About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say El Hadji Diouf explains his constant criticism of Liverpoolby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEl Hadji Diouf stands by his criticism of former club Liverpool.The 38-year-old keeps in touch with fellow Senegalese Sadio Mane, who has netted four times already this campaign.Diouf said: “I’ve never hidden the fact that Liverpool didn’t treat me right and that they cherished some players better than me, even though I’d arrived with a better profile.“Sometimes, reporters will never get what goes on in the club and in the dressing room.“Don’t get me wrong: the club is run very well now, based on what I hear from Sadio Mane, but I feel I was seen as an outsider back then.“The upsetting thing is that Real Madrid and Barcelona had offered me more money, but I really wanted to go to Liverpool – and it ended up being one of my worst experiences.”
Craddock urges Wolves to keep Arsenal target Bolyby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Wolves skipper Jody Craddock is a fan of Willy Boly.Arsenal have been linked with Boly, who Wolves signed for £10m from Porto in the summer of 2018.“We definitely want him to stay at Wolves as he’s been doing so well, but he probably could walk into another team higher up the table,” Craddock told the Express & Star.“Hopefully, he doesn’t. But when you’ve got these players and they’re playing well, there’s always going to be clubs sniffing around them.”Then, it’s down to Wolves to do the job and keep hold of him if we want to step up to the table ourselves.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
avery johnson alabamaFormer NBA point guard and head coach Avery Johnson was recently hired to take over the reins of the Alabama basketball program, which has reached just one NCAA Tournament in the past nine seasons. Johnson has a tall task ahead of him, but he has lofty goals for his new squad, saying during his introductory press conference his program will try and live up to the standard set by Duke, the 2014-15 national champions. “Duke University, that’s the standard for us here at the University of Alabama and our basketball program,” Johnson said. “The way they play defense and offense. The way they move the ball, that’s the standard. Nobody else is the standard. That’s the standard. Duke University. That’s why I’m here.”If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, it also makes for good publicity in this case. Judging by its Instagram post this morning, the Duke program is using Johnson’s quote to its marketing advantage.An obvious, but savvy move by Duke. We’re sure Johnson isn’t the only coach looking to get his program on the level of the Blue Devils but it’s easier said than done.
It is one of football’s worst-kept secrets. Adrien Rabiot’s arrival at Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain appears to be all but a done deal, although they will have to wait a few more months yet to seal the move.Barca have gone so far as to officially confirm their interest, while PSG have already consigned the conflictive midfielder to football exile for as long as he remains at the club.Rabiot is out of contract at the end of the current season, and his current employers are now resigned to seeing him leave for nothing in June. 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? And while the Catalans may still face competition for his transfer – Liverpool are one of the teams reported to be also in the running – they are certainly in pole position to complete the acquisition of a young man whose obvious ability is only matched for his propensity for falling out with those around him.If, or perhaps when, the move is completed, the player will enter one of the world’s most competitive midfields, with a mix of top-class talents, promising youngsters and imperious veterans already ensuring the Catalans lack for absolutely nothing in the engine room.Protagonist in more than a few altercations during his time at Parc des Princes, he will have to shape up and show his very best in order to establish himself as a regular first-teamer in La Liga.Rabiot excels as a box-to-box midfielder, much in the vein of future Camp Nou team-mate Arturo Vidal. Being left-footed, the player also offers a fresh option in that sector to release the ever-dangerous Jordi Alba on the overlap.Tall, strapping and unerring in the pass, at his best he presents an interesting mobile alternative to the more creative Philippe Coutinho on the left of a hypthetical midfield trio.The France international is also capable of sitting further back in midfield, anchoring a three or playing alongside another holding man if Coutinho lines up on the left.That role is of course dominated by the incomparable Sergio Busquets. But Rabiot would provide a useful rotation option for when the midfield maestro is rested or unavailable, and could slot in alongside the promising Arthur in a duo that would not miss a beat in the pass.Rabiot’s biggest question marks revolve around his fragile mental state. Collapses such as that seen in the Champions League last-16 defeat against Real Madrid would not be tolerated at Camp Nou; nor would subsequent public outbursts that painted the player in a less than favourable light.He also refused to be on stand-by for France’s World Cup squad and missed out on the tournament, leading to claims that he was “immature”. Compatriot Ousmane Dembele has faced similar criticisms of his attitude since joining Barca; another problematic dressing room presence would quickly be exposed.No-nonsense Valverde seems to have made progress with Dembele, with the winger responding by proving he has the talent to make headlines on the pitch. Rabiot has the talent too, but wherever he lines up for Barca will have to prove his mentality is also up to scratch at one of the world’s most demanding clubs.
