About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid captain Ramos hits out at Mourinho rumoursby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has hit out at talk of Jose Mourinho replacing coach Santiago Solari.Ramos was in no mood to entertain reporters questions on the Portuguese.”I’m nobody to decide who the Real Madrid coach is,” he said.”We’ve been without Mourinho for five years and you’re still talking about him.”We have the chance to win a title and we’re talking about Mourinho.”A captain doesn’t decide the coaches.”
AC Milan chief Leonardo insists Gattuso safeby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan technical director Leonardo insists coach Rino Gattuso is safe.There’s been claims Gattuso could be sacked if they fail to beat SPAL.“We never thought about changing Gattuso,” Leonardo said yesterday.“We can deny this general situation. Milan started in a hurry this year, and we’re trying to fix a situation which started that way.“We’re in the running for our objective, which is to finish in the top four. Right now we’re there, and the pessimism Rino talks about is in relation to a moving car that needs fixed.“The owners know the situation, and we need everyone to cooperate and unite.“We need a bit of understand to fix this situation, we’re not going to buy 10 players and suddenly fix everything.“There is no plan to change Gattuso, and Milan have not contacted anyone else.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Burnley defender Pieters: Norwich tactics helped usby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley defender Erik Pieters says Norwich City’s tactics helped his side secure a 2-0 victory at Turf Moor on Saturday.A double from Chris Wood saw Sean Dyche’s clinch a comfortable victory in front of their supporters.Pieters believes Norwich penchant for playing out from the back allowed the Clarets to press high up the pitch and capitalise on mistakes.The Dutchman said: “The way they play and how they beat City playing out from the back helped us.”We pressed them 100 per cent, we didn’t give them any time, so it helped us win the ball and score our goals. I think they helped us.”
Wolves Europa League tie Slovan Bratislava to feature 5,000 strong crowdby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveA 5,000 strong crowd is likely to attend Wolves’ Europa League match away to Slovan Bratislava on 24 October – even though it is officially being played behind closed doors.Uefa sanctioned the Slovak champions after fans made racist chants in a play-off game against PAOK of Greece.But Uefa rules will allow accompanied children aged 14 and under to attend.In addition, 200 Wolves fans will be allowed in to see the game, providing they hold ‘category one tickets’.Uefa ruled in August that Slovan must play their next two European games behind closed doors as a consequence of racist behaviour by their supporters at a play-off match against Greek side POAK Salonika. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Athlon Sports released a list Sunday morning of what it believes to be the 10 most explosive running backs returning for the 2016 college football season. Some of the names on the list won’t surprise you at all, but others undoubtedly will. College football’s 10 most explosive running backs returning for 2016. https://t.co/llw8KRXZTM pic.twitter.com/XwwX1MSv6S— Athlon Sports (@AthlonSports) June 12, 2016Here’s the list they came up with. Georgia Southern’s Matt BreidaFlorida State’s Dalvin CookLSU’s Leonard FournetteNew Mexico State’s Larry RoseSan Diego State’s Donald PumphreyBoise State’s Jeremy McNicholsWestern Michigan’s Jamauri BoganSouthern Mississippi’s Ito SmithNevada’s James ButlerIowa State’s Mike WarrenAthlon adds an excellent chart to explain their decisions and you can find that here.What do you think, college football fans? Are they forgetting anybody?
@jharkelroad1Michigan’s football program is set to unveil its new Air Jordan jerseys next week.The Wolverines, who signed a $173 million deal with Nike that runs through 2027, officially become a Nike school on Aug. 1. Jim Harbaugh’s team is set to reveal their new Jumpman-brand jerseys (they’ll be the first college football team to wear the logo) at a special ceremony on Tuesday in Detroit.It looks like a picture of the jerseys might have leaked early, though.Check out this photo:@mgoblog @michiganinsider @umichWD @SamWebb77 pic.twitter.com/NzWfGbhPVn— Justin E Harkelroad (@jharkelroad1) July 29, 2016This photo of the jerseys hasn’t been confirmed, but they certainly look like they could be Michigan’s new Jumpman jerseys. The uniforms aren’t expected to change much, save for the addition of the classic Air Jordan logo.If these are the new jerseys, what do you think, Michigan fans?The Wolverines open their 2016 season Sept. 3 against Hawaii.
