Football would always be a funny business. Claudio Bravo just spent the last few months being taunted by every dick and harry with access to internet data, and all it took for the Chilean to become the most popular man on the internet for the past few hours is three straight penalty saves from the spot kicks of three wimpy Portuguese – with Cristiano Ronaldo waiting to take the final kick that would send them to the final.
In a similar manner a tournament – this time Brazil 2014 – gave him the chance to show the rest of the world of how awesome he can be – except when standing between the sticks in the Etihad – the veteran, after the most testing season of his career reminded everyone following this year’s Confederations Cup of his quality.
He always had it. At Real Sociedad where he played over 200 La Liga games; at Barcelona where he played a bit part role till he got signed by Manchester City on Pep Guardiola’s orders – seriously you don’t get picked by such a coach if you got no special in you.
For some reason that still eludes both Man City, the fans and maybe Bravo himself, the Chilean was every shade of awful at the Etihad as his outings became more of “how many mistakes will he make today?” than the actual role expected of a goal keeper. (more…)
Paris St Germain manager Unai Emery says that he is not bothered by the recent media reports that he could be sacked by the French club after a string of poor form since the start of the campaign.
Emery came to the French capital with a big reputation after having won the Europa League in three successive seasons with one team – Sevilla. His remarkable success with the Spanish outfit in the European competition was really one of the major factors in getting the job at PSG, who have been desperate for European success since new owners came to the club a few years ago.
Even though the club have spent vast sums of money in terms of transfer fees and wages, they have failed to appear in the final of the competition. It has been a very poor record, butEmery was expected to bring success. This has not been the case, as the replacement for Laurent Blanc has struggled since taking over in the summer. (more…)
Stephan Lichtsteiner is set to make his way to the Catalan giant in the next transfer window, with Aleix Vidal poised to take a walk, reports say.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Lichtsteiner will leave Serie A giants Juventus in January or worst in June. The current deal with the Turin-based side is set to lapse this year. Reports say he wanted to leave during the summer for Inter Milan but Juve refused to let their opposition have him. With Barcelona being abroad, a move for the right back is likely.
Aleix Vidal has struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou, and has decided to walk away when the next transfer window presents itself. Lichtsteiner is reportedly his replacement as he is set to exit the Bianconeri. Aside the Catalan giant, Lichtsteiner could join any of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich or Chelsea, as Juve would not want to sell to its competitors.
Lichtsteiner’s position is threatened by the acquisition of Dani Alves this summer. Since his move to Juventus in 2011, he has been a regular in the squad. Last term, he shared play time with Cuadrado. This year, after he was left off the UEFA Champions League squad list, it became apparent that the defender would exit the side. Even if his move to Barcelona was successful, he would be ineligible to play.
Aston Villa manager Roberto di Matteo has stated that he is not afraid to give young players an opportunity in the team.
He believes that if you are good, enough you should be playing in the team irrespective of your age. He said that he has always worked with young players in the past and that there is no shortage of them at Aston Villa.
Roberto di Matteo believes it is possible for Aston Villa to mount a serious promotion push next season and get back to the Premier League. He believes that the longer the team stays in the Championship, the more difficult it will be to get back to the Premier League.
Roberto di Matteo admitted that he needs to find the right balance between youth and experience if Aston Villa is going to make it back to the Premier League. He said that you need not only skills in the Championship to win matches but also experience. He said that the players need to be prepared to fight in every game if they want to win points in the league. He stated that he would love to put the ball down and keep possession in the games but knows that it will be difficult because of the physical nature of Championship football. (more…)
Antonio Conte has revealed that he will conduct an enquiry of the players following a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of world champions Germany.
This result is certainly not good for the Italian national team considering that it comes only a few weeks ahead of the Euro 2016. The regime of Antonio Conte is set to conclude after the tournament and the former Juventus manager will want to go out on a high. He has certainly not enjoyed his time with the national team after openly admitting the same on numerous occasions.
The national team has also not been through a good run of form. After a 1-1 draw with Spain a few days ago, Italy were hoping to win their first game in three. They have not won since the 2-1 victory over Norway in October. The team did achieve the objective of qualifying for the competition as group winners, but they finished only four points ahead of second placed Croatia
. The team has a potentially tough draw at their Euro 2016 with teams like Belgium and Republic of Ireland in the same group along with Sweden. The former have been viewed as underdogs while Sweden will always pose a threat with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the lineup. This is likely to be the last major tournament for the 34-year-old and he will want to go out successfully. (more…)
Nicolas Anelka would not remain in charge of the Indian Super League club Mumbai City FC after the ongoing season which is in its latter stages.
Mumbai is currently at the last position in the ISL points table with 2 matches remaining and they have no chance of qualifying for the knockouts now.
According to Anelka, the target that the franchise had set to him prior to the season was that he had to guide the team to final 4, but, unfortunately, that has not happened and thus, he should not be continuing at his post.
This season was disappointing for Anelka not only from the performance point of view, but, also the fact that he struggled to create a good environment in the Mumbai camp. He himself was involved in spats with quite a few personnel in the coaching staff as well as in the playing group and that too in public.
Speaking after the game against Kerala Blasters, which ended in a draw and ensured Mumbai’s elimination from the tournament, Anelka said, “We had set a goal for ourselves and that was to make the semis. Anything less than that was always going to be a failure and being a manager, the responsibility automatically falls on me. So, for me to return, it’s not likely by the looks of it.” (more…)