All posts by Adii Noble

Bashing Jose Mourinho for RB Leipzig Loss May Be Fashionable, But It’s Also Short-Sighted


‘Oooh, it was the Bundesliga’s bright young star against a washed up has-been.’

‘Ooooooh, it turns out anti-football from 2004 doesn’t get you anywhere in 2020.’

‘Ooooooooooooh, Mourinho made all the wrong choices and got what he deserved.’


In modern day football, it’s very easy – perhaps because it’s also incredibly fashionable – to slag off Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho,Julian Nagelsmann

Be it for his mannerisms in press conferences, his touchline antics or his defensive-minded tactical approach, Mourinho is – and has been since his ‘Special One’ declaration – notoriously Marmite.

Continue reading Bashing Jose Mourinho for RB Leipzig Loss May Be Fashionable, But It’s Also Short-Sighted

Lionel Messi Speaks On False Acquisitions Against Barcelona


Lionel Messi Addresses ‘Strange’ Accusations Levelled at President in Barçagate scandal…


Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has described it as a ‘strange subject’ after the club was forced to deny wrongdoing amid claims they organised public criticism of players in order to protect the reputation of under-pressure president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The bizarre claims emerged earlier this week and there was a ferocious backlash with former president Joan Laporta in particular, calling for top-level resignations.

Continue reading Lionel Messi Speaks On False Acquisitions Against Barcelona

England Medics Contact Man Utd Over Marcus Rashford Fitness Ahead of Euro 2020


England medics are growing increasingly concerned over the fitness of Marcus Rashford and have contacted Manchester United to examine their medical reports over fears for his Euro 2020 involvement.

This season has been the striker’s most prolific to date, netting 19 goals in all competitions – including 14 in the top flight – yet injury has blighted his season and his participation before the end of the campaign looks at risk.

Continue reading England Medics Contact Man Utd Over Marcus Rashford Fitness Ahead of Euro 2020

Barcelona Inform La Liga of Martin Braithwaite Payment Ahead of Official Announcement


Barcelona have informed La Liga of their intention to pay the €18m buyout clause in Martin Braithwaite’s contract to sign the Leganes striker.

La Blaugrana had attempted to negotiate a lower fee for Braithwaite earlier, but their efforts have seemingly failed and instead they will pay the full amount on Thursday ahead of an official announcement.


The left-field move for Braithwaite comes after The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) granted Barça special dispensation to sign another forward outside of the January transfer window due to injury problems. A specialist team flew to Finland to confirm the length of forward Ousmane Dembélé’s injury and, having confirmed it to be longer than five months, Barça were granted time to make a signing.

As revealed by Mundo Deportivo, a much-mooted move for Braithwaite is all-but complete, with Quique Setién’s side informing La Liga that they will paid the contractual buyout clause required to secure the Dane’s signature.


Ángel (Getafe), Lucas Pérez (Alavés), Roger Martí (Levante) and Loren Morón (Real Betis) were all considered by the club, but they have opted to go for 28-year-old Braithwaite who has netted six league goals for struggling Leganes this season.

Scott Saunders
@_scottsaunders
“The ’emergency’ situation is the equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot and then demanding your neighbour’s for a transplant.”@Andy_Headspeath on Barcelona’s shameful signing of Martin Braithwate from 19th placed Leganes.


Shameful Martin Braithwaite Episode Leaves Leganes Paying for Barcelona’s Ineptitude
Martin Braithwaite, former Middlesbrough star and Denmark international, is on the verge of a post-January transfer window transfer to Barcelona. It is a…

The club’s new addition could be presented to the media on Thursday and will already be available to Setién for Saturday’s La Liga clash against Eibar at Camp Nou.


The move is certainly a peculiar one, given the Denmark striker’s career path, but one that is reminiscent of last year’s deal for Kevin-Prince Boateng. Signed on a loan deal from Sassuolo in a bid to boost forward options, the Ghanaian struggled for any impact and subsequently moved on to Fiorentina.

