Month: April 2019

  • Premier League beware — Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante aims to get EVEN BETTER as he nears back-to-back titles

    is determined to make a clean sweep of this season's remaining domestic trophies - and is convinced he can improve on the superb player he already is. legend Frank Lampard has already after the France international pushed the Blues one step closer to winning the Double on Monday night. Kante has been a remarkable buy for Chelsea, as the £32million he cost to sign from champions Leicester last summer was only just over a THIRD of Paul Pogba’s world record £89m price-tag when he left Juventus for Manchester United in that same window. Bave reached an out-of-court settlement with former chief exec Keith Wyness.The Daily Mail says Wyness was pursuing a claim for unfair dismissal, and that his case included an allegation that his suspension shortly before his departure was related to ut it looks as if Pogba is the £30m player — he’s good, but has hardly set the world alight for United so far and we are still waiting for him to show his full potential. In contrast, the diminutive Kante has been hugely influential for Chelsea, his midfield performances helping boss Antonio Conte towards a remarkable league and FA Cup Double in his first season in England. Kante believes Conte can help him become even better, after revealing the Chelsea boss is encouraging him to get forward and add goals to his game, like the one he scored in over Pogba and United. It is a frightening thought for every other Premier League midfielder because Kante is already bossing the rest of them — every bit as influential for Chelsea this season as he was in Leicester’s title success last year. Conte, a formcontent_imger midfielder with Juventus and the Italy national team, wants to make Kante - who has now scored twice this season after managing just one goal in his sole season with Leicester - a complete player, rather than settle for having the best anchorman in the business. Kante said: “We know he (Conte) was a midfielder, we know his career, we can respect what he did. When he gives you advice, I have to understand and try to improve. “Not especially to score goals. But when I have the pass, to look forward, to try to make me improve. But also when we have the chance to score, we like to create chances and score. “It’s important. Sometimes it could make the difference for the team, for the game, and when we have the chances to score, we have to score.” It made a big difference for Chelsea as Kante scored the only goal on Monday night to take the champions-elect against Tottenham next month. After winning the Premier League in his first campaign in England last season, Kante is now on course to go even better. Chelsea are ten points clear at the top of the table and Kante insists they have learned from their defeat by Spurs at White Hart Lane in January which ended their remarkable 13-game league winning run. The 25-year-old, a snip of a signing for the Foxes at just £5.6m from French side Caen in summer 2015, said: “We have the chance to play for both competitions. "In the league, we are in a good position but there are still a lot of games, and anything can happen. In the cup it is more difficult, because if you miss your chance you go out. Difficult, but we are happy to play at the semi-finals. “We are going to fight for every competition, in the league and the cup. "The next game in the league, we have to prepare very well this game. The cup is a target, we are going to play to win every game, we are going to play to win against Tottenham. “We have to win every game. First we are going to try to win the next game in the league, against Stoke, and when the cup comes, we are going to try to win. It is a good challenge. “I think Tottenham is a strong team. When you play there, they play very well, they scored twice, and they deserved to win that game. “I think when we lost, we have to think about why we lost. That’s what we do. Tottenham was our last defeat, we have to keep going, we react very well after Tottenham and we have to keep going. We have lear fans while stuck in traffic following Sunday's draw against Crystal Palace.A video posted to social media shows a number of supporters surrounding Aubameyang's chrome Lamborghini Aventador as he tries to make his way home from the Emirates Stadium.Oned from our defeat.” The semi-final will see Kante's Wembley debut. He said: “I am going to discover this stadium. I’m happy. It’s a chance to play in this stadium. I hope we can have a good game there.” Will Chelsea win the Double this year?2000+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • Gary Cahill to wear protective mask for England after breaking his nose twice this season

