Toshack warns Juventus of Ramsey expectationsby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Wales coach John Toshack says Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey needs to be careful about his expected move to Juventus.Toshack says Ramsey will have to fight for his place in Juve’s midfield.“He was always a talent, but I don’t know if I’d call him a star yet,” Toshack told La Gazzetta dello Sport.“For the moment he is playing for a big club and very soon he’ll be at a huge club. That says a lot about his quality, even if I haven’t quite figured out what his best position is yet. That is an issue Juve will need to clarify straight away.“I don’t know if Aaron is disciplined enough to play in front of the defence. I am also not sure he scores enough to play close to the strikers.“He might do better in a three-man midfield, where he has the possibility to push forward, or perhaps in a three supporting the centre-forward. In modern football you do need to be versatile and he is a modern player.”Ramsey had also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, but seems to have chosen Juventus.“He has a unique opportunity to play with Cristiano Ronaldo, to grow, to improve, and that’s a lucky break for a lad who hasn’t had much luck,” continued the former Wales manager.“I remember watching TV when he really hurt himself playing against Stoke in 2010. I was stunned. It took him nine months to get back, but the experience helped forge his character. He grew up over time, but now he’s 28 years old and read to explode.“Juventus are doing really well when it comes to free agents and contracts running down, picking up top players for free like Emre Can and Sami Khedira. They’ve already got a great talent like Miralem Pjanic and World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi, so it’s an excellent midfield.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Leicester boss Puel wary facing improving Southamptonby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Claude Puel is wary facing an improving Southampton under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.Saturday’s game sees Puel come up against his former club, who are currently third from bottom of the table.Puel has seen improvement at Southampton since Ralph Hasenhuttl took over as manager and he expects Saints to pull clear of relegation trouble.”Of course they will,” said Puel. “They have good ingredients and quality in the team. They have good organisation and mentality and had a good result against Chelsea. They had a good attitude in their last game also and they can continue that way.”It will be a tough game as they are in form.”
Matty Longstaff eager to settle new terms with Newcastleby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMatty Longstaff is eager to settle new terms with Newcastle United.The midfielder is inside the final year of his deal and will be free to negotiate with overseas clubs from January.“Yeah, obviously I want to stay at Newcastle but the biggest thing for me is just to carry on playing well and that will take care of itself,” Longstaff told ChronicleLive.Longstaff was originally due to go out on loan to League Two clubs, with Bradford City keen to offer him first team football.But after impressing in pre-season, Steve Bruce decided to keep him at St James’ Park and he now looks set to reprise his midfield partnership with brother Sean at Chelsea as the pair’s meteoric rise continues. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal hero Wright slams Emery over Ceballos selection: Start him!by Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Ian Wright has questioned Unai Emery’s decision not to start Dani Ceballos in Monday’s loss to Sheffield United.The Spaniard was brought on as a second-half substitute and immediately provided the creative spark which Arsenal were severely lacking.Wright told Premier League Productions: “I think he’s [Emery] got to come here and Ceballos has to play. He’s played the youngsters and I’m pleased to see them in there, with Saka.”But Saka, for an 18-year-old, if you’re leaving Ozil totally out of the squad, then we have to see more from him [Saka], we have to see more from Joe [Willock].”Unfortunately, it was a game where it passed them both by and then it comes down to the manager and his choices.”He’s made the change at half-time, with Ceballos, so you’re thinking to yourself: ‘Why didn’t you start him in the first place?'”Start him. He’s someone that gets on the ball when they want to try and play out, [Matteo] Guendouzi’s got a lot of energy and get the boys playing.”[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang didn’t have anything to play off because there wasn’t any creativity.”
Mohamed Elneny has been advised to leave Arsenal in January by one of his former coaches.The Egypt international has been overlooked for much of the campaign and has made just one Premier League appearance this term.With five outings in the Europa League and another in the Carabao Cup, the 26-year-old has had to settle for a back-up role under Unai Emery and has been linked with a move to Leicester City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? According to Hamdy Nouh, coach of Elneny’s former team El Mokawloon, he must look for a way out of north London.”He needs to leave Arsenal in the next transfer market, at least on loan to play more and regain his confidence,” he told Goal.”He has been influenced lately by the change in coach and his new style, but I am confident that he will return better than before, because of his great potential and the competitive spirit that will help him get back in.”Elneny joined El Mokawloon as a youth player in 2008 and broke into the senior team two years later, going on to make 39 appearances in all competitions before moving to Basel in 2013.Whoever does acquire the midfielder, Nouh says they will be signing a committed individual.”He is one of the best players I have trained, he has a constant desire to learn and develop,” he added”He is committed to the coach’s instructions on and off the pitch, which always helps him to be present mainly with most of the teams he has played for.”Like all the players I’ve dealt with, I’ve tried to create a professional atmosphere for him from the time he was young, with closed camps, specific sleeping times, training and eating to get used to the professional atmosphere, which he always adhered to.”I tried to develop his ability to shoot from long distances and play offensively.”Elneny signed a new contract until 2022 with Arsenal last March and admitted in the summer he was “excited” by the prospect of a fresh start under Arsene Wenger’s successor Emery.The Spaniard has spoken with Elneny over his lack of opportunities but has offered few guarantees over his long-term future.Should Elneny’s watching brief continue when the Gunners host Fulham on New Year’s Day, his next appearance is likely to come in the FA Cup third round against Blackpool.
