Tag: Tottenham Hotspur
Jack Grealish was the best player on the pitch when Aston Villa drew 2-2 at Old Trafford last weekend. No-one else on either side could have scored that beautiful goal; very few players in the Premier League could have. Reports of his current buyout clause range from £30million to £70million. But just how much is Grealish worth?
As he picked the ball up on the left of the area, he already knew what he was going to do. His opponent Andreas Pereira had no idea. Earlier in the game – in a similar position – Grealish went to the byline and pulled the ball back with his left foot and on another occasion played a slide rule pass to his overlapping fullback.
A cunningly laid trap or fateful coincidence? What came before made little difference to the majesty of the goal Grealish was about to score, but was vital in creating the doubt that enabled him to do so.
Jack Grealish’s goal against Manchester United yesterday was a thing of beauty
Does he deserve to be in the next England squad? #EnglandAway #AVFC pic.twitter.com/6gExi4GFIE
— England Football Fans (@EnglidsAway) December 2, 2019
The Villa midfielder didn’t look at the ball until the final point of contact – the whipped shot into the postage stamp located at the corner of post and bar. Before then he took three almost imperceptible touches, focusing his gaze not on the ball but avidly on Pereira’s feet, knowing the Brazilian would make the first move. And at the merest hint of motion from the midfielder towards the byline, Grealish made his own move, cutting in on his right foot to score one of the memorable Old Trafford goals, in front of the Stretford End.
Jack the lad – revitalised and much improved – is back.
First impressions are hard to shake, particularly when they are entrenched through a series of tabloid news stories that support the initial suspicion. But don’t be fooled by the slicked back hair, fake tan and low-slung socks that remain: this is a very different Grealish to the one relegated from the Premier League in 2016.
He’s still the cocky, brash, well-preened Brummie icon. But now, instead of using his sculpted calves to strut the length of Broad Street, he’s using them to glide past defenders and put them on their arses, like a Chris Waddle of old or a George Best of older.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was predictably asked about rumours linking the 24-year-old with a move to United post-game and gave the stock manager response of not being able to “talk too much about other teams’ players”, while simultaneously eulogising over him. Pep Guardiola has described him as “exceptional”, while everyone else remains bemused by his exclusion from the latest England squads. Speculation linking him with a move away will roll on in line with the exponential improvement in the maturity and calibre of his performances.
Villa use him in a roaming role, starting from the left. It’s not his most effective position or the one he wants to be playing, but one that utilises his talents in the way that serves Dean Smith’s side best: a team that lacks creativity needs their most inventive asset as close to goal as possible. But despite the position he plays for Villa, his aesthetics and the perception they’ve created, he’s much less a show pony than a conductor.
He’s not quite a Jorginho or Fabinho, but still the player capable of controlling the speed and direction of the football his team plays. A Big Six side would likely use him as a number eight, a position from which he could use his dribbling expertise to build attacks from deep and not necessarily deliver the final ball, but more often the pass before that killer blow.
To Villa, the question of how much Grealish is worth and how much Premier League football is worth are one and the same. With him they sit 15th in the table, one point above the relegation zone. Without his three goals and four assists – which if anything belittles the worth of his all-round game – they would be level on points with Norwich in 19th.
Letting him go in January would be tantamount to football treason. He’s more Villa than Harry Kane is Spurs or Trent Alexander-Arnold is Liverpool. Grealish is the lifeblood of his football club, and he – along with the fans – will fear what would happen should he up sticks and follow the lure of Champions League football – where his talents belong.
Tottenham have come closest to luring Grealish away, with the man himself admitting his head had been turned in the summer of 2018 with an offer on the table from Spurs. But when the north London side were unwilling to increase their £25million offer to £32million, the deal fell through and Grealish remained at his boyhood club.
If Villa now offered Grealish to any club with the means to spend £32million on the Birmingham-born midfielder, he’d be gone before you could say “Peaky Blinders”. He’s a ready-made leader with extraordinary talent, now without the can he do it in the Premier League? caveat or previously lingering doubts over his commitment to his profession. This is a footballer capable of more, but understandably tied to the club and community that have given him so much. He won’t be there forever, Villans, so just enjoy him while you can.
Oh sorry, what’s he worth? F*** knows…a lot.
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Mauricio Pochettino admits he is “open to listen to projects” amid speculation linking him with a number of roles.
The Argentinian was sacked almost a fortnight ago after five years in the job following Spurs’ slump in form, before being swiftly replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Pochettino took the north London club to the Champions League final last season, where they were beaten by Liverpool in Madrid.
The 47-year-old has since been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League while elsewhere in Europe he has been reportedly interesting Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Pochettino told Fox Sports Argentina: “There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on.
“At my age I don’t need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me.”
A report on Monday poured cold water on links with United and Arsenal by suggesting Pochettino would lose his £12.5million pay-off from Tottenham if he accepts another Premier League role this campaign.
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Jose Mourinho turned on the spot, skipped back to his dugout and delivered a short, sharp punch to the air. As he continued his journey, he pumped both fists and channelled his energy towards the pitch, bowing his head and releasing whatever noise was available to him in the moment. It mattered not; the away fans would drown it out anyway.
It had been a while since they had been given much to enjoy on their travels after all. Not since January had Tottenham won a Premier League away game. Boxing Day marked their last such victory against a team still in the top flight.
But for Mourinho, only one thing was on his mind. Much as Mauricio Pochettino made a habit of sharing such instances of unbridled joy with Jesus Perez, the tentative new stepfather made an instant beeline for Joao Sacramento.
You can tell a lot about the nature of a goal through not only how a manager celebrates it, but also how his assistant and coaching team does. If they choose to acknowledge it separately, then it has likely been born of individual error or fortune. If there is a mixture of flailing arms, mouths agape and general indecision as to how to react, then it was liekly a wonder strike impossible to account for or predict. But if they seek out one another instinctively, the chances are that they have seen that pass, that run, that move, that goal before.
