Fresh from an underwhelming pre-season West Brom manager Tony Pulis would’ve been desperate for a positive start to the new Premier League season.
faced last season’s revelation Bournemouth in the opening fixture on Saturday and thanks to an Ahmed Hegazi 31st minute powerful header, the West Londoners came away with the full three points in the bag although staying above relegation this season remains their primary benchmark.
Still they will be happy to have lessened the tide of unsatisfaction emanating from the stands, aggravating the removal of the squad coach.
Pulis, especially from his days at Stoke City has built a reputation of favouring substance over style, preferring instead his players stick with the unconventional ugly job of sacrificing entertaining football for the primary safety from the relegation zone; The chief reason why his teams rarely aspire finishing above the mid-table.
Another new signing from Southampton Jay Rodriguez showed a lot of promise on Saturday as he proved that his pace will most certainly add a new and perhaps effective dimension to the Baggies’ attack.
Still it was Hegazi’s powerful drive beyond Asmir Begovic’s line that proved crucial throughout the afternoon encounter. The Egypt international is on loan from Al Ahly and will hope to do enough to convince West Brom to sign him on permanent terms even if that means ditching Jonny Evans. Continue reading
Generally you expect a coach to try and ease the nerves of his boys in the locker room, but, Antonio Conte, at times, himself tries to make some hype around certain matches.
Conte reckons that because of him being a former player himself, he doesn’t have to try too hard to understand how a player’s mind-set tends to be like at different stages. There are moments when the guard of a player just drops down a little bit.
In the opinion of Conte, it generally happens when the opposition is of a small stature and you feel unthreatened by it.
If the big boys are there to battle against, then there is enough hype around the encounter itself and at that time, you actually have to look to ensure that the team doesn’t get too anxious.
But, against a minnow, it’s completely different. There is no such hype and that’s where there is the danger that the sense of complacency may creep in and the players may not approach the game with the right kind of mind-set. Continue reading
Both Olympiakos and Juventus hope to win the match on Wednesday when they come face to face in Piraeus for two consecutive matches. The last time in the Champions league, Juventus lost against Atletico Madrid whereas they again lost against Malmo.
The four teams in group A are in a tie for 3 points and just need a goal to set their positions in the list. The meeting held on Wednesday has the promise of pulling apart the entire thing. Since Ibrahim Afellay moved to Olympiakos from Barcelona on loan, he has rebooted his whole career this season and has a chance to be in a great football team in these few years.
Ibrahim was under the eyes when he played at the Red and whites game that they won by one goal over Atletico and it is hoped that he will live up to his reputation of being the favourite of the team when they host the match against Juventus this Wednesday. Afellay came into the national team with the help of Guus Hiddink but other than him, Barcastuff and Opta Johan have been giving descriptions of the potential the player has and can utilize to stand out on the team.
Olympiakos needs his potential in great amounts while playing against Bianconeri as the champions of Italy have made 3 goals in the A Series competitions so far in the whole campaign. Afellay has a trend of taking up the role of attacking Midfield and gives Kostas Mitroglou enough space to work but this time the Juventus Defense isn’t going to be very easy to be outsmarted.
Carlos Tevez will be sad to see his side sob as they will do not have much chances of making it to week 2 after his European account opens against Malmo with much expected brace in the competition’s first round.
Samir Nasri has made it quite clear that until Didier Deschamps remains in charge, he is not going to feature for the France national side.
Nasri has been hurt to be overlooked by Deschamps for the FIFA World Cup 2014.
In one of his interviews quite a few years ago, Nasri had said that his only dream as a kid was to be able to represent his country one day.
When the midfielder got the opportunity to make his debut for the Les Blues in 2007, he was completely fascinated by the occasion.
Being a successful international footballer was one of the big motives of Nasri’s career, but, that’s not the case with him anymore.
Nasri doesn’t enjoy himself in the French camp as much as he used to do as a youngster a few years ago. He doesn’t feel at home under Deschamps.
When asked what problem Deschamps has with him, Nasri said, “Well, he says I don’t feel that amused when I am benched. Tell me the name of even a single player who is glad to be benched especially when he has no idea why he isn’t playing.”
“There are no bitter feelings in my heart for the team though, let me tell you that. I saw each and every match that France played in Brazil and that’s because I am a fan of the game.”
Nasri’s girlfriend was also quite angry about the exclusion of the playmaker from the Les Blues World Cup squad. She had even expressed her anger in her tweets.
The French side didn’t seem to be missing Nasri that much though in the World Cup. They were doing quite well without him before losing to Germany in the Round of 8.
Nasri has so far made 40 odd appearances for France scoring 5 goals.
Diego Milito is reportedly on the verge of completing a move to Argentine club Racing Club. He started his career that before moving to Europe and accomplishing a lot with the likes of Inter Milan.
