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The sacking of Ronald Koeman and struggles of Everton

Everton have gone from finishing 7th in the English Premier League to falling into the relegation zone. With their head coach Ronald Koeman sacked on October 23 after losing 5-2 against Arsenal, they will struggke to make it into the top half of the table again this year.

Rumours and reports are being spread around in relation to which manager is going to be selected as the new coach of Everton. Sean Dyche and Sam Allardyce are some of the favorites of taking up the hot seat. Other names that have been popping up but aren’t considered to be as favorites includes the former manager of Borussia Dortmund Thomas Tuchel and the more well-known Carlo Ancelotti. Continue Reading

Baines confident over Everton turnaround

Everton defender Leighton Baines is confident that the Toffees can overturn their poor run of form in the upcoming set of fixtures. The Merseyside outfit are currently placed just above the drop in 16th spot, but Baines believes his side have the experience to recover from their early stumble.

Speaking on the club’s official website, the England international insisted that his side could still have a good season as they have the right players and manager to turn things around, he said: “There are always times in a season when you have a sticky patch. We had one last year – we started well but then we could not win for a while. I think the season overall was still viewed as a good season. And there is still so much football to play, there is no reason why this cannot be a good season. We are a good side, we have a good manager. All of the players will have been through this type of thing many times before in different periods of their careers and under different managers.” Continue Reading

Who to Watch at Russia 2018

All the group stages qualifying matches for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup have concluded and some national sides have managed to earn their ticket for the approaching competition while others have not been able to gain enough points to actually qualify and compete at the approaching international competition. Fans who regularly watch the Netherlands matches on https://www.voetballivestream.tv will be disappointed to see that their side is the highest-ranked team NOT going to Russia, leaving players such as Arjen Robben thinking about their international future.

The adventure and challenge of actually qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World has been an extremely difficult one for certain players but for others it has been an easy ride. Whilst Brazil qualified way back in March, fans of the European Finalists Italy had a few frustrating nights watching their national side play on socagol, with the team losing to Spain, and now set for a tricky play-off tie against Sweden to get through to the World Cup.

The big players are already on the plane there though… Continue Reading

Toure Believes in City

Yaya Toure is excited about the new season and believes that he can be useful for the team. Indeed there was a time last season where he was frozen by Pep Guardiola, and he has since they make a wonderful comeback, with his performances was good that he was given a new contract with Manchester City, when it looked at one point that he’d never play again!

Yaya Toure said that he is excited to be part of the team and that he believes that the team can challenge for the title next season. He said that it has been a learning season for Pep Guardiola last campaign and that he believes that this time he will be able to help the team challenge for the title. Continue Reading

Manchester City: Struggling but on the Verge of European Success?

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City honeymoon has been over for quite some time. The Blues won their first ten matches in all competitions under the Spaniard but City have struggled to inspire confidence throughout the majority of the season. In fact, Guardiola’s men have won just one of their last four top-flight fixtures and the title is slowly but surely slipping out of reach.

City have slipped out of the top four in recent weeks and it would be fair to state that all is NOT fine and dandy at the Etihad Stadium. Guardiola is under intense pressure to deliver unprecedented levels of success and the Pep project hasn’t worked just yet. City’s usually aggressive offence have been profligate in front of goal – netting 43 times this season; only the fifth-highest tally in the division. Continue Reading

Gerrard welcome at Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stated that Steven Gerrard will always be welcome at Anfield now and in the future. He said that a player of his reputation is an incredible asset for a team like Liverpool and that he will always be a hero in Liverpool.

The former Liverpool manager who is currently playing with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy has always stated that he wants to return to Liverpool at the end of his career. The player whose contract will expire at the end of the season has yet to decide on what he wants to do next.

Jurgen Klopp said that there would be no problem if the midfielder wants to return to the club and he will think of a possible job to give him. He stated that he has a good relationship with Gerrard and that it will be a great thing for the club to have him back at Anfield. Continue Reading

Who Will be Euro 2016 Top Goalscorer?

As we approach the last 8 of this year’s European Championships, a number of players remain in with a chance of landing the Golden Boot. So who are the men most likely to finish as the tournament’s top goal scorer?

