Ex-Tottenham midfielder Redknapp: Pochettino now the ‘Special One’by Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJamie Redknapp has labeled Mauricio Pochettino has the new Special One.He made the comments after Pochettino was linked with a move to Manchester United.The Tottenham boss is seen as the favorite to take the United job permanently after Jose Mourinho was sacked.”I think Manchester United will get him [Pochettino]. I think they will go for it and I think they will get him,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.”Of course [Spurs fans should worry about losing him], because he’s the special one, he’s a great manager that everyone would want at their club.”Tottenham have got to do everything in their power to keep him, it’s as simple as that. He’s a very talented manager, the players adore him and play for him and you can see why Manchester United would want him.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Iniesta pleased to see Aleñá and Puig get their Barcelona chanceby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is pleased to see Carles Aleñá and Riqui Puig getting their chance.Puig has made his debut while Alena has now scored his first goal.Iniesta told Sport, “It’s great news that players form the academy can have chances and play a role. “We identify ourselves with the players that spent a lot of time in the academy, those of us that are from here. Getting to the first team is like a dream. If they manage it, the important thing is knowing how to take advantage of each opportunity, training well and learning alongside the best.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool striker Firmino ‘just like Messi’by Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool striker Roberto Firmino has been likened to Barcelona star Lionel Messi.Jason McAteer says Firmino’s role with Liverpool is similar to that of Messi at Barcelona, with the rest of the attack built around him.McAteer told the Racing Post: “They have had some great number nines and Roberto Firmino makes this side tick.”Brendan Rodgers couldn’t work out where to play him when he was first at the club, trying him out on the left.”Then Klopp came along with his 4-3-3 system featuring a hard-working midfield and explosive front three.”They needed a magician in that attack who pulls everything together and it is similar to how Lionel Messi has played in a Barcelona team set up around him.”Firmino is Liverpool’s Messi. When he’s not in the team you can see how detrimental his absence is.”
APIn what has been an upset-filled young college basketball season, No. 1 North Carolina fell at Northern Iowa on Saturday. Naturally, the Tar Heels, who are playing without top guard Marcus Paige, have tumbled down the polls here in week three, and a familiar program has ascended to the top spot—Kentucky. Michigan State, which landed a big win over Kansas on Tuesday, leaps into the top five in both polls, while Miami has shot into both Top 25 rankings after being absent last week.This week’s AP Top 25:1. Kentucky2. Maryland3. Michigan State4. Iowa State5. Kansas6. Duke7. Oklahoma8. Villanova9. North Carolina10. Gonzaga11. Arizona12. Virginia13. Indiana14. Cal15. Miami16. Purdue17. Notre Dame18. Connecticut19. Vanderbilt20. Wichita State21. Oregon22. LSU23. Xavier24. Cincinnati25. Texas A&MCoaches Poll Top 25:1. Kentucky2. Maryland3. Duke4. Michigan State5. Iowa State6. Oklahoma7. Kansas8. North Carolina9. Villanova10. Arizona11. Gonzaga12. Virginia13. Cal14. Indiana15. Purdue16. Vanderbilt17. LSU18. Notre Dame19. Miami20. Wichita State21. Connecticut22. West Virginia23. Oregon24. Cincinnati25. Baylor
Ernesto Valverde maintains Barcelona did nothing wrong over the disputed selection of Chumi during the Copa del Rey last-16 tie against Levante.The 19-year-old defender started the first leg against the Valencia-based club, when Barca were beaten 2-1.An Ousmane Dembele brace inspired a 3-0 win in the Camp Nou return but Levante appealed to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) that Chumi should not have featured in the initial game after accumulating five yellow cards for Barcelona’s B team in Spain’s third tier. 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? Barca were convinced Chumi was eligible due to a rule change in November that suggests a player can feature for the first team in another competition as long as their suspension for the reserves is less than a two-match ban.The RFEF ultimately rejected Levante’s appeal against elimination because it was filed too late, but Valverde believes Barcelona should not be seen as simply benefitting from a technicality and called for clarity around competition rules.”A lot has been said about this. I think I made my voice clear when the game ended. We acted correctly,” he told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s La Liga match against Leganes.”If you look at the competition rules we did nothing wrong. Some people may interpret the rules a different way.”It needs to be made clear – not for the person who is writing the rules but for the people who are reading it.”I think we have acted correctly and within the law.”On Levante’s appeal, Valverde added: “No, we’re not worried about this matter, but every club has to defend their interests.”Levante will do what they think is correct and so shall we. We’re just focusing on this game knowing we have another on Wednesday [against Sevilla in the quarter-finals].”Leganes sprung a surprise when they beat defending La Liga champions Barca 2-1 in September – a match Valverde wants his players to remember as a warning.”We played very badly,” he said. “It was good during the week and we all had the feeling that we were going to win it but in a minute they scored two goals.”We have to learn from that. For us it is essential to get the points and start the second round [of the season] well.”
