Arsenal insist Tierney withdrawal due to ‘phased return’by Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal are carefully managing Kieran Tierney’s return from injury after he withdrew from the latest Scotland squad.Signed from Celtic in the summer, Tierney only made his debut for Arsenal last week after recovering from a double hernia operation.Reports suggested the 22-year-old pulled out of his country’s qualifiers against Russia and San Marino due to a fresh injury setback.However, the London Evening Standardhas quoted a club source that says the decision was due to a “phased return to match fitness” implemented by the Gunners.The news will come as a relief to Arsenal fans after Tierney’s excellent debut in the win over Nottingham Forest last week. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Pulisic knows he must prove himself to Chelsea manager Lampardby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChristian Pulisic says he has to prove himself to Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. The 21-year-old, signed from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, has been used sporadically by the Blues boss this season. And the American knows reputation alone won’t convince Lampard to give him playing time.Speaking to the Players’ Tribune, the winger said “If you can play, you can play and that’s why Dortmund was amazing for me, the coach always trusted me. But you’ve got to prove yourself maybe that extra mile.”I have to prove myself no matter what age I am.”I don’t feel like I’m some wonder boy anymore, I’ve been around and I think I’ve earned that respect at least and I’m in a new chapter and I’m going to prove myself.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake on Leicester radarby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City are seeking a new central defender for the January transfer window.The Foxes could use some of the money generated from the sale of England international Harry Maguire to Manchester United over the summer.The Telegraph says Leicester are expected to reignite their interest in Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake and Burnley’s James Tarkowski in the new year.City made a late run for Tarkowski in the summer window but could not convince Burnley to sell their star defender.Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is apparently keen to bring in more cover at centre-half to add competition for places, along with Wes Morgan. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
DeShon Elliott may not have been flagged for targeting for the big hit that concussed Notre Dame’s Torii Hunter Jr., but he still took the time to apologize to the wide receiver.DeShon Elliott explained that decision to Austin American-Statesman writer Danny Davis.“I tried to strike in the strike zone; I didn’t know I was that high up until after the game when I saw the video,” Elliott said. “I apologized to Torii Hunter… I’m glad they did not call targeting, though.”Hunter accepted the apology, which came via Twitter, and said he understands that Elliott was just trying to break up what could have been a huge Notre Dame touchdown. From the Chicago Tribune:Hunter, who after watching video of the play said maybe it should have been reviewed, didn’t take umbrage with Elliott, who reached out to him on Twitter to apologize for the hit.“He said he didn’t mean to target me,” Hunter said. “And jokingly I said: ‘So you did target? … You were just trying to make a play like I was, and it’s all good.’”Hunter missed Notre Dame’s Week 2 game against Nevada, but says he has passed concussion protocol, and has started practicing in a non-contact capacity.Big 12 officials who reviewed the play ruled that it was not targeting, while Brian Kelly says that the ACC officials he asked said it was “most likely” targeting.Notre Dame renews its rivalry against Michigan State this weekend in South Bend. It is unclear if Hunter will be able to play against the Spartans quite yet, but the talented wide receiver would be a huge lift for the Fighting Irish offense if he can go. Of course, the most important thing is that he is healthy, and not at risk to make things worse by returning too soon.[Austin American-Statesman; Chicago Tribune]
Talk of a Golden Generation of talent in the world of football is nothing new, but the glut of young stars currently breaking through suggests we stand on the threshold of a memorable era.The latest ‘Soccerex 20 Under-21 report’, produced in partnership with Prime Time Sport, offers an indication of the breadth of talent presently on the books of some of Europe’s most pre-eminent clubs.Using Prime Time Sport’s Football Value Index to rank footballers born on or after January 1, 1998, the report takes into account the player’s age, position, current club, contract length, market value perception, international caps, minutes played, goals, injuries and technical quality from a variety of sources to arrive at a final valuation. Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare For the first time, there is a player valued in excess of €200 million, while there is strong representation from the Premier League. Other notable points on the latest list are the absence of any Spanish players and the lack of an out-and-out striker.