It is impossible to know what Mourinho worked on in the three days of preparation for this game. But his embrace with Sacramento for the opening goal suggests any training-ground work involved Harry Winks splitting the lines of defence and midfield with one pass, Dele Alli controlling it with a single touch and playing it through to Son Heung-min with another, and the South Korean beating his defender before planting a shot beyond the keeper.
A minute prior to that strike, Winks again drove an inch-perfect pass through West Ham’s heart and into Harry Kane, whose delightful flick left Alli in space. The deft pass was again intended for Son but Declan Rice was, on this occasion, in place to thwart it. Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, and by the time the same move was conducted again before half-time, it was clear this was a pattern.
And that should not be underplayed. It is unclear when Tottenham approached Mourinho but it was soon obvious that he has not used the last 11 months to build a friendship with Graeme Souness, develop a taste for humble pie or intently study Tim Sherwood’s fashion sense. He has been working, watching, waiting for his chance to reestablish his relevance.
This is a small step. It was almost a misstep. Tottenham were the better side in a drab opening 20 minutes, excellent for the subsequent 40 then painfully absent for the final 30. West Ham were the perfect opponents to face in these circumstances, and Roberto the single most welcoming host since Des Lynam. “Shouldn’t you be at work?” he asked a prone Angelo Ogbonna, shortly after accidentally punching him in the face to clear a ball that no Tottenham player was challenging for.
But this was progress and, most importantly, different. Mourinho stressed before the game that he does not wish to demolish what Pochettino has built; he is merely here to build on it and offer the project fresh direction and impetus. The small changes – Paulo Gazzaniga not playing it short from goal kicks, a more direct style of play and Serge Aurier looking vaguely competent – were simply new ingredients to an existing recipe.
Dele Alli is a fine example. He has been gradually improving over the past few weeks but, on this evidence, Mourinho can help him take the final steps towards where he once was. And that, rather than drastic, wholesale alterations, will be key.
Mourinho said it himself: this squad is a “gift” for a manager who inherited a broth spoiled by too many cooks at Manchester United and only made things worse. Pochettino has handed down a group of players familiar to one another, moulded to a style and system the new coach appreciates.
Michail Antonio and Ogbonna’s late goals will give Mourinho and his staff rather a lot more to consider than he expected when Kane gave Tottenham a commanding lead in the 49th minute. But there was enough on show to suggest he could be a success.
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Frank Lampard has insisted he will never follow Jose Mourinho’s lead and manage Tottenham.
Chelsea boss Lampard believes Tottenham are still a top-four threat for the Premier League this term, despite Spurs languishing down in 14th place after 12 matches.
Mauricio Pochettino was sacked this week and two-time Chelsea boss Mourinho jumped straight into the hot seat at the Blues’ bitter rivals.
When asked if he could ever envisage managing Spurs, Lampard replied: “I can firmly say no, and you can replay that again in 10 years.
“It wouldn’t happen but I think things are different for me.
“I was here for 13 years as a player and have an absolutely deep feeling for a club.
“Chelsea is certainly so close to my heart hence why I am so proud to manage the club and why I wouldn’t manage Tottenham.
“That’s no disrespect to anyone, it’s just because of what Chelsea has given me over my time as a player and now, it’s certainly not on my list.”
Asked if he was surprised Mourinho took the helm at Tottenham, Lampard said: “That’s only his decision, and you make that decision as you go.
“He’s managed a lot of football clubs and that’s what happens.
“If fans judge you that’s out of your hands. As a professional you have to understand the right to work.”
Lampard revealed he has sent Mourinho a good-luck message ahead of the Portuguese boss taking charge of Tottenham for the first time.
“We had a couple of messages just to wish him well in his new role as he has always done for me.
“Spurs are a very good team. At the start of the season Spurs were a lot of people’s favourites to be in the race.
“But if you look at what Pochettino has built, I have huge respect for what he’s built.
“They are in a slightly false position I believe.
“They have all the structure, stadium and all those things. They will be a threat without a doubt, Tottenham.
“Without a doubt they are in the top four race, that’s the start at the start of the season and it will be the story now.
“That’s why they reached the Champions League final.
“If you look at the strength in depth, they are going to be a threat. I knew that before and I know that now.”
Christian Pulisic is in contention for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Manchester City, with the United States forward back in full training after a groin concern.
Callum Hudson-Odoi could miss out however due to a minor hamstring issue picked up on England duty.
Champions City are already nine points shy of Premier League leaders Liverpool after a patchy start to the new campaign, but Lampard insists Guardiola’s men have not lost their edge.
“I still see them as the same strength,” said Lampard.
“I’ve watched them a lot this international break. They’ve had their injury problems but they are a great team and still as big a threat as they always have been.
“It’s a great test tomorrow, head to head, to see where we’re at.
“But anyone can go to Manchester City, play at their best and still and lose.
“So I won’t be making huge judgements win or lose tomorrow without a doubt.
“Our story is three months in the making. Their story has been four years and more of hard work from top to bottom.”
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Jose Mourinho was at Tottenham’s training ground to meet his new squad on Wednesday afternoon following his appointment as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss signed a three-and-a-half-year contract less than 12 hours after Pochettino was sacked.
The 56-year-old, who had been out of work since leaving United last December, was at Hotspur Way meeting the club’s players and staff.
He was due to take training in the afternoon ahead of his unveiling press conference at 2pm on Thursday and first game in charge at West Ham on Saturday lunchtime.
Mourinho revealed he was relishing the chance to work with the players, who have under-achieved so far this season.
The Portuguese said: “I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters.
“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”
Mourinho also moved quickly to appoint his backroom staff, with Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille.
Sacramento will be the assistant manager, while Santos becomes the new goalkeeping coach.
