About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery: Beating Fulham was a mustby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery admitted some relief after their 4-1 win over Fulham.Granit Xhaka and Alexandre Lacazette put the Gunners 2-0 up before substitute Aboubakar Kamara pulled a goal back eight minutes after coming off the bench.Arsenal sub Aaron Ramsey then matched Kamara as he netted four minutes after coming on, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 14th goal of the season to top the Golden Boot standings. Emery said, “We needed to win today. We spoke before in the dressing room about today being one day where we can be consistent here with our results. We knew that today we could win three points and that the three points would give us security in the table. We are behind the first four teams in the table, but we want to continue to be close and maybe in the future we can be in the top four if we take our opportunities.”On goalsorers Lacazette and Aubameyang starting the game, he added: “We played a lot with both. A lot also from the start. It depends on the matches. They’ve played a lot of minutes and I’m very happy with them both. Today the most important thing for us is the victory and that they scored. Ramsey also scored a different player like Xhaka. We need to find the balance tactically with different players.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Atletico Madrid ace Saul: Leaving Real Madrid a culture shockby Carlos Volcano14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid ace Saul Niguez admits it was a culture shock when leaving Real Madrid.Saul left Real as a junior for Atletico and commented on the differences between Valdebebas and the Cerro.He told Libero: “In everything, absolutely in everything. “When you arrive at Atlético de Madrid they give you your big Nike backpack and the first thing the fitness coach tells you is that there are two very bad artificial turf fields that are always burned. “And I came from the perfect fields of Valdebebas where you could play with the boots you wanted.”On the current team, Saul added: “Atlético de Madrid always gets up. Torres, Agüero, Forlán, Costa, Falcao, Griezmann, Turan … all leave and Atleti continues because there is no one more important than the club.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal manager Emery warned he must deliver Champions League returnby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal manager Unai Emery has been told he must deliver a return to the Champions League after spending £152million on new players in the summer.The Gunners currently sit third in the table – which would be enough to secure their place – but Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has admitted anything less is not good enough, reports the Daily Mail.Speaking at a fans’ forum on Thursday night, he admitted: “We said to Unai that we just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last year, but this year with a stronger squad, we expect you to do that.”It is not the first time the club’s hierarchy have fronted up and met the fans. In the past, they have held a series of forums, in which they take questions from supporters and clear up any ongoing issues.
Twitter/@cfbplayoffWell, tonight is what we have all been looking forward to since the season kicked off on Labor Day Weekend. Two teams – No. 1, undefeated Clemson and No. 2 Alabama–are left standing. In roughly six hours, they will kick off at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. to decide the College Football Playoff championship. A win for the Tigers would be historic, as they would become the first 15-0 team in FBS history. It would also be the program’s first national championship since 1981. A victory for Alabama would lock up the Crimson Tide’s fourth national championship in the past seven seasons and further solidify Nick Saban’s position as one of the best college football head coaches to ever man the sidelines. Without further ado, here are the College Spun staff picks for tonight’s matchup:Andrew HolleranAlabama 31, Clemson 20Nick Saban gets his fifth national championship, his fourth with the Crimson Tide. I expect Alabama’s defensive front seven to cause significant problems for Dabo Swinney’s offense and the secondary to force a turnover or two. Derrick Henry rushes for 120-plus yards and Jacob Coker doesn’t make any mistakes in a game that’s never really in doubt.Stephen DriscollClemson 21, Alabama 17 We all saw Alabama absolutely dominate Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl, but tonight’s game is going to be different. Clemson’s defense is going to get after Derrick Henry, and give Jacob Coker the toughest look that he has seen to date. Deshaun Watson will lead the Tigers down the field for a late game score, leaving too little time on the clock for the Crimson tide to