TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Barcelona offer Denis Suarez to Arsenalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona have offered Denis Suarez to Arsenal.The Independent says representatives of the Barcelona man have offered him to top Premier League clubs in a reduced £14m deal.Suarez has privately been told he is surplus to requirements by Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and he is free to leave the club in search of regular first-team football.With London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham also retaining an interest in the midfielder, a previous loan spell could give Arsenal the edge.The 24-year-old playmaker worked with Arsenal boss Unai Emery while on a season-long at Sevilla so the Gunners manager already has a working relationship with the player.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery: I’ve never been to Blackpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery is looking forward to a couple of firsts ahead of facing Blackpool in the FA Cup.The tie will mark Emery’s FA Cup debut – and also his first visit to Blackpool.He said, “I know it’s very important for every English team. It’s a different competition, with a chance for a lot of teams. The first idea when I arrived here was to play for all the titles. Arsenal is in the history the best team in this competition, played 20 finals, won 13 times. “This respect for our supporters and the competition I took quickly. I want to do something important and this is a big opportunity for us. It will be very difficult but we’re excited for this competition and are looking forward to starting on Saturday.”Asked if he had visited Blackpool before, Emery replied: “No. I know it’s 90km from Liverpool and I know they’ve played in the Premier League.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Prince Abdullah says he’ll have constant presence at Sheffield Utdby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United owner Prince Abdullah says he’ll have a constant presence at the club.The Saudi prince won an 18-month-long legal battle with fellow co-owner Kevin McCabe over the club’s ownership on Monday.He revealed he will also appoint his son-in-law as chairman of the club amid criticism from Blades supporters for only watching the club at the stadium on four occasions during his involvement over the past six years.”I don’t like to watch games really. I like to watch games on TV with mute, alone. If we lose nobody talks to me. I get to forget about it,” he said.”I intend to appoint my son in law as a chairman of the club. He and my daughter will move to Sheffield. They will live in Sheffield and be at all the games.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Bayern Munich striker Muller offers himself to Man Utdby Paul Vegas8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich striker Thomas Muller has offered himself to Manchester United.The Daily Mail says United have been told by Muller’s camp that the Bayern Munich star is available in January.The Germany international has endured a difficult campaign at the Allianz Arena under Niko Kovac this season and is yet to score in the Bundesliga.Muller was linked with a move to United back when Louis van Gaal was manager but, ultimately, the Red Devils were unable to cough up the money required to strike a deal.And the 2014 World Cup winner’s camp have secretly contacted United, letting them know the striker is available. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Txiki: Man City fancied Arsenal keeper Lenoby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City were keen on signing Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen before landing Ederson.Pep Guardiola had both goalkeepers watched extensively during his first season in charge upon realising Claudio Bravo’s move from Barcelona wasn’t going to work out.A new book charting Guardiola’s unprecedented success, ‘Pep’s City: The making of a superteam,’ reveals the two-man shortlist to replace Bravo in 2017.”They both fitted the bill,” sporting director Txiki Begiristain said. “One was more expensive to buy, the other required a higher salary. “I left it up to the coaches to choose.”Chief executive Ferran Soriano added: “(Ederson is) cheap at the price.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
The past couple of months have gone so well for Urban Meyer and his Ohio State football program, there was bound to be a hiccup. One has occurred in the form of some heavy fog. Meyer and many of OSU’s most-iconic figures are currently on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, which benefits the Urban and Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research and the Ohio State cancer center. Their cruise ship is currently stuck at sea, though, due to some heavy fog that has closed Port Tampa Bay. The cruise ship is in fine condition and no one is in any danger, but those on board are being forced to spend an extra day at sea. The cruise was due back on Monday. Passengers on @BuckeyeCruise getting extra day of warmth. Fog prevented them from docking today, expected tomorrow pic.twitter.com/BUn67P8GdM— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) February 24, 2015From The Tampa Tribune‘s report: Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and other Buckeye faithful on a charity cruise out of Tampa are getting an extra day at sea — albeit shrouded in fog.Heavy sea fog has forced the closure of Port Tampa Bay this morning, stranding several arriving cargo and cruise ships in the Gulf. A dense fog advisory is in effect for Tampa Bay waters until 1 p.m. today.Perhaps one of the many shiny trophies Meyer has won could serve as a sort of signal as the cruise ship attempts to come to land. [Tampa Tribune]
Louisville’s trip to the ACC men’s basketball trip was a short one, as the Cardinals went one-and-done in Greensboro, losing to North Carolina this afternoon, 70-60. It was a frustrating afternoon on Tobacco Road for Rick Pitino’s squad, as it shot a mere 34 percent from the field, went 4-for-22 from the 3-point line and had more turnovers than assists. The Cardinals were still in it late, though, trailing by four with roughly a minute to play, but a couple bad shots led to a comfortable UNC victory. Following the game, Andy Sweeney of ESPN 680 in Louisville stated that Tar Heels’ players said Louisville’s players gave in “without a fight.” UNC players saying Louisville gave in “without a fight”. Wow. That’s a major statement.— Andy Sweeney (@TheOnlySweeney) March 12, 2015We’re unaware which UNC players said that, but you rarely hear players criticize players on another team like the Tar Heels reportedly did. With the loss, Louisville will enter the NCAA Tournament at 24-8 and a probable No. 4 to No. 6 seed.