The 34-year-old is coming to the end of his stellar career, which saw him lift the Champions League with the Inter Milan team of 2010. However, injuries have prevented him from becoming a first-team regular for the club in the last few years. Due to his age, it is highly likely that he will leave the club at the end of the season. Continue reading
This has been a very disappointing season for AC Milan, who have been slowly slipping down the European elite stages over the last few years. After the sale of several star names like Alexandre Pato and the retirement of established stars like Alessandro Nesta, Milan have been unwilling to spend money on new players and this has translated into one of the dark days are the club. They are on course to missing out on Champions League football for next season, while it is related that they may be several years away from returning to the competition.
However, VP Adriano Galliani, who had to overcome several obstacles in order to keep his job, says that the club do need to finish in the Europa league qualification places next season because some form of European football is important for the club. After several matches without a win under the new manager Clarence Seedorf, the club have been finding ways with the new managerial style after they recorded their fourth consecutive win in the league. The 1-0 win over Catania means that they are only three points below the Europa league qualification places.
The revenues from the Europa league cannot be compared to that of the Champions League, but it is additional income nonetheless.
“We would have to cancel our preseason tournament in the U.S. if we finish sixth since we would have to play in the qualifying rounds, but we’re keen on making it. Of course we want to qualify. The revenue may be inferior to the Champions League, but let’s not look for excuses,” said Gallaini about qualifying for the Europa League. “We’re just three points behind now, but there are so many teams in there and it’s best that we don’t make any calculations,” said Riccardo Montolivo after scoring the winner against Catania.
After weeks of rumors which were being spread around involving the future of Nemanja Vidic as the Serbian defender had already stated that he had no intentions of extending his contract with Manchester United, Inter Milan has confirmed that Vidic will be joining the Italian team at the end of the current season and the new President of Inter Milan, Erick Thohir revealed his emotions after announcing the deal.
“Vidic is a world-class player. I’m extremely happy to have completed this deal to bring Nemanja to Milan. He’s one of the world’s best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree and charisma will be an asset to the team and help bring through our younger players. He will bring added value to the club and is another piece of the great Inter side we are building.” Thohir confessed.
Inter Milan is also being linked with Arsenal’s Podolski who has only made a limited number of appearances with his club due to injuries and after successfully signing Nemanja Vidic from Manchester United, Inter Milan wants to continue adding players which will help them for the upcoming seasons.
Patrice Evra is nearing the end the end of his contract with Manchester United and Inter Milan is interested in securing the services of the French defender from the same club which they signed Vidic and considering the fact that David Moyes has already revealed his desire of making a huge clear-out by the end of the season, the future of Evra is up for grabs allowing Inter Milan the chance they need on adding more players to their squad.
Malky Mackay might be taking charge as boss at Norwich City in near future. The Canaries have played very poorly in the Premier League of late and the board is believed to be unsatisfied with Chris Hughton who is currently in charge at the club.
Norwich City’s winning percentage in the league matches in the ongoing season is just 20. They have already suffered a total of 10 defeats in the competition and they still have to play 18 more games. They are currently placed at no. 15 in the table, but, they are not too far away from the relegation zone.
Mackay has been a part of Norwich City before, but, as a player, not as a manager. He had remained at the Carrow Road for a period of 6 years during his playing days and had made a total of 212 Premier League appearances for the Canaries.
The 41 years old former Scottish defender was in charge at Cardiff City at the start of the ongoing season and he had guided them to a memorable win against Manchester City pretty early in the season, but, towards the end of 2013, his team lost form and he had to pay the price for that. He got sacked and is currently without a job.
Mackay’s managerial career is not that long. He has just managed two clubs so far, but, he has done a decent job at both those clubs. His overall winning percentage as manager is close to 40 and that’s not bad for a guy who is still new in this field.
However, Norwich City board would like to wait for a few more weeks before taking any decision on Hughton who has been at the Carrow Road since the last one and half years.
West Bromwich Albion’s coach Steve Clarke is enjoying the last season of his 2 year deal contract with the club and according to the Sporting and technical director of the English club, they will only discuss and talk about having a contract extension in new year.
Richard Garlick, sporting and technical director at the Baggies, said:
“Steve’s contract situation was discussed at last month’s board meeting. We decided we would open talks with him in the New Year which, historically, we feel is the appropriate time to address such matters. Steve is aware of our plans and has told us he is comfortable with the situation.”
Sreve Clarke later went on and talked about the club’s current situation and his future.
“It’s the part of the season where we have to pick up some points,” said Clarke, who became the latest in a series of Baggies bosses to experience a mid-season struggle last term.It’s been levelled at the club over the last three or four years that they haven’t picked up enough points’’.
“It will be interesting to see what happens this year because at the moment we still need plenty of points.”
It seems that West Bromwich Albion will wait for the outcome of the last remaining matches of this year before making a decision concerning their head coach Steve Clarke who is still undecided about whether or not he will remain with the club for another year.
West Bromwich finished in the 16th place last season which a disappointing outcome is taking into consideration their previous 5th spot during the season of 2011-12. Now they are currently sitting in the middle section of the Premier League standings with 14 points secured so far.