Leicester boss Rodgers tells Carragher why he didn’t get Liverpool coaching jobby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has explained why he pulled back from a decision to have Jamie Carragher as part of his backroom staff at Liverpool .Rodgers took the helm at Anfield in 2012 and initially sounded out Carragher, who was a senior pro and club legend at the Reds, over joining the coaching setup.But the Northern Irishman, now in charge at Leicester , had a change of heart and decided Carragher would be better served focusing solely on playing. He told Carragher for the Telegraph: “Sorry for ruining your coaching career!“I remember thinking how much I was looking forward to working with you and Stevie [Gerrard] and it would be a good idea to have you on the coaching staff.”Then when we met I got the feeling that you were still focused on playing for another season. It would have been difficult to do both. So apologies if I stopped you being a big manager now.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos: I’d trade record cap for winby Carlos Volcano13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid captain Sergio Ramos became Europe’s most capped outfield player as Spain edged closer to Euro 2020 qualification with a 1-1 draw in Norway.Ramos’ 168th cap also makes him Spain’s record appearance maker, surpassing goalkeeper Iker Casillas.Saul Niguez’s dipping second-half effort was cancelled out by Josh King’s injury-time penalty to ruin Spain’s 100% record in Group F.A draw in Sweden on Tuesday will secure Spain’s qualification.”All that is personal is a little secondary,” said Ramos after the game.”I would have happily traded this 168th cap for a victory. It was not the case. But this record is a great reward after so many years and it’s a great source of huge pride.”I am emotional every time I put on this shirt. That will not change and I hope to continue doing so for many years.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Rangers initiate talks over permanent deal for Liverpool loanee Ojoby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRangers are attempting to hold talks with Liverpool about a permanent transfer for Sheyi Ojo.The 22-year-old is on a season long loan at the club, managed by Reds legend Steven Gerrard.He has played 17 games this term, scoring five and managing four assists.Football Insider says Rangers are exploring a permanent deal, but it is unclear where Liverpool stand on the issue.It is possible the Reds will try and wait till the summer to see if they want to include Ojo in their squad for next season.They may even want to allow other clubs to make bids in the summer to get a higher selling price.But Rangers will be desperate to conclude a deal as soon as possible, given his importance to the team. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
PEC Zwolle have announced the appointment of Jaap Stam as the club’s new head coach on an 18-month deal.Former Reading boss Stam takes charge after the departure of John van ‘t Schip with the club battling to avoid relegation from the Eredivisie.The move represents a homecoming for Stam, who started his playing career at the club before going on to star for Manchester United and Netherlands. 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? “PEC Zwolle is a club close to my heart and it feels good to be back,” Stam told the club’s official website.”I have been following the club in recent years and it is nice to see what kind of development has been made.”I see it as a wonderful challenge to make the next year and a half a success, starting with the second half of the season.”Stam led Reading to the Championship play-off final in his first season at the club, but was sacked in March.His first competitive game in charge of Zwolle will come at home to Feyenoord on January 19.
