Gerrard: Man Utd bought one of my toughest rivals

first_imgNemanja Matić Gerrard reveals Man Utd summer transfer star Matic one of his toughest opponents Robin Bairner Last updated 2 years ago 19:50 10/19/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Nemanja Matic Manchester United Getty Manchester United Huddersfield Town v Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool Huddersfield Town Tottenham Hotspur Liverpool Premier League The former England man could not believe it when Chelsea allowed the 29-year-old to depart this summer for a mere £35 million Former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard believes that Nemanja Matic is one of the fiercest opponents he has ever played and admits he really did not want to see the Serbian join Manchester United.Matic made the surprise switch to Old Trafford from Chelsea in the summer for £35 million and has since established himself as a fulcrum of Jose Mourinho’s squad.United 9/2 to beat Huddersfield 2-0 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 United have stormed into second in the Premier League standings after eight games and Gerrard believes the 29-year-old is the ideal signing for the Red Devils.“He’s one of the toughest opponents I’ve played against as a No.6,” the Liverpool legend told BT Sport. “He’s very leggy, he’s good in the air, he competes, he always gets a toe in, he can run and match your runs.”He’s very aggressive with the ball and without the ball, he can burst past you with it and he can catch you if you manage to stride past him on the odd occasion.Nemanja Matic Manchester United“I think out of all the Manchester United players I’ve seen them sign over the years he’s the one, as a Liverpool fan, I thought ‘Oh no. I hope not,’ and then it happened. I couldn’t believe it.”Ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes agreed with the assessment. “He’s had a great start at United. He’s been aggressive, he gets to the ball, he tackles. He’s done well so far,” he said.Matic has played 12 matches so far this season for the Old Trafford side and has yet to score his first goal for them.last_img read more

Modeste not interested in Bayern

first_imgAnthony Modeste ‘I’d always be Lewandowski’s back-up’ – Bayern move a non-starter for Modeste Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 21:57 11/12/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Anthony Modeste 12212016 Getty Images Bayern München Tianjin Tianhai Köln CSL Bundesliga Transfers The striker is open to returning to the Bundesliga after departing Germany for China, but Bayern Munich would not be of interest to him Tianjin Quanjian striker Anthony Modeste is open to a return to Bundesliga but has no interest in playing back-up to Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich.The Frenchman excelled during his two years at Koln, scoring 40 league goals in 68 games before securing a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.Germany 13/2 to beat France 1-0 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 Modeste cost Tianjin a reported £31 million when he moved in July and, although he has seven goals in eight league appearances in China, he was not shy to acknowledge that he is missing Germany.Only a handful of Bundesliga clubs would be able to afford the 29-year-old these days and when a move to Bayern was put to him, he was quick to rule out such a transfer.”I’m not someone who sits on the bench behind Lewandowski,” he told Express . “You can train as well as you want, you are always his replacement.”I am 29 years old and have no time to lose. Although I would be German champion with Bayern, I would not like it.”A footballer always wants to play. Even now, when I am in Cologne for two months in the Chinese seasonal break, I would of course like to go to the Geissbockheim [Cologne’s training ground] and work with the boys and play football.”The forward admitted that living in China has been tough so far, but is still happy with the move.Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich“I live in a large hotel facility. That’s better than a flat in the middle of nowhere, but it’s not like home,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of new and good experiences in China. However, being alone there without my family is difficult for me. “The days are not as busy as in Koln. Usually I’m in the gym in the morning and training in the afternoon. The time in between I usually spend with the teammates who also live in the hotel complex. I’m not the type to explore the city alone.”In my view, I hardly had any other options. Ultimately, the move was fine for everyone. Koln earned money from selling me. I also have a very good contract myself. I’m satisfied because I can play football and I just love this sport.”last_img read more

