TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fulham to release Luca de la Torre for loanby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLuca de la Torre is set to leave Fulham next month.The Mirror says Fulham are looking to send De la Torre out on loan.Fulham will allow him to leave for more first-team games next month and they have received initial interest from clubs in Germany and the Netherlands.Several League One clubs are also interested in the US international.Cottagers chiefs believe six months away will accelerate De la Torre’s development.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle offer Benitez new contractby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United have offered manager Rafa Benitez a new one-year contract offer.The Times says there has been fresh discussion about overcoming the current impasse, and a front runner is the possibility of a 12-month extension on the £6m-a-year deal the former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager signed in May 2016.Owner Mike Ashley, who is keen to sell the club and has called on would-be purchasers, including Peter Kenyon, to meet his asking price of between £280-£300m this month, remains unlikely to strengthen heavily during January without agreement.If Benitez agrees to the new deal then the tight hold on club’s finances is likely to be unlocked, although there remains a fundamental disagreement over how that money should be spent; Ashley wants young players whose value will rise and Benitez wants experience.However, without the confirmation of Benitez staying beyond the end of the season, Newcastle are unlikely to sanction the spending spree their supporters have been calling on for three transfer windows.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Sarri slams VAR: Kane was offsideby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri slammed VAR after losing the first-leg of their Carabao Cup semi to Tottenham.A Harry Kane penalty in the first-half – which was awarded via VAR – earned Spurs the 1-0 win.Sarri snapped, “A few minutes ago I watched the video from our camera. It was offside. Our camera was in line with Harry Kane.”Offside with the head, the knee. Offside. It was really important the linesman carried on running, he had a big impact on our defenders.”I don’t think English referees are able to use the system.”If you are not sure with the system, you have to follow the ball and at the end of the action decide. But he stopped it and didn’t follow the ball – for our defenders it was offside. I don’t know about the goalkeeper but sure the defenders.”I think they have to study the system.”It’s very strange in the Premier League there isn’t VAR and in Carabao Cup there is the system. It’s very strange for us, the players and referees.”
Aston Villa boss Smith: Players sorted out Mings, El Ghazi incidentby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa manager Dean Smith has played down an incident between Anwar El-Ghazi and Tyrone Mings. El-Ghazi appeared to throw his head at Mings, who yelled at his team-mate for being out of position in Monday’s goalless draw with West Ham United.On the incident, Smith said: “I didn’t need to [intervene], the players dealt with it. That’s the group of players I’ve got. There’s a great togetherness and team spirit in the dressing room.”Looking at it, he went over the edge a little but I’m happy for the players to do that. It was a bit of a heat of the moment, that will happen.”That’s the end of it. It got dealt with very quickly, it’s a team sport. It happens. At half time they shook hands and did their best for their teammates in the second half.”No it’s not a concern. [El Ghazi] has got a little bit of red mist in him like most professional players have.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@TDeck68Ohio State hasn’t been shy about celebrating its accomplishments under Urban Meyer, and this year after winning the national championship they put up a street sign on campus that reads “The Undefeated Way.” OSU offensive tackle Taylor Decker drove by the sign after workouts on Friday morning, and seems inspired to get another sign put up in 2016.Was driving back from workouts and saw The Undisputed Way street sign….goosebumps, but the preparation for next year has already begun— Taylor Decker (@TDeck68) February 6, 2015The sheen of this season’s victory definitely hasn’t worn off in Columbus, but expect the Buckeyes to come out as focused as ever in the fall.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 24: A general view of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers on October 24, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Earlier this week, tragedy struck the Alabama community when former Crimson Tide running back Altee Tenpenny was killed in a one-car crash in Mississippi. Since, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support from Tenpenny’s former teammates. One is going above and beyond for Tenpenny’s family.John Fulton, a former defensive back for the program, has set up a gofundme.com account to help raise money for Tenpenny’s funeral. At the time of this post, over $8,500 has been raised. The goal is $15,000. Considering it’s only been live for 12 hours, it’s a safe bet they’re going to reach it.We all knew Altee as a guy that would do anything for anybody. Well now is our chance to give back to his family https://t.co/uR0jV9x3mx— John Fulton (@_Elvis_Freshley) October 22, 2015It doesn’t matter if it’s $1, $10 or $100 anything helps. We all know Altee would have done it for us #FlyHighMyGuy #RIPAltee— John Fulton (@_Elvis_Freshley) October 22, 2015Props to Fulton for taking charge. We’re sure Tenpenny’s family and friends appreciate it.