    will content_imgplay with a prot the pitch? Or is it for a nice write up in the local rag and some smiley face approval on social media...?The debate around Arsenal's new skipper really should've been a non-starter. Captain of his country. Popular with teammates. And 100 per cent bective mask in both games in their Euro 2016 double header. The defender, 29, broke his nose in pre-season but has refused to stop playing, even though he has since broken it again. Cahill said: “I have had a bit of a nightmare since the start of the season. “We played Barcelona pre-season and I scored the goal in the last minutes of the game, heading over the keeper. But by doing that he has come out and punched me straight in the nose. It has started from there. “Then I hurt it against Arsenal, then against Manchester City I got smashed in the nose again and broke in two different places. “It’s not ideal but that’s the situation and it’s better that I wear the mask and play than not wear it and have to sit out. “ Antoine Griezmann is unhappy at Barcelona.Former Real Sociedad coach Lasarte gave Griezmann his first team breakthrough at San Sebastian as a youngster.The Uruguayan told Esports Cope: "Antoine is sad. But I don't think it's because he's not the besI will wear the mask to protect my nose until it’s healed. When it is healed the mask goes and I carry on as normal.” How far will England go at Euro 2016?4000+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • Antonio Conte is finding his nirvana – and it smells like team spirit

    Antonio Conte is taking players on a glorious journey – and not just to the Riverside On Sunday. The dark lord of Stamford Bridge is carrying more than just his swarthy good looks to the north-east. A group of focused, motivated and hungry players is accompanying him. Yes, whatever it is that the tough Italian taskmaster is saying in that dressing room, the players are clearly buying into his methods. The five-goal demolition of Everton a fortnight ago was as dominant a ­performance as you are likely to see. And a group who have, at times, looked as though stepping on to the pitch was about as palatable as a trip to the dentist’s look transformed. Conte himself has said in the past that being a good coach “encompasses everything”. Defeat to Arsenal has prompted a re-think at Chelsea’s swanky training headquarters in Cobham. The Italian binned a back four, made David Luiz his defensive kingpin, ­depl join Everton.The Feyenoord winger is set to move to the Premier League this summer, five years after leaving Watford.Berghuis has 22 goals and 11 assists in the Eredivisie this season.But Van Der Vaart questions the idea of leaving the Dutch club, eoyed two wing-backs and, all of a sudden, hey presto. Pedro looks sharp and lively. Freed from defensive ­responsibility, Hazard is living up to his name as far as opposition defences are concerned and Diego Costa is loving life so much that he has forgotten to pick a scrap with anyone for at least 10 minutes. It can’t all be down to a change in tactics. Where Conte scores heavily – and where Mourinho cannot – is that he has played the game. After a scorching start to the season, Hazard acidly commented that the Italian “knows players – because he is one”. He might as well have used Jose Mourinho’s favourite mode of ­communication – the text message – and fired one up to Old Trafford. Whatever went on last season, it was the considered opinion of both this observer and the crowd at the Bridge that the players weren’t going out on a limb for the Portuguese. But Conte has somehow hot-wired into whatever makes this squad tick and, boy, is he seeing some results. Of course, this praise sets up Chelsea for an almighty fall on Teesside, but nevertheless it does raise further questions about Mourinho’s man-management. Issues have surfaced twice when the going has been relatit time to leave Chelsea.Cahill reflects fondly upon his time at Stamford Bridge but admits that it was the right time for him to depart. He told talkSPORT: "It was certainly the right time for me to go from that club and I have nothing but positive tvely good for Manchester United’s boss. First at Real Madrid, where there was a dressing-room revolt in which club icon Iker Casillas was a major player. And, second, at Stamford Bridge where all his good work second time around evaporated into thin air inside half a season. Now, we have the situation where Manchester United’s boss has fired off in public at Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw for failing to play through the pain barrier. That backfired upon the Portuguese big-time after it content_imgturned out that centre-back Smalling had broken his toe. Were I occupying the defender’s seat in the dressing-room, I’d be knocking on the manager’s door, asking why such criticism was made public. After all, Sir Alex Ferguson rarely aired dirty washing. Yet here is Smalling, out on the line to dry. It was the Scot who, addressing the Harvard Business School almost five years ago, warned against such practice. “You can’t ever lose control,” he said. “Not when you are dealing with 30 top professionals who are all millionaires. “If anyone steps out of my control, that’s them dead.” Conte has dealt with the cream of the crop at Juventus and Italy. Judging by what is happening on the pitch, he has repeated the trick in London. Mourinho bristled at suggestions that 16 years of successful management had been called into question following an indifferent start to the season. Hammering the group after the ­defeat to Fenerbahce, however ­justified, only leads to more eyebrow raising. So, one manager has a set of players who will walk barefoot over broken glass to achieve a result. Mourinho, obviously, doesn’t. And however true the tag of the Special One was at the time, he needs a way to build a few bridges. Because when you make that ­connection – as Conte has – great things can happen.
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  • El-Hadji Diouf reignites war of words with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard: “He was nothing”

