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.”
Ashley Young admits Manchester United have endured “a tough week”, but has called on those around him to “play for the badge” as a new era is opened at Cardiff.The Red Devils will take to the field in South Wales with a new manager at the helm, with Jose Mourinho having been relieved of his duties.Inconsistent displays from an underperforming squad spelled the end for the Portuguese, with a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool proving to be the final straw. 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? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been drafted in as Mourinho’s successor and is being backed to bring a feel-good factor back to Old Trafford.Young concedes there have not been too many smiles on United faces of late, but told the club’s official website: “It’s been a tough week.“But we’ve got to move on now, move forward and concentrate on this game. We need to get ourselves back to winning ways.“You go out there as a player and you want to win, play for the badge, play for this fantastic club, the best club in the world and for us now it’s about looking ahead and looking at the next couple of games we’ve got coming up.“It’s a busy Christmas period and we want to get points on the board and start getting ourselves back up the table.”The Red Devils are looking for returning hero Solskjaer to make an immediate impact, with the presence of a 1999 Treble winner helping to raise spirits around the club.“I’m sure Ole is excited to be back, Mike Phelan as well,” added Young. “For Ole to walk back in here must feel unbelievable. The fans love him, he loves the club and it can only be a good thing for us.“With me being one of the older heads, I [previously] worked under Mike and it’s nice to see him back on the training pitch again.”Young has also hailed the impact of the backroom team at United, with Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and goalkeeping coach Emilio Alvarez all having important roles to play in the present and future.“Carras, Kieran and Emilio have been fantastic,” he said. “The training sessions they’ve put on have been fantastic, top notch.“I can definitely see Carras being a manager one day and Kieran has been brilliant stepping up to the first team [from the Under-18s]. He’s taken to it like a duck to water and Emilio is a fantastic goalkeeping coach. It’s nice for them to be here and work under Mick and Ole as well.“The main thing for us has been not to be caught up in everything and instead just concentrate on our work on the pitch and get ourselves fully prepared for this weekend’s game. That’s all you can do as players; be prepared and be ready for the game that we’ve got coming up.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
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
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his players to “be Manchester United” before their rousing 5-1 win against Cardiff on Saturday.Jesse Lingard scored twice to add to goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial at the Cardiff City Stadium as United put on an electrifying performance to blow away the cobwebs that had collected during the final sorry weeks of Jose Mourinho’s reign.Caretaker boss Solskjaer, installed until the end of the season after the Portuguese was sacked on Tuesday, restored Paul Pogba to the starting line-up after the World Cup winner was left out of Mourinho’s team for last weekend’s 3-1 capitulation to Liverpool, and he wasted little time in re-finding the form that once made him the most expensive player in world football. 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? And the Norwegian revealed after the game that he has received advice from United’s record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney on how to re-ignite the attacking energy that been lost under the Portuguese.“Football is easy if you’ve got good players,” Solskjaer told BT Sport . “They are a great bunch of players and their quality is unbelievable.”I arrived on Wednesday night and only had Thursday and Friday with the players. Wayne Rooney texted me and gave me some advice – so it must be down to him! He told me to make them play football, enjoy themselves and be Manchester United.”United impressed on all fronts going forward, and their dominance was threatened only briefly when Victor Camasara’s penalty pegged them back to 2-1 midway through the first half.It was in stark contrast to the lifelessness of the team’s final performances under Mourinho – United had gone into the game with the fewest goals scored of any side in the top six and more goals conceded than 15th-place Newcastle.”We had a session yesterday about patterns of play and we wanted Ashley Young and Luke Shaw to push on more,” said Solskjaer. “It worked out well today.”Your work-rate is the easiest thing to work on. It is free. It is the attitude and application of the boys.”If we approach all the games like this – and we want them to approach them all like this – with combination play and playing the ball forward then I’ll be happy.”The foundation was in the defending today. I thought the two centre-backs and two full-backs were brilliant today.”
