Posted on Leave a comment

England vs Slovenia: Wembley ground staff rushing to fix pitch after latest NFL outing

Ground staff at Wembley are in a race against time to fix en revealed.The Sun says United are confident of getting him to sign a new five-year deal.An offer of around £300,000 a week has been on the table since the turn of the year.But United are ready to increase that to £350,000 a week to tempt the Spanthe pitch ahead of England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia. Following the latest underneath the arch on Sunday, the turf is undergoing treatment in a bid to make it acceptable for chief Roy Hodgson. has been highly critical over the timing of the latest game, coming just six days before this weekend's fixture, while the surface had Speaking ahead of the latest NFL affair, he declared: "The pitch, unfortunately, iseps in touch with fellow Senegalese Sadio Mane, who has netted four times alrcontent_imgeady this campaign.Diouf said: “I’ve never hidden the fact that Liverpool didn’t treat me right and that they cherished some players better than me, even though I’d arrive not in the best of nick any way, which we're all a bit unhappy with. "At this particular moment in time I would honestly have to say, if asked if it was a good thing or not, I would have to say not. "I can't pretend that is something that makes me leap for joy. I would be very hypocritical if I was to do so." with two coming in the last three weeks. They have brought in an estimated revenue of around £3million per game to the FA. And after the heavy rain which London has experienced over the last seven days, the pitch really suffered as the Dallas Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-17. defensive end Jeremy Mincey said of the pitch: "It was a little muddy and tough but we had our long studs in and adjusted well. "There wasn’t much slipping and sliding out there and some guys changed their cleats at half-time." Fix up look sharp – Pitch repair after NFL:

Posted on Leave a comment

Aston Villa’s Manchester City loanee Scott Sinclair feels like a kid again under new boss Tim Sherwood

Scott Sinclair has hailed Tim Sherwood for revitalising his flagging career and is now backing Aston Villa to stay up. has three goals in four appearances since Sherwood was named Villa’s new boss. are now and out of the Premier Leaguelly confirmed that an expansion franchise in St Louis will join the league in 2022, reports, /.The announcement, which has been rumoured for several weeks, will see the franchise pay a US$200 million expansion fee to become the premier North American drop zone since Sherwood replaced the has again declared his former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will bring success to Tottenham.Bale is happy to see Mourinho in charge of Spurs.And he stated: “The fact that Mourcontent_imginho has arrived is a strong and clear message from the club. “José is axed Paul Lambert. It has vindicated , where he made just two League starts since joining in 2012. The 25-year-old said: “I haven’t been this hungry to play football for a long time – since I was a kid probably – because it’s been so long since I’ve had a run of games. “The intensity has gone up dramatically and everyone is fighting for places as well. Hopefully we can just kick on now. “I am obviously here to score and create goals so hopefully I’ll be able to continue to do that.” But while Sinclair is flourishing under , Lambert’s January buy Carles Gil has lost his place. Spanish midfielder Gil scored a stunning goal against Bournemouth after a £2.5million move from Valencia. But he has not started for Villa since they lost to Stoke in Sherwood’s opening game. Sherwood explained: “I preferred someone else. It’s up to Carles to prove on the training field he warrants a place. Everyone is up for selection and has a chance to play until the end of the season. “It’s my choice who plays and doesn’t. Everyone has to remember, I am picking the team to win a game and it’s nothing personal.” Will Aston Villa win the FA Cup?0+ VOTES SO FAR

Posted on Leave a comment

Manchester United outcast Wilfried Zaha backed to succeed by England U21s boss Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate plans to give Manchester United outcast Wilfried Zaha a chance to shine against Lithuania at Portman Road on Tuesday night. has been on the outside looking in so far since moving to for £15m earlier this year, with his only competitive appearance coming against Wigan in the Community Shield back in August. But despite being on the fringes domestically, the former Crystal Palace wide man has remained a key figure in the England Under-21s set up. He was an unused substitute for but Southgate is likely to bring him into the starting line up on Tuesday. "It is tough for him," Young Lions boss Southgate said. "It is tough for any player when they are not playing regularly. "Wilf has joined a new club with all the difficulties that brings. "But it was never my intention to play him in both of our matches this week. He understood that. But he has got the opportunity now to show people what he is capable of. "Have I noticed a lack of confidence in him? No. "There is probably some frustration because he just wants to play. "But he is at a fantastic club and he realises that to get in the team is going to take a lot of work and patience." Zaha is likely to take the place of Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling who ha a counter offer from Liverpool.The midfielder is on a season-long loan with the Gunners from Real Madrid.He told Marca: “I was proud that Liverpool were interested, but chose Arsenal thanks to Unai Emery and how he looked at me.”Unai came to me mores been drafted into the senior squad by Roy Hodgson ahead of tonight's crunch clash with Poland. Southgate took his players to Wembley on Friday to watch and he feels having a strong working relationship between b Marco Silva was delighted with the spirit shown for their 2-1 win at Southampton.The visitors took the lead early on, but Saints rallied thereafter and drew level via Danny Ings’s seventh of the season – only to be stung late on by a Richarlison decoth setups will prove to be beneficial. "It was a really good experience to go," he said. "I wanted them to realise what an occasion like that feels like. "I think it is importcontent_imgant that we support the senior team as well and they could see individuals that are playing in their positions and the way that they play. "They can get an understanding of the game and the opposition. It was a good exercise." Watch both Zaha and Sterling trade wondergoals in training last week.

