Chelsea ace Hazard: World Cup changed way people regarded meby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea ace Eden Hazard admits he feels his excellent work with Belgium at the World Cup has set him up for this season.Hazard says he is delighted with his current form.He told chelseafc.com: “Personally I feel like I went on to another level because of the World Cup,’ he adds of the tournament in which his country came third and he won the Silver Ball.”I think before the World Cup people thought I was a good player, but after the World Cup they were saying I was one of the best players in the world. That’s the level I want to reach and stay at. I think since the beginning of the season I have done pretty well.”I know I play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I can improve a lot in the future I think. I need to score more goals; we need to win more trophies. I won already a lot with Chelsea, but when you play for Chelsea you want big trophies like the Champions League, and to reach finals.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo: Wolves have treated me phenomenallyby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo is enjoying his loan with Wolves.Vallejo is delighted with the way he’s been treated in the first months of his deal.He told AS: “Since the first day I have been treated phenomenally. I am very comfortable with the team, the coach and the way we play.”I wanted to live this experience. I spoke with Jony and Adama and Real Madrid strongly recommended me to come here. They told me that I would continue to progress. And of course the Wolves bet influenced. Nuno called me and told me about the project. “It was the club that bet most on me.”I have relied heavily on Jony, Adama, Raúl Jiménez … Here we are like a family because we spend a lot of time together in the sports city, we eat together … It shows.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Emery adamant Arsenal will be title challengerby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveUnai Emery is adamant his Arsenal can be a title challenger.Victory over Sheffield United at at Bramall Lane on Monday night would take Arsenal up to third, despite their poor start to the season. “We can be better in the table, we can play better each match,” Emery said.”I am very happy with the club. I am really happy with the players. “The last two, three, four weeks, every player — and Mesut Ozil — are working very well. We can be positive and can think we are going to do something important this year.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Harry Kane became the first Tottenham player to score at least 20 in five straight seasons with his penalty finish against Chelsea on Tuesday.Kane scored in the first half of Spurs’ Carabao Cup semi-final with Chelsea, calmly slotting home from the penalty spot after being felled by Kepa Arrizabalaga inside the box.Kane was originally flagged offside, but after a check by VAR the forward was deemed onside and Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. 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? With the goal, Kane notched his 20th goal of the season, marking the fifth straight campaign where he’s hit that mark.The run began with his 31-goal campaign in 2014-15, which he then followed up on with a 28-goal season one year later.Kane then fired 28 goals the next season before last campaign brought his best total yet as the Spurs forward fired 41 goals for Spurs in 48 games in 2017-18.160 – Harry Kane is now the outright fourth highest goalscorer for Tottenham Hotspur. Climbing. pic.twitter.com/Ri9nAnporn — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 8, 2019 In addition, Kane’s finish saw him become the fourth top goalscorer in Tottenham history with 160 goals.The 25-year-old forward trails only Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith and Martin Chivers, who scored 266, 208 and 174 goals in their careers, respectively.Tuesday’s goal marked the sixth consecutive match in which Kane has found the back of the net; the second time in his career he has scored in that many matches in a row. Prior to Tuesday’s finish against the Blues, Kane scored in matches against Tranmere, Cardiff, Wolves, Bournemouth and Everton.