Spain seal finals spot while Iceland take giant stride towards first World Cup

first_img Read more The 2010 world champions are now guaranteed to finish in top spot as Italy – who started the day three points behind in second – could only draw at home to FYR Macedonia in what was the penultimate round of fixtures.Pique’s night at Alicante’s Jose Rico Perez stadium did not run quite so serenely, however. The Barcelona defender has found himself headline news and in the firing line following last weekend’s controversial independence referendum in Catalonia.Pique, a vocal supporter of Catalan independence, voted in the violence-hit election that been declared illegal by the Spanish government, then later offered to quit La Roja if his presence became a problem.Pique has since found support from within the national team, but has also been the subject of boos from irate Spain fans throughout the week.The 30-year-old was under fire again during Friday’s fixture with Albania, with a mixed reception when his name was read out ahead of kick-off followed by boos when he touched the ball – although there was applause for the centre-back as well.In Group I Berg Gudmundsson and Birkir Bjarnason gave Iceland a two-goal cushion heading into half-time in Istanbul and things got even better for Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team four minutes into the second half when Kari Arnason extended the lead.The defeat ended Turkey’s hopes of qualifying but Iceland moved two points clear at the top of the table heading into the final round of matches – when they face bottom-placed Kosovo – after Croatia could only draw at home to Finland.A stoppage-time equaliser from Pyry Soiri left qualification out of the hands of Croatia, who led through Mario Mandzukic’s 57th-minute tap-in.Croatia face a tough last game away to Ukraine, who can still qualify themselves after a Leart Paqarada own goal and a Andriy Yarmolenko effort saw them win 2-0 in Kosovo to join the Croats on 17 points. news Iceland Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Spain World Cup 2018 qualifiers Daryl Murphy keeps Republic of Ireland World Cup hopes alive against Moldova Topics Share on LinkedIn Spain sealed their place in next year’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Albania while Iceland are on the verge of their first finals after recording a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Turkey in Istanbul.First-half goals from Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago helped make it eight wins from nine matches in Group G for Julen Lopetegui’s unbeaten Spain side, in a match in which the La Roja centre-back Gerard Piqué was again the target of whistles and jeers. Reuse this content Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Messenger Share on Pinterestlast_img read more

Mark Hughes defiant as fans vent fury at Stoke’s loss to West Ham

first_imgDavid Moyes Topics Read more Mark Noble helps give West Ham a lift as Stoke and Mark Hughes suffer Share on Pinterest West Ham United The Observer “I know this group and I know what they can produce,” he told the BBC. “We’ll get a tune out of them and hopefully we’ll get better. We’re in this position. Maybe we’ve got some clarity now. We’re better than what we’re doing at the moment. We need to get ourselves out of our situation. I don’t want to be in a relegation battle; we need to recognise that and do something about it.”Arnautovic, who Hughes said before the match had made a “sideways” move in joining West Ham for £24m during the summer, missed several chances to make the scoreline far greater. But Hughes pointed to the controversial first-half penalty – awarded by Graham Scott after Manuel Lanzini went to ground under Erik Pieters’ challenge – as the game-changing moment and left no doubt about his interpretation.“He’s clearly dived,” Hughes said of Lanzini’s tumble. “He’s a clever player, he’ll draw a foul or some kind of challenge, but he wasn’t clipped, he’s clearly dived. It’s disappointing the referee hasn’t seen that. Referees need to get match-defining decisions correct and he certainly didn’t get that one right from our point of view.”David Moyes, who has overseen a return of seven points and three clean sheets from West Ham’s last three games, agreed the decision was questionable but believed Lanzini had simply run out of steam after a surge upfield. “I think the defender gives the referee a decision to make,” Moyes said. “I would call it ‘soft’. Manuel’s run 70 yards and he’s probably run his race at the end of it. I don’t think there’s any intent regarding a dive, I think he’s riding the tackle more than anything. I see tiredness at the end of it but I don’t see a dive.”The away fans cheered Moyes and his players from the pitch; Hughes experienced the polar opposite but resisted any temptation to complain. “That’s understandable, clearly,” Hughes said. “I thought the fans were absolutely magnificent until the second goal, driving us on, and – like ourselves down on the bench – when the second goal went in it took the wind out of our sails.” Premier League An under-fire Mark Hughes insisted he is the man to turn Stoke City’s fortunes around after a chastening 3-0 home defeat by West Ham, their fifth loss in six games, plunged them deeper into a relegation battle.Hughes was turned on by large sections of the crowd after Marko Arnautovic, the former Stoke forward, scored West Ham’s second goal 15 minutes from time. The mood was mutinous by the time Diafra Sakho added a late third but Hughes, whose team will drop into the bottom three if West Brom defeat Manchester United on Sunday, believes he can still coax more out of his players. Stoke Citycenter_img Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Share via Email Mark Hughes Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Reuse this content Share on Facebook newslast_img read more

