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…)
Former England striker Chris Sutton recently criticised the England FA for subjecting interim manager Gareth Southgate to a three-hour interview for the England job.
After the exit of Sam Allardyce, the England FA are once again searching for a permanent England manager. The football Association is confident of finding the right person who will be able to lead the national team into the World Cup 2018. Southgate was appointed on an interim basis in order to help the national team during the World Cup qualifiers scheduled until November.
After having successfully negotiated this games with two wins and two draws, Sutton believes that Southgate should not be subjected to interviews as he has already been in the job for long enough. The former Middlesbrough manager is also the only candidate at the moment.
There have even been discussions for the possibility of a foreign manager taking over for the first time since Fabio Capello four years ago. However, not many have expressed their interest in the England job, as it is seen as a tough exercise that involves a lot of rebuilding. Southgate is widely considered as the favourite to become the next England boss and he would be expected to get the same £ 6 million contract given to Sam Allardyce.
“Personally, I don’t think it is overcomplicating it.Why make this meeting public? Why couldn’t they have had this meeting behind closed doors and then announced Gareth as manager?It’s a little bit undermining, a bit of a slap across the face,” said Sutton. “I understand why there’s the debate about why you need a formal process. It makes perfect sense if you’ve had an interim manager to have three or four days pass and then come back and review it with a clear head,” said former FA executive Adrian Bevington.
The England internationals of the past and the present, have come down hard on Sam Allardyce for making himself and the country a subject to jokes everywhere by falling in the trap of a media house.
According to a Three Lions’ forward of the nineties, Alan Shearer, those who are laughing and making fun of England at the moment can’t be silenced because when your national coach shows such immaturity and is removed under these circumstances, laughing on it is normal.
In shearer’s words, “How can a man, who by his own admission had had his dream come true when he was placed at the helm of the national team, be so absent minded while holding that position? He should never have agreed for any such meeting.”
“You can’t help losing your temper because you feel, as an Englishman, that he has let you down. There was such a lot of hope with him coming to the job and he lasted like that, disgraceful on his part and gutting for us.”
“I would have struggled to imagine anything worse than Euros, but, now I would say this is the worst thing to have ever happened in the Three Lions history and we will be reflecting on it first whenever we talk about the lows of our Football.” (more…)
Former Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has tasked his player Ross Barkley to impress and earn a call-up to the national team under Sam Allardyce.
The current Everton coach is set to hand Barkley a game when they take on former Everton coach David Moyes’ Sunderland.
Barkley was overlooked for the Euro 2016 under former Three Lions coach Roy Hodgson, and Sam Allardyce excluded him from the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovakia. He faces he fresh hurdle of impressing at Everton, and impressing enough to get an invitation under Allardyce.
“He’s still a young player. He was disappointed not to be selected,” Koeman revealed. “It’s good to have that support, but not just support, to also ask him why he thinks he wasn’t selected. I don’t like that [when players blame others]. First, you have to look at yourself. Every manager will select the best players and the best team.” Koeman added.
Koeman continued, asking the player not to point a finger at anybody else, but improve on his performances. He opined that maybe Allardyce wasn’t impressed with Barkley’s performance when he saw the game he played against Stoke City. Allardyce mentioned that he had the English player on his mind. (more…)
Sam Allardyce says that it would have been difficult confrontation with Manchester United manager José Mourinho since he has international duties to take care.
Allardyce was recently named as the England manager and he has been waiting for this job throughout his career. In the past, national team managers have frequently clashed with Mourinho over the availability of players for meaningless friendly matches. Mourinho has tried to avoid sending his players to international duty so as to give them more rest and the recovery time. This has also been down to avoiding injuries from meaningless friendly matches
Allardyce, though, says that he will only work towards the improvement of the England national team and may be prepared to fall out with other managers if they attempt to prevent his objectives. In the past, Allardyce and Mourinho have fell out with each other only once. Mourinho was the Chelsea boss while Allardyce was at West Ham. Both teams were involved in a 0-0 draw and Mourinho criticised the tactics of Allardyce by saying that they were primitive. Allardyce wanted by claiming that he did not care about Mourinho’s comments. Apart from such an incident, they both have got along well but now their priorities clash and hence there is a potential for new rivalry.