Jurgen Klopp accepted it was a “massive relief” to see leaders Liverpool edge a thrilling Premier League clash with Crystal Palace 4-3 at Anfield.Liverpool were 1-0 down at half-time to Andros Townsend’s goal as Roy Hodgson’s Palace threatened to have another major impact on the title race following the Eagles’ win at Manchester City last month.A breathless start to the second half saw Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino capitalise on deflections before a James Tomkins header levelled the scores again. 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? Salah’s 50th Premier League goal then came thanks to a woeful piece of goalkeeping by Julian Speroni and, after James Milner’s red card, Sadio Mane gave the Reds breathing space before Max Meyer’s injury-time consolation.It all added up to Liverpool moving seven points clear of champions City, who play at managerless Huddersfield Town on Sunday, with Klopp celebrating wildly at the full-time whistle.”It’s a massive relief,” the Liverpool manager said to BBC Sport. “We knew for different reasons the game would be difficult. Crystal Palace traditionally do well against Liverpool and with the physicality it was clear it would be like the first half was.”They are really good at counter-attacks and set-pieces, Wilfried Zaha is a world-class player and he gets into a one-on-one situation and we’re one down. We had to stay positive, being one down is not a massive blow, we just needed to win the second half and did what we had to do.”The result is massive, we have 60 points now it’s crazy, it’s an important number. I’m really proud, a few things happened that we don’t really need, we’re a bit short now on players but we have a few days and need to use the time now for recovery.”50 – Mo Salah has scored his 50th Premier League goal in his 72nd appearance in the competition – only Andy Cole (65), Alan Shearer (66) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) have reached the milestone in fewer appearances. Landmark. #LIVCRY pic.twitter.com/sEeA42GCjg— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 19, 2019Salah’s brace means he reached 50 Premier League goals in his 72nd appearance, with only three players in the competition’s history having been faster to the milestone.”He’s world class,” Klopp said of the Egypt superstar. “Simply world class.”Salah himself insisted Liverpool deserved to take all three points, although he conceded allowing Palace to score three goals was far from ideal.”Honestly we expected a difficult game but they played well and they were compact in front of the box,” Salah said to Sky Sports. “In the end the most important thing is the result, conceding three goals is hard but we need to accept that and live with it.”We have to be strong mentally. This is a tough time for us and we have to talk and be strong. We played well today and deserved the game.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Mauricio Pochettino insisted it is difficult to succeed without the right tools as he compared Premier League hopefuls Tottenham to Formula One team McLaren.Tottenham did not sign a player in January – the second successive window without reinforcements having failed to bring in new faces at the start of the season.Spurs – who are preparing for the Champions League last 16 against Borussia Dortmund – are also without star duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli as they try to keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League. 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? Disappointed with the lack of transfer business, Pochettino used an F1 analogy to discuss Tottenham’s battle for silverware – highlighting Fernando Alonso’s struggles at McLaren, where he finished 11th while Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton topped the standings in 2018.”We were waiting for different situations that maybe happen or don’t like every transfer window,” Pochettino said ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to Newcastle United, with Spurs third and seven points behind leaders Liverpool.”I wanted to strengthen the squad but if we cannot sign, I need to stick with the project of the club. If you see the [Premier League] table, we are there, a lot can happen.” “The mentality is to keep pushing, believe that you can score and win. Never give up.”