TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea assistant coach Cudicini coy over Cesc exit plansby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea assistant coach Carlo Cudicini was coy over Cesc Fabregas’ teary farewell for their 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.The midfielder is expected to join AS Monaco and appeared emotional when he was substituted late on.Cudicini said, “We don’t know, I personally don’t know. If it was his last game I think it was very good he played in front of his fans and he was able to get a nice reception, but as I said we don’t know so I’m not able to comment. He was captain a few times in pre-season when Cahill and Azpi weren’t there. He’s not the first and won’t be the last to miss a penalty. It’s something I think I have some knowledge on and the keeper did quite well.”What can I say about Cesc? Five-hundred games, a player who is unique in his position, he has unbelievable vision and awareness of where his team-mates are on the pitch. He’s one of the few who has the ability to play that ball for the runs behind the defensive line, so precise and with the right timing. I think he’s one of a kind. He’s been fantastic for teams before us and the contribution he’s given to this club and this team has been amazing. Cesc is a top player.”
Arsenal boss Emery insists he hasn’t shut the door on Ozilby Paul Vegas8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery insists he has not shut the door on Mesut Ozil.Ozil has featured against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and Watford in the Premier League, but other than that he has been a notable absentee.“This year started difficult for him. He worked well in pre-season and he was playing in the games,” said Emery.“But then the problem he had along with Sead [Kolasinac] stopped him. After that he was sick for one week and then he lost a lot of training to keep his fitness. “But in the last two to three weeks he’s improved with us in training and I think it’s good. I didn’t close the possibility for him to play. Because I want him to be OK and ready with being available for training and giving us a good feeling every day. Then he can play. “My idea is to use every player and he is one. The player can help us. He has very big skills and one quality we will need in the next matches. Really I am happy now how he is improving and training every day. He is one player more in that squad.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Manchester City are in discussions over offering captain Vincent Kompany a contract extension, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.Kompany joined City from Hamburg in 2008 and has been an integral part of their three subsequent Premier League triumphs.The Belgium international started back-to-back league games for the first time since August as the reigning champions claimed a vital 2-1 win over Liverpool in the title race last week. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Kompany was arguably fortunate to avoid greater punishment when he was booked for a heavy challenge on Mohamed Salah during the first half but went on to turn in a commanding display at the heart of the City defence.However, the 32-year-old’s withdrawal during the closing minutes was a reminder of the calf injuries that have dogged his progress over the recent seasons and Guardiola conceded his skipper’s fitness woes must be considered as his current deal approaches a June conclusion.”Yeah, we are considering it, we are talking about that. I would like it,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against League One Burton Albion, a game for which he stated Kompany is fit.”He’s our captain, 11 years here. We saw in the last two games the huge quality and personality he has to play. The only problem with Vincent is one – his injury problems. “One against one, absolutely we’re better when Vincent plays. Aymeric Laporte has a better left foot, every central defender has his own quality but there’s no doubt Vincent has something special with his charisma, winning the duels.”It’s incredible, he’s one of the best central defender I’ve ever seen. The problem is whether he’s fit, always it is that.”City thumped Rotherham United 7-0 in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, having made eight changes from the side that beat Liverpool.Jurgen Klopp made nine alterations as his men came up short in the same competition at Wolves on Monday.It means, if City go the distance in both domestic cup competitions, they could end up playing eight more matches than Liverpool in the second half of the season, before considering their respective fortunes in last-16 Champions League ties against Schalke and Bayern Munich.”I don’t have a theory from my experience about that. If everyone is fit and not injured we can cope with it,” Guardiola said.”If we had just one competition to play in, I could play with the same 11 or same 12. Now everyone is involved.”The players don’t know who will play against Burton. Then after four days we have another final at home to Wolves [in the Premier League].”Guardiola added: “I prefer it, definitely. I like to be in the four competitions as far as possible. When Wigan put us out of the FA Cup last season I was sad.”The reality for Jurgen is he knows exactly what happened. I’m not the right person to judge what the others do because I don’t like it when others judge our decisions.”
