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Please Read Before Posting / faces stern test in Sevilla spotlight
« Last post by xiaolan on Today at 01:28:16 AM »
With Liverpool revelling in what their manager, Jürgen Klopp, calls “the Mo Salah period”, their marked defensive improvement has been overlooked. The changes provoked by a demoralising defeat at Tottenham Hotspur have underpinned an emphatic reaction, however, and face the fiercest examination since Wembley on Tuesday against Sevilla.

Liverpool arrived in Andalusia in punishing form, flushing memories of Spurs out of the system by winning their last four games by an aggregate score of 13-1. A fifth consecutive victory would secure a place in the Champions League knock-out stage with a group game to spare. It would also Lou Brock Womens Jersey be a significant statement, given that Sevilla have not lost at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán since 22 November 2016 when they were beaten 3-1 by Juventus. “It has been a really interesting journey in the Champions League so far,” Klopp said. “But this is the game.”

The Liverpool squad flew without the injured Joël Matip but with a sense of defensive security unimaginable one Kendall Fuller Youth jersey month ago. Liverpool’s two league defeats this season, the 4-1 at Spurs and 5-0 at Manchester City, have inflated their goals against tally to 16 away from home – the division’s worst – Womens Teemu Selanne Jersey and helped maintain the narrative of a vulnerable rearguard.
Yet the defeat of Southampton on Saturday brought a fifth clean sheet in six Premier League home games this season and further evidence of a more defensive approach adopted by Klopp since Wembley. It will be required again in Spain, where a draw will be sufficient for Liverpool to qualify if Spartak Moscow lose to Maribor. Defeat, and an expected home win in Moscow, would leave everything riding on the Russian club’s visit to Anfield on 6 December.
“Tottenham wasn’t a good game,” said Ragnar Klavan, who should retain his place against Sevilla. “But after that we made our corrections and the last four games have been good. Everyone realised that we have to do everything together. We have a lot of quality in attack and we know for sure that the players in front are going to get chances in every game. It has always been defence first and then attack and the manager has always tried to tell us that. But maybe in recent games he has put a little bit more emphasis on that.”
Klopp has not abandoned any football principles to implement change, as Southampton, West Ham United, Maribor and Huddersfield Town can testify, and he is reluctant to divulge too many tactical secrets. Gameplans remain tailored to the opponent but the manager said: “There were a lot of things we changed to make us more stable.” Sitting deeper at West Ham and curbing the attacking instincts of his full-backs, the former Sevilla player Alberto Moreno and Trent Alexander-Arnold, against Southampton were, he admits, part of the pursuit of stability.
“We had two or three situations where it was an individual problem,” Klopp said. “In all the other parts it was a team problem. Huddersfield was similar to West Ham. Huddersfield had no counterattacks and while people might say they didn’t want to counterattack that is not true, they wanted to. That was the first really important step for Authentic Pierre Turgeon Jersey us.
“For the West Ham game, with the knowledge of what West Ham had to do at home, we decided to sit back more. It was really difficult for the boys. That was different. With a 4-4, and we have this pretty much all the time even if we play 4-3-3, in a lot of defending situations we have this 4-4-1-1. That is how it should be. On this day it was a little bit more clear because of the lineup and because of the three outstandingly quick players. We can’t always play like this but it is an opportunity and that is cool. We never hesitate to do different things, it is only that we need time for it.
“With the full-backs, it’s a waste of potential if we keep them back all the time. When I was a full back and I passed the halfway line, I was shot, but now you do it differently, you have the half-space, you have the ‘eight’, they have to move with the formation. Against Southampton we did it a little bit differently, it was more about the midfield. We built a little bit more up with the midfield, our full-backs were real wingers and our wingers were in the half-space. But it depends on the opponent.”
What has not altered is Klopp’s belief that defending, collectively and individually, starts in the head. He said: “Defending is about being focused. It is not a quality problem. Focus on a situation. When we have the ball be an option to receive it or, if you cannot be an option, give protection. Simple as that. It is not about counter-pressing all the time. Yes, if we can counter-press, then do it. If not, go back and defend together. That is the thing we have lacked in one or two games and I think, and I hope, that we are now a step further in this. Our ‘new’ maturity we will have to show 100% in this atmosphere tomorrow.”
Please Read Before Posting / Brighton’s José Izquierdo
« Last post by xiaolan on November 21, 2017, 11:34:18 PM »
Brighton Hove Albion twice came from behind to earn a draw at home to Stoke City and extend their unbeaten run to five matches with the home manager, Chris Hughton, grateful his team overcame D.J. Alexander Authentic Jersey the referee’s failure to award them a clear first-half penalty.