Manchester United need to match the ambition of their rivals and invest a record-breaking £100 million ($128m) in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, says David May.The Red Devils remain in the market for additions at centre-half following a frustrating summer of failed recruitment in 2018.Jose Mourinho had been eager to reinforce that area of his squad, and ultimately paid the price for struggles at the back as a difficult start to the season cost him his job. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now at the helm and, having made a faultless opening to his reign, is being urged to spend big in the January window.A fellow 1999 Treble winner feels the United boss should be demanding major investment, with there no reason why considerable funds should not be used to top the £75m ($96m) Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk and make Koulibaly the most expensive defender in world football.Former Red Devils star May told 888sport: “If you look at United over the last God knows how many years they’ve always gone out and broke transfer records if need be.“They did with Rio [Ferdinand], [Angel] Di Maria, [Paul] Pogba, [Romelu] Lukaku. They allegedly pay [Alexis] Sanchez half a million a week.“If you want the best players then you have to pay top money for them. City do it.“Liverpool did it with Van Dijk and just look at the transformation.“They spent £70 million on a goalkeeper, which is a hell of a lot of money but what that gets you back is guaranteed Champions League football and the possibility of winning the Premier League.“The amount of money United earn then to spend £100m on a defender….so what?“Real Madrid will spend it. Barca will. Chelsea and City will.“If it guarantees you a much better defence then go ahead and spend it.“If Koulibaly becomes available – and there are rumours that he is interested with a fee of £90m – then I’m sure Ole would say he’d be a great signing for Man Utd.”United, who have enjoyed five successive victories across all competitions, will be back in action on Sunday when they take in a trip to Tottenham.Another success at Wembley Stadium would allow Solskjaer’s side to take another position step towards the Premier League’s top four, with there still a six-point gap to be bridged at present.Read the full 888sport interview with David May, including his thoughts on Paul Pogba and United’s transfer window prospects.
Frenkie de Jong has revealed he spoke to both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City before deciding to sign for Barcelona.The La Liga giants completed the signing of De Jong on a five-year contract from Ajax for €75 million (£65m/$85m) on Wednesday, although he will not link up with his new side until the end of the season.There has been consistent speculation linking the 21-year-old with all three clubs, but De Jong says a switch to Catalonia was his dream move. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “I am happy, proud and also somewhat relieved that it’s now all behind us,” De Jong told NOS. “I spoke to PSG, yes. I rang Maxwell to tell him I was not joining them and my agent informed PSG. I also spoke with Guardiola about a move to Man City. Clubs all try to convince you when they want you. I am happy and proud that they did so much to get me.”Barcelona have wanted me for a long time, they already tried to sign me last year. But they also have their financial situation, they can’t just spend loads of money.”De Jong joins a long list of players to have made the switch from Ajax to Barca, following in the footsteps of the likes of Johan Cruyff, Ronald Koeman, Patrick Kluivert, Frank de Boer.His new team-mate Luis Suarez, who is the Catalans second-top scorer of all time, also excelled at the Dutch club between 2007-11.“Barcelona have always been a dream club for me,” De Jong continued. “The fact that they were so serious about getting me and that I have a good chance of getting playing time made the decision a bit easier. “I already watched Barcelona as a kid and then when I was a bit more aware of the game you had the Guardiola era with all their successes. That turned me into an even bigger fan. I have always been a big fan of Messi, although I liked the entire team.”De Jong will have to compete with a host of talented midfielders when he completes his move to Spain, including World Cup winner Sergio Busquets and £16.2 million ($21m) signing Ivan Rakitic, who joined from Sevilla in 2014.”It’s not like I am going to Barcelona as a tourist who is there to watch Messi in action,” the Dutchman added. “I am not going to say that I will bench Busquets or anything! But I think I have a good chance of getting plenty of minutes.””The playing style should fit me. I have not spoken to [Ernesto] Valverde yet.”The large transfer fee doesn’t really affect me much. It is nice to be the most expensive Dutchman and it is nice for my agent and for Ajax.”But it does not matter to me whether I cost €5m, or €150m, or €200m. I just need to make sure that I do my own thing.”