The move for Braithwaite has been met with criticism from some quarters with Leganes unable to sign a replacement for their star man, amid a relegation dog fight.


#NobleSport

Tottenham 0-1 RB leipzig: Timo Werner Dents Spurs’ European Hopes


Tottenham have it all to do in their Champions League round of 16 tie after Timo Werner’s penalty handed RB Leipzig a deserved 1-0 lead in north London on Wednesday night

A rip-roaring start from the visitors saw Hugo Lloris forced into an early save, reacting quickly to Angelino’s effort and forcing the on-loan defender’s strike onto the post. It was the visitors who continued to dominate for the remainder of the half, with Timo Werner spurning a decent opportunity for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.


lucas Moura had the first chance of the second half, but it was Leipzig who would take the lead via Werner’s penalty. Ben Davies clearly fouled Konrad Laimer to hand the German the chance from 12 yards, and he made no mistake by firing low beyond Lloris.

Trying to force themselves back into the tie, Giovani Lo Celso came within inches of netting a superb equaliser after seeing his bending free kick tipped onto the post by the outstretched arm of Peter Gulasci.


Spurs continued to press but were unable to find a crucial leveler, and are now faced with a tough task on their hands as they make the return trip to Germany in three weeks’ time.

TOTTENHAM

Key Talking Point

Jose Mourinho

What cost would the absence of Heung-min Son and Harry Kane have on Tottenham’s approach to Wednesday’s clash? The answer: a significant one.


Without a focal point in attack, or someone to hold the ball up in the final third, Spurs struggled to create anything of note. Their approach was a more reactive than proactive one, where it seemed the inevitable goal that would come from RB Leipzig’s onslaught would force their hand as opposed to taking the bull by the horns themselves.

Operating as a 4-4-2 with Dele Alli up top and Gedson Fernandes on the right of midfield, the plan was clear. Soaking up pressure and relying on Lo Celso to craft an opening was all Spurs had going for them. Problem was though, it wasn’t working.


They were facing an outfit who were immensely organised, pressed relentlessly, and who you could forgiven for thinking were the home side based on Wednesday’s showing.

After conceding the goal, the dynamic in Spurs’ game shifted drastically. The question that bubbles up is: why not sooner? Goals change games, sure, but everyone watching on could foresee a Leipzig opener, so why sit back and wait for that to happen? An improvement followed, granted, but Spurs were asking for it from the off. Their Champions League aspirations have taken a massive dent.


Tottenham Player Ratings

Starting XI: Lloris (7); Aurier (6), Alderweireld (7), Sanchez (7), Davies (6); Winks (6), Fernandes (6), Lo Celso (8*), Alli (5), Bergwijn (5); Lucas (6).

Substitutes: Ndombele (7), Lamela (7).

Giovani Lo Celso
Giovani Lo Celso,Christopher Nkunku

How often has this happened since he’s come into the side more regularly? Answer: 99% of the time.


Once again the standout player for Tottenham was Giovani Lo Celso, who was comfortably the the best player on the park in white. His passing was crisp throughout and, particularly in an uninspiring first half, was the one Spurs player who was trying conjure up some magic for his side.

Not only was he looking to carve open opportunities for his teammates, but if there was nothing on he was willing to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive at the RB Leipzig defence.


RB Leipzig

Key Talking Point

Julian Nagelsmann

How good is the quality of the Bundesliga this season? Take one look at RB Leipzig’s performance in north London and the answer is very clear.

Only six points separate the top six in the division, and Wednesday’s visitors gave a fine example of themselves, showing immense composure and calmness on the ball that was both efficient and effective.

Their pressing was forceful yet measured, and they kept Spurs pinned deep into their own half all the way up until 20 minutes from the end. This was a group of players who knew exactly what their job role was in the side, taking on their orders and adhering to them.


