Ex-Wolves boss Solbakken: Man City will win league – they never stand stillby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Wolves boss Stale Solbakken believes Manchester City will win the Premier League this season.Liverpool are currently top of the table.But Copenhagen coach Solbakken told VG: “It’s probably City and Liverpool that’s number one and two in the end, but I think City is a clearer one than Liverpool is a clear two.”Remember that City has played away against its closest rivals (2-0 victory against Arsenal, 0-0 against Liverpool, 1-0 win against Tottenham and 0-2 defeat against Chelsea).”I think they build on the team all the time. (Pep) Guardiola is working on difficult things; the distances in the team, the defensive work and the ambitious attack game. They are so solid across all lines.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Leicester boss Puel hopeful Vardy fit for Chelseaby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Claude Puel is hopeful that he will have Jamie Vardy available for the clash against Chelsea.Vardy was not put into the game against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, which Leicester lost on penalties.But Puel believes more training in the week should see Vardy ready for the weekend’s Premier League contest.”I hope we can have Jamie on Saturday. There wasn’t enough time for him to play today,” Puel said after the game.”He trained one full session and then played against Palace in the Premier League for 90 minutes. It was important to keep him fresh.”We have to be careful to avoid another injury. It is the second time with the same groin. I hope he can play against Chelsea on Saturday.”Vardy has five goals this season. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Glazers investing in Old Trafford upgradeby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United’s owners, the Glazer Family, have plans to revamp Old Trafford in the coming years.The Glazers have come in for criticism regarding their spending on stadium maintenance and upgrades – leaving Old Trafford aged and lagging behind their rivals’ new modern facilities.The belief has been that the owners has been shocked by spending on transfer fees and player wages in recent years and have scaled back plans to spend on the stadium.However, the Daily Express says the Glazers do intend to pump money into Old Trafford – and have overseen a £20million investment already.United have an ongoing multi-million pound refurbishment plan. Last summer that squared to £2m and, this summer, to £3.9m.
Former Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio believes that Diego Lainez would be a perfect fit for Ajax. The 18-year-old has been widely linked with a move to the Dutch side in this winter. Club American sporting director Santiago Banos even said in December that it was “almost certain” the youngster would be moving on. 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? Osorio has now added his opinion, claiming that Lainez is a great fit for Ajax and is the top prospect in Mexico. “I think Diego fits perfectly in Amsterdam,” he told De Telegraaf. “He is currently the greatest talent of Mexico. “Diego is a smart player, very skillful, a real left leg, fast with the ball on his foot and very strong in the one-on-one.” Lainez would be far from the first Mexican player to make the move to Dutch football. El Tri stars Andres Guardado, Hector Moreno, Carlos Salcido, and Hirving Lozano have all played in the Eredivisie over the years, with Erick Gutierrez having also moved to the league last summer. Lozano has been among the leading scorers in the league since making the move to PSV in 2017 and is now drawing interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Osorio thinks Lainez could have a similar path to stardom with a move to Amsterdam, and believes it’s a solid step toward Europe’s top leagues for talented youngsters. “He has the talent to succeed at Ajax,” he said. “And the past has proven that Latinos can be an added value for the Eredivisie. “It is a nice springboard to larger competitions.” The Colombian even went so far as to compare Lainez to two Ajax legends. “Diego has the speed of Finidi George and Marc Overmars and is a true creator of the game,” Osorio said of the youngster. Lainez made his Liga MX debut in March 2017 and earned his first cap for the full national team last September, though he has seen limited time on the pitch at the top level. Still, his star showings for El Tri’s youth teams at both at both the Concacaf U-20 Championship and in the summer at the Toulon Tournament have been enough to convince teams in Europe of his immense talent.