Pascal Gross and then José Izquierdo Rasmus Ristolainen Womens Jersey replied to goals by Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma to leave both sides with a point on the south coast, on a night when Peter Crouch made history of an altogether different kind.

Brighton remain ninth in the Premier League while Stoke prolonged their own unbeaten run to three matches to stay 15th, four points above the relegation zone. Put to Mark Hughes that four of the five Premier League clubs beneath his side have sacked their managers this season, the Stoke manager smirked. “Why are you asking me?” he said. “If you don’t get results in this game you get sacked, unfortunately.” This, at least, proved thoroughly entertaining fare on a dank evening in east Sussex.
Hughton had described Stoke as a “very manly side”, no doubt a nod to their attritional approach and one that again paid dividends for their opener. Xherdan Shaqiri’s floated ball over the Brighton defence in search of Choupo-Moting caught Lewis Dunk cold – by the time the defender realised the whereabouts of his man, the Stoke striker had coolly slotted his third goal of the season beyond Mathew Ryan, the goalkeeper.
Ruffled Jack Conklin Womens Jersey after going behind, Brighton were raging when Lee Mason awarded not a spot-kick but a goal-kick six minutes before the interval, when the Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, already the crowd’s pantomime villain, cut down Glenn Murray inside the box. It really was the definition of a penalty. “I was just waiting for the referee to give it,” Hughton said. Hughes, by comparison, felt the referee, who was roundly booed off at the final whistle, got it right. “I think there was minimal contact,” the Stoke manager said.
Kevin Friend, the fourth official, calmed Hughton over the penalty appeal and played peacemaker moments later when Hughes erupted at Murray’s meaty lunge on Kevin Wimmer. Once Brighton had composed themselves they pulled level, however.
After a relentless driving run past a sea of Stoke shirts Davy Propper crossed for Gross – so often the supplier this season – to smash in an equaliser But less than two minutes later Stoke regained the lead, when Zouma’s header from Choupo-Moting’s flick had the Brighton net rippling once more. Then came the protracted celebrations, with Choupo-Moting joining the Chelsea loanee for a rehearsed jive in front of the North stand. Erik Pieters, too, joined in the fun from halfway.
Izquierdo, a £13.5m club-record signing from Club Brugge last summer, was lively but equally erratic in possession. He went close in the first half, dropping a curling effort wide of Lee Grant’s goal after being slid in superbly by Propper, another summer signing, but he eventually prospered on the hour mark. Murray played in Izquierdo, whose Womens Nick Bellore Jersey pass pinballed off Pieters and back into his path, allowing the Colombian to rattle it home. “I think he is improving with every week he is with us,” Hughton added. “He admits himself that he has come from a league that perhaps is not as physical and the demands are different.”
Murray thrived throughout as Brighton’s go-to man while another striker in his mid-30s prepared to make Premier League history late on. Stoke summoned Crouch from the bench in place of Shaqiri for the striker to make his 143rd appearance as a Premier League substitute, surpassing the record he previously shared with Shola Ameobi. Another striker, Saido Berahino, did not get on and it is now 633 days since the Stoke forward last found the net.
A gritty draw was not enough for Hughes to feel the benefits of what, on another night, would probably be regarded as a point gained, however. “Our reaction is tinged with disappointment,” he admitted. “Any away point is usually a good result but having got into a winning position on two occasions, that’s where the disappointment lies.”
Please Read Before Posting / Christian Eriksen
« Last post by xiaolan on November 21, 2017, 07:44:55 PM »
It was the night when Christian Eriksen made one of the grandest statements of his career. Denmark needed him to perform in the World Cup play-off second leg against the Republic of Ireland – and how he answered the call.

