Newcastle owner Ashley confident sale date can be metby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United owner Mike Ashley is growing confident of completing the club’s sale before the New Year.The Daily Star says the legal team at law firm Walker Morris, who are working on the sale with Peter Kenyon, have been told that all Christmas leave has been cancelled.It suggests that both parties have thrashed out a deal in principle and are now working on the finer details in readiness for a takeover within the next few weeks.Ashley has publicly stated he wants to sever his links with the club he’s owned for the past 11 years.And the buyers too are keen to get their feet under the table as soon as possible.That is music to the ears of Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, who knows his January spending plans could depend on the sale of the club. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric: I’ve always had my doubtersby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid midfielder Luka Modric admits he’s always had to battle against doubters.Modric won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA The Best awards this year.But the Croatian admitted that the path to the top hasn’t been easy, and that he’s had to overcome many obstacles.”I’ve been surrounded by doubts since my childhood,” he told GQ.”Because of my physique, because of my height…”Some thought those elements were important to succeed in life and in football, but I never doubted myself.”All of the difficulties that happened in his childhood helped him to become stronger.”Thanks to that trust and that faith in myself, I came to the best club in the world,” he added.”At the beginning many people didn’t believe in me either, it’s part of my life, always surrounded by doubts, always hearing that no I won’t reach the top.”All the recognition, such as the FIFA World Player or the Ballon d’Or, are worth much more when you are aware that nobody has given you anything.”Nothing has been given to me by anyone, I’ve had to work for it.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Alaba backing Bayern Munich move for Atletico Madrid defender Lucasby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich wing-back David Alaba is backing their move for Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez.Even though Alaba plays at left-back, a position where the France international could earn minutes, the Austrian would be keen to see him sign.”He is certainly a good player,” he told BILD.”If he wasn’t then Bayern wouldn’t be interested in him.”I am sure he would be capable of helping us.”Addressing the potential competition for left-back minutes that this signing could provoke, Alaba explained that he isn’t worried.”I know that left-back works for me, but at this time I wouldn’t be worried about changing to a midfield position,” he stated.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal keeper Cech announces retirementby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech will retire at season’s end.The 36-year-old will be out of contract in the summer, but has decided against finding another club.He posted in a message on social media: “This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season.”Having played 15 years in the Premier League, and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.”I will continue to work hard at Arsenal and hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wolves rival Aston Villa for Bolton Wanderers whizkid Dennis Politicby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves have joined Aston Villa in the race for Bolton Wanderers whizkid Dennis Politic.The 19-year-old has alerted scouts from both clubs with his performances for the League One club this season.Football Insider says Wolves are compiling a dossier on the winger as they weigh up their options for the January transfer market.The Romania youth international has been fast-tracked into the first-team after spending most of last season on loan at Salford City.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Napoli president De Laurentiis open to re-signing Higuainby Carlos Volcano7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says he’d be prepared to re-sign Gonzalo Higuain.Back with Juventus after a six month loan spell with Chelsea, Higuain has hit the ground running under former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri.De Laurentiis said: “Sarri has many positive sides and some that are negative. In England he has improved, Juve has different dressing room dynamics from ours. “Higuain? If (Carlo) Ancelotti asked me, I would say why not…?” He added: “Against Liverpool, I saw the real Napoli.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Brighton boss Potter proud of players in Aston Villa defeatby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton boss Graham Potter was proud of his players following their last-gasp defeat to Aston Villa.The Seagulls fell to Matt Targett’s last-minute strike, with the hosts prevailing 2-1, and the head coach stressed how proud he was of the players having seen his side play for a large part of the contest with ten men.He said, “It’s tough to take because the players were amazing and gave me everything.“With 11 players we were really good and worthy of our lead – the sending off affects the game and we played for nearly an hour with a man less, while still contributing to the match. “We still attacked often, so it’s heartbreaking to lose with the last kick, but I’m really proud of the performance.”Despite being a man down, Potter’s men created chances throughout the match in the Midlands, and the boss discussed the attacking style his side continued to maintain. “We still looked to win the game and the best way of hanging onto something is to continue to be yourselves,” he continued. “We played through their defence numerous times and weren’t camped inside our own half trying to defend.“We were positive and that’s what makes it more difficult to take – the reaction of the fans afterwards showed that they saw the quality and courage, but the game can be cruel.”
