubtedly need to bolster is their backline, primarily the centre-back position. Eric Bailly’s future at the club is currently uncertain, and the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are evidently not good enough to turn out for United on a regular basis.As such, here’s a look at four centre-backs United could realistically sign in January…Toby AlderweireldIt’s no secret that Manchester United are huge admirers of the Belgian centre-back having made attempts to sign him in previous transfer windows. Alderweireld has been a consistent performer at Tottenham since his arrival at the club, but with his proposed one-year contract extension at Spurs set to trigger a £25m release clause, Manchester United could snap him up at a relatively cheap price.Alderweireld is good with the ball at his feet and even better at preventing players from penetrating his side’s defensive line. He’s one of the best defenders in the Premier League and would be an excellent addition to United’s backline.Video Courtesy of Mathews FootballAndreas GranqvistAndreas Granqvist would be a more temporary option, but a good one nonetheless. The Helsingborgs man has been linked with a move to Manchester United since October.The 33-year-old was one of the best defenders in the World Cup back in June, as he marked players tightly and made key interceptions against highly skilled opponents. He also showcased his ability from spot-kicks, although should he sign for United, it’s unlikely that Pogba will give up his penalty taking duties.Granqvist has previously said that an offer from Manchester United would be ‘very hard’ to turn down, so should Solskjaer’s side table a concrete offer for the Swedish defender he’s likely to make the switch.Video Courtesy of Defence is an ArtDiego GodinGodin has a lot to offer United in terms of leadership and defensive contributions. The Uruguay international has been an integral part of both his national team set-up and Atletico Madrid for many years, so much so that he’s widely regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation.He’s reportedly got a £20m release clause which won’t be any trouble for United to pay, but the main hurdle is getting him to make the switch as he’s rejected offers from the club in the past.Godin would add a much-needed layer of protection to Manchester United’s back four considering his expertise in dealing with tricky and pacey forwards having face a number of world-class attackers with great success throughout his career.Video Courtesy of HN FootballHarry MaguireManchester United’s pursuit of Harry Maguire ended last summer because club chairman Ed Woodward refused to meet Leicester City’s valuation of the English centre-back.United have a much bigger need for a quality centre-back than they did back in August having already played through half of the season with defensive problems. The Leicester man has Premier League experience and World Cup experience so he knows what it is to play under pressure in massive games. Leicester are likely to demand a similar fee to what they asked for in August but whether United would take the same stance they did back then is unknown – one thing’s for sure, though – they need Maguire’s quality.Video Courtesy of Scouting Football TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorPhillip Ekuwem FollowShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool favourites to land Exeter teen Ben Chrisene ahead of Chelsea – after inviteby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool are favourites to land Exeter City teen Ben Chrisene – after bringing him up to Merseyside.Midfield talent Chrisene, 15, is already the youngest ever player to appear for the Devon side and an England youth cap.And now the Kop want to beat Chelsea to his signature, with an invite to play for their youth team this weekend, says The Sun.Exeter know their latest discovery will leave and are cooperating with the move as long as they collect a decent sum.Liverpool have been after Chrisene for months but Frank Lampard took a personal interest by contacting the kid who followed Ethan Ampadu through the Exeter ranks.