During his eight games in charge of Manchester United, it seemed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had brought back just about everything that had been missing since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.But one element of the legendary Scot’s reign which hadn’t been necessary was a good old bout of Fergie Time.Eight successive wins and not a single minute behind the eight ball had meant a late comeback had never been on the cards, but a dramatic 2-2 draw against Burnley on Tuesday was straight out of the Ferguson playbook. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? When Chris Wood put Burnley two up it appeared that Solskjaer’s unbeaten run was over, but United conjured up the mental resilience to salvage a point.They were the better side in a fairly open first half but just couldn’t seem to trouble Tom Heaton no matter what they tried. While it was hardly the most thrilling of 45 minutes, they at least probed in a fashion rarely seen in the days of Jose Mourinho.But just when they appeared to be stepping up the momentum at the start of the second half, Andreas Pereira’s moment of madness led them to fall behind for the first time under Solskjaer. The Brazilian tried to be too clever deep in his own half and succeeded only in losing the ball to Jack Cork, who fed Ashley Barnes for a high, stinging drive beyond David de Gea.Solskjaer needed to make changes – and did. Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez entered the fray in place of Pereira and the leaden-footed Romelu Lukaku.Yet United just couldn’t find a way through as Burnley dropped in tighter and killed any hope of Solskjaer’s favoured counter-attacking philosophy being the key to opening up the Clarets. Whenever United got the ball forward, there was a congested penalty area staring back at them.They needed a spark. They needed the old United magic that would always ensure that visiting sides wouldn’t be safe until the final whistle was blown, being run into the ground and passed into submission just in time to save the day. The iron fist in the velvet glove.It appeared that it wouldn’t arrive when Wood headed home at the far post from an Ashley Westwood cross, but that was simply going to make the comeback all the more dramatic.They got one goal back with three minutes remaining as Jesse Lingard was dragged back in the box by Jeff Hendrick and Paul Pogba lashed home from the spot.And that teed up the fantastic finale, as Alexis Sanchez got on the end of Ashley Young’s cross, and after Tom Heaton had kept out the initial effort Victor Lindelof followed in with his first United goal to rescue a point in the 92nd minute.Such is the feeling around the Theatre of Dreams these days there was an element of disappointment at them not getting all three points, with the players sprinting back after the leveller in a bid to grab a third.But Solskjaer will be delighted with the way his side battled back in the time honoured tradition of his former boss. Ole really is bringing the good old days back, it would seem. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
James Rodriguez’s agent Jorge Mendes does not know what the future holds for the Real Madrid playmaker, though he just wants the best for the player and La Liga club.Linked to Atletico Madrid and Napoli, James took part in Madrid’s 2019-20 pre-season training for the first time on Monday.La Liga rivals Atletico and Serie A side Napoli are reportedly vying for James’ signature after the Colombia star spent the past two seasons on loan with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? He originally joined Real Madrid from Monaco in 2014 after shining with Colombia at the World Cup in Brazil that summer.During his time in Madrid, James scored 36 goals in 111 appearances while winning La Liga once and two Champions League titles, as well as two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups.However, he fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane, prompting a two-year loan to Bayern Munich with an option for the Bundesliga side to buy at the conclusion of his stay.The 28-year-old finished with 15 goals in all competitions during his two seasons with Bayern, who opted against making his stay permanent in Bavaria this summer.As a result, his future remains uncertain as the club season draws closer, and Mendes insists he does not fully know what Real Madrid will do with the player.Asked about James’ future, Mendes told Marca: “You’ll have to ask the president (Florentino Perez) who is here next to me.”I just want the best for the player and the best for the club.”James – who represented Colombia at the Copa America in June – scored seven league goals in each of his two seasons at Bayern.Real Madrid have spent big this summer, having brought in the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo.However, the club are dealing with an injury issue in midfield following the recent injury to Marco Asensio.The future of Gareth Bale also remains uncertain following Zidane’s recent comments that a move could be on the cards for the Wales star.
Instagram/@cathyscapturesESPN released its new ‘Playoff Predictor’ metric today. It analyzes and projects which teams have the best shot at reaching the playoff and winning it all based on five factors: strength of record, FPI, number of losses, conference championships and independent status.You can read more about the ‘Playoff Predictor’ here and see a full breakdown via ESPN here. As you can imagine, the usual suspects have the best chances of getting to the CFP, according to the new metric.However, there is one league that should worry about being shut out of the field. According to the ‘Playoff Predictor,’ the Big 12 is in “big trouble.”Here’s why:How reliant the Big 12 is on Oklahoma? The Sooners have a 24 percent shot to return to the playoff, but the Big 12 as a whole has only a 29 percent chance between all of its schools combined. That’s a lower percentage than six individual schools.If Lincoln Riley can’t get the Baker Mayfield-less Sooners back to the national semifinal, then the Big 12’s best bet is probably Texas. If the Longhorns were to take a major step forward in Tom Herman’s second season and somehow reach the playoff (3 percent chance), it would likely be on the back of its defense. After adjusting for the powerful offenses in the Big 12, last year’s defense actually was the fifth-most efficient in the FBS last season and FPI projects the unit to be the third-best defense this year.Overall, the Big 12 has a 5 percent chance to produce the national champion. Those odds are worse than Notre Dame’s alone (10 percent).The SEC (31 percent) and ACC (25 percent) lead the way, followed by the Big Ten (17 percent) and Pac-12 (12 percent). As you can see, the Big 12 is dead last.Not what any fans of Big 12 teams want to hear right now, but luckily for them, the games aren’t played on paper or on the computer.