About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard: Senior players still biggest influenceby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard is delighted with the influence of his senior players.Lampard says he has the right blend within his squad.”What you need is a strong group and then you see the leaders come from within it. Where we are quite young, the leaders are still going to come and come out of themselves more. That comes with a bit of confidence, probably with being around the first team even more,” he stated.”It seemed to have become a bit cut and dry [from outside], the young boys and the old boys, but I never saw it that way. I always trust in the players and in the squad, and you will rely on them.”Willian scored two in two, Jorginho’s influence and how he is, Azpilicueta club captain and N’Golo Kante, back in and 28 years of age. We need all those players and I expect them to deliver and take burdens throughout the season. Hopefully they’re doing that.”
McAteer: Firmino more important to Liverpool than Salahby Ansser Sadiq18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Jason McAteer believes the club would suffer more if they lost Roberto Firmino to injury, compared to Mohamed Salah.The latter suffered a niggle against Leicester City, with fans concerned that he would miss game time after the international break.But McAteer believes if they do have to miss an attacker through injury, Firmino would be the more impactful loss.McAteer told The Racing Post: “People have questioned Liverpool’s strength in depth and I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Manchester City’s, but there is cover in key areas.”Take one of their star players out of the team and inevitably it has an impact – it would at any club. But Jurgen has been able to tweak things and bring in different players and look where they are.”The one player I think is indispensable going forward is Roberto Firmino. Forget Sadio Mane or Mo Salah, it’s Firmino who makes the whole thing tick going forward. I think if Liverpool lost Firmino it would have a bigger impact than losing Mane or Salah.”Look at the Super Cup against Chelsea where Liverpool produced two completely different halves of football, the first without Firmino and the second with him. He’s a more important part of the attacking jigsaw than anyone else.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Man Utd tell Solskjaer plans to bring in four new signingsby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer they plan to bring in four new signings next year.United have struggled to score goals this season and The Times says the board is willing to remain patient with Solskjaer as they acknowledge the scale of the task at hand in rebuilding his squad.The Norwegian has held meetings with the club’s hierarchy and they will be looking to make four signings next year, including a centre forward.United made three signings this summer, with Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James heading to Old Trafford. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Federico Chiesa’s strike 17 minutes from time earned Fiorentina their first away win of the season as AC Milan’s recent struggles continued in a 1-0 loss at San Siro.The visitors barely threatened Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal but Chiesa jinked past Davide Calabria and fired home his first goal since September to settle the contest.The Rossoneri have now won just one of their previous six contests in Serie A and have failed to score in any of their last three. 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? Milan also dropped out of the top four thanks to Lazio’s win earlier in the day, with Fiorentina now just two points behind them in seventh.72’ FEDERICO CHIESAAAAAAAAA #MilanFiorentina 0-1 #NoiSiamoFirenze #InsiemeSiamoPiùForti pic.twitter.com/KIW5L94tm8 — ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) December 22, 2018 Milan entered this contest on the back of two 0-0 draws in Serie A and failed to find a way through in the opening 45 minutes, despite creating plenty of opportunities.Hakan Calhanoglu spurned one of the best, firing wide in the 18th minute after a stroke of fortune saw the ball ricochet back into his path in the box following an attempted give and go with Suso.Fiorentina goalkeeper Alban Lafont brilliantly parried away a viciously struck effort from Ricardo Rodriguez while Calhanoglu was denied by Nikola Milenkovic’s clearance off the line on the stroke of half-time.It took until the 51st minute for Fiorentina to fashion their first decent opening as Kevin Mirallas hooked way over from inside the box.Lafont was kept busy at the other end, though, denying Suso at his near post and then preventing Gonzalo Higuain’s header from creeping past him.With just over 20 minutes to go Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso threw on Diego Laxalt and Patrick Cutrone in a bid to inject some life into his below-par outfit but it was Fiorentina that would claim the winner.Chiesa knocked the ball inside Calabria and his right-footed attempt crashed into the corner. Lafont then tipped Rodriguez’s header over as Milan fell to their fourth league loss of the season. What does it mean? Pressure building on Gattuso Five wins in six between September 30 and November 4 had eased the pressure on Gattuso but one win in the half a dozen since will not have pleased the Milan hierarchy. There are just two games remaining before the winter break and Gattuso will be under increasing scrutiny if Milan’s form does not pick up soon.Milan unable to find a way past Lafont Milan did have their chances but French teenager Lafont was equal to everything thrown at him. Rodriguez in particular must be wondering how on earth he did not score as Lafont parried away an attempt destined for goal in the first half before displaying terrific agility to tip over a late header from the Swiss too.Goal-shy Gonzalo fails to fire again It is now eight games without a goal for Higuain and it is no surprise Milan are toiling while the Argentinian experiences a barren spell. Of more concern to Gattuso will be how ineffective Higuain was. He had just one chance across the contest and looks like a man burdened by his current struggles.3 – AC Milan haven’t found the net in three consecutive Serie A games for the first time since November 2001. Lack. #MilanFiorentina— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 22, 2018Key Opta FactsMilan have failed to score in three Serie A games in a row for the first time since November 2001.Milan are the only team yet to score a single Serie A goal in the first half since November.Fiorentina have won a Serie A match against AC Milan at San Siro for the first time since November 2013 (0-2).Chiesa’s goal came with Fiorentina’s only shot on target fired in the match.Federico Chiesa has scored his first Serie A away goal since February 2018 (against Bologna).What’s next?Milan’s next assignment is a trip to Frosinone, who are under new management after replacing Moreno Longo with Marco Baroni this week. Fiorentina welcome Parma to Florence on Wednesday. read more