Screencap/@SKVol86Diehard Vols fan Profanity Nammy is back, and this time she’s coming after Georgia fans.Look, Profanity Nammy isn’t one to mince words. After sending an R-rated message to all Florida fans last week, she’s back to disparage another Tennessee opponent, and this week it happens to be Georgia.See for yourself:Here’s your message from Profanity Nammy @FootballUGA @bustedcoverage #NammySays pic.twitter.com/Qa91jejk71— Kris (@SKVol86) September 30, 2016Now, I think the correct response is obviously for an elderly Bulldogs fan to respond.Listen, the Vols are 1-0 when Profanity Nammy offends the opponent’s fan base. That’s undefeated, folks. Her messages clearly motivate the Vols to step up their game and they almost certainly intimidate the opponent. Look at how Florida collapsed last week, at least some of that credit should go to Nammy. If you’re a Georgia fan, you have to have some pride and fire back.The Volunteers take on Georgia today at 3:30 p.m. ET and the game is being broadcast on ABC.You can guarantee Profanity Nammy will be watching and cursing the whole way.[SDS]
Back in early July, Arsenal confirmed the acquisition of Gabriel Martinelli – just over two months after Goal revealed that the Brazilian was bound for the Emirates. The Gunners paid Ituano FC £6 million ($7.7m) for the 18-year-old forward, who has penned a “long-term” contract with the north London club.One of the rising stars in Brazilian football having enjoyed a fine start to his senior career with Ituano, Marrtinelli first started playing with Corinthians’ futsal team at the age of just nine before joining Serie D team Ituano in 2015. He signed his first professional contract two years later. 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? He went on to make his senior debut in March 2018, coming off the bench against Taboao da Serra at the age of 16 years and nine months, becoming the youngest player to debut for Ituano this century.His first senior goal also came against Taboao da Serra, in September 2018, and he was promoted permanently into the senior squad ahead of the 2019 Campeonato Paulista, Sao Paulo’s state championship.Ituano reached the quarter-finals and Martinelli ended the competition as the club’s top scorer, finding the net six times during the run to the last eight. After the competition, Martinelli was named Best Newcomer, Countryside Player of the Year and was named in the Team of the Year.While Arsenal might seem a world away from such tournaments, Martinelli has been known to Europe’s top clubs for some time and once had a trial for Manchester United.Real Madrid and Barcelona have also looked at him – with the latter having invited the young forward over to spend some time training with them in Spain.“It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in football,” said Martinelli. “Besides being one of the biggest clubs in the world, the level of training is very high and it made me grow a lot in football.”Arsenal believe Martinelli has the potential to go to the top, with head of international recruitment Francis Cagigao the driving force behind the deal.A source confirmed to Goal that the Gunners have scouted Martinelli extensively over the last few months, watching him in Brazil while also compiling a detailed database of his qualities from London Colney using video analysis.Cagigao – known for his strong contacts in South America – then travelled to Brazil himself to watch the the talented forward on more than one occasion before finalising the transfer.In terms of his raw attributes, Martinelli is a quick forward who can play across the frontline, even as the central striker.But his favoured role is wide on the left, where he likes to cut inside onto his right foot to get a shot away or look to create a chance for the striker.Describing himself, the teenager said: “I play as an attacker, but not necessarily a forward. I consider myself more of the modern style, with speed and a lot of movement without the foot. “I really like Cristiano Ronaldo, because I also don’t like to play with my back to the defender holding the ball, as in the old fashion forward. But if I have to, I also know how to play like that.”The teenager has an eye for goal, as his record suggests, and Goal understands that Arsenal have been very impressed with the composure he shows on the ball, especially for a player of his age and experience.He is a ball-carrier, something Arsenal were short of in the squad at the start of the summer, while his energy levels also caught the club’s eye, with his ability to get up and down the pitch particularly impressive.Although Martinelli is competent with his left foot, it is still an area where he needs to improve. His preference is to cut inside onto his right when coming in off the wing, which is something defenders are aware of. Until he gets stronger with his left foot, the opposition full-back will always look to show him out wide where they believe he will be less of a threat.As you would expect from someone so young, he is not yet fully developed so the physical side of the English game could be a problem during his early days at Arsenal. It is tough to predict how any player coming to England from abroad will do because there are so many variables you have to consider, especially when they arrive here at such a tender age.But Arsenal are convinced that Martinelli has what it takes to get to the top and Goal understands there is genuine excitement at the Emirates over the attacker’s arrival.In terms of his impact thus far, Arsenal made it clear to Martinelli upon his arrival that he would be given a chance to stake his claim for a spot in Unai Emery’s first-team squad during pre-season. It was a similar situation to the one Matteo Guendouzi faced last season and, just like the French midfielder, Martinelli has seized his opportunity to impress.He scored once while over in the United States and was unlucky not to get another couple of goals. He has shown that despite being just 18, he has real confidence in his own ability and provides genuine pace, something that Arsenal lack in their current squad.It will be no surprise to see Martinelli now feature regularly in the group stages of the Europa League as well as the early rounds of the Carabao Cup, and potentially on the bench in the Premier League. A major leap from those games in his homeland, but one is more than capable of taking.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 24: A general view of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers on October 24, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)We’ve seen some pretty ridiculous penalties in college football over the years. However, one from the Alabama-Texas A&M game might be the most-egregious we’ve ever seen.Alabama running back Damien Harris got the carry an attempted to run up-field and an Aggies defender grabbed hold of his facemask. Now, facemask penalties happen all the time, but this one was really bad.The Texas A&M defender ripped Harris’ facemask almost completely off of his helmet. Video of the play shows the Aggies defender latching on to the facemask and not letting go until it’s ripped off of the lower portion of the helmet.Check it out.Aggie fan: The refs are killing us. That was not a face mask penalty. pic.twitter.com/wUQiTNUEg4— Brent Houdmann (@houdmann) September 22, 2018Here’s what it looked like as Harris walked to the sideline.I think Damien Harris was victim of a facemask violation. pic.twitter.com/R9ylHZg9IR— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) September 22, 2018Alabama jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but the Aggies answered with a touchdown of their own after a 99-yard drive.Alabama and Texas A&M are tied at 7 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.