A statement on Lille’s official website read: “Following discussions between Lille and Tottenham, an agreement has been reached to allow the departures of Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos, members of the Lille technical staff, and for them to join the English club as of this Wednesday.”
Despite his troubles in the latter stages of his tenure at Old Trafford, Mourinho remains one of the most sought-after managers in the game.
His success at delivering trophies is not in question, having won three Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and a host of domestic cups, and that was a clear attraction for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Levy previously tried appointing Mourinho in 2007 when he left Chelsea for the first time and has admired him since.
Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football.
“He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”
A statement from the club described Mourinho as “one of the world’s most accomplished managers” who was “is renowned for his tactical prowess”.
It added: “He has won a domestic title in a record four different countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain) and is one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League twice with two clubs, FC Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.”
Pochettino was dismissed after five-and-a-half years in charge, less than six months after he took Spurs to the Champions League final, with the club lying 14th in the Premier League table after the opening 12 matches.
Mourinho, who has most recently been working as a pundit for Sky Sports, had turned down a number of opportunities to coach abroad since leaving United, including with clubs in China, Spain and Portugal.
His first match in charge will be the London derby away to West Ham on Saturday and they are due to play United at Old Trafford on December 4.
Spurs also play Champions League games at home to Olympiakos and away at Bayern Munich before hosting their new manager’s former club Chelsea on December 22.
Mourinho’s side host Liverpool on January 11 and Manchester City on February 1 before making the trip to Stamford Bridge on February 22.
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Tottenham star Harry Winks has been likened by Mauricio Pochettino to Andres Iniesta, but his youth coach sees him more in the mould of Zinedine Zidane.
Comparisons with the now Real Madrid boss are high praise but Russell Small – who coached Winks – made the Tottenham star change position and his aspirations for the 23-year-old have come true.
“When he was a little winger he scored lots of goals, but my idea of playing him in the middle was that he would be more involved and use all his skills much more,” Small told the Daily Mail .
Winks has now become a regular in Tottenham’s midfield and scored his first England goal in Saturday’s 4-0 win in Kosovo.
And the midfielder, who looks a shoo-in for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, has never forgotten the words of wisdom given to him as a youngster.
Small continued: “It made my day to hear him say it’s the best advice he’s been given. If it has stuck in his mind for this long, obviously it was a good decision on my part!
“He took it in his stride. It was already there, that natural ability to read the game and be technically good enough to do what we wanted.
“Mauricio Pochettino has called him ‘Little Iniesta’.
“If there was anyone I would compare him to it would be Zinedine Zidane. The way he could see a pass, short or long, he could go past a player and he scored goals.
“He was average height but very slight. He was physical enough and agile enough to use his skills and keep out the way of stronger players. I can’t remember him having a bad game, he was that consistent at that age. There was nothing you asked him to do that he couldn’t do.”
Winks signed a new five-year deal earlier this year which will keep him at Tottenham until 2024.
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As ever, this represents our estimation of Gareth Southgate’s thoughts. And we feel like we know him well. Numbers in brackets pertain to this ladder from October…
1 (2) Harry Kane
Twelve goals and five assists in eight qualifying games. His goal against Kosovo saw him become the first England player to score in every game of a qualifying campaign and it also took him back to the top of this ladder, mostly because he has never grabbed somebody by the throat in a canteen. Or at least he has never been caught grabbing somebody by the throat in a canteen.
2 (1) Raheem Sterling
Oh you daft bugger. There is no defending that. He is still England’s second-best source of goals and best source of running really fast and scaring the sh*t out of full-backs, mind.
3 (5) Harry Maguire
The only player to feature in all 720 minutes of European qualifying. And yet he still looks about half a second from dropping a bo**ock and a full second slower than most strikers he faces.
A lot of the stick Harry Maguire gets is, quite frankly, unfair. Virgil wasn’t always Capital V Capital V Capital D. He had to cut his teeth and learn his trade at smaller clubs.
In a couple of years, when Maguire moves to a big club, he’ll shine, you’ll see.
— OLSC Durham Region (@OLSC_Durham) November 17, 2019
4 (4) Jordan Pickford
His place is safer than his hands.
5 (6) Marcus Rashford
Three goals in his last three England games as part of a really encouraging return to form. We would be astonished if Rashford is not in every England squad for which he is fit until the end of the next decade at least…
6 (3) Jordan Henderson
Two victories in his absence have damaged his cause a little, but it still feels like Henderson + 2 in that central midfield.
7 (7) Trent Alexander-Arnold
Remarkably, that’s the first time he has started back-to-back England games. Even more remarkably, ‘he’s yet to produce a performance for his country which doesn’t look like this one did – distracted, inaccurate, lacking in the locked-in intensity which seems as standard at Liverpool’ (and I absolutely agree with Seb Stafford-Bloor).
Alexander-Arnold gets a lot of stick for his defending, and rightly so, but you can teach him to improve his defending. Can’t teach what he has with the ball, not at this age.
— #aheadofthecurve (@mediocentr0) November 18, 2019
8 (10) Ben Chilwell
Perhaps those three assists against Montenegro – and solid defensive performance against Kosovo – will put an end to Gareth Southgate’s lingering and needless flirtation with Danny Rose. Chilwell is and should remain England’s first-choice left-back.
9 (18) Harry Winks
Six England caps, six England wins. And a goal and a man-of-the-match performance against Kosovo. It might well be Henderson, Winks + 1 with Declan Rice hopefully sidelined until he learns some of the basics of defensive midfield play.
10 (13) John Stones
‘Needs to play football. Absolutely needs to play football,’ is what I wrote last month. Now back in the Manchester City side and an England recall duly followed.
John Stones Montenegro:
90 Minutes Played
3 Aerial Duels Won
85 Accurate Passes
95% Pass Accuracy
8 Accurate Long Balls#MCFC pic.twitter.com/dIQ8ojiIdg
— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) November 14, 2019
11 (16) Nick Pope
Confirmation that he is England’s No. 2. And a clean sheet is lovely.