The outsiders

Arkadiusz Milik
A player that like his countryman Roberto Lewandowski, could be a household name post-Euro 2016. Milik opened up his account with the opening goal against Northern Ireland, and showcased why it will be him – and not Lewandowski – who will score the goals for his country. The Bayern Munich striker played more of a reduced role, creating space and offering up the running for Milik to centre stage. Milik showed his instincts in and around the area meanwhile, just like he did for Ajax this past season where he scored 24 goals in 42 games last term. His total for the Dutch side is now 47 in just 75 games both domestically and in European competition – an outstanding scoring rate for a player adept with both his feet and head. With games to come against a shaky German backline – who Milik already breached during qualifying – and a weak Ukraine there could be more goals to come from one of Europe’s most sought after strikers.

Graziano Pellè
The Southampton striker’s inclusion in the Italy squad was to the dismay of many back in his native country, but he could be set to play a key role for Antonio Conte’s team. Pellè is the man positioned to lead Italy’s attacking line, and with Conte’s men setup to counter and be clinical, it will be down to the 30-year-old to take those chances. He’s shown at Southampton he’s capable of it, just like he did prior in Holland. What’s more, if this is a low scoring tournament he could be someone to take advantage by scoring key, timely goals and sneaking above bigger names in the competition. His physicality, and tendency to get on the end of crosses, makes him a real threat. He also showed against Belgium he remains aware throughout the game, as he buried a chance that came his way with a superb volley at the death.

The obvious choices

Thomas Muller
When it comes to the big stage, few gobble it up more than Thomas Muller. With one Golden Boot from a World Cup to his name, and a Silver one for good measure, the German must now turn his attention to the smaller matter of the European Championship. It will surely be only a matter of time before the Bayern Munich man is off the mark, and as the true striker in the German squad opportunities will come his way to lead the line. More so, he is backed by an outstanding creative cast lead by none other than the assist king himself, Mesut Ozil. A haul of 20 goals in the Bundesliga this term shows he’s still fierce in attack, and it will be no surprise should he continue his incredible exploits for Germany.

Olivier Giroud
Like Thomas Muller, the French striker is backed by a brilliant supporting cast of creative players. If Antoine Griezmann or Paul Pogba doesn’t have a good day, Dimitri Payet will be waiting in the wings to supply the Arsenal man. Giroud’s capable of scoring in a variety of manners but he’s best when prowling in the area, looking to get on the end of a cross or ready to pounce on a loose ball in the box. He may not be entirely convincing as a striker but Giroud has an incredible knack of bagging goals as and when required. While Karim Benzema sits at home, it will be Giroud who leads the French line on home turf.

Cristiano Ronaldo
It’s time for Cristiano Ronaldo to finally deliver on the International stage, and backed by perhaps the best Portugal team he’s played with, there may be no better time. After his penalty heroics for Real Madrid in the Champions League final, Cristiano now turns his attention to Euro 2016. The hunger and drive in Cristiano is always there, but now he seems hell-bent more than ever on delivering success for Portugal. He will be leading the line given his formation into a striker of sorts, and also the lack of out and out forward players the Portuguese possess. Expect Cristiano to hunt chances down in the penalty area and look to latch onto crosses, and look for him to still pick up the ball in that trademark wide berth and drive infield.

Bilic expects contract extension

Slaven Bilic is the head coach of West Ham United, having taken charge of the Premier League club on June 9 of 2015, and he already wants a contract extension!

The Croatian manager has done a superb job as he has guided West Ham United to 19 victories, 16 draws and 10 defeats which has positioned the club to the top 8 spots of the English League and they even have a realistic chance of securing a Europa League spot which can allow the team to compete in the Europa League competition for the next season.

West Ham United also managed to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup which is also fairly impressive, although they were eliminated from the English competition after losing against Crystal Palace but nonetheless, it still has been a fairly memorable opening campaign for Slaven Bilic who has a contract with the Premier League club until 2018 but is already being rumored on extending his deal even further.

The 47 year old coach is rumoured to be rewarded for his impressive debut season with a new deal and according to the Club join-chairman David Sullivan stated that Slaven Billic will indeed have a contract renewal on January of 2017.

