Gareth Southgate admits selection headache after Marcus Rashford’s showing

England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted that he has a selection headache on his hands following Marcus Rashford’s stunning goal against Costa Rica in a World Cup warm-up game. The 20-year-old did not have the best of seasons with Manchester United where he was restricted to limited gametime but he nevertheless put up a strong showing in the Three Lions shirt.

Following the game, Southgate said that Rashford’s goal was ‘world-class’ and he now has a selection headache ahead of the World Cup which begins on June 14. He said: “At the end of the season he cares so much he tries too hard. I said before the game I expect to see mistakes with attacking players in particular because if they are taking people on and trying to be creative, they are going to make errors. His goal was world class and he was teasing defenders on the touchline. His performance wasn’t perfect but he was enjoying his football and that was great to see. I’ve got 11 or 12 [players] that are going to be difficult to leave out.”
Continue reading Gareth Southgate admits selection headache after Marcus Rashford’s showing

England vs Russia – Who Will Make the Final Lineup

Onlookers, fans or no, will undoubtedly know the potential squad issues currently dogging England manager, Roy Hodgson. England look on fine form this time round, and as such a lot of players are eager and ready to make the grade and get a space on the final lineup for France this June. The only issue is, with only 23 places going, some players will undoubtedly be sacrificed.

Marcus Rashford is one name that keeps appearing in the England squad rumours, and for good reason. On May 13th it was released that the 18 year old could still be in with a chance of going to UEFA, despite earlier rumours that he wouldn’t even in the face of his good form this season. Continue reading England vs Russia – Who Will Make the Final Lineup

Falcao looking to extend United stay

Radamel Falcao has admitted he is looking to turn his loan deal at Manchester United into a permanent switch at the end of the season despite a tough start to life in the Premier League.

The Colombian striker joined United on summer deadline day from Monaco on an initial season-long loan deal, with the option for the Red Devils to make the deal permanent for £43.5 million. Continue reading Falcao looking to extend United stay

STURRIDGE LEFT OUT

England manager Roy Hodgson will not be selecting Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Estonia and San Marino, but the former Liverpool boss has denied suggestions that this decision has been based because of the pressure from Brendan Rodgers. The current Liverpool manager is reportedly concerned about the fitness of Sturridge, who has played only three Premier league matches since the start of the season. The return of the 25-year-old is vital for Liverpool and their ambitions of remaining in the Champions League.

Sturridge’s first major injury concern this season came when he was with the England national team during the first international break. Since then, he has already missed several matches, but a setback in recent weeks has pushed his return date further. It is now looking likely that he will be fit in time for the matches against San Marino and Estonia, but Hodgson will not be taking him as a precaution. Hodgson has rejected suggestions that he has decided to omit the striker due to pressure from Rodgers. Rodgers also hinted that the training methods of England were dangerous. Hodgson did not take long to hit back at him on this regard as well.

“The interesting thing for the session where Daniel got injured is that he was quite keen to take part because he was such an important part of it, and we were trying to develop a new system of play. He was the forward who understood it best. He was more than happy to come in and help us to get our points over. I understand Brendan being unhappy. We are never happy when we send a player back injured, but we do our best,” said Hodgson. England are top of their group with nine points from the opening three matches.

Pogba commits himself to Juve

Paul Pogba has ended speculation linking him with a return to Manchester United by signing a new contract with Serie A champions Juventus. The Frenchman’s previous deal with the Italian giants had been set to expire in 2016, but the midfielder has now committed himself to Juventus until June 2019 after signing a new contract worth a reported £70,000 a week.

The former Manchester United youngster had been linked with a number of European football’s biggest clubs in recent months, most notably a potential return to Old Trafford. This new contract has calmed those fears, however, and Juventus fans will be delighted to know Pogba isn’t looking to leave the Italian champions. Continue reading Pogba commits himself to Juve

Arsenal need to learn from Manchester United’s mistakes

The day will eventually arrive when Arsene Wenger will have to walk away from Arsenal, whether that is due to retirement, in the quest of a new challenge or down to being pushed out of the club.

It is difficult at the moment to put a date on when Wenger and Arsenal will part company. Not many people expected Sir Alex Ferguson to do the same just after his side had wrapped up the Premier League title in the 2012/13 campaign to reward bet fair punters who had backed the Red Devils to win the trophy. Continue reading Arsenal need to learn from Manchester United’s mistakes

Everton still searching for first win

Everton were expected to be one of the challenges for a top four place this season after managing to strengthen the squad substantially during the summer with signings like Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry. However, the start to the season has proven to be tough affair for the toffees, who are still searching for their first victory of the season. Many would have expected Everton to finish with at least six points from the opening nine matches given that there are playing against one of the newly promoted teams with the rest of the two matches at home.