Cardale Jones/Twitter.Ohio State sent Cardale Jones a present.Ohio State takes on No. 9 Nebraska in what is essentially a make-or-break game for the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers. Ahead of the matchup, Ohio State revealed some sweet new uniforms.The Buckeyes and Nike sent one of these new uniforms to Jones.Big S/O to @OhioStateFB & @Nike for sending a official game jersey for Saturday nights game vs Nebraska. #12Gauge pic.twitter.com/zwMG2HPZ9Q— Cardale Jones (@Cardale7_) November 3, 2016When you win a national championship, there are definitely some perks attached. Cardale Jones currently plays for the Buffalo Bills after being drafted in the fourth round—No. 139 overall—in the 2016 NFL draft.Ohio State and Nebraska are set to kick off at 8 p.m. E.T. on ABC Saturday.
Forty-four years of painful waiting will come to an end on Sunday when Peru take to the Maracana turf. In that period every single South American nation with the exception of Venezuela has qualified for at least one Copa America final, while the Inca have been left out in the cold.It was not always thus. In the 1970s and early 1980s the nation boasted an enviable pool of talent that established them firmly among the continent’s giants. The likes of attacking greats Teofilo Cubillas and Hugo Sotil, the elegant midfielder Julio Cesar Uribe and other stars led a golden generation for the nation which included World Cup appearances in 1970, 1978 and 1982.Their finest moment, however, came in 1975. In that year’s Copa America, the first to carry that name – previous tournaments carried the rather clunkier tag of Campeonato Sudamericano – and the first Copa to be played across the continent rather than in one host nation, Peru waltzed to a 3-1 semi-final victory in Belo Horizonte against Brazil in one of the nation’s most celebrated performances. 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 The Selecao fought back to win the second leg 2-0 in Lima, and in the absence of away goals and penalties the two sides drew lots, leaving Peru as the winner. A similar scenario played out in the final, with both the Inca and Colombia winning their home leg before Sotil’s solitary goal led his side to the trophy in front of a capacity crowd in Caracas, Venezuela, chosen for the tie-breaker.Like all great generations, that team eventually saw its time pass. Peru narrowly missed out on qualification to the 1986 World Cup as Cubillas, Sotil (both pictured below) and other former mainstays of the team began to hang up their boots. A ray of hope loomed on the horizon, though, in the shape of Los Potrillos of Alianza Lima.The symbol of that great team, coached by the man who had delivered Copa glory to Peru in 1975, Marcos Calderon, was Luis Escobar. Having made his debut at the tender age of 14 at Alianza, Escobar was tipped to become the next Peruvian great – winning comparisons with none other than Cubillas as he began to shine. At 18 he was a fixture in the Alianza line-up, accompanied by fellow young stars such as Jose Casanova, Juan Reynoso, Carlos Bustamante, Alfredo Tomassini and Johnny Watson. Behind them in goal stood Jose “Caico” Gonzales, club legend and a part of Peru’s Copa America-winning team in 1975 as well as the uncle of current idol Paolo Guerrero. “He loved him as if he were his own son,” Guerrero’s mother recalled to Alianza’s official website. “He was always looking after him, from a young age. He played with him, took him out on the field as the mascot. “He was the first to put the Alianza shirt on [Paolo], from there he loved Alianza. Ever since uncle Caico put the Alianza shirt on him he would not take it off. We had to buy him another. One was in the wash while he wore the other, because he always wanted to be well-dressed.” That team won back-to-back regional titles in 1985 and 1986 and the following year entered the Copa Libertadores, missing out on qualification to the semi-finals after finishing behind eventual winners Penarol at the group stage. At international level too, the team was having an impact, supplying three members of the Peru squad for the 1987 Copa America squad as they set their sights on that year’s Torneo Descentralizado (Peruvian league) title. Escobar and Co. were tipped to form the backbone of the national team going into qualifying for the next World Cup in Italy, before one of the worst tragedies in football history decimated Alianza and Peru as a whole. Returning from a Descentralizado game against Deportivo Pucalipa on December 8, the Fokker navy plane transporting the Alianza squad crashed on its descent into Callao’s Jorge Chavez International Airport. Of the 44 people on board only pilot Edilberto Villar survived, with 17 players, Calderon and his entire coaching staff and two referees travelling with the team. Juan Reynoso had received a red card in Alianza’s previous clash and did not travel with his team-mates to Pucalipa, an act which saved the 17-year-old Peru international’s life. Now an established coach, Reynoso caused a scandal some years later in leaving his boyhood club for hated Lima rivals Universitario. He has not returned to Alianza since – and remains reluctant to talk about the accident. “I don’t like being asked about the Fokker because it is like sticking a finger in an open wound for those bereaved,” he told Peru 21 in 2009, one of the few times he has addressed the tragedy publicly. “They are still suffering.