David Luiz calls for Chelsea focus ahead of ‘big week’by Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveDavid Luiz says Chelsea must be prepared for a difficult week.The Blues take on Bournemouth in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday before travelling to Leicester City on Saturday.”It’s always a big week,” said David Luiz. “We have another competition on Wednesday and then we play Leicester so we have to take it step by step, it’s going to be difficult.”The Bournemouth game is important, it’s another competition and another trophy so we’re going to try to win it.”It’s going to be difficult, we have to understand that because it’s never easy to play in England and play in these competitions so we have to prepare well, rest well and try to win. If we do that then we can enjoy Christmas.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say RAI director attacks Juventus (and he’s a Roma fan)by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe new director of Rai 2 Carlo Freccero has launched a stunning attack on Juventus.Freccero was asked about competing for Serie A broadcasting rights.He blasted: “I only watch the Premier League now, because Juventus always win in Italy. That’s because they have occupied all of VAR, it’s something out of this world.“All of the VARs are controlled by them. They’re manoeuvring, doing this, that and the other… it’s irritating. Forza Roma!”It’s not clear if he was referring to the Video Assistant Referee officials in the booth or the technology itself.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona chief Grau has pop at Juventus defender De Ligtby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona chief Oscar Grau has had a pop at Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.Grau insists the former Ajax defender chose to go for the money.“We made him an offer, but he preferred to go to Juve, where Italian taxation allows him to earn a higher net salary,” said Grau.Barca also tried for PSG star Neymar.”We made a very big effort for him,” Grau said.“The club did everything possible with two offers, one with and one without players in exchange but still sustainable.“The feeling, however, is that PSG never really opened up to a sale.”
TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Woodward’s suddenly talking: Why it’s good for Man Utd & fansby Chris Beattie20 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: The timing couldn’t have been worse. He’d set himself up for a right hammering. Mockery. Scorn. Take your pick. This decision from Ed Woodward to go public for the first time in his six years in charge at Manchester United was, ahem, courageous…But in the end fortune, inevitably, favoured the brave. That interview with the United We Stand fanzine. Just weeks after a lengthy and open address to shareholders. It was no PR job. If it had been, the publishing and roll out of it would not have happened over the past week. And thanks to a strong performance from the players against runaway leaders Liverpool on Sunday, there was little room for the cynics to pore over and twist Woodward’s words into another never before considered reason why United are in the state that it is.Of course a thumping at home – and to the club’s most bitter of rivals – could’ve led to a very different reaction. But it can be argued the backlash would not have been as bad as anything that flashed across Woodward’s mind.So the message to United’s vice-chairman exec should be: more of the same please. As mentioned, Woodward has said more publicly in the past month than the support have heard from him for the past six years. And the club, the fans and their relationship are better for it. After Woodward’s conference with United shareholders last month, this column encouraged him to speak more publicly. Our idea was a regular spot on the club’s in-house TV channel. But he went one better.Bypassing the media. Ducking their filter. Woodward went straight to the most valuable stakeholders of them all. And reading through the interview, it appears next to nothing was off limits.And the result is – or at least should be – a far happier supporter base and a less tense atmosphere around the club. Woodward did go into detail – deep detail – on various topics: the overhaul of the scouting team, the position of the Glazers, even the three-year scouting process of Daniel James. And fans should be examining everything carefully. Woodward was effectively giving you the blueprint of what United are now working from.Mistakes had been made. Problems had been allowed to grow, “…recruitment wasn’t at its best in recent years”. But a line’s now been drawn. The plan has been drawn up and put into action. The gist of it being, as this column’s sources have insisted since Christmas, United are going back to their roots. Their traditions.Discussing the prototype of today’s Manchester United signing, Woodward echoed the words of Dave McPherson, the former Hearts and Rangers captain, when discussing with this column the players of his era. It was about being “humble, but arrogant too”. In other words, United are rightly looking back to go forward.As Woodward said, “…we want players to come in who respect their teammates, the club, the history. They must understand that they are creating a legacy by coming to Manchester United. Nobody is bigger than the club.”There should be both a humbleness and an arrogance. Humble when you are on the team coach and you wear the club suit, you do up your top button and wear your tie, you represent the club in the right way. Then you sign autographs for the people who pay your wages.”Then, when you go into the dressing room, you put the red shirt on and you feel arrogant, self assured.”Essentially, Woodward was putting a bit more meat on the bones he offered shareholders – as it should be. And as much as the support can feel a little better about knowing the club’s plans; by being so open about their new approach Woodward also helps his manager in his work.Just as he did on that conference call, Woodward spelt out the reasons for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment and the board’s expectations. Which are fundamentally based around the long-term.”As Michael Carrick said in his book, you want to take the ball, you want the ball in tight spaces, you want a never-say-die spirit. Ole has brought a lot of the discipline back,” said Woodward, revealing he had actually read the recently released book of United’s assistant coach.