West Ham charged by FA over breach of anti-doping rules

first_imgShare on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Topics Reuse this content Share on Twitter Share on Messenger West Ham United Share via Email West Ham have been charged with a breach of anti-doping rules after allegedly failing to abide by Football Association “club whereabouts” regulations.Clubs are required to provide up-to-date details of training sessions and where each player is located so they are available for testing at all times. But the FA claims West Ham failed to live up to these expectations on three occasions over a 12-month period. They are the third Premier League side in the past two seasons to fall foul of the rule after Manchester City and Bournemouth were previously found to have broken it.A statement from the FA on Tuesday confirmed that West Ham breached its rules. They were given seven days to respond and it is understood they will blame a computer glitch affecting the way the addresses of players appear on a form.While the club said they are treating the matter with the utmost seriousness they maintain each of the alleged breaches are accidental and by no means intentional actions to evade FA anti-doping procedures.A West Ham United spokesman said: “The breach relates to administrative oversights on the FA’s whereabouts system, for example a player’s address had been registered and the house number digits transposed, and the club will be responding to the FA in due course. We would like to make it clear that the breach is a club administrative matter and does not concern any of our players.”Sanctions tend not to be as heavy for a club as they are for an individual with three whereabouts failings. Last year Manchester City were fined £35,000 and warned about future conduct for breaching anti-doping rules when they failed on three occasions within a year to ensure their information was accurate. Although a club medic, Dr Matthew Brown, did later admit that the charge brought the club’s “badge into disrepute”. Bournemouth also received a £35,000 fine for the same offence.West Ham may receive a bigger fine as the FA reviewed its sanctions amid criticism that the punishment meted out to those two was too lenient. The FA Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook newslast_img read more

Gary Crosby: ‘Sir Alex Ferguson called and told me what a mistake I’d made’