BLOOMINGTON, IN – AUGUST 31: J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a passl during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Big Ten Media Days are currently taking place in Chicago this week, meaning the offseason is finally over, the preseason is here and the season is soon to come. In anticipation of the start of the 2016 season, the Big Ten Network has ranked the top 100 players in the conference. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Michigan State has the most players in the top 100. There are 15 Spartans in BTN’s top 100, one more than Ohio State. Here are the teams with the most players in the top 100:Michigan State – 15Ohio State – 14Michigan, Nebraska – 10 Penn State, Iowa – 9The top 10 players in the conference:10. TE Jake Butt, Michigan. Arguably the best tight end in the nation, Butt hauled in 51 passes for 654 yards and three scores last season, and should be even better for an exceptional Wolverine offense. 9. OL Dan Feeney, Indiana. This guy is a powerful force at the point of attack, he plays with a defensive mentality, and he’s a flat-out nasty. 8. LB Anthony Walker, Northwestern. Only three players in the nation had more tackles for loss (20.5) a season ago, and only two players in the Big Ten registered more tackles (122). 7. LB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State. A likely future All-American and first-round selection, McMillan is a classic linebacker who can play with power and speed. 6. RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State. A freakish athlete, Barkley set the Penn State freshman rushing record (1,076 yards), all while missing two games and receiving one carry in the season opener. 5. DB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan. He defended 20 passes last season to emerge as one of the nation’s premier shutdown corners. 4. DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State. A dominant interior lineman with a knack for making huge plays, McDowell will anchor what should be an outstanding Michigan State defense in 2016. 3. DB/LBJabrill Peppers, Michigan. Cornerback. Safety. Linebacker. Even receiver. It doesn’t matter where No. 5 lines up, he’s a supreme talent who’s as “much-watch” as anyone in the nation. 2. DB Desmond King, Iowa. The reigning Jim Thorpe winner set a school record with eight interceptions last season, and enters the season as the nation’s top defensive back. 1. QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State. He will be looking to recapture his 2014 form, when he was the top signal-caller in the Big Ten as a redshirt freshman. Barrett is a deadly combination of athletic ability and savvy who is the perfect fit for this offense. And he’s a great leader. You can view the full rankings here.[BTN]
Facebook/Leah PaskeTravis Rudolph, a wide receiver for the Florida State Seminoles, made the day of a young fan and his mother.During a visit to a local middle school, Rudolph sat down to eat lunch with a student with autism, so that he wouldn’t have to eat alone.Leah Paske, the boy’s mother, received a picture of the gesture, and penned an amazingly heartwarming Facebook post thanking him. It is absolutely worth a read. The full text of the post:Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #gonoles#FSU #autismmom #fansforlifeRudolph was showed the post before practice, and his reaction was fantastic as well.Just spoke with #FSU WR Travis Rudolph. He told me he read the mother’s post before practice and that it nearly brought tears to his eyes.— Kenny Morales (@KennyMoralesTV) August 30, 2016Travis Rudolph: “He’s a cool person, I’ll hang out with him any day. And for the mom, if he needs my (cell) number, he can get it.” #FSU— Kenny Morales (@KennyMoralesTV) August 30, 2016Unfortunately, we have to deal with a lot of horrible issues in covering college football, often on a daily basis. It makes it far easier to know that the vast majority of players, like Travis Rudolph, are legitimately good people, and prove it with their actions off the field.[CBS Sports]
Arsenal returned to winning ways and reignited their bid for a top-four place in the Premier League with an excellent 2-0 triumph over Chelsea.Alexandre Lacazette crafted a wonderful 14th-minute opener as Maurizio Sarri’s side, not for the first time this season, wilted under the pressure of a London derby.Club captain Laurent Koscielny’s attempt to head Sokratis Papastathopoulos’s volleyed pass six minutes before half-time spun off his shoulder and beat Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. 