get in the end zone. “Clemsoning” will no longer be a thing after tonight. Matt HladikAlabama 27, Clemson 20Well, considering I had Oklahoma and Michigan State in this game, and I would have had Alabama and Florida State playing last year, picking the CFP doesn’t exactly appear to be my strong point. But let’s start 2016 off on a good foot and get this right. Clemson is the best team Alabama has seen this year, and the Tigers have the offensive personnel (particularly dual-threat quarterback Deshuan Watson) to put pressure on the Crimson Tide. However, this Alabama defense is ferocious, and will be able to hold the Tigers in check enough to allow Derrick Henry to shoulder the load and wrap up another championship for Nick Saban.Matt Lombardi Alabama 28, Clemson 10Earlier this week, I wrote about why I believe college football fans should be rooting for Clemson. But I think Alabama prevails. The Crimson Tide will likely dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Deshaun Watson will make a few plays with his legs, but it won’t be enough. Derrick Henry scores three times, leading Alabama to its fourth title in seven years.Dan Lyons Clemson 31, Alabama 28 Picking against Nick Saban and Alabama in a national championship is probably a foolish endeavor, but my gut tells me to go with the Tigers here. Alabama has a stifling, historically-good defense, but even with Jake Coker’s semifinal star turn against Michigan State, he is not a game changing talent at quarterback. Clemson’s defense isn’t Alabama’s, but it is very good, and the Tigers’ offense gives them the more balanced overall roster. And when in doubt, take the team with the best quarterback. Deshaun Watson may be the best that college football has to offer. Cardale Jones, Trevor Knight, and Bo Wallace have shown that you don’t need a Heisman winner at the position to beat the Crimson Tide – you just need a really great performance. Watson is a Heisman-level talent, and on the sport’s biggest stage, he has a chance to prove it.(Ed. note: If Clemson is without Shaq Lawson and Mackensie Alexander, the team’s two best defensive players, I feel far worse about this pick.)Dustin TackettAlabama 31, Clemson 17It’s all about the trenches Monday night, and the Crimson Tide has the edge. Winning the battle at the line of scrimmage is what Alabama does best, opening things up for Heisman Trophy-winner Derrick Henry to take over down the stretch. Beating ‘Bama in the first quarter is possible, but you have to be able to hang for four – and that’s where problems occur. College football begins and ends on the recruiting trail and nobody has done it better than Nick Saban, stockpiling blue chip talent throughout the three-deep depth chart. And why do those recruits continue to choose the Tide? Each Alabama recruiting class under Nick Saban has won a national title during its four years on campus, according to SB Nation’s Bud Elliott. Wow.
ACC. Twitter/@theACCHow can the ACC make itself more attractive for ESPN to launch a full network dedicated to it? More conference games. The ACC and SEC are the two holdouts resisting a nine-game conference schedule, and ACC teams have even less room to move if they add an additional league game. Five teams every year play Notre Dame, while an additional four have longstanding rivalries with SEC foes: Clemson (South Carolina), Florida State (Florida), Georgia Tech (Georgia), and Louisville (Kentucky). For those teams, a nine game schedule would mean that some years, there would only be one available slot for a cupcake game.According to Daily Press writer David Teel, the conference slate expansion is the easiest way, however, for the league to add attractive inventory for ESPN, the only network with which the ACC can contractually launch its own network. This isn’t a new idea either, as the ACC nearly expanded to nine games when it added Pitt and Syracuse back ahead of the 2013 season.Remember the parameters of the nine-game league schedule ACC schools adopted in 2012, only to shelve eight months later? Time to unearth that file.Indeed, nine games are quite possible if, as expected, the ACC and ESPN agree by year’s end to broaden the league’s exposure through traditional (cable) and progressive (online streaming) means.…This would be a hallelujah moment for those of us who believe that playing nearly half of your ACC rivals (six of 13) once, on average, every six years, once every 12 at home, is preposterous.This would be a teeth-gnashing moment for those who believe nine league games would curtail marquee non-conference matchups.But if ACC schools want a channel, in whatever form that may be, and coinciding revenue bump, this is a change they would be wise to make.While scheduling flexibility is an issue, the current conference configuration also makes little sense. Teams in opposite divisions that are not crossover rivals only play every six years, which means a game like Syracuse at Virginia Tech—once a conference rivalry back in the Big East—will only occur once every 12 years. On the football side, it is hard for those two teams, or Miami and Wake Forest, or even two in-state teams like Duke and N.C. State to consider each other “conference mates.” While losing non-conference games hurts in some ways, especially for teams that can use scheduled wins like Syracuse, Virginia, and Wake Forest, if this is the key to getting a network, it is certainly work it. [Daily Press]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:Predicting The Next 5 CFP Fields5 Reasons Jim Harbaugh Is Great For College FootballCollege Football’s 8 “Blue Bloods”