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard was delighted with Christian Pulisic’s performance after he starred in a 5-3 friendly win over Salzburg on Wednesday.Pulisic was signed by Chelsea in January, but loaned back to Borussia Dortmund to conclude the second half of the Bundesliga season.He’s the lone truly new face brought into the club this summer as the club is currently serving a transfer ban that has prevented summer signings under new manager Frank Lampard. 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? The U.S. men’s national team star was in scintillating form during the first half, scoring twice and winning a penalty that Ross Barkley converted.Pulisic’s pace and composure around goal particularly stood out and Lampard was encouraged by the former Borussia Dortmund man’s performance.”I was very impressed with the way that he took the goals,” Lampard said afterwards.”As a winger in the Premier League, he has to adapt to that league.”He is young but with huge potential and I am happy for him.” Pedro netted an audacious mid-air flick in the second half, while Michy Batshuayi scored after the break, too.But Salzburg scored three goals of their own after half-time and caused problems throughout the contest for a shaky-looking Chelsea defence.Lampard acknowledged his side’s defensive play was a concern less than a fortnight away from Chelsea’s first Premier League match of the season.”We want to concede zero goals, so it is a concern and we want to improve on it,” he added.”We will talk about it. We can’t afford to make those mistakes.”Chelsea conclude their pre-season fixtures against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
Philippe Coutinho’s loan move from Barcelona to Bayern Munich hadn’t even been finalised, yet rival players were already hailing him as “the best footballer in Germany”.The Copa America winner is used to that sort of acclaim back home in Brazil and was a hero at Anfield during his time with Liverpool, but he never felt the same love during his season and a half in Catalunya.Coutinho became Barcelona’s record signing in January 2018, arriving for an initial €120 million (£105m/$136m). The Brazilian was intended to be Andres Iniesta’s heir at Camp Nou – the creative force that would make chances for Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, which he was able to do sporadically in his first few months at the club. 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? Ernesto Valverde deployed him on the wing in a 4-2-2-2 approach, with Ousmane Dembele often on the other flank supporting Messi and Suarez. With two attacking players in the middle, Coutinho was often forced to stay wide rather than cut inside onto his stronger foot, which had been a trademark of his time at Liverpool.His best successes came in a 4-3-3 system, even bagging a hat-trick in Barcelona’s penultimate game of the 2017-18 campaign when Messi had been rested. A week later, the Argentine was left out again and Coutinho scored the only goal of the game against Real Sociedad, dribbling through the middle before curling the ball into the corner with a beautiful right-footed finish.Iniesta’s departure last summer saw Valverde retain the 4-3-3, but Coutinho was initially pushed further back to allow Messi to play in the attacking trio alongside Suarez and Dembele. When he was finally given a start on the left wing, Coutinho’s form improved with goals against Sevilla and Real Madrid. He opened the scoring in the famous 5-1 Clasico thumping of Real Madrid – which Messi watched from the stands – while Suarez bagged a hat-trick in a tremendous team performance.However, these performances were not enough to convince Valverde to start him in every game, nor were they enough for Barcelona fans, who expected more from their record signing. Club captain Gerard Pique came out in Coutinho’s defence when the attacker was booed against Rayo Vallecano.”We have to accept the reaction of the fans – but from the inside we have to give him our support,” Pique told Marca. “Philippe is having a good season. Obviously, his cost was very high so that means there are more expectations of his performance level. It is what it is.”After he scored against Manchester United in the Champions League, the Brazilian put his fingers to his ears, later claiming: “I have always been someone who respects everybody. The truth is that this [celebration] was for the people to see that I have to block out the sound in order to focus on a match or on my job so that it won’t affect me.”With just five league goals in 2018-19, Coutinho is seen as an expensive flop by many around Camp Nou, with supporters glad to see him off the books following his loan move to Bayern Munich.His loan move to the Allianz Arena, with a view to a €120m permanent transfer, has been greeted much more positively, with even Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt feeling compelled to celebrate his arrival.”Coutinho is an awesome player, I’m a big fan. He was fantastic at Liverpool. I think he played very well at Barcelona, too, even though he was under the microscope a bit more,” Brandt told the Bundesliga’s official website.”He’s a real boon for the Bundesliga. I’m delighted that such a player has decided to move to the Bundesliga.”That sentiment is shared by on-loan Hertha Berlin midfielder Marko Grujic, who knows Coutinho from his time at Liverpool. Grujic is even more in awe of the 27-year-old, who he believes is now the Bundesliga’s best player – eclipsing even Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski.“It’s a big thing for the whole Bundesliga to have the possibility to see Coutinho play now,” the Serbian told Bild.“He is a special and exciting player, he does crazy things. He’s got incredible tricks and skills in his locker. I enjoyed every training session with him in Liverpool. He will be by far the best footballer in Germany.”Coutinho will be able to have more success in his preferred position at Bayern. He will succeed the legendary Franck Ribery, a player who also become synonymous with cutting inside onto his stronger foot. Head coach Niko Kovac has utilised both a 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 with Bayern, meaning that he has plenty of options for his versatile new signing.The Brazilian could be an option on the left wing, in midfield, or even in the No.10 role where James Rodriguez often impressed during his loan spell in Bavaria. Wherever he plays, Coutinho will make a difference and his new team-mates are expecting him to make an instant impact due to his outstanding ability.“I don’t think he’ll need that much time to adapt to our system and ideas,” Lewandowski told Bild. “”I think he’s the sort of player that can settle in without many problems. He is a top player. Such a player could be the difference in whether you win something or not.”Coutinho would have continued to win trophies had he stayed at Barcelona, but now, out of Messi’s shadow, he can bag medals while also showing that he remains one of the world’s best players.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)One of the top JUCO recruits in the country has made his college decision. He’s headed to the SEC – but maybe not to the school everyone thought he would.Lakia Henry, the No. 1 JUCO linebacker, announced on Twitter this afternoon that he’s decided to commit to Tennessee. The stud defender committed to the Vols with offers from several other major programs.Multiple recruiting experts expected the standout linebacker to commit to Alabama.He’s a Volunteer now, though.Henry announced his decision on Twitter.His full announcement can be seen below:#GBO ?? pic.twitter.com/Xah1bw94SB— Lakia Henry (@Lakia_henry_4) May 20, 2018The 6-foot-1, 227-pound linebacker is ranked the No. 3 JUCO recruit in the country by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings. He played this past season at Dodge City C.C.Henry is originally a Georgia native.Tennessee’s 2019 class is ranked the No. 15 class in the country.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2019 class, has yet to make his college decision. A commitment could be coming later this summer from the top prospect, though.Nearly every school in the country is after the five-star defensive lineman and, to this point, his recruitment seems to have stayed fairly wide open.247Sports updated the status of his recruitment a couple of weeks ago.“I’m hearing Florida State may be the leader for him with Oregon and LSU firmly in it. USC is obviously the Crystal Ball favorite and they’re not going to go away, but the feel is the other three right now,” said 247Sports recruiting expert Steve Wiltfong.Thibodeaux recently took to Twitter and said one school is making a “big move.”That school: Oregon.Oregon is making big move? #M19HTYOREGON ?— kayvon thibodeaux (@kayvonT8) June 1, 2018Thibodeaux is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect out of Thousand Oaks, Calif.Clearly, he’d be a massive, massive pickup for Oregon’s 2019 class.