West Ham midfielder Obiang content with supporting roleby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham United midfielder Pedro Obiang is content with his current supporting role.The 26-year-old has found it hard to break into Manuel Pellegrini’s starting line-up, with both Declan Rice and Mark Noble thriving in central midfield.”In this sport you have to have 20, 23 players all ready to help the squad,” Obiang toldStandard Sport.”I don’t feel pressure from Mark and Declan, I feel happy! It’s always better when we win than when we lose. I prefer that they keep playing well and make me try to train better and improve.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham boss Pochettino: We’re (sort of) title contendersby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is adamant they’re title contenders after victory at Everton.Tottenham have now won seven of their last eight league games and remarkably have gone 18 games since the start of the season without a draw – their second-best ever start to a top flight campaign. The best-ever was by the double-winning side of 1960-61.Pochettino said: “I still believe Liverpool and Manchester City are the real contenders and favourites to win the Premier League. We are there but (so are) Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.“I think there is still a long way for me to say we are real contenders. In the past years, it wasn’t enough. If you compare the result with the past of Tottenham, yes, we were consistent, but not enough to be a real contender.“Now we are close but we need to be cautious, go step-by-step, game-by-game. We need to be conscious about that, we need to fight a lot, and there is still a long way for work and to be consistent.”
Twitter/Coach KMike Krzyzewski was not happy with his Blue Devils’ Monday night loss to Syracuse at Cameron Indoor Stadium. During his post-game press conference, he referred to the end of the game, which featured a few controversial calls that helped the Orange, as “amazing.” Of course, many fans found comedy in that statement because of Duke’s reputation for getting questionable calls throughout the years. North Carolina’s SportsChannel 8 made a very funny remix of K’s presser, using his quotes over Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak hit “Amazing,” spliced with clips of many, many controversial calls that have helped the Blue Devils over the years. We’re sure ACC fans, especially supporters of the Tar Heels, will appreciate this one.[SportsChannel 8]
Arkansas has been a hard out in the SEC West in recent years, especially when it starts to hit its stride at mid-season. Bret Bielema continues to improve the talent level, and this year, signed his fourth straight class ranked in the Top 30 nationally. This group finished No. 25 overall, and No. 9 in the SEC, per 247Sports. Six members of the class, led by five-star defensive end McTelvin Agim, are blue chip prospects.Here is Arkansas full 20-man recruiting class.Bielema introduced the 20 new players via Twitter.Today is like the New Years Day of College Football. It’s the end of last years recruiting and the start of 2017. #WoooPig Signing Day!— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Let’s officially welcome @deionm72, who enrolled early in January! NSD16#Uncommon pic.twitter.com/EWcgBjS4eV— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) February 3, 2016Also enrolled earlier this spring @So_Splash! NSD16 #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/uRdEnfOLTC— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) February 3, 2016Welcome @Edwards2Dede to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/SJjaOIlSOF— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @devwah_whaley, new member of the Razorback family! #WoooPig #RBU pic.twitter.com/n4bJNKtTgp— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Last_King131, great addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/dnwz5FmEPy— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @jordan10jones, representing his home state as a Razorback! #WoooPig #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/rtSagb4hw8— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Scoooota2, a great young man joining the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/kD7EIprLS2— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @capps_austin44, a great young man representing his home state as a Razorback! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/8iiZSkvbp7— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @graysongunter, new member of the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/Ia0MxMVgpS— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @BGKofiBoateng, joining our family as a Razorback! #WoooPig #UnCommon #TexHogs pic.twitter.com/6bzhp4KMva— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @JAKEHEINRICH1, great new addition to the Razorbacks! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/7ImZvo0hp6— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @_France9, another great addition to the Razorbacks from Louisiana! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/GIvOVGH9ob— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Just_Theron, representing his home state as a Razorback! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/rQxmnKDmPb— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @jonathanmarsh40, new addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon #TexHogs pic.twitter.com/K9I1bL88zu— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Alexy_badger, new addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/qY8ZtQoC3Q— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @ColeKelley10, another new member of our Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/29osrAGItw— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Hayden__johnson, great young man joining the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/ns5ul0A4pz— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @theneptunes_, newest addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/5JPdcZ7eip— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @deemontana11111, newest addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/oXD0tacURS— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @micahhsmith_21, another new addition to the Razorbacks! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/tYKyAJ43mo— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Arkansas opens its season hosting Louisiana Tech on September 3.
