He’s back! Chelsea confirm Joe Cole joining academy coaching staffby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea have confirmed Joe Cole is joining the club’s academy staff.The 37-year-old, who retired from playing in November, will work across age groups for the next six months while he continues to study for his coaching badges.Cole, who won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the League Cup with the Blues, said: “Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game and I feel I can offer a lot as a coach.”To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”Cole was in the Premier League team of the year in the title-winning 2006 season and was also named Chelsea player of the year in 2008.He joined the club from West Ham in 2003, where he was the sixth player signed at the start of the Roman Abramovich era. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Lazar Markovic agents working on Liverpool exitby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLazar Markovic’s agents are on the lookout for a new club for the Liverpool midfielder.The Serbian midfielder has spent the first-half of the season with the club’s U23 squad after being informed by manager Jurgen Klopp he was not a required player.There had been talk of a move to Fiorentina, but that trail has run cold after their swoop for Sevilla attacker Luis Muriel.However, Markovic remains determined to find himself a new club and a return to Portugal has been mooted.The midfielder joined the Reds from Benfica four years ago.
Dumped Valencia director Mateu Alemany in contact with Barcelonaby Carlos Volcano12 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveDumped Valencia director Mateu Alemany is in contact with Barcelona.RAC1 reports Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been in contact with Alemany about taking up a role at the Camp Nou. Marcelino and Alemany worked together at Valencia to bring the club its first trophy in 12 years when they won the Copa del Rey last year. But both have now been discarded.Alemany is currently negotiating with Valencia to let him leave his contract as the breakdown between the executive and owner Peter Lim has broken beyond repair. That would allow him leave Valencia and join another top flight team. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
shaq lawson notre dame post gameHeading into Saturday’s contest between Clemson and Notre Dame, there was a decent amount of banter between the two schools – especially from a few members of the Tigers’ defense and the Fighting Irish’s offense. It apparently didn’t end with the game’s final whistle.Following Clemson’s 24-22 victory, defensive end Shaq Lawson told reporters that he trash talked Notre Dame wideout Will Fuller following the Tigers’ failed two-point conversion. He also said that Notre Dame wasn’t “ready for the environment’ at Clemson.Check it out, via TigerNet.com:Clemson, at 4-0, now has the inside track on a playoff berth, should it keep winning. If that happens, the world will be seeing a lot more of Lawson.
Jim Harbaugh keeps incredible eclectic company. After hosting a wide-range of athletes and celebrities like Derek Jeter, Migos, and Jim Leyland at Michigan’s massive National Signing Day Event, the Michigan head coach has spent time with Willie Mays and Justin Timberlake. A few of those groupings are strange, but nothing tops being photobombed by comedian Larry The Cable Guy while taking a picture with saxophonist Kenny G during an event at Pebble Beach.Hell ya that’s @officialkennyg and @GitRDoneLarry pic.twitter.com/T9ormn42RD— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 13, 2016Bill Murray and Toby Keith were also around.Pebble Beach is how you think it is, Awesome! @GitRDoneLarry @TobyKeithMusic pic.twitter.com/UoOCuoC0Kg— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 13, 2016Harbaugh lives a pretty interesting life in the off-season.[SB Nation]
Eden Hazard is hungry for more goals to earn legendary status at Chelsea after scoring his 100th for the club in a 2-1 Premier League win at Watford on Boxing Day.The Belgium forward grabbed both Chelsea goals at Vicarage Road to take his tally for the Blues to 101.Hazard has made no secret of his desire to play for Real Madrid, but the mercurial 27-year-old wants to ensure he will go down as a great at Stamford Bridge before moving on. 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? He told Sky Sports: “The goals mean a lot, especially because of the win. Yes, 101 goals with this amazing club is something I will never forget. Now, I think me, the fans, the players, we want more.”I want to score more goals for the club, and become a legend, like [Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry, [Didier] Drogba. I try to do my best, but when we are winning we can enjoy it a lot.” GOALS FOR CHELSEA!The Blues have the lead! #WATCHE pic.twitter.com/eSGlIN6c46— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 26, 2018Victory for Maurizio Sarri’s side leaves them fourth in the top-flight table, two points above Arsenal after the latter were held to a draw by Brighton and Hove Albion.Hazard was pleased with the character his side showed following a defeat to Leicester City in their previous outing.”We showed great character against Manchester City after losing to Wolves. And today, after losing to Leicester, we did the same. ” he added.”We played really well. When we fight together we are a top team so we need to do it more.”Next up for Hazard and Chelsea is a visit to Crystal Palace before kickstarting the new year against Southampton. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