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder’s sumptuous hat-trick in Dublin fired a 5-1 win, qualification to the finals in Russia next summer and a wave of superlatives – the most headline-grabbing of which was from his manager, Age Hareide, who described him as one of the top 10 players in the world.
It is a measure of the pace Ian Kinsler Womens Jersey of modern football, together with its wild Patrick Chung Jersey extremes, that – seven days on and in the lead-up to Tottenham’s Champions League Group H tie at Borussia Dortmund – Eriksen should talk of rather different emotions. The 2-0 defeat against Arsenal in the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday has seen to that. Rather abruptly, he has felt the pedestal swept from underneath him. He is fired to prove himself once again.
“It’s probably good that we have a game so quickly after the derby and you can have a bit of revenge – you can show the world that you are a bit better than what you saw on Saturday,” Eriksen said. “When you get a knock on the head, you’re going to lie down but we need to come back.
“Getting your country to the World Cup is something that you don’t do often and it was very exciting. The game on Saturday was a big difference – a big blow compared to what happened last Tuesday. There was a high and a low and a big gap in between.”
Eriksen went to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as an 18-year-old prospect and he came on twice as a substitute; the second of his appearances was in the do-or-die final group game against Japan, when Denmark did not do and died. This time he will be the talisman of Hareide’s team, the player who will shoulder the hopes of a nation.
“What the manager said after the Ireland game was a big compliment but talking to the media after a game like that – you put your players anywhere,” Eriksen said, with a smile. “I think I’ve kicked on over the last few years as opposed to just the last 12 months. I’ve shown more consistency. The whole Spurs team have shown incredible improvements.”
The barometers of the progress are numerous. This time last year Tottenham lost 2-1 at Deatrich Wise Jr Authentic Jersey Monaco in their penultimate Champions League group phase tie to exit the competition. Now they have qualified for the last 16 after four games and the talk is about what it would mean if they were to top the section.
Two seasons ago Tottenham came to Dortmund in the last 16 of the Europa League and, with an understrength team, they were beaten 3-0. That occasion feels as though it was taken from another era. It also felt instructive that Mauricio Pochettino’s team had been the pre-derby favourites on Saturday, even if they failed to live up to the billing.
“The expectation now is that we win the Champions League and Premier League and I am happy with the pressure and the criticism,” Pochettino said. “It means people expect more of us. We know very well we have improved in every single aspect.”
Eriksen said: “People looked at our group at the start with Real Madrid and Dortmund and said that we’re going to have a tough time and end up in the Europa League. But we’ve shown that we’re better than that and we can compete in the Champions League.”
The criticism that has tracked Pochettino and his players centres on their away record against fellow members of the Premier League’s big six. In 18 such fixtures under Pochettino, they have won only once. Although it is a different competition, they have the opportunity to show their mettle in Dortmund at one of the great venues of European football. Moreover, there is the thing about the trophies – or the lack of them. Some people insist that Pochettino needs to win one to validate his tenure.,91.0.html
Please Read Before Posting / West Brom owners and fans pile
« Last post by xiaolan on November 21, 2017, 06:05:03 PM »
For years Tony Pulis has been the safest managerial bet in the Premier League. But that seems to be changing. The fact now facing West Bromwich Albion’s Chinese owners, led by Guochaun Lai, is that sticking with Pulis represents a considerable risk. So, of course, does sacking him, a decision that looks on the cards after the home drubbing by Chelsea. But which option is more dicey?

Lai made it clear when fronting the takeover of the club in September 2016 – at a cost of around £175m – that the new owners had no wish to make gambling a habit. What attracted them most to West Brom was the club’s stability, the Baggies having been a solid mid-table side for half a decade after years of yo-yoing between David Savard Jersey the top-flight and the second-tier.