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s resuscitation of Southampton gathered momentum as they climbed three points clear of the Premier League drop zone with a 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town.The Saints led from the 15th minute through Nathan Redmond and navigated a nervy spell in the second half to deservedly prevail in a match with clear relegation implications.Danny Ings, twice on target in last weekend’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal, converted his side’s second from the spot before half-time and it proved a decisive buffer. 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? Philip Billing’s bamboozling of Alex McCarthy briefly offered the Terriers a lifeline in the 58th minute but, as is often the case, they failed to build on a positive period and were consigned to a fifth straight Premier League loss when teenager Michael Obafemi buried his first professional goal.The confidence Southampton gained from overcoming Arsenal was evident in Redmond’s emphatic finish for the opener, the winger punishing Terence Kongolo’s ungainly attempt at cutting out Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass.28 – Nathan Redmond has scored his first Premier League goal of the season with his 28th shot. Persistence. #HUDSOU pic.twitter.com/no0V8teC4V — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018 Huddersfield were struggling to exert any kind of attacking threat and another defensive blunder cost them three minutes before the break.Mathias Jorgensen miscontrolled Ings’ wayward pass and compounded his error by tripping the Saints striker, who coolly sent Jonas Lossl the wrong way from the spot.McCarthy made an instinctive save from Jorgensen’s close-range header soon after the interval but the goalkeeper was far less impressive in allowing Billing’s swerving shot to beat him.That instigated a period of Huddersfield pressure that was relieved through a third mistake at the back.Christopher Schindler was all too easily robbed of possession, Redmond selflessly squared and substitute Obafemi was on hand to tuck away a landmark goal, leaving the hapless hosts four points from safety.That first #PL goal feeling #HUDSOU pic.twitter.com/J3yVYJGXLc— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Terriers in serious troubleSouthampton scoring three times for the second straight match made Huddersfield’s attacking woes all the more regrettable.Still, that concern will fade to minor irritation for manager David Wagner in comparison to the headaches served up by his defence, who could have prevented each goal.Hojbjerg at the heart of Saints’ successSouthampton were blessed with several impressive performers and chief among them was Hojbjerg.Wearing the captain’s armband, the former Bayern Munich man was a real leader in midfield as he got through a power of defensive work while registering an assist for Redmond’s opener.Jorgensen sets poor standardA defender of Jorgensen’s experience should have known better than to have been sucked into the challenge that allowed Ings to double the margin in the first half.The mistake plunged Huddersfield into a hole they were unable to escape from, and losing more than half of his duels did little to help.Key Opta Facts- Southampton have registered back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2017, when they were managed by Claude Puel.- Huddersfield have lost nine of their last 12 home Premier League games (W1 D2), netting just four goals in that time.- Hasenhuttl has won two of his three Premier League matches in charge of Southampton (L1) – only one fewer than Mark Hughes managed in 22 attempts as Saints boss.- Since the start of last season, Huddersfield have had more different players booked for diving than any other Premier League team (4 – Rajiv van La Parra, Alex Pritchard, Laurent Depoitre and Chris Lowe).What’s next? Huddersfield must contend with a daunting trip to Old Trafford on Boxing Day, while Southampton will eye a result at home to West Ham the following day. read more
Josh Sargent’s Bundesliga career got off to a flying start in December, and the teenager does not look ready to slow down just yet.After scoring seven goals in 12 appearances for the Werder Bremen Under-23 side, Sargent got his first-team career off on the right foot when he scored in his senior debut with a tap-in against Fortuna Dusseldorf three weeks ago.Now in just his third appearance in the German top-flight, the 18-year-old striker has scored his second goal for Werder Bremen in a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig. 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? After not getting off the bench midweek in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim, Sargent made the most of his opportunity in his club’s final game before the Bundesliga winter break.The United States international entered the match in the 66th minute with Werder down 2-0 to Leipzig, with the opportunity for his longest runout as a professional.The teenager wasn’t involved in his club’s opener, as Max Kruse managed to bring his side back into the match just a minute after Sargent’s entrance.However, Sargent got in on the action for Werder’s second goal.Sargent initially held the ball up near the midfield line and laid it off. The ensuing pass was delivered into the path of fellow substitute Yuya Osako, who got in behind the defense.Osako then pulled a pass back into the path of the onrushing Sargent, who hit a left-footed finish off the post and into the net to level things at 2-2 in 77th minute.THE AMERICAN HAS TIED IT! 🇺🇸💪Josh Sargent’s 2nd Bundesliga goal in 3 games brings Bremen level at Leipzig! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/V9xm2OZylR— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 22, 2018Unfortunately for Sargent and Werder, Bruma would re-establish the lead for the hosts off a cross from Marcel Halstenberg. That finish would be the winner, as RB Leipzig came away 3-2 victors.After his goal against Dusseldorf, Werder coach Florian Kohfeldt attempted to play down expectations for the teenager, telling reporters: “We all must be careful what we expect from him. If he makes five, six Bundesliga appearances until the summer, it is a good a year for him.”With two goals in three appearances and a half season to go, it looks as if Sargent has a good chance of reaching that mark as he continues to make a case for continued involvement in the Werder first team.
