TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Isco leaves Chelsea disappointed with contract anticsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid midfielder Isco is pricing himself out of a move to Chelsea.The Sun says a last-minute demand for higher wages may have ended Chelsea’s hopes of landing £75million Real Madrid midfielder Isco in January.The Stamford Bridge side had been hopeful of securing the Spaniard’s signature, only for late interest from Paris Saint-Germain to lead the player’s representatives to ask for a bigger wage packet.The Spanish playmaker has found himself on the periphery of the first team under new boss Santiago Solari, and has been linked with several Premier League sides. The Blues were happy to pay wages of £250,000 a week to the wantaway Spain international, plus agents’ fees of 10% plus a signing bonus.Yet the late demands convinced the Chelsea hierarchy that Isco was more interested in the money than playing for the FA Cup winners.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Lloris: Tottenham must maintain consistencyby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveHugo Lloris says Tottenham Hotspur cannot afford to lose their consistency.Spurs have finished in the top three in the Premier League for the past three seasons.After making the final of the Champions League last term, Lloris insists the North London outfit must maintain their high standards.”Now we’ve arrived at an age where we’ve got the experience to have an impact towards the team,” he said.”Hopefully we will go in the same way.”When you arrive at a level, the important thing is to do everything to stay at the same level, especially the level we arrived at last year, as the runner-up of the Champions League.”It’s not a coincidence. We’re doing something well, we’re building something strong.”But we cannot drop the level. We need to build the consistency to improve, to get even closer to what we are all looking for – trophies.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp named Premier League manager of the monthby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been named Premier League manager of the month for September.The Reds perfect start continued in September, with three wins.They claimed a home win over Newcastle United as well as away victories at Chelsea and Sheffield United.Klopp topped a four-man shortlist of Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard and Brendan Rodgers to take the award.The European champions entered this week’s international break eight points clear at the top of the table after victory over Leicester.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Green says Hudson-Odoi can match Hazard Chelsea successby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRob Green says Callum Hudson-Odoi can match Eden Hazard’s success at Chelsea.Green played alongside the 18-year-old at Chelsea last season, and saw the youngster left out on a regular basis by Maurizio Sarri.Green told BBC Sport when asked if Hudson-Odoi can match Hazard’s legacy at Chelsea: “He’s got the potential, he’s got to work on his power, once he’s got the ball he needs to stay on the ball, just the strength around his pace.“I think when he grows up and matures, that’s when you’ll see it.“He’s got such a long time in the game now, he’s not the same player as Eden Hazard, but there’s no reason when he cannot do what Hazard did at Chelsea in the last seven or eight years.”
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 30: Jourdan Lewis #26 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to avoid the tackle of Carlos Becker III #15 of the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the Capitol One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)Detroit’s Cass Technical High School football program sends a lot of players to college. Many of them, like cornerback Jourdan Lewis, end up playing for the in-state school: Michigan. Recently, Ohio State has been able to pluck some of the school’s talent away from the Wolverines. The Buckeyes have a threesome of Cass Tech players: sophomore defensive back Damon Webb, freshman running back Mike Weber and freshman defensive end Josh Alabi. On fall camp move-in day, those three players wore “Imported From Detroit” t-shirts. Today, at OSU’s media day, they took a picture together, which was posted to Snapchat. Lewis found the photo, screenshotted it and tweeted it out with the caption, “Bums.” Bums pic.twitter.com/ZxezCSWiMB— Jourdan Lewis (@JourdanJD) August 16, 2015Lewis is clearly just messing with his former high school teammates, who he is probably still close with. There will surely be no messing around come Nov. 28, when Michigan takes on Ohio State in Ann Arbor, Mich.