One of the marquee matchups for Week 8 of the college football season will pit No. 6 Michigan against No. 24 Michigan State. Ahead of the Big Ten showdown on Saturday, The Herd host Colin Cowherd has made his pick in the Spoiler Alert segment.Before making his choice, Cowherd pointed out that Michigan’s superior run defense – on par or better than Alabama and Clemson – would help it take the game. He also noted that the Wolverines have been able to turn Shea Patterson into a more serviceable QB.Then he made the pick:“Michigan wins this game 28-20… By Noon my time tomorrow, Jim Harbaugh will be in control of the Big Ten along with Ohio State. It’ll be 1 and 1A.””Michigan wins this game 28-20… By Noon my time tomorrow, Jim Harbaugh will be in control of the Big Ten along with Ohio State. It’ll be 1 and 1A.” — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/dZ2OLjXYby— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 19, 2018Michigan has lost eight of its last ten games against Michigan State.Head coach Jim Harbaugh himself has lost two of his three prior games against the Spartans.
Pilot Flying JAhead of today’s conference championship action, we had the opportunity to do a brief interview with ESPN and SEC Network broadcaster Laura Rutledge.She went into detail about her views on the debate between Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma for the College Football Playoff, the teams with the best shot at taking down Alabama, the potential for Playoff expansion, and Dan Mullen’s first year at her alma mater Florida.—The Spun: After last weekend’s games, I saw that you tweeted out your top six, with Ohio State at No. 5 over Oklahoma. I saw that you also thought that Oklahoma would be more deserving than a two-loss Georgia, even if the Bulldogs were to play Alabama close. How do you see things playing out heading into Sunday’s selection show?Laura Rutledge: My top six is how I think it should be… One of the things that I think people forget is that this is all based on what you see with your eyes, in addition to the numbers. The biggest glaring thing about Oklahoma is where their defense ranks.My top 6 after this incredible day:1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Notre Dame4. Georgia 5. Ohio St6. Oklahoma*What a statement by the Buckeyes. Fascinated to see what the committee does with the 5 and 6 spot. I’d bet the top 3 teams don’t want to see Ohio St and Urban.— Laura Rutledge (@LauraMRutledge) November 25, 2018Look their offense is exceptional, Kyler Murray’s exceptional. He’s been so much fun to watch and I think Oklahoma fans get up at arms about any any talk about their lack of defense but it’s just a fact and it’s part of it. Their defense ranks behind Kansas’ defense against common opponents.There are so many different numbers we could throw out there, and I’ve done the College Football Playoff mock committee, and what you’re looking for is not only the four best teams, you’re also looking for complete teams, teams are going to create great matchups and there’s an excitement at thinking about Oklahoma’s offense against Alabama’s defense for instance. How good are they really on both of those sides? So that’s fascinating to me. But if you think about Alabama’s offense or any other offenses against Oklahoma’s defense, that’s not the match-up. That’s just the fact of the matter.Committee positioning Oklahoma to move into top 4 if UGA loses BUT debate will be heated in that room if it’s a close loss to Bama. UGA strength of schedule moves from 22nd to 10th just by playing the Tide. Oklahoma would be more deserving. Depends on what this committee values. https://t.co/VBaxJIlesb— Laura Rutledge (@LauraMRutledge) November 28, 2018So that’s why I ranked that top six the way that I did. Now the point about most deserving, most deserving is not actually a qualification that a committee is supposed to consider, but sometimes they do, and my point in that tweet was it’s all about how they factor in what matters most? Do they really care about conference championships?… Georgia with a close loss to Alabama would be a two-loss non-conference champion, and we’re talking about that matching up against Oklahoma winning potentially, and being a conference champion with one loss. That’s a hard sell, even when you’re looking at the teams and saying ‘Hey maybe Georgia is better.’ And I think they probably are. I think they’re a more complete team on both sides of the ball and it may create a better match up. But the committee will be faced with a lot of tough questions and a lot of heated debate, I believe, if it ends up that way.The other thing about Oklahoma, let’s say they beat Texas, they give up 600 yards of offense or something like that. Let’s say Ohio State has a dominant win over Northwestern, a very complete, good team. That’s where the committee may look at it and say—and we do know it matters at the end of the season a bit more than the beginning of the season—Ohio State lately has looked really good.The Spun: I think that’s why this three team group at the bottom here is so intriguing because they all are very different.At this point you probably argue that Georgia is the most well-rounded, most balanced team, especially with how Jake Fromm has played. They’ll obviously get their shot at ‘Bama this weekend. Of those three, which do you think, which do you think has the best shot of beating of this Alabama team?LR: It’s a fascinating debate. I do think of those three, Georgia probably has the best chance and one of the reasons why is that they’ve been more consistent lately, and they do have this freakish defense. A lot of young guys on their defense are freakishly talented. Some names that you may not know yet, but will know over the next few years because they are so very young and very athletic.I think against Alabama’s defense and the way they play now, it is more of a spread out, very fast offense. They’ve got these incredible athletes all around, whether they’re running back or wide receiver, that probably don’t get enough credit. Everyone talks about Tua Tagovailoa, but what these skill position guys have done has been impressive. I think Georgia’s rangy defense and freakish athletes that they match up pretty well if they can stay disciplined in their assignments against Alabama. I would pick Georgia as the team that has the best chance, so we’ll see if that’s going to happen on Saturday, and that’s going to be a big part of what this discussion is all about.I think when when the committee is looking at trying to factor all this in, that they’re going to really pay attention to what Georgia looks like against Alabama because Alabama is this benchmark. We’re all trying to figure out if anybody’s going to beat them, if anybody going to match up well against them, and right now you know to me outside of those three teams the team that I think has the best chance to beat them would be Clemson. But we know that Clemson is squarely in, it seems, the College Football Playoff assuming they beat Pitt.The Spun: That leads into what I was going to ask next. It sounds like you think we’ll be getting a fourth straight Alabama-Clemson match-up, and that they’ll get by Notre Dame, assuming those two hold in the middle of the top four.LR: Yeah I do. You know I think Notre Dame’s a very good team and they do have an advantage in the fact that they don’t play in a conference championship. We thought that actually worked out quite well for Alabama last year, when they didn’t play in the SEC Championship, and had a chance to really get healthy before they played in that semifinal game. Notre Dame isn’t necessarily struggling with health the way that Alabama was last year. But I do think that it would be a close game, because I think Notre Dame is a solid match-up but I think Clemson, especially with the play of Trevor Lawrence lately and the way he’s gotten so comfortable, they have so much experience on both sides of the ball too. And that D-line, their reputation precedes them, so I think that Clemson will get the edge there.The Spun: The conference championship thing is interesting because the first year of the Playoff, there was obviously so much made of the Big 12 situation and Ohio State jumping TCU and Baylor, and now they’ve added a championship game. And that doesn’t seem like it is necessarily the best thing for the teams, with Alabama last year and Notre Dame this year. Do you think we’ll eventually see an expansion of a playoff, especially since the conference title is not always a given in terms of helping teams, or do you think we’re going to hold pat at four teams?LR: I think they’ll stick with it for as long as they possibly can. And to me it’s not even as much the conference championship argument that would really factor in whether to expand. I think it’s more about a team like UCF, and whether or not the country, the commissioners, the College Football Playoff heads of state if you will, whether or not they actually care about that. Here’s the other thing: if total chaos happens this weekend, is UCF now in a position where they really do have a strong argument to end up as one of those top four teams?I don’t think the committee does that. I think they would actually rather put a two-loss Georgia or someone like that in there, especially without quarterback McKenzie Milton. It is a real shame that