xG map for Manchester City – Evertonso… uh… city aren’t back just quite yet maybe pic.twitter.com/5JOKnfnCyW — Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) December 15, 2018 In City’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, they actually had better chances than the Londoners, 1.0 to 0.6, showing that it works both ways and that City, even in their rough patch, have generally managed to create more chances than their opposition.Yet the 3-1 victory against Everton comes out as a 1.5 – 2.0 loss, chances-wise, suggesting Everton had more and better quality opportunities than City. If that is allowed to happen on a regular basis, then defeats are inevitable.In terms of good, old-fashioned shots on target, City’s lowest tallies have come against Liverpool (2), Chelsea (4), Leicester (4), Crystal Palace (5), Everton (5) and Manchester United (5). Barring the Liverpool game, all of those have been since the West Ham clash that Guardiola has used as a yard-stick.Injuries to key players have, of course, had a bearing on these figures and City’s results, especially in the past fortnight, but Guardiola has signalled in recent weeks that he knows his team have been offering up too many chances, and not scoring as many as they should do.With Liverpool visiting on Thursday, that will be a major concern for Guardiola. Not that he admitted to it in his press conference on Wednesday.“We concede few. That is the feeling I have,” he insisted. “The boxes are the most important thing. The last games we concede more goals than usual but the chances we concede they are not too much.”He has a point, too, given there was an element of smash-and-grab about Crystal Palace and Leicester’s victories, even if City were well below their best.Yet he must know, deep down, that the overall trend is that his side have been more open than usual – after all, he admitted as much as recently as Saturday.And Ilkay Gundogan’s recent interview suggests it is a hot topic behind closed doors.“Sometimes we made it too easy for our opponents to go through and we left them too many open spaces,” he told SID this week.There were signs of that even before City lost at Chelsea.An analysis by Football Whispers highlights that between September and November, City’s opponents were enjoying more moves of five or more passes per game, more passing moves reaching the final third and more moves starting in the defensive third to reach five or more passes, compared to data from January to September.It is also highlighted that Fernandinho averaged five tackles and interceptions per game compared to just 1.8 per game over the same periods.At least when Fernandinho is fit City have somebody who can put out the fires (which helps explain their issues when he was missing over Christmas).But he does have more work to do for a reason, and the data suggests that City are either not pressing as much as they did last season, that they are not as effective as they were, or that opposition teams have learned how to cope with it slightly better.It should be pointed out that that approach is still more than good enough to challenge for the title, perhaps even to win it, even if City are not quite as formidable as last season.After all, City were top of the Premier League, despite their relative struggles, before injuries to Fernandinho and David Silva combined with Kevin De Bruyne’s lack of fitness over Christmas.The biggest problem for City is Liverpool, in that the Reds have punished their recent slip-ups and appear best-placed to do so in a one-off match. If the Blues were facing almost any other Premier League team on Thursday they could be confident of getting back on track in the title race, even if they are sloppy in front of goal and slightly more open in defence.But not against Jurgen Klopp’s side.Guardiola has acknowledged as much but he is never one to go into detail regarding his side’s pitfalls in public. And this week he came out fighting.“It is Liverpool, but we can beat them,” he insisted. “I know today nobody trusts us, nobody makes one coin for us, but it is what it is.“We are going to focus on what we have to do to win the game. Everyone is talking about if we lose, but what happens if we win?”City fans will hope their manager has something up his sleeve. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web Both before and after Manchester City’s must-win game at Southampton on Sunday, Pep Guardiola made reference to a seemingly routine 4-0 victory at West Ham back in November.“We didn’t dominate,” he said on Sunday. “They had three or four chances one-on-one.” On Saturday he said: “They created more chances than us. We were not perfect. After the international break, this can happen, but this month was not so full as it was at the beginning of the season.”By “so full”, Guardiola presumably means City have not been as solid, as structured, as they were in the early months of the season. 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? They have gone from a stage when City had only conceded five league goals and Guardiola was highlighting how opposition were barely having a shot on target, to no clean sheets in 10 games in all competitions.Guardiola said on Tuesday in defence of his side that “always there is a consequence of the chances we create and the chances we lose”, yet both have worsened in the past month or so, using the ‘expected goals’ (xG) metric.These statistics, which rate the quality of chances, show that City’s recent matches have been closer battles than usual. re who should be favs #LFC #MCFC . If you’re just going on 2018/19, there’s been a gradual coming together followed by a flip flop. 6 game rolling #xG goal difference trends. Something to fix & something to hang onto? pic.twitter.com/bdKBiiGCzh — mark taylor (@MarkTaylor0) December 26, 2018
