Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said that he does not need to explain why Michy Batshuayi did not start during Saturday’s goalless draw versus Everton. The Premier League holders dominated the proceedings at Goodison Park with more than 20 shots at goal, and they could not find a way through a resolute Toffees backline.
Speaking after the game, the Italian had no regrets starting the Belgian off the bench despite not possessing the services of Alvaro Morata, who was suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card of the domestic campaign, he said: “I think there is nothing to explain why I decide to [play] with Hazard, Willian, Pedro. It is not the first time. I have to make the best decision for my team and today I made the best decision. Don’t forget our striker Morata was out and I think this player is very important for us, but at the same time we played with second options, with three number 10s – Willian, Pedro, Hazard – and we created many chances.” Read more
Arsenal legend Ian Wright feels Chelsea’s summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko has not done enough to warrant a starting spot ahead of the likes of Pedro and Willian. The France international has cemented his spot at the heart of the Blues’ midfield following his move from AS Monaco last summer.
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Wright is still unconvinced over Bakayoko’s abilities and feels one of Pedro or Willian deserve the starting role, although they play in a different position altogether, he said: “Just a quick one on Bakayoko, because I have to get it out otherwise I’ll forget. I’m not having him yet, I’m sorry. I can’t understand how he can get in the team before Willian and Pedro at the moment. Especially, when he played further forward. I need to see a lot more from him, that’s all I’m saying.” Read more
It’s getting to that point in the year again, where hundreds of tennis fans mark their calendars for their favourite event, with a number of prestigious summer tournaments remaining.
Those fans not lucky enough to secure tickets to Flushing Meadows for the US Open though, can take advantage of numerous free live streams, though it is advisable that you have strong internet connection, of at least 10mbps, or are in a Wi-Fi hotspot, such as a café or a bar.
With virtually every match covered, there is no reason to miss a single shot, with the action at Flushing Meadows usually serving up a tennis treat. Read more
The Everton boss Roberto Martinez has refused to go too much into the statements made by Kevin Mirallas just ahead of the last weekend’s Merseyside derby.
Amidst all the excitement about the derby, Mirallas spoke to one of the Belgian dailies about his desire of featuring in the European Cup. In that interview, the winger said he would not mind taking transfer to a club where he gets to play European games. Read more
Roma finally managed to pull themselves together and achieve consistency in the game after a 2-0 win over Cesena. The Italian club where in contention for the title along with Juventus at the start of the season. They managed to win six straight matches before this win was brought to an end with a 3-2 defeat against Juventus. Since then, the wheels appeared to follow from Rudi Garcia’s team after they suffered defeats, especially the one against Bayern Munich where they lost 7-1, in a row. The team finally managed to get back level on points with Juventus after the win over Cesena.
This was made possible because Juventus also dropped points after a 1-0 defeat against Genoa. This was the first of their season. They are now level on points with Roma, who are a comfortable six points ahead of third placed Milan after nine matches. Legend Francesco Totti has spoken about the importance of these three points. Roma appeared to lose their composure in recent weeks after the boss is less against Juventus and Bayern. They have now gone four matches without defeat and there will be looking to build on this run.
Despite being 38 years old, Totti continues to be an important part of the Roma team. His best goal this season came against Manchester City in the 1-1 draw. “I agree completely with what the coach said in his thoughts afterwards. Any result apart from a victory could have been a serious mis-step for us and in these games, it is essential to take maximum points. It is especially important at this stage of the season where there are many games and they are so close together so we must continue like this without slowing down,” said the striker, who also has three assists to his name this season.
There are a few weeks remaining until the Premier League concludes and even more until the transfer window re-opens in a few months but clubs are already setting their sights for potential arrivals who could arrive.
Stoke City has enjoyed a reasonably well season as they are in the middle section of the Premier League standings which is a significant improvement from the previous season in which they were only a few points away from being relegated.
Mark Hughes is hopeful that in the next campaign Stoke City will do even better and he has a few players in his wish-list hoping to sign in order to fulfill his expectations.
Wolfsburg’s Ivica Olic is a high-profile player that Hughes is pursuing as the 510 years old coach revealed some details regarding Olic and their situation.
‘’He is a quality player and somebody I have met on a few occasions, and I really like him. He has played at the top level for the duration of his career, he possesses incredible pace and he is technically very, very good’’.
‘’We have to give the guy time to make the decision that he feels is right. It isn’t dead in the water yet – he just needs time to make what will be a key decision for him’’ Hughes said as he spoke to the media.