Rangers will look to respond to Celtic’s 3-0 win over Dundee when they travel to face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Sunday. Steven Gerrard’s men fell to third in the league on Saturday as Aberdeen leapfrogged them, while there is now a four-point gap to bridge between themselves and Celtic before the Old Firm game on Saturday.Although that encounter is the main focus of the week, the Gers cannot allow their concentration to waver in Perth or for an awkward midweek meeting with Hibs at Ibrox. 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? Game St Johnstone vs Rangers Date Sunday, December 23 Time 12:15pm GMT / 7:15am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via B/R Live. US TV channel Online stream N/A B/R Live In the UK, the game will be shown on BT Sport 1 and can be streamed through the BT Sport Live app. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 1 BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position St Johnstone squad Goalkeepers Clark, Hurst Defenders Shaughnessy, Anderson, Kerr, Gordon, Easton, Tansfer, Foster, Comrie Midfielders Nydam, Davidson, Callachan, McClean, McCann, Wotherspoon, Alston, Craig, Swanson, Scougall Forwards Kennedy, Watt, Kane, McMillan St Johnstone go into this encounter without goalkeeper Conor Mitchell, defender Brian Easton and midfielder Drey Wright, all of whom would have expected to start the game.Danny Swanson and Blair Alston are set to come into the midfield, while Jason Kerr returned to full training late in the week and should start.Possible St Johnstone starting XI: Clark; Foster, Kerr, Shaughnessy, Tanser; Swanson, Alston, Davidson, Wotherspoon; Watt, Kennedy Position Rangers squad Goalkeepers McGregor, Foderingham, Robbie McCrorie Defenders Tavernier, Goldson, Flanagan, Ross McCrorie, Katic, Bradley, Barisic, Worrall, McAuley Midfielders Jack, Ejaria, Halliday, Coulibaly, Arfield, Kelly, Grezda Forwards Candeias, Morelos, Lafferty, Middleton Steven Gerrard has the familiar trio of long-term absentees – Lee Wallace, Jamie Murphy and Graeme Dorrans – to contend with. Additionally, Ryan Kent will miss the match and Scott Arfield is something of a worry, leaving the midfield somewhat depleted.In defence, meanwhile, centre-backs Gareth McAuley and Connor Goldson are both worries, which could open the door to a return for Nikola Katic.Ryan Jack will start after signing a fresh contract with the club that will run until 2021.Possible Rangers starting XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Barisic; Coulibaly, Jack, McCrorie; Candeias, Morelos, GrezdaBetting & Match Odds Rangers are priced as 11/20 favourites to win this game by bet365. St Johnstone are considered a 5/1 bet to win, while a draw is 3/1.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Rangers might have fallen four points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership standings, but they still have designs on overtaking their great rivals before New Year.Victory over St Johnstone on Sunday would open the door to the potential of regaining top spot in the final matches of 2018, in which they face Hibs on Boxing Day before tackling Celtic at Ibrox on Saturday.No slips, however, can be afforded against the Perth outfit, with assistant manager Gary McAllister acutely aware of the danger such a fixture can pose.“Barring their little blip against Motherwell, St Johnstone have been on good form,” he said. “They’re keeping clean sheets. It never ceases to amaze me what Tommy Wright does through at St Johnstone, very rarely he gets money to go and build his squad or add to his squad.“It’s the same players and they’ve done extremely well so it’s a tough opponent. We go up to Perth and it’s going to be difficult, I think it always is when we go through there. So it’s game on, and then obviously it’s Hibs coming back to Ibrox.”St Johnstone had been on an eight-match undefeated run before losing 2-1 to Motherwell at home last weekend, with their defence especially impressive as they had kept seven cleansheets in those games.However, they lost 5-1 at Ibrox when the sides previously met this season.“I know the idea of revenge is used a lot in football but if we need revenge as motivation then we need to take a look at ourselves,” Wright said.“Our focus is all on getting three points and to do that we’re going to have to learn from the game back in September.“We created chances which was obviously positive but we were too open and we were punished for it.“We’re keen to finish this year strongly before the break so we want to pick up another three points on Sunday and that’s our main focus.”Eighth in the table, Saints find themselves in a battle for the top six, but an upset victory would draw them to within four points of Rangers with a game in hand.
