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Negotiating a way through the robust challenges of British celebrity is seldom an easeful task. Few in the public eye escape censure and even fewer manage to avoid succumbing to bitterness or the kind of acute sensitivity known only to those who have had their inner lives splashed across the outer pages of the press.
A rare exception is Gary Lineker, who returned last night for his 18th season as the Match of the Day presenter. If he has come of age in the job, Bryan Bickell Authentic Jersey the former England striker seems to have retained a boyish enthusiasm for life in the spotlight, albeit weighted with a just-so amount of irony and self-deprecation. He also holds the affection of a sizable chunk of the nation. The two are probably not unrelated.
Last month, Lineker found himself at the centre of heated debate when the BBC released figures showing that he was the corporation’s second-highest earner, with an annual salary some loose change under £1.8m.
In these days of wage freezes and belt-tightening, that’s a number that could easily trigger the kind of envy that is often indistinguishable from raging animosity. But Lineker performed a characteristically disarming manoeuvre via the social medium of Twitter. http://www.officialcarolinahurricanes.com/Adidas-Cam-Ward-Jersey “This whole BBC salary exposure business is an absolute outrage…” he tweeted. “I mean how can @chrisevans be on more than me?”
In one half-cumbersome, half-deft move, Lineker had cleared the air, sent himself up and roped the presenter Chris Evans into the bargain. It’s the same trick he employs in his Twitter bio, which reads: “Once kicked a ball about. Now talk about kicking a ball about. Still flogging spuds”, the latter referring to his long-term and lucrative contract as the face of Walkers Crisps.
All of this ingratiating humility is in a sense not unlike his defining skill as a footballer, Authentic Bobby Ryan Youth Jersey which was to score in or around the six-yard box while in the act of falling over.
The effect was to lend Lineker the look of a player who was not fully in control, less than poetic in his movements, but invariably decisive in his actions. Moreover, in the course of a 16-year career, he garnered not so much as a single yellow card. The ungainly finishing and lack of aggression encouraged opponents to underestimate him – at their peril.
It’s a confounding gift that has since taken him to the pinnacle of the BBC big-earner league. http://www.officialottawasenators.com/Adidas-Andrew-Hammond-Jersey While detractors may focus on his mugging expressions and tortuous puns, Lineker has got on with mastering the deceptive art of TV presentation.
He learned from the master himself, Des Lynam, who used to anchor Match of the Day when Lineker started out as a slightly plodding pundit, in 1995. At that time, having just hung up his football boots, he came across as gauche and rather too keen to be liked.
But Lineker studied Lynam’s casual charm and unflustered authority, the manner in which he put others at ease, not least the audience at home. “I used to ask a lot of questions about the little things that he did,” Lineker later recalled, “and picked up some of his nuances.”
For a few seconds after Sam Vokes had risen to meet Steven Defour’s cross to give Burnley an improbable 3-0 lead over the Premier League champions at Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte stood staring into thin air with his hand resting impassively on his chin. The Chelsea manager has witnessed a lot during a decade in the dugout but watching his misfiring team succumb so meekly to a side who had recorded just one away victory last season surely must have been a new experience.
After a strange summer that has seen his employers spend the best part of £130m on new players yet go into the title defence looking considerably weaker than the outfit who swept all before them just a few months ago, Adidas Cam Ward Womens Jersey the Italian then found himself fielding questions that suggested he had deliberately sabotaged his starting lineup in a bid to send a message to the club’s owner. Conte bristled visibly at that accusation, staring down his inquisitor before insisting “you don’t know me very well”, although quite what Roman Abramovich would have made of it all is anyone’s guess.
“No I’m not worried, because it’s normal,” Conte said later. “It’s important for me not to close my eyes, but to focus on our mistakes and to try to work to improve.”
Almost two years to the day before, José Mourinho had stood in the same dugout and watched his reigning champions begin their title defence by having a player sent off and subsequently failing to see off a visiting team expected to struggle. Save for Mourinho’s outburst at team doctor Eva Carneiro that proved to be the beginning of the end of the Special One’s second coming, http://www.authenticcarolinahurricanes.com/authentic-eddie-lack-jersey that 2-2 draw with Swansea had many parallels to Saturday’s shock defeat, with Gary Cahill this time playing the part of Thibaut Courtois in being dismissed early on another sunny afternoon in west London.
But while Mourinho’s ire had only increased after the final whistle on that occasion, a second-half comeback that almost rescued a point seemed to help his successor find his focus once more, even if the manner in which Chelsea had imploded after the England defender was sent off in the 14th minute for his studs-up challenge on Defour will be of great concern for Conte.