Tottenham are still fighting on four fronts at the beginning of 2019 and the games are piling up as they compete for glory.Mauricio Pochettino’s men are challenging for the Premier League title, the FA Cup and are in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, with Champions League last 16 action against Borussia Dortmund to come in February.After a busy festive schedule, there is no let up for Spurs, but their task has been made somewhat more difficult due to the fact that one of their best players, Heung-min Son, will be unavailable for a number of weeks. 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 forward, who already missed a number of games in August due to his participation in the 2018 Asian Games, has been selected by South Korea for the 2019 Asian Cup, meaning he could potentially miss five games in what is a crucial period of Pochettino’s charges.How many games Son will miss exactly depends entirely on how well South Korea fare at the continental tournament, which concludes on February 1.He missed his country’s first match against the Philippines as he helped Spurs to a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, but he will be available for their upcoming bout with China, which takes place on January 16.So which Spurs games could he miss?Games Son will miss for Tottenham Date Game Competition Jan 20 Fulham vs Tottenham Premier League Jan 24 Chelsea vs Tottenham* Carabao Cup Jan 26 Crystal Palace vs Tottenham* FA Cup Jan 30 Tottenham vs Watford* Premier League Feb 2 Tottenham vs Newcastle* Premier League *Depending on how South Korea performSpurs fans will be glad to learn that Son will be available for the crunch clash against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s resurgent Manchester United at Wembley on January 13.”It’s not easy for me to leave the team at this important time,” Son told Sky Sports. “I feel very sad and sorry but I want to win this game [against United] and go with confidence to Dubai.”South Korea have qualified from Group C and progress to the knockout stage of the Asian Cup, meaning he will miss the Premier League game against Fulham on January 20.Should they reach the quarter-final, the 26-year-old will be absent for the decisive second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea and, most likely, the FA Cup fourth-round tie with Crystal Palace.A place in the semi-final of the Asian Cup for South Korea will keep Son out of Spurs’ league game at home to Watford and reaching the final will rule the forward out of the Premier League encounter with Newcastle United.In the worst possible scenario from a Spurs perspective, Son will be back for the Premier League game against Leicester City on February 10.What other players are at the Asian Cup?Son is not the only high profile star who will be competing at the Asian Cup and thus potentially missing a sizeable period of club football.Newcastle United will be without Ki Sung-yeung, who is also in the South Korea squad, and Yoshinori Muto, who has been called up by Japan.Brighton have to make do without their first-choice goalkeeper Mat Ryan, who is representing Australia and they will also be unable to call upon Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who is playing for Iran.PSV duo Trent Sainsbury and Aziz Behich are also in the Australia squad, as is Celtic star Tom Rogic. Southampton must make do without Japan captain Maya Yoshida.
Atlanta United has signed forward Josef Martinez to a five-year contract extension that will last through the 2023 season.Martinez is coming off a banner 2018 season that saw him set the all-time single-season MLS scoring record with 31 goals, and then lead Atlanta to an MLS Cup championship. The Venezuela international won the league’s regular season MVP award for his record-breaking campaign. 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 25-year-old was then named MLS Cup MVP after notching a goal and an assist in his side’s 2-0 win over Portland in the league’s title game last month. “Josef is an exciting, dynamic player and has proven himself to be one of the best in MLS over the past two seasons,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said in a club release.“In addition to breaking the league’s scoring record, his work ethic and determination were rewarded by being named league MVP, and most importantly, MLS Cup champion with his teammates.”We’re excited to secure Josef’s long-term future in Atlanta and we look forward to celebrating many more accomplishments together.” In two MLS seasons since joining Atlanta from Serie A side Torino, Martinez has scored 50 goals in 54 games played, and has already set the league record for most career hat-tricks with six. “This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said.“They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had.”I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”
Duvan Zapata’s late header saw Colombia edge Qatar 1-0 to book their spot in the Copa America quarter-finals on Wednesday.Zapata’s 86th-minute goal was enough for Carlos Queiroz’s men in the Group B encounter after they had struggled to consistently threaten a well-organised Qatar side.Radamel Falcao started on the bench and James Rodriguez’s impact was limited, at least until the latter set up the winner with a sublime pass. 