The new contract will apparently feature a new clause that will stop Slaven Bilic from having any involvement with the various commercal websites he currently manages, including the Pokies Palace guide to finding the best pokies, with Sullivan wanting him to give West Ham his full concentration.

David Sullivan said: “I will give Slaven a new deal in January. I just want to see that he is not a one-season wonder. I’m sure he is not, but we will talk next January or at the end of next season. I have to tell you that he is interested in the project, not money. He stayed at Croatia on £2,000 a week for five years when he would have had bundles of offers. He is not really into money. He is more interested in getting the best players for the club than the best money for himself.”

With less than 7 league matches remaining, Slaven Bilic is now focusing on adding as many points as possible and try to secure a Europa League spot but even if West Ham United is not able to do it, it seems like Bilic has already earned the trust from the head officials of the club who have already confirmed their intentions to extend the contract of the Croatian manager.

Pochettino focussing on the Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur were knocked from the UEFA Europa League on March 17 after suffering an aggregate defeat of 5-1 against Borussia Dortmund.

Despite being eliminated from the European competition, Mauricio Pochettino did not appear to be flustered in any way as the Argentinean manager even stated that this result is good news for his squad as they can now solely focus on catching up to the Premier League table toppers Leicester City.

Mauricio Pochettino and his squad have less than 10 league matches where they have to make something happen and give it their all in order to have any kind of realistic chance to snatch the top spot of the English league. Making it into the top 4 is key for next season – if the transfer rumours are to be believed then they have some stellar signings lined up to help take them to the next level.

It’s been over 50 years since Tottenham Hotspur has been able to lift the Premier League and in this season, the only thing that is standing in their way is Leicester City and Pochettino will do everything in his power to try and take the 1rst place away from the team of Claudio Ranieri.

“I think now we are focused on the Premier League and all our energies will go into trying to win games and win the league. It’s true that there are no distractions now, until now we had the Europa League to play, but now we only have the Premier League. We need to realize that our target was to try to reduce the gap to the top four but we are second in the table now, and we have played one tie more than last season in the Europa League.’’ Mauricio Pochettino said.

Now that the Premier League is reaching it’s final stages, every single point, every win or defeat can be the difference between becoming the new champions of England and just falling short.

Neville Under Pressure

Gary Neville is just months into his time at Valencia as their head coach, however, the former Manchester United and England full-back already has a fight on his hands to keep his job with the Spanish club.

Valencia are having one of their worst seasons for a long time. When Neville took over in December, they were mid-table in La Liga’s standings.

Another poor run of form since then has seen Los Che drop even further down the table to a stage where they need to start finding some positive results otherwise they will end up in a relegation scrap.

With such a large deficit to make up, it looks very unlikely that Valencia will be playing European football next season, unless they can win the Europa League where they would need to beat Rapid Wien of the Austria league over two legs first in their last-32 encounter.

In any La Liga betting at the time of writing, Valencia are 12-1 for a top-six finish at the end of the season, while they are shorter at 10-1 to be relegated.

When accepting the job in Spain, it was such a big challenge for Neville to take on. He had no experience of working in La Liga, at the time he could hardly speak any Spanish and he was inheriting a team that was so low in confidence.

The Manchester United legend has yet to experience a win in La Liga since signing for the club. Their recent game against Real Betis was described as being ‘very important’ by Neville himself. However, they suffered a 1-0 defeat to add further misery to the campaign.

The biggest embarrassment for Neville so far came in the first leg of their Copa Del Ray semi-final clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp. It was always going to be a difficult task for Neville’s side to come away with a positive result, however, they were hammered 7-0 by the Catalan giants.

Despite the run without a win, it appears the Valencia board are sticking with Neville for now. He has a contract with the club until the end of this season. It looks very unlikely at this stage that his stay in Spain will last any longer than that though.

Neville will continue his role with England this summer when they travel to France for Euro 2016. He could move back home in the summer where he will need to decide if he should return to punditry or wait upon any potential job opportunities managing an English club.

Although it will be a difficult for a man who was so used to winning as a player, being part of those successful Manchester United teams of the 90s and early 00s, Neville will no doubt learn from his experience at Valencia.

It is his first managerial job and he will get a lot of credit for not backing down from the challenge. But his next job in football could be huge when it comes to fixing his reputation as a possible England manager of the future.