Mark Hughes also went on speaking about Stephen Ireland who had signed a permanent deal with Stoke City a few days ago. Ireland joined Stoke City on September of 2013 but it wasn’t until recently that he decided to join the Premier League club on a long-lasting basis. Read more
The president of Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed to the media that despite doing everything correctly, it’s frustrating and embarrassing being accused of tax fraud due to the transfer of Neymar.
Bartomeu said: “Barcelona acted in the proper way but if somebody thinks that there is damage to the name of Barcelona then there is damage to be repaired. We are not happy with the situation but we will defend our club very strongly. It’s embarrassing because we think we are right. We think we did things properly, that everything was done in the correct and best way.”
Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona led to Sandro Rosell having to resign from his position at the club as well as having investigations done which concluded in the revelations of the Catalan club having paid more than €71 million and not the €48 million which they had initially stated.
All of this has affected the image that Barcelona has been developing with the world around of them but even after everything that was announced and confirmed surrounding the transfer and the club, Bartomeu says that they will keep taking care and defending Barcelona. They aren’t doing too badly as they are still challenging for La Liga, and into the quarters of the Champion’s League – in fact they are the most backed team according to Completebetting.com’s list of free bets.
Bartomeu added: “We paid because of prudence, because there is a possible different interpretation. So we want to be prudent. We don’t want to take any risks. Barca is a very well-known brand name in the world and we have to take care of Barca of the club and doing this is prudent situation to keep the good image of our club. We don’t agree with the judge, of course. For us, this is an absurd and unfair situation because we did everything correctly in signing Neymar to FC Barcelona.”
After everything that was done, some people are beginning to question whether or not Neymar was worth all the money and trouble that Barcelona had to go through in order to add him into the club.
Everton defender Leighton Baines has revealed that the club are looking to win the FA Cup for the first time in recent times. Everton have not won a major trophy since the days of David Moyes. The arrival of Roberto Martinez, though, has heralded a new enthusiasm within the club. They have been able to sustain a challenge for the top four positions for most of the season. After having qualified for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, Everton have set a target of going one better than in recent seasons and actually winning the trophy itself.
The best Everton managed in the last two decades has been reaching the final of the competition when they lost to Chelsea a few years ago. Baines has admitted that the Arsenal match will pose a huge test for the club, but it is one that were planning to come out on the successful side. The England international also says that it is certainly time that the club deserved some success in terms of trophies. Everton have been one of the well-run clubs in England over the years. They have been in the top flight for most of the history.
Everton’s recent visit to the Emirates stadium ended in a 1-1 draw with the gunners.
“You would be a fool to look too far beyond that but there is no denying that we want to win a trophy. We want that in the dressing room and, ultimately, that is the aim. We know the task is a big one but you have to set yourselves targets and that is one of them. We don’t speak about it among ourselves in great detail, but we are all conscious of it. We all know. A lot of us have been here a long time and we know what it means to this football club,” said Baines.
Manchester United could thank the incredible popularity of football on TV for the rise in the second-quarter revenues. The club posted an 11% increase due to better commercial and broadcasting revenue. Manchester United have been going through a tough period since the start of the season.
The appointment of David Moyes to replace Sir Alex Ferguson has not worked exactly to plan. The club find themselves seventh in the table with only 13 matches remaining. Since they trail fourth placed Liverpool by nine points already, they cannot afford any more slipups. Read more
Even at his 37 years of age Francesco Totti is regarded as one of the best players in Serie A even receiving praise from As.Roma’s manager Rudi Garcia who said that the Italian veteran sets the example to his teammates both on and off the pitch.
“I can say that Totti is a simple man, humble,” he told reporters. “He’s never skipped training, he’s never asked for special treatment even though he’s 37. He’s the kind of guy that loves football that is always available. Maybe he’s not a leader in the dressing room. He’s not one of those that shout to motivate the troops but he is appreciated by his team-mates because he’s an intelligent guy.
“And then he’s an example on the field. Having seen him, I said that he’s not only a great player, but he’s simply one of the greatest players in the history of football.”
Totti is a one man club just like Ryan Giggs and Paolo Maldini as they represent everything what their respective club represents. The coach of Italy, Cesare Prandelli said that he would like to have the star of As.Roma available for him during the 2014 World Cup in what probably will be his last one.
Prandelli said: “Before his injury, Totti did great things and proved he deserves a call-up. Then he stopped and is now getting ready for his comeback. We’ll see how it goes, as I am keeping Totti under very close observation.
“I am great friends with Francesco. Before the injury he was playing at a stratospheric level and someone like him always makes the difference. Personally, I would take him to the World Cup.” Prandelli spoke to Sport Mediaset
Totti picked up an injury during As.Roma’s match against Napoli back in October but made a substitute appearance when they battled it out against Ac.Milan and now is getting back to his usual self in the pitch.