12 (17) Joe Gomez
What has become very clear is that Southgate has picked his four centre-halves and Gomez is on that list despite not playing a great deal of Premier League football. Luckily for him, Liverpool have an awful lot of games coming up. He might still be the big man.
13 (8) Jadon Sancho
His form has dipped for Borussia Dortmund and he failed to pad his stats against Montenegro; just one assist from 90 minutes on the wing is not a compelling return from a 7-0 victory. Right now, he has slipped some way behind Rashford.
14 (15) Tyrone Mings
And there’s centre-half No. 4, who has (slightly awkwardly) claimed another cap and another clean sheet. He is literally the big man.
Grew into the game after a nervy start, probably not helped by being dropped last game for no reason
Passing was largely excellent
Two clean sheets in two
Didnt do anything wrong or spectacular, like the rest of the team
Did himself no harm again
Up the Mings
— James (@gortavfc) November 17, 2019
15 (9) Ross Barkley
It’s telling that he has played more minutes in this qualifying campaign than any other midfielder bar Henderson and yet almost nobody thinks he should start for England. Will he eventually be ejected like a stockier Ryan Bertrand? The initials are a clue.
16 (11) Declan Rice
As I wrote last month: ‘He is only 20, so there are caveats, but right now he looks far from good enough to anchor that England midfield. Still, we persuaded him not to be Irish anymore, so his squad place is probably safe for the foreseeable.’ We wanted him to be so much better than Eric Dier; he isn’t.
17 (12) Mason Mount
He has played a part in England’s last six games so he is clearly integrated into this England squad. Unfortunately for him, he has started twice and struggled twice. Fortunately, he can do this from the bench…
A first #ThreeLions goal for @masonmount_10 pic.twitter.com/1MzWLY5KtG
— England (@England) November 17, 2019
18 (14) Kieran Trippier
Called up but then left on the bench. It could be worse; he could be Kyle Walker.
19 (20) Tammy Abraham
His first England goal and confirmation – were it needed – that he is Southgate’s first-choice back-up to Kane.
20 (22) Fabian Delph
Even grown men need a comfort blanket. Let it go, people, let it go…
21 (19) Danny Rose
Clinging onto a place in the squad but for how long? Until Luke Shaw gets and stays fit, you should think. Right now, Rose is holding off Aaron Cresswell and Matt Targett in the battle to be the left-sided fireguard with the thinner chocolate coating.
22 (32) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Back-to-back England starts for the first time since March 2018, when he was set to start in England’s World Cup midfield before injury struck. “We’ve a huge belief in him,” said Southgate. “Whether it’s as a midfield player – where he’s excellent with or without the ball, provides a goalscoring threat, works hard for the team and presses well – or a wide player or a forward player, we’ve got huge belief in him.” And that versatility might well be what keeps in this 23 ahead of more vaunted competition.
23 (23) Tom Heaton
The old man completes the 23. For now.
24 (21) Callum Hudson-Odoi
Reclaimed and then lost his Chelsea place, while his 59 wasteful, hesitant minutes against Kosovo suggested that he might be better getting some more England experience with the Under-21s this season while he searches for his form.
Seems lots of people on this platform don’t quite understand that young players aren’t always going to play well. Especially when they’ve just come back from a long term injury.
Hudson-Odoi will get back to his top level. Just give him time.
— Chelsea Extra (@CFCExtra) November 17, 2019
25 (24) Callum Wilson
Nobody takes three strikers for a one-striker system. Especially when the third striker on the list has stopped scoring.
26 (26) James Maddison
Most chances created by Englishmen this season:
Trent Alexander-Arnold (42)
Jack Grealish (25)
James Maddison (24)
Mason Mount (23)
Raheem Sterling (22)
Sorry James, but we don’t think Gareth likes the cut of your gib. Or the gib of…
27 (35) Jack Grealish
Though at least Southgate hinted that Grealish could be the next cab off the attacking midfielder rank. That’s progress.
28 (25) Kyle Walker
Sip sliding away. Slip-sliding a-way.
29 (31) Fikayo Tomori
They definitely didn’t bring him on for a few minutes to claim him from Nigeria (oh yes they did). But most importantly for this ladder, he was in the squad ahead of the falling Michael Keane.
30 (30) Dean Henderson
England’s…No. 4. England’s, England’s No. 4.
31 (29) Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Clearly, Southgate is not a fan of a 90s-style full-back.
32 (34) Dele Alli
Back in the Tottenham side at least. Shame it’s a really poor Tottenham side.
33 (27) Michael Keane
We may never see him in an England shirt again.
Well deserved debut for Tomori. He’s the future of England’s defence, not Michael Keane
— Elliot Hackney (@ElliotHackney) November 17, 2019
34 (28) Jesse Lingard
We may never see him in an England shirt again.
35 (33) Eric Dier
We may never see him in an England shirt again.
36 (40) Phil Foden
We will surely see him in a (senior) England shirt soon, but first Pep Guardiola needs to give him more than Carabao Cup football.
37 (NE) Aaron Ramsdale
The Bournemouth goalkeeper is making a compelling case for a long-term battle with Henderson.
38 (36) Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Love the player, hate the injury.
39 (37) Luke Shaw
Love the player, hate the injury. And the body type.
40 (42) Dwight McNeil
Most assists by a teenager in Europe’s top five leagues this season:
Jadon Sancho (5)
Dejan Kulusevski (5)
Dwight McNeil (4)
Always a constant threat. pic.twitter.com/uL1io9rqmZ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 12, 2019
41 (41) Rob Holding
42 (38) Angus Gunn
43 (39) Ryan Sessegnon
44 (43) Max Aarons
45 (NE) John Lundstram
46 (NE) Harvey Barnes
47 (44) Reiss Nelson
48 (45) James Tarkowski
49 (47) James Ward-Prowse
50 (50) Phil Neville
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Tottenham fear that three other players could follow Danny Rose’s lead and leave the club on a free transfer, according to reports.