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo as Ernesto Valverde’s side restored their three-point lead at the summit of LaLiga.With Atletico Madrid having won earlier in the day to move level at the top, Barca reasserted their authority as first-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Messi paved the way for a routine victory at Camp Nou.Messi was again at the heart of the hosts’ best play, his shot being parried to the feet of the grateful Dembele to apply the finish inside the opening 10 minutes. 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? The Argentina star got in on the act himself in the final minute of the first half as Barca all but sealed the points before the interval.Barca quickly seized the initiative as Dembele pounced to nutmeg Ruben Blanco after the goalkeeper had kept out Messi’s low drive. The visitors narrowly escaped further punishment when Blanco rushed out to thwart Dembele, with Jordi Alba turning the loose ball towards goal where Nestor Araujo was on hand to intervene. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was finally called into action in the 24th minute and the Barca keeper proved equal to Maxi Gomez’s effort. Messi doubled Barca’s lead late in the half, calmly finishing from the edge of the box after Alba’s searching pass had left Celta exposed. Telepathy The Messi-Alba Connection!#BarçaCelta pic.twitter.com/uKYPPnN2WE— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 22, 2018Luis Suarez proved uncharacteristically wasteful when presented with a glorious chance to put the game to bed just past the hour mark, the forward shooting wide of the target with only Blanco to beat.Blanco had stay sharp to deny Messi a second in a brief goalmouth scramble while Celta, despite enjoying more of the ball, continued to struggle in the final third.Brais Mendez’s effort had Ter Stegen diving low to his left, but that save was as comfortable as Barca’s whole evening had been. What does it mean? Barca go clear againBarca did not seem to take too kindly to having company at the top of the table after being joined there by Atletico, but this win restored their cushion and provided a fitting end to the year. Celta, meanwhile, remain mid-table.Magnificent Messi does it againHaving played a significant role in the opener, Messi got himself on the scoresheet before the break in a display that highlighted just what a threat he is, cementing his spot at the top of the LaLiga scoring charts.Suarez outshoneSuarez was as industrious as he always is, but while Dembele and Messi both found the back of the net, the Uruguay international’s finishing was wayward, failing to find the target with two attempts at goal. Key Opta Facts:- Messi has reached 15+ goals in LaLiga for each of the last 11 seasons.- Barcelona have scored 102 league goals in 2018, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.- Messi has scored 47 goals in 49 games in 2018 in all competitions, more than any other player from those five divisions.- Barcelona have kept four consecutive clean sheets in LaLiga for the first time since January.- Valverde has not lost any of his 16 games as a head coach against Celta in LaLiga (W11 D5).What’s next?The two sides can enjoy a festive break now and will return to action in January, with Barca heading to Getafe in their first game of 2019, while Celta host Athletic Bilbao. read more
Franck Ribery scored twice as Bayern Munich ended 2018 by moving into second place in the Bundesliga with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.On Niko Kovac’s return to his former club, Bayern took the lead midway through the first half when Ribery swept in at the culmination of a slick counter-attack.Bayern could have been ahead earlier on, had Kevin Trapp not pulled off a superb double save to deny Javi Martinez and Thomas Muller, who later hit the woodwork. 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? Robert Lewandowski should have wrapped up the win early in the second half, but his blushes were spared when Ribery scuffed in a second, with Rafinha’s fortuitous effort adding further gloss to a victory that takes Bayern back to within six points of leaders Borussia Dortmund.Danny da Costa and Luka Jovic both went close as Eintracht started well, but the hosts would have been behind had Trapp not followed up a fantastic save from Martinez’s diving header by denying Muller on the rebound.Trapp was beaten in the 35th minute, though. Muller played in Lewandowski, who squared a wonderful reverse pass into the centre of the box, with Ribery on hand to tuck home.3 – @FranckRibery scores in 3 consecutive games in the Bundesliga for the first time since February 2015, after not scoring in his first 11 games in the Bundesliga in this season. Form. @FCBayernEN #SGEFCB — OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018 Lewandowski almost turned provider again on the stroke of half-time, but Muller could only direct his header onto the bar.Ribery should have had an assist when he teed up Lewandowski, though the striker’s first touch let him down, and that profligacy might have proved costly had Jovic connected with Da Costa’s cross.But any lingering hopes of an Eintracht comeback were ended when Ribery’s mishit clipped in off the woodwork, with Rafinha’s cross-shot then getting the better of Trapp as Bayern cruised to a fifth successive Bundesliga win. What does it mean? Kovac keeps the bragging rights Kovac has now come out as the winning manager in the last three meetings between these sides, once as Eintracht boss in the DFB-Pokal final, and now twice during his time in charge of Bayern.It also means that Bayern ensure that they stay within touching distance of Dortmund heading into the winter break, while Eintracht sit in fifth.Ribery’s scoring run rolls on It took until December 8 for Ribery to open his account for the season, but the winger has not looked back since then, and has now netted four times in his last three Bundesliga appearances.Haller, Jovic left isolated After initially struggling to cope with Eintracht’s high press, Bayern managed to stem the service into the hosts’ forward pair, and neither Sebastien Haller or Jovic had much to go off.Key Opta facts: – Thomas Muller played his 50th competitive game for Bayern in 2018 – no other player made so many appearances for Bayern in all competitions this year.- Franck Ribery scored in his third consecutive Bundesliga game – the last time he achieved this was in February 2015.- Robert Lewandowski had a hand in a goal for Bayern for the 50th time in all competitions in 2018 – tying his personal record for a single calendar year (50 goals scored/assisted in 2017).- Ribery (35 years, 259 days) became the oldest Bayern player ever to score at least two goals in a single Bundesliga game.- Niko Kovac has won five consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time as a coach – he also did not achieved this in his career as a Bayern player.2 – @FranckRibery is the oldest player of @FCBayernEN (35 years, 259 days) to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game. Grandseigneur. #SGEFCB pic.twitter.com/g2zyFpL2O7— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018What’s next? With the Bundesliga taking a winter break, Bayern face Fortuna Dusseldorf in a friendly before restarting league duties away at Hoffenheim on January 18. read more