Twitter/Linda CohnPenn State will honor former head coach Joe Paterno later this month. Many – including ESPN’s Linda Cohn – aren’t thrilled about it.Thursday afternoon, it was revealed that Penn State is set to honor former head coach Joe Paterno before its September 17 contest against in-state rival Temple. It will mark the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s first game as the Nittany Lions head coach.Many, however, are upset with the school’s decision. ESPN anchor Linda Cohn is among those who don’t believe that Penn State should honor its former coach. She called the move “disgusting.” She implied that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since his death.I’m disgusted at decision by Penn State to honor Joe Paterno. Time doesn’t heal those wounds. https://t.co/gALaja80UR #paterno— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) September 1, 2016Paterno, who died back in 2012, has been criticized in recent years in relation to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. His detractors believe he knew more than he let on about Sandusky’s actions. His supporters disagree.Paterno’s on-field success cannot be questioned. From 1966-2011, he posted a record of 409-136-3 and won two national titles in Happy Valley. He ended his career with a 95-54 mark in the Big Ten as well.His legacy, however, has changed in the wake of the scandal. Expect the tribute to get serious media coverage in two weeks.
Jurgen Klopp is perfect for Liverpool and the manager will already be planning for another trophy, according to Jurgen Klinsmann.Klopp claimed his first trophy with the English giants thanks to a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.Despite having played for Spurs, fellow German Klinsmann feels the former Borussia Dortmund coach fits perfectly at Anfield and hopes to see him continue to make good. 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? “He’s just a person you want to wish him well. He puts so much energy in there, so much effort and hard work in there, on all sides of the game,” he told the Mirror .”The way he won over the people in Liverpool and the way he became one of them, it just deserves then, the end result, meaning now this very special title.”Klopp fits Liverpool so perfectly because his background is very humble.”His background it’s blue collar, hardworking, they live and die for their club and so, his whole life basically was always very, very closely connected to the people, to the neighbourhoods.”The Champions League success was reward for a fine season by Liverpool, who claimed 97 points but finished second to Manchester City in the Premier League.Pure happiness. #SixTimes pic.twitter.com/fLzllff9CL — Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 3, 2019 But Klinsmann believes Klopp will already be planning for more with the Reds, who played in their second-straight Champions League final under his watch and will enter next season as one to watch in the competition once again. “He’s a workaholic because that’s in our blood where we come from. He’s [a] sponge that always wants to learn and always wants to look at what is next … and it never gets saturated,” he said.”One thing is for sure – he will never, ever rest. Winning the Champions League final now, the first thought of him a day later will be, ‘how do I win this next year?'”Liverpool will have plenty of time to rest ahead of next season, with the club’s next set friendly coming against Klopp’s old side Dortmund in mid-July in the United States. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Valencia have confirmed the signing of Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from Barcelona for a fee of €35 million (£31.4/$39.8m).He has signed a four-year deal at Mestalla, with an €80m (£72m/$91m) release clause included with the contract.The 30-year-old joined Barca from Ajax in 2016 but has been unable to secure a regular place in Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI. 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? Germany international Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the established number one at Camp Nou, meaning Cillessen has been restricted to just five Liga appearances over the last three seasons.He made 32 appearances for the club in all competitions, with his final game the Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia at the end of last month.As a result Cillessen was keen to move on this summer in order to secure first-team football. Current Valencia goalkeeper Neto is expected to move in the other direction later this month for a similar fee to act as understudy to Ter Stegen, with Cillessen replacing him as number one at Mestalla.Barcelona were initially believed to be looking for in the region of €60m (£53m/$68m) for Cillessen, so this deal represents something of a climbdown.Prior to his move to Valencia a number of European sides were linked with the Dutchman.Manchester United were believed to be considering a deal, as David de Gea continues to stall on signing a new contract at Old Trafford.Benfica were also interested in luring Cillessen away from La Liga, but a €13m ($15m, £12m) opening bid fell well below Barca’s valuation.Cillessen began his career with NEC Breda in 2010 before moving to Ajax for around €3m (£2.7m/$3.4m) a year later.He made close to 150 appearances for the club over six seasons, winning three Eredivisie titles between 2012 and 2014.That prompted Barcelona to pay €13m in the summer of 2016 to bring the goalkeeper to Catalunya.Internationally, Cillessen has won 48 caps for the Netherlands since making his debut in 2013 and was their first-choice goalkeeper for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where the Louis van Gaal’s side reached the semi-finals.
