TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Napoli president De Laurentiis: Mourinho wanted to buy Koulibaly for £95Mby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Jose Mourinho wanted to sign Kalidou Koulibaly for Manchester United.De Laurentiis says his side rejected a £95m bid from United for Koulibaly earlier this month.He told Corriere del Mezzogirono: “Mourinho wanted him, we rejected £95 million.“But now it’s impossible that he leaves Napoli.”Indeed, Koulibaly penned a new deal to 2023 with Napoli this week.
Roma coach Fonseca happy with goalscorer Dzeko for Sassuolo winby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAS Roma coach Paulo Fonseca was delighted with Edin Dzeko for the win over Sassuolo.Dzeko struck in the 4-2 victory.Fonseca said, “I spoke to Edin Dzeko a great deal during pre-season. He is a very important player. He scored a goal today, could’ve had more, but he is an excellent forward.“We changed a few things this evening. Pellegrini played as a trequartista. With Jordan Veretout and Mkhitaryan, we’ve got a better capacity for maintaining possession. Everyone played well today.“I tell everyone to press high and that is an important element. It worked well this evening. That does mean running some risks, but the high press is important and, when done well, actually gives you fewer risks in defence.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Real Madrid coach Zidane: When we lose I’m out and in when we winby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says he can handle the sack talk swirling around him.Pressure has eased on the Frenchman after victory at Sevilla on Sunday.And ahead of their meeting with Osasuna, Zidane shrugged: “When we lose I am out and in when we win.”Beyond the game we did, what stands out is that we played as a team from minute one to the end. “To win the game tomorrow, we need the same. There is no easy game. We have to continue along this line.”He added: “Tomorrow there is a game and what happens happens. We have to make a great game tomorrow, with the same intensity and the same desire. It is what interests me.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Crystal Palace boss Hodgson hails ‘enormously valuable’ Milivojevic after Norwich winby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson was delighted with their 2-0 defeat of Norwich City.Palace captain Luka Milivojevic scored a first-half penalty on his 100th appearance for the club before Andros Townsend sealed the win for Hodgson’s side.”When you see the five minutes go up on the board it was a bit of a deja vu situation. Norwich are a good team with good, quality players and they came back into in the first half which made our one goal lead look fragile,” said Hodgson.”The second goal was coming but we couldn’t produce the last pass or last shot and it was nice when it eventually came.”On captain Milivojevic, he added: “He’s enormously valuable, that’s why he’s captain of the team. He’s been a massive influence on and off the field, particularly on the field, with the way he plays and his understanding of the game.”
It’s certainly a strange old world, football.It’s a world where trivial issues can be amplified, given prime-time prominence and endless air-time, while other, more serious matters are left alone, brushed under the carpet, to be kept there until someone is brave enough to shine a light.Witness, for example, the ‘Spygate’ scandal at Leeds United last week; the story of Marcelo Bielsa instructing a member of staff to covertly observe a Derby County training session. The reaction to that bordered on the hysterical, with talk of ‘moral codes’ and quaint notions of ‘respect’ between clubs and managers. 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 point missed by the likes of Martin Keown, Jermaine Jenas and Stuart Pearce, all of whom voiced predictably strong, indignant opinions on the matter, is football’s fiercely-competitive nature, the fact that any advantage, be it financial, tactical, physical or psychological will be sought by its participants.Observing rivals’ training sessions is not new, nor it is a breach of the sport’s ethics, certainly no more than, say, a player texting a friend at another club to find out their likely starting XI. Believe me, they both happen regularly.The issue of diving is another which is guaranteed to bring football’s moral arbiters to the table, and they’ve been queuing up of late to have their say on the latest ‘storm’. At the eye of it stands – or falls, if you prefer – Mohamed Salah.It is one of those curious statistical quirks that since Boxing Day, Liverpool have been awarded four penalties in four Premier League games, with Salah responsible for three of those. Prior to that, the Reds had been awarded just one spot-kick in their opening 18 league matches. Salah, of course, won that one too, against Saturday’s opponents, Crystal Palace.Last weekend’s penalty proved decisive, settling a tense encounter with Brighton at the AmEx Stadium.Afterwards, with little else to discuss after another clean sheet and an 18th league win of the campaign for the league leaders, the debate