Owning a Premier League club gives the owners extra kudos as they pursue housing development contracts in China, their main business. Dropping out of the Premier League, by contrast, would be a serious blow to prestige and finances. That is intolerable for the owners. But with their team winless since August and performances deteriorating, it has become a real prospect, despite Pulis’s proud record of never being relegated.
West Brom fans do not care about housing development contracts in China. It is interesting to wonder whether they are even particularly bothered about being relegated if the price of staying up is being bored by Pulis’s no-frills football. What is clear is that with results now as bad as the entertainment value, no one is getting what they want from West Brom. Apart from opponents. The principal interests of the owners and fans appear to be converging and that spells bad news for the manager.
Pulis used his programme notes for the Chelsea match to mount a robust defence of his stewardship, insisting, nonetheless, that he was reluctant to do so because he dislikes referring to the past, preferring to look to what can be achieved in the future. But his vision is precisely what annoys West Brom fans. Nothing suggests he foresees a day where he will regularly send out a team to be proactive. He has spent this season pioneering a formation in which three central defenders are protected by three plodding central midfielders.
West Brom have the lowest average possession of any team in the Premier League – 36.76% – and have had fewer shots on target than everyone bar Swansea. Even at Huddersfield, who played most of the match with 10 men after Christopher’s Schindler’s red card, Pulis’s team could not muster the majority of possession Dexter Manley Authentic Jersey and ended up deserving losers.
Saturday’s programme also included features on great West Brom matches from the past, such as when they beat Mario Kempes’s Valencia in the 1979 Uefa Cup. West Brom were among English football’s great entertainers back then. The Three Degrees and all that. This is not a club where supporters pine continually for bygone glories or feel entitled to demand silverware. But they expect to see ambition, a convincing attempt to make a football match more than a reality check. No one goes to the cinema to watch the news. A Authentic Steve Smith Sr Jersey spot of yo-yo action might even be bearable if delivered with a little gusto.
Pulis’s wildest dream is a 1-0 win. He got enough of them during his first season at West Brom to achieve good positions. But never Jeff Locke Jersey in a manner that generated goodwill. Which is why, now that results have dipped, many West Brom fans are pleading for change. In recent performances it has even looked like some players are struggling to summon the inspiration to apply basic instructions.
Chelsea’s four goals owed much to the ingenuity of Álvaro Morata, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, but also to the slovenliness that has crept into West Brom’s play, notably the uncharacteristic absence of set-piece marking that enabled Marcos Alonso to join Hazard and Morata on the scoresheet. Lai, having flown in from China to watch the match, must have noticed the air of weariness and irritation around The Hawthorns.
For Chelsea, meanwhile, things are looking up. Following the victory against Manchester United, this result made it two from two matches since the 3-0 Champions League defeat at Roma. Antonio Conte suggests that match has stimulated a change and may turn out to be as significant a turning point as last season’s loss to Arsenal. Conte altered his formation after that defeat and embarked on a run that took them to the title. The switch since Roma has not been as radical, more to do with mindset and pushing Hazard close to Morata.,106350
Please Read Before Posting / Watford brush West Ham aside to
« Last post by xiaolan on November 20, 2017, 11:36:57 PM »
If David Moyes had any illusions that keeping West Ham in the Premier League will not be among the biggest challenges of his career, then the manner of this defeat must surely act as a major wake-up call.

Aside from a 10-minute spell either side of half-time in his 500th Premier League match as a manager Moyes saw his new side totally outplayed by a Watford team brimming with confidence and instilled with a clear game plan by their manager, Marco Silva.

With his former club Everton keen on luring the man who has taken only three months to transform the fortunes of a side that lacked identity last season under Walter Mazzarri, the Scot will know he needs to turn things round just as quickly to ensure his latest assignment does not go the way of his other three posts since leaving Goodison Park to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013. Well-taken goals from Will Hughes – his first in the Premier League on his full home debut – and Richarlison did the damage here, although in truth Watford had Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping the scores level after two stunning saves from the goalkeeper just before the break.
“I thought the better team won the game,” admitted Moyes. “We need things to go our way Andy Pettitte Jersey to build some confidence because it’s tough for the players, I can sense that. But I didn’t enjoy the performance today.”
The Scot had promised to waste no time attempting to plug his new side’s leaky defence having already conceded 23 goals this season under Slaven Bilic, with Winston Reid retained despite returning to London only on Friday after New Zealand’s World Cup play-off defeat by Peru in Lima. Marko Arnautovic – a club record signing in the summer at £24m – was singled out by Moyes before the match as one of the players who under-performed for Bilic and intentions were immediately laid bare as the left-back Aaron Cresswell received the ball from the kick-off and hit a long ball in the general direction of the Austrian.
By contrast Watford have enjoyed an excellent start under Silva but three successive defeats since the victory over Arsenal here last month have dampened expectations slightly. The Portuguese steadfastly refused to discuss the prospect of joining Everton this week and handed the Dutchman Marvin Zeegelaar his debut at left wing-back, with Hughes making only his third Premier League appearance since joining from Derby for a cut-price £8m in the summer.
The attacking midfielder was impressive for England at the European Under-21 Championship in the summer but has had to bide his time under Silva so far since then. Yet the manner in which the 22-year-old swooped to convert Watford’s opener in the 11th minute after Andre Gray’s mis-hit effort fell straight to his feet suggested this is a player who can thrive at this level given an opportunity.
Floating inside from his starting position on the right, Hughes was at the heart of most of his team’s best movements during a first half in which West Ham appeared content just to stay in the match. A delightful flick on the half-hour mark almost set up Gray but the striker could not quite find his feet to apply the finish. After criticism arising from the statistic that West Ham’s players had covered less ground than any other team, his side were putting in the effort but found themselves second best in every department.
Yet Watford were grateful Gomes was still paying attention five minutes before half-time when a rare moment of Jeremiah George Womens Jersey enterprise on the edge of the box from Andy Carroll and Mark Noble played in Cheikhou Kouyaté, only for the Bryan Trottier Jersey Brazilian to pull off a brilliant one-on-one save. Gomes did even better to keep out two Arnautovic efforts from point-blank range in injury-time, leaving Moyes with his head in his hands in disbelief in the dugout.
Had it not been for Kouyaté’s wastefulness, West Ham would have drawn level six minutes after the restart following great work from Arnautovic down the right, only for the Senegal midfielder to blaze his effort over. That was Charles Sims Jersey to be as close as they got to achieving parity. With the impressive Abdoulaye Doucouré running the game, Watford were also likely to create chances and a fantastic save from Joe Hart to claw away Adrian Mariappa’s header kept his side in it. But the England goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent Richarlison doubling Watford’s lead, with protestations that Hughes had handled the ball before supplying the pass falling on deaf ears.
Please Read Before Posting / Arsenal defeat highlights
« Last post by xiaolan on November 20, 2017, 08:05:58 PM »
For all that is positive about Tottenham, for all that they are about to move into an exciting new stadium and are blessed with a crop of highly promising young players, their away record against big sides has become an issue. It’s a problem that predates Mauricio Pochettino – Spurs have now won just four of their last 87 away games against Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool – but one that he seems a long way from resolving: although this was his first league defeat to Arsenal, he has now won just one of 18 away games against other top-six sides.

