Roy Hodgson pleased with the draw

Manchester United might have been only a pale shadow of their old selves in the past few seasons, but in the view of Roy Hodgson, Old Trafford is still as big a challenge for the visiting opponents as it was in the past and any point that the teams earn at Old Trafford, especially a team like Crystal Palace which do not boast of superstar names on paper, is a huge achievement.

Hodgson insists on the fact that the Red Devils didn’t rotate their players or didn’t pick a second strong XI against them. They put all their big players in there, it was possibly the strongest XI Jose Mourinho could have stitched and then that huge crowd of Old Trafford and the kind of atmosphere they always create. None of the opponents who come here ever have it easy. Even these days when Manchester United are apparently not as dominant as they were before, you still feel the heat at Old Trafford and it was no different for Palace today. But Palace as a visiting team showed tremendous character to not only earn a draw, but actually finish as a more dominant side than the hosts.

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Yaya Toure Joins Greek Outfit Olympiakos

Yaya Toure has made the switch back to Turkish football after agreeing to join Olympiakos. The former Manchester City and Barcelona midfielder spent one season at the club before going on to achieve a huge amount of success at the aforementioned clubs. Toure has revealed that he promised to return back to the Greek outfit when he left in 2006 and now he is delighted to be able to keep the promise. The midfielder was out of contract at the end of the campaign, but his future at Manchester City appeared bleak since Pep Guardiola did not consider the midfielder for a majority of the matches.

It is reported that the former Ivory Coast international has been able to agree a wages of around €2.5 million per season. The midfielder was immensely successful at Barcelona and Manchester City but he will be best remembered for his spell with the latter, as he has been able to win two League Cup medals, one FA Cup, and three Premier League trophies during his eight seasons with the club. He was instrumental in transforming Manchester City from a little-known outfit in the English league into one of the powerhouses of world football. The signing is a much needed sigh of relief for Olympiacos, who were only able to finish in the third place last season.

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UEFA Resume Doping Investigation Into Nasri

UEFA will resume a doping investigation into Samir Nasri after the player lost his appeal case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The former Manchester City man is looking at a four year ban from European football for using an intravenous drip at a Los Angeles clinic.

The European soccer body opened an enquiry into the incident in December 2016. The player proceeded to request for a backdated therapeutic use exemption (TUE) which would have buried the case. UEFA refused the request and Nasri took the case to CAS. After listening to both sides, CAS ruled against Nasri. (more…)

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Columbia international James Rodriguez seems to have settled in very well at Bayern Munich. The former Real Madrid man was unsettled for two years as he struggled at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. He was not happy with the situation of things. He was obviously worried as his arrival at the club after the 2014 World Cup changed under Zinedine Zidane. He was gradually slipping from the quality expected of him as he rarely got opportunities.

Rodriguez’s career went well at AS Monaco and with the Columbian national team, where he dazzled. He won the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Brazil and enjoyed a brilliant run. As he arrived at Madrid under Rafa Benitez, his play was changed. When Zidane took over, injuries and poor form affected him. The French coach’s tactics did not favour him as well so others were preferred. In the run to the Champions League title, he was watching from the bench and was obviously sad.

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Thomas Vermaelen keen on Premier League return

Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is keen on a return to the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion this summer.

The Belgium international signed for Barcelona from Arsenal more than three years ago, and he has since failed any impact due to his constant injury concerns.

Vermaelen spent the previous campaign on loan with AS Roma where he was not more than a backup player, and he is now prepared to leave the Catalan giants in order to encourage his World Cup hopes. The 31-year-old currently has two more years left on his Barcelona contract and the club would be better off offloading him this summer to avoid paying an additional €3m to Arsenal.

Barcelona have already paid an additional €5m in bonuses to Arsenal after his initial €10m transfer in 2014, and they may have to cough up another €3m if they manage to win the Champions League in the upcoming campaign. Baggies boss Tony Pulis has recently admitted that the club are desperate to make three to four signings before the transfer deadline, and Vermaelen could be utilised a quality backup behind Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Craig Dawson and loan recruit Ahmed Hegazy. (more…)

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Raphael Varane is and remains one of the few fortunate people to join a club with the status of Real Madrid as a callow youth.