Posted on Leave a comment

QPR slap £12m price tag on midfield star

A full version of this story appears in today's Sunday People. QPR have slapped an £8million price-tag on wantaway midfielder Adel Taarabt. The Moroccan, 22, is desperate to join Paris Saint-Germain and Hoops boss Neil Warnock joked last week that he would drive him to the French capital if the mega-rich Ligue 1 outfit were to offer £20m in January. Read the full version at www Jan Vert has told directors to move Gareth Bale on this summer.Zidane, reports L’Equipe, wants to see the Welshman sold and has even raised the prospect of Real covering a percentage of his wages to help get him away from the club.Zidane dumped Bale from hisonghen isn’t short of offers as his contract runs down.The Belgium international’s deal expires in June and so far he has baulked at agreeing new terms.The Telegraph says Vertonghen has contact with former club Ajax and is also interestcontent_imging N.people.co.uk/sport

Posted on Leave a comment

Kean pushes keeper’s claims for England return

Paul Robinson is being backed for an England recall by Blackburn boss Steve Kean.Kean believes whoever is England boss for Euro 2012 should include the Rovers goalkeeper in his squad because of his great form this season.Ked he won’t commit to a long-term deal with Barca, though insists he’s happy at the Nou Camp.And former Barca teammate Ibrahimovic believes Messi will stay where he is.The LA Galaxy striker said: “For me, he will never change teams.” For his part, Ibean credits Robinson with keeping Blackburn in theUdinese striker Rodrigo De Paul says he’s happy where he is.De Paul is expected to leave for a bigger club this summer.“In Udine I’m fine,” hecontent_img said. “It’s true, in the last few transfer windows, and also in January, something had been in an advanced state, but then for different reasons nothing become concrete.“Now I’m thinking only of Udinese and the national team. In June we will see.” game against Aston Villa on Saturday before David Dunn scored their late equaliser."Paul Robinson has been great," said the Scot. "He has had a really good couple of weeks. He has been training very well with Bobby Mimms, our goalkeeping coach, who has been delighted with the quality of his work."Had it not been for his performance in the first half of the game, it could have been beyond us. He made great saves at crucial times and then in the second half there were times when he made saves."I certainly think Paul Robinson is good enough to get in the England squad. He was disappointed when he was omitted from the squad some time ago and then maybe with a change in the top end of the set up, who is to say he can't get back in there? He's playing well enough." Blackburn 1-1 Aston Villa: Dunn rescues point for Rovers

Posted on Leave a comment

Next England manager: Why Steve Bruce looks a better bet than Gary Neville or David Beckham

