When Zinedine Zidane took over Real Madrid in March last season he had 11 games left to lift the club and lay the foundations for this coming campaign.
He was unable to do so. There were five wins, two draws and four defeats, and never any clear sign of the direction he wanted to take.
His record was worse than his predecessor Santiago Solari, who during 17 games in charge, won 12, drew one, and lost four.
This pre-season Zidane has taken charge of seven matches and Madrid have finished the summer with a worse ‘points’ ratio tally than any of the 20 clubs set to kick-off the new La Liga season this weekend. Read more... (975 words, estimated 3:54 mins reading time)
Alexis Sanchez wants a Manchester United escape over the next fortnight in pursuit of first-team football.
The Chilean, who trained with the United squad on Wednesday, has made just four Premier League starts since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over last December.
Solskjaer insisted last week that he expects Sanchez to stay at Old Trafford but the 30-year-old has an eye on Italy before the European transfer window closes on September 2.
Sanchez’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, met with Juventus earlier in the summer, while Napoli and AC Milan also hold an interest. Read more... (300 words, estimated 1:12 mins reading time)
Jurgen Klopp hailed stand-in goalkeeper Adrian as Liverpool’s very own Rocky Balboa as he delivered the knock-out blow in Istanbul.
The goalkeeper, who only joined the European Champions 11 days ago, saved Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s penalty in a tense shoot-out to emerge as the hero as Liverpool added the UEFA Super Cup to their euphoric Champions League win in Madrid in June.
Adrian arrived at Anfield as understudy to undisputed No 1 Alisson Becker, but the Brazilian’s calf tear suffered during the opening day win over Norwich has opened the door to the Spaniard. Read more... (568 words, estimated 2:16 mins reading time)
Frank Lampard has bemoaned Chelsea’s narrow UEFA Super Cup defeat by Liverpool on Wednesday night and expressed his unhappiness at the fact that Jurgen Klopp’s side had two extra days to prepare.
Chelsea were a far cry from the side who were humbled by a ruthless Manchester United on Sunday and for long spells looked the better side in Istanbul.
The match ultimately went down to the lottery of a shootout, and Lampard admitted it had been hard for his side to take the defeat but added that he had seen plenty of positives in the performance. Read more... (291 words, estimated 1:10 mins reading time)
Liverpool won the Super Cup for the fourth time in their history by beating Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in Istanbul.
Goalkeeper Adrian kept out Tammy Abraham’s spot kick to secure victory for the Champions League winners.
Chelsea had taken the lead in the first half through Olivier Giroud’s clinical strike but Sadio Mane scored twice to give Liverpool the lead.
Jorginho’s spot-kick took the game to penalties, where Liverpool triumphed.
The win comes just two months after Jurgen Klopp won his first trophy as Liverpool boss when he led the Reds to a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final. Read more... (620 words, estimated 2:29 mins reading time)
Frank Lampard has launched a staunch defence of his Chelsea youth policy ahead of the UEFA Super Cup final against Liverpool.
The Blues boss has already shown he is not afraid of giving the club’s academy talent a chance to shine – selecting Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in his starting XI that lost 4-0 to Manchester United on Sunday.
The manner of the defeat has raised questions over Lampard’s willingness to give Chelsea’s youngsters further opportunities – but the Chelsea legend insists the likes of Mount and Abraham deserve their chance. Read more... (382 words, estimated 1:32 mins reading time)
Most neutral observers expected FIFA to hand Manchester City a two window transfer ban for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. That is what Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea all received.
But when you are dealing with state run teams the rules are different and Manchester City have instead been hit with a £315,000 fine and no transfer ban.
City was found to have breached, amongst others, article 19 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
A Fifa statement read: Read more... (300 words, estimated 1:12 mins reading time)
Zinedine Zidane has never liked Gareth Bale and the pair have never had a working relationship, the Welshman’s agent has claimed.
Zidane’s attempt to force Bale out of Real Madrid has been the talking point of the summer, with the Welshman’s future still hanging in the balance.
There appeared to have been a breakthrough over the weekend, however, with Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning interested in signing the winger.
But Real Madrid reportedly pulled the plug on the move and now Bale looks likely to stay in Spain. Read more... (235 words, estimated 56 secs reading time)
Real Madrid have tabled a bid of £145million to sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba, according to reports. in Spain.
The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to the Bernabeu after admitting that he was looking for a ‘new challenge’ earlier this summer.
According to Spanish newspaper Sport, Real are keen to wrap up a deal for the Frenchman with just 10 days left to do so. The English window closes on August 8 and while Spanish teams can buy up until the end of the month, United are unlikely to sell when they have no option to bring in a replacement. Read more... (296 words, estimated 1:11 mins reading time)
Liverpool’s poor pre-season ended with a 3-0 defeat to Napoli, a score that did not flatter the visitors. The defeat was the Champions League winners fourth successive pre-season game without a win.
The Napoli game was a carbon copy of what we have seen all month. And that is a Liverpool side that offered nothing in attack. The midfield and defence weren’t winning any awards either.
There is plenty to be of concern for Klopp right now and the return of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – all afforded extended breaks – cannot come soon enough. Read more... (387 words, estimated 1:33 mins reading time)