Where is Mesut Ozil? That’s the question a lot of Arsenal fans have found themselves asking in the stands, on Twitter and in their own heads when Unai Emery’s starting XI has been revealed in recent weeks.And it’s a legitimate question.The dictionary definition of ‘false dawn’ provides a decent summary of Ozil’s situation. “Something that seems to show that a successful period is beginning or that a situation is improving when it is not.” 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? On the subject of false dawns, Arsenal are pretty familiar with them. Particularly when it comes to Leicester City.Their 2-1 home win against the Foxes in 2016 was supposed to be the springboard for Arsene Wenger’s fourth league title, but the Foxes recovered and ultimately went on to claim that scarcely believable title win. Less dramatically, there’s the Gunners’ 3-1 victory against Leicester in October this season and what seemed to be Ozil’s breakthrough moment under Emery. The German playmaker captained the side, scored Arsenal’s equaliser, pre-assisted the second goal and assisted the third, the latter destined to be the best team goal of the season.And yet here we are, three months on and Ozil seems further away from featuring in the starting XI than ever before.Indeed, Ozil, the fastest player in Premier League history to 50 assists, has barely featured since Emery replaced Wenger. Since that impressive showing against Leicester, he has created just one more goal, in the twilight zone that is a home match against Qarabag.But, his record and reputation aside, why should Ozil be playing? Well, just look at Paul Pogba’s rebirth at Manchester United.Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment, no player has been involved in more Premier League goals than Pogba. There was a time last year when the World Cup winner couldn’t string two passes together. He was ineffective and lacking in confidence. Nowhere near an £80 million ($105m) footballer. But now look at him. His revival is as good a demonstration as any that a player’s ‘form’ is hugely dependent on the system and the demands of the manager within that.Ever since Mourinho left and Solskjaer came in, Pogba’s been given the freedom to get forward and play his own game. His touches in the opposition box per 90 minutes have risen significantly from 3.1 under Mourinho, to 4.4 now. Conversely, Ozil’s figures under Emery (2.8) have declined by about the same amount, when compared to the role he had under Wenger in 2017-18 (4.0). No one is suggesting the Spaniard is curtailing an entire team, but his chosen approach is almost certainly hampering the highest paid player in the club’s history.The signing of that hefty new contract, back in February 2018, was an extremely unusual move for a club who used to recoil at the thought of even offering players approaching 30 a new deal. Their German playmaker turns 31 in October this year. The departure of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United a week earlier was probably one of the factors behind Ozil’s bumper deal and is certainly one of the reasons why Aaron Ramsey will be leaving the club in 2019.Incidentally, all three feature in the top six of the most creative Premier League players this season who have played less than 1000 minutes, with Ramsey, Ozil and Alexis in first, second and sixth respectively for chances created in open play. Player Open play chances created Mins played (2018-19) Ramsey 19 885 Ozil 18 980 Vietto 18 766 Armstrong 17 966 Success 17 858 Alexis 17 505 Arsenal fans can argue about which of the three would have been the best to retain at the club but the reality is that only Ozil is signed up, and his relationship with Emery seems challenging to say the least. Ozil’s stuck with Emery and Emery’s stuck with Ozil, at least until the summer. They may as well make it worth their while.The truth is, Ozil’s ability to play well and not get credit is almost unparalleled. Unfairly attacked by Bayern president Uli Hoeness after the World Cup for not winning tackles – Ozil’s rate of 5.5 chances created per 90 minutes in Russia was better than any other player in the entire tournament.The sad fate of the creative midfielder who plays with team-mates who squander the opportunities he creates is that he’ll be criticised for ‘not doing enough’. The assists aren’t there so he’s not either. No one epitomises this more than Arsenal’s No.10.As well as Ramsey played in the win over Chelsea, he’s not going to be in north London come the summer. Carry on like this and Ozil probably won’t either.It’s time Emery gave his most creative talent more of a chance, and in the role where he thrives most – behind the central striker. It worked for Pogba, it might just work here too.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas insists he is happy to sanction Memphis Depay’s summer departure after the attacker expressed his desire to leave for one of Europe’s top clubs.The 24-year-old has played a vital role for the Ligue 1 giants since his transfer from Manchester United back in January 2017, scoring 33 goals in 93 appearances across all competitions.Depay has successfully bounced back from his ill-fated two-year spell at Old Trafford , which saw him branded as a major flop after failing to establish himself in the first team under Jose Mourinho. 