Guardiola hails ‘incredible’ Man City with five-goal rout of Atalantaby Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePep Guardiola labelled Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Atalanta as “incredible”.The game was tightly balanced with City holding onto a 2-1 at half-time, thanks to a double from Sergio Aguero.But the Italians couldn’t hold off an avalanche in the second-half, with Raheem Sterling scoring an incredible hat-trick.The only negatives for City on what was a magical night at the Etihad was an injury to Rodri and red-card for Phil Foden.Speaking after the game, Guardiola told BT Sport: “It was a really good result. The way Atalanta played created that. It was man to man all over the stadium, it was not comfortable, we’re not used to playing against these teams.”It was no surprise Atalanta finished third last season in Italy and even this season, they’re playing well so it’s an incredible result. It’s three more points. One more win and we’ll be in the next stage.”Raheem Sterling was brilliant. He could have scored one more. Not just with the ball, without the ball, he helps us a lot.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Thomas Meunier will consider becoming a free agent next year if Paris Saint-Germain rebuff the “dozen” clubs that have made contact since January.Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly interested in taking the Belgium international to the Premier League for a cut-price fee in the more immediate future.PSG will have an important decision to make if offers are submitted, with just 12 months left to run on right-back Meunier’s contract. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Ligue 1 champions are already set to lose Adrien Rabiot for nothing and could run into a similar headache at the end of next season.”It’s something that could suit me,” Meunier told Le Parisien when asked about the prospect of leaving next year.”I don’t think the club would make a lot of money from me, actually. I have a market value, but I’m a defender, I play one game out of three and I’m turning 28.”It’s not like Adrien, who is worth 50 million euros.”While midfielder Rabiot was frozen out after refusing to sign a new deal, Meunier is more receptive to staying at Parc des Princes.The former Club Brugge player is willing to discuss an extension if PSG choose to end the impasse.”I told the leaders that I was ready to stay, that I would like it a lot,” he said.”They didn’t tell me, ‘We absolutely want to sell you’. They know that at some point they will need me.”If the club tells me, ‘Listen, we want to sell you, we need money, there’s financial fair play’, and I will not play next year, then we will find a solution to satisfy both sides, of course.”As for rumours of a switch to England, Meunier added: “There have been phone calls since January with interested clubs. There are a dozen clubs, all of which are in the top five of their leagues.”Meunier started 27 times for PSG during the 2018-19 season, scoring five goals.
Jordan Henderson will be remembered as a Liverpool “great”, says Jan Molby, with a man who skippered the club to a sixth European Cup win due more credit than he currently receives.Henderson, 28, has just completed his eighth season at Anfield.It finished on a high with Champions League glory, with Jurgen Klopp’s side seeing off domestic rivals Tottenham to land Europe’s most prestigious prize . Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Henderson made another 44 appearances for Liverpool across the 2018-19 campaign and has now passed the 300 mark for the club.Many of those have come as captain, with the armband on Merseyside inherited from the legendary Steven Gerrard .England international Henderson has not always earned widespread acclaim, for club or country, but Molby has no doubts about his value and believes justified recognition will come in time.The Reds legend told Liverpool’s official website : “It’s often overlooked how important these people are.”But at Liverpool Football Club we’re very proud of our history and if you go through all of the great teams, we can all name the great players – but [also] the ones who were there every week, produced every week that, through history, become great players.”Once Jordan is gone, people will look at the void that he leaves and think, ‘Oh wow’.”Molby added on Henderson’s character, which has allowed him to come through some tough times and thrive for Liverpool and England: “It’s much more important now than it ever was.”We never thought about the importance of characters in the dressing room because we felt we had nothing but characters.”He’s never been scared of sort of confronting the criticism he’s had – by that I mean, you go out and play your game.”Some people try and change their play, other people buckle under that constant, ‘Can we get somebody better?’.”That’s why when I didn’t play, I never knocked on the manager’s door. Because when you’re playing, you know why you’re playing. And when you’re not playing, you know why you’re not playing.”The biggest compliment you can have as a player is if the manager keeps on picking you.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