It's fair to assume we wilcontent_imgl never have to witness Steve Bruce posing in designer underpants like David Beckham. Neither do we hear the Hull City manager being feted as a sage-like observer of football, like a Paul Scholes or Gary Neville. Yet while – as it often does during the news vaccum of an international break – and while Neville is the bookies’ favourite to succeed Roy Hodgson as England’s next manager, Bruce could actually be the former Manchester United man to watch. The big Geordie bruiser is used to being ignored by his country. He was the Double-winning Man United captain who failed to receive a single senior cap for – a fact which perfectly exemplifies the changes in our football over the past two decades. There is a feeling that Bruce wouldn’t fit into an FA blazer, either literally or figuratively. But, at the age of 53, and after 16 years as a manager, this could be his breakthrough season. Last week's . The club-record £10million signing of Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez, as well as the cute recruitments of West Ham midfielder Mo Diame and Spurs defender Michael Dawson smacked of a smaller Premier League club showing as much ambition as possible in the Financial Fair Play era. And the loan signing of Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa has the potential to enhance Bruce’s status ater Milan’s squad.Icardi has left Inter’s training camp by mutual consent and will continue fitness work by himself in Milan.“Mauro Icardi will today return to Milan from our training camp in Lugano,” read a statement.“The club and the striker has a canny man-manager. The Frenchman has talent to burn, but an attitude suggesting he is willing to burn it. When Ben Arfa fancies it, though, he is a match-winner. Should Bruce harness his abilities, which Alan Pardew has failed to do at St James' Park, it would be a significant boost for the reputation of the club and its manager. The successes of any modern English club manager tend to be relative, but Bruce’s record at Hull – winning automatic promotion, then reaching mid-table and an FA Cup Final – is a fine one. And if the FA are keen to appoint a manager with diplomatic skills – as they always are – then Bruce’s ability to tiptoe through the minefield of was masterful. Bruce navigated this civil war without enraging Allam or the fans, while masterminding one of the club’s greatest seasons. Working for Karren Brady, David Sullivan and David Gold can be politically difficult too, yet Bruce’s record as Birmingham boss stacks up against any of the past 30-odd years. And in terms of league position, Bruce was a more successful Wigan manager than the sainted Roberto Martinez. His Sunderland tenure was regarded as a failure, yet Bruce sold Darren Bent and Jordan Henderson for a combined £40m while never seriously flirting with relegation. And while Bruce’s tactical acumen has never been widely acclaimed, Hull have been one of the few English clubs in recent years to successfully employ a 3-5-2 formation – and with three British centre-halves to boot. Yet look at the odds offered on the candidates to succeed Hodgson and Bruce is quoted at 33-1, way behind Neville – who has never managed anybody – and even adrift of Beckham, who admits he never wants to manage. The fascination with Beckham will continue ad nauseam, for mug punters and the FA alike. His supposed ambassadorial qualities are being flagged up again – despite his role in the disastrous 2018 World Cup bid and the absurdity of him standing by the England dugout in a bespoke three-piece suit for no apparent reason in South Africa four years ago. And with the FA rightly determined not to go foreign again when Hodgson’s time comes, the options are so limited that Neville will be a serious contender to step up from No 2 – even if he ends up being tainted by his part in a failed regime. It is part of the peculiar clamour from many quarters to over-promote United’s Class of '92 at Old Trafford, Wembley or elsewhere. Yet little is spoken about another former United great, Bruce – who possesses more substance than style and boasts a decent track record rather than the mere ability to talk a good game. Hull’s ambitions might soon change all that, elevating the image of a manager who has proved himself more than capable for some time. So even if the FA’s tailors might need to find an extra yard of cloth, Bruce could find himself measuring up rather well. Who would you rathgham City have signed Jake Clarke-Salter from Chelsea on a season-long loan.The 21-year-old central defender, who spent last season on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, has made two substitute appearances for Chelsea.Clarke-Salter previously played er have as England manager when Roy Hodgson goes?0+ VOTES SO FAR

Posted on Leave a comment

Pep Guardiola in touchline bust-up with Thomas Muller during Bayern Munich’s defeat to Barcelona

Bayern Munich boss clashed with Thomas Muller during Wednesday night's humbling against Barcelona. A stunning brace from Lionel Messi was followed by a late Neymar strike at the Nou Camp It was the worst possible return for Guardiola, who led Barca to two European cups in 2009 and 2011 before taking over at Bayern. And the Spaniard was involved in a touchline bust-up with , after he was replaced on 79 minutes by Mario Gotze, with the score at 1-0. Muller was clearly frustrated at being withdrawn as the pair took part in a heated exchange before the German forward finally took his seat on the bench, protesting to staff and fellow substitutes. Within 60 seconds, Messi had doubled Barca's lead – bamboozling Jerome Boateng before delicately chipping over the onrushing Manuel Neuer. It is the latest example of Guardiola losing his cool, Guardiola wasalready without injured stars Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger for the clash in Lisbon and sarcastically applauded chief doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt when Mehdi Benatia limped off against Bayer Leverkusen just days earlier. , claiming the "bond of trust" at tpe Marotta still expects Juventus to win the Scudetto, despite the Nerazzurri leading the table.Inter are top of Serie A by one point.“It’s still only Week 14, so we are well aware that winning the Scudetto from this first season will be difficucontent_imglt,he Allianz Arena had been damaged. Following the Barca defeat, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp claimed Guardiola had taken Bayern backwards alained their surprise swoop for Everton midfielder James McCarthy.McCarthy joined Crystal Palace from Everton in August 2019, the then-28-year-old had played just one competitive game of football in 20 months.Ahead of his Everton return, Hodgson saidfter they won the treble under predecessor Jupp Heynckes. "Guardiola is at a club where you're under severe pressure if you lose any game. It's now full-on," he said. "When he took over from Jupp Heynckes, we all felt that it was the dream job taking over a club that has just won the treble. "But he hasn't taken them to the next level. If anything it looks like they're going backwards." Is there any way back for Bayern in the second leg?5000+ VOTES SO FAR