    has reignited his war of words with following the Liverpool legend’s retirement on Thursday, declaring: "He was nothing". Ex-England international Gerrard, now 36, following his 18-month sojourn with LA Galaxy. Tributes have poured in to the Anfield icon, who led the Reds to their fifth European Cup success in 2005. However, Diouf has not joined those hailing Gerrard, a player and The pair spent two years as teammates at Anfield following Diouf's £10million arrival in June 2002, signed by Gerard Houllier, but Diouf struggled on Merseyside and Gerrard wrote in his 2015 autobiography that the Senegalese "did not care about football and about Liverpool." Diouf, now 35, speaking on French television, hascontent_img now declared that "the man, I do not respect." He told French TV channel SFR Sport: "People told me at Liverpool, there was some guys you could not touch, but I touch hasn't dropped his long-term interest in Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho.Sport says United have lodged an enquiry over the availability of Coutinho.The Brazil international has struggled on loan at Bayern Munich this season and Solskjaer is med them. That is why it was complicated for me." Former Arsenal midfielder alongside Diouf on TV show 'La Vestiare' questions: "Are you talking about Steven Gerrard?" Diouf responded: "I do. Stevie G and Jamie Carragher, the two scousers." Asked about Gerrard's autobiography comment, Diouf responded: "He was right, I am not a scouser. I did not come to Liverpool to buy a house and live there in the future." Then, he advances his criticism of the ex-Liverpool skipper. "When I arrived I showed him he was nothing at all," said Diouf. "He was nothing at all. "I asked him to tell me in which an beat Chelsea in the Europa League final.The Gunners now have all their attention on their upcoming trip to Baku to take on Chelsea.Van Persie believes his former club have the edge over their London rivals - although he's wary of the impact Belgiabig competition, Euros or World Cup, people think about him." As World Cup winner Petit struggled to recall Liverpool's 2005 success, Diouf exclaimed: "Here is the proof, even you cannot remember. "You are talking about Euros and World Cup. Today I owe you respect [Petit], I owe respect to Mr Zidane because you did win the World Cup." Petit fires back, hailing Gerrard as "an immense player", but Diouf counters, declaring that his issues with Gerrard are with the man, not Gerrard the player. "I repeat. I respect the player, very big player, but the man, I do not respect. And I told him, I let him know that. "With all my respect I let him know. For me in Liverpool, he was not just a player like anyone else. He had to work and play his football as I had to work and play my football. "Then as you know, there were some brown-nosers, who went to the manager to repeat what I said. That was the real problem. When Gerrard did that, we had an argument, like real men. "That is why he does not like me. He knows I say what I think, that when it is not right, no problem, I am up for it. "He could not, he was afraid of looking into my eyes. He was afraid of talking to me. Let's not forget when I arrived I did not ask for his shirt. He asked for my Senegal shirt for one of his mates." Diouf also revealed that he owes a debt of gratitude to his former Lens coach Roland Courbis, who convinced to take a chance on the Senegalese forward. “If I signed to Liverpool, it is thanks to him. I had not played the World Cup or AFCON [African Cup of Nations] yet. “Roland said to Gerard, ‘there is a kid you could be interested in, sign him, sign El Hadji Diouf. “Gerard came to see me in Lens, to talk to me, and then I started to dream." Gerrard retires
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  • Paul Pogba dines out with teammate Jesse Lingard at Nando’s ahead of Manchester United debut