Bayern Munich are leading the race to sign Chelsea attacker Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Goal understands the Bundesliga champions could face competition from Borussia Dortmund, who have also shown an interest in the 18-year-old.Hudson-Odoi is a valued asset at Stamford Bridge, but the youngster is questioning his long-term future at the club despite his age, having earned only two competitive starts under Maurizio Sarri this season.Chelsea are still hopeful that they can tie down the forward to a new five-year contract, as previously revealed by Goal, but a serious offer from a big overseas club could tempt the Blues to cash in on a player who is eager for playing time and out of contract in 18 months.Dortmund’s approach for Hudson-Odoi came during Chelsea’s talks with the club over Christian Pulisic’s availability, with the German side’s offer of a swap deal rejected by the Blues as they aim to tempt the player to put pen to paper on a new deal in January. 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 is understood that Bayern have a clear plan set out to bring the England youth to the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians eager to add some youth to their forward line as veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben enter the final years of their career.Juventus and Real Madrid also retain an interest in Hudson-Odoi, who brought himself to the attention of clubs all around Europe since helping Chelsea’s academy team to a stunning quadruple in the 2017-18 season.The Blues are also keen to hold on to goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, who is regarded as the best young shot-stopper currently on the London club’s books.They have, however, already cemented deals for fellow keepers Nathan Baxter and Jamie Cumming to ensure talent continues to come through between the sticks.
Chelsea are 11 points away from Premier League leaders Liverpool and are staring down the reality that they are not title contenders this season.Maurizio Sarri has sent warnings that his side ‘are a step behind’ both Liverpool and Manchester City throughout the course of the season, even when his side racked up an impressive 18 game unbeaten streak in all competitions.A strong ‘big six’ in England’s top flight means a top-four finish is a battle, and Chelsea find themselves just outside the top tier of challengers alongside Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. 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? Some saw Sarri’s comments as pessimism at the time but the recent run has exposed shortcomings at Stamford Bridge that the Italian was evidently aware of – the same ones countryman Antonio Conte complained about before him.Strange mentality On any given day, Chelsea can beat anyone. Both Manchester City and Liverpool have found that out already this season, but the real challenge is to grind it out week after week.That’s where Chelsea are failing, they are unable to blow teams away like Man City, whereas Liverpool’s title charge has been characterised by a dogged mentality.Even the best teams have bad days but Chelsea seem to fade for large periods of games in which they had previously been doing well. In November, the issue for Sarri was starting games slowly but now it’s that Chelsea react poorly to hardship, most blatantly when the opposition scores.Leicester City earned their first win at Stamford Bridge for more than 18 years with a 1-0 win on Saturday and they deserved it. A strong Claude Puel game plan still needed resilience as Chelsea dominated possession and created more chances.However, Jamie Vardy’s second half strike saw Chelsea collapse and Sarri seemed baffled about his team’s lack of ability to mount a response.”I think we played very well for 55 minutes, we played very good football,” said the Italian. “After the goal the reaction was, for me, a strange reaction, not in the right direction, not as a team but as 11 different players. It was very strange.“I think we could have done better. We only had to continue to play like we did in the first part of the match. There was time to score but we reacted as a team that was shocked. I cannot understand our reaction.”There are many games that you could look to in highlighting examples of poor mentality from Chelsea and it doesn’t matter if they won, lost or drew. Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Tottenham and Leicester City… the examples are numerous of this ‘strange mentality’ that plagues Chelsea’s side and that is costing them points.A possible solution would be the emergence of leaders of the ilk of those long gone at Chelsea. The Blues’ most feared team featured the likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, whose mental toughness complimented their immense footballing talent.There’s also a need for Chelsea to kill off games more ruthlessly when they are on top.Lack of reliable striker Eden Hazard has emerged as Chelsea’s leading striker, operating as a false 9, with Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud only having six league goals so far between them.Chelsea have switched formations to play with eight-goal Hazard up front, but Leicester opted to use a deep block and give him, Pedro and Willian little space to weave their magic.Giroud is hard-working and a good influence for the team but, as proved at the World Cup, he needs others to take the role of goal scorer.Morata was meant to be the 20-, potentially 30-goal-a-season man but he has not shown himself robust enough to cope with the pressure of being under the spotlight. At Juventus and Real Madrid, the talent of his team-mates offered him some hiding space, but Chelsea invested £58 million plus add-ons in his potential to rise from the shadows and become a main man.So far it has been not so good for the 26-year-old since his move to west London. It has been a run of injuries, complaints, yellow cards and excuses rather than goals. Spain dropped Morata from their World Cup squad and Sarri left him out after switching to a false 9 against Man City.It is a sad indictment for a player who is clearly so talented. Patience is limited in football though and this might be an area where Chelsea look to the transfer market for a solution.Chelsea explored the possibility of signing Gonzalo Higuain in the last transfer window and are rumoured to be interested in him again. The false 9 may also be here to stay, but that might lead to Sarri looking for more clinical small forwards – with a host of names having been linked – including the likes of Christian Pulisic, Nabil Fekir and Ousmane Dembele.Some people think Sarri also needs a ‘Plan B’ but the 59-year-old was hired on the knowledge that he doesn’t deviate from his tactical plan. There’s also been unrest among his substitutes at Chelsea but this is just another example of history repeating itself after his spell at Napoli.Chelsea’s other concern is integrating their world-class youth players into their first team, but to do so they need a manager to stick around for a long time. They will hope that man is Sarri, so fixing the striker and mentality issues would be the best places to start, with bigger issues to be resolved along the way.Achieving great things takes time for most, just ask Pep Guardiola at Man City. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Speaking to Sky Sports recently Les Ferdinand spoke of promotion hopes back to the Premier League referring to it as a ‘golden ticket’.Queens Park Rangers are not far off the play-off places as they beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at The City Ground to collect back to back wins. Centre-back Toni Leistner headed home the winning goal from a Luke Freeman cross. This was the first ever time QPR have won against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground with the club Tweeting: 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? 💪 BFG breaks the hoodoo!See @backpageimages from #QPR ‘s first-ever win at the City Ground.▶️ https://t.co/mIaF944Xx8 pic.twitter.com/QjHG7AxqND — QPR FC (@QPR) December 22, 2018 The Super Hoops have shown impressive form of late following their home win against Middlesbrough. They’ve had a bad start to the season but since have gone on to collect 34 points in the Championship. Their next game is a boxing day evening fixture against Ipswich Town.The west London side will look to continue their winning streak with Steve McClaren saying he is proud of his team’s spirit. 🗣 ‘It’s been a long time!’Steve McClaren shared his pride after #QPR ended their City Ground hoodoo.▶️ https://t.co/DJsAEPOc8p #FORQPR pic.twitter.com/M7NNmd0VbX — QPR FC (@QPR) December 22, 2018
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is adamant Liverpool will slip up in the Premier League title race, declaring an upset is all but inevitable for the Reds.Hodgson’s prediction comes after he masterminded Palace’s shock 3-2 win over Manchester City on the weekend which handed Jurgen Klopp’s side a four-point gap as league leaders.Liverpool remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League this season after 18 games and pulled past Wolves 2-0 as City surprisingly dropped points. 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? Though the Reds now have some breathing room at the top, Hodgson stressed City shouldn’t be worried about the current situation, noting Klopp’s men will slip up sooner or later. “I don’t think Pep Guardiola will be too concerned about a four-point gap with 20 games left to play,” Hodgson said.“One of those is going to be against Liverpool, but even without that game the chances are that Liverpool will go somewhere and something like this will happen.”Someone will beat them against the odds, there is a long way to go yet and there will be an upset somewhere along the line.”Klopp, who is yet to win silverware with Liverpool, certainly isn’t getting ahead of himself despite Christmas history favouring the Reds.”Somebody said the last four times the that was first in the table at Christmas won the league, but was it ever such a tight race?” Klopp said.Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren isn’t banking on his side slipping up anytime soon however, recently calling on the them copy Arsenal’s Invincibles and go the entire season unbeaten. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
In Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool have found a player that is “John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic all rolled into one”, says Jamie Redknapp, with the Dutchman potentially the best Premier League defender of all time.The Reds invested £75 million ($95m) in the Netherlands international back in January, making him the costliest player in his chosen position.While breaking transfer records can be considered a gamble, those at Anfield have seen their show of faith richly rewarded. 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? Van Dijk is considered to have contributed significantly to Liverpool becoming Premier League title contenders, with there few obvious weaknesses in his game.Former Reds star Redknapp believes the 27-year-old is the finest all-round defender he has ever seen, telling the Daily Mail: “We are only halfway through the season but already nobody comes close to Virgil van Dijk in the race for Player of the Year. He is the one player every team would love to have in their side.“Think of the best defenders in Premier League history — John Terry, Rio Ferdinandand Nemanja Vidic. Van Dijk is all three players rolled into one.“He reads the game like Terry and is a lovely passer, getting the ball out of his feet and spraying 30-yard balls. Van Dijk is blessed with the pace of Rio, too. Rarely do you see him caught out in a one-v-one situation.“While he is not as aggressive as Vidic, he has that same warrior spirit and will to win. He is calm, cool, composed in the air and is a brilliant leader.”Redknapp added on Van Dijk’s potential to cement legend status while landing major honours: “Never mind player of the season — if he carries on playing at this level, he has all the attributes to be the Premier League’s greatest ever defender. I am just surprised that it has taken until now for him to be starring in a team competing for Premier League titles.“To become the greatest, Van Dijk has to win trophies. He reached the Champions League final last season and now has a great chance of winning the Premier League.“If Liverpool are to be crowned champions this season, Van Dijk is the one player they can least afford to lose to injury.”Van Dijk has been an ever-present for Liverpool in the Premier League this season, helping them to cement a standing at the top of the table.Jurgen Klopp’s side, who remain unbeaten through 18 games, have opened up a four-point lead on reigning champions Manchester City. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has joked that he is “getting bored of speaking about how good Virgil van Dijk is”.Plaudits have rained down on the Dutch centre-half since he completed a £75 million ($95m) move to Anfield in January.He has helped to turn Jurgen Klopp’s side into credible Premier League title contenders, with the Reds currently boasting a four-point lead over the chasing pack. 