Posted on Leave a comment

Manchester United wrecked my dreams – and now it’s payback time, says Preston’s Josh Brownhill

Josh Brownhill was totally devastated when Manchester United ­released him aged 16 from the same group of young stars as ­hotshot James Wilson, After joining as a super-talented seven-year-old, United youth coaches ­declared Warrington kid Brownhill too small and not tough enough on the fateful day they delivered the crushing news. Now, three years on, the Preston teenager is being watched by a clutch of top clubs and is dreaming of payback as he prepares to face in the FA Cup at Deepdale tomorrow. And nothing would please Brownhill – a life-long Manchester City fan – more than showing the Reds what they missed when they shattered his dreams. If he had remained at Old Trafford it is a fair shout that Brownhill, 19, an attacking ­midfielder with an eye for a ­spectacular goal, would have been on Van Gaal’s radar. And as aim for a giant-killing, you would imagine Brownhill will be driven by revenge and consumed by bitterness at the loss of his Old Trafford chance. But he is bigger than that, despite the heartbreak of ­being cast aside. He said: “I still remember that day like it was yeste says he’s on the brink of returning from injury.The USA star has been out since New Year’s Day with a groin injury.Blues boss Frank Lampard could be able to call upon Pulisic before the end of the month.The former Borussia Dortmund ace took to Instarday. I went in a room with my ­parents and the coaches Brian McClair and Tony Whelan. “When they told me they weren’t offering me a ­scholarship it was horrible – my world fell apart. “I’d chosen United over City, who also wanted me, and I’d been at the club nine years through all the age groups. “I rubbed shoulders with all the big stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes doing my ­rehabilitation after injuries. “And I had met Sir Alex ­Ferguson a few times – United was all I had ever known. “I really thought I’d done enough to get a scholarship and was confident they would take me on, but they told me ‘no’ and I was heartbroken. “content_imgThey said I was too small, but they’d done tests showing me that I would be anywhere ­between 5ft 10in and 5ft 11in and a half tall – so I couldn’t understand it. “My head was spinning and I couldn’t take it in. As a kid you never plan for ­something like that and ­although the coaches were saying they would help me find another club I wasn’t listening – it was all a blur.” But Brownhill does not ­regret his days at United, even though he is a big City fan. He added: “United were well known for developing young players in those days and as the best team in the land, I could not really turn them down. “Although I played matches for the junior teams at United, I always wore my City shirt during training. “There would always be lots of banter flying around, especially from the coaches, but it was all good fun and when the derby matches used to come around they would get me tickets for the games. “But I am beyond ­bitterness now and it’s not a case of proving United wrong. “Maybe I wasn’t good enough at the time for them, so now it’s about showing how well Preston have developed me into a first-team player in a really tough league. “I credit United a lot with the way they brought me up and taught me how to act. Preston have done a lot for me too, trusting in me and giving me a cother week to recover.Solskajer said Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah, all of whom are recovering from injury, will not be ready in time to face Chelsea on Monday.“I don’t think we’ll get anyone back for the Chelsea gahance. “But, of course, I ­sometimes wonder what might have been. James Wilson was in my group and if there was anyone going to make it, it was him. “I knew James would get a chance. He always played a year up and was always ­scoring. He is a top-quality player and I’m happy he’s ­doing well. “I played a lot with Paddy McNair too, even though he was a year above me and he’s taken his chance too. “If I get the chance to start it will be a great test of where I am now compared with those lads.” After rejections by Burnley, Crewe and Sheffield United, Brownhill was an instant hit in a week-long trial at Preston and was given a scholarship. And after impressing in the reserves, Brownhill was ­handed his debut, aged 17, at Gillingham – and he scored. His dad Gary, himself a City youth player, chipped in, saying: “After what he’d been through it was a wonderful reward for his ­persistence. “When Josh scored I was ­crying my eyes out – I was just so proud of him.” Who will reach the FA Cup quarter finals?8000+ VOTES SO FAR

Posted on Leave a comment

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini backs West Ham’s Sam Allardyce ahead of cup clash