centred on the Egyptian, and whether he was in danger of ‘making a name for himself’. And not the good kind. “I think he’ll have to be careful,” said Andy Gray, the former Everton striker and one-time Sky Sports commentator. “I’m a little concerned how easily Mo Salah is going to ground these days, especially in the penalty area.”Richard Keys, his partner in crime at Sky and now BeIN Sports, agreed, adding “I think he’s getting into the habit of making the most of challenges.At the AmEx, the Brighton supporters booed Salah until the final whistle, chanting “1-0 to the referee” as Liverpool sealed the three points.Their ire really should have been directed towards their own player, Pascal Gross, whose naivety and lack of defensive instinct proved so costly.Gross, just as Mamadou Sakho, Paul Dummett and Sokratis Papastathopolous did earlier in the campaign, paid the price for allowing Salah to get behind them, reacting in a panic by making contact with the forward. In this day and age, it’s a game not worth playing.And that, really, is the rub.Pundits such as Gray and Keys – or ESPN’s Craig Burley, who labelled Salah “pathetic” after he tumbled against Newcastle on Boxing Day – belong to a different era, to a sport with different rules.They criticise Salah – or Harry Kane, or Raheem Sterling, or Jamie Vardy, or Wilfried Zaha – because they don’t understand the way the sport has evolved, and is continuing to do so. They see things in black and white, with nothing in between. Funnily enough, there seems to be none of the same outrage when, let’s say, a defender facing his own goal ‘waits for contact’ from an attacker in order to win a cheap free-kick and relieve the pressure on his side, or when a full-back tells the referee he got the ball when the world can see he did anything but.In both cases, the aim is the same; to force the officials into a decision, to gain an advantage for their side. We can take it further, too. Compare, if you will, the reaction to a ‘simulation’ incident to that of a potential red-card tackle.Which damages the game more, a player going to ground when having his shirt pulled in the penalty area, or a 13-stone defender flying, studs showing, into another player’s ankle, shin or knee?Witness how those same pundits, brought up in a world where ‘leaving a bit’ on an opponent was to be applauded – encouraged even – make allowances for such challenges. ‘Part of the game’ they’ll say; aggression is to be admired, but winning your side a ‘soft’ penalty is not, even if the aim of both is the same.This is not a Liverpool moan, although the Reds do currently have a player, Joe Gomez, sidelined after a ‘ball-winning’ challenge from Burnley’s Ben Mee last month. “A fantastic tackle,” Sean Dyche called it. Presumably, the Clarets boss would be equally impressed if it was his player on the receiving end?Rather, this is a debate which cuts to the core of football in this country.Going to ground under a foul – and Gross’ challenge on Salah was a foul, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – can ‘earn you a reputation’, yet endangering the safety of an opponent can be excused, accepted.“You can’t take tackles out of the game,” Mee said. His views will be echoed across the sport, no doubt.And yet we have seen rule changes designed to do exactly that. The ‘tackle from behind’ was outlawed in the 1990s, with rules tightened further before the 1998 World Cup. It was a sensible decision, even if it made life tougher for defenders, who were forced to modify their game, to stay on their feet more, to be less reckless as a result.In this correspondent’s view, the same sort of clampdown is needed on challenges which ‘take the ball’ but at such force that the follow-through puts the opponent at risk.We know the type, and it would be nice to see managers, players and pundits begin to accept that tackles which break bones, rupture ligaments and split shins are as much ‘part of the game’ as terrace racism, crumbling stadia and the Cup Winners’ Cup.The game has changed, the rules have changed, and it is time attitudes changed.As for Salah, his job is simple; to keep doing what he’s doing. And if defenders refuse to learn the lessons of Sakho and Dummett, Sokratis and Gross, then more fool them… Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Twitter/@jeffrey_moore7One Georgia fan got a little more excited than most with his Dawgs’ win over Missouri, and it earned him a hospital trip.Late Saturday night, Georgia fan Jeff Moore posted a video of his friend celebrating Jacob Eason’s late touchdown pass, which proved to be the game-winner in UGA’s 28-27 win at Faurot Field. That celebration involved throwing a cooler across the room for no apparent reason, and crashing through a window. He was very happy.Everyone please look at what I have to deal with on a daily basis.Go dawgs? pic.twitter.com/lj9CXKO3Nr— Jeff Moore (@jeffrey_moore7) September 18, 2016The anonymous friend suffered a really nasty gash on his bicep from going through said glass door.Be forewarned, it is pretty gross looking, so don’t scroll down if you are squeamish.