Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rafael Benitez: Real Madrid president gives boss full support

Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez has been told he retains the club's full backing following the 4-0 home defeat by Barcelona.
Benitez, 55, was only appointed in the summer, but fans chanted for him to be sacked after Saturday's match.
Following a board meeting on Monday, club president Florentino Perez said: "He has all our support and confidence.
"Rafa has only just started his job here. Let him keep working and he will achieve his objectives."
Perez added he could "only talk about this moment".
He said: "I cannot say what will happen in the future. No-one can say what will happen in six months."

The 68-year-old rejected suggestions striker Cristiano Ronaldo, the Spanish club's record goalscorer, had told him he is unhappy playing under Benitez.
"Ronaldo has never said anything to me about Benitez," he said.
Perez - who returned to the club in 2009 having resigned as president in 2006 - was also a target for angry fans on Saturday.
He said he understood their disappointment but asked them to display "more than ever" their "support to the team and to the players".
Real's next game is at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday, followed by an away game against Eibar in La Liga on Sunday.

Benitez succeeded Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, with Perez describing him as "a man who breathes football, professionalism and the very ethos of our club".
Saturday's defeat leaves Real third in La Liga, six points adrift of leaders Barcelona and two behind with city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter told BBC Radio 5 live: "This is a proper crisis, when you are humiliated in that manner, and not for the first time in recent times.
"Perez only had two options and the one he is taking is to back Benitez. If he was to sack him, where does he go?
"Even when Perez resigned, things weren't as bad as this between him and the fans.
"There are two reasons he hasn't sacked Benitez; he doesn't have anyone to replace him and also because the manager is a buffer. At the moment, when things go badly, Benitez will draw the criticism and is in the way of the president."

Saturday's game was not the first time Benitez's approach has been questioned this season.
He was heavily criticised for adopting negative tactics in the 1-1 derby draw against Atletico Madrid last month, while a ragged performance in a 3-2 loss at Sevilla a fortnight ago was similarly scorned by fans and media.
After controversially replacing the popular Ancelotti in the summer, Benitez has been accused of failing to develop good relationships with his key players.
An article in Monday's Marca newspaper said the squad had lost faith in the former Liverpool boss.
Another report said players have taken to privately mocking their manager over his modest playing career and supposedly incomprehensible tactical instructions. 
They refer to him as 'number 10' - traditionally the intelligent playmaker who can read the game and see the spaces, things they do not think Benitez can do.
Ronaldo's relationship with the coach  has come under particular scrutiny, while Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez, Isco and Karim Benzema are thought to be unhappy with the manager.
Like Ronaldo, fellow forward Gareth Bale has been linked with Manchester United following a mixed start to the season.
One consolation for Benitez is that much of the post-match criticism has focused on Perez,  who has been accused by fans of meddling in team selection and constructing an imbalanced squad with his 'Galacticos' transfer policy.

Real legend Zinedine Zidane, the coach of their reserve team Castilla, says he is not angling for Benitez's job.
"I am coach of Castilla and Benitez of the first team. Things are fine at the moment," said Zidane.
"If I stay at the club it is as the coach of Castilla. At the end of last season I had the feeling that I still lacked something to take over the first team.
"I am doing things little by little and I am in no rush. The important thing is to be happy day-to-day with what I am doing."
Ex-Real president Ramon Calderon told BBC Sport: "Perhaps he could decide to put Zidane in his place but I think it's very early. The next matches are easy ones in theory. And Benitez will be back. That's my opinion and I think I'm not wrong about that."

Source : BBC.com

Francis Coquelin: Arsenal midfielder out for three months

Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin will be out for around three months after suffering a knee ligament injury.
Coquelin, 24, was injured during his side's 2-1 defeat by West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Arsenal are also without midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere, as well as forwards Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck.
The Gunners are fourth in the Premier League table, two points behind surprise leaders Leicester City.
"We have players that play in Coquelin's position like Mathieu Flamini and others that can play in his position like Calum Chambers," said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
"Sometimes it is an opportunity for others to show they can do the job."
Arsenal play Dinamo Zagreb at home in a Champions League tie on Tuesday that they must win to maintain their hopes in the competition, before an away game in the Premier League at Norwich City on Sunday.
Coquelin will also miss vital league matches against Manchester City on 21 December and away at Liverpool on 13 January.

Source : BBC.com

Monday, November 23, 2015

Man Utd on alert: Was this the moment Ronaldo's Madrid love affair ended?