Tata Martino isn’t one to dole out high praise to opposing players all too often, so it raised more than a few eyebrows on Saturday when the Mexico coach sang the praises of U.S. national team star Christian Pulisic, who Martino’s Mexico will try to stop in Sunday’s Gold Cup final. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final, Martino made it clear his team will be focused on trying to contain the red-hot Pulisic, who is coming off a two-goal performance in the Gold Cup semifinal win over Jamaica, and who has been one of the stars of the Gold Cup. “I think that Pulisic is one of the big emerging players in world football in this latest era without a doubt,” Martino said on Saturday. “He’s one of the most unsettling players I have seen in recent times. I think if we don’t pay special attention to him, especially when we’re in attack, we’re going to have a bad time. He’s a player you have to pay special attention to precisely because he can single-handedly win a game.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Pulisic has registered a team-leading three goals and three assists for the USMNT so far in the Gold Cup, but he has also appeared to take on a leadership role, looking far more comfortable in his status as the team’s star. “When I think about this month for him it’s been a lot of personal development in terms of him blossoming with his personality within the group, his importance to the team on the field,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said. “The skills haven’t changed from a month ago, but in terms of his role, what he’s comfortable with, how he’s embracing his role within the team, and his role on and off the field, I think it’s been really nice to see.” The past month has seen Pulisic complete his record-setting transfer to Chelsea while also gaining more familiarity with Berhalter’s system, which has been constructed to fit comfortably with the versatile 20-year-old’s attacking qualities. “The most important thing we’ve focused on is giving Christian flexibility, putting him in position where he could affect the game in a number of different ways,” Berhalter said. “We wanted to play him central, but also get him wide. When you think about him being central, arriving in the penalty box, the two goals (against Jamaica) were a result of him being in good positions to be able to finish off plays that end up in front of goal. “When you think about some of the assists he’s had they’ve come in wide areas, notably against Curacao. With Christian we know he’s a top talent and we want to get him into position to affect the game. We know he can affect the game on an individual level, and he’s shown that so far in the tournament.”
Barcelona may well kick off the new season with Neymar and Antoine Griezmann up front alongside Lionel Messi in a remodelled front three, but the indications from Catalonia are that they can only afford one of them this summer and, if they had to choose, then the priority would be re-signing Neymar.The Brazilian might be seen in some quarters as damaged goods but he still has plenty of allies in the Barca dressing room, including the captain Messi. Neymar has a proven track record at Barca, having won the 2015 Champions League, and would be welcomed back even if the complexity of the deal is epic in its scale.New developments at Paris Saint-Germain since Leonardo arrived as sporting director have taken place at warp speed. This is a club that for the last two years did everything to cater to the whims of Neymar, their most expensive ever player. But times are changing. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare After yet another Champions League failure – and an inability to capture what should have been a routine French treble – it is a question of attitude rather than ability for the capital club. Anyone not plugging into a new – and seemingly strict – collective ethos will be moved on. It has been made known by Leonardo in the past few days that Neymar is not excluded from that threat.Quite what effect that will have on the 27-year-old’s transfer fee is another matter. Now that Neymar has been actively made available, clubs interested in his signature have been placed in the stronger bargaining position. And since Barca are – so far- the only club to make their interest known, they lead the way.But that could derail what Griezmann had hoped to be a straightforward summer switch. When on May 14 Griezmann advised manager Diego Simeone that he would be seeking a new challenge in summer, it was widely assumed that a move to Barca was a fait accompli. He had deferred a move to Catalonia the summer previous in the form of a self-regarding video and instead committed to a new five-year contract at Atleti.This summer however and the winds of change are blowing through the Wanda Metropolitano. The old guard has been cleared out and a new generation will be led by Marcos Lllorente and teenage striker Joao Felix who, interestingly, has been handed Griezmann’s No. 7 shirt. But Griezmann hasn’t left yet or – more accurately – hasn’t yet been signed by the Spanish champions.The latest news from Spain is that Barca have asked to postpone the payment of Griezmann’s €120 million release clause to a later date and, effectively, avail of the player’s services this coming season for no fee. That was met with indignation from Atleti, who issued a strong statement on Saturday against Barca and their once-beloved forward.Atleti revealed that Barca and Griezmann connived in March to agree to personal terms having been in contact since the month previous. They announced their rejection of Barca’s offer and demanded Griezmann show up to