Arsenal chief Mertesacker: Ozil needs to fight backby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal chief Per Mertesacker feels Mesut Ozil still has much to offer manager Unai Emery.Ozil has missed all of the last three games in the Premier League and does not appear to be in Emery’s first-team plans.But Mertesacker expects his fellow German to stay and fight for his place in the team.”Mesut is a player with magical abilities,” he said.“Last time (for the 1-0 won at home to Huddersfield on December 8) he was injured.“Now I’m curious how he fights back. He can still be very valuable to Arsenal.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford captain Deeney: Liverpool still miss Coutinhoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford captain Troy Deeney feels Liverpool still miss Philippe Coutinho.The Reds sold the Brazilian play-maker for £142million a year ago to Barcelona.Deeney told BBC Radio 5Live after Liverpool’s loss to Man City on Thursday night: “The big difference between the two [teams] is Liverpool lose a Coutinho, Man City don’t lose players. Man City, they let you go when they’re good and ready.”They don’t lose players, I think that’s a huge ingredient as well where if they had a Coutinho they would play him in front of those two holders and then it’s a different dynamic to that whole midfield.”Because all of the players that have been mentioned can get across the ground, they can all cover the distance but have they got that little bit of magic that a Coutinho might have?”Can he whip a free-kick in the top corner that changes the game on its head? So that’s a big difference as well that City don’t lose players, people go on their terms, we’re talking about one per-cent here.”We’re talking about the best two teams in our league, if not in Europe and you can’t make arguments for them being the best.”They lost one player to make a better team but do you add to that to get more quality but you lose the team effect? It’s a real tough situation.”
Talking Tactics: Man Utd crisis looms; Chelsea calm; Wilder flexibilityby Alex Keblea month agoSend to a friendShare the loveMan City’s 8-0 victory over Watford made the biggest splash of the weekend while Chelsea’s late rally in defeat to Liverpool was the talking point of Sunday, and yet beneath the surface a more interesting story is developing. Manchester United’s defeat, plus Leicester City’s win against Tottenham, suggested that the Big Six may well be broken up this season.Six matches in and only three of the top six are as expected. Bournemouth will probably fall away – their wins and losses always seem to come in streaks under Eddie Howe – but West Ham and Leicester could be there to stay. Here are three tactical talking points from the Premier League action:1) Solskjaer needs to rediscover narrow tactics of early 2019Injuries might have left Man Utd with few attacking options, but their 2-0 loss at West Ham was as much a tactical issue as a personnel one; Solskjaer has emphasised pace on the flanks over the summer in an attempt to mimic the style of football deployed by Alex Ferguson in the 1990s, and the system was entirely inappropriate for this match.When Solskjaer was caretaker manager he looked to funnel attacks through the middle, crowding this area of the pitch to create narrow short-passing attacks via Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, and Jesse Lingard. This now-abandoned approach should be reinstated to give United greater control and purpose. On Sunday, Mata was completed isolated in the number ten zone and therefore forced to move into the channels, where Marcus Rashford also drifted.Consequently West Ham’s defensive shell was barely troubled as the visitors dallied on the ball in harmless wide areas. Solskjaer might be light on numbers, but he should have picked Lingard here and instructed him to stay close to Mata for creative support. What is most damning for Man Utd is that West Ham didn’t even play particularly well. A full-blown crisis looms.2) Smith’s nervousness is making Villa too negativeAston Villa sit 18th in the table and, with one win from six, should begin to worry about their chances of survival this season. Their poor start to the campaign could be highly significant because at the moment manager Dean Smith is being too negative. If Villa develop an inferiority complex they won’t stay up.Just as in the late collapse at Spurs in Villa’s first game of the season, they became very anxious in the final 20 minutes at the Emirates, unnecessarily dropping ultra-deep to absorb pressure despite 10-man Arsenal having performed poorly up until that point. It was being too deep that cost Villa in the end, the defensive mix-up between Tyrone Mings and Neil Taylor that led to Arsenal’s equaliser caused by overcrowding in the six-yard box.Smith should take the blame for his tactical reshuffle. In the 68th minute, just seven after Wesley gave Villa the lead, he substituted the dangerous Trezeguet for Ahmed Elmohamedy, a right-back playing on the wing. It was a very nervous change that set the tone for Villa’s subsequent collapse. The manager must remain brave and confident in matches – or Villa will make a habit of losing leads.3) Chelsea benefit from less frantic tacticsOne of the most important reasons for Chelsea’s porousness this season is their propensity to race out of the blocks, pressing so aggressively that they become tired by the hour mark – when huge gaps in midfield begin to open up. N’Golo Kante’s return to the starting line-up certainly helped solve the problem on Sunday, but as important was Frank Lampard’s tactical change.As in the Super Cup, Chelsea sat much deeper, cautiously allowing Liverpool’s defenders to have the ball and absorbing pressure when necessary. This meant the hosts’ fitness levels were higher towards the end of the match, leading to a final 20 in which Lampard’s side were unlucky not to equalise.Liverpool’s 4-3-3 leaves a lot of space on the flanks because the forwards never track back, so by keeping themselves fit – and in the contest – Chelsea were able to exploit this late on; Trent Alexander-Arnold