Month: December 2019

Forget Mourinho, Pellegrini, Van Gaal and Wenger, this man is the Premier League’s top boss

first_imgThis column appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app here, and follow on Twitter @sportmagukAt the start of the last Premier League season, when we did our arbitrary and largely uninformed predictions as to where each team would finish, we had Swansea going down under their newly appointed permanent boss Garry Monk.We couldn’t have been more wrong. Monk, then still only 35, started his full-time gig with a win at Old Trafford – and went on to mastermind league doubles over both Manchester United and Arsenal as Swansea recorded a best ever Premier League finish of eighth. All that despite losing their prize asset, Wilfried Bony, to Manchester City in January.Fast-forward 12 months, and we this time gave Monk and his squad a little more credit: go on then lads, we’ll give you as high as 11th. You deserve it. Four games into the new season, having had to open with a trip to the champions and welcome United to the Liberty Stadium, Swansea are unbeaten and sit fourth in the table.They should have won at Chelsea, they were furious with themselves for not winning away at Sunderland, and they totally p****d on Louis van Gaal’s 50th-game bonfire on Sunday afternoon. Trick repeated.Bafetimbi Gomis and new boy Andre Ayew – both signed on frees, by the way – are the division’s most dangerous front pairing; Jonjo Shelvey is finally maturing into the midfield playmaker he could never have been at Liverpool; while Ashley Williams has grown into one of the country’s most reliable and influential captains.And all under the quiet, watchful, intelligent, nurturing eye of Monk. Van Gaal can talk about philosophies and sell every front player at United all he wants. Jose Mourinho can pout and gesture and rant and sulk. Arsene Wenger can do his thing and get Arsenal into yet another Champions League, while Manuel Pellegrini can spend and spend and spend and spend City’s way to another title.But right now, for me, the best manager in the Premier League is, wait for it, an Englishman – and that Englishman is Garry Monk. Who knew? Garry Monk 1last_img read more

‘Mourinho is so competitive he’s trying to beat Rodgers to the sack!’ – Chelsea fans react to ANOTHER defeat

first_img[View the story “‘Mourinho is so competitive he’s trying to beat Rodgers to the sack!’ – Chelsea fans react to ANOTHER defeat” on Storify] Another game, and another defeat for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.After a losing 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to Southampton, the Blues have now lost four of their last seven Premier League games – as well as losing to Porto in the Champions League.And Chelsea fans seem to be losing patience with their ‘Special One’ after a awful display of defending from John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic.See below for the best reactions to the defeat on social media …  1center_img Jose Mourinho last_img read more

Opinion: Cellino is ‘poisoning the possibility’ of Leeds being successful

first_imgIt never rains but it pours at Leeds United.Monday’s events at Elland Road were just another twist in the Massimo Cellino era.‘Here we go again’ was the reaction of Leeds fans, while other football fans began to feel sorry for supporters of the club.Italian Cellino, known as the ‘manager eater’ during his spell as chairman of Cagliari in his home country, reacted after the loss to leaders Brighton by firing yet another coaching team. He immediately hired his sixth manager in 18 months at Elland Road and his actions are becoming increasingly frustrating for fans of the club.After all, they are the ones affected most by Cellino’s actions. Never mind the managerial merry-go-round and the uncertainty of the club, the fans were hit again last week as the chairman unravelled another crazy idea of his.As the Whites are being broadcasted on Sky Sports ten times between August and January, Cellino has decided to protest against the Football League by restricting the amount of fans Leeds take away.His idea is the amount of coverage should be shared equally across the division, as being broadcast affects fans’ arrangements, ticket sales and other matchday revenues. So, by restricting away tickets to 2,000 to a club that sells out most allocations and has the highest average away attendance in the Football League, Cellino thinks he has a plan. For a club that is taking around 4,000 fans to Fulham on Wednesday night. Yet Sky will understandably benefit from this ‘protest’ as viewing figures will inevitably rise. Another of Cellino’s crazy masterplans.Things seemed to be going smoothly at Elland Road up until mid-September, as the young squad looked promising, they had a manager with a vision in Uwe Rosler and they had Adam Pearson assisting Cellino in running the club, along with keeping the Italian under wraps.Chief Exective Officer Matt Child and Sporting Director Nicola Salerno have left the hierarchy under Cellino’s reign, while acting chairman Andrew Umbers seems to be out of the picture. Cellino undermimed previous manager Neil Redfearn by suspending his assistant Steve Thompson, before unexplicably replacing fans’ favourtie Redfearn. Next, executive director Pearson has departed after just four months, to apparently put his full focus back into running his rugby league club, Hull FC, and Cellino regained full control again. Fans knew what was coming.Cellino spoke recently of his support for Rosler and the need for stability, only to yesterday backtrack by saying he had lost faith in the German. He is a man who seems to make rash decisions – and here is another one.New boss Evans, not many fans’ first choice to take charge at United, claims he will be fully in charge of selection, but Cellino is known to have interfered regularly in the past.He brought in ex-Rotherham boss Evans on a rolling contract before the Football League banned the Leeds owner from running the club (again) after a court ruling in Italy on unpaid VAT. Cellino was reportedly aware of the forthcoming ban before the weekend, before he decided to change his management team (again).It is the second time Cellino has been banned by the Football League and he intends to appeal the latest one. Fans of the club see it as positive news, in the hope he will have to sell up and give fans hope once again.Cellino has created an evident divide between fans and the club. The Leeds United Supporters’ Trust has urged Cellino to sell his majority share, to end the ‘turmoil’ and to act ‘in the best interests of the club’.The fans are ‘United’ in their belief Cellino should sell and a club of its size should not have a shortage of interested buyers. The Leeds Rhinos,Yorkshire County Cricket Club and much more, the city deserves a stable and successful football club and Cellino appears to be poisoning the possibility of that happening any time soon.Leeds United are one of the biggest clubs outside the top four and arguably the biggest outside the Premier League. They have the fan base to prove it, although that does not grant you success.But neither does a ruthless, axe-wielding Italian owner.Meanwhile, former Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson says the club are ‘crying out for stability’ after appointing their sixth permanent manager in 18 months. Click here to read more. 1last_img read more