The 30-year-old was booed during the defeat to Barcelona and with Louis van Gaal having revealed his interest in signing the Portuguese, could he be on his way out?

Cristiano Ronaldo has said he'll retire in four or five years and he'll "live like a king". You won't find many people who would contest that, but there are an increasing number of doubts surrounding where the Portuguese will be when he does eventually decide to bring to an end a career laced with goals - especially with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain lurking.

Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo's agent, and his co-star in his recently released biopic, says he'll still be at Real Madrid when his playing days come to an end. Florentino Perez, Madrid's president, told Cadena COPE earlier this season that Madrid's all-scoring, all-conquering No.7 is only available for his release clause - €1 billion.

But what about Ronaldo? Where does he think he will be when the day arrives that he has to hang his boots up? In fact, where does he think he will be next season?

"As I say many, many times, the future nobody knows," Ronaldo recently told the BBC. "At this moment I'm so glad and happy here in Real Madrid, but the future nobody knows." Very non-committal.

And what about glad and happy in Madrid? As Los Blancos were humiliated by Barcelona in the Clasico at the weekend, the Portuguese looked far from content. In fact, he looked about as content as those supporters inside the Bernabeu who decided the club's all-time top goal scorer was not above being booed.

That's right. Amid the white handkerchief waving and the chants for Perez to resign as president, Madrid's fans turned on Ronaldo. It's not the first time and it seems unlikely to be the last, but it could prove to be the first day of the end of the 30-year-old's spell in the Spanish capital.

It's not as if he doesn't have enough on his plate at the moment. For a start, reports suggest his relationship with Rafael Benitez is on the rocks - if it was ever off them - with the Spaniard forced to deny suggestions Ronaldo, along with Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, had complained about Madrid's playing style in a summit meeting.

And things hardly got off on the right foot, with the former Liverpool boss refusing to name Ronaldo as the best player in the world on his first appearance in front of the media as Carlo Ancelotti's successor. It's fair to say it's been downhill from there.

We don't know - nor may we ever - just how serious the strain is on their relationship, but given the weight and column inches dedicated to the soap opera in Spain, there at least seems to be some sort of credence to the idea that the two don't get on. Reports last week suggested he'd told Perez Madrid "will win nothing" with Benitez.

Although that has nothing to do with why Madrid's fans jeered him. They jeered him because of a perceived lack of form - which could, in truth, be in part down to Benitez's tactics. 

Ronaldo's scored 13 goals in 16 appearances for his club this season, although that's a deceptive stat. Take away the eight he scored in a week against Espanyol and Shakthar and he's only managed five in his other 14 outings. During his last 12 Madrid games, he's hit the back of the net just five times and he's failed to score in defeats to Sevilla and Barca and in the draw with Atletico Madrid. By Ronaldo's goal-a-game standards, something is up.

Let's rewind back to Perez a minute here, because while the Madrid president may have pointed to his player's release clause in September, the truth is he may well be rubbing his hands together at the current situation. A popular opinion in Madrid is that Ronaldo's never curried much favour with Perez - he's much more of a Gareth Bale man. His signing. His choice.

Therefore, as Ronaldo suffers on the pitch with his form, off it with his manager and in the stands with the fans, Perez may well be eyeing euro signs. And the player himself, with Raul's goal scoring record safely in his top drawer, may be looking to make a fresh start - or maybe an old one.

That brings us to Manchester United. Sniffing a transfer, Louis van Gaal has already laid the foundations for a sensational return. "Let's wait and hope," the Dutchman said on Saturday.

Patrice Evra, who played with Ronaldo at Old Trafford, said earlier this month that former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was "99 per cent" certain Ronaldo would one day return to the Premier League club.

A new start, meanwhile, would be in France, with Paris Saint-Germain. After the recent game with PSG, Ronaldo whispered something in their manager Laurent Blanc's ear. What did he say? "I'd love to work you," apparently. As Blanc pointed out, though, we will never know for sure.

If United or PSG do want Ronaldo, it's unlikely it would cost them his release clause. Perez would probably be more than happy to sell a man who turns 31 in February for £80 million. Throw in a three-year deal and the total transfer would cost somewhere towards £130 million, although a large chunk of that could presumably be recouped in merchandising and marketing.

Is he still worth that? Off the pitch, perhaps, but on the pitch that's not as clear as it once was. He's spent the last few weeks having to endure comparisons with Neymar - some people deciding the debate is now who's the next best player after Lionel Messi.