The left-back was made available for transfer and left off the club’s pre-season tour to Asia as his time with Spurs looked to be over in the summer.
Yet he has since started nine of Tottenham’s Premier League games this season and was also handed an England start in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria.
Rose told the Evening Standard on Wednesday that his “contract is up in 18 months’ time and I’ll leave the football club then.”
And the Daily Star claim Rose‘s stance could ‘trigger Tottenham transfer exodus’ with worries that other players could be ‘willing to run down their contracts’.
The report adds that ‘there are other players considering a similar course of action, with Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in no hurry to leave.’
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Tottenham defender Danny Rose thinks Liverpool fans had a “part to play” in the bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez on England duty.
Sterling and Gomez clashed at England’s training complex at St George’s Park as the team-mates met up ahead of the forthcoming international fixtures.
Things had got a little feisty between the pair during Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City as they squared up during the Premier League match.
The Football Association announced on Monday that Sterling would not be considered for Thursday’s Wembley clash following the incident.
Gomez and Sterling have both trained together on Tuesday and Wednesday since the pair clashed in the canteen, while Gareth Southgate addressed the burning issue at his press conference on Tuesday.
And Rose thinks Liverpool fans’ ‘dislike’ towards Sterling may have played a part in tensions flaring at the England camp.
“It’s probably the first time I have sat back and actually realised and took note of how much the Liverpool fans dislike him,” Rose told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I take that for granted whenever I’m watching Raheem. I think he just gets on with it and maybe it had a part to play in whatever happened.”
Rose added: “We have moved on. You know the media and everyone will have their fun today and tomorrow.
“But I hope it can be put to bed as soon as possible because obviously Joe is – and I’m not just saying this – one of the nicest people I have come across in football.
“He won’t want this to fester and Raheem won’t want this to fester.”
Sterling apologised and admitted “emotions got the better of me” in a post on social media and Rose believes it “was from the heart”.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) November 12, 2019
“You could sense that and you could hear that,” continued Rose.
“Joe spoke afterwards and we were all proud of what they said. We are just happy that everyone has woken up in a better mood this morning.”
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It’s international week, so send some mails to email@example.com. What else are you going to do? Aside from vote for us. Please.
The Sterling/Gomez fracas couldn’t be more suited for the current climate if it originated in a Sun journalist’s wet dream. Perfect for every pundit & rent-a-gob to weigh in, so I suppose I might as well too.
Southgate has, once again, taken the most reasonable, common-sense approach available to him. He’s already been getting it from both sides, from calling his reaction overly sensitive, with Bellamy’s golf clubs bought into it as though that were a perfectly regular, comparable event, to those who want the book thrown as they invariably do.
The fact is, the (moderate) punishment is perfectly suited to the (minor) crime. Sterling was at fault, and Southgate demonstrated such behaviour isn’t acceptable. He exercised his authority fairly and decisively, and made it clear he considers the matter closed.
Of course there’s going to be a continuing circus around this, but that was frankly inevitable the moment the incident occured. If anything, Southgate’s transparency has kept the tabloids neutered.
…I’ve been interested to see what F365’s reaction to the Sterling/Gomez fallout would be, considering that Raheem has (rightly) been praised so effusively on the site over the last year or so.
My two pennies on it (not that anyone cares): Rio Ferdinand has chirped up, saying he has “seen players get punched in the face, ribs broken, nose busted, head kicked like a football” in squads before. Assuming these statements are true (heads kicked in like footballs sounds very hyperbolic to me), why should the idiotic and violent acts of others excuse Sterling’s bad behaviour? It shouldn’t, and it’s a backward, knuckle-dragging stance to think that grabbing someone around the throat is remotely acceptable in any setting.
Gareth Southgate has clearly worked very hard to try and eradicate club bias and rivalry from his squad to ensure harmony among his players when they’re on international duty. He’s right to do so, with former England stars — like Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in particular — so public about how their time in England was negatively affected by disharmony. Behaviour like this threatens to destroy all that hard work and should not be accepted from anyone, even key performers. I admire Southgate for his bold stance; he will understand better than anyone the potential ramifications of it.
Sterling’s importance to the England team means this can not have been an easy decision. But it’s principled and sends a message to the rest of the squad that such behaviour will not be tolerated in this day and age. Bravo, Mr Southgate.
Sterling is a great advocate for tolerance and acceptance, having spoken out so bravely against racism and admonished the unsavoury parts of British media for the role they play in perpetuating prejudice. But that should not make him immune from punishment when he does something worthy of it. Southgate’s reaction is strong and shows to all players (in the squad and fighting to get in it) that such ill discipline, and frankly appalling behaviour) will not be accepted any longer.
Tom, Devon, NUFC
….So Rio Ferdinand feels Gareth Southgate made a mistake by dropping Sterling and opening him up to abuse.
Not that Raheem made a huge mistake attacking a fellow team mate in the canteen. A player who has done great things to combat racism by calling people out using the media and social media. The same tools that would at some point have made the incident public. If it comes out later it would look like Sterling got away with one.
By not reprimanding Sterling what message would that have given to the rest of the team? By dropping Sterling the message is loud and clear – standards are expected – at all times by everyone.
For all his great work Sterling showed a lack of maturity Sunday, constantly going into histrionics for every nudge and constantly confronting TAA and later, Gomez. (Compare to Liverpool players who just got on with it and used that to their advantage.) By letting it rollover to the England squad Sterling has let himself and Southgate down but will come out of this for the better.
The haters will always hate, Rio. The media, which includes you, will always make a mountain out of every molehill and provide ‘sage’ advice as if they have any experience or credentials to give it. Rio, you have never been a manager so have never had to actually be the one that has to make the call on what to do. By calling out Southgate it only reflects negatively on you.