“It was more likely back then for me to be on the plane than not to be. I have thought it many times and I start thinking about what it would have been like for my family more than for me. But I do not like the subject.”Incredibly, and thanks to the selflessness of stars like Cubillas, who returned to the club from the United States at the age of 38 to play the rest of the season for free, Alianza went on to take the 1987 Descentralizado title, which was postponed until well into 1988 due to the crash. But the ultimate effect was devastating for the club, who had to rebuild from scratch and with the pall of grief hanging over the tough working class neighbourhood of La Victoria synonymous with Alianza, in the same way that La Boca is inseparable from the Buenos Aires giants.The tragedy also set back Peruvian football as a whole. The Inca lost all four games in qualifying for the 1990 World Cup and picked up just one point of 18 for the following edition, while winning a paltry two Copa America games in the four tournaments played between 1989 and 1995.Results began to improve towards the end of the 20th century, with several appearances in Copa semis. That coveted World Cup spot, however, remained elusive, until the arrival in March 2015 of Ricardo Gareca, the livewire Argentine with more than a passing resemblance to Iggy Pop that has revolutionised Peru’s fortunes.Like Calderon before him, Gareca gambled on youth. The likes of Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Miguel Trauco and Andy Polo were drafted in during his first days in the job in 2016, and came through together as Peru gained a play-off spot for Russia 2018 by the skin of their teeth over Chile before dispatching New Zealand to make their first finals in 34 years.And just as that tragic Alianza side had Caico as the experienced old warrior leading and cajoling, Gareca can count on his nephew. Guerrero (pictured, below) returned to competitive action with Internacional for the first time since the World Cup as recently as April this year after serving a doping ban, but at 35 remains a key member of the Peru side. He sealed their 3-0 semi-final win against Chile on Wednesday by rounding Gabriel Arias and netting with ease.While he was just short of his fourth birthday that awful day, the scars of his uncle’s passing are yet to fully heal. “I am scared of flying,” he admitted to Bandeirantes during his spell at Brazil’s Corinthians. “When my uncle died I was three or four. I remember my mother’s screams. She was listening to music, I think she was ironing, and that was when she screamed when she heard talk of a tragedy.“’The Alianza Lima players are all dead, the plane fell in the sea’. I only remember that. That is why I am scared of planes. Everyone here at Corinthians knows it. When the plane goes through turbulence…”When Guerrero scores he often holds both arms aloft and raises his eyes to the heavens. With that gesture he celebrated for Inter his first goal since returning from suspension, explaining after the game that he was paying tribute to nephew Julio Rivera, who passed away after falling under the wheels of a car during a botched robbery attempt in Lima.Paolo “EL GUERRERO” pic.twitter.com/loLJTv5OA9— GIO (@gioarte26) 10 de abril de 2019Cartoonist Gio, an avid Alianza fan, immortalised the moment, picturing Gonzales and Rivera embracing each other from above as they watch Guerrero return from the toughest challenge of his professional career.“[Paolo] has a lot of things [from Caico],” his mother adds. “One of those is humility. My mother taught us, you have to stay focused. Don’t let fame go to your head. Stay centred. Caico complained very little.”That focus and humility has allowed Guerrero to overcome personal tragedy and strife to become the figurehead of this Peru team, whose passage to the Copa final to meet Brazil sparked wild celebrations in Lima and across the nation.A 5-0 defeat in the group stages and Brazil’s status as hosts make the Inca overwhelming underdogs when they walk out to a baying Maracana crowd on Sunday. But the journey itself is reward for this exciting, dynamic side, who under the watchful eye of Gareca have evoked in equal measure memories of great teams past and great teams that might have been.
Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi is very close to renewing his contract as Willian remains locked in discussions over prolonging his stay at Chelsea.Chelsea ran out 4-3 winners away at Reading in their fifth pre-season match under the new manager at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.A Mason Mount double helped the Blues edge past the Championship side after earlier goals from Ross Barkley and Kenedy. 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? Hudson-Odoi remains out with an Achilles tendon rupture, while Willian will soon return to west London after a holiday in Brazil following his country’s Copa America win over the summer.The duo remain in the headlines as both their deals expire at the end of the current season. Lampard issued his latest updates on contract talks between the club and his two wingers.“I think agreed would mean signed so we’re not quite there but what’s very clear is the club are working towards that,” Lampard said about talks to renew Hudson-Odoi’s deal. “Talks moved on very well in the last week or two but it’s not done yet.”The one thing that’s clear to me is I want to keep him here. He’s a player we cherish. Players who come through the academy are the present and the future of the club so we’re doing everything we can to get there. I hope it’s news to be confirmed soon.”Earlier this week, Goal reported that Hudson-Odoi is set to sign a five-year, £100,000-a-week deal to remain at Stamford Bridge following heavy interest from Bayern Munich. Lampard was less assured on Willian’s future, but expressed his desire to keep the 30-year-old at the club. “I know the club are talking to Willian. They’re both players I want in my squad,” Lampard said, referencing Hudson-Odoi as well.”We’ve made good moves in pre-season. Mason Mount and [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek signed new contracts, that’s two good young players nailed down.”We’re always trying to do that. From a football sense, I make my ideas clear and work very closely with [Chelsea director] Marina [Granovskaia] and the board and they’re two players we want to stay for sure.”Hudson-Odoi suffered his injury in a match against Burnley in April last season but he is thought to be ahead of schedule in his bid to recover.Lampard says that the 18-year-old is back on the training pitch at Cobham Training Centre, although he isn’t taking part in full first-team sessions with the squad.”He’s not training with us yet but the injury is coming on well,” Lampard added. “He is ahead of schedule. I get scared of saying [it] but from the first diagnosis he’s ahead of schedule.”But there will be a period for Callum where his injury is fine and then he needs to get fit to play in this team because it will be demanding with the way I want to play, from front to back.”He’s not far away and I know he’s done everything he can to be fit through the summer and the medical team have been very good. We’re getting close.”Lampard will soon decide the futures of some of his fringe players as he needs to cut his squad numbers down ahead of the new season.The Premier League and Champions League limits clubs to a maximum of 17 foreign players and the likes of Kenedy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Michy Batshuayi and Davide Zappacosta are at risk of being moved on.Their futures are linked to several homegrown stars including Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. Lampard insists that he is closing in on making some final changes to his squad.Chelsea have two more pre-season matches against RB Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach before a tough away trip to Manchester United in their Premier League opener.N’Golo Kante has yet to make a pre-season match since playing with an injection in the Europa League final win over Arsenal at the end of May. Lampard is hoping to have the midfielder back in time to face Manchester United in two weeks.”I am hopeful he will be ready,” he concluded. “He’s dipped into training with us in the last couple of days. There’s still a lot more he needs to do physically without us, that he can do without contact, which has been good.”But the signs are good in the last three days since we’ve been back. It was certainly the right decision for him to come back and get the treatment he had. I would expect him to be training through the week with us to the point where at the start of next week he is fully training.”