The role of a defensive midfielder can be a thankless one. To be successful in the position, a delicate balance between energy, strategy, technique and discipline must be struck. And yet, all but the best at juggling these varying attributes pass under the radar.N’Golo Kante represents a perfect example. Marseille turned down the chance to move for the then Caen player in the summer of 2015, believing him to be too expensive. Yet first at Leicester, and now at Chelsea, he has developed into one of the finest players in the game, one of the most important members of a France squad that won the World Cup last summer.The Blues have become acutely aware of the worth of one of football’s shiest and most understated stars. Paris Saint-Germain were rebuffed last summer as they tried to move for the apparently tireless 27-year-old. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare The Stamford Bridge side were, however, spooked enough by the approach of the Qatari-owned Parisians to go looking for a replacement.High up on their list was Tottenham’s new record singing Tanguy Ndombele, a player then largely unheralded outside of his native France, yet one with the heavy burden to bear of being tagged as the heir to the role that Kante now occupies.Two blockbuster performances against Manchester City as former club Lyon stunned the English champions with a 2-1 win and 2-2 draw in the Champions League group stage introduced him to English fans and will provide hope that he can adapt quickly to the Premier League as he now joins up with Tottenham on the heels of the club’s run to the Champions League final.Aged 22, he was at Parc OL for two years having emerged first with Amiens, where he helped the minnows win promotion to the top flight.He spent 2017-18 at Lyon on loan but made the move to the Rhone Valley permanent in the summer as Bruno Genesio’s side hastily took advantage of a clause in the agreement that allowed them to sign him for a mere €8 million.Barely a year on, they were reportedly knocking back offers of €50m from Manchester City. Memphis Depay, Mariano Diaz and Nabil Fekir might have grabbed the spotlight at the forefront of the attack, but those in the know had spotted and appreciated the industrious midfielder who had helped construct the platform from which the stars could shine.“He’s thoughtful and intelligent,” Genesio said last season. “With the ball, to make the best use of it, he takes in information before anyone else to make the right choice. “Without the ball, he brings balance to the team. When Nabil Fekir is out of position, he’s there, providing balance, alongside our defensive midfielder Lucas Tousart.“He’s interesting because he’s one of those players capable of solving tactical problems with his game intelligence.”Philippe Lemaire, a former scout at Guingamp, who allowed the player to slip through their grasp, put it rather more succinctly. “He stinks of football,” he told Le Progres. “He is strong and precise. He feels the game. He is capable of creating lightning, to give rhythm to the game, to counterattack but also to press and regain possession.”The understanding of the game had seen him used previously as a right-back or a right winger at Amiens, while “the position of his heart”, according to former youth team-mate Yoane Wissa, was as a No.10.It is, however, as a box-to-box player where he has settled at Lyon, and as such, comparing Ndombele to Kante is not truly fair. Not only is he significantly taller and more obviously athletic, he is also prepared to carry the ball forward from his own half or take the duty of making an attacking pass, as opposed to simply offloading the responsibility elsewhere. Indeed, it is to a former Chelsea favourite that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas chose to compare him: “He reminds me of Michael Essien.”Certainly, Ndombele brings a bit of everything to his team. Or almost everything. “He’s progressed with regards to the volume of his play, taking the initiative and with his use of the ball,” Genesio stated in October.“He must, however, take a final step with his finishing; it’s the only element of the game that he’s lacking to become a very great player.”He lacks a little focus in that final touch, but he has the technique to find it. He has to score six or eight goals a season.”Ndombele is clearly taking that advice on board as his finishing is improving, as underlined by the fact that he netted in both of Lyon’s Champions League draws with Hoffenheim.He also possesses similar versatility to Corentin Tolisso, whose serious knee injury has opened the door for his former club-mate to graduate to the senior international stage for the first time, with Ndombele having racked up four caps in total since making his France debut against Iceland on October 11.Since becoming international team-mates, he has already learned much from Kante, at least off the field. Indeed, while their playing profiles on the field may not be very similar, he certainly shares something in common with the notoriously publicity-shy Chelsea man.“I like to speak on the pitch, I’m not very comfortable with microphones and cameras,” Ndombele admitted. “I know it’s part of the job, but I don’t really like to talk about myself.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to be ready to rotate roles in Manchester United’s frontline next season.The forward duo were each on target in Wednesday’s 4-0 friendly victory over Leeds United as part of the Red Devils’ pre-season tour.Manager Solskjaer has deployed both at the focal point of his three-man attack across two matches in Australia, but says he is ready to use them in wider positions too in the forthcoming campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “With Marcus, he can play along the frontline,” Solskjaer said.”Sometimes he likes to drift to the left, same with Anthony, both of them can play at nine and 11, also together as a pair as a nine and a 10, also sometimes on the right-hand side.”For me, it’s great to have forwards who rotate and say, ‘he’s on the right side and I’ll be on the left side, or, ‘he’s through the middle, I’ll be on the side’.”I don’t think we can nail them down to one position, because they’re good footballers who can see space.”Rashford insists United want to hit the ground running next month when the Premier League returns following a disappointing 2018-19 campaign, which saw them finish outside of the Premier League’s top four.Elite mentality @MarcusRashford has hit the ground running on #MUTOUR , but now he wants to take it up a level pic.twitter.com/QcACXHdgY3 — Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 17, 2019 The England striker told MUTV: “As a team, everyone is fit and healthy. We want to hit peak form come the start of the season.”United’s pre-season preparations continue in the International Champions Cup, which sees the side travel to Asia this weekend before returning to England.They will face Inter on July 20 in Singapore and then take on Tottenham and Milan, with a friendly against Solskjaer’s boyhood club Kristiansund also scheduled between their last two ICC commitments. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.