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? Zapata met James’ wonderful pass and headed into the far corner to move Colombia onto six points, while Qatar were left on one.Colombia had a sixth-minute header by Yerry Mina correctly ruled out for offside against Roger Martinez.90’ FULL MATCH 1-0A header from Duván Zapata gave Colombia their second victory at the @CONMEBOL #CopaAmerica— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 19, 2019However, they should have gone ahead in the 13th minute, only for James to steer a header wide after a great Martinez cross from the right.Colombia controlled possession – they had 68 per cent in the first half – but struggled to penetrate Qatar’s defence.The lively Juan Cuadrado forced a comfortable save from Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb from distance, while Stefan Medina sliced an effort into the side-netting.Colombia thought they had a penalty for a handball by Abdulaziz Hatem to begin the second half, but the decision was reversed after a VAR review.Set-pieces continued to look like Colombia’s most likely avenue to a goal as Mina headed a corner wide in the 56th minute.Martinez squandered one of his side’s best chances just after the hour-mark, cutting inside after a good pass from James but shooting low and straight at Al Sheeb.Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina was tested twice before Al Sheeb made another fine stop to deny Martinez.But Queiroz’s men would find their goal, James’ wonderfully chipped pass met by Zapata for the match-winner before the latter missed a glorious chance to complete his brace. What does it mean? Colombia do enoughColombia have now made it out of the group stage at the past four editions of the tournament. Despite that, there is plenty of room for improvement going forward.Colombia need Falcao to fireAfter a subdued performance against Argentina, Falcao was left on the bench to start the encounter against Qatar. Colombia struggled to have an impact in the attacking third before Zapata’s second goal of the tournament. Falcao’s last international goal not from the penalty spot came in October last year and the nation’s all-time top scorer must step up.Qatar continue to show good signsThe guests and 2022 World Cup hosts came from behind to draw with Paraguay in their opener and this time they almost denied Colombia. Qatar were well-organised and looked threatening on the break at times during the second half, almost doing enough to earn another point.Key Opta Facts:- Colombia won their first two games at back-to-back Copa America tournaments for the first time since 2004.- They have won 11 of their 13 Copa America meetings with non-CONMEBOL nations.- Ospina has kept eight clean sheets in 11 Copa America games, the joint most for the country with Pedro Antonio Zape.- James created seven chances against Qatar, the most by a Colombia player in a single game in the past four Copa America tournaments.- Zapata’s two goals at the Copa have both come in the 86th minute.What’s next?The teams complete their group-stage campaigns on Sunday, with Colombia meeting Paraguay and Qatar taking on Argentina. read more
Takefusa Kubo is looking to make his mark at Real Madrid, but claims to know nothing of a transfer for Gareth Bale that could open a door for him.Speculation regarding the future of a Wales international forward has raged all summer.A switch to China for Bale is now being mooted, with the 30-year-old having previously been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League or a loan move to German giants Bayern Munich. 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? Were he to leave Santiago Bernabeu, then Kubo could be fast-tracked towards a first-team stage.An 18-year-old forward who has been dubbed ‘the Japanese Messi’ has figured for Real in pre-season, but claims to be unaware of any deals going on around him.Quizzed after an outing against Bayern as to whether Bale has said goodbye to his team-mates, Kubo told reporters: “No, because he is here with us.”I don’t know what’s happening. I’m not the guy to have an opinion about this.”I just know that Bale is a great player.”For now, Kubo is focused on his own game.Having previously spent time in the famed La Masia academy system at Barcelona, there is now much attention being given to his return to Europe in Madrid.Kubo admits the focus on him is doing his cause few favours, adding: “I know what’s happening in my country.”People are a bit…”There is a lot of focus placed on me, and I don’t really like that. I do my thinking on the pitch.”Kubo made his bow for the Blancos against Bayern, but was unable to prevent Zinedine Zidane’s said from slipping to a 3-1 defeat in the International Champions Cup.”I’m very happy about my debut with Real Madrid, even though we lost and even though I always hate to lose,” he said.”My plan is to help the team as much as possible.”On the instructions he had been given by Zidane prior to entering the fray at half-time, Kubo added: “It was about pressing and playing quickly with one or two touches.”I feel comfortable in whatever zone they place me.”
EUGENE, OR – NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. #3 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates with wide receiver Bralon Addison #2 of the Oregon Ducks after Addison scored a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Autzen Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)Could an unexpected round of conference realignment be coming? The theme of this week on the college football corner of the internet has been the Pac-12’s impending doom. Well, that may be an overstatement, but CBS Sports‘ Dennis Dodd put out a column this week outlining the league’s struggles, both on the playing field and in the schools’ wallets. Some coaches and administrators are pretty open about not being happy with how things are going.When the ‘Power Five’ era began, after the Big East football league was poached and rolled into the AAC, the ACC looked like the most vulnerable league. Syracuse and Pitt didn’t really move the needle for football, and Florida State was good, but the league didn’t seem to stack up overall. The Big Ten was also able to pick off an ACC member, taking Maryland into the fold. However, the ACC’s fortunes quickly changed.Florida State captured the final BCS national championship, and made the College Football Playoff the following year. On