With that as the backdrop, everything seems to be coming together to suggest a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu could become a reality next summer. Ronaldo's contract, signed in 2013, runs until 2018, but it's looking increasingly likely that he's not going to finish it. 

His future has been under the microscope before, but now he seems closer than ever to an exit; his stay in Spain more in doubt than at any point in his six plus years at the club. Ronaldo will retire in four or five years time - but he almost certainly won't be a Madrid player when he does.

Source: goal.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jorginho agent would consider Arsenal offer

The representative of the 23-year-old midfielder admits he would listen to offers for his client but says the main focus is getting a call-up to the Italy national team

Jorginho's agent says he will listen to offers should Arsenal make a bid for his client in the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old Napoli midfielder, who has enjoyed a new lease of life under coach Maurizio Sarri since he took over from Rafael Benitez, has been linked with a move to the Emirates and the Gunners sent scouts to watch him in action during the goalless draw with Genoa at the weekend.

“I don’t know if the Arsenal scouts were in Genoa for Jorginho,” Joao Santos told Radio Crc. “I’m not surprised that the player is doing very well – especially in light of the change of coach – and that top clubs are interested in him.

“One of the head scouts of Arsenal is well-known, and so I know he was at Marassi for the Napoli match. Right now we’re more thinking about Jorginho at Napoli than the transfer market.

“I’m in Brazil, and when I’m back we can discuss my client’s contract. The priority is getting a call-up for the national team, then there’s the January transfer market.

“If Napoli receive an irrefutable offer for Jorginho in January then it’s normal that we’d make our assessments.”

Jorginho, who holds dual Italian and Brazilian citizenship, has missed just one game for Napoli this season, helping the club rise to fourth in the Serie A table.

Source : goal.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alexis wants new deal to overtake Ozil as Arsenal's top earner

The Chilean is set for talks over a new deal that reflects his status as the club's star man, with the Gunners receptive to offering him an increase on his £130,000-a-week salary

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez wants to open talks over a new contract that would make him the highest earner at the club, Goal understands.

The forward's current deal expires in 2018 but his representatives are already keen to renegotiate an increase on his £130,000-a-week wages to reward him for his stunning form since moving to north London.

Alexis, 26, has been linked with Real Madrid, but Goal understands he has no intention of leaving Arsenal and has just bought a multi-million pound apartment in a new development in Kensington.

The Chilean, who cost Arsenal £35 million in 2014, wants a pay package that reflects his status as the squad's most important player. He scored 25 goals in his first season at the club and has struck seven times in 14 appearances so far this campaign.

Arsenal are understood to have been receptive to the idea of making Alexis their best-paid player and are preparing an offer that would keep him in north London for the next five years.

Alexis is currently the third highest paid player in the Arsenal squad. Theo Walcott earns £140,000-a-week on the contract he signed over the summer, the same as £42m playmaker Mesut Ozil, who is also in line for a new deal.

Source : goal.com

Monday, October 26, 2015

Barcelona 3 - Eibar 1

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as 10-man Barcelona came from behind to beat Eibar and keep pace with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
Borja Baston gave the visitors a shock early lead with Eibar's first ever goal against Barca.
Suarez headed the hosts level before half-time and fired them ahead early in the second half.
Javier Mascherano was sent off for dissent but Suarez scored again to put Barca level with leaders Real.
Barca made the worst possible start, as the injured Lionel Messi watched from the stands.
Their defence was easily sliced open, and although Keko was denied by Claudio Bravo, the loose ball ran to Baston to fire home in the 10th minute.

It is the seventh consecutive La Liga game where they have failed to keep a clean sheet.
Suarez levelled 11 minutes later with his side's first effort on target, the Uruguayan heading home unchallenged from close range after Neymar and Sandro combined.
Eibar held out until the break, but the pressure told two minutes after the restart as Barca took the lead.
Moments after the visitors missed a chance to go back in front, Suarez drilled home a shot from just inside the area after Neymar's pass.
Mascherano's straight red card offered Eibar late hope.
But Suarez claimed a sublime third to put the result beyond doubt, controlling with his chest to bring the ball down and drill home from just inside the area.

Source : bbc.com

Giroud: Walcott deserved to start

The Frenchman made his first Premier League start since August on Sunday, but says he has been happy to see his team-mate shine

Olivier Giroud says Theo Walcott. has deserved his place in Arsenal's starting XI, even though it has come at his own expense.
Giroud made his first Premier League start since August against Everton after scoring in the victories over Watford and Bayern Munich.

