The biggest football tournament in the world, the World Cup, has finally arrived. The prestigious tournament only takes place every four years as the best thirty two national teams from around the world come together and battle it out in an attempt to get their hands on the World Cup trophy.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
With just a period of 67 days in charge and one match played, Sam Allardyce has left his position as the manager of the England national side by mutual agreement with the Football Association.
This came on the heels of a newspaper investigation allegedly quoting Allardyce as having offered advice on how to players transfer and how to get around the FA’s rules.
It has also been alleged that the former England’s boss used his role to negotiate an £400,000 deal to represent a firm in the Far East. The FA issued a statement describing Allardyce’s conduct as being “inappropriate” thereby placing Gareth Southgate in temporary control of the England’s National Side. (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.
Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney is set to retire from international football after the 2018 campaign in Russia, if England makes it there. The England international has disclosed his intention of ending his career at Old Trafford, but he hasn’t placed a time limit.
On his retirement, Rooney said: “Going into the World Cup, hopefully we qualify, the time will be right. It will be my 15th season playing for England, and in anyone’s terms, it’s a long time, so I just felt the time would be right then. The physical factors in basketball, football and other sports mean that continuing at the very top once you pass 30 years old is very difficult, and only a few have managed to retain that level of performance at the highest level whilst playing both domestic and international football” Rooney added.
England manager Sam Allardyce says he plans to play the skipper in the No. 10 role, and as captain. Rooney seem to be happy with the arrangement when he said: “It brings consistency [considering United coach Jose Mourinho has restored Rooney to the same role] in terms of where you are playing. Sometimes, it is difficult to go from one position to another and keep changing.”