The 2019 MLS SuperDraft featured some familiar sights, like the Chicago Fire shipping off draft picks for allocation money, but also some new wrinkles, led by FC Cincinnati’s active stockpiling of picks. When the dust settled on Friday’s event, there were some clear-cut winners and some other teams that fell short.This year’s draft was one focused on long-term potential rather than immediate help, a reality of the changing landscape of the American talent pool and the ever-improving MLS talent pool. Teams went into this year’s draft thinking about who could develop into starting options in the future, rather than who might be needed as a starter in 2019.That makes rating the day’s winners a bit tougher, but there were some teams that clearly came out ahead after the 48 players were taken off the board. Here is a look at the teams that fared the best, and the picks we saw being the best and worst at the 2019 MLS draft: 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? Draft Day winnersFC CINCINNATI – Started off by keeping the first overall pick and selecting Frankie Amaya, a 19-year-old central midfielder with impressive technical skill, and one who could feature in the Under-20 World Cup. Landing Wake Forest right back Logan Gdula, the right back with the most potential in the draft, made their trade with Philadelphia for the Union’s entire collection of draft picks a success. Goalkeepers Jimmy Hague and Ben Lundt were two of the best in the pool, and the biggest sleeper pick could be Tommy McCabe, who dropped in the draft after a disappointing showing at the MLS combine.NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – The Revs couldn’t have imagined seeing both Tajon Buchanan and DeJuan Jones slip down to picks 9 and 11 before the draft began, but that scenario played out, giving New England the two best pure wingers in the draft. Buchanan was a top-three talent who saw his stock dip after a disappointing combine, while Jones was the fastest player in the draft and someone Brad Friedel will have the chance to develop into a difference-maker.SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – Selecting Siad Haji with the second overall pick was an easy enough call considering his impressive passing and possession ability, but then the Earthquakes struck second-round gold by selecting Sergio Rivas, a highly technical midfielder considered a top-10 talent, who slid once it was established he would count as an international due to his DACA status. The Earthquakes also added an athletic winger in Canadian Mamadi Camara late in the second round.NEW YORK RED BULLS – The reigning MLS Supporters’ Shield winners weren’t exactly looking for starters on draft day, but they pulled in a good collection of defensive prospects they went into the draft coveting, led by UC Davis central defender Roy Boateng and versatile left-footed specialist Janos Loebe. Indiana right back Rece Buckmaster was considered a first-round value by some teams, and 6-foot-4 Hofstra defender Sean Nealis is someone they know well, giving the Red Bulls four players to groom for their high-pressing system, and to bolster their strong USL setup.MINNESOTA UNITED – It may have felt weird to not see the Loons take a forward, but their selection of Dayne St. Clair could give them their goalkeeper of the future. Taking a left back with the qualities to develop into a starter in Chase Gasper put Adrian Heath’s team on this list, as did the second-round selection of athletic central midfielder Hassani Dotson.Best pick valuesAKEEM WARD – D.C. United had to be loving life when it watched the most pro-ready fullback in the draft fall to the 14th pick. Ward is capable of playing both right back and left back, making him an ideal replacement for injured D.C. fullback Oniel Fisher.J.J. WILLIAMS – Few would have pegged Williams to be the last Generation Adidas player left on the board, but his slide to Columbus at 18 could wind up a blessing in disguise. He’ll join a coach in Caleb Porter who is good at working with young talent, and he’ll have a chance for some playing time right away as Gyasi Zardes’ primary back-up if he can impress in preseason.TUCKER BONE – One of the stars of the MLS combine, Bone saw his draft stock lowered due to concerns about his Air Force commitments, but Bone insists he shouldn’t miss much, or any time, making him a steal at the 20th pick. He’s a sharp passer and dribbler and combines well, making him a player who could fit right into the Sounders attack.JACOB HAUSER-RAMSEY – Forced to miss the MLS combine due to an injury, Hauser-Ramsey still figured to draw interest after an impressive showing at the Las Vegas combine. The Rapids scored a first-round talent with the 42nd overall pick.CAMDEN RILEY – Sporting Kansas City landed a versatile player in Riley, who can play in a defensive midfield role or in central defense. His passing and size should give Peter Vermes something to work with as Riley looks to make a very tough SKC roster.Worst pick valuesGRIFFIN DORSEY – Toronto FC is no stranger to making head-scratching picks, and Dorsey was widely regarded as the lowest rated of the Generation Adidas players. When TFC selected him ahead of Buchanan, a Canadian winger with more attacking quality, it raised a few eyebrows. That isn’t to say Dorsey doesn’t have potential, but taking him sixth overall felt very early, especially given other options on the board.SAM JUNQUA – Junqua’s value figured to rise after an impressive MLS combine, but the Dynamo taking him when John Nelson was still on the board was a serious head-scratcher. Junqua has the speed and defensive qualities to make Houston look smart, but it is a good bet the Dynamo could have drafted Junqua with the 33rd overall pick.LUIS BARRAZA – New York City FC traded $75,000 in allocation money to move up seven spots to select Barraza, a player who was very likely to be available at the pick NYCFC traded. It’s clear NYCFC was impressed with Barraza’s passing and shot-stopping ability, but spending allocation money to reach for a smallish goalkeeper seemed an odd decision to say the least. Of course, if Barraza develops into the second coming of Nick Rimando then nobody will care about the allocation money spent to land him.SAM BROWN – Real Salt Lake might have felt emboldened to take a flier on a long-shot due to all the talent it pulls from the academy ranks, but Brown was absolutely a player who could have been picked up in the second round, at the earliest.EMIL CUELLO – The LA Galaxy did manage to pocket $75,000 in allocation money to move down seven spots, but selecting Cuello at 19 was a serious reach. Nobody was taking him in the first round, and some teams rated him a third-round value.