…This morning I read about the Sterling vs Gomez issue and thought back to an old interview with Rio Ferdinand talking about how the “golden Generation” couldn’t put club loyalties aside during England duty and how it affect team bonding and performance. So here Southgate has dealt with it decisively “go home we don’t need any of this S**t affecting the team. you can come back next time in a better frame of mind”. It draws a line in the sand and sets the tone, and to be fair to both players they admitted what they did was wrong letting their egos slide and accepted it without complaint. End of story right…..
No Here comes Rio To talk about how wrong it is as and un fair it is because Sterling has been a model pro so far, I’m sorry Rio but surely Sterling accepting he was wrong taking the punishment and moving on for the good of the team is also “being a model pro”. Southgate is creating a team ethic where by it doesn’t matter who you play for England is England, Spain and France did something similar and did alright as I seem to remember, this is not the England of Old where every players ego is massaged so they think they are untouchable and don’t need to put the hard yards in. Southgate also has form for this its pretty obvious that after Rooney turned up at someone’s wedding whilst on duty a word was had about behaviour and the consequences and it probably helped lead to his early retirement
…Awwwww – is da iddy biddy baby getting a teensy bit fwustwated??!
Cheers Raheem mate, i think I snorted milk out my nose as I read this story over breakfast. Laughter is good for the soul.
While everyone is talking about how good Liverpool’s form has been this season, I don’t think anyone is talking about how far City have fallen from last season. While Liverpool are getting a fairly unsustainable (34 points/ 12 games) – 2.8 points/ game, which would leave them with a ridiculous 108 points for the season, if continued, City’s form has dropped off massively from last season. City last year earned (98 points /38) – 2.6 points per game, this year it has dropped off very significantly to (25/12) – 2.1 points per game, which over a full season is 79 points. This would not win the league in the majority of seasons and is a full 19 points swing from last season.
Even if City were to revert to their form of last season (2.6 points per game) from this point on, they would only get to 92 points. For Liverpool to get to 92 points after this start, they’d need to earn 2.2 points per game, which in real terms is three wins and two draws out of every five games. This is taking Liverpool as having no loses this season, which is again unlikely.
While Leicester and Chelsea are in the picture, there is nothing to suggest they could achieve the type of winning run required to get to 90+ points, which is likely to be total points mark which wins the league this year. Current form would leave them in the early 80 point mark.
Basically, City have suffered a significant drop off in form, and are no longer achieving the standards they have set out for themselves over the last few years. Liverpool could afford to start dropping a significant number of points and are still likely to win the league. The obvious problem with this is that City could go on a long run of wins which would alter this situation quite quickly, but judging on their form this season, it does sound unlikely.
Morgan (Available for Parties) – Dublin
How dare they?
Yeah Southgate, how DARE Manchester United play their record defender signing – that they also pay a huge salary to – every minute in the last month.
It as of Manchester United only care about making the most out of their money and their own performances as of caring about a different team………it is as if they only bought Maguire for themselves!
Dance with the one that brung ya
Having moved to the US a few years ago I’ve come to learn a certain Yankee phrase: ‘You gotta dance with the one that brung ya’. This sums up why I have zero sympathy for Emery, zero sympathy for Xhaka, and zero sympathy for the board for the discontent shown by the Arsenal fans.
You are in charge of a multi-billion dollar company. But – more importantly – you are in charge of something that has been cherished in people’s hearts for 133 years. You want the crowd to not vocalize their passion and except mediocrity? Go work for that team down the road. You gotta dance with the one that brung ya.
The thing that staggers me most is the board seeming to believe Arsenal fans are irrational. We had one of the best summer transfer windows we’ve ever had… and we are EIGHT points off top four… THE EXACT SAME POINTS AS SHEFFIELD UNITED! All due respect to the Blades, but what are we Arsenal fans supposed to do? Smile and say – oh well – we did our best.
Being close to something can hinder objectivity. That is why Wenger stayed on for years past when he should have been shown the door (at least 2012, in my opinion). And that is why Emery is still in charge. The board have to see that we will not improve. The dressing room is lost. You’re not just choosing Emery to stay, you are choosing Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Torreira to leave. That is why Arsenal fans are so pissed.
We will be at least 13 points off top four come the new year. It will become untenable to keep Emery. I suspect Freddie or Arteta to take over until the end of the season and who knows what happens from there, because there’s no way we’re getting Champions League football back at the Emirates any time soon.
You think social media and instant opinion is ruining the support? Deal with it. Adapt. It’s the way of the world. You gotta dance with the one that brung ya.
Why walking off isn’t the answer
While racism at football matches is nothing new, it has certainly become a much bigger issue in the media in recent times. Players like Raheem Sterling and others deserve nothing but praise for highlighting it. They have taken the lead in bringing it to, and keeping it at, the forefront of our attention. Governing bodies, especially UEFA, have completely failed to respond to the problem in a decisive or appropriate fashion. It is totally understandable that players and other interested parties have stepped forward to try to lead on the issue and to think of ways in which they can act to tackle it.
At present, there is one main idea that everyone is focusing on and rallying around. The idea of walking off the pitch during an international game to highlight the issue and force UEFA to act more strongly against the nation whose fans are involved. The intention behind this is entirely laudable, but there is a deep flaw in the idea that nobody seems to have considered.
Racism isn’t limited to a few thugs and hooligans. It reaches every level of society. There are rich and powerful racists too. They fund far right organisations, contribute to election campaigns and act however they can to promote division and hatred in our society. It is these people and their potential actions that everyone is ignoring.
It took 50 or so racists to disrupt the recent Bulgaria versus England Euro qualifier. That’s a coachload. In every country, every large town even, and not just the ones we think of as having a particular problem, there are plenty of racist idiots and thugs.