@jeffrey_moore7 …we’re at the hospital now pic.twitter.com/IE3cYlBCZT— Jeff Moore (@jeffrey_moore7) September 18, 2016UGA Football Live followed up with Moore, who brought his friend to the hospital to get stitches.Just spoke with @DINARDO15, the turnt #UGA fan from last night: “All stitched up and ready for Oxford,” he said. pic.twitter.com/wLwePUNay8— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) September 18, 2016That is all well and good, but the guys still have a broken window. They’ve launched a GoFundMe to try and collect funds to repair it.May be a long shot, but anything helps.I’m raising money for UGA Fan Window Replacement Click here: https://t.co/PksJj7g79d via @gofundme— Jeff Moore (@jeffrey_moore7) September 19, 2016From the campaign:I’m sure you’ve all seen the video of my roommate smashing through our window after that awesome SEC road win…. Although he has agreed to pay for it, we’d appreciate all the help we can get.So far, they’ve only raised $5, but we figure there’ll be a few other Georgia fans who want to help some passionate Dawgs out.[Deadspin]
Watford have announced the signing of Craig Dawson, who joins the Premier League side after spending the last nine seasons with West Brom.Dawson has agreed a four-year deal with Watford, who paid the Championship outfit a reported £5.5 million ($7m).The 29-year-old, who can feature at both centre-back or right-back, joined the Baggies back in the summer of 2011, signing from Rochdale in League One. 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 Aside from a half season loan with Bolton Wanderers in 2012-13, Dawson would spend the next nine campaigns with the Baggies, becoming a regular starter with the club during the 2014-15 Premier League season.He remained with West Brom following their drop from the top flight in the 2017-18 campaign, starting 42 games in the Championship this previous season as the club finished fourth to qualify for the play-offs.Dawson started both play-off semi-final legs for the Baggies, and scored in a 1-0 victory in the second leg against Aston Villa, only for West Brom to fall in the tie on penalties to the eventual play-off winners. With a quick promotion to the Premier League denied, Dawson has instead received his return to the top-flight via a transfer to Watford, where as he adds further Premier League experience to Javi Gracia’s side, having prevously featured in over 150 games in the division.In total, Dawson completes his tenure with West Brom having made 225 appearances for the club, during which he netted 15 goals. Welcome to the family, Craig pic.twitter.com/gER0AdDWNQ— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) July 1, 2019The former England Under-21 international becomes the beaten FA Cup finalists’ first signing ahead of the 2019-20 season.Heurelho Gomes penned a one-year contract extension last week, the veteran goalkeeper reversing his previously announced intention to retire.The Hornets will be aiming to improve on season where they picked up 50 points and finished in 11th place, but narrowly missed out on a top-half of the table by a couple of points.
Everton have confirmed the capture of highly rated Juventus teenager Moise Kean in a deal worth an initial €27.5 million (£25m/$31m)The deal could grow to become worth up to €30m (£27m/$33m) with add-ons, with Kean set to earn €3m (£2.75m/$3.3m) a year on Merseyside across a five-year contract.Kean, who has been capped three times by his country, scored six goals in 13 Serie A appearances last term. 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? “I am very proud and honoured to wear the Everton shirt. I will give my best to this team,” the Toffees’ latest signing told evertontv .“I was convinced to sign because Everton is a club looking to the future and so am I. I know about the size of the Club. It has big ambition and I will work very hard to help us fulfil what we want to achieve.“I am used to winning and I want to bring this winning attitude to the team. I hope I will be very good on the field and bring the fans joy.”Marco Silva’s side will be looking to improve upon an eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season and identified the young Italian as a shrewd addition to a club looking to make forward strides.“A striker was one of our priority signings this summer,” Silva said in the wake of Kean’s signing.“Moise is strong, fast, with many good qualities as a striker and he is just 19 years old. He has talent and he is ready to work, ready to improve our squad and gives us different solutions.“Of course he was at a big club, now he’s come to another big club and is ready to fight for this challenge and to give everything to Everton Football Club.”Kean becomes the club’s fifth summer signing following the arrivals of former Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, Idrissa Gueye’s replacement Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes after he made his loan move from Barcelona permanent.Ademola Lookman and Nikola Vlasic joined Gueye in leaving the club this summer, the pair joining RB Leipzig and CSKA Moscow, respectively.Everton’s Premier League campaign begins on August 10 with a trip to Crystal Palace.
ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 17: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 27-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)We’re still a few months away from the 2018 college football season, so #offseasoncontent is at its peak right now. Thursday morning, ESPN radio host Braden Gall stirred the pot by releasing his personal rankings for coaches in the Big Ten, ACC, SEC and Big 12. It’s the Big Ten rankings that have some upset.Gall went with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer at No. 1 – which is hard to debate. But he went with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh at No. 2, which many are taking exception to. He has Harbaugh ranked ahead of both Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Penn State head coach James Franklin.Barrett Sallee, for one, is a bit miffed. He thinks Harbaugh should be ranked a few spots behind where Gall has him.Nebraska’s Scott Frost, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst come next on the list.My B1G Coach ’18 Ranks:1. Urbs2. Harbaugh3. Dantonio4. Franklin5. Frost6. Fitz7. Chryst8. Ferentz9. Brohm10. Fleck11. Durkin12. Ash13. Allen14. Lovie— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) June 21, 2018Harbaugh over Dantonio and Franklin is insane. https://t.co/e2WAhMxqzr— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) June 21, 2018You could make a reasonable argument that Harbaugh over Chryst is insane. I’m not sure I’d personally make it. But it could be made.— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) June 21, 2018Gall defended his stance a bit, noting that it isn’t just what the coaches have accomplished in the Big Ten that matters. He notes that Harbaugh took the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl.Just in Big Ten isn’t all that matters. Harbaugh going to a Super Bowl, rebuilding Stanford counts. H2H with Franklin: beat him by 40, then got crushed.— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) June 21, 2018For the Harbaugh vs. Franklin debate…You don’t get to scream “what has he won?” about Franklin’s B1G title when Harbaugh beat him by 40 that year.— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) June 21, 2018If you’re interested in Gall’s rankings for the ACC, Big 12 and SEC, you can find them below.My Big 12 Coach ’18 ranks:1. Patterson2. Snyder3. Riley4. Gundy5. Herman6. Campbell7. Holgo8. Rhule9. Kingsbury10. Beatty— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) June 21, 2018My ACC Coach ’18 ranks:1. Dabo2. Richt3. Fuente4. Petrino5. Cutt6. Taggart7. Clawson8. Johnson9. Mendenhall10. Fedora11. Doeren12. Addazio13. Narduzzi14. Babers— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) June 21, 2018My SEC Coach ’18 Ranks:1. Saban2. Mullen3. Gus4. Smart5. Jimbo6. Muschamp7. Stoops8. Morris9. Morehead10. Odom11. Mason12. O13. Pruitt14. Luke— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) June 21, 2018College football fans, what do you think of Gall’s rankings?
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 6: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks to the media during the College Football Playoff National Championship Media Day at Philips Arena on January 6, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)Alabama has been the most-dominant team in college football for the entire 2018 regular season. The Crimson Tide are having some major trouble today, taking on Georgia at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.It’s Georgia 21, Alabama 7 late in the second quarter.Is everything OK with the Crimson Tide?Of course, it’s early…“Reminder: Georgia led Alabama 20-7 in this same building 326 days ago. Lost 26-23 in OT,” tweeted Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde.Reminder: Georgia led Alabama 20-7 in this same building 326 days ago. Lost 26-23 in OT.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) December 1, 2018Of course, that’s not something Georgia fans want to hear right now.Regardless, the Bulldogs are making one heck of a case for the College Football Playoff.Georgia, even if it loses this game, could end up sneaking into the top four when the final rankings come out on Sunday afternoon.Alabama and Georgia are playing on CBS.