the field, Louisville has been more than an ample replacement for the Terps. Clemson has been a mainstay in the playoff, and captured a national title in 2016. That year, it was hard to argue against the ACC having the best year in college football, top to bottom.After that, the Big 12 took the mantle as the most vulnerable league. The Big Ten took Nebraska, and Colorado left for the Pac-12, knocking the ’12’ down to 10 teams. Over the last few years, the league has considered expansion, only to hold serve at 10 schools. Oklahoma has been the saving grace for the Big 12, making two runs to the College Football Playoff, and erasing some of the concerns about the conference’s potential, with both Baylor and TCU being left out in the cold back in 2014.Now, it is the Pac-12’s turn to be the focus of our concern. One writer has even supposed that the league could be poached whenever conference realignment rears its ugly head again.David Ubben of The Athletic says that the Big 12 should start “cuddling up” to Arizona and Arizona State. The two schools are longtime members of the Pac-12 and its previous iterations, but if the financial situation for the league doesn’t change, it isn’t crazy to think that the Big 12 could look to make a move in conference realignment to expand if it means adding some big name programs.Big 12 would be wise to begin cuddling up to Arizona, Arizona State with expansion in mind before leagues begin negotiating their new TV deals. The fissures in the Pac-12 have never been wider. https://t.co/O8vMdnx5Io— David Ubben (@davidubben) May 15, 2018ASU athletic director Ray Anderson was one of those quoted in Dodd’s piece:“The gap between us and the other [leagues] continues to grow,” he said. “We’ll be competitively disadvantaged even moreso. … That’s real money in terms of being able to compete, support facilities, support coaches and support programs.”It is a complete hypothetical, but we’ve seen schools pop up and change conferences out of nowhere before. On the very off-chance that the Pac-12 was to break up in a new round of conference realignment, I have a pretty good idea of where those schools may end up.Big 12: (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Arizona: One of the two programs that Ubben named. Obviously, he is just spit-balling, as we are, but the Arizona schools make the most sense for the Big 12, outside of the schools that were already once in that league.The Wildcats would add a prominent basketball program to the Big 12’s ranks, and a football program that could get back on the upswing quickly. Kevin Sumlin flamed out at Texas A&M, but he has worked in Big 12 country before, as the head coach of one-time conference realignment candidate Houston. Arizona is also not that far removed from a New Year’s Six berth, and has shown that it will do what it takes to be competitive.Arizona State: Of course, the Wildcats would not be going without the Sun Devils. Basketball aside, ASU has a similar profile to its in-state rival, and the Sun Devils even flirted with the top of the hoops rankings early in the 2017-18 season.President Michael Crow is cited by Dodd as an ally of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, but AD Anderson is clearly not content with the Pac-12 monetary situation. Now, the Big 12 doesn’t have a great answer for a linear network either, as Texas and the Longhorn Network dominate the situation, but adding some schools could push the Big 12 to make some changes in that department. Either way, it is hard for any solution not to be better than what the Pac-12 Network isdelivering right now.Colorado: Who says you can’t go home? The move to the Pac-12 is probably not the reason, but Colorado definitely had better days on the football field back when it was playing Big 12 football. The Buffaloes were a legitimate national contender in the early 1990s. The down slide started before conference realignment, but the only winning season the Buffs have had since the move is the surprising 10-4 2016 season.Outside of a total break-up, I don’t see Colorado looking to move back to the Big 12. However, in the event that the Pac-12 splits, it is definitely the most logical choice.Utah: The Utes are also one of the teams that moved in the last major round of conference realignment. The Utes got the call up from what is now called the Group of Five, jumping from the Mountain West.Utah is a pretty consistent contender in both football and men’s basketball. It would also make for a logical travel partner for Colorado, similar to how Arizona and Arizona State would work well together in the event of a shift.Next: Big Ten >>> Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
COLLEGE STATION, TX – OCTOBER 08: The Texas A&M Aggies walk out to the field prior to the start of their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Kyle Field on October 8, 2016 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)One of the top offensive lineman recruits in the country has made his college decision. He’s headed to the SEC.Kenyon Green, a five-star offensive tackle out of Texas, announced on Twitter late on Saturday that he’s committed to Texas A&M. He chose the Aggies over Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan and several other programs.The top lineman had a simple message.“I’M HOME,” he wrote.I’M HOME ?? #Gigemgang19 pic.twitter.com/RMcGHtFF8x— BIG KEN ™ (@K_Green_01) June 2, 2018Green is a 6-foot-4, 317-pound offensive tackle. He’s ranked the No. 4 offensive tackle and No. 15 overall recruit in the 2019 class by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.The offensive lineman is a Humble, Texas native. He’s ranked the No. 1 recruit in the state of Texas.Green is Texas A&M’s 13th commit in the 2019 class. The Aggies’ class is ranked the No. 2 class in the country.You can view Jimbo Fisher’s full 2019 crop of recruits here.