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin thinks that Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek would be the ideal signing for the club during the winter transfer market. Maurizio Sarri’s men have a had a mixed season so far, still in the hunt for three cup compeititons but already out of the Premier League title race. The Blues are currently sitting in fourth and their main issue has been a lack of clinical edge in the final third, with first choice centre-forward Alvaro Morata failing to meet expectations. 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? Olivier Giroud has also struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, which has left Eden Hazard having to shoulder the goalscoring burden for the team this term. AC Milan’s Gonzalo Higuain has been heavily linked with a switch to Chelsea in January , but Nevin believes that Piatek would be a shrewd acquisition for Sarri.”I’m looking at people like Krzysztof Piatek, the Genoa striker,” Nevin told Love Sport Radio .”Everybody wants him! I’ve watched him a bit. He is very good in the air, but technically he’s very good as well!”Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson is also a mooted target for the Blues , after scoring nine goals in 20 games for the Cherries this season and earning an England call-up.However, Nevin is not certain that the 26-year-old is the right fit for Chelsea, as he added: “Maybe [Wilson], it’s a real maybe.“There are certain players who – if you put them certain teams – they’ll get lots and lots of chances. Chelsea, though, have lots and lots of possession, but teams that sit back on them tend not to give them that many chances at the moment, so you almost want somebody who has got the best of both worlds. And there’s very very few of them around. “Callum Wilson would do a certain type of that job. But I’m not 100% sure he’s going to get that many goals, although I’m sure he would do a good enough job.”Sarri’s men return to Premier League action on Saturday at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle, looking to bounce back from their midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Spurs.A week later they will take in a trip to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal, which could prove to be a huge clash in the race for the final Champions League spot.
Marcos Alonso has queried why Callum Hudson-Odoi would want to go to Bayern Munich after seeing Chelsea receive an improved £35 million ($45m) bid for the teenage winger.Goal recently revealed that the Bundesliga giants have stepped up their efforts to land the talented 18-year-old.They have seen him break into the first-team fold at Stamford Bridge this season, but feel more opportunities can be presented to him in Germany. 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? Chelsea, though, are understandably reluctant to part with a prized asset raised within their academy ranks.They believe Hudson-Odoi’s ambition can be matched in west London, with Alonso among the team-mates of the hot prospect urging him to carefully weigh up his options.The Spaniard said of an exciting club colleague: “He is a good player, but he is very young.“He needs to have patience and to be hungry and fight for a place in this team.“That is all he needs to do, he has all the conditions to be a great player, now it is up to him to fight for a place here or try to find more minutes somewhere else.“Bayern Munich? We are Chelsea, another great team and the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world.“I don’t know why someone would go to Bayern Munich.”Hudson-Odoi has only seen 42 minutes of Premier League football this season.He has, however, recorded his first senior goal and an assist in Europa League competition.The flying winger also teed up both of Alvaro Morata’s goals in an FA Cup third round victory over Nottingham Forest last weekend.His next opportunity to shine could come on Saturday as Sarri’s men welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.However, the offer of a fresh start in Munich and the option to inherit Bayern’s No. 10 shirt from former Chelsea star Arjen Robben remains on the table.