#COYS pic.twitter.com/3ryIoaSfJI— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 1, 2019Pochettino added: “When you work in football, it’s because you want to win. It’s easy to be passionate and shout ‘I am a winner’ but if you don’t have the tools to win, it’s difficult.”Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are the best drivers in Formula One. But if you put Hamilton in McLaren last season and Alonso in Mercedes, it’s the same story, Hamilton on the bottom and Alonso on the top. That’s the reality.”I follow Formula One. I love McLaren. But it wasn’t competitive last season. That’s the reality, no? But do you think that’s a problem with Alonso or a problem with the car?”Also, you can have an amazing car but you can crash after the first bend. You can crash with an amazing car and not win.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Twitter/@theACCDNWatch this video of Army soldier Ryan Otto surprising his wife and four kids at the FSU game and try not to cry.With it being Veterans Day weekend, a lot of schools are finding different ways to honor those who have served and fought for our country. In the spirit of showing respect to those who have served, last night at the Florida State – Boston College game, FSU helped one Chief Military Officer III Ryan Otto give his wife, Jennifer, and their four kids the surprise of their lives.Check it out:What a moment.On this Veterans Day, a soldier surprises his family with the help of @FSU_Football ?? pic.twitter.com/ryipDOfYD7— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 12, 2016That’s good stuff. And it’s a stark reminder of just one of the sacrifices those in the military and their families make. They don’t have the luxury of seeing each other day in and day out, and a simple “thank you” when you see someone in uniform can go a long, long way.
England Under-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd believes Manchester City starlet Phil Foden will remain with the junior team for now, rather than making the step up to the full international side. Foden was left out of the starting XI for England’s second game at the U21 European Championships, despite scoring a wonderful goal in their first game against France. Defeats in both games left England eliminated from the tournament at the first hurdle. 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? Boothroyd left Foden out because he believed the 19-year-old stood a “really strong chance of being injured” and thinks that he will remain with the setup for the foreseeable future as they look to qualify for the next edition of the competition. “I think his next three to six months will be an indicator of where he gets to and what he is ready for internationally,” Boothroyd told a press conference. “But, right now, September-time, I’d imagine he’ll be with me.” The former Watford boss has two years to run in his current contract with the Under 21’s and intends to see it through. Despite the disappointment of an early exit in Italy Boothroyd believes his team is functioning well in terms of developing a culture and style of play right the way through the age groups to the full national side. “We are asking [the players] to take the ball off the goalkeeper in World Cup finals in front of millions of people. We have got to grow them and allow them to have their say,” the-48-year-old continued. “The job of the reserve team coach, me, is to get players into that team and to try to win games. “The Under-20s, Under-19s, Under-18s, because their teams have done well have been pushed up to me. “Gareth [Southgate] has obviously taken the best players that he wants and he needs. There is a lot of thought that goes into it.” Foden, who forced his way into the first-team reckoning at City last season, will hope to be a part of that pipeline, but his current international boss believes he may have to wait to represent the first team.