Manuel Pellegrini has backed Sam Allardyce to come through his testing time ahead of their clash tomorrow in the Capital One Cup. Pellegrini sympathises with going into the semi-final first leg at the Etihad and says he has the character to pull through. "I think that this job as a manager in any club in every part of the world, you are always under a lot of pressure," said . "When the results are not the results the club wants, maybe sometimes you can be more nervous than others. "But I think so I don't think he will have any problems." in the FA Cup on Sunday and Pellegrini is reading little into that gaing for Frank Lampard at Chelsea.Lampard’s appointment naturally delighted James and provided that extra motivation for him to get back fit and firing.”Frank is a club legend and someone I’ve always looked up to,” admitted the 19-year-old to chelsea.me. He saw that Allardyce rested several players and expects a difficult game tomorrow. "They had an awfyere Wriedt is attracting Premier League interest.BILD says Norwich are interested in signing Wriedt from Bayern in January.The 25-year-old Ghana international has featured just twice at first-team level since joining in 2017.However, he has been proul result, but I don't think they played with their best 11," he said. "They played with young players. I'm absolutely sure tomorrow will be a very different game to what they play on Sunday." Pellegrini claims he will be missing Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Sergio Aguero and Jack Rodwell tomorrow, while he has left Micah Richards out of . "Injuries for tomorrow, Jesus Navas has a little problem," he said. "It's just a precaution, content_imga kick behind his knee, but nothing important. "Jovetic and Aguero are injured and Rodwell, all three cannot play tomorrow. "Richards can't play. He is not injured. He must work a little more, but he is not injured and Demichelis is in the squad list." Pellegrini says top scorer Aguero is close to returning from his calf injury. "He will be back during January," he said. "He is working, he is training. "Of course this is good. He is a good player. All the players who recover from injuries, this is good news especially such important a player as Kun Aguero."

Posted on Leave a comment

England World Cup side urged to play like Liverpool to get best out of Raheem Sterling

Brendan Rodgers believes Raheem Sterling will become one of the real stars of the World Cup… if he is given the freedom to play without fear. Liverpool boss Rodgers has developed the teenage winger into one of the most exciting – and feared – attackers in the Premier League. And according to the Northern Irishman, Sterling is capable of transferring the sensational form he hacontent_imgs shown since the New Year onto the biggest stage of all with . To do th is excited by the potential of Sam Surridge.The 21-year-old striker, in to face FA Cup opponents Arsenal tonight, was recalled on New Year’s Day from a loan spell at Championship Swansea.Surridge then penned a fresh four-and-a-half year contract witat though, Rodgers reckons England boss Roy Hodgson MUST give the youngster the freedom to express himself. "He's a 19-year-old boy – let's not forget that – who has been one of the top players in one of the most competitive leagues in the world," the Reds chief explained. "If he continues to have that confidence to play with no fear he could be a really stand-out player. But that is the key – he must be asked to play that way. If Raheem is given the opportunity to play how he can, he could be one of the stars of the World Cup for me." And Rodgers insisted he isn't over-stating the case for the youngster either, because Sterling has consistently been best player in a team that boasts, Suarez, Strurridge and Gerrard. Since the turn of the year, he has won no fewer than six man of the match awards, and against some of the Premier League's biggest guns, as his manager explained. "He has already shown he can play at that level, he's been up there in a league that is full of world class, international players, with 60-odd per cent made up of some of the best players from around the world. "His best games have been against the best teams – Arsenal, United and Manchester City – so he is more than capable. "Raheem is an offensive player, an attacking player, a creative player who works hard is N’Golo Kante is in doubt for Wednesday’s European Super Cup final after he picked up a knock in the loss to Manchester United.Kante came on as a substitute in the 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford as he was still recovering from a knee injury.And Lampard f he is given that opportunity, whether at the point of a diamond or on the sides." How far will England get at the World Cup?9000+ VOTES SO FAR Rodgers in fact, believes that with what amounts to a Liverpool heart, England can have a far greater impact in Brazil that the nation expects…and he is predicting a World Cup to remember if Hodgson is brave. "It's not as easy as simply having that Liverpool core as the whole mind-set has to be aligned. The success we have here is because we are a team, with a real belief in a way of working and playing. "We have a very structured way in which we work. People see our movement and fluidity and there is a freedom within that, but there is still a responsibility when you haven't got the ball. "As long as they all buy into that, that's important. But if you assess the talent, and can allow it to flourish and give them confidence you never know where that can take them. "They will go without the expectancy, which may help. There is a lot of talent in the squad, a lot of players coming off the back of really good seasons. "They can go, play with freedom and do very well."