    new boy shared a selfie alongside as the pair dined out in Manchester on Wednesday night. The £89million midfielder is preparing to make his debut for Jose Mourinho's side and is expected to feature against Southampton at on Friday. And he geared up for the Old Trafford encounter by enjoying a cheeky Nando's alongside former youth team pal Lingard. Pogba only returned from content_imga post-Euro 2016 holiday last week but against Claude Puel's side at Old Trafer Milan.The Argentine came off the bench to score the winner in the 2-1 triumph.“It was a great game from Juve. Inter were the most solid side in the league, they had won six out of six," Pipita told Sky Sport Italia.“We played with great characford. "You have to ask the manager but I feel very good and have been training for 10 days. I am okay," Pogba said. "I am quite used to this. I played the World Cup two years ago when at Juve cott McTominay hopes to be back sooner than expected after suffering a knee strain.There's reports he could be out for as long as eight weeks after breaking down in the win over Newcastle United."A set back is a chance to come back stronger than everand three years ago I was at the Under-20s World Cup as well. So I am okay. It is about your body and I have been training on my holidays." Fellow 2011 Youth Cup winner Lingard missed United's opening Premier League match of the season against Bournemouth with the ankle injury he sustained against Leicester in the Community Shield. However, he is expected to be fit in time for the visit of Saints and could line up alongside Pogba for the first time in United's senior team. Will Pogba score against Southampton?2000+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston admits FA charge over abusive texts to supporter

    chairman Karl Oyston has admitted to using abusive language towards a supporter, with reference to disability. The under-fire Tangerines chief after his mobile number was circulated in December. During one exchange he referred to supporter Stephen Smith as a ‘retard’ and told him to ‘enjoy the rest of your special needs day out’. He apologised but Smith made an official complaint to the FA, Oyston originally denied the charge but has now admitted five breaches of FA rules, with a hearing scheduled for June 9. A statement read: "The charges arise from a text message exchange where Mr Oyston used abusive and/or insulting words towards a supporter of Blackpool FC, which were aggravated by acontent_img reference to disability." The Seasiders' chairman continues to come under pressure from the club's supporters for the way in which he is running Blackpool. Fans staged protests throughout the season The Chaer penned his deal earlier this week.White said: “I'm absolutely delightcurrent board.The Catalan candidate for the Blaugrana's elections which are set to be held in 2021 stressed that the current board's era is coming to an end."We are in favour of the institutional stability in general," he told Cope."The club's board ed to have signed.“It's something I've been aiming to achieve since I've been here at Newcastle and it's something I've worked extremely hard for as well.“It's a proud momempionship fixture was called to a halt just after half-time after a large amount of fans bypassed stewards to make their way onto the field of play. The referee eventually abandoned the game but supporters did not stop there and tried to make their way to the directors' box to confront the Oyston family. The Seasiders finished bottom of the Championship with just 26 points from 46 matches, with boss . It was announced last month that Blackpool following relegation. Will Karl Oyston walk away from Blackpool?500+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • Stan Collymore takes to Twitter to mock internet troll after court issues restraining order