The France international continued his run of form by scoring the opening goal on Sunday, but insists he harbours no resentment over his recent absence from the side.
"I never hide," said Giroud. "I knew Theo was doing well at the beginning of the season which is why I was not angry about not playing, even if it was something new for me.

"The main thing was that he was on good form and he brought something different compared to me. We have different profiles and when he is a bit tired, I try to take the baton.
"I'm pleased to score but the boss can play with my profile or Theo's profile. It has been a few weeks of not starting and I was pleased to start.

"I feel better when I play. I missed not playing a bit more this week."
Arsenal are level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Source : goal.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Arsenal to hand Alexis Sanchez

Arsenal to hand Alexis Sanchez hike on £130,000-a-week wages and leapfrog Mesut Ozil as Gunners' highest-paid player 

Alexis Sanchez is in line to become Arsenal’s best-paid player as the club prepare talks over a new deal. The Gunners are in the midst of a contract renewal drive and the Chilean can expect an increase on his £130,00-per-week wages.
Only Mesut Ozil earns more than Sanchez. The German is paid £140,000 per week but Sanchez could surpass him as Arsenal’s top earner.
The Gunners are also planning to open discussions over a new deal for Ozil, who is likely to be given a pay rise. Both players’ contracts expire in 2018.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are interested in Ajax prodigy Riechedly Bazoer. Despite only turning 19 on Monday, Bazoer has started every league game for Ajax this season and has been called up to Danny Blind’s Holland squad.
The dynamic central midfielder came to Arsenal’s attention as a 16-year-old, but he decided to stay in Holland.

Source : dailymail.co.uk

Dortmund respond to Barcelona-Aubameyang links

Borussia Dortmund have insisted that they have no intention of selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona, amid links with the Catalan club.

Reports in Spain had suggested that Luis Enrique’s team had identified the Gabonese forward as a potential January transfer target, with their transfer ban on the verge of ending.

However, Michael Zorc, Dortmund’s sporting director, maintains that Aubameyang remains a key part of the club’s plans.

"We plan clearly with Auba,” he told Bild when pressed on the rumours.

Aubameyang himself says that he has never considered leaving Dortmund, having also been linked with Liverpool following the appointment of Jurgen Klopp.

"I am here with all my heart, I've never wanted to leave,” he added.

Aubameyang has scored 14 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions thus far in 2015-16.

Source : goal.com

Friday, October 9, 2015

Aguero: I think I'll be out for a month

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has told the media he expects to be out for a month after sustaining a hamstring injury on international duty.

It means he will miss the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on October 25, after he was stretchered off 24 minutes into Argentina’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Ecuador on Thursday night.

The 27-year-old underwent tests in Argentina on Friday, and he believes he will be sidelined until November.

"I think I'm going to be out for a month," he told the media outside the clinic.

Goal understands he has torn his hamstring and the scans will determine the exact extent of the injury and the expected recovery period.

The minimum recuperation time for even the mildest of tears is three weeks.

As well as the game at Old Trafford he is also likely to miss games against Bournemouth, Sevilla (home and away), Norwich City, and Crystal Palace, all at the Etihad Stadium, as well as the away trip to Aston Villa on November 8.

The striker, who scored five times against Newcastle United on Saturday, was taken off after netting his fifth as a precaution, having already undergone treatment on a minor hamstring injury at half-time.

Goal has also learned that City’s medical staff warned their Argentine counterparts about a niggle in his adductor muscle ahead of the international fixtures.

Argentina boss Tata Martino, when questioned about Aguero’s fitness, stated before the match that all of his squad were fit. Afterwards, he insisted that the problem sustained during their first qualifier was unrelated to the previous injury he had picked up against Newcastle.

Source : goal.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Klopp on Liverpool speculation

The former Borussia Dortmund boss is tipped to become the next man in charge at the Merseyside club, but left reporters without a definite answer when quizzed on the subject
Jurgen Klopp has refused to confirm nor deny whether he is close to filling the vacant Liverpool manager's chair.

Goal understands the Reds have made a formal approach to the German and are closing in on their No.1 target, currently unattached after a successful seven-year spell with Borussia Dortmund.

But questioned on a possible move to Merseyside on Tuesday, Klopp brushed aside reporters.