The only issue was, they only scored one. Sure, Spurs turned the screw towards the end, but the fact is that because RB Leipzig were in such control for large spells, the fact they’ve left their opponents with a glimmer of hope in the second leg is the only downside on an otherwise solid showing.

RB Leipzig Player Ratings

Starting XI: Gulasci (8); Halstenberg (8), Ampadu (8), Klostermann (8), Tasende (7); Laimer (8), Sabitzer (9*), Mukiele (8); Nkunku (8); Werner (8), Schick (7).

Substitutes: Haidara (7), Poulsen (7), Forsberg (N/A).

Marcel Sabitzer
Marcel Sabitze,Giovani Lo Celso


Talk about running the show, Marcel Sabitzer was instrumental in all the flowing moves RB Leipzig made on Wednesday night. Operating off the front two, his commanding presence in the middle of the park was the platform for every attack the visitors made.

Intense in his pressing yet calm in possession, the Austrian oozed class with his silky footwork and impressive vision. He wore the captain’s armband and it’s only fair to say it was a captain’s performance from the 25-year-old.


Aaron West

@oeste
I love Marcel Sabitzer so much. He is pure class.

Continue reading Tottenham 0-1 RB leipzig: Timo Werner Dents Spurs’ European Hopes

Atalanta brutally defeats Valencia in Last 16 Champions League Tie


Atalanta have one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after an enthralling 4-1 victory over Valencia at their adopted home of the San Siro on Wednesday night.

La Dea’s expansive style of play put Valencia to the sword as a brace from Hans Hateboer and strikes from Josip Iličić and Remo Freuler secured a commanding first-leg lead.


The hosts started brightly and with a quarter of an hour gone, they had their lead. Skipper Papu Gómez played in an inviting low cross for Hateboer to tap in his first-ever goal for the club.

Atalanta were a real threat in the first-half, their tendency to overload the flanks with their wing-backs caused problems for the visitors on the counter-attack.


But against the run of play, Valencia almost hit an equaliser. A quick free-kick caught Atalanta out, clever movement from Ferran Torres put him in on goal, but the angle was tight and he struck the woodwork.


The away side would rue those missed chances as on the stroke of half-time Illičić received the ball on the edge of the area, worked an opening and thrashed it beyond Jaume Domenech and into the top corner.

Then just before the hour mark, it was three. Gómez again involved, the loose ball spilt to Freuler who cut in from the left and whipped a curling effort into the far corner.


Valencia’s Maxi Gómez then had a golden chance to grab a crucial away goal but, unmarked in the middle of the goal, he fired straight at Pierluigi Gollini.

Minutes later, and unbelievably, Atalanta had their fourth goal of the night. Hateboer had his second as the full-back finished a move that quite simply ripped the Spaniards apart.


But the goals didn’t stop there, a sloppy ball was expertly taken advantage of by Valencia substitute Denis Cheryshev who rifled an unstoppable shot across the keeper and into the net.

Los Che had yet more chances to reduce the deficit as Atalanta refused to batten down the hatches but the scoreline remained the same.


La Dea performed miracles to make it into the knockout stages, limping out of Group C as runners-up with just seven points from six games.

However having earned their place in the last 16, it appears the stage fright has disseminated and Gian Gasperini’s side suddenly look at home in Europe’s elite competition.


#NobleSport…

Paul Heyman Says Brock Lesnar Doesn’t Want John Cena’s Compliments

video


Paul Heyman took to Twitter tonight and had a harsh response to the recent praise for WWE Champion Brock Lesnar from John Cena.

As noted back on January 30, Cena spoke with Sports Illustrated and had major praise for his former rival. Cena called The Beast the best in-ring performer he’s ever seen in the pro wrestling business. Cena went on about Lesnar’s dominance and how Lesnar put on a clinic during the 30-Man Royal Rumble main event this year. You can read all of Cena’s comments on Lesnar by clicking here.