    Ex-footballer took to Twitter to mock an internet troll who was given a restraining order for sending him hundreds of abusive tweets. The former and player turned detective to identify troll Taidgh Hughes who had bombarded him with 850 abusive tweets. The month-long campaign of abuse culminated in the controversial radio pundit receiving an obscene racist message about his mother. At one point Collymore received 250 messages in a single day from the 25-year-old who works in a care home. Collymore, 45, managed to track down the anonymous troll and pass his details to police. Hughes has now appeared in court and was issued a five year restraining order and given a community service order. Afterwards Collymore tweeted "Anyone remember Taidgh Hughes? Started a troll page a couple of years ago with a barrage of abuse? 12 month community order, 10 rehabilitation days, 120 hrs unpaid work, 5 yrs restraining order. What you get for trolling." A court heard Hughes hid behind the @Stanblockedclub Twitter handle after his own account was blocked by Collymore. He sent the the former Aston Villa forward images of Adolph Hitler, Jimmy Saville and Michael Jackson with the player's face superimposed onto them. Collymore recognised a Tesco mobile emblem in the photos from previous tweets and trawled through Hughes personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. He found Hughes, of Christchurch, Dorset, had posted the same doctored images as well as uploading screengrabs of their clashes. After he passed on the troll's details to Dorset Police, Collymore messaged him over Twitter posting: "Hey @tiggyhughes, how are you today? Knock knock? Who's there? Dorset! Dorset who? Dorset CID." And: "Police have you bang to rights. You're in deep deep trouble." After Hughes was arrested he gave two no comment interviews to police but pleaded guilty to persistently making use of a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety to Stanley Collymore under the Communications Act 2003. In 1998 Collymore infaastle United boss Steve Bruce is confident Joelinton will come good.Neither Brazilian Joelinton, who has played just two games since his £40million summer move to Tyneside, nor Paraguay international Miguel Almiron have yet found the back of the netmously struck his then partner Ulrika Jonsson which led to a barrage of criticism. Jason Spellman, prosecuting at Bournemouth magistrares' court, said Hughes tweeted Collymore twice on April 21 last year, asking him to retweet an article about domestic violence awareness. Collymore felt the contact was 'sarcastic' and 'blocked' the defendant's account. Mark Price, mitigating, said the defendant started thcontent_imge abuse after the former footballer invited his 765,000 Twitter followers to send Hughes abuse after he took issue with Collymore for calling Ms Jonsonn an "obsolete old banger". Mr Price said: "Mr Hughes sent the victim a [tweet] and he didn't like it. "[Mr Collymore] started getting his followers to send Mr Hughes abuse to start with. He said, 'It's bittersweet seeing all my followers abuse someone.'" It was after this that Hughes sent the domestic violence tweets. Mr Price said: "This is how it all began." He added that Hughes regretted sending the message about 's mother. As well as being senteleted 90 minutes as they came from two goals down to draw with Liverpool at Meadow Park.The Spaniard came close to an opener when he drove through the visitors' defence and fired a shot at goal but Ben Winterbottom saved well at his near post. Matt Mnced to the restraining order, Hughes was also ordered to pay court costs of £145.
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  • Cristiano Ronaldo posts picture of himself with Nike branded trainers, clothes… and private jet

    Many believe Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest star on sportswear giant Nike's books - and a new photo seems to bcontent_imgack that up The Real Madrid star posted a picture on his Twitter account showing him dressed head to toe in Nike gear, but his affinity with the brand goes much further. The snap suggests 32, even seems to have his own Nike branded private jet. Ronaldo signed new deal with Nike late last year. Speaking at the time, he described the company as part of his family. "I look at this new contract as [being] for life. I'm a member of the family but I have to say that Nike's is the best, for me and my opinion," said Ronaldo. "They do things that no-one [else] can do. I have a great relationship with this brand with great friends here in the company, specific people who work with me. "This means a lot for me because I can give my feedback to them, they can listen to my opinions so we work s backing Nabil Fekir for success in Spain.Fekir completed his surprise move from Lyon on Monday for a fee of just 19.75 million euros.Perez has likened the deal to the arrival of Denilson.Betis signed Brazilian Denilson from Sao Paulo in 1998 for a as a family. Gareth Bale, meanwhile, claims that he does not know if Ronaldo will still be his team-mate next season. But Bale is keeping his fingers crossed that the four-time will remain with the European champions. Ronaldo's future at Real was brought into question when he made a shock revelation that he wanted to quit the club following accusations of tax evasion. The 32-year-old, who had been linked with a return to , has remained silent on his future since then and it remains to be seen if Real's all-time record goalscorer will line up for Zinedine Zidane's men at the start of the coming season. Bale hopes that will be the case, but insists he has no inside knowledge as to what his team-mate - who last November signed a contract tying him to Real until 2021 - will end up doing. Asked if he thinksnot planning to offer James Chester a new contract.The 31-year-old arrived at Stoke City on loan in January, and is staying there for the rest of the season.And Villa will not stand in his way of securing a new club in the summer.Chester moved to Sto Ronaldo wants to leave, Bale told Spanish newspaper Marca: "I've not read anything, I haven't got a clue about what's going to happen. Look, I only found out yesterday that (Romelu) Lukaku has signed for Manchester United... I honestly don't know. "You'll have to ask him." But on whether Bale wants Ronaldo to remain at the Bernabeu, the former Tottenham forward was much clearer, saying: "Of course, we won titles, we did well, we don't need to change anything."
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  • Over 4,000 Euro 2016 gambling arrests made as police clamp down on illegal betting