There’s obviously an enormous difference between playing as hot as George has for a month and doing so for an entire season. Still, his transformation could end up being noteworthy for one key reason: It’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a changing of the guard on the Thunder since Westbrook took over after Durant’s departure.For years, Westbrook critics have suggested that he’d give his teams a better chance to win by taking a step back. More often than not, he ignored these voices. And once he had the spotlight to himself, he broke an NBA record for the highest single-season usage rate while also averaging a triple-double over a full season — and that 2016-17 OKC team finished sixth in the West and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Westbrook tried playing more unselfishly last season, though that largely seemed to backfire. But it seems to be working now.In the midst of the worst shooting season2From the standpoint of true shooting percentage. Curiously, his free-throw percentage has also tumbled to a career low. of his career, the 30-year-old Westbrook has eased his foot off the pedal during the team’s surge. He has taken 19.4 shots per contest this season, his fewest since the 2015-16 campaign. And during Oklahoma City’s 12-game hot streak, Westbrook attempted just 17 shots per night. (Prior to that, he was taking a little more than 20 shots per game.)Westbrook still has considerable value. He continues to be a force when he bends defenses, and he’s finishing at the rim more efficiently than ever. His triple-double Monday marked his 10th straight, giving him the longest single-season stretch in NBA history. If he keeps up his current pace, this would be Westbrook’s third consecutive season averaging a triple-double.But make no mistake: George is leading this team. And it’s been that way all year.Because Westbrook missed the start of the season, when he was coming off a late-offseason arthroscopic procedure on his knee, George was the club’s lone workhorse at times to begin the year. That was something he rarely enjoyed last season, when the offense generally saw George, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony take turns shooting.Somewhat stunningly, at this rate, George is already just 10 games or so away from eclipsing his shot attempt total from last season. His shot chart this season looks essentially the same as last year’s, but the clarity about his role seems to have helped his game immensely. George, perhaps more comfortable with Westbrook and the team now, is playing as if he realizes that it’s generally a good thing for him to take the reins on offense.So is George’s unreal stretch enough to propel him to the top of the MVP race? One factor in his favor is that he’s elite on both ends of the floor. The Thunder rank among the top-3 defenses — despite defensive specialist Andre Roberson not having played a minute all season — largely because of George, who is leading the league in steals and loose balls recovered while ranking second in deflections. George has certainly pieced together a solid defensive player of the year candidacy.But he has two big obstacles in his MVP path. Giannis Antetokounmpo — who averages 27 points, nearly 13 boards and 6 assists per game while playing great defense — has powered the Bucks to the NBA’s best record. And while offensive juggernaut James Harden is often seen as a defensive lightweight, his metrics — 2.2 steals per game and a league-leading 209 deflections — compare favorably with George’s.But George may care more about his team’s fortunes than his individual accolades. FiveThirtyEight’s projection model views Oklahoma City as a legitimate challenger to the Warriors in the West. While Golden State is still a massive favorite, the projections show considerable respect to the Thunder, giving them an 11 percent probability to win the NBA championship — a figure that’s not far off the Raptors and Bucks, despite those two playing in the less competitive Eastern Conference.However you slice it, the fact that Oklahoma City has believers — whether they’re rooted in computer algorithms or actual fans — is a credit to George’s unbelievable play as of late.Check out our latest NBA predictions. If there’s a club that wishes it could fast-forward through the All-Star break, it would be the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are the NBA’s hottest team and are winners of 11 of their past 12 contests.Russell Westbrook is in the middle of a historic triple-double run. The team, which couldn’t hit a 3-point shot for the first month of the season, now can’t miss from outside — and has put itself firmly in contention for a top-two seed in the loaded Western Conference.But the biggest development of late has been Paul George playing the best basketball of his life, morphing from a trusty sidekick into the Thunder’s 2013-14 MVP version of Kevin Durant.That isn’t an exaggeration. Durant racked up 40.8 points, 9.4 boards and 7 assists per 100 possessions on a lofty 63.5 true shooting percentage during his dominant campaign. Since Jan. 17, George has logged 41.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per 100 possessions on 67.9 true shooting, boasting better assist-to-turnover and steals rates than Durant had in 2013-14.1According to Basketball-Reference.com’s Game Score metric, which calculates how well someone played by analyzing his entire stat line each night, George has averaged a 29.1 Game Score during this recent hot streak. By comparison, Durant’s average Game Score during his MVP season was 24.9.