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? The mercurial winger revealed earlier in the week that he still hopes to earn a second chance at the highest level in the near future, admitting he would like to play for the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain .Aulas reacted to Depay’s comments on social media, stating that a summer transfer for the former United man would ‘suit him well’.”Memphis Depay would like to leave Lyon this summer,” he began. “He comes from MU (Manchester United) to progress to OL. He became a very good European player. He wants to go even higher, in the top 4 and it suits me well.”Memphis Depay (OL) souhaiterait quitter Lyon cet été – L’Équipe @OL @lequipe Memphis vient d MU pour progresser à l’OL il est devenu 1 des très bons joueurs Européens:qu’il veuille aller encore + haut ds le top 4 cela me va bien https://t.co/8OLIxbx1ly — Jean-Michel AULAS (@JM_Aulas) January 29, 2019 Manchester United were linked with re-signing Depay last year when it emerged that the club inserted a buy-back clause in his Lyon contract .The Netherlands international has not been distracted by rumours or dreams of a transfer this term, however, producing some of his best form to help the French giants reach the Champions League knockout phase.Depay has managed to contribute six goals and nine assists across all competitions for Lyon this season, with the club currently occupying third place in Ligue 1.No concrete offers have been tabled for the Dutchman during the current transfer window, with just two days left before the market closes until the summer.Lyon are back in action this Sunday in the French top flight, with a huge top-of-the-table clash against PSG at home to negotiate.
FIFA 20 is just a couple of months away from release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, but what has changed compared to FIFA 19?Goal spoke to FIFA producer Sam Rivera at a preview event in Germany and he outlined 10 notable differences on FIFA 20 compared to last year’s game.1. More one-on-onesRivera sees one-on-ones as a key area where player skill makes a difference, as well as being one of the most interesting elements to a match. 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? However, to do this he and his team recognise that players need time to make these decisions and, to help with that, the power of AI defending has been reduced, meaning there’s less chance of the AI crowding you out before you can make your mind up on where you want to go next.2. Skill moves will be more importantBetter get practicing those skill moves as, with more one-on-ones, players will need more tricks up their sleeves to beat the player in front of them and one of the best ways to do so is skill moves.While fake shots and the new straight dribbling mechanic play their part, everyone knows that skill moves are the most fun way to win a one-on-one.Also, with the introduction of the Volta street football mode in FIFA 20, players will have more chances to practise their favourite flicks and tricks. 3. FIFA 20 will be more realisticRivera commented that it’s still possible to notice the difference between FIFA 19 and real life, and that this was mostly down to the gameplay being too hectic as players keep changing their mind on where they want to run and, when they do, they can go crashing into other players.One way that is changing for FIFA 20 is through changes to the positioning and locomotion system which results in players making smarter decisions about where they’re going and why, resulting in a more natural motion as they’re not constantly changing their mind on the best route to take.4. Fewer outside the box screamersDue to changes to the fundamentals of shooting in FIFA 20 it will be harder to score from outside the box than in FIFA 19 as long-range shots will have less chance of going in.The same applies to ‘el tornado’ which should please a lot of fans who were sick of being beaten by unrealistic strikes, even if they do look good on highlight reels.5. Neymar inspired dribblingInspired by videos of the likes of Neymar, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, players in FIFA 20 will be able to dribble left and right by holding down the right bumper button and moving the left stick, as they roll the ball with their foot while remaining upright as they look for an opportunity to run by the defender.The technique will be of most use to avoid tackles and lure players in so players can create space.6. Set-up shootingPlayers in FIFA 20 will be able to set the ball where they want to strike it, reducing shot error.To perform the move players will need time on the ball, which they can make through beating players with straight dribbling and should be helped by the reduction in AI defending.The set-up touch itself can also be used to beat players and it’s possible to cancel out of the move, fooling the opponent and creating space as a result.7. Defenders aren’t being forgottenWith the changes being made to the attacking game and reduction of AI defending, defenders will need a few more tricks up their sleeves and this comes from Composed Dribbling.Similar to the Active Touch system in FIFA 19, players will now make better decisions when they go into tackles, which is helped by the AI being able to choose from more, and better, tackle animations.Jockeying has been improved with more assistance and improved responsiveness. In FIFA 19 it was common that a player would go into a tackle from a jockey and maintain the same speed, even if they’ve overshot the tackle. In FIFA 