Leeds can go back to the top of the Championship on Sunday if they overcome Aston Villa away from home.Marcelo Bielsa’s side have won all of their last five Championship outings but find themselves heading to Villa Park looking up at Norwich, who defeated Blackburn thanks to a late Teemu Pukki strike on Saturday.In Birmingham, they will find themselves up against a Villa side who are seven undefeated and with a habit of being involved in exciting, high-scoring games. 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? Game Aston Villa vs Leeds Date Sunday, December 23 Time 1:30pm GMT / 8:30am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via ESPN+. US TV channel Online stream N/A ESPN+ In the UK, the game will be shown on Sky Sports Football and Main Event and can be streamed through the Sky Go app. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event Sky Go Squads & Team News Position Aston Villa players Goalkeepers Nyland, Moreira, Bunn Defenders Chester, Tuanzebe, Richards, Taylor, Elmohamady, Bree, Hatton Midfielders Jedinak, Whelan, Hourihane, McGinn, Lansbury, Bjarnason, Grealish Forwards Bolasie, El Ghazi, Adomah, Abraham, Kodjia, Hogan, Davis, Hepburn-Murphy Villa go into Sunday’s match without key midfielder Jack Grealish or fellow midfielder Birkir Bjarnason.Meanwhile, Dean Smith will have to monitor a number of players in the build up to kick off. Neil Taylor and James Bree are doubts in the defence, while midfielders Henri Lansbury, Mile Jedinak and Albert Adomah are all concerns.Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic will join up with the squad in January after his signing from Gent was confirmed.Possible Aston Villa starting XI: Nyland; Elmohamady, Chester, Tuanzebe, Hutton; McGinn, Hourihane, Whelan, Bolasie, El Ghazi; Abraham Position Leeds players Goalkeepers Peacock-Farrell, Huffer Defenders Douglas, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Pearce, Phillips, Berardi, Shaughnessy, Halme Midfielders Forshaw, Dallas, Hernandez, Baker, Klich, Shackleton, Harrison, Brown Forwards Roofe, Alioski, Roberts, Saiz, Bamford, Clarke, Harrison Leeds’ squad is hit by a number of absentees, which could pose issues in the busy festive period.The defence is the area of the squad worst hit, with Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi ruled out along with Conor Shaughnessy. In the midfield, Stuart Dallas is sidelined while Samuel Saiz has agreed to join Getafe and will train with the Spanish club before the move is formalised. Izzy Brown is set to miss out for a month with a thigh problem.Luke Ayling will return to the team after a couple of months out with Marcelo Bielsa stating he will “probably be a starter”.Possible Leeds starting XI: Peacock-Farrell; Ayling, Jansson, Philips, Douglas; Baker, Klich, Forshaw, Alioski, Hernandez; RoofeBetting & Match Odds Aston Villa are 6/4 favourites to win the match at bet365 . Leeds can be backed at 15/8, while a draw is priced at 13/5.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more . Match Preview After an absence of 15 years, Leeds United are finally making a strong move to return to the Premier League under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine has guided them to five successive Championship victories and the top of the table, but on Saturday they lost their status as they were not in action. Less than 24 hours after they were pushed off first place by Norwich, they have the opportunity to regain it, albeit against an Aston Villa side in good form.Injuries have hampered the plans of Bielsa and the Lilywhites in recent times, but they have not stopped the Elland Road side’s impressive momentum, which has made the manager something of a cult hero at the club.“I am thankful, it is important for me the feeling they give to the club, but they give me an importance that I think I don’t deserve,” he said ahead of this encounter. “Affection is the maximum aspiration for a human being. When you receive affection, it is something you are very thankful for. In this case though, I don’t think I deserve the recognition I am getting.”New Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will enjoy similar recognition if he keeps the team on an upward course in the table, with his side consistently one of the most entertaining to watch in the league, with an astonishing 77 goals coming from their 22 matches to date.“I think it will be one hell of a good game because both teams play in the same manner,” he predicted. Victory would lift Villa to seventh in the standings and within touching distance of the playoff positions for the first time since a 4-1 loss to Sheffield United on September 1.
Radja Nainggolan has been suspended by Inter for “disciplinary reasons”, the Serie A club announced on Sunday.The Belgian midfielder only joined Inter in June from Roma in a deal reported to be worth €38 million (£34m/$43) plus Nicolo Zaniolo, though he has failed to live up to expectations.Nainggolan has scored two goals in 11 Serie A outings, with Inter currently sitting third in the table. 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? But he looks unlikely to feature in their next few games following Inter’s shock announcement that he will be barred from “football activity”.Inter’s statement read: “Inter can confirm that Radja Nainggolan has been temporarily suspended from football activity for disciplinary reasons.”FC Internazionale Milano statementhttps://t.co/DlYdH0cZg4 #FCIM — Inter (@Inter_en) December 23, 2018 The news comes at the end of a difficult week for the combative midfielder, as it was reported on Thursday that a gang had been falsifying his cheques and managed to rob him of approximately €150,000.According to reports, an investigation into the crime is then claimed to have found Nainggolan suffered significant losses at a casino.Inter have not stated the reasons for Nainggolan’s suspension, but he has long been seen as a contentious figure in Italian football.The extravagant character referred to himself as “normal” rather than a “bad boy” in an interview last month, though he has often attracted criticism for smoking, partying and drinking.He was left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad as he failed to convince Roberto Martinez he was worthy of a place, with the pair having had a rocky relationship during the Spaniard’s time in charge.Reports in the Italian media suggest Nainggolan’s punishment is for arriving late to training.