first_imgCarabao Cup Reuse this content Gary Crosby looks slightly baffled when asked what he thinks comes up when his name is typed into Google. “I don’t know, I’ve never looked myself up once,” Burton Albion’s assistant manager says. “I’ve never watched any games back that I’ve played in – no point. So I haven’t got a clue. ‘Joiner’, hopefully, because that’s what I am.” A friendly and refreshingly down-to-earth character, Crosby has been talking candidly at Burton’s Pirelli Stadium for nearly an hour, reminiscing about the days when he was running down the right flank against miners one week and signing for Brian Clough and upsetting Alex Ferguson the next. Plucked from non-league football at 23, the winger racked up more than 150 games for Nottingham Forest between 1988 and 1994, in a period when cup finals were so commonplace for Clough and his players that Crosby has no idea how many times he appeared at Wembley.The answer takes longer to find on the internet than the footage that has arguably defined Crosby’s career. It features one of the most controversial goals in English football and was scored against Manchester City, who just happen to be Burton’s opponents in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at the Etihad. “Oh right,” says Crosby, sounding a little surprised after learning “Andy Dibble” is the answer to the Google question. “Of course, that was Man City also, wasn’t it?”Even now, almost 29 years on, Crosby’s cheeky goal is seared into the minds of a generation of football fans. It was the first thing the commentator mentioned on Match of the Day last month when Alexandre Lacazette sneaked up behind David de Gea, who was weighing up what to do after claiming a cross, and headed the ball out of the Manchester United goalkeeper’s hand before rolling it into the empty net, only for the goal to be disallowed. Dibble, in almost identical circumstances, was not so fortunate when he unwittingly served the ball to Crosby. Manchester City “Then, straight after the game, he said he’d like to sign me. I said: ‘Oh, brilliant. The only thing is I’ve given my word that I’ll play for Man United reserves on Saturday.’ Brian said: ‘If you go anywhere near Manchester United, there’s no contract here.’ So I said: ‘Where do I sign?’ On Friday evening there was a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson, saying what a mistake I’d made and that I’d given him my word I would go there. But I couldn’t take the chance of not having something. And it was the best thing I ever did, obviously.”Crosby played with Nigel, Brian’s son, at Forest and they got on well off the field too, so much so that they discussed going into management together long before an opportunity came up in 1998 at Burton, who were in the Dr Martens Premier League, on the sixth tier of the pyramid, at the time. It says much for their friendship that they are still working alongside one another 21 years later, in their second spell at the club, after stints at Derby and Sheffield United. “That’s about trust, I would say, as much as anything,” Crosby adds. “Nigel’s incredibly loyal, just like his dad was. He never thinks about himself. He’s just honest and genuine, and everything that he does has the club’s interests first. There is no thought of personal gain.”Although Crosby is Clough’s number two, he is often elsewhere on a matchday, looking at potential transfer targets or scouting opponents. Perhaps wisely, Crosby has opted against watching Pep Guardiola’s side and it soon becomes clear the 54-year-old has been in the game far too long to be persuaded that a footballing miracle could happen. “The miracle has already happened,” Crosby says. “I think people are still in a state of shock. I am, personally. You see that draw, you see Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Burton – it just looks ridiculous.”The same could be said for a certain goal. “I bobbled it in as well,” adds Crosby, smiling. “Nigel always laughs at that. The couple of goals I did score were always bobblers. I couldn’t finish like him.” Share on Messenger Read more Crosby remembers some City supporters staying behind and giving him “a bit of abuse” when he walked to his car, but says that everything soon died down. As for Dibble, he later gave the glove in question to Steve Sutton, the former Forest keeper, to auction at his testimonial, and there has never been any ill-feeling. “I’ve seen Dibbs about enough over the years that it’s just a laugh,” Crosby adds.If that goal somewhat unfairly shaped the perception of Dibble’s career, it feels as though the same is probably true for Crosby, albeit without the ridicule. “Maybe. It’s the one thing you get remembered for,” says Crosby, who was a League Cup winner with Forest in 1990. “But I had some fantastic times at Forest. Just to play in Brian Clough’s side for four or five years, that’s my biggest achievement – to be picked by him. I wasn’t always the favourite but I must have been doing something right.”Crosby had been working as a joiner for six years when Clough signed him from Grantham Town in late 1987, on the back of a recommendation from Martin O’Neill, who was the non‑league club’s manager. Nicknamed “Meat Fly” by the Forest fans because of his slight build, Crosby was thrust into a whole new world. “I first played for Forest against Villa reserves at home on a Wednesday night [in a trial match],” he says. “When I walked into the dressing room – because it was the 1980s and I used to have long hair – Brian came in and said to me: ‘You know those places with red and white poles outside?’ I said: ‘Yeah.’ He said: ‘It’s about time you visited one.’ Share on Pinterest Pep Guardiola hopeful of contract extension for Vincent Kompany Sunderland enjoy illusion of rivalry in 4-0 win over Newcastle Under-21s Burton Albion Crosby nods the ball out of Dibble’s hand before running on to score. Photograph: ITV Topicscenter_img Pinterest The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Twitter Read more It was a league game in March 1990 but Crosby can picture the scene as if it were yesterday. “I can remember it being a deep cross, going around the back, maybe with Andy Hinchcliffe, and I got nowhere near it and went to the [advertisement hoardings],” he says.“And then all I thought as I got up and started running back on to the pitch was: ‘He’s got to have that ball in two hands.’ So then I just did that [stoops to head the ball]. I don’t think I even touched his hand. Whether the referee actually saw it, or to what degree he knew what had happened, I don’t know.”City were furious. Their manager, Howard Kendall, remonstrated angrily with Roger Gifford, the referee, who was surrounded by City players. Dibble joined them and looked devastated when it was clear the goal – the only one of the game – would stand. Not surprisingly, it has featured on just about every sporting blooper video and DVD since. “I can never escape it,” Dibble said in an interview 14 years later. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter features Facebook Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Nottingham Forestlast_img read more

League One roundup: Luton seal title as Plymouth go down on goal difference

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Share on Messenger League One Share via Email Topics Share on Twitter League Two roundup: Notts County relegated while MK Dons go up Plymouth Argyle Share on Pinterest Share on Facebookcenter_img Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn It was a rollercoaster day at the foot of the table, ending with three teams on 50 points. AFC Wimbledon clung on for a point at Bradford, which meant that Argyle’s 3-2 win over Scunthorpe was not enough.Scunthorpe also return to League Two, while results elsewhere meant Walsall, who drew 0-0 at Shrewsbury, would have dropped whatever the outcome.Doncaster sealed the final play-off place with a 2-0 win over Coventry. Peterborough beat Burton 3-1, but finished seventh, a point behind Rovers.Luton beat Oxford 3-1 to seal the title, finishing three points clear of Barnsley, who lost 2-1 at Bristol Rovers.Charlton finished third via a 4-0 home win over Rochdale and Portsmouth fourth after a 1-1 draw against Accrington. Sunderland’s defeat confirmed them in fifth.• This article was amended on 5 May 2019. An earlier version said Charlton beat Rotherham rather than Rochdale. Read more Luton Town news There was heartbreak for Plymouth on the final day in League One – relegated on goal difference after Stephen Humphrys netted a late winner for Southend against Sunderland. That strike lifted Southend away from danger and sparked scenes of joy at Roots Hall, while consigning Plymouth to League Two next season. The Observerlast_img read more