There were mitigating factors here – the fact that neither Harry Kane nor Mousa Dembélé looked fully fit and that Harry Winks wasn’t able to start, plus marginal refereeing calls on both Arsenal goals – but there always are. Pochettino, as he had to, mounted a defence, pointing out that other top-six sides also have problems in away games against the elite, but this was a game settled in the final half hour of the first half as Arsenal produced one of the displays of ferocity and discipline of which they are infrequently capable and which they have recently reserved for big games in the FA Cup. When they can press as well as this, you wonder why they don’t do it all the time.
Once they had gone 2-0 down, Tottenham were forced on the offensive and Paul Martin Jersey could easily have leaked more on the counter as the pace of Alexis Sánchez and Alexandre Lacazette was unleashed. And for all Pochettino claimed his side had been on top until they were undone by the referee Mike Dean, that was not how it seemed. The focus on refereeing decisions often ignores the fact that they, just as much as defensive errors, are often the result of pressure.
Tottenham’s problems could be traced to the back of midfield, where the pairing of Dembélé and Moussa Sissoko offered muscularity but not control. They were an oddly immobile Patrik Laine Jersey pairing, both of body and mind, clearly rattled by the pressure they found themselves under. Again and again in the first half, Arsenal players found themselves with time to measure passes through the Spurs defence, leading to the Héctor Bellerín cross that Lacazette just failed to touch in and then the second goal.
It’s hardly a secret that Sissoko is a player who tends not to relish the rough and tumble of a derby. This was the first game he had started for Tottenham against Arsenal, but in 14 previous starts in derbies, seven for Newcastle against Sunderland and seven for Toulouse against Bordeaux, he had a record of won one, drawn one, lost 12.
Here he contributed to Tottenham seeming oddly short in an area in which Arsenal are often fallible, in central areas just in front of the back-line. Statistics don’t really explain the issue which is largely positional, but Sissoko won the ball back only once in the game, whether by tackle or interception, – very low for a holding midfielder whose side were under such pressure.
The introduction of Winks just after the hour made a significant improvement: he imposed himself far more than either of the other holding players, to the extent that he had 48 touches in his 29 minutes in the pitch, as opposed to Dembélé’s 63 in 61 and Sissoko’s 67 in the whole game.
That lack of a platform – and perhaps Kane’s lack of effectiveness – had a knock-on effect further up the pitch. Dele Alli, who had also missed the England friendlies with injury, may not have been at his sharpest, but he was a largely peripheral figure anyway until being booked for a late lunge on Granit Xhaka. Neither he nor Christian Eriksen were able to muster a passing accuracy above 72%. The lop-sided triangle in midfield, whether in a 4-2-3-1-cum-4-3-3 or a 3-4-2-1-cum-3-5-2, has been one of Spurs’ great strengths; here, against all expectation, it failed to function.
Perhaps it is just a learning experience. Perhaps a young side feeling its way to Womens Jose Reyes Jersey the next level will always have setbacks like this. The prognosis for Tottenham remains generally positive. But, as Arsenal could tell them, sooner or later there’s a need for potential to be transformed into something concrete otherwise it withers away.
In this game, perhaps, Pochettino was right. Perhaps Tottenham were largely unfortunate, both with decisions and issues of fitness. But the wider pattern is clear: Spurs’s away record against top-six sides is dismal and until it improves the frustration will endure. Already any thought of a serious league challenge this season has all but gone. Their three remaining league games against other members of the big six, the next of them at Manchester City in a month, will reveal a lot about how sustainable their progress really is.,13481
Please Read Before Posting / injections in thigh to play for England
« Last post by xiaolan on November 20, 2017, 12:17:47 AM »
José Mourinho has made clear his frustration at the England setup’s handling of Phil Jones after revealing the defender had been given six local anaesthetic injections in his thigh before last week’s friendly against Germany.