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has been unfairly criticised for his performances this season, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez says.The 25-year-old has only managed six goals in all competitions in 2018-19 and was not always guaranteed a regular starting spot during former manager Jose Mourinho’s final few weeks in charge.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer oversaw a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City on Saturday in his first match as caretaker boss, but Lukaku was absent after missing training in the build-up to the trip to Wales. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Despite his struggles at club level, Lukaku is a key part of Martinez’s Belgium side, scoring 14 goals in as many games in 2018.And the former Everton boss thinks the scrutiny on the striker’s scoring record for United is often unfairly used against him.”There is a negative way of assessing Romelu’s performance for Manchester United,” he told The Sunday Times.”When Rom scores, everyone expects him to score, and when he doesn’t, he is almost directly the reason United haven’t won.”But Rom is ready for that challenge. He will never hide away. He understands what is expected of him. “For Belgium, he has shown he’s one of the best number nines in the world and I don’t understand why he’s being treated in a manner which he doesn’t deserve.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
When Liverpool went four points clear of Manchester City on Friday night, not even the most optimistic Reds supporters expected the lead to last more than 24 hours.But Crystal Palace’s surprise tactical victory at the Etihad Stadium was evidence not only of Liverpool’s ability to push the champions all the way, but of Man City’s increasing vulnerabilities.Elsewhere on a narrative-heavy weekend of football, Leicester City reminded us why they should play counter-attacking football more often with victory at Chelsea, while Manchester United got off to a flying start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thanks to his bold commitment to attacking football. 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? Here are five tactical things you might not have noticed from the weekend’s Premier League action…Solskjaer’s risk-taking unleashes Man Utd’s wild sideSolskjaer’s first game in charge of Man Utd was characterised by quick forward passes, energetic movement, and – above all – risk-taking.They played with great bravery and creativity, charging around with the joy of prisoners unshackled after an unexpected revolution. Victor Lindelof’s one-two and run into the final third typified their aggressive attacking game, and although the increase in forward-thinking football was largely psychological, Solskjaer deserves credit for his tactical decisions.Their possession was meaningful, minimising the defenders’ time on the ball and using narrow wingers to create multiple short-passing options in the centre of the park. Marcus Rashford operated like a false nine at times, dropping very deep to link with Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial as they drifted infield.United had clearly been told to move the ball as quickly as possible with one or two-touch football. A big feature of their game was forwards dropping off and tapping a one-touch pass back where it came from, dragging defenders out of position and keeping the ball moving.Ander Herrera was notably improved, his ability to play clever passes under pressure helping United to get beyond the first line of the press and play expansively in the Cardiff half. The Spaniard’s neat, weaving interplay will become a crucial aspect of Solskjaer’s football ,as will the performances of Nemanja Matic. He cleverly dropped in between the two centre-backs when appropriate, which allowed United to spread wider and get the full-backs further forward.They will face tougher tests than this, but it was very encouraging to see Solskjaer recognise that the fluidity, intelligence, and positional interchanging of Martial, Rashford, and Lingard is United’s greatest asset.Leicester are back, but Puel could still be moved onOrdinarily a big win at Stamford Bridge would provide security for a manager on the brink, but Claude Puel may in fact have hastened his own demise on Saturday.Leicester’s 1-0 victory at Chelsea was reminiscent of their title-winning campaign – suggesting the Foxes should be led by a counter-attacking manager, rather than one set on prosaic possession football.Leicester sat in a hunched shell, accruing just 28 per cent possession, to stop Chelsea from passing the ball through the centre of the pitch.It worked well. The vast majority of Jorginho’s passes went sideways to the wingers, who, with no other option, promptly swung crosses into the box (36 in total, a season high for Chelsea). Unsurprisingly, Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire easily dealt with these.It was classic Leicester, a reminder of how well the team – and Jamie Vardy in particular – could be playing.The former England striker has struggled to fit into Puel’s usual system but was back to his old self on Saturday, chasing down long balls and scoring the winner from a quick