was repeatedly overwhelmed down Mohamed Salah’s side. In future, Klopp must respond quicker, switching to a more resilient back three far earlier than his injury-time change.Best of the Week – Sheff Utd’s tactical versatility in denying EvertonChris Wilder’s side like to play with the ball, their 3-5-2 a complex formation involving frequent positional swaps and, of course, overlapping centre-backs. However, none of that was on display at Goodison Park where Sheffield United sat back and defended doggedly. They held a meagre 30% possession, grinding out a 2-0 win despite having just two shots on goal all match.Wilder was clearly banking on Everton’s poor chance conversion – and he was right to do so. Moise Kean needs more time to adapt to English football while Richarlison is only really dangerous with space to run into, which explains why United were able to hold firm. Their tactical adaptability puts them in a very strong position to avoid relegation.Worst of the Week – Watford’s passivity at the EtihadThe scars of their 6-0 defeat in the FA Cup final clearly hadn’t healed, because Watford weren’t just defensive at the Etihad, they were completely passive. Their tactics appeared to be: sit deep, retreat even deeper, and wait for City to score. There was no pressure on the ball and no sense of resolve.Man City’s opener within the first minute of the match summed it up. Kevin de Bruyne has been peeling off to the right wing all season, and yet when he did so on Saturday he found acres of space to cross for David Silva’s goal. That’s because Will Hughes, nominally a left midfielder, had already dropped unnecessarily into defence to make a back five – marking no-one. TagsOpinionAbout the authorAlex Keble FollowShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Bayern Munich target Birmingham City whizkid Bellinghamby Ansser Sadiq22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich are showing an interest in signing Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City.The 16-year-old has already been earning rave reviews for his performances in the Championship.And The Sun reporters that Bellingham is among a crop of youngsters that Bayern would love to have at the Allianz Arena.The England under-17 international has two goals in six games for Birmingham this term.Unfortunately for Bayern, he was not in the starting line up for his side’s last two matches.
Man Utd manager Solskjaer hails ‘man-of-the-match’ Williamsby Freddie Taylor13 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased with the performance of James Garner and Brandon Williams in the 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.The two teenagers were thrown into the deep end in Serbia, with Solskjaer giving his man-of-the-match vote to fullback Williams.He said: “I thought Jimmy grew into the game, did really well in the end got tired in the end which is normal. And Brandon MOTM absolutely excellent, fantastic attitude, great defending, great in the air, gets us the pen by driving the ball forward, brace, we have found a left back there.”The atmosphere was excellent, intimidating but we gave them loads of encouragement our players had to step up and calm the crowd down we couldn’t but Brandon I don’t think he put a foot wrong.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Cardale JonesOhio State quarterback Cardale Jones hasn’t had an incredible season for the defending champions, but he is still 8-0 as a starter. Apparently, it isn’t enough for some Buckeyes supporters – if you want to call them that.Saturday night, after Jones and the Buckeyes posted a 34-27 victory over Indiana, Jones took to Twitter to celebrate the win. He was greeted with some not-so-friendly responses.S/O to them Bucks 5-0— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ imagine how good they’d be without you— Kori Bogard (@kdbogard) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ you garbage. JT should b the starter— Juicy G (@FaceAssBoii1) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ Your backup is better— Michael (@MikeAMadeIt) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ No thanks to you— Shawn Gunnoe (@lowesman2656) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ jt needs to start.. You can’t handle this team.. Your horrible bro— kyle karstetter (@kylekarstetter) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ you shouldn’t even be the starter!— Jeremy Wherle (@JWherle) October 4, 2015@CJ12_ You’re bad.— Aaron (@23OHara) October 4, 2015 Can someone explain how this “Making an idiot out of myself will make me feel better” thing is supposed to work? pic.twitter.com/b3X1uNMizG— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) October 4, 2015It should be noted that there were also dozens of positive messages tweeted to Jones in response.On the afternoon, Jones finished 18-of-27 for 245 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Certainly not his best – but certainly not deserving of what was tweeted his way.[CBS Sports]
TUSCALOOSA, AL – APRIL 18: Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches action prior to the University of Alabama A Day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Daniel Tosh trolls Lane Kiffin big time in the second edition of Kiffin’s Krimson Korner.Daniel Tosh doesn’t hold back, and over the past year or so the comedian has taken his shots at both Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.Back on Sept. 24 of last year, there were a fair share of rumors out there that Kiffin was going to be fired by Alabama. Tosh addressed the rumors circulating around the former Tennessee head coach and put his humorous spin on the whole situation.Now Tosh has come out with the second edition of his “Kiffin’s Krimson Korner” skit. Tosh, who looks a lot of like Kiffin actually, takes a few phone calls with the main focus on his now ex-wife Layla.Tosh even takes a shot at former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, who now helps out with the offense at Alabama.Warning: some of the language used may be considered NSFW.It’s a funny skit, but you have to wonder if Alabama fans think that as well.