He did reveal some frustration by suggesting they would need to work on a new formation “with nine players” after Cesc Fàbregas was also dismissed late on. The latter’s suspension for the trip to Wembley to face last season’s runners-up, Tottenham, on Sunday, coupled with the continued absence of injured £40m signing Tiémoué Bakayoko, Authentic Adidas Brendan Shanahan Youth Jersey leaves a gaping hole in midfield that even a master tactician such as the former Juventus and Italy manager will find difficult to fill.
Having loaned out 26 players so far and having sold Nemanja Matic and Nathaniel Chalobah, there is no real excuse and even with Chelsea expected to make a renewed attempt to sign Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater and their interest in Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto, Conte put the ball firmly in his employers’ court before a match that, even at this early stage, could help to define their season.
“The club is trying to do their best in the transfer market,” he said. http://www.authenticdetroitredwings.com/authentic-brett-hull-jersey “I am a coach and now the season has started so my focus is just on the pitch and working with my players. This is my squad and this is my team and I want to fight with these players. The club is doing the work.”
On Spurs, Conte said: “We have one week to try to find the right solution. For sure, this game will be really tough but we must be ready. We must be ready. We must have the same will, the same desire to fight as the second half. I think we have to restart from there.”
By contrast, his counterpart Sean Dyche rightly revelled in his side’s achievement – which continues their remarkable record of having defeated the champions in each of their four seasons in the Premier League. The sales of Michael Keane and Andre Gray for a combined £43m would have knocked the stuffing out of most teams in the lower reaches of the division but it is a credit to their manager that they were deserved winners against Chelsea.
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And, breathe again. After a lingering summer of cold turkey sweats and chills, of August dog days spent slurping down another spoonful of transfer window gruel, relief is at hand. As of Friday night the Premier League is back, strutting in through the double doors, twirling its malacca cane, tipping its purple fedora and doling out another hit of the most colourfully framed footballing drama on earth.
Even in a league where every season is more pantingly hyperbolic than the last, this feels like a significant point for English football’s great project. Most obviously it is an anniversary year. Bryce Harper #34 Womens Jersey Next weekend marks a quarter of a century since the first Premier League season in 1992, when the talk was of ever-escalating modernity, of self-imposed hock to the broadcasters, and of wildly inflated transfer fees for young English talent following Alan Shearer’s sensational £3.6m move to Blackburn Rovers, an amazing £0.7m uplift on Dean Saunders’ switch to Liverpool the year before.
Plus ça change, plus, well, here we are all over again. As ever the world’s most excitable league arrives in a blur of sound and light. And as ever in the Premier League the superlatives tend to centre on excess as much as excellence, a version of football where the most notable qualities are not teams built and talent nurtured but pounds spent, billions dispersed, sacks of cash hurled to the winds.
This is the other point of note for the new season. That combined £10.4bn TV rights deal has made its presence decisively felt this summer, http://www.officialnationalshop.com/authentic-6-anthony-rendon-jersey.html allowing a league that was already drowning in money to become even more sozzled on its own profligacy.
Unease at Neymar’s absurdly excessive, state-backed £200m move to Paris Saint-Germain is justified on many levels but closer to home the Premier League, funded by our own aggressively fleeced commercial loyalty, is already approaching £1bn spent with three weeks of the window to run. Pep Guardiola has spent £400m on players in two years. Manchester United could have probably bought Neymar themselves at that price, arguably a superior all-round investment to a similar sum splurged on Paul Pogba, Pogba’s agent and bustling former Everton goal-hulk Romelu Lukaku.
And so it goes on. Bogged down in this kind of talk, the challenge for the new season is above all to change the conversion, to raise its game in other ways.
For all the attendant excitement it is hard to avoid the feeling of stasis in the Premier League. This is a place of interlocking but still discrete parts. Before a ball has been kicked the top six are already quite easy to call, http://www.officialgiantsfootballs.com/Andrew-Adams-Jersey-Cheap" target="_new" rel="nofollow">Andrew Adams Authentic Jersey with Everton the most likely insurgents should one or two cards fall their way. Beyond this the usual sub-peloton of mid-rankers will grind their way through to 40 points. Further down it isn’t hard to identify the contenders for the usual divvying up at the bottom.
This still represents a decent level of sporting uncertainty at a time of stratification everywhere else but for a league that trumpets its competitive edge, the no-filler excellence of its product, there are still some areas that could do with improvement.