Heyman tweeted a screenshot from his Instagram Stories and told Cena that Lesnar doesn’t want his compliments.

“Dear @johncena, #BrockLesnar doesn’t want your F’N compliments! Happy Valentine’s Day,


#YourHumbleAdvocate,” Heyman wrote as the caption to a throwback photo of Lesnar wrestling Cena in the older days of SmackDown.

Heyman tagged the official WWE Universe account, Cena and Lesnar in the post. Cena has not responded as of this writing.


#NobleSport…

Jack Grealish ‘Tells Friends’ He Wants Manchester United Move


Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish is said to have told friends about his desire to move to Manchester United, as rumours surrounding the future of the 24-year-old continue to swirl.

The midfielder has been the prime spark for the Birmingham club this season and his recent performances have caught the attention of a host of top clubs, including both Barcelona and Real Madrid.


Grealish has made 23 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa this campaign, conjuring up seven goals and five assists as he leads them in the fight to avoid relegation.

Jack Grealish
One line in a report from Manchester Evening News states Grealish is increasingly open to an Old Trafford switch, with his friends thought to have ‘indiscreetly said as much’. The Englishman is under contract with Aston Villa until 2023 and has a release clause of around £45m.


With stories regarding United’s rumoured summer targets coming thick and fast, United chairman Ed Woodward recently opened up on the club’s transfer strategy.

He said: “As a club and a board, we do recognise that we are not yet where we want to be. It is the overwhelming priority of everyone at the club to get us back to regularly challenging for Premier League and Champions League titles.


Ed Woodward

“Although progress may not always be smooth, everyone across the club is focused and committed on playing their part in helping achieve those aims.

“January is not an optimal time in terms of availability of players – we would only buy in January if players we had already targeted for the summer became available and we were pleased that this strategy played out with the signing of Bruno Fernandes this week.


“Bruno Fernandes and the players we brought last summer are evidence that our process is the right one. There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200m spent since Ole became manager; our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.”

Dean Smith

United remain in the hunt for a Champions League spot, sitting six points below fourth placed Chelsea ahead of Monday’s trip to Stamford Bridge. Villa are 17th, just one point off West Ham in the relegation zone.


#NobleSport…

Lyon President Delivers Transfer Update on Man Utd & Chelsea Target Moussa Dembele


Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed the club will not stand in the way of any player who wishes to leave, including Manchester United and Chelsea target Moussa Dembele.

United were rumoured to be interested in bringing the former Celtic man to Old Trafford last month as they searched for reinforcements following the injury sustained by Marcus Rashford.


Chelsea were linked with a late move for Dembele last month, though previously revealed the Frenchman would not leave the Ligue 1 side during the winter window.

Moussa Dembele

Dembele has been in sensational form yet again this season, notching 13 goals in 23 games in Ligue 1. Despite the former France Under-21 star’s move to the Premier League failing to materialise, Aulas has confirmed players looking to leave the club will not be forcefully stopped from doing so.


“We already have a certain number of offers for our players for summer,” Aulas said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News. “We sell the players who want to leave to where they want to go.”

Rashford’s injury left United light up top, with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood the only fit senior forwards at the club. Their quest for frontline back-up eventually resulted in the deadline day signing of former Watford man Odion Ighalo.


Ighalo is yet to feature for the club and is believed to have been training away from the squad due to fears regarding his health, having recently arrived from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

FBL-AFR-2019-MATCH51-TUN-NGA

Ahead of Monday’s vital trip to Chelsea, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is keen to involve Ighalo with the squad.


“He is going to travel with us [for the Chelsea game],” Solskjaer said. “We will just see his fitness work this week and I think we will get him sharp. We want to integrate him as quickly as we can because, of course, he is desperate to play for us.”

United sit eighth in the Premier League, six points behind Chelsea who occupy the final Champions League spot.


#NobleSport…

Liverpool sets to “join the race” to sign Jadon Sancho


Liverpool are reported to have expressed an interest to Borussia Dortmund in England forward Jadon Sancho, while RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner also remains on their list of targets.