He is a Real Madrid prodigy whose name is known worldwide, but up until now, his sole taste of the Champions League was a five minute cameo in an already lost second qualifying round back in 2014. Then, Martin Odegaard was a 15-year-old lining out for Norway’s Stromsgodset, having become the youngest player and youngest goalscorer in Tippeligaen history just a couple of months earlier.Less than a year later, Odegaard turned down the advances of the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich to sign for Real Madrid. The plan was to have the wonderkid adapt to life in Spain by playing for Real Madrid Castilla before progressing into the senior side once he had proven his worth. But over the next three years, he played just one league game and one cup game before Real decided that loaning him abroad may be the best way to realise his talent.Since 2017, he has been on loan in the Netherlands, first at Heerenveen and then at Vitesse. Finally, the boy with enormous potential had started to blossom. In 2018-19, he helped Vitesse challenge for Europe and was named in the official Eredivisie Team of the Season. Odegaard’s 122 chances created were more than any other player in the league, while he was one of only four players to complete over 100 dribbles, finishing with the highest completion rate of those four. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Odegaard’s performances last season did not go unnoticed, but with Madrid in the midst of their biggest spending spree in years, his path to the first team is blocked once more. Now 20, the attacker was happy to leave the club again but was hoping his future would be resolved quickly after a frustrating summer in 2018 where his Vitesse deal was not agreed until late in the window. By then, the club had already been knocked out of Europe.“It has been a good year, I have made big strides and developed my game,” Odegaard told VG. “I don’t want what happened last summer to happen again. I want to go on vacation and enjoy a break.“Real Madrid are very happy with me, but it’s difficult to play there and it probably will be the case next season as well. They’ve sold many players with a re-purchase clause. I don’t care much, I just want to go somewhere where I have the opportunity to play and a coach who believes in me.”After impressing in the Netherlands, Odegaard now has the chance to step up another level at Bayer Leverkusen, where he will play under Peter Bosz. The former Ajax head coach has extracted the best out of young players and shown a willingness to give them more responsibility, like with Kai Havertz last season.Joining Leverkusen will finally provide Odegaard an opportunity to play in the Champions League proper and prove himself against the best players in Europe. ‘Boszball’ will also offer him the freedom to continue to play the way he did at Vitesse, dribbling past opponents and using his vision to play the killer pass to team-mates.A year in the Bundesliga was the perfect testing ground for Dani Carvajal back in 2012-13. The full-back was unable to break through at Real Madrid, so transferred to Bayer Leverkusen before being bought back a year later thanks to an incredibly low release fee in his contract – meaning it essentially was a one-year loan deal to the Bundesliga.Before moving to Leverkusen, Carvajal had not played a single minute for Real, but immediately became first-choice right-back once he returned to Santiago Bernabeu. In the Bundesliga, Carvajal had been a revelation and was nominated for Bundesliga Team of the Season, only to miss out on a spot to Bayern Munich’s legendary full-back Philipp Lahm.“I learned a lot, especially living alone there, going to another country, another league,” Carvajal told reporters when he left Leverkusen. “I matured a lot as a person, and was able to compete in elite football and European competition.Being young, you acquire a lot of experience, and the tactical and physical aspects make you a better player. Tactically, I’m more complete. Coming up against footballers from around the world makes you improve.”Odegaard will have a similar experience at the BayArena, where Bosz will give him the confidence and freedom to shine. He will also finally get a chance to play in the Champions League, five years after he first had a tiny taste of the competition.
Twitter/@gilgenastyLike many other college football fans, Nebraska die-hard Larry the Cable Guy is prone to making grand declarations about his team. Last season, during a charity golf tournament in Iowa, he said something that certainly fit the bill.Amid a particularly middling portion of Nebraska football history, the famous stand-up comedian declared that the Hawkeyes would “never beat Nebraska again.” At the time, Iowa had won three of four against Larry’s team.From Iowa columnist Rick Brown:I asked Larry the Cable Guy about his Huskers losing three of the last four to Iowa. “Next question…but you’ll never beat us again.” pic.twitter.com/ZQtokjoeLx— Rick Brown (@ByRickBrown) June 7, 2017That prediction did not quite pan out. Iowa smacked Nebraska 56-14 this season, to make it four wins in the last five years. Most haven’t been particularly close either.Nebraska’s sole win during that run, the 2014 game, was a 37-34 overtime victory. Iowa’s four wins have come by an average of over 25 points.Larry the Cable Guy is back at the same Iowa event this week, and was naturally asked about his prediction.He apologized to “the entire state of Iowa,” and then immediately doubled down on the original prediction. From The Des Moines Register:“I must have had one of them vodka-punch deals that day that they had on one of those holes — just an idiotic statement.”