Thomas Tuchel is keen to see a response to Paris Saint-Germain’s Coupe de la Ligue defeat this weekend, but they could be without Neymar and Kylian Mbappe against Amiens.PSG suffered a rare setback in midweek as they dramatically lost 2-1 to Guingamp after conceding three second-half penalties.Neymar and Mbappe both played the full 90 minutes, with the latter taking a blow to the head late in the first half, and Tuchel revealed on Friday that the pair are tired and may be rested as Ligue 1 action returns for 2019. 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? “For Mbappe and Neymar, we must see after training if they will play,” he told a news conference. “It is uncertain.”Gianluigi Buffon and Prisnel Kimpembe are among those also out, yet the PSG coach sees an opportunity for the league leaders to move on swiftly from the Guingamp defeat.”Everyone in the squad was a little sad after the defeat to Guingamp,” Tuchel continued. “No matter how much you win, you still feel this pain.”But now it is necessary to show a reaction so we can forget about this match. For this, it is good to have another game straight away.”The defeat against Guingamp cannot influence my team selection, though. [It looked like] we did not want to play that game, but I understand the players.”We cannot play 60 matches with the same emotional state, the same concentration. It is not easy to always be 100 per cent motivated throughout the season. We ran out of energy.”
Andrew Robertson is hopeful that Liverpool will return to full-strength quickly after a comprehensive pre-season friendly defeat against Napoli.Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten 3-0 by the Italian giants at Murrayfield in Scotland on Sunday, much to the disappointment of the 70,000 supporters watching on from the stands.The Reds have only picked up two wins from their six summer fixtures to date, with a trip to Geneva to face Lyon up next on Wednesday before next Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Manchester City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Liverpool have been without a number of key superstars during their pre-season campaign, including Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.All three men are expected to report for training on Monday following extended breaks after international tournaments, with Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri also set to re-join the squad this week having recovered from injury.Sadio Mane will return slightly later after reaching the Africa Cup of Nations final with Senegal on July 19 and Robertson is eager for the group to reunite in full before the start of the new season. Speaking after the defeat to Napoli, the 25-year-old told Liverpool’s official website: “The lads coming back, even if they don’t play, it gives you a lift when they train and with the way they go about their business.“It doesn’t matter if they play on Wednesday or not, that’s completely up to the manager three days in, but that’s irrelevant: if they’re back in training and back around the place then it makes a difference. “Mo and Bobby are two of our main men and Alisson was magnificent last season. They are huge characters in the changing room as well so that’ll be massive for us, and then Sadio will come back the following week. “Once we get the whole team back together, and I think Shaq and Naby aren’t far off too, they’re players that are familiar around the set-up and around the system and that’s what we need. The quicker we get all of us back together then hopefully the better. “But it’s not anyone else’s fault, the young lads or whatever who have come in, we’ve all not been good enough and maybe Bobby and Mo and people like that will give us the lift that we need. Hopefully, that does happen.”Klopp has had the chance to blood some of the younger members of his squad in the absence of household names, with the likes of Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson given the chance to prove themselves.Liverpool’s newest signing Harvey Elliott was granted his debut against Napoli and Robertson praised the 16-year-old before highlighting the overall impact the academy stars have had this summer.“They’ve been great [throughout pre-season] and when young kids come in it’s a breath of fresh air sometimes,” the Scotland international added.“Harvey Elliott only signed this morning and he’s come on and done magnificently for 15 minutes. He’s only 16 years old and I think people forget that. “Rhian’s had a great pre-season, Harry Wilson looked good when he came on today. Look, we need these players to push us and they need to push us in every single position and if they do that then the gaffer will give them the chance. “Fair play to them, when they came on and we were all off then it did look better. I was watching and it looked a lot better than we felt in the first half so credit to them. “But now it’s up to us to put in the performances, we’ve got one more game before it gets competitive and we need to get up to speed now.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web