break.Elsewhere, Ricardo Pereyra’s and James Maddison’s tendency to run with the ball also proved well-suited to a counter-attacking philosophy.Ozil proves his worth with intelligent displayUnai Emery is getting a reputation for strange tactical choices at the beginning of matches.It was certainly odd to line up against such a narrow team as Burnley in a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Mesut Ozil expected to create chances for the two strikers in a No. 10 role.Unsurprisingly, Sean Dyche’s defensive shell held out through the centre, although ultimately they were beaten thanks to Ozil’s reading of – and adaptation to – the game.For a central attacking midfelder Ozil spent a remarkable amount of time on the flanks, his pass map revealing a performance that could be called a “false ten”.He drifted into channels on the outside of Burnley’s narrow four-man midfield, linking neatly with wing-backs Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to ensure Arsenal’s possession dominance never became aimless.Ozil played a crucial role in the early opening goal, without which the match could easily have swung the other way. His cross to Kolasinac was special, but from a tactical perspective his involvement in the build up down the right was just as important.Within 15 minutes on Saturday it was clear that Ozil is a better option for Arsenal than Henrikh Mkhitaryan.PIC: All Ozil’s passes vs Burnley (Black = successful) Stones struggles underline City’s Fernandinho reliancePep Guardiola has been guilty of too much squad rotation in recent weeks, culminating in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in which only five of his starting 11 could be considered first choice.Injuries have played their part, but this weekend he had three of his best players on the bench, plus he decided to replace Fernandinho with John Stones when he had the manpower necessary to avoid such an unusual move.It was no surprise Nicolas Otamendi struggled against the speed of Palace’s breaks, while Stones was directly at fault for two of Palace’s goals.What makes Fernandinho so unique for a defensive midfielder is his agility and technique; without him, City’s expansive formation meant Palace could counter in the spaces around the flat-footed Stones.His poor mobility saw him turned in the build-up to the first two Palace goals, first failing to properly tackle James McArthur before Jeffrey Schlupp fired in a equaliser, and then losing his man in the move that led to Palace’s free-kick from which Andros Townsend gave the away side the lead.Fernandinho remains an under-rated component of this City team and, judging by Saturday’s game, arguably the only irreplaceable player in Guardiola’s team.Hodgson out-tactics Guardiola to stun CityBy contrast, Roy Hodgson’s midfield selection was perfect.Schlupp played in central midfield for perhaps the first time in his career, the plan being to inject some counterattacking directness into the centre without losing defensive sturdiness.Schlupp consistently burst beyond Ilkay Gundogan and Stones – most notably to score Palace’s first goall – often moving into a wide left position to double up with Max Meyer.Schlupp’s selection meant Hodgson switching from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 with Townsend moving to the right wing, a clever tweak from the former England manager that exploited City’s historic weakness on this side.Townsend’s cutting infield drew City in, creating space for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to drive directly at Fabian Delph – who has always struggled to defend one-on-ones. It was Wan-Bissaka’s burst past Delph that led to Palace’s match-winning penalty.PIC: All Schlupp’s touches vs Palace Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Teenage sensation Karamoko Dembele has signed a professional contract with Celtic that ties him to the Scottish champions until 2021.Dembele has progressed through the youth ranks at Celtic at an alarming rate , playing for their Under-20 side in 2016 at just 13.The 15-year-old’s rise has seen him linked with Chelsea and Manchester City but he will begin his professional career at Celtic, with Brendan Rodgers expecting him to be challenging for a first-team place soon. 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? “My goal is to play for the first team,” Dembele told the club’s official website. “As soon as I can, I’m going to try to get into the first team, 100 per cent.”In the reserves, every training session, every game – it’s all to prove myself to the manager that I can play in the first team.”He added: “I’d like to say thank you to everyone, and I’d like to thank everyone for everything they’ve done for me.”I’d also like to thank everyone for the training I’ve received, the discipline I’ve been taught, and the advice I’ve been given all the way.”Getting attention at a young age has been hard. You need to be strong mentally, you need to stay grounded, and you just need to get on with everything that you do on a daily basis.”Seeing players come through the academy and into the first team gives you hope, because you know they’ve taken the same path.”That means you’ve got a chance to make it into the first team if you work hard and give it your all.”