Lionel Messi played an important role off the bench with an assist for Luis Suarez before scoring himself as Barcelona secured a 3-1 win over Leganes at Camp Nou.Ernesto Valverde’s decision to rest Messi almost backfired after Martin Braithwaite cancelled out a goal from Ousmane Dembele, who was later forced off injured, but the Argentinian came off the bench to inspire Suarez’s goal and then rounded out proceedings.Dembele was almost unplayable right from the start and it came as no surprise to see him find the breakthrough with a tidy finish just after the half-hour mark. 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? The France international was unfortunately replaced due to a suspected hamstring problem shortly after Braithwaite made the scores level, but Suarez put Barca back in front in the 71st minute after Messi’s shot had been saved, and their main man made sure the five-point gap to second-place Atletico Madrid was restored.The lively Dembele was crucial when Barca’s dominance finally resulted in a chance in the 31st minute, the forward feeding Suarez, who prodded into the side-netting from an acute angle.But Leganes were not so lucky just over 60 seconds later.Gerard Pique found Dembele after a charging run up the right flank and the winger darted inside, offloaded to Jordi Alba, before then steering the Spaniard’s cut-back in off the right-hand post from 12 yards.Despite Barca’s control, Leganes levelled out of nowhere in the 57th minute – Braithwaite slamming home from close range after an excellent run and cross from the right by Youssef En-Nesyri, adding to his goal against Real Madrid on Wednesday.Messi was introduced shortly after and, although they lost Dembele to an innocuous-looking injury, Barca powered to victory.Their talisman’s long-range strike was saved by Ivan Cuellar, but Suarez bundled in – catching the goalkeeper in the process – to secure the points, despite a lengthy VAR delay.Messi then completed the scoring in the second minute of stoppage time, emphatically firing home with his right foot from the centre of the box after receiving Alba’s pass.On @Dembouz now has a CAREER-BEST 13 goals this season, across all competitions! Keep the fireballs comin’ Ousmane! pic.twitter.com/HxGV4MW9Nh— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 20, 2019What does it mean? Luck not on Dembele’s sideIt is fair to say things have not always gone to plan for Dembele so far at Barca. Injuries, reservations about his attitude and questionable timekeeping, mean he has attracted headlines. But his goal on Sunday was his 13th of the season, making it his most productive campaign as a professional, only to then suffer another injury.Ous the man?Dembele looked really up for this contest right from the off, completing mazy runs that otherwise looked impossible to pull off. His final pass was a little wayward early on, but he got the fans off their seats and scored a deserved goal with a fine finish.Coutinho fails to grasp his opportunityPhilippe Coutinho is having a difficult season. Handed only his third start in LaLiga since early November, he saw plenty of the ball but did not make much of an impact in the final third.Key Opta Facts:- Ousmane Dembele has scored 13 goals for Barcelona this season in all competitions, his best goal tally in a single season (12 goals for Rennes in 2015-16).- Luis Suarez has scored 15-plus goals in each of his last seven league seasons (five for Barcelona in LaLiga and two for Liverpool in the Premier League). – Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored 22 La Liga goals as a substitute, more than any other player in the 21st century. – Dembele completed 11 dribbles against Leganes (15 dribbles attempted), the most by a player in a LaLiga game this season. – Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has won a La Liga managerial game against Leganes’ Mauricio Pellegrino for the first time (D1 L2). 15 – Luis Suarez has scored 15+ goals in each of his last seven league seasons (five for @FCBarcelona in @LaLigaEN and two for Liverpool in the Premier League). Predatory. pic.twitter.com/UpGIyihlPq— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 20, 2019What’s next?Barca face a trip to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, before returning to LaLiga action in a Catalan derby at Girona four days later. Leganes host Eibar in the league on Saturday. read more
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt thinks that these 10 teams have the best shot at reaching the College Football Playoff later this year.While there are certainly a number of crazy scenarios that could produce some unlikely College Football Playoff participants, it’s safe to say that there are really only about 10 teams that have decent chances at playing in the competition later this year. ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt broke it down last night for his “1 Big Thing” on his nightly show.Van Pelt believes that Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, Washington, Oklahoma West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan are the teams with realistic chances. He also expressed his desire to see the event include more teams in the future. Are there any other teams Van Pelt is missing? Maybe Washington State or Oklahoma State?