Known for their premium way of purchasing the best players in the world for most of their history, the Galaticos – which by the way is the reason they are thus called – have rarely operated from a youth-centric mode of building squads.

Even sprinkling of youth across the first team has always been a bit of an issue. From Del Bosque to Jose Mourinho, every coach to have manned the Santiago Bernabeudug out has been made to work with a superstar-centric squad. It never mattered much what the coaches personally preferred. They weren’t the ones paying the bills.

So Raphael like few of the fortunate youths over the years joined LosBlancos during the summer raid of 2011. Like most of his contemporaries, the French man was meant to be a back up to the established stars in the squad till another Galatico would be added.

However his assured and measured strong performances on the pitch when called upon to have a run in meant waving him off as an expendable back up as at when due was going to take a back seat. (more…)

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Is James Rodriguez making a move to Manchester United?

On July of 2014and for a transfer fee of €79.8 millionJames Rodriguez completed his move from As.Monaco to Real Madrid as the Colombian player became the 4th most expensive signing in the history of the sport during that point in time.

James Rodriguez made a name for himself as top player during the 2014 FIFA World Cup when he concluded that tournament on a high note by being the highest goal-scorer and it was become of his string of impressive performances from that competition that Real Madrid was willing to splash out €79.8 million in signing theColombian youngster.

During the initial 2 seasons of James Rodriguez as a player of Real Madrid, he was a consistent starter but failed to score goals on a consistent basis as the Colombian attacker failed to replicate the performances and goals that he did in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

With the arrival of the 2016-17 season, James Rodriguez has started to drop to the sidelines as he is seeing more time in the bench and according to recent rumors, he might even be on the verge of being offloaded to Manchester United.

If rumors are to be believed, Rodriguez has caught the attention of Manchester United and could be used as bait in order to lure David de Gea from Old Trafford. (more…)

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Dietmar Hamann criticizes Jurgen Klopp of not having Plans for Team

In the opinion of Dietmar Hamann, the problem with Jurgen Klopp is that he does not have different plans up his sleeve and he tries and beats the opposition with the same method all the time.

Klopp’s philosophy is just to outrun the opposition on the pitch, but, that philosophy alone can’t work in a competition like Premiership because every team has got the pace and stamina here and you can’t think of winning by simply covering more distance than the other team.

The thing is that Klopp has not had experience of such a competition before where the fitness level of all the teams is so high and every team is right up there in terms of pace. The method that he has been trying to implement is correct for those competitions where there is a difference between the pace of the teams and it’s possible to get on top of the opposition with just sheer pace, but, not for Premiership. (more…)

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The FIFA Club World Cup semifinals recently, saw Real Madrid in a highly deserved win over opponents, Club America in Yokohama, Japan.

With this win, the Merengues will now go in head to head in the finals of the competition, with the Kashima Antlers, a game scheduled for next Sunday.

The game which ended in a 2-0 win for Real Madrid, saw the opener being scored just near the half-time break by Karim Benzema. A late goal in the second half of the game by Cristiano Ronaldo, ensured that they finished the game as the undisputable winners.

The semifinal game showed that the coach Zinedine Zidane was not taking any chances in this competition as he put forward some of his strongest men to feature in the game.

At the goal, was Navas, while the back, saw the quartet of Marcelo, Nacho, Varane and Carvajal. Casemiro, Kroos and Modric were placed in the midfield set up, while the trio of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lucas Vázquez led the attack. (more…)

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Ronaldo praises Mourinho

Cristiano Ronaldo has stated that Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers he has ever played with.

He said that the Portuguese manager is a great strategist and perfectionist and is always thinking how he can improve his team.

Cristiano Ronaldo said that he has played under a lot of managers and that Jose Mourinho is the most perfectionists he has ever played for. He said that he is attentive to the smallest details and that he is always paying attention to the minor thing in the team. Ronaldo said that Jose Mourinho will spend most of his time analyzing his team tactics and that he will be looking for ways on how to improve the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo said that he is very happy that Jose Mourinho has signed for Manchester United. He said that the Red Devils are an important club for him and that he is glad that they are managed by a manager of this quality. He believes that Jose Mourinho will be able to turn things around and should help the team compete for the title again. (more…)

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