The Reds have made just two senior signings this season, bringing in goalkeeper Adrián and forward Takumi Minamino in summer and January respectively, but they have not made a major addition since the summer of 2018.


Jadon Sancho

The Daily Mail reports that this could be set to change, with Jürgen Klopp clearly looking to get a head start on his transfer plans. It states that they have contacted Dortmund to express a formal interest in signing Sancho.


Chelsea have been heavily linked with the winger, while Manchester United are confident of winning the race for his signature, but Liverpool’s interest could change the game completely given their current standing.

They hope, according to the report, that Klopp’s relationship with Dortmund – where he spent seven fantastic years between 2008 and 2015 – will work in their favour and convince the German side to do business in a deal worth over £100m.


Jurgen Klopp

It is noted that Sancho is good friends with both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson, while he is also close to young striker Rhian Brewster, so it is suggested that he would have no problem moving to Anfield on a personal level.

Liverpool’s bumper new Nike kit deal would certainly help finance a blockbuster move for Sancho, but with so much competition for his signature, the Reds still have plenty of work to do on this one.


And as previously noted by 90min, such a move would mean a significant shift in Liverpool’s transfer policy. Their move of course cannot be ruled out, but Liverpool under Klopp have made a habit of not spending large amounts of money unless necessary.

Tthe Reds are also chasing Werner, and Sport Bild actually claim that they are the ‘favourites’ to sign him in the summer.


Timo Werner

His release clause, which will be between €55m and €60m, is incredibly affordable, and it is thought that he would prefer a switch to Liverpool to be part of their high-octane style of football.

Chelsea and Atlético Madrid are also named as suitors for the 23-year-old striker, so the final decision about his destination will be left to Werner himself.


#NobleSport…

Pep Guardiola Admits his job could Be over at Mancity


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he could be sacked by the club if he fails to beat Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16 tie…


The Citizens have almost certainly failed to defend their Premier League title, with Liverpool a whopping 22 points clear at the top of the table, so Guardiola’s focus is on lifting the Champions League with City for the first time.

Busy few weeks on the way! 💪

19/02 – City v West Ham
22/02 – Leicester v City
26/02 – Real Madrid v City
01/03 – Carabao Cup Final
04/03 – Sheff Weds v City
08/03 – United v City


Speaking to Sky Sports, Guardiola did not shy away from the importance of his upcoming meeting with Real, admitting that all he wants to do over the next few weeks is to find a way to come out on top against Zinedine Zidane’s side.

“There are many incredible players that made our fans happy, and [times when] our fans enjoyed part of the season,” he said.

“I know the people say ‘You are good’ or ‘You’re not good enough.’ I accept it. I want to win the Champions League, I dream and will enjoy the games against Real Madrid, to see what I can do.


Pep Guardiola

“And this process, the two weeks before, will be the happiest moments of my profession, to imagine what we can do to beat them.

“If we don’t beat them, then the chairman will come, or the sporting director, and say ‘It’s not good enough, we want the Champions League, I’m going to sack you’. Then ‘OK, thank you, it was a pleasure.’”


When asked whether he genuinely believed that his job at City could be on the line, Guardiola confessed that it is certainly a possibility.

“I don’t know, many times it has happened. Or maybe he will say ‘OK, you’ve done well, but what can we improve?’” he added. “Since I arrived, that is what I have got from this club – what can we do, then do it better and do it better. That is the process.


Josep Guardiola,Jurgen Klopp
“Liverpool have spent four or five years to win the first title last season. It was a process – new players, the process, then invest more and more, and they are the best team in the world right now.

“Always people believe that you are Pep, or you are Jürgen, or another name, so you have to win all the titles, get two thousand million points, two thousand million goals.

“Sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes there are opponents, sometimes you cannot do it because in no sport does one team win all the titles all the time. It’s impossible.”