    Over 4,000 people have been arrested following co-ordinated raids in a clampdown on illegal gambling during Police made arrests in China, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as part of Operation SOGA VI - the sixth investigation into by Interpol, the organisation which facilitates cross-border police work. A second operation, called Aces, targeted illicit betting websites and call centre-type operations in Cambodia, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. More thanchester United legend Bryan Robson retains hope of their season getting on track.Robson feels if the squad tighten up in certain areas, they'll start to move up the table.“What they've got to do is just go out and enjoy the game, stick to the forma £10million was seized in the two operations, although Interpol estimates the illegal dens handled nearly £500m in betcontent_imgs during Euro 2016. "Illegal gambling generates massive profits for organised crime networks which are often linked to corruption, human trafficking and money laundering," said Jim 42-year old is under increasing pressure after Everton dropped into the bottom three at the weekend and disgruntled fans have been calling for change, says the Everton-boss-Marco-Silva-expected-remain-charge-Premier-League-clash-West-Ham.html">Daily Anderson, the head of Interpol's anti-corruption and financial crimes unit. The six SOGA operations have resulted in more than 12,500 arrests in total, the seizure of £40m in cash and the closure of more than 3,400 illegal gambling dens which handled almost £4.85billion worth of bets. But as impressive as these numbers look, one of the world's foremost experts on illegal betting and match-fixing is unconvinced that Interpol's approach is working. "Interpol has been co-ordinating anti-sport gambling operations in Asia for years now, always with big arrest and seizure figures of the easy-to-detect smaller street operators," said Chris Eaton, a former senior policeman from Australia who has since worked for Interpol, world football's governing body FIFA and the International Centre for Sports Security in Qatar. "The big organised online gambling operators turning over billions - often infiltrated if not controlled by criminals in safe-haven countries like the Philippines and Malaysia - escape this attention. "These big international operators under quasi-legal cover are massively vulnerable to fraud and are the source of most of the cash that funds and inspires match-fixing. "Small-scale and token police operations look good, but tend to enhance the mega illegal operators by cutting out the smaller ones. In this sense it is counter-intuitive. "Only co-ordinated global government intervention will and save sport, and Interpol would be wiser to encourage this than play with the minor leagues of illegal gambling."
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  • Lucy Ward vows to return to football after winning unfair dismissal and sex discrimination case against Leeds

    Lucy Ward made a pointed swipe at and said her employment tribunal victory over was a win for colleagues who were unable to bring about similar claims. Ward successfully pursued an unfair dismissal and sex discrimination case against Leeds, claiming she was sacked as the club's education and welfare officer because she was former head coach Neil Redfearn's partner. Leeds denied wrongdoing and said she was dismissed for exceeding annual leave entitlement after working for the BBC at the 2015 Women's World Cup. and she issued a statement on Twitter on Thursday morning. She stated her desire to return to work in footcontent_imgball after her career was "destroyed on a whim". "This has been a nightmare 10 months for me and my family," she wrote. "I had spent 17 years building up an excellent reputation in football for it all to be destroyed on a whim by the current ownership of this wonderful club, Leeds United. "My record is now exonerated, my name is cleared and I look forward to getting back Clasico next week against Real Madrid.Messi believes that Zinedine Zidane's men will be in good shape at the Camp Nou.The Argentine emphasised the idiosyncrasy of a derby game such as the Clasico, where anything can happen."I expect a very strong Mainto work in football. "This result is for all my friends and colleagues who also had to leave the clubime at Manchester City.Denis has been discussing his time in England.“At first it was fine. I got there and I went on pre-season with the first team to the United States, I debuted with the first team in the first round of cup when I was 17 years o through no choice of their own and who weren't in a position, for whatever reason, to fight. You know who you are." Ward said she did not wish to leave Elland Road. She added: "This is bitter sweet for me as I loved my job, love the club, and I'm extremely proud of every young man that I have had the honour to work with throughout the 17 years. I never wanted to leave."
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  • Marc Bartra visited by former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets as he recovers in Germany

