As expected US Soccer has named Bruce Arena as the new national team boss, replacing the fired Jurgen Klinsmann.
Arena is the best American coach ever and the 65-year-old former LA Galaxy coach knows what he is getting himself into as he has already been through two World Cup cycles as coach of the U.S. national team.
Not qualifying for the World Cup in Russia in 2018 is unthinkable for US Soccer, but Klinsmann has put Arena in a difficult situation as the U.S. in last in the CONCACAF Hexagonal group at 0-2-0. Read more... (458 words, 1 image, estimated 1:50 mins reading time)
Spain’s public prosecutor has called for Barcelona star Neymar to be sent to prison for two years for his part in a corruption case over his transfer from Brazilian club Santos to the La Liga champions in 2013, said a court filing on Wednesday.
A judge in Spain accepted corruption charges against the Brazil captain earlier this month, with Neymar accused, along with others, of concealing a portion of the cost of his move from Santos to the Nou Camp in 2013.
As well as the jail sentence, prosecutors have also called for the 24-year-old to be fined €10m. Read more... (331 words, 1 image, estimated 1:19 mins reading time)
Was there really any doubt that Manchester United were not going to pick up Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s option for next season? Ibrahimovic was one of United’s prize signings this past summer, and shares an agent with Paul Pogba.
There was no way United were going to upset Mino Raiola and not keep Ibra for another season so Jose Mourinho has announced that the clubs top goalscorer this will be back next season.
‘Zlatan’s situation is simple. He has a one-plus-one year in the club.
“We are happy with him. Read more... (279 words, 1 image, estimated 1:07 mins reading time)
His omission has baffled Manchester United fans all season, but it looks like we will see finally see Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a Manchester United shirt this week after Jose Mourinho confirmed that the out-of-favour Armenian will face Feyenoord in Thursday’s crucial Europa League tie at Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan, a £26.3 million summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, has made just six appearances for United this season — starting only one game, the 2-1 derby defeat against Manchester City in September.
The 27-year-old has made just one senior appearance since being replaced at half-time by Mourinho in the City game, when he was used as a second-half substitute in the Europa League defeat against Fenerbahce in Istanbul three weeks ago. Read more... (363 words, 1 image, estimated 1:27 mins reading time)
If Brendan Rodgers needs a motivational statistic to throw into his team-talk on Wednesday night he might mention that this is the worst start to a league season for Barcelona in a decade.
Just don’t dwell too long on the details – they still lie second in La Liga and Leo Messi, who is more often than not absent when they are below par, will be back to lead their attack.
The early season La Liga depression plumbed new depths at the weekend when they failed to score against Malaga. That 0-0 means they have just 26 points from a possible 36 and not since 2007 has any Barcelona team started worse. Read more... (761 words, 1 image, estimated 3:03 mins reading time)
Jurgen Klinsmann has been fired as the manager of the United States men’s national team, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Monday. The expecatation is that LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena will become national team boss for tbe second time
Klinsmann paid the price for the USA’s dreadful start to qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica in World Cup qualifiers this month proving to be the last straw.
“We want to thank Jurgen for his hard work and commitment during these last five years,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. Read more... (390 words, 1 image, estimated 1:34 mins reading time)
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has been sent to Spain for specialist treatment in an attempt to cure an achilles injury which has kept him out of action since the middle of October.
Cazorla – one of Arsenal’s stand-out players at the start of the season – hasn’t featured for Arsene Wenger’s side since the 6-0 victory over Ludogorets Razgrad on October 19.
The 31-year-old had hoped to return from injury in time for the derby clash against Tottenham two weeks ago, but was ruled out of the 1-1 draw after suffering a setback in his recovery. Read more... (256 words, 1 image, estimated 1:01 mins reading time)
Wayne Rooney branded his treatment ‘a disgrace’ and launched a furious attack on his critics following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
The Manchester United striker was vilified, and forced to apologise, after being pictured apparently worse for wear at the England team hotel in the early hours of Sunday while on international duty.
‘What’s been going on is disgraceful,’ the England captain declared after Jose Mourinho’s side suffered late heartbreak at Old Trafford.
‘I’m proud to play for my country and I’m proud of my achievements. It’s not finished yet. I think what’s been going on is disgraceful.’ Read more... (553 words, 1 image, estimated 2:13 mins reading time)
Some would have you believe that tackling is something of a lost art in football, with the leniency towards full-blooded challenges seemingly a thing of the past. While it’s always been a vital part of winning possession, the timing of tackles is more important than ever, so we wanted to look into the masters in the modern game.
Rather than simply looking at the players to make the most tackles this season, to do so we’ve devised an algorithm and restricted our search to centre-backs. The calculation is simple, taking into account the number of tackles per foul and then dividing this figure by the number of times each player has been dribbled past. The results have brought about a top 10 varying in terms of experience and familiarity. Read more... (1054 words, 1 image, estimated 4:13 mins reading time)
Cristiano Ronaldo heard there was a fiesta going on at the Vicente Calderon so he gatecrashed it.
And for his party trick he pulled out the 39th hat-trick of his career to blow out the speakers and leave the hosts wishing they never bothered.
Atletico were determined to celebrate the last Madrid league derby at their stadium with a victory before they head to their new ground next season, but instead left licking their wounds and wondering what hit them.
It was a reinvigorated Madrid and a turbocharged Ronaldo, whose treble took him to 18 goals in the derby, beating Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano’s record of 17 set in the 1960s. Read more... (832 words, 1 image, estimated 3:20 mins reading time)