#NobleSport…

PSG Ready to Offer Kylian Mbappé €50m-a-Year Deal Post-Tax to Snub Real Madrid


Paris Saint-Germain are ready to make Kylian Mbappé one of the highest paid players in the world by offering him a bumper new contract ahead of Euro 2020.

The 21-year-old is already one of the world’s best players and is likely to get even better, which is why Real Madrid are incredibly eager to bring him to the Santiago Bernabéu as soon as possible.


Kylian Mbappe
His current contract will run until 2022, but AS state that PSG are ready to offer him a post-tax wage of €50m-a-year to snub the Spanish side’s advances and remain in Paris.

The report claims that that would see him earn similar money to both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, although a previous investigation noted that the latter is in a league of his own when it comes to wages.

However, you get the point – it’s a lot of money.


Regardless, such a salary would be more than triple what Mbappé currently earns, while it would also be higher than teammate Neymar, which sounds like a problem waiting to happen.

Paris Saint-Germain v Montpellier HSC – Ligue 1
A source close to PSG claimed that the club do not want to lose Mbappé before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which means they will have to convince him to sign a new contract before that point.


Real’s plan is to ensure he does not. He is currently valued at over €300m, but the Spanish club know that his asking price will plummet if he enters the final year of his contract in 2021.

Their plan is to reach out to Mbappé indirectly to convince him to reject any offers from PSG, similar to how they managed to lure Eden Hazard away from Chelsea last summer, before swooping in to save the day with a sizeable offer.


Hazard,Zinedine Zidane
Real do not want to damage their relationship with PSG, and instead want to be seen as heroes who will still pay a huge price for a player in the final year of his contract.

However, if Mbappé renews his contract and accepts an astronomical salary, then Real’s chances of signing him anytime soon will be almost non-existent.


#NobleSport…

Barcelona Under Pressure to Re-Sign Neymar to Appease Lionel Messi


Barcelona have been tipped to make a serious attempt to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this summer in a bid to appease star man Lionel Messi.

The Ballon d’Or holder himself has been at the centre of major speculation as a result of the club’s struggles and a public falling out with technical secretary Eric Abidal.


Talk of Neymar returning reached a peak last summer, only to fail. Player exchange proposals were made, but PSG never budged. The Barça players offered weren’t keen and the club ultimately didn’t have the drive to up their interest and really make it happen.

Lionel Messi,Neymar
Neymar himself was rumoured to have reacted angrily and emotionally when he finally found out the move wasn’t going to materialise last summer. There was even a rumour at the time that Barça, knowing the finances were almost certainly beyond them, only went through the motions.


The attempted pursuit last summer was said to be for the benefit of Messi, but now they have to take it more seriously and El Confidencial writes that president Josep Maria Bartomeu is under pressure to try and bring Neymar back to Camp Nou.

It is said that Messi’s ‘request’ has to be taken seriously by the club for the main reason that antagonising the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could push him towards the door.


The significant level of influence Messi has at Camp Nou when it comes to sporting decisions is summed up by this line from the report: ‘Bartomeu’s Barcelona has reached a point where it is clear that it is more convenient to pay more attention to Messi than, for example, to Eric Abidal.’

Lionel Messi
If Barça again fail to re-sign Neymar, it threatens to disappoint an already frustrated Messi – who, famously, has a clause in his contract that allows him to walk away from the club at the end of any given season.


El Confidencial notes that even though Neymar wouldn’t necessarily be approved by the majority of Barcelona fans as a result of the manner of his 2017 departure, it would ‘enthuse’ Messi, who is said to ‘need’ the Brazilian more than any other player – even Antoine Griezmann.


From Bartomeu’s own perspective, being able to land a deal for Neymar would be seen as a major win for his presidency, which has come under increasing scrutiny.

But the finances remain a sticking point for Barcelona, while negotiating a sale with PSG has proven impossible so far, despite Neymar’s apparent keenness to leave Parc des Princes.