Jones started as England’s most-capped player for the goalless draw at Wembley, but hobbled off midway through the first half with a recurrence of an injury first sustained in the Premier League defeat at Huddersfield Town in mid-October. Gareth Southgate, whose handling of Danny Drinkwater’s decision not to join the senior squad has also drawn criticism of sorts from Antonio Conte, duly released the United centre-half but, having missed the draw with Brazil on Tuesday, Jones has been ruled out of Newcastle United’s visit to Old Trafford.

“With Phil Jones the strange thing is that I have been a manager since 2000 and, in 17 years as a manager, I don’t have one single player that had injections of anaesthetic to play a friendly,” said Mourinho. “Never. I am not an angel and I had players injected to play official matches, crucial matches, but a friendly? To get six local anaesthetic injections to play a friendly, I’ve never heard of that. But Phil Jones had it and had it before the match, and after 25 minutes he was out and tomorrow he is out.”
Asked if he Sean Harlow Jersey had spoken to Southgate or the Football Association to ascertain why Jones had so many injections, Mourinho said: “No. I am just telling a fact. He was injected in the afternoon of the match [last Friday]. He didn’t feel good during the warm-up. Between the warm-up and the start of the match he had five more local injections to play the friendly. I have nothing more to Ron Greschner Jersey say.”
The FA’s medics are content that Jones returned to Carrington in the same condition in which he had arrived at St George’s Park, and had given their counterparts at United notice of their intention to give the player the course of injections – considered standard in pain relief – with no objections raised. Indeed, even the 25-year-old had acknowledged in the buildup to the Germany friendly that pain-management was a continuing concern.
Conte, as a former Italy manager, was more sympathetic with Southgate’s predicament when it came to the national coach’s telephone conversation with Drinkwater to determine the midfielder’s availability in the aftermath of six senior withdrawals before the Germany fixture. However, he urged Southgate to contact him directly in future to ascertain whether a player is fit after a “misunderstanding” led to suggestions the £35m signing’s reticence to join up reflected a lack of enthusiasm to represent his country.
Chelsea have always insisted Drinkwater, who has been unavailable for all of Southgate’s squad get-togethers to date, took a kick to his troublesome calf during a cameo as a substitute against United, which prevented him undertaking the post-match warm-down, and subsequently ruled him out of training at Cobham.
Southgate appeared to be unaware of that fact on the eve of the Germany game. “Sometimes I think it would be very easy to try to call the coach and ask: ‘This player is good? Is he totally fit? Does he have a problem? Is he tired or not?’” said Conte. “Then the national coach can decide whether they call up the player or not. Otherwise there are these misunderstandings. And it’s a pity a player has to pay for this misunderstanding.
“Drinkwater had an injury, and also wasn’t really 100% fit to go with the national team. If someone had asked me this, I could explain that. If the coach then wants to take his own decision, that’s OK. But it’s important to have more of a relationship between the coach and the coach of the national team. It was the same for Eden Hazard [when he was called up by Belgium in August despite having failed to represent Chelsea up to then following ankle surgery over the summer]. I spoke to Roberto Martínez, and then he played.
“I’m the first to be ready to help every single coach of a national team because I understand very well the problems [they David Savard Womens Jersey face]. Now, for sure, I’m more open to this than when I was coach of Juventus. But Drinkwater was very honest. He doesn’t deserve to be attacked. In this situation every single player would want to go with the national team who is calling them. We have to appreciate his behaviour and his commitment.”
Please Read Before Posting / David Moyes urges Marko Arnautovic
« Last post by xiaolan on November 19, 2017, 08:33:19 PM »
Marko Arnautovic faces Henrik Sedin Womens Jersey a fight to prove he has a future at West Ham after David Moyes warned the club’s record signing that he will not pick him until he becomes a team player.