Roberto Martinez unfazed by futures of Everton stars wanted by PSG and Chelsea

first_img John Stones and Romelu Lukaku Roberto Martinez insists he has no concerns about his young Everton stars being targeted by other clubs in January.Striker Romelu Lukaku, who has scored nine goals this season, is reportedly on the radar of Juventus and Paris St Germain while defender John Stones is likely to be top of Chelsea’s transfer wish list again.But Goodison boss Martinez said: “What I don’t like is teams looking at our squad and nobody is interested, and nobody feels we have got good players.“We worked really hard in the last six transfer windows to assemble a very strong squad with a real determination to bring in young players with world-class talent, and that’s what we’ve done.“When you look at players like Gerard Deulofeu, Romelu Lukaku, John Stones, Ross Barkley, they are very young players and they work to develop, to become important, to enjoy their football, and then we are going to benefit as a football club.“So I have no worries about attracting attention, because that’s what you want. If you sign players and no one thinks they are doing well then you have a big, big problem.”Lukaku stretched his goalscoring streak against West Ham to seven consecutive matches to secure a 1-1 draw on Saturday after Manuel Lanzini had fired the Hammers into the lead.Stones, meanwhile, put in a superb display as he marshalled an inexperienced defence shorn of the injured Leighton Baines, Bryan Oviedo and Phil Jagielka, among others.“It was a really interesting challenge for John, it wasn’t just about defending and doing his job well, it was about leading the back four with five defenders injured,” added Martinez.“I thought John set the tone and he was immense, in the manner that you have to defend a striker like Andy Carroll and then take the responsibility in the way he started the play, I thought it was a magnificent performance.”West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, a centre-half for both teams during his playing days, is also a fully paid-up member of the Stones fan club.“I like Stones – I watched one game when Everton played at Newcastle a couple of years ago,” said Bilic. “He was at centre-half, and he was 20 or so, and he was magnificent.“So good, so calm, such composure with the ball. On Saturday he did really well against Andy Carroll. He is definitely a quality player. “ 1last_img read more

‘He’s the fighter we need!’ Ian Wright-like striker provokes mixed reaction from Arsenal fans

first_img Watford striker Troy Deeney It’s not a transfer window without Arsenal being linked with a striker.Thankfully the club, and its fans, appear to have given up on trying to sign Real Madrid hotshot Karim Benzema, but a forward is still at the forefront for the Gunners.With that in mind, it was unsurprising to see Arsene Wenger linked with a £20million swoop for a striker on the back page of the Daily Star on Tuesday.Arsenal fans, though, had mixed views when they read that the player in question was Watford star Troy Deeney.While some supporters were happy enough with the rumours, others dismissed the 27-year-old player, who has hit 72 goals across the last three and a half seasons for the Hornets, as ‘not good enough.’You can see what fans had to say about the rumour below… 1last_img read more