#NobleSport…

Mancity’s 6 biggest mistakes in 2019/2020


2019/20 has proved to be a troubling season for Manchester City and their manager Pep Guardiola.

Injuries have played a role in their sub-par performance thus far, but the Sky Blues must take the blame for their inadequate preparation ahead of the new campaign. City could have mitigated the damage, yet they decided to take a gamble that hasn’t paid off.


Bernardo Silva
The fact they have a top four spot wrapped up is little consolation. The money that has been pumped into this club has made Champions League football the bare minimum. Anything else is a failure for a side that have spent a net £600m over the last five years.

Let’s takes a look at six of the Sky Blues’ biggest mistakes this term.


Failing to Replace vincent kompany

Aymeric Laporte suffered knee ligament damage in August, while fellow centre back John Stones has spent time on the sidelines due to muscular issues.

That left City with Nicolás Otamendi as the only senior central defender left standing, leading Pep to use Rodri and Fernandinho as stop-gaps. Eventually, he lost patience with Otamendi and promoted teenager Eric García from the youth set-up.


It’s clear to see that the Premier League champions didn’t make the necessary purchases last summer. Captain Vincent Kompany – their defensive leader – left in May, and yet the Sky Blues chose to spend lavishly in other areas.

Once again, they totally ignored the long-standing problem they have at centre back. City left themselves vulnerable and paid the price after losing Laporte and Stones.


Buying João Cancelo

Joao Cancelo

It’s slightly surprising that the Citizens didn’t abandon their pursuit of João Cancelo when Juventus told them he’d cost €28m plus Danilo, who they valued at €37m.

The Portugal international is far from a flop, but the fee City paid was foolish. The money would have been of far more use in central defence, where the need for investment is desperate.


Yes, another full back was required. But Cancelo’s price tag should have seen Guardiola switch his attention elsewhere. The 25-year-old hasn’t brought a whole lot to the table, and spending such a sum on his services scuppered City’s hopes of landing a top class centre back.

This was an unwise acquisition.


Midfielders Slacking Off

Pep Guardiola

Kevin De Bruyne is dazzling us all with his phenomenal ball-playing abilities, but something has been lacking in his game.

The Belgian’s defensive output has taken a downward turn this season, with the same true of both David and Bernardo Silva. That has been a factor in their reduced control of possession in 2019/20.


Fernandinho’s switch to the backline has complicated matters for the Citizens’ creative midfielders, though Rodri and İlkay Gündoğan have been adequate replacements in the anchor role.

It seems De Bruyne and the Silvas haven’t been pulling their weight defensively, causing a ripple effect that has impacted other areas of City’s performance.


Playing Bernardo Silva on the Wing

Bernardo Silva

Bernardo is most effective when played in a midfield three, something he has proved on numerous occasions throughout his three years under Guardiola.

Playing him wide on the right isn’t the worst thing Pep could do, yet it means his playmaking skills often go unrealised. Given Silva’s devastating talents in possession, it’s a sizeable loss for the team.


Guardiola enjoyed plenty of success when Bernardo functioned as a winger in 2017/18 and 2018/19, but things are different now. The man who regularly partnered De Bruyne has lost a bit of his magic this year.


Overusing David Silva

David Silva

El Mago has been a wonderful servant of Manchester City, and he will rightly go down as one of the modern legends at Etihad Stadium.

Unfortunately, there is no room for sentiment when Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool are rampaging their way to a record-breaking title victory. David Silva is not the player he once was. He should not be starting most games.


The 34-year-old’s legs have started to go, and he doesn’t dictate matches like he used to. A lack of energy is costly in the fast-paced Premier League, especially when City’s system is built on fluid movement and sharp reactions when possession is lost.


Phil Foden’s Lack of Game Time

Phil Foden

The decision to keep David Silva in the starting XI has another consequence – Phil Foden is rarely seen.