Paul Scholes apologises after being fined £8,000 for breaking betting rules

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Paul Scholes resigns as Oldham manager claiming he was misled Sport betting Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Share via Email Salford City Paul Scholes has been fined and warned over his future conduct by the Football Association after placing bets worth £26,159 on football matches during his time as a director of Salford City.The former Manchester United midfielder was found to have placed 140 bets over three and a half years, in contravention of the FA’s gambling rules. The FA said these included bets on the outcome of United matches – at a time when his former teammates and fellow Salford investors Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt were working there – and one involving Valencia, when they were coached by Scholes’s friends and fellow Salford investors Gary and Phil Neville.center_img Read more The FA fined Scholes £8,000 and asked him to contribute to the costs of the tribunal. It also accepted his argument that he had not been aware of the rules, which were tightened in 2014 to prevent anyone involved in the sport from betting on any football fixture.In a statement, Scholes apologised for his conduct. “I accept [the] ruling. I would like to apologise and I understand and fully accept the fine imposed by the FA,” he said.“It was a genuine mistake and was not done with any deliberate intention to flout the rules. I wrongly believed that as long as there was no personal connection between me and any of the matches that I bet upon then there would be no issue.“However, I understand now that this is not the case and I should have taken steps to verify this at the time.”The FA became aware of Scholes’s behaviour after being informed of his betting history by the bookmaker Paddy Power at the turn of this year. An investigation was launched and incorporated information from another bookmaker Bet365.From 17 August 2015 to 12 January 2019 Scholes was found to have made eight bets on the outcome of Manchester United matches, one on a Valencia game and eight on FA Cup fixtures. The last of these was seen as the most serious breach; Salford are participants in the FA Cup, although they had been knocked out by the time Scholes placed each of the bets.Scholes said he believed the rules applied only to matches in which the gambler might be able to affect the outcome. The FA accepted this argument but said that, as an “experienced former player”, he should still have understood the laws in full.Scholes quit as a director at Salford in February to take on the manager’s role at Oldham Athletic (another club he had bet on). From the £26,159 gambled, Scholes made a net profit of £5,831. The FA Paul Scholes Share on Facebook news Topics Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Man City pay Laporte’s €65m buy-out clause

first_imgTransfers Man City pay Laporte’s €65m buy-out clause Sam Lee Last updated 1 year ago 23:18 1/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(14) Aymeric Laporte Athletic Club Getty Images Transfers Manchester City Premier League Raheem Sterling Guardiola Yaya Touré İ. Gündoğan Kevin De Bruyne Leroy Sané Sergio Agüero Athletic have confirmed that the 23-year-old will leave the club and the Premier League leaders are ready to make his arrival official on Tuesday Manchester City have triggered Aymeric Laporte’s €65 million release clause and plan to confirm his arrival from Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday.Athletic have confirmed that Laporte’s clause was paid on Monday, meaning he is no longer affiliated with the club and is now free to join the Premier League leaders.Goal revealed last Monday that City had stepped up their January transfer plans by trying to push through moves for Laporte and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred. 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 is believed that Fred is determined to join City, though Shakhtar are proving particularly reluctant to let him leave before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.Laporte’s arrival is now just a matter of time, however, and the 23-year-old has already bid farewell to his boyhood club.”So much to say with so few lines,” he said in a statement. “I want to thank everybody for what you have given me. I arrived as an adolescent and I have been formed here as a person and as a footballer.”I don’t want my exit, ahead of a new challenge in my career, to be a ‘goodbye’, but rather a ‘see you soon’. I am leaving a unique club, I will never forget it. For all of that, thank you!”The French centre-back is now expected to put pen to paper at City’s training ground in Manchester, with an official announcement scheduled for Tuesday.Sources in Spain have told Goal that City have requested that Laporte does not appear in front of the press to say his goodbyes as an Athletic player, as the Premier League leaders want to exclusively reveal him as their latest signing.City came close to signing Laporte in the summer of 2016, only for the defender to pull out at the last moment and commit himself to a new contract with the Basque club.But after missing out on several other players since then, including Dani Alves and Alexis Sanchez, City acted quickly to put his arrival in place over the past seven to 10 days, and took a big step closer to an official announcement by sending a delegation to Bilbao on Monday.last_img read more