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? Robertson admits there is not much more to be said about the commanding Netherlands international, with his value to the cause speaking for itself.The Scottish full-back said of Van Dijk after seeing him find the target and help Liverpool to another clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over Wolves: “I’m getting bored speaking about how good he is!“No, I’m only joking. He was fantastic.“We knew when we saw [Adama] Traore up top that he has got great pace. His pace and direction are a big threat and big Virgil did so well with him. We knew on the counter-attack they were dangerous.“I’m sure he will be disappointed he has not scored more goals but it was a clean sheet and his first Premier League goal – pretty much a perfect day for him.“He’s been brilliant [since joining Liverpool]. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside him for the majority of time on the left-hand side of the defence. He’s just a great lad to have next to you – I’m not sure he will say the same about me!“I think we have had a good relationship, we work together. The whole back four does, whoever plays, his impact on the club has been good. I look forward to it continuing.”Van Dijk is not the only Reds player inspiring a title tilt, though, with Robertson eager to point out that Klopp has a squad full of leaders.He added: “We have a fantastic captain in Hendo [Jordan Henderson]. This [Wolves] was his 300th game for the club and that’s a great achievement.“We’ve got Milly [James Milner] behind him as well and he’s a top pro, everyone looks up to him. Virgil is captain for his country so there are plenty of leaders on the park.“I’m including Dejan [Lovren] in that as well. The more leaders we have got on the park the better as far as I’m concerned. There were a couple of arguments out there against Wolves – a couple of things that needed to be said and they were said.“We all have the attitude that if someone says something to you, you have to take it on the chin. If you don’t agree with it, you deal with it at full-time or half-time and speak to one another.“We have spoken together as a team. We do discuss things [and] have said that’s it’s about having that honesty between us.“I think that’s something the lads have done really well since the start of the season. It shows the respect between us.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon Peter Phillips, is reassuring the country of the World and Inter-American Development Banks’ commitment of “substantial” resources to finance Jamaica’s economic reform programme.The institutions’ provision of grant and loan support was contingent on the administration securing an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was achieved on May 1.On that date, the IMF Executive Board approved the US$932.3 million four-year EFF.Responding to questions raised regarding reported “skepticism” about the government’s ability to implement the programme, during a media briefing at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, on May 21, Dr. Phillips said that it is “not a surprise” that the global community is observing, with keen interest, the “seriousness of purpose and resolve” in the programme’s implementation.This, he pointed out, is based on the fact that the programme is challenging, noting however, that “we have demonstrated, as a country, the commitment to the programme and the reform effort.”“I think it is also worth pointing (out) that whatever the apprehensions that may exist in various sectors of the global financial community, including the development banks, that both the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank committed, with the approval of their Boards, substantial resources to the Jamaican programme,” he added.Against this background, Dr. Phillips said it is incumbent on the nation to “fulfill our obligations” as a precursor to being able to secure, “not only from those institutions, but from the private markets and other institutions (and) other partners, a long term commitment to Jamaica’s economic transformation.”Head of the IMF Mission Team, which piloted negotiations for the EFF, Jan Kees Martijn, who was at the media briefing, also gave the assurance that the collaboration among the government, IMF, World Bank and IDB is “very good,” adding that this is “critical” for the economic programme’s implementation.“Both the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank are offering very important support to the programme’s implementation, both in terms of financing (and) in terms of technical assistance advice. I think that a partnership is in place and that is what is critical for this programme to become a success,” Mr. Martijn said.The IMF Mission Team Head was in Jamaica over the past week, along with other members of the delegation, for discussions with the government on the progress of the economic reform programme’s implementation.CONTACT: DOUGLAS McINTOSH
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, articulated their positions on the matter during Tuesday’s (September 26) sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House, during which members were updated on the Government’s disaster relief response to several of the affected territories. Story Highlights There is consensus between the Government and Parliamentary Opposition on the need for Jamaica and other regional countries to take the necessary measures to ensure that there is no break in government operations in the event of a major disaster.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, articulated their positions on the matter during Tuesday’s (September 26) sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House, during which members were updated on the Government’s disaster relief response to several of the affected territories.Mr. Holness, who noted that the recent development of two Category 5 hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean was unprecedented, described it as a sign that regional governments “ought to prepare themselves for this new phenomenon”.He said the immediate challenge for small island nations like Jamaica is the resulting breakdown in security that those natural disasters can create “which is happening right across the region”.“If it were to happen on a larger scale, the repercussions could be devastating,” he noted.In that regard, Mr. Holness said there is need for significant focus on matters such as the continuation of the governance structure, “because you could have a disaster that so dislocates the institutions of the society that you literally have a break in government.”