Brief cameos have become the norm for the starlet, who is the heir to El Mago’s throne. He needs to be receiving regular game time as he prepares for his role as a playmaker in the centre of the park.

Pep hasn’t given him what he needs, handing Foden only two league starts this campaign. He’s got two years of first-team experience under his belt, and it’s high time the boyhood City fan gets a proper opportunity to shine.


#NobleSport…

Milan 1-1 Juventus: Report, Ratings &amp Reactions


A controversial late Cristiano Ronaldo penalty gave Juventus an undeserved draw in their Coppa Italia semi final clash against ten-men AC Milan, cancelling out Ante Rebić’s sliding finish in a 1-1 encounter in Thursday’s first leg.

Milan created the clearest chances in the first half, with Gianluigi Buffon making good saves to deny Davide Calabria and Rebić. On the other hand, La Vecchia Signora struggled to fashion chances for themselves and looked lethargic in their attacks.

Continue reading Milan 1-1 Juventus: Report, Ratings &amp Reactions

Antoine Griezmann’s Representatives Refute Claims He is Unhappy at Barcelona


Antoine Griezmann has denied claims published in a French newspaper that he feels isolated at Barcelona.

The 28-year-old arrived a Camp Nou in July 2019 for a fee of €120m after starring for Atlético Madrid for four seasons. During his time at Atléti, Griezmann registered 133 goals and 50 assists in just over 250 appearances, cementing his reputation as one of the best centre-forwards in the world.

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Coutinho:🗣🗣🗣I Have No Regrets Leaving Barcelona


Former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho insists that he does not ‘look back’ and have regrets about trading Anfield for Camp Nou when he joined Barcelona in 2018.

Coutinho’s career has badly stalled since that €160m transfer two years ago, while Liverpool have gone from strength to strength, winning the Champions League last season and now on course to claim the Premier League title in record breaking fashion.

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Dani Ceballos Reveals Why He Chose to Stay at Arsenal


Dani Ceballos has revealed that he chose to stay at Arsenal in January as he wanted to repay the faith the club have put in him.

The Spaniard joined the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid in the summer and was initially a key part of the team under Unai Emery before picking up a serious injury in October.

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Roberto Firmino or Dennis Bergkamp: Who Should Liverpool Considers as the Better Player


Liverpool are cruising towards their first ever Premier League title, with each individual player having praise heaped on them as a result of their outstanding displays.

Who is their most important player though? Some will say Virgil van Dijk, while others will say Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah, or perhaps Trent Alexander-Arnold or captain Jordan Henderson. The list goes on.

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Fabulous Things Liverpool Could Still Achieve in 2019/20


Things Liverpool Could Still Achieve in 2019/20 Ranked by Likelihood


It’s the winter break and just in case you forgot Liverpool are 22 points clear. Yes, the rest of the league has been wretched but still. Silly.

They’re gonna win the league, surely, but what records will they smash, trash and surpass along the way?

Calculators away, here’s a look at what’s at stake for the Reds as we enter crunch time in a potentially historic campaign…


The Treble

Let’s start with the big one, or the big three. The Treb. El Trebico.

Only once in English football history has a team won the treble. Not a Liverpool 2001 treble, or a Man City domestic treble, or even a (snigger) Mourinho treble, but the actual Premier League-FA Cup-Champions League combo. Of course, that team was Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 1999.

Across Europe, only Celtic (1967), Ajax (1972), PSV (1988), Barcelona (2009 and 2015), Inter (2010) and Bayern Munich (2013) have ever achieved the feat, which separates the really, really good teams from the legendary ones.

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Dayot Upamecano Refuses New RB Leipzig Deal With Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Circling


Dayot Upamecano has refused to sign a new deal at RB Leipzig with host of top European clubs eyeing up a summer move for the defender.

The 21-year-old has made 24 appearances for Julian Nagelsmann’s side this season and his stoic performances at centre-back have been crucial to Leipzig’s surprise title challenge.

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