he’s not able to play. But really they don’t want to expand this thing, and I think what happens with what we’re looking at is, let’s say they expanded or let’s say they said ‘You know conference champions have an automatic entry into the Playoff,’ well then what if Pitt beats Clemson, and then all of a sudden Pitt is in the College Football Playoff.The whole point was we need the four best teams or some semblance of the best teams. My colleague Greg McElroy brought up an interesting scenario. He said that maybe each year there should be a sliding number of how many teams could enter the Playoff, and it would be determined that year by how many really good teams there actually were, so this year for instance you would see Ohio State and Oklahoma maybe battle for a spot in the Playoff. I think that sounds interesting, but then one year you could say “Well there is this team’s really good and they deserve to be in there,” but the committee doesn’t think that. We’re talking about human beings who are making these decisions. I think they will try to stick with the top four and stick with that as long as possible. I don’t see expansion coming any time soon. I think there are too many cans of worms that would be opened.The Spun: Moving down from the top six teams here, you’re a Florida Gator. How do you think Dan Mullen handled his first season back at UF? LR: Really well. I think if there were any questions about him being the right hire for Florida, they’ve been answered. He’s done everything that we expected, if not more. Here’s the thing, and I can say this about them because I went to school there, they’re incredibly spoiled and they always think that they should be in contention for the SEC championship, and then of course now, for the College Football Playoff. And every fan base should be that way, right? That’s the whole point of being a fan.So I think the expectations were incredibly high and he got close to even exceeding a lot of those high expectations. He’s had some limitations with what he can do offensively. I think when he gets a a better quarterback in there, when he gets a little more talent going at some of these skill position places, he’s in a scenario where he can really get the offense moving, but the hiring of Todd Grantham may be one of the better things he did. Todd Grantham made a big difference on this defense. And I was impressed by everything that they did this year.We know @finebaum and @LauraMRutledge are experts on all things SEC, but what about tailgating?Here’s their head-to-head analysis on our favorite gameday pastime. pic.twitter.com/5TIB4JIDrM— Pilot Flying J (@PilotFlyingJ) November 29, 2018This season, SEC Network personalities Laura Rutledge and Paul Finebaum served as advocates for Pilot Flying J, the”Official Travel Center of the SEC,” with 275 stores within SEC markets. Pilot Flying J is in the second of a four year sponsorship with the SEC conference.
FOX Sports WestFive-star athlete Bru McCoy, who plays both wide receiver and linebacker at Mater Dei, is considered one of the top remaining unsigned prospects in the Class of 2019.He appears to have narrowed down his final choices to Texas and USC, and recently gave an update on his commitment plans.According to Inside Texas, McCoy is still speaking with the staffs at Texas and USC on a daily basis, and has made up his mind about where he’ll go in 2019.He revealed while attending practice for the All-American Bowl that he will make the public announcement on Saturday.“I made my mind up before I came out here,” McCoy said after All-American Bowl practice Thursday. “I made a point to do that. My mind’s made up. I’m solid on where I’m going. Now, it’s weird trying to play the game, still playing both sides in my head. I know where I’m going.”“It’s done,” McCoy said. “Just for my sake, my family’s sake, we’re going to shut it down regardless. Peace of mind, and just kill it there.”If the Longhorns do manage to land McCoy’s letter of intent, it would be a huge boon for them.Congratulations to Mater Dei’s @buhbuhbru on being named the 2018 MaxPreps National Football Player of the Year ?• 78 receptions• 1,428 yards• 18 touchdowns• 5 sacks• 2 forced fumblesI/https://t.co/PbNQ5DhfpD pic.twitter.com/7FxEWQs6WI— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) January 3, 2019Texas does not have any five-star recruits in their current 22-player Class of 2019.Unfortunately for the Longhorns, the experts at 247Sports don’t seem to think that McCoy will be heading to Texas.Per 247Sports’ Crystal Ball Predictions, 88-percent of voters have him committing to USC, in his native California, and only 8-percent have him going to Texas.[Inside Texas]