The Austrian has been a big disappointment since his £24m move from Stoke City in the summer, failing to create or score a single goal in the Premier League, and he could fall victim to Moyes’s desire to shake up a lopsided squad unless he applies himself better before the transfer window opens in January. West Ham’s new manager, who has been tasked with pulling his team out of the bottom three after replacing Slaven Bilic on an initial six-month deal, has made it clear to the left-sided forward that he did not work hard enough under the previous management.

“I’ve told him this morning, the first time I’ve really had some time with him, and I said: ‘You’ll play in the team if you make goals and score goals, but if you don’t run for the team then you don’t play either,’” Moyes said. “I Davonte Lambert Authentic Jersey can accept one or the other, if you are making goals and scoring goals and the team is winning then I might not need so much of the other.
“I watched him at Stoke a lot and I thought he did the work for the team. I’ve never worked with him before so I am roughly getting to know him. What I can do is give him confidence and say: ‘When you are ready to play, we hope Josh Norman Womens Jersey to see what you can do’.
“I can only go on what people have told me and they didn’t think he has come up to the standard he set at Stoke City. At Stoke I thought he looked like the sort of player you would never be keen to play against if you’re a right full-back because of his power and strength and what he can do.
“But he also has to be a team player. The clips I have seen, at times he has not looked a team player. He would not be the only one I would say that about. The other players also have to do the work for the team if they want to be part of it.”
Arnautovic could find himself on the bench when West Ham visit Watford for Moyes’s first game on Sunday afternoon. “The hardest thing at the moment is that I have got four to five people who want to play wide left,” Moyes said. “I have tried to go around them and say to them: ‘OK, I will try and get you where you feel best suited.’ But I have got four to five of them to get into the team.”
Moyes’s comments on Arnautovic chimed with what he told the squad in a meeting this week. The 54-year-old has seen the statistics showing that West Ham have made the fewest sprints and covered the second lowest distance in the Premier League and he will not tolerate any indiscipline. While the players explained what went wrong under Bilic, Moyes wants them to take responsibility.
“I’ve just not got any time for any nonsense,” Moyes said. “I’m not going to be pampering to any needs. I can’t be bothered. If anybody says they can’t get back from international duty, well, don’t think you will be coming in and playing Saturday. It’s that sort of thing. It can’t happen any longer.
“I need results quickly. If not it will be you boys or Mike Wagner Jersey somebody else saying it will be something to do with David Moyes. The only way I am going to get results is if those players give me the chance to get them. I am certainly not pussyfooting around with them.”
Please Read Before Posting / Granit Xhaka
« Last post by xiaolan on November 19, 2017, 06:27:19 PM »
It is the story that has shaped Granit Xhaka and fuelled the fires that rage inside him. The details are savage, barely comprehensible, and it is a wonder that the Arsenal midfielder can articulate them. Then again, like his father, Ragip – who spent three and a half years as a political prisoner in Yugoslavia – Xhaka is not a man who runs or hides.