“So, we gave a directive to the National Disaster Preparedness Committee to look at the Continuation of Government Plan which would (focus on) where Government would operate from; who are the people who you would have to bring together; the communications; and the connectivity, just to ensure that if any disaster of epiphenomenal levels were to occur, that you would not have a break in government and, subsequently, a break in law and order,” he said.Mr. Holness, who said that the Government is “looking at this matter in a very serious light,” noted that the undertaking will require “some investment” as “just writing out a continuation of government plan is not going to be enough… you are going to have to build it out”.He advised that the Government continues to benefit from the services of an expert from the Government of Mexico, who, he said, is conducting assessments of the extent of preparedness and readiness by key State agencies, while expressing confidence that “Jamaica has a very good disaster response mechanism”.“Where we may fall short is on actual resources, equipment and infrastructure. But I think the governance mechanism for disaster response is there,” the Prime Minister noted.Against this background, Mr. Holness urged members of the House of Representatives to pass the proposed new Building Act, which will serve to support attendant engagements.“We have made certain policies known regarding mandatory evacuations (and) building in areas that are considered to be at-risk (and) vulnerable. The Government will ensure that the policies, laws and regulations, in this regard, are enforced,” he said.For his part, Dr. Phillips, who lauded the Government for committing to assist several of the hurricane-affected countries, said CARICOM Heads of Government and other supporting entities must commence the discourse towards initiating longer-term responses to natural disasters.Additionally, he said that the region needs to “reach out to the wider international community in providing support for our regional plans”. There is consensus between the Government and Parliamentary Opposition on the need for Jamaica and other regional countries to take the necessary measures to ensure that there is no break in government operations in the event of a major disaster. For his part, Dr. Phillips, who lauded the Government for committing to assist several of the hurricane-affected countries, said CARICOM Heads of Government and other supporting entities must commence the discourse towards initiating longer-term responses to natural disasters.
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The correspondence over the next few weeks did nothing to quell fears. If I showed up on a particular Tuesday I could be a chef or even a “King Mah-Jong player!” read an email from another publicist. This did not bode well.But at some point I realized this wasn’t a slight; it was an opportunity. After all, following in the footsteps of just about every minority actor seemed a great way to start a conversation. I sent my reply: “I’m practising my Chinglish!”READ MORE Tony Wong, left, and fellow extra William Chong, right, with actor Russell Yuen. Wong and Chong play a helper and patron of a Chinese benevolent society while Yuen plays the head of that society in the Frankie Drake Mysteries episode airing Jan. 8. (SHAFTESBURY) Twitter Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or offended. After all, I wasbeing offered a role on the new CBC series Frankie Drake Mysteries.“You can play a waiter in a Chinese restaurant!” the publicist cheerfully suggested.After years of interviewing Asian American actors such as John Cho (Star Trek), Eddie Huang (Fresh Off The Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken) about the lack of Asian representation in movies and television, playing an ingrained stereotype lacked appeal, to say the least. I had also, in the past, pointedly called out Canadian television producers for making racist comments. So maybe I wasn’t the best candidate.
(Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Murray Sinclair (left) and APTN host Cheryl McKenzie during an interview Tuesday)APTN National NewsTruth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Chair Murray Sinclair said Prime Minister Stephen Harper remains unconvinced of the need for Canada to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.In an interview with APTN host Cheryl McKenzie, Sinclair said he and the TRC’s other commissioners, Marie Wilson and Wilton Littlechild, met with Harper Tuesday afternoon.When McKenzie asked if the prime minister expressed any disagreement with the TRC’s recommendations contained in a report released earlier in the day, Sinclair said the prime minister maintained his opposition to adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.“Well obviously the adoption of UN declaration, which the government just voted down a few weeks ago in the House,” said Sinclair, referring to a private member’s bill from Cree NDP MP Romeo Saganash.Sinclair said the TRC isn’t necessarily calling for the declaration to be written into law because it would require a more complicated process involving the provinces.“We have indicated in our report, we think utilizing the (UN declaration) as a framework for reconciliation,” said Sinclair.Sinclair said during the meeting Harper showed he is well versed in the history of residential schools.“He had things to say about the issues around the evolution of residential schools in the country which led me to believe he is well up on the topic,” he said. “We didn’t agree on some of the (recommendations). He did agree there is an obligation that there be ongoing discourse.”Sinclair also said Harper needs to read his commission’s report if he’s not yet convinced the Indian residential schools system was a central element in Canada’s policy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.Sinclair said the report makes a clear case the intention of the schools was to wipe out Indigenous culture.During question period Tuesday, Harper refused to back the TRC report’s conclusion on cultural genocide. Instead, the prime minister chose to use the words “forced assimilation” when pressed on the issue by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.“I think (Harper) needs to read out report. Our report is pretty clear about what was going on and what was intended,” said Sinclair.Sinclair said it wouldn’t be a large leap for Harper to reach the same conclusion, given the language used in his 2008 apology to residential schools.“(In the 2008 apology) he acknowledged that the phrase, ‘kill the Indian in the child’ was the intention behind residential schools,” said Sinclair. “It wouldn’t be a leap.”Sinclair said the commissioners of the TRC also offered to be part of any efforts toward reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples.“The conversation really needs to be between the Aboriginal community and the government of Canada and we think we can help that,” said Sinclair.The TRC released a summary of its final report on Tuesday. The final report will be issued sometime later this firstname.lastname@example.org@APTNNews