Twitter/@TexasTechFBThe Longhorns looked like they were going to take the lead with a 24-yard touchdown run, then the worst possible thing happened.Texas looked to be in scoring position on the Texas Tech 24-yard line when they handed off to D’Onta Foreman. He was rumbling down the field, legs churning as he pushed the pile all the way to the goal line. Then, some really, really bad things happened. Just watch.We could try to explain what happened, but you can just watch it instead. #WreckEm https://t.co/PQJucBpuTa— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) November 5, 2016Uhhh, that couldn’t have gone any worse. It really couldn’t have.First, Foreman gets the football stripped by Doug Coleman at what appears to be the literal inch before he’s able to break the plane of the goal line. Then, Coleman takes the fumble 100 yards the other way for a touchdown.It’s been a year of highs and lows for Texas fans, and this play is their season in a microcosm.Miraculously, Texas currently leads Texas Tech, 24-23.
Twitter/@Ben__Creighton Here’s a list of the items that Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle reportedly attempted to shoplift from Belk.Thursday afternoon, it was reported that Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle would be missing his final collegiate game – the Belk Bowl – due to suspension. The reason? Sprinkle, according to police, shoplifted from Belk during a team shopping spree earlier in the week.In short, Sprinkle is reported to have taken more in merchandise than the $450 gift card he was allotted.Here’s a list of the items Sprinkle reportedly tried to shoplift, per WFAA’s Mark Lane. It’s mostly clothes and wallets.Here’s what Arkansas TE Jeremy Sprinkle shoplifted according to Charlotte police: pic.twitter.com/AxDK39LR5l— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) December 29, 2016There’s no word on whether Sprinkle will face legal repercussions.
Manchester United need to accept that they must “be f*cking better”, says Dimitar Berbatov, with a forgettable finish to the 2018-19 campaign still fresh in the memory.The Red Devils stumbled over the line last season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enduring a nightmare run after an initial honeymoon period in the Old Trafford hot-seat.Wolves proved to be a serious thorn in the Norwegian’s side, with two losses suffered during trips to Molineux in Premier League and FA Cup competition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Those reversals formed part of a stumble which included eight setbacks in 11 games, with United finishing in sixth place and without a major honour for a second year in a row.They are now preparing to head back to the West Midlands, and Berbatov is looking for Solskjaer’s side to prove that they have learned their lessons and are a different beast in 2019-20.The former Red Devils striker told the Daily Star: “There’s only one thing I’d like to see – a better performance than last season.“The way we finished was disappointing. So this season, hopefully they can perform better.“Not only one player but everybody as a group.“They must say to themselves ‘ok, we need to be f*cking better’.”United were able to raise their game for a season opener against Chelsea, with a clinical display seeing them run out 4-0 winners over the Blues.Summer signings made an instant impact at Old Trafford in that contest, with Berbatov hoping to see more of the same from key men at Molineux.He added to Betfair: “United were better than I expected them to be against Chelsea and I think many United fans were surprised by the quality of the performance. “Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were unbelievably commanding in defence while [Marcus] Rashford and Anthony Martial showed a strong understanding up front.“They are two intelligent young forwards and as long as they communicate they can be deadly together.“Rashford’s finishing was exquisite while Martial scored a typical number nine’s goal that showed he’s got what it takes to wear my old shirt.”United are due to face Wolves on Monday, with their meeting wrapping up the second round of fixtures in the English top-flight. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.