In order to understand why walk-offs aren’t the solution we need to put ourselves inside the mind of a rich racist. A powerful man who also has contact with other like-minded people and connections that reach all the way down into everyday society. We also need to do a little maths. How much would it cost to recruit 50 idiots, who needn’t have any interest in football or the least care about a lifetime ban from attending games, and to pay them, say, £200 each (or Euros)? How much to hire a coach and to buy them all tickets to a game? How much to cover any fines that they might get from local courts if they get arrested and convicted? £10 000 to pay them. £3000 for tickets £1000 for the coach and driver. Let’s assume every single one of them gets arrested and fined £1000, another £50 000. That’s a total of £65000, rounded up. In reality the fines would be far less and there are plenty of thugs who would probably do it for the laugh and the day out. For arguments sake we will overestimate the total costs, so we’ll call it £100 000 including paying the intermediaries who would do the actual recruiting and organising. The rich people behind this will not get their hands dirty, they will remain well hidden.
So, for £100 000 it is possible to hire a coachload of thugs whose sole purpose is to create unrest and division and hopefully get a game abandoned.
With a budget of five million pound these racists could easily target 40-50 games. There are 10 rounds of qualifying games for the Euro’s or the World Cup. That’s 4 or 5 games each round. Think of the disruption this would cause if a decent proportion of these games were abandoned because players had decided that walking off the pitch was the right way to deal with the problem. Football is the global game. Worldwide coverage would be enormous. There is the potential to throw qualifying for a World Cup or a Euros into total chaos. The racists would have achieved something spectacular and hugely harmful to society, not just football.
To you or me £5 million is a fortune, but there are evil people out there who could easily fund it on their own. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t have to. These people are in contact with each other. We cannot even guess how many might be willing to put their hands in their pockets to contribute to such a scheme. Pay what you can, all contributions welcome. Don’t forget that the real cost would almost certainly be far, far less. Half the budget is to cover fines, £50 000/game. The total fines dished out to fans after the Bulgaria game was less than £2000 in total, between four fans.
The rich racists are out there, the money required is not an issue. The disruption, the chaos, the divisions it would cause are huge. This is exactly what these people want to achieve. If an ordinary concerned citizen can think of this, then you can bet that they have too. Plans may already be in place, even for next weekend. Perhaps the Bulgaria disruption was actually the beginning. Perhaps they are waiting for the first walk-off to happen before they pounce and put their plans into operation.
It is for this reason that walking off the pitch is not and cannot be the answer. It is what the racists want, it is what they would happily pay to make happen.
It is a terrible burden that our black and ethnic minority footballers have to face, but they cannot walk off the pitch, it is not the answer. They must endure the provocation, try if they can to think of the harm it would cause wider society. This is a great deal to ask and it isn’t fair either, but a different solution must be found.
So, what can be done. The answer lies with UEFA and FIFA. These organisations must be made to tackle the issue. To throw teams out of tournaments if necessary, to act decisively. How do we make this happen?
Players, fans, clubs and national governing bodies like the FA and those of other leading countries must come together and act. A new protocol must be devised to replace the 3-step anti-racism one that is now in place. This might be something like: 3 minutes to stop the chanting, if that isn’t done a demerit is awarded. If the chanting is repeated, another demerit. A certain number of demerits result in automatic ejection from the current international tournament and the following one too. This is just an example. The actual protocol must be agreed by the clubs and nations themselves. UEFA and FIFA must be given an ultimatum. The biggest clubs must come together and threaten to boycott the Champions league, or better still, to break away from UEFA altogether and form a new organising body for European club competitions. The major nations must do the same thing for the Euros and the World Cup. There is little respect or goodwill towards these two organisations now, why not start again with new organisations if these two will not act upon this issue? UEFA and FIFA are rich. There is plenty of money available for extra stewarding, for extra policing, for more security cameras, for whatever is needed to help individual countries tackle this issue.
Once again, this is a huge burden to place on young men who just want to play football without having morons make monkey noises at them. It isn’t right and they shouldn’t have to endure it. There is however an opportunity for fans and for players to take a real lead on this issue, and by doing so to spur football as a whole into taking decisive action. Football is so important in so many people’s lives. If football takes the lead against racism and really works hard to kick it out then it will have a huge positive impact on wider society. I urge fans of every club to form action groups. I urge all players, not just those from minority backgrounds to band together, and to get together with the fans to put pressure on the clubs and the national organisations. Force UEFA and FIFA to act, or form new governing bodies and let them rot. If we get together and take this action then we really can make a difference. We really can kick racism out of football. The opportunity is in our hands and we have to grasp it.
Firstly, I owe an apology to Liverpool F365 mailers. I didn’t read either of Monday’s mailboxes until last night chiefly as I was expecting a deluge of spittle-flecked, smash-up-their-coach, It’s Our Year nonsense. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The mails from ‘Pool fans were balanced, respectful and incisive. I should’ve known better. It’s why I read F365 in the first place and that’s to avoid reading puerile, hate-filled bile purporting to be opinion. Respect and congratulations on your well-earned win.
As for the game itself? I never thought we would win it. City’s prior performances have shown that we’re just not right and seem to be operating at 85% efficiency as well as lacking the clinical finishing and crisp, confident, dominating passing that we displayed so often last season. The game was, for me (Clive) a microcosm of the season so far. Unforced errors and missed goal scoring chances. Liverpool were the exact opposite and looked like they were certain to score every time they went forward. If that’s not a sign of Champions, then what is? That’s also why I think the handball thing was largely irrelevant. Even if we’d scored first, either from a pen or open play, I’m not convinced we would’ve gone on to win.
Top four/title winner predictions then (In November? Sheesh. Oh, and Sheffield Utd before either Spurs Arsenal or Utd for top 6 btw). Leicester look the finished article to me, and the relative lack of fixtures compared to ‘Pool, City or Chelsea will also work in their favour. Chelsea, on the other hand, are obviously a ‘work in progress’ and have that unpredictability that comes with outstanding youth prospects. You might not ‘win anything with kids’ but somebody tell me how it will be that this Lampard team won’t finish in the top four?