    Marc Bartra was visitesk that boss Jurgen Klopp faces at the club.With the Reds winning the Champions League and going within an inch of the Premier League title last season, expectations are at an all time high.And Krawietz knows that setting even higher standards with td by former teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets as he continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in the Borussia Dortmund bus blast. The defender suffered a broken wrist at the team coach was targeted on its way to the homcontent_imge leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Monaco. Three small explosions forced a window on the bus to shatter and caused the injury to Bartra. The match, scheduled for Tuesday evening last week, waZinedine Zidane defended his players after their 0-0 draw with Real Betis.Despite the result, Zidane suggested that Real Madrid performed with perfect rhythm and intensity but simply failed to convert their chances.Joel Robles was in fine form, makins delayed until the following day. Monaco ran out 3-2 winners. Alba uploaded a snap of the trio to his Instagram page, with Bartra's arm bandaged up. He captioned: “What a joy to see you and share your laughs together, my friend.” Barta, 26, spent seven seasons at the Nou Camp before switching to Dortmund last season, where has has made 23 appearances. His Dortmund teammates paid tribute to him by holding up a shirt with his name on it prior to their 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday On the bus incident, Bartra said: “The pain, the panic and the uncertainty of not knowing what was going on, or how long it would last were the longest and hardest 15 minutes of my life.”
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  • Liverpool players arrive at Manchester hotel ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash at Old Trafford

    Jurgen Klopp and his have checked into their Manchester hotel ahead of Thursday's European clash with Manchester United. Reds boss is treating the return leg of their massive Europa League showdown as a full-scale European away tie — including staying overnight and training at Old Trafford the day before the game. refused to do the same for the first leg, with getting special dispensation from FIFA to be allowed to train at his club’s Carrington complex and only travel to 's Anfield stadium on the day of the game. Rules state visiting sides in European competitions must stay within 27 miles of the hosts’ stadium the day before a game. With Manchester and Liverpool 35 miles apart by road, Van Gaal’s team were supposed to stay in a hotel on Merseyside. Klopp has elected to do the opposite however, checking in on Wednesday afterno Mattia Caldara says he's determined to succeed with AC Milan.The 25-year-old has yet to play a Serie A game for the Rossoneri since his arrival from Juventus in the summer of 2018content_img due to first an Achilles problem and then an ACL injury.But Beppe Rison before he and his players headed out to train on enemy territory in the early evening. Speaking Jurgen Klopp insisted there was "no way" he and his side were going to pass up a free turn of preparing at Old Trafford. "I enjoy to breathe the stadium the night before the game," explained Klopp. "There was no way we weren't going to take opportunity to train here. "It was a good night for us last week. But at the same time it's only halfway. We'll go into the game confident we can finish the job" Klopp's side arrive at Old Trafford in the driving seat after their comfortable 2-0 win over United in the first leg. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring with a first-half penalty before Roberto Firmino fired into the roof of the net in the second period. In pictures - Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Former Liverpool favourite John Aldridge says the Reds will seal a spot in the last eight "The messagni Ceballos... myth slayer? He may only be a few weeks into his Arsenal career, but he's making a pretty good job of it.Back in Spain and back in the La Roja squad this week, Ceballos is making things a little uncomfortable, even tense, for those inse from Jurgen Klopp to his Liverpool players should be: 'Play with no fear', he declared, writing in his "Our recent record at Old Trafford is poor. We have lost eight of our last nine matches there. But this Liverpool side should have taken great encouragement from how we outplayed United at Anfield last week. "There is nothing to be scared of. We’ve beaten United once and we can do it again. We have to go there, roll our sleeves up and be strong, both physically and mentally." 5 things Who'll go through at Old Trafford?9000+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • What time does Club Brugge vs Manchester United kick-off? All you need to know about the game