Twitter/@BentonASmithKansas beat Texas in overtime after a huge interception on the Longhorns’ second play. With the win, David Beaty is 2-21 in his career with the Jayhawks. Charlie Strong, on the other hand, may be done.Texas’ players looked dejected heading into the extra frame in Lawrence, and the first play did nothing to change that at all. Shane Buechele threw his third interception of the game on Texas’ second play in overtime.On the ensuing drive, Kansas drove 22 yards to set up a 20-yard chip shot for kicker Matthew Wyman.Kansas just beat Texas. In football. Not basketball. pic.twitter.com/uB2dMLI5rd— Clinton Cole (@cdcole55) November 20, 2016KU beats Texas for first since since 1938. https://t.co/yiwWK3PsRU— Jeff Rosen (@jeff_rosen88) November 20, 2016David Beaty’s 1st Big 12 win comes in OT vs Texas. #kufball pic.twitter.com/dRENawB9Ww— Benton Smith (@BentonASmith) November 20, 2016Kansas improves to 2-9 on the season, and David Beaty has his first Big 12 win as head coach of the Jayhawks. For Charlie Strong, on the other hand, things are extremely bleak. His seat was as hot as can be entering the game. With a loss to lowly Kansas, the flames will almost certainly engulf him. With the loss, Texas is 16-20 under Strong, and 12-14 in Big 12 play.
Victor Lindelof says he is excited by the prospect of competing with Harry Maguire for a place in the Manchester United starting XI as the club’s pursuit of the Leicester City defender continues.United have already had two bids for the centre-back rejected as Leicester are reportedly holding out for £90 million ($112m).Lindelof already has to battle with Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for a spot in the first team, while the likes of Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe are also pushing for a place. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? But the Sweden international is not worried about another high-profile signing being added to the mix, saying it will only motivate him further.”I like the competition,” Lindelof told ESPN. “I love it, actually. I think it’s great for a club to have that competition. If you have good players in your position you have to work hard every day, especially in training, and that helps a team to go to the next level as well.”For me it’s perfect. I like it. I think everyone at this club wants to be at the highest level. I’m very good friends with them all. In training, we compete and then off the pitch we are friends. That’s how it should be.”Meanwhile, Lindelof has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford after a solid season in which he made 40 appearances across all competitions.But he has been quick to dismiss any talk of a transfer this summer, insisting he is happy where he is.”I’m not the kind of person who thinks about that,” he added.”I’m here, I’m very happy here. That’s my focus. Manchester United is my club. I represent this club with great honour.”Lindelof had a difficult start to life in Manchester after joining from Benfica in 2017.The 25-year-old was limited to just 17 Premier League games in his first year as he spent large spells on the bench under Jose Mourinho.But he says he “never” doubted that he made the right call in joining the Premier League side as he was confident of becoming a success at United. “I’m very confident in myself. It’s just the way I am, the way I was raised,” he said. “I know the type of player I am, I know the type of person I am. I’ve always been like that and it was never a problem for me.”
LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 14: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)The Urban Meyer situation at Ohio State has rocked the college football world, as the Buckeyes’ head coach has been placed on paid administrative leave and many within the sport feel his time in Columbus, Ohio could be coming to an end.Meyer, according to a bombshell report by Brett McMurphy, was reportedly more aware of domestic violence allegations against now-fired assistant coach Zach Smith than he led on at Big Ten Media Days. Meyer has since released a statement, saying he was aware, but properly reported them.Almost everyone in the sport has commented on what’s happening, including prominent ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, an Ohio State grad.Several prominent head coaches have been asked about Meyer and the Buckeyes, too. Here’s what some of them have said.Alabama head coach Nick Saban“We have tremendous respect for treating people, male or female, the right way. I really don’t know enough about it to make a comment … and I’m sure Ohio State will do a fantastic job of investigating and doing what they need to do to make it right.”Nick Saban on Urban Meyer: “We have tremendous respect for treating people, male or female, the right way. I really don’t know enough about it to make a comment … and I’m sure Ohio State will do a fantastic job of investigating and doing what they need to do to make it right.”— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) August 2, 2018Texas head coach Tom Herman, a former Urban Meyer assistant coach at Ohio State“I really don’t think it’d be fair or appropriate, to be honest with you, to comment on a situation at another program that happened while I wasn’t there,” Herman told reporters.Herman asked about he, Tim Beck, and Stan Drayton’s ties to the Ohio State program: “I really don’t think it’d be fair or appropriate, to be honest with you, to comment on a situation at another program that happened while I wasn’t there.” #HookEm— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) August 2, 2018Florida head coach Dan Mullen, a former Urban Meyer assistant with the Gators“I sent him a text late to tell him he and the family are in our prayers,” Mullen said.Dan Mullen on Urban Meyer: ‘I sent him a text late to tell him he and the family are in our prayers.’— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) August 2, 2018***Urban Meyer remains on paid administrative leave as Ohio State begins practice. It’s unclear what kind of timeline the Buckeyes are operating on.
COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes stands with his players before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Ohio Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)The official Associated Press preseason top 25 poll is set to come out in about 24 hours. The 2018 preseason poll will be released on Monday afternoon.The poll is comprised of dozens of voters from across the country. They’ve all already turned in their top 25 ballots and some of them are starting to make them public.Dave Briggs, a college football writer for The Blade, recently shared his top 25.Alabama, unsurprisingly, is on top.AlabamaClemsonOhio StateGeorgiaWisconsinWashingtonMichigan StateMiamiOklahomaMichiganPenn StateNotre DameAuburnStanfordWest VirginiaSouthern CaliforniaTCUVirginia TechUCFBoise StateFlorida StateMississippi StateOklahoma StateLSUSouth CarolinaThe biggest question marks surrounding a top team right now are probably regarding Ohio State. What will the Buckeyes look like this fall with everything that’s gone on with Urban Meyer?Here’s the latest on the school’s investigation into the head coach.You can view the full explanations for Briggs’ top 25 here.
COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 1: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Oregon State Beavers at Ohio Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)College football players skipping bowl games to avoid risking injury ahead of their NFL futures has become a popular trend and it’s not going away.For the most part, the college football world seems to be OK with this. At least, the rational fans understand why the players are doing it.One notable college coach is facing some criticism for what he said about the act, though.Former head coach Randy Shannon, who’s currently serving as UCF’s defensive coordinator, is not a fan of it.From ESPN.com:Speaking a few days before the No. 8 Knights face No. 11 LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, Shannon said he doesn’t fault players for leaving early. However, he said it might be hard to get a certain mindset out of a player’s head.“My opinion, it probably will fester more and more in college. And then now the NFL is going to have to make a decision,” Shannon said. “If you draft a young man that leaves early and now you’re not a playoff team, that young man [is] going to say, ‘I’m not going to play.’ Same situation. Right, wrong or indifferent.”As pointed out by CollegeFootballTalk, Shannon’s comments aren’t just criticizable – they’re factually wrong.“The fact that [Shannon] thinks that [spit] matters to people at this level shows just how out of touch he really is,” a longtime NFL scout told CFT in an email that alerted us to the coordinator’s quotes, adding, “It’s embarrassing.”Everyone just needs to get on board with the idea of players skipping bowl games because at this point, it’s not going away.
STATE COLLEGE, PA – SEPTEMBER 01: A general view of play between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Ohio Bobcats at Beaver Stadium on September 1, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)One of the top college sports administrators in the country, Penn State vice president Sandy Barbour, has overseen the school re-establish itself as a dominant athletic program. But she recently made an announcement that many Penn State fans might not like.Speaking to State College Magazine, the 59-year-old Barbour revealed that she intends to retire when her current contract with the school runs out. Barbour’s contract currently runs through 2023, and reportedly pays upwards of $1,269,000 per year.Over the past five years, Barbour has overseen some incredible success for Penn State’s athletic programs. The school has won multiple national titles and Big Ten conference titles during her tenure.Among the many accomplishments was the Nittany Lions football team’s return to the top of the Big Ten mountain. In 2016 the school won the Big Ten title for the first time since 2009 in a 38-31 win over Wisconsin.That same year, the Nittany Lions earned Big Ten titles in wrestling, women’s soccer, and track & field. The strong season for Penn State athletics earned Barbour athletic director of the year honors by the NACDA.Barbour also owns the distinction of being the first woman hired as athletic director in Penn State’s history.Prior to joining the Nittany Lions in 2014, Barbour served the previous 10 years as athletic director of the UCLA Bruins.She oversaw the Bruins win national championships in baseball, golf, tennis, volleyball, water polo, gymnastics, and softball from 2004 to 2014.