"There's nothing to say," he told Bild when asked about the possibility of returning to management in the Premier League.

"Neither a definite yes nor a definite no. I'm going home now."

Reporters were unable to quiz Klopp further, as he laughed and walked off without passing further comment.

Liverpool are primed to hold further talks with Klopp and hope to announce his appointment by the end of the week, with the 48-year-old set to be handed a three-year deal.

The club's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) are keen to confirm their new manager as soon as possible, after Brendan Rodgers's tenure came to an end on Sunday following a 1-1 draw with Everton.  

Source : goal.com

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid Live !

Al Ahly vs Orlando Pirates FC Live !

Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United

Arsenal justified Arsene Wenger's pre-match title talk as three early goals blew away Manchester United at the Emirates.
Alexis Sanchez (6) and Mesut Ozil (7) scored within 33 seconds before the Chilean belted a third to leave United three-down inside 20 minutes for the first time in the Premier League era.
Petr Cech made a big stop from Anthony Martial right on half-time and United did improve after the break, but that was as much down to Arsenal re-evaluating their ambition as anything else, and three times counter-attacks almost brought a fourth goal.

Source : skysports.com

Jose Mourinho warns Chelsea not to sack him

Jose Mourinho has warned Chelsea that they would be making a major mistake if they sacked him, blaming the officials for his side's 3-1 loss to Southampton.
Chelsea took an early lead through Willian's free kick, but the Saints hit back shortly before the break when Steven Davis smashed a low drive past Asmir Begovic from the edge of the box.
Chelsea saw a penalty appeal for a challenge on Radamel Falcao by keeper Maarten Stekelenburg turned down, with the striker booked, shortly before Sadio Mane made it 2-1.
Graziano Pelle added a third for Southampton, but Mourinho said referee Robert Madley had cost his team by failing to spot the foul on Falcao.

Source :  espnfc.com

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sevilla 2 - Barcelona 1

Barcelona lost their first La Liga match since Lionel Messi's injury as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in a riveting game at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Michael Krohn-Delhi gave the hosts the lead after 52 minutes and Vicente Iborra increased the advantage six minutes later, capitalising on awful defending from the Catalans.
Neymar pulled one back for Luis Enrique's side but, despite dominating the latter stages and hitting the woodwork three times over the course of the game, the champions could not find an equaliser and fell to a second straight away defeat.

Souce : SkySports.com

Man City 6 - Newcastle United Newcastle 1

Sergio Aguero scored five goals in the space of 20 minutes as Manchester City demolished Newcastle to return to the top of the Premier League table.
Aleksandar Mitrovic nodded Newcastle in front but Aguero's brilliant burst of goals began when he headed City level.
It continued after the break when his deflected shot made it 2-1 and he ran through soon after for his hat-trick.
Kevin de Bruyne's volley made it 4-1 before Aguero struck again with a curling shot and close-range finish.
Newcastle, who are still without a league win this season, had chances to extend their lead after £13m striker Mitrovic scored his first goal since joining the club in the summer.
But Aguero's virtuoso show - which ended his Premier League goal drought in style - means the Magpies fall to the bottom of the table on goal difference.

Source : BBC.com

Arsenal can win the Premier League

Arsene Wenger remains confident that Arsenal can lift the Premier League, despite a mixed start to the season.
Sunday sees the north Londoners measure up against Manchester United, who sit top of the table after seven games.
But Wenger pointed out that the gap separating the two club was far from insurmountable at this early stage in the campaign.
“If I tell you now that we are three points behind Man United, playing Man United at home and I don’t believe that we can win the Premier League, what do you tell me? You will slaughter me," the Frenchman told reporters in Friday's press conference.
“We play in the Premier League on Sunday. We have just won 5-2 at Leicester, so I don’t see why we should be absolutely down. We are on the back of three or four good results in the league."
Wenger also tried to brush off Arsenal's shock Champions League defeat to Olympiacos in midweek, insisting it would not have an impact on the weekend's match.
“We had a disappointment in the Champions League, we have to analyse it well. But I don’t see why we should not believe we can beat Man United," he affirmed.
“It was disappointing to lose, but overall every competition is different, you have to go in a different competition in a different state of mind and we have to be inspired by what we did at Leicester.”

Source : goal.com

Friday, October 2, 2015

Premier League to miss out on Klopp

Reports claim the German coach will take over from Pep Guardiola once the Spaniard leaves, with Liverpool and Arsenal set to miss out.

Source : goal.com