First it was Cristo Gonzalez. Then Dani Ceballos, and, finally, Brahim Diaz.Santiago Solari burned through his substitutes and, even with the scored tied at 1-1 against Real Betis and Real Madrid’s crisis deepening, left Isco rooted to the bench.The coach’s refusal to play the Spanish playmaker, who a few months ago was a fan favourite and essential piece of the puzzle for both club and country, nearly cost him dearly in Andalusia on Sunday night. 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? In the end luck favoured Madrid and despite Betis dominating in the second half, at one point having over 70 per cent possession, Dani Ceballos’s 88th minute free-kick earned Los Blancos a 2-1 win at the Benito Villamarin.The victory takes them fourth, above Alaves, but still 10 points behind league leaders Barcelona. Madrid are in crisis and this narrow triumph does little to disguise that.Solari’s evident dislike of Isco manifested itself again as the player was benched for the 11th time in 11 league games at the helm, despite the club’s injury crisis.Even though Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz were out, with Lucas Vazquez suspended too, the coach preferred to change to a 3-5-2 formation rather than incorporate him.What at first looked like a move designed to humiliate Isco revealed itself as a tactical curveball for Betis, who struggled to handle a new-look Madrid in the opening period.Madrid broke forward frequently and hit Betis on the counter. The hosts passed the ball about but as usual, didn’t have much forward thrust to go with their possession. Madrid were happy to defend as a unit when required, with every player back in their half, behind the ball at times.Luka Modric broke the deadlock with a deflected strike into the top corner and the Croatian went close with another effort from similar distance.Fede Valverde should have doubled Madrid’s lead which would have been a fair reflection on their performance, but fluffed his lines when sent through on goal, with a half-baked backheel failing to reach Karim Benzema.The French striker was taken off with an injury at half-time and Solari snubbed Isco, preferring to hand B team forward Cristo Gonzalez his league debut.As the tide turned in Betis’s favour, it looked like a matter of time before the hosts scored and Sergio Canales did so when played in by Giovani Lo Celso. Madrid hoped VAR would exculpate their defence but it only proved the midfielder was onside.With the score level, it was surely time for Isco. But Ceballos was the next to come on, replacing Sergio Reguilon, with Nacho moving to left-back.That was a snub for Marcelo too, one of the most creative defenders in world football, who was also left on the bench, helpless as Betis threatened to add to their lead.When January signing Diaz replaced Valverde, it seemed like this was the hill Solari had chosen to die on.Failing to win while leaving a player as good as unpicking defences as Isco on the bench would have generated such opprobrium among the media and supporters that Solari’s future would have been called into question.But Ceballos saved the coach’s skin with his well-judged free-kick in the final stages. He lives to fight another day, but with no end in sight to the Isco saga, the situation may well repeat itself in the coming weeks.
The SEC has gained a reputation as the top conference in college football. Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Florida have all won national championships in the last decade-plus while teams like Georgia, Texas A&M, and Missouri boasting stretches of strong play, too.But ESPN and SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy has an idea of which SEC has become the toughest school to win at, particularly for coaches.In a recent radio appearance, McElroy explained that the Arkansas Razorbacks have the toughest job to win in the SEC. He noted that Texas players who used to choose Arkansas are now choosing SEC newcomer Texas A&M instead.“Since Texas A&M got in the league, the Arkansas job is the toughest in the SEC and among the toughest in the Power Five (Conferences),” McElroy said, per 247Sports. “Arkansas used to have a ticket to all the players in Texas, and not just players, but students — students who wanted the Southeastern Conference experience could go from Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Arkansas and pay in-state tuition and have that SEC experience. All of my friends are Arkansas fans.”The Razorbacks struggled mightily in Chad Morris’ first year as head coach. The team went 2-10, only winning against Eastern Illinois of the FCS and Tulsa.On the whole, Arkansas has struggled to make headway since Missouri and Texas A&M joined in 2012.Arkansas has four losing seasons since the conference expanded to 14 members, and has not won more than eight games in a year during than span.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is expected to be one of the biggest names on college football’s transfer market this offseason.Hurts, a two-year starter with the Crimson Tide, has been relegated to backup duty with Tua Tagovailoa’s emergence.The dual-threat quarterback has graduated from Alabama and will be eligible to play at another school right away in 2019.Hurts, though, is refusing to talk about any transfer possibility.Alabama’s quarterback said today that he hasn’t ever addressed it.Hurts said the only people talking about a potential transfer are the media and the fans.Alabama QB Jalen Hurts not entertaining transfer talk right now, says his focus is on the Orange Bowl. pic.twitter.com/u3HJP2CJuJ— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) December 27, 2018Hurts has at least one more game remaining in his Alabama career.The Crimson Tide and the Sooners are set to kick off at 8 p.m. E.T. on Saturday.The game will be on ESPN.