[…]“I apologize to the entire state of Iowa,” he said with a straight face, before amending his summer of 2017 claim with this new one:“Nebraska will never lose another football game against Iowa — after this season.”Larry has good reason to be optimistic, even if Iowa is pretty likely to beat Nebraska some time during the rest of time. His second team is UCF, the last stop for new Nebraska coach Scott Frost. He is pretty pumped about the new Huskers head man.“Scott Frost is a heck of a coach,” Larry said said his comedy schtick suddenly turning serious, “We got the coach we wanted. We didn’t just get a coach because he’s from Nebraska and because he won a national title and because he’s from Wood River.“We got a coach everybody wanted — Tennessee wanted him and Florida wanted him because he’s a good coach.”Finally, Nebraska got him.“We wanted Scott Frost before they got Riley,” Larry said. “We finally got a coach that knows the culture of Nebraska football.“Give us some time to rebuild. By years three, four and five, Iowa will never beat Nebraska again in football.“And believe me, I love Iowa.”We’ll have to check back in with this one next June.[The Des Moines Register]
COLLEGE PARK, MD – SEPTEMBER 17: General view of the Maryland Terrapins and West Virginia Mountaineers game at Byrd Stadium on September 17, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)Maryland head coach DJ Durkin remains on leave amid the investigation into the program. The parents of Jordan McNair, the former Maryland offensive lineman who passed away in June, doesn’t think he should be allowed to coach anymore.On May 29, McNair suffered heatstroke during a team workout. His temperature reportedly hit 106 degrees.According to a report, it took upwards of 45 minutes to an hour for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Unnamed players quoted by ESPN’s big piece on the scandal, which dove into a larger scale toxic culture at Maryland, teammates had to help McNair across the field for the final of his 110-yard sprints, as head athletic trainer Wes Robinson yelled for them to “drag his ass across the field.”He died two weeks after the workout, while in the hospital.Jordan McNair’s parents appeared on Good Morning America this morning to discuss their son’s tragic death.They spoke with ABC’s Michael Strahan, a former NFL star, about the situation at Maryland.ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Jordan McNair’s parents speak out after his death as Maryland football program comes under investigation: https://t.co/0wZJnpowI9 pic.twitter.com/5IV8FKwnzC— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 16, 2018During the interview, Martin McNair, the former Terrapin’s father, said that Durkin should be fired.“He shouldn’t be able to work with anyone else’s kid. You send your kid away to college for them to be developed into young people — and that’s physically, emotionally and spiritually, and teach our young kids, our young people that we worked so hard to get there, to, ‘Hey, I’m giving my child to you. Keep him safe.’ They did anything but that.So of course he should be fired.”Former Maryland strength coach Rick Court, a central figure in the ESPN article, reached an agreement to resign from the program, the school announced the other day.Maryland’s investigation into the matter is expected to last into mid-September. It is unclear if the school will make a point of deciding on Durkin’s future before the season.Maryland opens play with Texas on Sept. 1.
IOWA CITY, IA – SEPTEMBER 10: Fans cheer as the Iowa Hawkeyes face the Iowa State Cyclones on September 10, 2016 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)Saturday’s slate of college football games is scheduled to kick off in just under two hours. Several huge games with College Football Playoff implications will go down throughout the day.By Saturday’s end we’ll be closer to finding out which teams have what it takes to compete for a conference title and perhaps a national title.One college football analyst believes there will be a surprise team mentioned on the College Football Playoff race after today’s action. Dan Wolken thinks the Iowa Hawkeyes will be in the national title discussion after today’s game against Wisconsin.Here’s what he had to say about Iowa.Prediction time. Let’s start with a big one. After today, I think we will be talking about Iowa and Playoff in the same sentence. The Hawkeyes have been low key great so far this season.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 22, 2018A win for the Hawkeyes over No. 18 Wisconsin would do huge things for the program. Iowa sits just outside the top 25 – at No. 26 in the AP Poll.Iowa and Wisconsin kick off tonight at 8:35 p.m. ET from Kinnick Stadium. Can the Hawkeyes down the Badgers and move to 4-0?