Hazard reveals where he prefers to play

first_imgChelsea Hazard feels more at home in Chelsea wide role than false nine post Chris Burton 23:34 2/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Eden Hazard Chelsea Getty Images Chelsea Eden Hazard Premier League The Belgian has often been used as an attacking focal point by Antonio Conte this season, but he believes he offers more when operating from deep Eden Hazard admits to feeling “comfortable” and capable of contributing more to the Chelsea cause when operating out wide, rather than as a false nine.The Belgium international has been moved centrally by Antonio Conte at times this season, with the Blues prepared to function without an out-and-out striker.That was the case in their latest outing against Barcelona, with Hazard deployed down the middle, despite Chelsea having Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench. 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 A versatile performer is prepared to do whatever job is asked of him, but the 27-year-old believes he poses more of a threat when dropped a little deeper and given license to roam across the field.Hazard said after helping Chelsea to a 1-1 draw with Barca in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter: “To be honest, I like the role as a false nine.“But in games like that against quality opposition like Barcelona, it’s difficult. You don’t get a lot of balls. I might have touched 25 balls that night and 15 of them were flying toward my head.“That is not really playing to my qualities. I won some aerial duels against Gerard Pique, and that’s not bad.“But if I had to choose, I prefer to play like I did in the last 10 minutes, which was out wide. But it’s the manager who has the final word.“On the wing I feel more comfortable. That’s my place.”While Hazard’s efforts against Barca have helped to ensure that Chelsea remain in a heavyweight European encounter, he concedes that a stalemate on home soil was “a bad result”.Eden Hazard wing vs false nineThe Blues will now head to Camp Nou knowing that they have to score, but also aware of the need to keep things tight at the back against an opponent which possesses a considerable attacking threat.“In games like that you have to be 100 per cent focused. One error, one goal,” added Hazard, after seeing a stray pass from Andreas Christensen allow Andres Iniesta to tee up Lionel Messi at Stamford Bridge.“We should have scored more. We complicated it ourselves. A draw is a bad result.“We won’t be able to think defensively in Barcelona. If we only think about defending, we’ll be in a lot of trouble. We will go to try to win. We have to win, we have to score.”last_img read more

De Gea will start final – Mourinho

first_imgDavid de Gea De Gea will start FA Cup final – Mourinho Joe Wright 06:59 5/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) David de Gea Getty Images David de Gea Chelsea v Manchester United Manchester United Chelsea FA Cup José Mourinho The Manchester United manager confirmed the Spain international will face Chelsea at Wembley David de Gea will start in goal for Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has confirmed.De Gea played in the semi-final win over Tottenham but Sergio Romero had previously featured throughout United’s cup run.The Argentina goalkeeper also played against Watford in United’s last Premier League game of the season, sparking speculation he could get the nod at Wembley Stadium. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Mourinho, though, confirmed De Gea will wear the gloves as United bid to collect their first trophy of the season.”Yeah, De Gea plays,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday. “He [Romero] was injured for a long, long time – around two-and-something months.”He didn’t play some matches that normally would be his matches, the semi-final against Tottenham, a couple more matches before the final. He trained only one week before the Watford match, and a little bit more before.”And that’s the reason. It’s not about trust, it’s not about my confidence in him, because you could have felt [trust and confidence] last season when the Europa League final was a much, more important match than this one.”Because the Europa League was giving us the possibility to play Champions League and that is the first objective of any top-six club – to finish [in the] top four – and because we didn’t, it was to win the Europa League.”And I played the Europa League final with Sergio, so it’s not about confident or no confidence, it’s about the process of the last couple of months since he had an important injury against Spain.”De Gea claimed his first Premier League Golden Glove after another stellar campaign, while he also collected United’s Player of the Year gong for a record fourth time.last_img read more