Liverpool should be weighing up a future approach for Jadon Sancho, says Paul Ince, but a new striker is considered to be Jurgen Klopp’s top priority for the January window.The Reds are expected to recruit over the winter, with their manager having left the door open for possible additions.It is unlikely that an England international currently starring for Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund will figure on that wish list. 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? Sancho, though, may be targeted by Premier League sides in the future and Liverpool have been urged to ensure that they are in the mix whenever that day comes.Former Reds midfielder Ince told Express Sport of the talented teenager: “I think when you look at Sancho, let’s not go overboard. He’s only 18.“We don’t want to make these players better than what they are the moment, they’re still only young and have a long way to go.“We as a nation have a tendency to build people up from such a young age and then knock them back down.“I feel with Sancho, the boy’s done well and he’s been brave to make that decision to go and play in Germany.”He needs to keep playing games until he’s 19 or 20.“Then maybe Liverpool should start looking at him. And not just him, there’s other kids out there [in Germany] doing well.”With Sancho an option to pursue at a later date, Ince believes Liverpool should be looking for added firepower in the coming weeks.The Reds boast plenty of goal threat at present, but cover is considered to be required for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.On what Klopp should be trying to bring in, Ince said: “I feel maybe he needs another striker, I really do.“It’s always hard to get the best players in January. The best don’t really want to leave then.“But you’ve got to say if Salah got injured who’s necessarily going to replace him?“Sturridge flits in and out and hasn’t really done it.“I think as a manager you’re always looking to improve the team.“And I think if they are up there – and they will be up there – like City and like United they’ll be looking to bring in some extra faces to improve the team.“It’s exciting. Everyone thought City would run away with it but Liverpool are right there.”Klopp’s side top the table at present and, having gone unbeaten through 18 games, are currently four points clear of reigning champions Manchester City heading into a busy Boxing Day. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Barcelona midfielder Arthur has said he is praying that Neymar will return to the Camp Nou. The Brazilian star made a world-record €222 million transfer from Barcelona to PSG in the summer of 2017, and helped his side to a domestic treble in his first season at the club. However, there have been persistent rumours that the 26-year-old is unhappy in France and could be in line for a quick exit. 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? Real Madrid are reportedly tracking Neymar’s situation, and a sensational return to Barca has also been mooted. And Neymar’s international team-mate, who himself made a €40 million move from Gremio in the summer, is hoping to one day see him return to the Camp Nou. “I personally am praying for him to come because he is a superstar, it is indisputable,” Arthur told Mundo Deportivo.”I think that the more great players the team has, the better.”The 22-year-old has also revealed that, more than just praying, he is also doing work behind the scenes to convince Neymar that he should move back to Catalonia. “Personally, I’m doing a lot of work to get him back, but he has his life, he knows what he’s doing and I do not know how deep those negotiations are, if there are options for him to come or not.”But he is a personal friend and a professional that I admire a lot and would be very happy if he could come back here.”Neymar has been in sensational form again with PSG in 2018-19, scoring 16 goals in 18 total appearances for the club so far this season.
She embarked on a 10-year journey out of education, which had been her mainstay for 17 years and ventured into unfamiliar territory. Proud of her long and distinguished career in education, moulding students from the primary to the tertiary levels, Mrs. Eves-McKenzie says that things might have turned out differently, as there was a time when she stepped away from the profession. Retired Educator, Patricia Eves-McKenzie, is honoured to be a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for doing something that she loves. Retired Educator, Patricia Eves-McKenzie, is honoured to be a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for doing something that she loves.Proud of her long and distinguished career in education, moulding students from the primary to the tertiary levels, Mrs. Eves-McKenzie says that things might have turned out differently, as there was a time when she stepped away from the profession.She embarked on a 10-year journey out of education, which had been her mainstay for 17 years and ventured into unfamiliar territory.Patricia Eves-McKenzie first entered the classroom at Mona Preparatory School in September 1967 as a young graduate straight out of Shortwood Teachers’ College.She remained at Mona for one year, after which she moved on to the then Tarrant Junior Secondary (now Tarrant High) School where she remained for nine years. There she taught mathematics, English, Spanish and music.She would eventually become the first Vice-Principal of the newly opened Edith Dalton James Secondary (now High) School and served that institution for seven years. Following her stint at Edith Dalton James, Mrs. Eves-McKenzie decided to step away from the classroom for other pursuits.During the 10 years away from the classroom, Mrs. Eves-McKenzie’s love for teaching never waned, and she continued to provide support for students.