    Manchester United hope to confirm their return to the Champions League group stages when they take on Club Brugge on Wednesday evening. The Red Devils romped to a 3-1 win during the first-leg, with Marouane Fellaini heading home in stoppage time to add assurances following Memphis Depay's first two Old Trafford goals. Should United complete the job and qualify, they will be placed in pot two for the draw, meaning they could come up against the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain in the groups. But when is the game with Brugge? And where can you watch it? Here is all you need to know ahead of Club Brugge vs When is Club Brugge vs Manchester United? The two sides will face off in the second leg in Belgium on Wednesday evening, wits played 11 minutes of first-team football so far in the 2019/20 campaign."I don't know when but it [gametime for Foden] is going to happen, we are playing an incredible amount of games," the City boss said."I saw the schedule for the Champions Leaguh a 7.45pm (BST) kick-off. You will be able to follow all the action LIVE on Mirror Football. In pictures: Manchester United train in Brugge Where can I watch it? The game will be screened live on BT Sport. Not a subscriber? Fear not! The broadcaster has announced the match will be free to air, ahead of their exclusive coverage of the competition proper. Hurrah! What happened in the first leg? United got off to the worst possible start, with Michael Carrick diverting past Sergio Romero and into his own net to give Brugge an early lead at Old Trafford. However, they responded in style, with Memphis Depayrd cannot be considered for the No7 shirt.The No7 has been worn by socontent_imgme of the greats over the years including George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo.And Saha believes Lingard can't just demand the shirt because scoring his first two goals for the club to put them into the lead. It looked as if Louis van Gaal's side would take a 2-1 advantage to Belgium, but substitute Marouane Fellaini headed a last-gasp third, to give the Red Devils a two-goal cushion. In pictures: United 3-1 Brugge What are the odds? To win the match: 10/3 13/5 17/20 To win the tie: 9/1 1/33 Odds collected from Paddy Power What will happen tonight?3000+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • Sunderland old boy Steve Cotterill in frame to return — this time as their manager

    Steve Cotterill is in the running for the job. The former Stoke and Bristol City boss recently turned down the chance to continue as Harry Redknapp’s assistant at Championship rivals Birmingham. Cotterill, 52, is highly regarded as a cetires.Grant, 36, moved to United last summer from Stoke City.“Strangely, in the earlier part of my career, coaching was something I was always dead against," he told manutd.com.“I could never srsenal debut against Manchester United on Monday night.The former Celtic left-back was left out of the Gunners' Under-23 squad on Saturday afternoon, as they took on Liverpool Under-23s, says the Daily Express.Tierney has been recovering from a doublee myself in that role whereas, as I got to 26 or 27oach, and has made it clear he would like to return to management. Sunderland need a new boss after resigned this week after a disastrous season in charge saw them relegated after four seasons of dodging the drop. They finished rock-bottom of the Premier League under the Scontent_imgcot, who was appointed in late July after Sam Allardyce left for his brief spell as England manager, winning just six of their 38 games and earning 24 points. Cotterill had a brief, unsuccessful spell as the Black Cats' No2 in the 2002-03 season under Howard Wilkinson, before they were sacked in the March with the club on its way to what proved to be a last-place finish and relegation to the Championship. When will Sunderland return to the Premier League?2000+ VOTES SO FAR
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  • Manuel Pellegrini a shock contender to replace Everton-bound Ronald Koeman at Southampton

    Manuel Pellegrini is a shock contender to succeed Ronald Koeman at has agreed a three-year deal worth £21million with the Merseyside club after Everton agreed to pay Southampton about £3million in compensation package for their highly-rated boss. Saints pride themselves on the coaching culture at St Mary’s and made two outstanding appointments in Mauricio Pochetino and Koeman. contract with Manchester City ends this month. In his three years at the Etihad he led the Blues to one Premier League crown and League Cup glory twice. Pellegrini, 62, is keen to land another job in England and hoped to land the Everton vacancy before Koeman was chosen. Pellegrini - who also has lucrative offers from China on the table - faces canager Sean Dyche says Danny Drinkwater will return to full training next week.The midfielder, on loan from Chelsea, suffered a badly injured ankle and facial injuries last month after he was attacked outside of a nightclub in Manchester."We're hopinompetition from Frank de Boer following his resignation from Ajax at the end of the season. But rather than head to the big money deals in China would prefer to stay in the Premier League. Koeman, who will today begin a holiday sailing off the Turkish coast on a friend’s luxury content_imgyacht, has doubled the money he was on at St Mary’s. But a key part of Everton’s charm offensive was that owner Farhad Moshiri will also provide the funds for the 53-year-old to build a team capable of challenging for the top four. Southampton fans! Would Manuel Pellegrini be a good appointment?1000+ VOure is currently assisting Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers as they look to seal a Champions League spot in the Premier League.But he has ambitions of his own, and admits that he may one day move on to get a managerial spot at another club.On that point, TTES SO FAR
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