City won’t win the title this season. There. I’ve said it. I’ve posted in previous mails that I’m not sure winning the PL 3 times in a row is possible. Certainly not if you have Guardiola’s obsession with winning every available trophy put in front of you, every season and without exception. That’s not a criticism and I cannot but admire the man for his unwavering desire for excellence. It’s what makes him one of the best managers in the world. It’s more that I’m not convinced that you can instil the same belief in 30-odd players for three long seasons in a row, including the fact that the majority of same will also be regulars for their national teams.
Which leaves Liverpool. They have one Achilles heel and it’s the same regardless of how many fixtures they play or competitions they engage with. Injuries. Avoid them and it’s all gravy. Have ‘em and there are now three teams that will be looking to jump on their backsides.
I’ve written before that this hasn’t been the two-horse race that many ‘experts’ predicted and that surely can’t be a bad thing. With the greatest respect to Scottish football, the last thing the PL needed was the equivalent of an unrelenting Celtic/Rangers total dominance.
Mark (Another International break. Sigh. FFS). MCFC.
Sterling and MLS
1. Sterling – he is my personal marmite. Love how he has come through a torrent of abuse by the tabloids to become one of England’s marquee players.Loved his energy and drive while playing with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Hate that he had so little faith in the Liverpool project and shunned us as soon as he could. Am really surprised that he had an off field tiff with Gomez, suggests he feels really raw and hard done by, by Liverpool . But I don’t think he has been. We gave him a chance, Rodgers molded him into a hell of a player on merit yet as soon as he could get out and play the best years of his career somewhere else he did. Why should the Liverpool faithful show him any love or appreciation? What he does for England is another matter but I am lukewarm…I can handle a small amount of marmite on a bit of toast but more than that is unappetizing – so it goes with Sterling.
2. MLS – saw a compilation of this season’s MLS Cup playoffs over the weekend. I still remember rooting for MLS after the 1994 World Cup back when US commentators would yell “interception!” excitedly whenever there was a misplaced pass that went to the opposition. Back then they also could not get their heads around saying “offside” and would insist on calling it “offsides” each and every time (how you can be “off” two sides at once is beyond me). For at least 10 years the standard of play was pretty poor but what I saw for this year was impressive – lovely stretches of play, high quality goals. MLS is here to stay and the standard of play may eventually rival Europe’s top leagues. If this happens I predict we will see an expanded Champions League. You heard it here first!
Miguel L (not looking forward to the 2 week break)
Arsenal and racoons
My god I think Daniel Storey’s comparison of Arsenal to a perplexed raccoon in winners and losers may be one of the greatest things I have ever read. It fits them perfectly, making 2 goal leads disappear with Emery standing there wondering how it disappeared. Brilliant simply brilliant.
Aaron. Cfc. Ireland.
Finlay after all these years we still need to have the conversation about Lampard and Gerrard NOT BEING ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER!
One of the most tedious arguments about the Premier League’s adoption of VAR has been the complaint about the referees not using the pitchside monitors. I really don’t see what difference they’ll make.
Yes, they were used in the World Cup, but only after the VAR official had reviewed it. They then made the recommendation to the on-field ref to review, and I seem to recall that virtually every time they were instructed to review on the pitchside monitor, they then overturned their original decision. This effectively means that the VAR official made the correct/final decision. If the VAR official doesn’t think it’s worth the on-field ref reviewing it, then it’s not a clear and obvious error. If they do think the on-field ref has to review it, then they already believe it’s a clear and obvious error, so there’s no need for more time to be wasted in the on-field ref then going over to the pitchside monitor to review it himself.
I’ve read Micah Richards (and others) say that if the on-field ref reviews it and stands by his decision then “hands up” and “fair enough”….yeah riiiight. If Michael Oliver had re-watched the handball himself, he may well have stuck with his initial decision and you’d still have people claiming it was a fix, and that he’d never have the balls to disallow a goal at Anfield, etc etc. It’s what fans do. Complain about decisions that go against you and ignore or justify the ones that go in your favour. VAR will never ever change that, no matter how it’s implemented.
Now, the offside thing is different kettle of fish, and that has to be improved by better technology and quicker. At least 1mm offside is consistent for all teams. Son for Spurs, Firmino’s armpit for Liverpool and now Lundstrum for Sheff Utd. It appears incredibly harsh, but the threshold has been determined and is at least the only consistent application of VAR so far. It just needs to be done so much quicker and clearer and that’s where the technology currently lacks.
Blatter and Platini were initially reluctant to introduce Goal Line Technology, but once they caved in, their stipulations were that it had to be immediate and accurate to within 5mm. There doesn’t seem to be the same regulations for offsides. This needs to be a priority for IFAB to determine and instruct all associations how to proceed, otherwise it’ll just keep being a problem as it’ll keep happening.
Don L. Renegade
…I was listening to Neil Swarbrick talking about VAR last night and these are some quotes from what he was saying on sky with reference to on pitch refs using the pitch side screen.
“we’ve had feedback from stakeholders, clubs, managers etc within the game and the Premier League is built on tempo, speed and intensity and the less time we take out of the game the more beneficial it is for the Premier League package”
To be fair to Swarbrick he did say it was a work in progress and they need to be given time. However, 2 words struck me as a reason why they don’t use the pitch side screen – stakeholders and package.
Are Referees not using the pitch side screen as it will damage the brand? It might just be me (as I’m sure I will be told in the comments!) but it seems like they are making this decision to help the brand rather than for its actual purpose of making sure that all decisions are correct. Its no great surprise if a decision is being made to make sure they don’t damage the brand and stop the money coming in but they are making life very difficult for themselves if protecting the brand is forcing such decisions.
I think VAR can work but it has been a bit of a shambles so far and this will not help.
Neil, Glasgow (one of them, since there appears to be another one who writes in)
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