Martinez saw Man City & Barca moves blocked

first_imgTransfers Martinez accuses Real Sociedad of blocking Man City & Barcelona moves Joe Wright 00:09 5/27/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Inigo Martinez Athletic Bilbao Getty Transfers Manchester City Barcelona Primera División Premier League The Spain international saw proposed switches fall through in 2017 and January and has taken a swipe at his former club’s president, Jokin Aperribay Inigo Martinez has accused Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay of blocking a move to Manchester City, after a transfer to Barcelona also fell through.The centre-back caused a stir when he left Anoeta to join Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao in January as a replacement for Aymeric Laporte, who had joined City for a fee of €65 million (£57m/$76m).Martinez had himself been linked with a move to the Premier League club, while it had looked likely he would join Barca in the previous transfer window only for the deal to collapse at the last moment. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now The 27-year-old thinks the interest from Camp Nou cooled because of “internal” disagreements at the club, but he has laid the blame for his failed City switch at the feet of Aperribay.”You see they [City] are really interested, they give the ‘okay’, but strange things happen,” he told  Diario de Gipuzkoa . “You’re already pissed off and you wonder if it’s chance. Well, no, it wasn’t chance.”The same thing happened with Barcelona, it seemed. If I was annoyed before, that finished me. The ‘no’ from Barcelona wasn’t because of a Real issue, although they tried, but because of an internal issue at Barca.”Here, though, the non-consideration on City’s part was motivated 100 per cent by some position at Real that I prefer not to comment on.”Martinez’s reported €32m (£28m/$37m) switch to Athletic caused great bitterness at his former club, who offered fans the chance to exchange any shirts bearing the player’s name for a new jersey with the name of their choice.Animosity among fans was increased when Martinez claimed he could not refuse the salary increase offered by Athletic and took a swipe at Sociedad’s ambitions, adding: “I’m going to a big club; here, it’s not enough to finish mid-table.”Now, the Spain international says he was also motivated to leave the club because Aperribay did not do enough to convince him to stay.Inigo Martinez Real Sociedad“He knew what might happen and it seemed as though he was the only person who didn’t know or didn’t want to know. He spoke to my people as if nothing was going on,” he explained.”It was another case of feeling deceived because at no point did he say: ‘Let’s get together tomorrow and talk’. Elsewhere, he was saying how important I was and how much he wanted me to stay, that I was a pillar of La Real… but in the end it was just talk and he didn’t do anything. Or he just buried his head in the sand.”But it was another kick in the arse because I could see that he wasn’t going to do anything to try and persuade me to stay at Real Sociedad.”Martinez added: “He closed the door on me when he had always said that, if an offer came in, he’d listen to it. He didn’t keep his promise and that annoyed me. I could see that the way I was being treated was completely different to other players.”You take these things on board and there comes a moment when you have to make a decision. I’m a defender, I came through the ranks and they got a good price for me. Others have left for nothing and they’ve patted them on the back.”last_img read more

Laudrup reveals inspiration behind iconic celebration

first_imgWorld Cup Laudrup reveals inspiration behind iconic 1998 World Cup celebration Naim Beneddra Last updated 1 year ago 14:30 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Brian Laudrup Brazil 1998 Getty World Cup Denmark Brazil The Denmark legend scored against Brazil in the quarter-finals in France 20 years ago and has explained the source of his goal celebration Brian Laudrup has revealed the inspiration behind his famous goal celebration for Denmark against Brazil at the 1998 World Cup in France.The two sides met in the quarter-finals in Nantes and Laudrup levelled the match up at 2-2 in the 50th minute when he thundered the ball into the top corner.He ran off in celebration before simply laying down and resting on his elbow, and Laudrup revealed the idea for the celebration came via his son.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move “It was not really prepared but, before the game, my son said to me ‘Dad, you’re so boring when you celebrate after the goals. Come out with something’,” Laudrup told Goal.“And I was a little inspired by Roberto Di Matteo. I remembered when watching Chelsea’s games, he scored a goal and he lay down more or less in the same way. I thought he looked like he actually resisted it, because all the other players came and joined him.“So, I said ‘OK, if I score against Brazil, I will do something similar’. But I didn’t tell anybody. I kept it to myself. And I scored, it was a pretty nice goal. So, that’s why I did such a strange thing! People still talk about that, and still remember. It was good.”During the game itself, Denmark were huge underdogs going into the match, but they put up a brave fight before eventually being beaten 3-2. Brazil, who eventually lost 3-0 to France in the final, scored the winner through Rivaldo shortly after Laudrup’s equaliser, but the Denmark legend looks back on the game fondly. He added: “For any footballer, and especially from our part of the world, playing against Brazil is always something unique. It’s not where football was invented, but if you ask all of the players who they would like to play against in a World Cup, they will say Brazil.“Playing in the quarter-finals of the World Cup against Brazil is very particular, it puts a lot of pressure on you until the final whistle of the game, but it also motivates and excites you. That was always absolutely fantastic.“A lot of people said before the game that Denmark would lose easily. But we played really well. Sometimes, in our part of the world, people described us, because of our style of play, as the Brazilians of Scandinavia. I don’t know if that’s true. But playing against the real Brazil was absolutely incredible. And that’s one of the memorable games that I played in at such a high level. There is no doubt about that.” This current Denmark team qualified for the World Cup through the play-off rounds by beating Republic of Ireland and were then drawn in Group C alongside Australia, Peru and France.Laudrup has been impressed by Denmark in the lead-up to the tournament, and he is ‘quietly confident’ about their chances in Russia.He said: “I think we’re in a new era. Because we had the same manager for 16 years, Morten Olsen and, today with Age Hareide, we have a new coach, with different ideas. There is a more direct way of playing, with a lot of pressure on the ball.“I’m quietly confident about the World Cup. I think that, if we use the strength that we have, and we avoid injuries, we can get to the next stage. But then, and we all know it, it depends on luck and how we will be on D-Day.”Hopefully France, who are favourites will maybe finish first, and Denmark will take second place and get to the next stage. And that would be a good achievement for Denmark.”last_img read more