Yaya Toure beaten to African footballer of the year prize by Arsenal-linked star

first_img1 Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure missed out on a fifth successive African player of the year award as his reign was ended by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The Confederation of African Football announced Ivory Coast international Toure was edged out by Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang, who polled 143 voting points to Toure’s 136 among national coaches.Aubameyang scored 41 goals and claimed 11 assists for his club and country during 2015, including a haul of 18 strikes in 17 Bundesliga games so far this season.The 26-year-old winner wrote on Instagram: “Thanks to my Father and Mother thanks to my son and his Mom thanks to my family to my friends to my teammates @bvb09 and from Gabon national team thanks to my fans and thanks God and everybody.”Toure, who won the African Nations Cup with his country last February, was sorry to miss out on extending his streak of personal accolades at the ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria, on Thursday night.He said, according to BBC Sport: “I’m quite disappointed, but I don’t want to complain too much.“I just want to give credit to Aubameyang – you’ve been doing brilliantly well this year.”Swansea and Ghana forward Andre Ayew finished third in the poll with 112 points. Andre Ayew, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Yaya Toure last_img read more

Chelsea reports: ‘Van Persie to London, defender considering exit and boost on France forward’

first_imgChelsea could strengthen before the close of the January transfer window.Alexandre Pato continues to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but could the Blues have a Plan B if this deal collapses?Including major transfer boosts, check out six of the latest rumours on Chelsea by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 5 2. Gary Cahill – Chelsea defender considering exit over Euro 2016 fears? – Since the emergence of Kurt Zouma into the Blues’ first team last season, Cahill has been competing with John Terry for a starting place, and over the past few months the latter has been the preferred option. With the 2016 European Championship finals approaching, the England international is now said to be fearful over his chances of being picked for Roy Hodgson’s squad, and he is consequently considering his future at Stamford Bridge, according to Reuters. It could be too late for him to leave in the current window, but he has reportedly accepted that his career with Chelsea may be coming to an end. 5 5 3. Antoine Griezmann – Diego Simeone worried about losing the Frenchman to Chelsea? – Chelsea were linked with Griezmann, who is contracted to Atletico Madrid until 2020, in the summer, but a bid never materialised. The Frenchman, however, remains on the Blues’ radar and Diego Simeone has openly suggested that the forward could leave the Estadio Vicente Calderon, if the player himself decides it’s time to move on. The Argentine manager said, ‘The sporting directors have speaking to him directly, with those close to him, in order to work out what’s best for him and the club. Of course he’s a very important player for us, but we can’t hold him here with chains’. 5 1. Robin van Persie – Blues to try to lure ex-Arsenal and Manchester United striker to the Bridge? Read all about this rumour below, then click the arrow above to get up to date on four more stories on Chelsea – The Netherlands international swapped Manchester for Turkey in the summer, sealing a £4.7m move to Fenerbahce, but the striker has endured a miserable time thus far with his new club. He has been used sparingly by Vitor Pereira, making just 10 starts in the Super Lig, but despite his limited playing time, the 32-year-old has still bagged seven goals – which has left Chelsea interested. According to the Daily Express, Roman Abramovich could make a move for the former Arsenal captain, offering a similar short-team contract as Alexandre Pato. 4. Mauricio Pochettino – Spurs boss on Roman Abramovich’s managerial wish list? – Chelsea reportedly have five names on their managerial wish list, and Pochettino is the latest to have been added. His sublime work at Tottenham Hotspur this season, which has resulted in the club charging for the Premier League’s top four and introducing a number of homegrown players to the stage, has allegedly made him a top target. Antoine Conte, Jorge Sampaoli, Diego Simeone and Didier Deschamps are the others being monitored by Abramovich. 5 5. Bertrand Traore – Chelsea facing FIFA investigation over academy starlet? – The Blues could be in hot water with the world’s football governing body after it came to light that Traore played for the club’s under-18 side when he was 16 – which is a clear breach of FIFA regulations. Such is the seriousness of the issue, Chelsea could face a transfer ban if they are found guilty of breaking the rules. The defending English champions have dismissed the claims as false, stating that nothing illegal has taken place; though it seems the case is ongoing.last_img read more

Valencia star stalling on new deal amid interest from Manchester United

first_imgManchester United have been given renewed hope of signing long-term target Sofiane Feghouli after it emerged that the player is stalling on contract talks with Valencia.Feghouli had hinted he is open to staying at the Mestalla beyond this season but Valencia are reluctant to meet his increased wage demands.According to AS, Feghouli has requested a salary of around £3.1m a year, which Valencia simply cannot afford if they are to keep in line with the financial fair play rule, so a move now looks on the cards for the Algerian.United tried to sign the winger last summer but could land the player on a free at the end of the season should his talks with Valencia fail to progress. 1 Sofiane Feghouli last_img read more