LAWRENCE, KS – AUGUST 30: Memorial Stadium empties after the game between the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the Northwestern University Wildcats on August 30, 2003 in Lawrence, Kansas. Northwestern defeated Kansas 28-20. (Photo by Dave Kaup/Getty Images)Kansas football has been really struggling for about a decade now. David Beaty is in his fourth year in Lawrence, but unless something drastic changes in the next few weeks, it will almost definitely be his last.Week 1 did Beaty no favors. Some fans thought it should have been his final game as Jayhawks head coach.Kansas fell to FCS program Nicholls 26-23 in overtime on Saturday night. It was the second loss to an FCS team in four years under Beaty.Overall, Kansas is just 3-34 under Beaty, with just one win in the Big 12.David Beaty is still coaching Kansas football right now, but the loss prompted a statement from athletic director Jeff Long.That is never a good sign after Week 1, even with Long saying that he’s standing behind the players and coaches. Beaty was not named specifically.KU AD Jeff Long released this comment today re: football … “We all expected a different outcome Saturday but I continue to support our student-athletes and coaches and ask all Jayhawks to do the same. Our evaluation of the program is on-going without a predetermined timeline.”— Jesse Newell (@jessenewell) September 4, 2018Long recently took over as Kansas athletic director, after Sheahon Zenger was fired in the spring. Football is pretty easily identified as the spot that KU felt that Zenger had failed to get on track.He previously served in the same role at Arkansas from 2008-17, and Pitt from 2003-07 before that.It only makes sense that Long will want to make his mark on the program, and hire a head football coach early in his tenure. Unless Beaty has a miraculous turnaround, he’ll get his chance soon.
30 Oct 1999: A general view of the cloudly sky and the packed stadium taken during the game between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Baylor Bears at Wagner Field in Manhattan, Kansas. The Wildcats defeated the Bears 48-7. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch /AllsportKansas State’s football program has been one of the most-respectable in the country during the Bill Snyder era, but things have gone south fast.The Wildcats are having a very difficult 2018 season and much of the fan base appears to be ready to move on from legendary coach Bill Snyder.A former Kansas State player has taken to YouTube to discuss some of the program’s struggles and what’s wrong with the program. He didn’t hold back.Gabriel Crews, who played at Kansas State from 2006-10, addressed several things in a series of videos that paint the KSU program in a not-so-great light.You can watch those videos below:Of course, this is just one former player’s opinion. Still, it’s not a great look for the Kansas State program.Kansas State, 4-6 on the season, is set to play Texas Tech on Saturday.
ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 2: A UCF Knights spirit team member waves the flag after a score in the third quarter of the AAC Championship against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)For the second straight season, UCF football went undefeated. Once again, as expected, the Knights will not be given the chance to play for a national title…at least, the national title that most of us observe. I’m sure if they win their New Year’s Six game, they will claim another.Entering Saturday, UCF needed significant chaos to get involved in the Playoff picture. Instead, despite some drama in the Big 12 and SEC Championships, chalk held.The favorites won all of the Power Five championship games, and the Playoff has been set: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Oklahoma.No. 5 Georgia only fell one spot, despite the loss to Alabama. Ohio State was the second team out at No. 6. The full final College Football Playoff rankings should be released shortly.Once again, UCF football is not taking the perceived College Football Playoff snub well.At least the Knights social media team has channeled it into something creative.After the field was announced, @UCF_Football tweeted a pretty clever response to the whole ordeal.tHeRe Is A pAtH fOr UcF pic.twitter.com/ijSWxvHm3N— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 2, 2018For the less meme-saavy, UCF combined a wrestling video with the text from the famous mocking SpongeBob SquarePants meme, so you know its serious.In reality, the season-ending injury to McKenzie Milton made it very unlikely that UCF could break through here, and even if he was healthy, the Knights needed an extreme set of results to launch into the top four.The Knights, or any Group of Five power, would probably need to go undefeated with a loaded non-conference schedule to get into the field of four. UCF played South Carolina State, had a game against a very bad UNC team canceled, beat FAU, which wound up being disappointing, and blew out Pitt, which is a nice result, but can’t be the best one.With non-conference schedules made years in advance, it is a tough spot for UCF. The Knights are just a few years removed from an 0-12 season. The fact that Scott Frost elevated the program so fast, and that Josh Heupel has picked things up without disruption, made it hard for the school to build out a schedule that would put them in Playoff contention.Still, the disappointment is very understandable.