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? It was the former France defender’s first goal since rupturing an Achilles tendon last season and Chelsea were unable to respond.Sokratis powered wide unmarked from an eighth-minute corner before centre-back partner Koscielny forced a point-blank save from Kepa, who was grasping at air when Lacazette turned sharply and clipped past him at his near post.Sead Kolasinac played Pedro haphazardly onside to almost loft an 18th-minute equaliser for Chelsea, although the left-back made himself more useful in attack with a delicate cross that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nearly converted with a wonderful overhead kick.Koscielny’s fortuitous conversion off his shoulder was not so picturesque but it was nevertheless rapturously received at Emirates Stadium.Slack set-piece marking at the other end saw Marcos Alonso head against the post, pursuing a lifeline Chelsea scarcely deserved.Chelsea enjoyed sustained possession in the Arsenal half early in the second period but created little, with Koscielny in particular defending impeccably.Aaron Ramsey tried to prod the goal his endeavours deserved in the 64th minute after Kolasinac raided into the Chelsea box.Blues substitute Ross Barkley had a rasping strike blocked before Arsenal made an enforced change due to Hector Bellerin collapsing with a seemingly serious knee injury – a rare blot on an outing far removed from last weekend’s loss at West Ham.T O G E T H E R #ARSCHE pic.twitter.com/yeMVDEjbZu— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 19, 2019What does it mean? Arsenal rejuvenate Champions League hopesUnai Emery’s side kicked off in sixth position, having fallen behind a revitalised Manchester United. Defeat would have left them nine points shy of Chelsea in fourth, meaning their lightning start to the match was fuelled by the pressure of having no margin for error. Maurizio Sarri is now the coach who will face further questions over his own prospective revolution at Stamford Bridge, with this defeat sharing far too many commonalities with the limp surrender to Tottenham at Wembley in November.Juve-bound Ramsey will be a huge missMesut Ozil looked on from the bench and was barely missed. When things click in this manner, it is easy to imagine Emery’s Arsenal operating without the gifted German playmaker. However, if Ramsey’s heavily touted switch to Juventus goes through the Wales midfielder will leave a considerable hole. A bundle of high-intensity, high-quality energy as the Gunners laid siege to their rivals during the first half, Ramsey rendered Chelsea’s deep-lying playmaker Jorginho entirely ineffective and laid the foundations for a superb victory.Number nines 2 False nine 0Lacazette’s two touches to engineer room for a precision finish were an immaculate example of centre-forward play. Talents such as his and Aubameyang’s are ones Sarri is unable to call upon, explaining his pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain. However, Eden Hazard’s truculent efforts to fill the gap in Chelsea’s attack speak ill of a player with ambitions to be considered among the best in the game. He was entirely ineffective once again, operating in a position that Lionel Messi redefined on his way to become the premier player in world football. No one is asking Hazard to hit Messi’s levels, but he should view chances at the centre of Chelsea’s forward line as an opportunity, not an inconvenience.Key Opta facts8 – Arsenal have won more points in seven games against ‘big six’ opponents this season than they did in the whole of 2017-18 (6). Mettle. #ARSCHE pic.twitter.com/fSbriY58PA— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 19, 2019- Arsenal have won consecutive home games against Chelsea in all competitions for the first time since February 2004.- Chelsea have only won one of their last seven away London derbies in the Premier League (D2 L4), winning 1-0 at Crystal Palace in December.- Arsenal are unbeaten in 13 Premier League London derby matches at home (W10 D3), winning the last six in a row.- Chelsea’s first shot on target didn’t come until the 82nd minute, from Marcos Alonso.- 63 per cent of Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette’s Premier League goals this season have come in London derbies (5/8).- Only Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6) has scored more Premier League London derby goals this season than Alexandre Lacazette.- Laurent Koscielny became the first Arsenal defender to score 20 Premier League goals. The Frenchman has scored in each of his nine campaigns in the competition – only Dennis Bergkamp (11), Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott (10 each) have scored in more for the Gunners.What’s next?Sarri gets another chance to tackle a high-profile London derby in Thursday’s EFL Cup final second leg, where Spurs take a 1-0 advantage to Stamford Bridge. Arsenal host Manchester United in the FA Cup a day later. read more