Watford manager Marco Silva admits that the pressure is off English striker Andre Gray, who arrived from Burnley on a club-record £18m fee.
The 26-year-old inked a five-year deal with the Hornets earlier this month, and he is expected to provide competition to the likes of Stefano Okaka and Troy Deeney in the forward department.
Gray, who scored nine league goals for Sean Dyche’s Burnley last term, is the Hornets’ seventh signing of the transfer window, and Silva is adamant that there is no added pressure on the striker due to his price tag.
He said: “It’s not the most important for me and it’s not the most important for the player. I want him to play here with normal pressures and not because of the price but because he’s come to Watford to work hard and win his position. I know he’s a player who wanted to come to Watford, which is important as well. He wants to improve in his career and fight for his position in the team and to improve our squad.” (more…)
France hosted and then defeated England in an international friendly game on Tuesday.
The game played at Stade de France, Paris saw Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane sent off in an entertaining match. Before the game kicked off, the crowd paid respect to those who died in the Manchester and London attacks.
Skipper Harry Kane started the night on a brilliant note when he scored a Ryan Bertrand cross in the first ten minutes. The goal forced the French team to go into attack mode. England national team boss Gareth Southgate had experimented with rave of the moment three man defence which suffered in the hands of the quick French attack.
Tom Heaton and Jack Butland played 45 minutes each. The Burnley keeper denied Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele but Samuel Umtiti and DjibrilSidibe got the rebounds that sent France into the lead before the break. The Barcelona defender scored in the 22nd minute while Sidibe added his 21 minutes later.
The video assistant referee was employed in the game when minutes after the break Varane fouled Dele Alli. The referee awarded a penalty which Kane converted for his second of the night.
France kept on with the attacks as the trio of Manchester United star Paul Pogba, Monaco teenage sensation KylianMbappe and Barcelona interest Dembele made England sweat. Twelve minutes from the end of regular play Mbappe and Dembele combined to get the third goal for France. (more…)
Red Devils and Three Lions skipper Wayne Rooney is expected to miss upcoming England game against Scotland and France, Sky Sports claims.
The embattled former Everton star has been excluded in a provisional list of players for the games, the report claims.
England men’s senior team manager Gareth South is expected to release the list of players that would prosecute the games soonest. England are to play Scotland on June 10 before a friendly against their ally France in Paris three days after the Glasgow fixture.
The Man United star missed the games against Germany and Lithuania in March as Southgate preferred other stars. If the record goalscorer for England misses the games, he might not get another chance this year. There would be calls that he play in Russia if England qualifies for the 2018 World Cup but that would only be a poor end to his illustrious career. (more…)
England midfielder Ross Barkley has told his club Everton FC that he wants to play in the Champions League.
The 23-year old rising star has less than 14 months left on his current deal. Sky Sports reported that the Three Lions player told Goodison Park that he has serious ambitions of competing with the best payers on the continent.
There have been reports that Man United and Chelsea want the native star in their lineup. The Toffees boss Ronald Koeman revealed that Barkley has issues with the current ambitions of his boyhood club.
“I spoke to Ross several weeks ago and he mentioned his ambition, Champions League, and I told him I have the same ambition,”Koeman said.
The Merseyside manager tried convincing the player that the club was on that same path. He said Barkley was a key player and a home grown talent of the club. (more…)
Harry Kane has told ESPN FC that his “unbelievable” Tottenham Hotspur teammate Dele Alli can go on to become one of the best players to have ever graced the football pitch.
Alli, 20, was named PFA Young Player of the Year last season following a remarkable debut campaign in the Premier League, and he has only gotten better this season. The England international has already scored more league goals than he managed in the whole of last season, probably because he is playing closer to teammate Kane.
His goal scoring has earned him comparisons with Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes but he has reached 20 Premier League goals in fewer games than all three, and Kane believes Alli is “his own player.”
“He’s got so many great attributes, he scores goals, he assists goals, he’s got great skills. He’s his own player. He’s got amazing potential,” Kane told ESPN FC at a Lucozade sport event yesterday. (more…)
Gareth Southgate has once again opened up on the touchy subject of wealth in the game.
The England manager claims that too much money at a very young age is starting to spoil many of the players. Footballers are now regarded as celebrities and they start making millions even they are in their teens. In the pursuit of the best young talent, top clubs offer persuade young players in order to shift to an entirely new country and reward them with huge packages. Yet, these top young talents do not turn out as expected and end up playing for lower league clubs.
One of the countries to have been affected by the lack of talent is England. In recent years, this has changed with the current England team possessing some the finest in talent in world football. However, it has not exactly translated into success on the pitch. Southgate is the third manager to lead the England national team in the last two years. (more…)
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has indicated that he is happy playing for the Red Devils despite an apparent lack of playing time this season. Indeed the teenager has found it hard to break into Jose Mourinho’s team compared to life under Louis Van Gaal and has spent more time on the bench.
Indeed, Marcus Rashford has only managed 12 starts for Manchester United, and there are no signs that things will change in the immediate future. (more…)