2008 Defence Nationals

first_imgThe 2008 Defence Nationals will be played at the Williamtown RAAF Base from Monday 13 October 2008.Players competing in the tournament will be vying for a place in National Defence teams to compete at next year’s NTL in Port Macquarie in March.ACT/Country is favourite to win the Championship CB after taking out the title last year.There are three divisions competing at the Nationals; Senior Men’s, Women’s Open and Men’s Open.The tournament consists of four days of round games, with semi finals and finals to be played on Friday 17 October 2008. To find out results from the Defence Nationals during the competition, click on the link:  http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-6027-0-78475-0&sID=83287Related Filesadta_nationals_2008_draw__al1__1_-pdflast_img

General Manager – QTA

first_imgQTA will be looking to strengthen and broaden the services, role and activities of QTA and is seeking a General Manager to drive and deliver these plans.QTA has recently completed its Strategic Planning process for the next 3 years and believes it is now in a position to ensure that the sport progresses through the monumental change process it has embarked upon. QTA’s priorities will also centre on the delivery of ‘best practice’ administration/management and sport delivery.An appropriate remuneration package will be negotiated with the successful candidate. Applications are now called for the position and the following information pertains to the application process:Schedule The QTA board intends to commence the screening and interview process as soon as possible.  The following schedule applies:·         21 April – Applications open for position·         7 May – Applications close for position of GM·         21 May – Interview process to be completed Applications Expressions of interest from candidates should be forwarded by no later than COB the 7th May 2010 to Dianne Worters via email only to di@qldtouch.com.au .  All expressions of interest are to be downsized with PDF.Format QTA requests a 2 page letter of introduction and an accompanying CV.EnquiriesIn the first instance general enquiries should be directed to Dianne Worters on 0439 210 172 or email di@qldtouch.com.auMore information on the position is available upon request.Related Filesgeneral_manager_pd-doclast_img read more

Elite Eight Logo Unveiled

first_imgThe Elite Eight divisions will debut at the 2011 X-Blades National Touch League (NTL) at the Port Macquarie Regional Stadium from Wednesday, 9 March 2011 until Saturday, 12 March 2011 inclusive.Please click on the media release below for more information. Related Filesmedia_release_memo_-_ntl__16_9_2010_-pdflast_img

10 months agoBrighton attacker Pascal Gross staying calm over Liverpool rumours

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Brighton attacker Pascal Gross staying calm over Liverpool rumoursby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton attacker Pascal Gross is staying grounded over talk of interest from Liverpool.Gross is being linked with a £15m January move to Anfield.”I do not read the papers, but then maybe some friends or here (in the club) see it and joke about it,” Gross told The Argus. “I have nothing to say about it.”I really enjoy it here and I am very happy to play in the Premier League with Brighton. I hope we can continue as we have done. Right now it’s all I care about. Everything else is not my concern.” last_img