“I did not leave the profession totally, because I travelled around the island with the team that was adjudicating the inter-schools debating competitions,” she informs. “I also did a stint with the Children’s Own, where I went into schools and helped to train the teachers on how to use the (publication) in language teaching, so I was not totally away from it,” she adds.She would eventually return to the field of education in January 1994 as principal of Dunrobin High School.She says it was the late Albert Karram, who was a leader in her church at the time, who encouraged her to take up the job as principal.“That man brought me to tears when he told me that the children needed me. I sat and cried.”“So I went back. I had to. I really did not think I had a choice, because teaching was my first love and my students are precious to me,” she continues. In February 1998, after leaving Dunrobin, Mrs. Eves-McKenzie took her skills to the tertiary sector, lecturing at the University of Technology (UTech), where she remained for 18 years until her retirement in September 2016. At UTech, she lectured in psychology and counselling.Mrs. Eves-McKenzie tells JIS News that although she taught students at all stages, she believes that it was at the high school and university levels that her impact was greatest.She finds the greatest joy in seeing her students do well in their chosen fields and reaps great satisfaction from seeing them succeed. “I have always tried to motivate the students to be their very best in every place that I have been. That has been my mantra, and I feel that I am satisfied that I have seen my students excel,” she adds.Mrs. Eves-McKenzie tells JIS News that on the day of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation awards ceremony, “I walked into Jamaica House and a gentleman in full khaki police regalia looked at me and said, ‘My teacher; you taught me at Tarrant and today you are being awarded. I am honoured for you’.”.“That made me proud to see him standing there knowing that he is making a meaningful contribution to society,” she remarks. She further recalls that, recently, one of her students, whom she challenged to tap into his true potential, attained his professorship.“He called me and said, ‘You have to sit in the front row when I am doing my inaugural lecture’. I was overwhelmed. For me, they just need to be their best. That is enough for me,” she says. Mrs. Eves-McKenzie tells JIS News that she remained in teaching because she felt that she had something to offer.She says that for every group of students who began school, she would decide to stay with the group until they had completed their studies, and that the cycle kept repeating itself.“At UTech, I would be backstage at graduation when they would get their degrees, sharing their joy, because I know where many of them are coming from. I was always there to say to them there is another level and they must go for it,” she notes.Although officially retired, Mrs. Eves-McKenzie continues to help out at UTech, assisting in shaping the lives of her students.“I continue to journey with them and it is very fulfilling to see someone make changes that improve the quality of their life,” she beams. Story Highlights
Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs APTN National NewsThe Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation (AIWF) is hosting 23 Dene, Inuit and Métis elders from across the Northwest Territories in Yellowknife to discuss how a proposed healing centre should practice and deliver healing.“My vision is that when you come into the building there should be a little area for inuit people,” said AIWF board member Rassi Nashalik. “Inuit learning with let’s say a Qammaq with a Qulliq everything in it to make it more welcoming with elders sit there. Everything to make it comfortable to enter this building.”The vision for the centre is to serve the needs of the NWTs 30 First Nations, Inuit and Métis in a distinctly Indigenous way.AIWF has already made agreements with the City of Yellowknife to dedicate two hectares of land with waterfront access to a wellness centre, with plans of setting a canvas tent by the summer.But before any of that can take place, input from elders is needed.“You know elders are really the main people that will be overseeing the project but delivering those services as well too,” said board member Nicole Redvers.AIWF is currently completing a funding study – but expects the centre to cost upwards of $10 million.But more important than the price tag is the mandate. The centre would operate independently of government-funded health care in the NWT.“It has to be accepted by both Inuit, Dene and Métis,” said Nashalik. “It’s their building it has to be attractive, culturally, traditionally and comfortable.”Over the gathering, there has been an emphasis on how elders can prevent youth suicide and tackle addictions.“I hope that the centre would have people with knowledge in area of psychology, indigenous psychology traditional forms of healing,” said Dene board member Francois Paulatte. “To work with young people and that we can maybe take this to the communities through mobile talks.”The centre will also focus on connection with the land, to people and to oneself.“You could go right from traditional food to medicines and hopefully this centre would have a greenhouse that would have traditional medicine growing all year round,” said Paulatte.The AIWF is in the process of receiving charity status, after that, the foundation will move forward with design concepts.There is no date for construction to begin, but board members are hoping for funding that reflects the TRCs reccomendation number 21, which calls for the creation of a healing centre in the NWT.firstname.lastname@example.org