Rodolfo Pizarro is making his first start of the Gold Cup for Mexico against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals. The Monterrey winger replaces Roberto Alvarado , who started all three group matches for Tata Martino’s men, with the Argentine manager going with what appears to be his strongest XI in the quarterfinal tie. Pizarro is joined on the front line by Raul Jimenez and Uriel Antuna , who has been a revelation throughout the competition with his nose for goals. Antuna has netted four times through three matches despite being a late addition to the side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Pizzaro has seen his time limited by an injury coming into the competition, but was expected to be a key character for El Tri this summer with a number of regular starters having missed out on the tournament. They will be supported by a three-man midfield of Jonathan dos Santos, Andres Guardado and Edson Alvarez, though that trio has yet to play together from the start in the competition. All three midfielder have seen significant time on the pitch, however, with Guardado having put in a Man of the Match performance with two goals against Canada. Luis “Chaka” Rodríguez will resume his role at right back with Nestor Araujo and Carlos Salcedo taking up the two center-back spots for El Tri against Costa Rica’s veteran attack. Jesus Gallardo once again will be patrolling the left side of the pitch, in front of Guillermo Ochoa. Long-time Costa Rica stars Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz headline the starting side for Gustavo Matosas’s Ticos, where they are joined by Celso Borges and Kendall Waston. Mexico enters the night as the favorite, having won all three of its group matches, while Costa Rica came second to upstart Haiti in its group. The winner of the match will face the Haitians, who pulled off a stunning comeback against Canada earlier in the night, in the Gold Cup semifinals on Tuesday in Phoenix. Mexico XI: Ochoa; Gallardo, Salcedo, Araujo, Rodríguez; Guardado, Alvarez, Dos Santos; Antuna, Jimenez, Pizarro Costa Rica XI: Moreira; Fuller, Oviedo, Waston; Ruiz, Cruz, Leal, Borges; Campbell, George
Christian Pulisic wore the captain’s armband for just the second time in his U.S. national team career, and didn’t bother with any rah-rah speeches. He chose instead to let his play do the talking, and his effort early on in Sunday’s Gold Cup quarterfinal helped set the tone for a hard-fought victory.On a day when Curacao tested the Americans like no team had in this Gold Cup, it was Pulisic who provided a consistent threat, setting the tone with a strong start, and delivering the game-winning assist on Weston McKennie’s goal in an eventual 1-0 victory.It was a performance that drew praise from Curacao manager Remko Bicentini, who called him the best player on the night, as well as raves from USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare “He’s a guy that can lead through performance,” Berhalter said of Pulisic. “I talked to him about being captain in this game, and it was something that he readily accepted. You see his work. He’s a guy that — despite getting fatigued in the game — he didn’t stop working, and then he has the quality to give a great pass to Weston, an in-swinging cross. He was in on a number of other chances, shots from the top of the 18, had that other chance in the beginning of the game that was really close to going in, And his defensive work was excellent.”Really happy with his performance, and that’s why he was captain, to be able to put in performances like that.”Playing in front of his family, the Hershey, Pennsylvania native came out buzzing to start the match, taking on defenders and nearly opening the scoring in the fifth minute, only to have Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Good deny him with a highlight-reel save.Pulisic broke through in the 25th minute when he delivered an inch-perfect cross that McKennie headed home for the eventual winning goal on a night when the U.S. attack struggled to generate chances after a promising start.Chances were sparse for the Americans, but Pulisic remained a threat throughout the night, fighting and scrapping for loose balls and taking on defenders any chance he got.”I just really wanted to show the team that I was there, and I wanted to lead the team right from the start,” Pulisic said. “I wanted the team to kind of gain some energy off that, being a great start. I just wish we could have put away a few more of those chances in the beginning, myself as well, but in the end we got the win.”The 1-0 victory was the second straight 1-0 result after Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Panama, but Curacao gave the Americans their toughest challenge so far this Gold Cup, passing through the USMNT press with ease and dominating possession in the second half. For the most part, that control didn’t lead to truly dangerous chances, save for one threatening long-range shot that Zack Steffen parried away with a diving save.”Not every game is going to go perfectly,” Pulisic said. “Curacao did a really good job when they had the ball. They were very calm with the ball. They moved it really well and they built out of the back well. They made us defend a lot, and it was tough, but like I said, in the end we need to finish more chances towards the beginning of the game to make it easier on ourselves, but now we’re on to the next one.”The Americans move on to Wednesday’s Gold Cup semifinal against Jamaica, a rematch of the 2017 Gold Cup final won by the USMNT, and a rematch of a June 5 friendly won by Jamaica at Audi Field in Washington D.C.Wednesday’s rematch will look much different, not least of all because Pulisic didn’t play in the previous meeting. On Wednesday, Pulisic will be on hand to lead the attack, which will need to play much better than it did on Sunday if the USMNT is going to reach the Gold Cup final.”We know what we need to work on,” Pulisic said. “Today wasn’t exactly our day, it didn’t flow as it did in the last few games offensively, but we’re going to find that rhythm. Today, if we score a few more goals early in that game it’s a completely different game. It opens up and we’re able to be much more calm. They did a good job defending us, they were calm on the ball and they were able to keep the ball for stretches, it was not easy for us, but in the end we won the game.”