Jurgen Klopp is disappointed that Liverpool are only in two competitions at this stage of the season, but he is hopeful the Premier League leaders can use the extra time on the training pitch to their advantage.The Reds bowed out of the Carabao Cup to Chelsea early on and were then beaten by Wolves in the FA Cup on Monday, leaving just the league and the Champions League on the table for the Anfield outfit this term.But Klopp is keen to make the most of a disappointing situation as they look to hold off Manchester City in the title race, although he acknowledges the need to have a fully fit squad. 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? Liverpool made several changes for the clash with Wolves as fatigue and injuries mounted, while Fabinho may feature at centre-back against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday due to a shortage of defensive options.”If you have the full squad together, it’s massive [to have a lighter schedule],” Klopp told a pre-match news conference. “It’s really good. That’s my preferred rhythm.”It’s our situation – it’s not that we decided to go out of the EFL Cup or the FA Cup ourselves or that it’s not important. That’s not how it is.”We had Chelsea at home, which was probably the most difficult game, it was pretty tight and we lost it. Then Wolves was the situation and we had to make changes after the most intense month of the year in December.”If we had played a League Two team [instead of Wolves], maybe the offensive line could have played because the intensity is different and you have the ball most of the time, you can play.”Wolves make the pitch unbelievably big. You have to run. You cannot have the ball all the time. That means you have to understand the expected intensity of the game and you have to make a line-up. That’s what we did and we had a few injuries on top.”I would love to still be in these competitions, but we are not in them. We have to make the best of the time now. I know Pep [Guardiola] said he would prefer to be in four competitions. I would prefer the same.”We have to make the best of the time and get as many points as possible.”He added: “You could do a lot of wrong things if you have a week to train. That’s possible. We have to use the time to be in the best shape we can be.”We have to understand the situation right, understand the job right, understand the challenge right and go for it. That’s our job. Nothing else.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Chelsea full-back Victor Moses is close to completing a loan move to Fenerbahce until the end of the season.Goal understands the Blues had hoped to offload the Nigeria international on a permanent deal during the January transfer window after he fell down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.Moses even turned down the chance to move to China, and now Chelsea have opened the door for him to depart on a temporary deal. 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? His current contract in west London runs until 2021, but he has failed to make an impact under Maurizio Sarri.Moses was a key part of Antonio Conte’s team during Chelsea’s Premier League title win in 2016-17 and remained a regular in the side the following year.He thrived as a right wing-back in Conte’s preferred 3-4-3 system having previously been a bit-part player for the Blues.But with Sarri switching to a 4-3-3 upon his arrival from Napoli over the summer, Moses has been limited to just five appearances in all competitions.He has mostly been deployed as a wide forward, and he will now be looking to reinvigorate his career in Turkey.Fenerbahce are struggling for form themselves this season, and currently sit 15th in the Super Lig table having won just three league matches.They are only two points off the bottom of the table and are in serious danger of suffering relegation from the top-flight.Moses is one of a number of players whom Chelsea are looking to move on during the winter window.Cesc Fabregas has already left for Monaco and the Ligue 1 outfit are hopeful Michy Batshuayi will join him at Stade Louis II, though they are only looking for a loan deal while Chelsea are aiming to sell.Alvaro Morata will also leave after agreeing a move to Atletico Madrid, while Gary Cahill and Danny Drinkwater are also surplus to requirements and likely to be let go should the right offer be made for their services.
Barcelona have signed full-back Emerson in a €12 million (£10m/$14m) transfer from Atletico Mineiro, with the defender set to join the La Liga champions in the summer.The 20-year-old Emerson will join Barca on a five-year contract that runs through the 2023-24 season when he officially links up with the club on July 1.However, prior to his move to Barca, he will head to La Liga for the remainder of the campaign on a half-season loan to Real Betis, the Seville club have announced. 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? Emerson, who turned 20 on January 14, has played one season at Mineiro scoring a goal and adding an assist for the club in 23 appearances, who finished sixth in the top-flight in 2018.Previously, he had played for Brazilian side Ponte Preda, making just three appearances in the league for the club.The right-back has also featured for Brazil at the youth levels and is currently with his nation’s side at the South American U-20 championships, where he has started four of their five games.In the Barca’s statement over the transfer, Emerson was compared to former club star and felow Brazilian Dani Alves.❗️BREAKING NEWS❗️Agreement with Atlético Mineiro for Emerson transfer; he’ll join FC Barcelona on 1 July 2019.All the details 👉 https://t.co/qFFBNmEP9n pic.twitter.com/xJJoG9EJnV— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 31, 2019The move continues a busy January window for the Catalan club, which has seen multiple arrivals and departures.The big transfer saw the Liga champions beat the likes of Manchester City and Paris-Saint Germain to the signing Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong in a €75m move, which, like Emerson, will see the midfielder join the club in the summer rather than in the winter window.However, Barcelona did land Kevin-Prince Boateng from Sassuolo to bolster the club’s depth along the forward line along with Valencia’s Jeison Murillo to do the same along the defence.Both moves are loans but the club have the option to make the deals permanent. In addition, Ernesto Valverde’s side have loaned Denis Suarez to Arsenal and said goodbye to depth striker Munir El Haddadi earlier in the month in a €1m transfer to Sevilla as the player was set to leave the club for free in the summer.