In their opening game of Russia 2018, Brazil were collectively poor as they dropped points against Switzerland, a result which left the South Americans under pressure as they prepared to take on Costa Rica in their second match.
While all players involved need to improve as the tournament develops, it seems that Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has come in for more than his fair share of criticism and there are even suggestions that the 21 year old should be dropped moving forward with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino looking to step in.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that his team are still far off from being compared to Liverpool’s side from the 1980s. The Mancunian giants cruised towards the Premier League title last month and they most-recently broke the Premier League record for the most wins, points and goals in a single campaign.
Speaking after the 2-1 win over Brighton, Guardiola said: “We’ve spoken about trying to write a new page. I cannot forget the 80s with Liverpool dominating English football, 90s Sir Alex Ferguson – we are so happy he is out of intensive care.You have to make more years to do that but one season we were better than all of them. We are not aware of what we’ve done. Records will be broken but the team who are going to break it have to do many good things.” Continue reading →
England are for one of the first times in recent memory heading in to a major football tournament with little expectation of success. This is a stark contrast to previous years where anything but the latter end of the tournament was seen as a failure and thus came to fruition on each occasion including the extremely disappointing display at Euro 2016. A 2-1 loss to minnows Iceland in the round of 16 was a huge call for change if England were to return to challenge in the future.
England are heading in to the tournament following a dominating qualifying campaign in which they remained unbeaten in their 10 starts and in the process winning 8 of them. England look to have been drawn in a favourable group in which expectations will certainly be high of qualifying through to the knock out stages. The group consists of World number 3 ranked Belgium and lowly sides Tunisia and Panama. The fact that Belgium are 1/33 to qualify and England 1/12 rather tells the tale as both sides would hope to dominate over the others. Continue reading →
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has handed a warning to veteran midfielder Yaya Toure after he was omitted from the match day squad for the Champions League visit to Basel. The Citizens sealed a comfortable 4-0 win over the Swiss champions on the road, and they are now in pole position to reach the quarter-finals of the competitions with a home leg to come.
Following the game, the Catalan tactician was quizzed as to why Toure failed to make the travelling squad, and the Spaniard replied that the Ivorian was to blame for the exclusion. Toure apparently did not go through the required training sessions after recovering from illness, and this urged Guardiola to opt him out for the Basel trip, he said: “He is not injured – there were three or four days sick and he made one or two training sessions, that’s all. Hopefully he will be available for the FA Cup – it depends on him.”
Former Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu expects Manchester City to retain their interest in Fred when the season comes to an end. The 24-year-old was heavily tipped to join the Citizens during the winter transfer window but a deal failed to materialize with the Ukrainian giants.
In a report covered by M.E.N, Lucescu has backed the Citizens to return for the Brazil international in the summer, and he fancies Fred following the same path as compatriot Fernandinho, he said: “Shakhtar Donetsk’s best player is Fred in the centre of midfield. He was a bit anarchic on the left. I moved him in front of the defence. He will go to City like Fernandinho before him.”
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany believes it is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ for the supporters to see their club lift the Premier League title in the derby against Manchester United. The Citizens require a maximum of two victories to attain the English crown, and they could find themselves lifting the trophy in the Manchester derby next month.
Speaking after the Citizens’ 2-0 triumph over Stoke City, Kompany believes the club can achieve their target of winning in the derby, though they have several important games prior to that, he said: “Everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. But (we have to be) steady. We have one game before that which will be difficult and then we will see. It is not going to be handed to us.”
Runaway English Premier League leaders Manchester City have signed England under-21 international winger Jack Harrison from sister Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC.
Upon signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with Pep Guardiola’s hot title favourites, 21-year-old Harrison immediately joined English Football League Championship club Middlesbrough on loan for the rest of this season. Continue reading →
Barcelona are open to offers for Andres Gomes, according to reports in Spain. The La Liga giants are willing to release the player to any interested side at the right price. Gomes faces a fight to retain his shirt at the Nou Camp after joining from Valencia for €35+ million plus add-ons in 2016.
Barca had to beat competition from Rea Madrid and others to sign the Portugal international but they seem to not have recouped their investment. In the one year and a half at Barcelona, Gomes has not quite hit the target expected of him. Continue reading →
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that defender Nicolas Otamendi is extremely crucial to the club’s success this season. Manchester City have been the best team not just in English football as the club has been able to establish an immense 15-point advantage over Manchester United. This is the biggest gap in English football throughout history. Players like Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Raheem Sterling have been attracting a lot of positive reviews for the start made by Manchester City, but Guardiola has also heaped praise on some of the lesser concentrator players at the club – like Otamendi.
The defender was initially criticised when he came to the club, but he has been able to come in with some impressive performances. The 29-year-old came in from Valencia in the summer of 2015 for around £ 28 million. He has been able to make more than 40 appearances in his first two campaigns of the club. However, he may have just been hit by the worst period for City in terms of trophies, as the League Cup in the 2015-16 campaign is the only success achieved by Otamendi. At 29 years of age, Otamendi has the mix of experience and quality and is more than capable standing and as the replacement for Vincent Kompany. Continue reading →
Manchester City and Chelsea could reportedly compete for the services of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere at the end of the current campaign. The England international has just eight months left on his present deal, and talks over an extension are yet to progress.
Wilshere, 25, spent the previous campaign on loan with Bournemouth where he impressed before sustaining a season-ending injury in April. The playmaker has since managed to impress Arsene Wenger in training, and he is presently a regular for the Gunners in the League Cup and Europa League games. Continue reading →