WASHINGTON — The attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland plan to file subpoenas Tuesday seeking records from the Trump Organization, the Internal Revenue Service and dozens of other entities as part of a lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency.The flurry of subpoenas came a day after U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte approved a brisk schedule for discovery in the case alleging that foreign and domestic government spending at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel amounts to gifts to the president in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.The subpoenas target more than 30 Trump-linked private entities and the federal agency that oversees the lease for Trump’s D.C. hotel. Subpoenas were also being sent to the Department of Defence, General Services Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and the IRS, all of which have spent taxpayer dollars at the hotel.Other Trump entities that officials plan to subpoena include those related to his D.C. hotel and its management.The Maryland attorney general’s office confirmed the targets of the subpoenas to The Associated Press as they were being prepared Tuesday.The subpoenas focus on answering three questions: which foreign domestic governments are paying the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where that money is going and how Trump’s hotel is affecting the hospitality industry in the District of Columbia and Maryland.To help answer those questions, the subpoenas are asking for records of payments to Trump from state government and federal agencies that patronized the hotel. They’re also seeking information proving that hotel revenues are going to the president through his affiliated entities, including The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust. Most of the records are being requested back to Jan. 1, 2015.The Justice Department declined to comment. Neither the Trump Organization nor the White House immediately responded to a request for comment Tuesday.Trump’s Justice Department lawyers have previously argued that earnings from such business activity as hotels stays don’t qualify as emoluments. And in court papers last week challenging the judge’s decision to move the case forward, Justice lawyers objected to any discovery on a sitting president in order to avoid a “constitutional confrontation.” They also argued that any discovery would “be a distraction to the President’s performance of his constitutional duties.”Trump’s Justice Department lawyers filed a notice to the court Friday indicating it plans to challenge the Maryland judge’s decision to allow the case to move forward in a Richmond, Virginia, court. The president’s notice that he may seek a writ of mandamus — to have the appeal heard by a higher court — is considered an “extraordinary remedy” that’s hard to prove and partly rests on showing Messitte’s decisions to be clearly wrong.Because Trump was also the first president in modern history to not release his tax returns, any responsive records would likely provide the first clear picture of the finances of Trump’s business empire as well as his Washington, D.C., hotel.There is no indication yet that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine, both Democrats, would push for the president’s tax returns, at least in this initial round of legal discovery, given the sensitive nature of such a request and likely additional delays it would cause. But tax returns for some of Trump’s business entities, including the state and federal tax returns for the Trump Organization, are also being requested.There is a separate federal lawsuit involving the General Services Administration, which oversees the lease for the hotel with the Trump Organization. Democratic lawmakers last year sued demanding disclosures of records to determine how Trump was approved by the General Services Administration to maintain the lease of the Trump International Hotel in Washington after he became president.The hotel is housed in the historic Old Post Office, which is owned by the federal government, and its lease has a clause barring any “elected official of the government of the United States” from deriving “any benefit.” Trump and his daughter Ivanka, a senior White House adviser, both retained their stakes in the property.The plaintiffs’ prior preservation subpoena filing requested documents that concern “marketing to foreign or domestic governments, including members of the diplomatic community” for 23 Trump-linked entities, be saved. Other noted categories for preservation include documents that would identify guests of the hotel and those who have rented event space, details on all finances and “operating leases, permits, licenses, tax payments or credits to or from foreign or domestic governments.”Maine also received a subpoena, likely because its governor, Republican Paul LePage, stayed at Trump’s hotel in Washington when he had official business to conduct, including discussions with the president. Representatives for LePage’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.On one of those trips last year, Trump and LePage appeared together at a news conference at which Trump signed an executive order to review orders of the prior administration that established national monuments within the National Park Service. President Barack Obama had established a park and national monument in Maine over LePage’s objections in 2016.If there are no delays, legal discovery would conclude in early August.___Follow Tami Abdollah on Twitter at https://twitter.com/latamsTami Abdollah, The Associated Press
Sacred Games 2 (Netflix): Based on Vikram Chandra’s best-selling novel, ‘Sacred Games’ is a cop drama around Sartaj and Ganesh Gaitonde. The much awaited second season of the series has been announced.Mirzapur 2 (Amazon Prime): An Indian crime thriller web series, Mirzapur revolves around drugs, guns, and lawlessness. Left on a cliffhanger for viewers, Mirzapur has a lot more to reveal in its next season.Inside Edge 2 (Amazon Prime): Inside Edge is an Indian-American web television series based on a fictional T20 cricket team. The second season is confirmed, but the dates have not been revealed yet. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainBreathe 2 (Amazon Prime): Eight episodes of the first season explore the lives of ordinary men who face extraordinary circumstances. If you haven’t seen the first part yet, binge watch it before the second one comes.Damaged 2 (Hungama): A psychological crime drama, ‘Damaged’ is India’s first ground-breaking show about a female serial killer. There are a lot of factors which make the show thrilling. Just wait for the second season to come.