their pre-season programme set for Sunday evening.The World Cup winner was instead pictured on board a yacht off Ibiza, sipping a bottle of beer with – seemingly – not a care in the world. A representative cited “emotional stress” and a legally-mandated 30-day holiday period as the reasons behind his stayaway. Coincidentally, Neymar pulled the same ruse just 24 hours later with PSG not happy about their star turn failing to report for duty.Both are contractually obliged to show up for work and Griezmann may yet appear if a transfer isn’t done in the next couple of days. He will be disciplined by Atleti with a hefty fine reported to be coming his way.Griezmann is in a kind of limbo. Atleti have moved on; paying the €126m to Benfica for Joao Felix saw to that and he doesn’t have a shirt in the locker room. Barca are widely seen as his next destination but they have had their heads turned by Neymar.Do Barca rate Griezmann as highly as they do Neymar? He is a really good player, a sure thing on most people’s top 10 list. But he is not Messi and he is not Neymar. He has scored consistently for Atleti – their go-to guy as Diego Costa struggled for form and discipline – and is a key man for the national team too.Right at the top edge, however, and Griezmann could be said to be lacking something. Whether it’s going missing in the Champions League last 16 second-leg against Juventus or missing penalties against Real in the 2016 final, Griezmann lacks a ruthless streak when it matters.He would be a decorative player at best – especially in a line-up alongside Messi, where Neymar played second-fiddle when he was arguably better than he is now.And now their futures appear to be entwined. Barca wanted Griezmann and he wanted Barca. Now Neymar has come available, it’s changed the focus. Griezmann still wants Barca but time will tell if they think he’s worth the fuss.
Paul Merson believes Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has made a mistake in selling David Luiz to London rivals Arsenal, suggesting teams will now be able to ‘suffocate’ them as they attempt to play out from the back.The Brazilian defender, 32, forced his way out of Stamford Bridge to join Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium, filling the void left by the departed Laurent Koscielny.And, following Chelsea’s humiliating 4-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester United in their opening game, Merson has suggested that the options Lampard has to replace Luiz at the back are not able to break the press in the same way he could. 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? “I go to Stamford Bridge a lot, and Chelsea’s defence are asked to play out nearly all the time,” Merson said to Sky Sports.“Kepa doesn’t kick anything long. Luiz was the best player on the ball by a million miles. Now all of a sudden, you’ve got players who can’t play out, and teams will suffocate them.“Frank Lampard has got to be careful. Chelsea have let their best ball-playing defender leave to go to their rivals, not just in London but in the top four. None of their defenders can play out from the back.“I can understand if Chelsea pushed everyone up to the halfway line, the goalkeeper kicks it, and they play in the other half, but if you’re asking them to start playing out from the back, they’re going to get beaten left, right and centre.“Kurt Zouma just didn’t look ready. He didn’t look ready before this, which is why he went out on loan. It’s a dangerous, dangerous game. The fans liked David Luiz. They need to get results quickly, because the fans won’t be happy watching them play out and lose the ball.“It looked like Frank looked at the situation and thought: ‘I need it quiet here, I can’t be having problems’, so Chelsea let Luiz go. Sometimes that’s the way it is, and great managers have a high-maintenance player and get them to perform.”Chelsea play Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup next, before taking on Leicester City when they return to Premier League action.
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)The SEC is regarded by many as the toughest conference in college football. Its fans certainly think that it is.But not every SEC schedule is created equally. Depending on which division a team is in and what its non-conference slate looks like, it might have an easier road than others in the league.CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli has ranked the SEC team’s in terms of strength of schedule. He used factors such as game location, bye weeks and opponent’s past performances in his ranking.The easiest schedule in the league, according to Fornelli, belongs to Missouri.Here’s why:Missouri’s nonconference is probably a bit more difficult than my rankings want to give it credit for. A road game against Purdue looks better given how strong Purdue looked last season, but my rankings look at Purdue over the last five years, not just 2017. A home game against Memphis will provide a challenge, too. In the SEC, the Tigers get Alabama and Arkansas from the West, and that Alabama game is in Tuscaloosa. They’ll also get Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee all on the road, but at least Georgia has to come to Columbia?The Tigers are coming off a 7-6 season in 2017, which included an appearance in the Texas Bowl. The possibility of another bowl bid is there, assuming they can navigate the schedule Fornelli says is the league’s weakest.Of course, weak in the SEC is relative. Florida and South Carolina on the road aren’t easy tasks and the Tigers still have to play the two teams that were in the national title game last season.Not exactly full of cupcakes.