20, the player will notice they’ve missed and will slow down.8. Big changes to penalties and free-kicksThe aiming system for free-kicks will be simpler in FIFA 20, but still have the depth for those wanting to do something special.First, players will be able to aim their free-kicks with a target. Once the position is decided, players can use the same system to determine the spin on the ball by using the right stick – it’s like you’re drawing the desired path of the ball with the right stick.A similar system can be found in FIFA 20’s penalties system. Once you’ve chosen the position of your penalty you choose the power, with the strength of shot increasing the chance of error. To reduce error, players need to press the shot button a second time as the player strikes the ball, just as they would when using the timed finishing mechanic in the main game.Oh yeah, timed finishing is still in FIFA 20.9. Bouncy ballsEven on the smoothest pitches, a football bounces and bobbles around.But, when playing FIFA 19, it looked like ball glided along the turf. In FIFA 20 the ball will bounce around more on the pitch and when it collides with a player, making a player’s first touch more important than before. In our time with the game, the change here was noticeable.10. Dribbling and strength to play a bigger roleIt was a common complaint with FIFA 19 that slow defenders found it too easy to catch up with pacey strikers. This is being rectified for FIFA 20 with the dribbling statistic playing a bigger role in a player’s ability to run by defenders.Also, a player’s own skill will come into play, as knock-ons will be a more effective way to beat a defender but require more skill than simply trying to run by a defender with pace.Although little information was given at the preview event, steps are being made to make physically strong players like Harry Kane and Edinson Cavani, who were rarely seen in Ultimate Team due to their low pace ratings, more effective by increasing the importance of the strength and physicality stats.
Mauricio Pochettino does not know if Tottenham have made a bid to sign their former player Gareth Bale from Real Madrid.Zinedine Zidane revealed on Sunday that Madrid are working on selling the Wales international after omitting him from the squad that lost to Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup (ICC) on Saturday.Zidane seemed to indicate the club were in negotiations with a particular club, saying: “We are working on his transfer to a new team.” 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? Newspaper reports on Sunday have suggested that Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a swap deal involving Neymar, while Pochettino – speaking after his side’s 3-2 ICC win over Juventus – refused to rule out if his chairman Daniel Levy has tabled an offer for the 30-year-old.”I saw the reports in the media but I don’t know which club is trying to sign him,” he told reporters.”I don’t have any information from my chairman; I don’t know if it’s us or another club. It’s the job of my chairman.”Harry Kane struck a sensational stoppage-time winner from the halfway line as Pochettino’s side opened up their pre-season campaign with a win over Juve in Singapore.Whether any deal for Bale is in the pipeline or not, Spurs fans were treated to a fine assist from their marquee summer signing Tanguy Ndombele, who came off the bench. He intercepted a loose ball high up the pitch before playing through a fine pass for Lucas Moura to slam a shot into the net.Tottenham face Real Madrid in a week’s time – though Bale is clearly unlikely to feature – with games against Manchester United and Inter Milan making up the rest of their pre-season schedule.They get their new Premier League campaign underway with a home fixture against newly-promoted Aston Villa, who themselves have been extremely busy in the transfer window so far.By contrast, Ndombele is the only signing Spurs have made who is likely to play in that fixture, with winger Jack Clarke immediately loaned back to Leeds United following his move.Right-back Kieran Trippier has been sold to Atletico Madrid while left-back Danny Rose is also expected to leave the club in the coming weeks.
What do you do when you sign the richest contract in NFL history for an offensive lineman? Well, if you’re Taylor Lewan you get dressed up.Lewan didn’t just show up at his press conference dressed in formal wear. He came in costume.Lewan wore an all-white suit and top hat with brown shoes. He was going for the look of Boss Hogg of the famous TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.”You can see photographic evidence of Lewan’s sartorial splendor below.The Boss Hogg has arrived. @TaylorLewan77 pic.twitter.com/NAKel9XMRW— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) July 27, 2018With new deal, @TaylorLewan77 comes out with Boss Hogg suit and hat and his line mates. Suit finished couple days before camp opened. He came out to Dukes of Hazard theme song. #Titans pic.twitter.com/jYKAxSOor5— Teresa Walker (@TeresaMWalker) July 27, 2018I guess this sort of fits? “The Dukes of Hazzard” was set in the South–Georgia, not Tennessee–and Lewan is an offensive lineman, which are sometimes referred to as “hogs” or “hog mollies.”Perhaps I’m just reading way too much into this though.Anyway, however much that suit cost him, Lewan should have no problem covering the price. His new contract is worth $80 million over five years.