“As far as I know, his first few months in jail were OK,” Xhaka says. “But then the beatings started.”
Xhaka Sr’s crime had been to take part in demonstrations against the communist central government in Belgrade. It was 1986 and he was a 22-year-old student at the university of Pristina in Kosovo, which was then an autonomous province in Yugoslavia. He would be arrested and summarily given a six-year sentence. Xhaka Sr shared a cell with four other men and he would be let out once every day – for 10 minutes.
“As his son, the story is something that touches me very deeply – it is really, really in my heart,” Xhaka says. “To describe my dad properly, you have to appreciate the full depth of it. It’s so tragic. I sometimes ask him: ‘Tell it to me again,’ but I still don’t think he has revealed all of it. There have always been silent moments where I’ve felt he has swallowed something and not spilled out the truth. Maybe it Quinton Coples Jersey was just too much and he wanted to spare his kids all the grief.
“He was a proud Kosovarian and he thought they had a right to exist. He was standing up for their rights and they were basic democratic rights –necessities, such as being able to vote. It was not only him. There were other people arrested, including his uncle, who had been jailed a number of years earlier. He got 15 years. It was strictly political. My dad was asking: ‘Why aren’t we democrats here? We deserve to be democrats. We deserve to be heard.’”
To understand Xhaka is to understand his family; how they have suffered, how they have pulled together and worked tirelessly in order to overcome.
His guiding principles are loyalty and respect. When he commits to something or someone, he does so with body and soul – just like his father and just like his mother, Eli.
“One of the most revealing details about my parents is that they only got together three months before my dad’s arrest,” Xhaka says. “I have such an incredible respect for my mother. I have never heard of a woman being together with a man for three months – at that young age – and then waiting for him for three and a half years. My mother is just an incredible person.
“One of the strange things is we don’t know why my dad was released early from his sentence but he was let go at the same time as his uncle. None of the family knew about it until they turned up on the doorstep. My feeling is that they took a pact to go along with the prison rules, keeping their mouths shut and never causing any problems. This is why they released them because they thought: ‘There’s no problem with them any more.’ But I’m not sure about that.”
Xhaka’s parents knew that they needed a fresh start and, in 1990, they emigrated to Switzerland. Their first son, Taulant, would be born in Basel in 1991, Ryan Hewitt Jersey with Granit following 18 months later. Taulant is now the key midfielder for the Swiss side Basel.
Please Read Before Posting / Rossi but we shouldn’t show it
« Last post by xiaolan on November 18, 2017, 12:30:48 AM »
On Monday evening Daniele De Rossi questioned his manager’s request for him to warm up when Italy were in desperate need of a goal to rescue their fading hopes of qualification for the World Cup. In a passionate outburst he pointed to Lorenzo Insigne, a forward, and reminded one of the team’s backroom staff in no uncertain terms it was a win Italy needed, not a draw. Trust me, what De Rossi did was something that at some time or other every player has felt like doing.

I have felt De Rossi’s anger – the frustration of watching my team struggle while sitting on a bench yards from the play – and I know that pain and feeling of helplessness at being unable to alter the course of an important match (too many times, I may add!) but also trying to keep my emotions in check when negative events are unfolding.
Deep down I want to vent and shout at the manager to make a change and while that feeling is extremely difficult and hard to describe it’s natural nonetheless and is a positive sign because it means I care. I could only imagine how De Rossi, a 34-year-old midfield player of the highest calibre, felt Denzel Perryman Authentic Jersey watching his last chance of representing his nation at a World Cup fall apart.
But here’s the irony: normally a player is emotional or upset at not entering the field of play and we’ve all seen the selfish reactions of players who feel aggrieved at being substituted and throw a childish fit coming off the pitch. What makes De Rossi’s actions so rare was the fact he was signalling for another player to go on instead, a selfless gesture that showed he cared more for the benefit of his team than for himself.
In the aftermath of Italy’s elimination by Sweden, Germany’s World Cup‑winning manager, Joachim Löw, described De Rossi’s reaction as a “moment of greatness”. I understand where he’s coming from but would Löw have offered that same opinion if it was one of his players who had protested so publicly at one of his tactical decisions? I don’t think so.
It’s a double-edged sword we share as players and coaches – I understand and empathise with De Rossi’s actions but I feel that as players we not only have a duty to give everything to Patrik Laine Jersey win, to care about our team and to support our team‑mates but also have a duty to respect our manager publicly, as they are the ones paid to make the decisions. The buck stops with the manager and over my career if I had a pound for every time I or my team-mates wanted to ask our respective managers: “What are you thinking?” when they have made a decision we disagreed with I would be a billionaire by now!
Possibly more than any other profession, football is subject to the opinion and conviction of almost every person who engages with it, but could you imagine the state of our game if every time a player was told to warm up he tried to discuss the benefits to the team of making a different tactical decision? The match would be over before any changes could be made.
Organisations, businesses and football clubs all have different versions of a power structure. Some are more inclusive in decision-making and some are purely autocratic and, without going into the pros and cons of each leadership style, especially in football, the one person who always pays the price of success or failure is the manager.
It was no shock that Gian Piero Ventura was sacked by the Italian FA, considering it was the first World Cup this traditional football power had not qualified for in 60 years. Even though he was fired, in effect he fell on his sword as it was he who made the decision not to bring on Insigne, along with all of the choices he made both in terms of tactics and team selections throughout his disappointing spell in charge of one of the great football nations.
What De Rossi did was passionate, patriotic and from his perspective in the best interests of his team. Of that there can be no doubt. I have huge respect for his courage and he’s a braver man than me but, while we all want to see that passion in every one of the players who represent our team, the truth of the matter is more pragmatic and less romantic: if we did see that every week, there would be anarchy running through every dressing room, creating dysfunctional hierarchies and damaging a team’s performance on the pitch.
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