However, Everton could manage only a 2-2 draw with Leicester on the opening day of the season and they have since followed that up with a draw and a defeat. The 2-2 draw against Arsenal was especially tough on Everton given that they were leading 2-0 going into halftime before throwing away the lead in the second half. They managed to put up a spirited performance against Chelsea before ending up in the wrong side of a nine goal thriller at Goodison Park. The 6-3 defeat just before the international break left Everton just one place above the relegation zone.

Hence, there is real pressure on Martinez and his men to deliver three points when league action resumes with Everton taking on West Brom away from home. “The Hawthorns is always a tough place to go. If we remember last season we had a very good performance for a long period but then they reacted really well in the second half, and their fans got behind them. We expect a tough game, We know a lot of the individuals there and obviously the manager had been a part of our fabric for a long time so you can imagine that it’s going to be a lot of understanding between the two teams,” said Martinez.

Lampard Still Available For England Squad

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard recently sealed a free transfer to New York City FC, who will be joining in the new MLS campaign from the 2015 season. At 36 years of age, he has managed to secure a two-year contract with the North American club. However, there have been rumours that Lampard’s international career is effectively over after this move since it follows the path taken by several former England stars like David Beckham. Beckham struggled to maintain his international career after the move to LA Galaxy in 2007. It was a combination of a lower level of football and huge distances involved in returning back to Europe.

Lampard, though, says that he will still be available for selection if England manager Roy Hodgson decided to take him for the national team duty. Hodgson is believed to be of the opinion that Lampard has a lot to offer even at this age. This belief was widely evident from the decision to take the 36-year-old to World Cup 2014 despite the squad being oriented towards youngsters. Lampard scored more than 200 goals for Chelsea in all competitions. He represented them for 13 years during which time he won numerous titles including the Champions League.

He has maintained throughout his career that he will never turn his back on the England national team as long as he was playing. “I need to think about England, I haven’t got a complete answer on that at the moment. Now I know where I’ll be playing my football next year, I can make that decision. I’m going to keep fit, that’s the main thing,” said Lampard. The midfielder was even made as the vice captain at the World Cup. He recently returned to England after securing a six-month loan spell with Manchester City in order to maintain his fitness.

ROONEY TO CAPTAIN ENGLAND

Wayne Rooney might be appointed as the captain of the England national football team pretty soon.

After England’s disastrous campaign in the FIFA World Cup 2014, the two senior most players of the English side i.e. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are believed to be planning to quit international football.

Gerrard is 36 years of age at the moment; while, Lampard is a couple of years older than him and the next big assignment for the Three Lions is the Euro Championship 2016. Neither of these two players can be backed to remain totally fit and in peak form to make the squad for that tournament.

In fact, you could have bet with William Hill on World Cup 2014 that Lampard wouldn’t even make the squad this time around, let alone 2016!

So, perhaps, this is the perfect time for both of them to hang their boots. If they do so, which is highly expected, it’s Rooney who is tipped to be given the responsibility of captaining the side.

Currently, at 28 years of age, Rooney is a senior member of the Three Lions squad and he is also at the peak of his game. He has received his fair share of criticism for his recent World Cup performances, but, no one would argue that he is still one of the best attacking options that England has. So, he deserves captaincy at least till the next Euro Championship.

If the sources are to be believed, Rooney himself is also interested in taking over as captain and he has made the manager Roy Hodgson aware of his desire.

Rooney has led England a couple of times in the past. The most recent occasion when he had gone on the ground to represent his country with the captain’s armband on was in 2012. It was the game against San Marino.

Rooney, in total, has played 95 matches for England in which he has scored 40 goals.

Hodgson Cautions Against Italy

England boss Roy Hodgson has stated that the team must be extremely cautious when they take on Italy in their opening match of the World Cup 2014. England have been given a tough group stage draw since they will be meeting teams like Italy and Uruguay at this stage. However, the team has been getting a lot of confidence in the warmup friendly matches, while manager Roy Hodgson has also called up a young team. Only a couple of experienced players have been included in the squad. As a result, Hodgson has been trying to give all his experience to the team in the last few weeks.

A couple of players like Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling have caught the eye in the warmup and training prior to the tournament. However, Hodgson has stated once again that there needs to be a rethink about the expectations from this young squad. Only after a couple of matches will the world be able to judge their performances according to Hodgson. England will not have a lot of matches to impress at the World Cup. They have to win their opening group match against Italy in order to stand a good chance of reaching the knockout stages. Their final match in the group will be against Uruguay.

“Let’s see good performance in an England shirt before we say they’re world-beaters. I must advise caution. As yet they have not had the chance to show in an England shirt that that potential will be realised – we think it will be, but they have not had that chance yet. We have more pace, more mobility, a lot of technical players. I’m not trying to play down the fact that the future looks quite bright and there are interesting times ahead. This is the World Cup and we are also going to need our more experienced players,” said Hodgson.