Chan opens facility at Santa Clarita Studios

first_imgActor Jackie Chan on Friday opened a branch of his management company, JC Culture USA, at Santa Clarita Studios. Chan made the official announcement during an afternoon news conference at a cavernous sound stage on the site. “Because of the sincere invitation from Santa Clarita city and its policy of encouraging the development of the movie industry, my new management company has chosen to be located at first in Santa Clarita Studios,” Chan said in Mandarin through an interpreter. The U.S. office of JC Culture USA will focus on projects including a Broadway show in Chinese and English based on Chan’s book, “I am Jackie Chan.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.David McKeon, executive vice president for operations at JC Culture USA, will be one of seven employees based at Santa Clarita Studios working on the Broadway show and other projects. “He wants people to know more about where he came from, what he has gone through, what his path was to get here,” McKeon said. “He grew up in an academy, which is like an orphanage.” Chan also wants to be a liaison for production companies filming in China. He wants to help movie industry officials recruit local bilingual crew members, find locations and apply for local permits. “I believe our service will be valuable,” Chan said through his interpreter. “Based on the resources we have, we are confident that we will offer the production companies, studios and individual producers the best service in China.” At that point, Chan’s interpreter fell off the dais, giving the actor the opportunity to show off his comic timing. “Stuntgirl,” Chan said as the young lady made it back to the stage unharmed. California elected officials – U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar – took the opportunity Friday to give Chan some awards and praise him for bringing jobs to the area and the state. “The industry will provide such an economic benefit to not only this area but to the state of California as a whole and provide badly needed jobs for so many people,” Smyth said. Santa Clarita is thrilled to have Chan’s business, Kellar said. He said Santa Clarita is one of California’s most-filmed cities and has nearly 10,000 residents working in the entertainment industry. The city is within the 30-mile zone including Hollywood studios and offers a reverse commute, Kellar said. The city has the lowest film permit fees in the Los Angeles area and is home to more than 10 movie ranches and more than 20 sound stages. “This is going to continue to show that Santa Clarita is a true leader in the filming industry in America,” Kellar said about Chan’s decision to locate in the city. McKeon said Chan chose Santa Clarita over places such as Hollywood and Santa Monica because of the city’s tax rebates and film-friendly atmosphere. “When we were looking at all the other options, financially, it makes sense to do business here,” McKeon said. [email protected] (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Around Whittier

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre handmade gifts PICO RIVERA – Start your Christmas shopping from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Lords Vineyard, 9417 Passons Blvd. The “Vineyard Christmas Boutique” will feature handmade crafts, jewelry, food and hand-packaged Avon products. For more information, call (562) 942-8994. Boys, Girls Club organizing teams WHITTIER – The Boys and Girls Club of Whittier, 7905 S. Greenleaf Ave., is now accepting enrollment for its basketball program. The teams are not coed. They are for boys and girls ages 10-13. There are no cuts; everyone plays. Athletes must be a member of the club. Membership is $15 for one year. Jerseys are supplied by the club. Play starts in January. For more information, call (562) 698-8630, Ext. 100. `Native Nights’ helps green thumbs WHITTIER – The Whittier Public Library, 7344 S. Washington Ave., is hosting “Native Nights, A California Friendly Gardening Workshop,” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 27. The seminar will cover 25 native and low-water-use plants, shrub groundcover trees and other vegetation. Tips will be given on selection of plants, planting guidelines and maintenance recommendations as well as the benefits of using native plants. A full-colored handbook will be available. It will include photos, descriptions and other information about each of the 25 plants. The seminar is sponsored by the Central Basin Municipal Water District in partnership with the Metropolitan Water District, the city of Whittier, Suburban Water Systems, Orchard Dale Water District and La Habra Heights County Water District. The event is free, but space is limited. Call (310) 436-2609 for reservations. Holiday auction to benefit school WHITTIER – The 23rd annual Holiday Auction Fundraiser, “Reach for the Stars,” benefiting the Broadoaks Children’s School of Whittier College, will take place from 7 to 11:30p.m. Friday at the Radisson Hotel, 7320 Greenleaf Ave. The event will include food, entertainment, a raffle drawing and silent and voice auctions. Admission is $15. Proceeds will go to children’s programs and services at Broadoaks. The event is for adults only. For more information, call (562) 907-4250. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! According to an eyewitness, the suspect had glass lacerations, but it was undetermined how and when he sustained the injuries. Firefighters responded to a call at Hornell Street and La Mirada Boulevard at 12:02 a.m. A victim was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center with undisclosed injuries. Sheriff’s officials would not say if the two incidents were related. “The Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting,” Brauburger said. Boutique to offer center_img Suspect caught after shooting EAST WHITTIER – No one was wounded in a deputy- involved shooting Tuesday evening in an area of unincorporated Whittier near La Mirada, sheriff’s officials said. The shooting occurred about 11:55 p.m. at Leffingwell Road and La Mirada Boulevard, said Deputy Bill Brauburger of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. “The deputy was not injured and the suspect was not shot but taken into custody,” he said. last_img