As the grandson of former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce, and attending high school just outside Columbus, Zach Smith grew up surrounded by Buckeye football. Now a football coach himself, Smith was named to OSU football coach Urban Meyer’s staff as wide receivers coach on Dec. 22, returning to his home state and grandfather’s former school. “It’s a dream job, it’s something that you live your whole life hoping that you get and when you do, there’s obviously a lot of pressure in that,” Smith said at an introductory press conference for the assistant coaches Jan. 12. “But what the heck, if you don’t do it to get your dream job, what do you it for, right?” Smith graduated from Florida in 2007, and worked as a graduate assistant and quality control coach for the Gators under Meyer from 2005-2009. He also served as receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Marshall University in 2010 and held the same roles at Temple last season. He helped lead the Owls to a 9-4 record in 2011, as well as a 35-17 win against Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 17. His receivers compiled 1,648 yards throughout the season. “(Smith) has already coached with me for five seasons, and so I know what a quality coach he is,” Meyer said. “He knows my system inside and out, and he teaches the system the way I want it to be taught.” At 27, Smith is the youngest member of the coaching staff, which he referred to as a “dream team” of coaches. Although Smith admitted a sense of awe in being a part of that group, he said he is qualified for the challenge. “The fact that coach Meyer thought that highly of me to bring me to this great university when he really could have hired anybody in the country is really flattering,” Smith said. “But at the same time, I know that I’ve earned it and I know I’ll do a great job for him.” Smith will earn $150,000 for performing his duties as a Buckeye assistant during 2012. After losing 2010 leading receiver Dane Sanzenbacher to graduation, and with senior DeVier Posey missing the first 10 games due to a pair of five-game suspensions, wide receiver was arguably the most inexperienced position on the Buckeyes’ roster throughout this past season. Going into 2012, OSU will return its entire receiving corps apart from Posey. “I think that the best thing that happened for my group is that they got a lot of experience at a young age,” Smith said. “They’ve been in the battle and they know what it’s like to play these other teams, to play in all these great stadiums in the Big Ten and to play in front of 108,000 people at Ohio State. It’s really an asset for them and for me as a position coach because I know that I have guys who have been through it and done it. It’s obviously one of the things that we can build off of this coming year.” Blocking and playmaking ability are the two most important traits he looks for in his receivers, Smith said. “We’ll be the best blocking receivers in the country,” he said. “Then you have to be able to make big plays, got to be able to catch the ball and make something happen. Those are the two things, if you can’t do those things you’re not going to be on the field.”
Fabinho insists he is enjoying Life at Liverpool and after turning down the offer to join Paris Saint-Germain.The Brazilian has become a mainstay in the Reds starting line-up and has played a pivotal role in their title ambition despite a slow start.Fabinho joined Liverpool from Monaco in a £44m deal last summer but was linked with a return to France with Paris Saint Germain in November.“I never thought of going elsewhere,” Fabinho told L’Equipe and cited via Sky.Opinion: Neymar needs to apologize to PSG’s supporters Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After such a dramatic summer during the transfer window, Neymar truly needs to apologize to all the PSG supporters this weekend.When Neymar finished last…“I know a lot of things were written in the newspapers, but it wasn’t true. What’s funny is that this PSG loan story came out just before our Champions League match [on November 28].“I had already experienced a similar story the day before the Coupe de la Ligue final between PSG and Monaco [in March 2018]. It’s a strange coincidence, isn’t it?”“If I had to sign at PSG, it’s the year before it could have been done,” Fabinho added.“They were very interested, I talked a lot with Antero Henrique [PSG’s sporting director] and the club’s leaders, but it didn’t work. The year after, I did not wait for them and then I thought it was time to leave France.”
Paul Ince is saddened that Sol Campbell is starting his managerial career at Macclesfield Town, and believes he deserves to manage at a higher level.It was officially announced on Tuesday that former Arsenal captain Sol Campbell has signed an 18-month contract to manage League Two club Macclesfield Town, and Ince is hoping he can impress at the club and move on to manage better clubs.“It is a shame because when you look at what he has done in his football career, he is a legend,” Ince told Sky Sports.“It is sad that someone like Sol has had to go to that level to get a job.Cascarino praises Campbell Manuel R. Medina – August 17, 2019 Sol Campbell left Macclesfield Town on Thursday, but the Arsenal legend believes he managed to do a great job at the club.“When you look at the black managers that we have had, most of them have been very successful. It is not that we can’t do the job but obviously, some owners think we can’t.“It is going to be a tough job for Sol but you have got to get in somewhere. Hopefully, he will do well and then move up the ladder.“The most nervous thing is having to inspire a team to get them out of trouble. I would advise him to take someone with him that knows the league.“The lads will be buzzing once they see Sol there. He has got a good football brain, who knows in years to come he might be managing Tottenham.”