“Whatever manager we have has to buy into that philosophy and Ole is a walking, talking version of that. Let’s let this play out with Ole in terms of the culture reboot.” Which effectively puts paid to all that talk about Max Allegri’s English lessons. The situation around Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham. Plus any old tenuous link between United and the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann et al. The stories will be raised and floated. But they’ll also have a hollow ring to them. All thanks to Woodward’s words. Again, the club is in a better state thanks to the vice-chairman going public.This interview was a service to the support. Every United fan that reads it is better informed and has a more clear understanding of where the club wants to go. It may’ve been courageous, but it was needed.And no matter the timing or circumstances Woodward – for the good of Manchester United – needs to do more of it.
Video: Houston Danced, Blasted Future’s “Commas” In Post-Game Locker Room Celebration After Beating Louisville
HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 16: The Houston Cougars carrying the American flag and UH flag enter the field before playing against the Rice Owls sat TDECU Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)Houston knocked off Louisville on the road today, coming from behind to beat the Cardinals 34-31. Afterwards, the ecstatic Cougars celebrated with a raucous locker room celebration set to rapper Future’s hit song “Commas.”#HTownTakeover pic.twitter.com/WzWi4fhhnP— Adrian Mayes (@aqmayes) September 12, 2015That video is courtesy of Adrian Mayes, Houston’s Director of Recruiting. Notice the Texas state flag making an appearance as well.Huge win for new head coach Tom Herman and his team.
Ola Toivonen scored his fifth A-League goal in six starts to salvage Melbourne Victory a 1-1 home draw with an impressive Wellington Phoenix on Friday.Sweden striker Toivonen turned home Terry Antonis’ misdirected effort in the 77th minute to extend the champions’ unbeaten streak to eight games and, at least temporarily, send them top on goal difference.Victory, winners in six of their previous seven outings, had fallen behind to David Williams’ classy curling finish 15 minutes earlier and were fortunate not to have already been out of the contest. 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? Roy Krishna failed to make the most of an early opportunity to put the New Zealanders ahead while Sarpreet Singh was unable to beat Lawrence Thomas in a one-on-one late in the first half.Former Australia international Williams eventually made their dominance count with his second goal in as many matches, but Toivonen popped up late to rescue a share of the spoils.Victory will slide back to second if Perth Glory claim at least a point at rock-bottom Central Coast Mariners on Monday, while the draw sees Wellington edge ahead of Melbourne City and into fourth.What a goal from @willo_15! @FOXFOOTBALL #ALeague #WhereHeroesAreMade #MVCvWEL pic.twitter.com/yTNJ7UXQF1— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) December 28, 2018
James Rodriguez admits he does not know where he will be playing club football next season but insists he is fully focused on Colombia’s Copa America campaign. The playmaker spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich but returned to Santiago Bernabeu at the end of last term following the Bundesliga champions’ decision not to exercise an option to sign him for €42 million (£36m/$47m).James’ career has stalled somewhat in recent years and he only featured in 20 league games for Bayern in 2018-19, scoring seven goals and making three assists. 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? Despite signing for Real in 2014 in a deal worth €90 million (£71m/$90m) after he won the Golden Boot at the Brazil World Cup, James is now looking for a route out of the Spanish capital in order to get more regular game time. The 27-year-old concedes he is powerless over his future at the moment though.”Right now I’m only thinking about the Copa America,” Rodriguez said after Colombia’s 1-0 win over Paraguay on Sunday. “I still don’t know where I’ll go but I want to be calm. The decision depends on the club (Real Madrid).”There are people with a lot of power there, I can’t do much. I haven’t spoken with Zidane.”James has been heavily linked with a move to Napoli that would see him reunited with Carlo Ancelotti, who he worked with at both Real and Bayern, this summer. Azzurri midfielder Fabian Ruiz added fuel to that speculation by insisting earlier this month that James would be welcomed by the squad in Naples.Real are reportedly keen to get the former Monaco star off their books in order to free up funds to make further transfers this summer, having already brought in Eden Hazard from Chelsea. But James will first see out Colombia’s Copa America campaign before linking up with any club side. Carlos Queiroz’s side cruised through the group stage with maximum points, beating Argentina in their in a dominant opening-game 2-0 win.The Albiceleste managed a 2-0 victory over Qatar in their final Group B fixture on Sunday to also book their place in the quarter-final.
AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 22: A general view taken during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Rice Owls on September 22, 2007 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas won 58-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)One of the top wide receivers in the 2019 recruiting class has announced his college decision. He’s off to the Big 12.Jake Smith, a four-star wideout out of Scottsdale, Arizona, announced on Twitter this evening that he’s committed to Texas.The top wide receiver chose the Longhorns over Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan and USC, among other programs.“I am 110% Committed to The University of Texas,” he wrote on Twitter.His full announcement can be seen below:I am 110% Committed to The University of Texas?? #HookEm pic.twitter.com/NqYgJdXtdf— Jake Smith (@jakesmith27) June 4, 2018Smith is ranked the No. 17 wide receiver in the class by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.The wide receiver is the ninth commitment in Texas’ 2019 class. The Longhorns’ class is ranked the No. 17 class in the country by 247Sports.You can view the full class here.
TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 19: General view of Sun Devil Stadium as the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks warm up prior to the college football game on September 19, 2008 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Warhawks 38-14. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Herm Edwards’ hiring at Arizona State drew a lot of skepticism this offseason, and while the former NFL coach is still months away from making his on-field debut, he appears to be making some major strides on the recruiting trail.The Sun Devils landed a big commitment about a week ago. Today, they landed a huge one.Joey Yellen, one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 class, has committed to Arizona State.The four-star pro-style QB announced his decision on Twitter.“COMMITTED,” he wrote.?COMMITTED? #forksup pic.twitter.com/8BvifH05u7— Joey Yellen (@JoeyYellen) June 10, 2018The No. 13 overall quarterback in the country chose Arizona State over Georgia, Oregon State and Washington State, among other programs.Yellen is a 6-foot-2.5 quarterback out of California.He’s the second quarterback to commit to Arizona State for the 2019 class.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: An ‘SEC’ logo is seen on an end zone pylon before the Missouri Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)Week 1 of the college football season is here. The games get going tomorrow night, and we can’t wait.In terms of opening weekend matchups, it doesn’t get much better than this. Michigan-Notre Dame, Washington-Auburn, Miami-LSU and Florida State-Virginia Tech are just some of the premier games on tap.OddsShark’s computer model anticipates one of those games being exceptionally close. In fact, the computer has the spread for this game at less than one point.OddsShark’s prediction for Washington-Auburn has the Huskies winning 34.0 to 33.4.Of course, there are no tenths of a point in football. But the computer is really just trying to say this is going to be a tight one.There might not be another game this weekend with more playoff implications than this one. Auburn could use a marquee non-conference win before SEC play starts up, and at least one college football pundit thinks Washington’s playoff hopes are dashed if they lose to the Tigers.”I don’t believe that Washington can make the Playoff if they lose on Saturday.”@joelklatt on the importance of the Washington-Auburn game pic.twitter.com/UrH37qXHMJ— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 28, 2018You can view all of OddsShark’s Week 1 predictions here.