If Paul Pogba gets his way, then he will not be at Manchester United by the time the new season kicks off. And that in turn could have devastating consequences for the club’s ability to attract top talents going forward.Pogba is far and away United’s most talented and best-performing player – by any metric – but in many quarters has been made the scapegoat for their failures under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.At the heart of it, United simply haven’t got players alongside Pogba that are of comparable worth. Alexis Sanchez, the highest earner in the Premier League, is the embodiment of wasted talent with just five goals in 45 games since his arrival in January 2018. 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? But instead of pointing the fingers of blame at the rest of the squad, or to the recruitment department where the problem really lies, fans are minded to turn their ire towards Pogba, a world-class player who is already doing more than his fair share of heavy lifting. He supplied more goals and assists than any other United player last season and, despite the consistency in his output, was regularly slated from the sidelines.This is a World Cup winner, as well as a multiple Serie A winner with Juventus, whose effort and ability are undermined at the drop of a hat. The truth of the matter is that the Pogba return to United has been a bad match since the very beginning. Quite what kind of player Mourinho thought he was getting in 2016 never tallied with what Pogba could actually do.He has been shifted around the midfield – in positions that do not always adequately showcase his best characteristics – and been forced to deal with the critics when things go wrong.It’s clear that there were problems with Mourinho. From the moment last April when Pep Guardiola revealed he had been offered Pogba’s services by agent Mino Raiola, it has been apparent that the truce between player and club has not always been easy. Then followed Pogba’s much-publicised transfer saga last summer when it emerged that the Frenchman was determined to push through a move to Barcelona. That didn’t come off, but history is repeating.Sponsored or corporate media opportunities are usually bland affairs, where players and clubs go out of their way to ensure nothing remotely interesting is said. What Pogba did in Tokyo on Sunday is unprecedented. To turn an end-of-season commercial tour into a press conference, featuring a publicly-declared desire to change clubs – with Real Madrid or a return to Juve the likely destination – demonstrates the gravity of the situation facing Manchester United.Pogba is hoping to facilitate his departure by putting it out there that he will be the one to instigate the move. At this stage of his career, having just turned 26, Pogba cannot easily face the prospect of remaining under contract at United until 2022. His current deal expires in 2021 but United hold the option to renew for a further season.United right now are going nowhere, have a squad of uneven quality, and a coach of little or no pedigree. They are directionless, no place for a player of Pogba’s class.Manchester United for a long time rightly regarded themselves as a club right at the highest levels. They made big signings under Sir Alex Ferguson, players like Juan Sebastian Veron, Rio Ferdinand and Dimitar Berbatov, but none of those had to deal with the same kind of expectation that Pogba has.When United spent big, it was usually for one player who could slot in and improve what was already there. But there isn’t the baseline quality in the team these days, which means Pogba is a fish out of water.This is not the NBA, where one major acquisition can make the difference like Kawhi Leonard for the Toronto Raptors. A superstar is always going to have trouble standing out in ordinary teams. And that is one reason why those players linked to Manchester United this summer – such as Matthijs de Ligt and Christian Eriksen – may well be reluctant to commit.For United to build a team of players on Pogba’s level would take an outlay of about £1 billion based on current transfer market trends. One or two players of that class – without an equally-talented squad around them – would find it extremely difficult to make the difference but would still find themselves blamed for failing to imbue the team around them with a higher standard of play.United need to embark on a recruitment drive but it will take more than one or two superstars – on wages to match – in order for them to get to the next level. And what the Pogba saga proves is that world-class players have nothing to gain but everything to lose by going there. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Neymar has wished Lionel Messi a happy birthday on social media amid growing rumours the Brazil superstar will return to Barcelona.Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly willing to sell Neymar with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi warning in a rare interview that the Ligue 1 champions will no longer tolerate “celebrity behaviour” in what was widely speculated to be a barb at the 27-year-old.Real Madrid have long been linked with the forward but their capture of Eden Hazard from Chelsea, coupled with a spending spree that has seen Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy join, may scupper a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Barca are reportedly considering bringing Neymar back to the club with talisman Messi said to be among those pushing for the deal to happen.And on the Barca captain’s 32nd birthday, Neymar posted a message to his former team-mate on social media.”Happy birthday, brother,” Neymar wrote on his Instagram Story. “May God bless you always.””Happy birthday, brother. May God bless you always.”Awww isn’t that lovely? Neymar shared the birthday love for his ex-Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi… Will there be a Camp Nou reunion for the star forwards next season? pic.twitter.com/kf0pGokPgD — Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) June 24, 2019 Brazil team-mates Philippe Coutinho and Arthur have said they want Neymar, ruled out of the ongoing Copa America by an ankle injury, to return to Barcelona.But a Monday report in UK newspaper the Independent claimed Neymar has been offered to Manchester United.According to the report, PSG were keen to discuss a potential swap deal involving Paul Pogba, but the Premier League club were not interested.Al-Khelaifi’s condemnation of “celebrity behaviour” came after Neymar was given a three-match ban for punching a fan following PSG’s Coupe de France final defeat to Rennes. The Brazil star has also since been interviewed by police after he was accused of rape by 26-year-old Najila Trindade.Neymar has been at PSG since 2017, having reportedly moved away from Camp Nou in order to be the main forward at a club – a ploy he believed would increase his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.