First up on the to-do list is an actual title race. Remember those? http://www.officialgiantsfootballs.com/Darian-Thompson-Jersey-Cheap" target="_new" rel="nofollow"> http://www.officialgiantsfootballs.com/Darian-Thompson-Jersey-Cheap Only once in the last five seasons has there been anything resembling a genuine sprint to the line. Leicester City’s giddy ride was a wonderful thing to witness but it wasn’t exactly close by the end.
This time around there is reason to hope for something more, if only because once again nobody really looks equipped to run away with it. Manchester City have the most captivating group of attacking players and a manager whose era-defining obsession with style and glory is for once perhaps going a little under the radar. This is still a club in progress though, with pretty much an entire midweek Carabao Cup team exiting over the summer. Much hangs on the ability of Ederson, Kyle Walker and the hugely talented Benjamin Mendy to add some instant ballast to a zany backline.
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The Huddersfield Town megastore by the main entrance to the John Smith’s Stadium is not mega in the normal sense: it’s more like a boutique, even though the sales space has to be shared with the football club’s groundmates, the Huddersfield Giants rugby league team. But right now business is mega all right.
On Saturday Huddersfield make their debut in that gravity-defying financial phenomenon, the Premier League, and all day, every day the population of this normally sane and down-to-earth town have been pouring in to get their replica shirts and ancillary souvenirs and tat. Authentic Allen Iverson Womens Jersey Four staff members were working non-stop on Monday serving football customers; on the Giants’ side, in the town that gave birth to rugby league, a lone young man could only stare wistfully at his till. “It’s been like Christmas in here all summer,” he said. “Bit quiet for you, though?” He nodded.
Is promotion that big a deal? The rise of Huddersfield and Brighton means that by the weekend 49 teams will have played in 26 seasons of the Premier League – and there are only 92 teams in the four divisions. It is about time a club with Huddersfield’s history – three successive league titles in the 1920s – joined the throng.
The modern convention, of course, makes 1992, the date of football’s marriage to Rupert Murdoch, the main benchmark of the modern era, http://www.authenticgrizzliestore.com/Lorenzen_Wright_JerseyAuthentic George Gervin Youth Jersey Now another team with the humble appellation Town (the first since Ipswich 15 years ago) has got in and is part of something very big indeed.
And these days, the theory goes, the stakes for a put-upon, medium-sized place like Huddersfield are altogether higher. The template for this is said to be Swansea City, whose promotion in 2011 was, according to research by Cardiff Business School, worth £58m to the local economy in the first season alone.
Swansea University also reported a surge in applications, especially from overseas students: a delighted official reported that at a recruitment fair in Thailand one applicant’s first question was how far the university was from the stadium, Authentic George Gervin Youth Jersey and that another, from Colorado, chose to come because he saw the name Swansea while constantly playing Fifa on his computer.
Anecdotal evidence suggests everyone in Swansea has perked up these past six years: sales figures and property prices have risen; people have smiled their way through the streets; old married couples have resumed honeymoon sex; teenage children have volunteered for household jobs; the sun has shone all day and rain has fallen only at night. And so on. Some of this may even be true.
But one might legitimately wonder whether universities ought to want students who choose their destinations for ridiculous reasons. http://www.authenticspurstore.com/David_Robinson_Jersey And Wyn Grant, emeritus professor of politics at the University of Warwick and founder of the Football Economy website, is sceptical, anyway: “There are special factors in the case of Swansea. The Welsh government has given new emphasis to various kinds of activities and the profile of Wales as a whole has risen. Stoke-on-Trent hasn’t been revitalised by the Premier League.”
Samir Nasri had taken to Premier League life straightaway but within three months of his Arsenal debut something was bothering him. The season had, Authentic Daniel MurphyWomens Jersey on a collective level, lapsed into a now familiar pattern of inconsistency but Nasri thought he and his team-mates were being treated poorly. They had just beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge but before the next match, a home game with Wigan Athletic that became infamous for the treatment meted out to Emmanuel Eboué from the stands, he railed against the “acharnement” – widely translated as relentless criticism and perhaps better shortened to invective – he felt Arsenal had received from the press.
Almost nine years have passed and Nasri may reflect that those were the days when, at 21 and hyped as the “new Zidane”, there was far less to worry about. He is in limbo now, remaining within a Manchester City set-up that has little choice but to integrate him while concrete interest from elsewhere fails to materialise. The obvious question is: how has it come to this for a player who still seems too young for such a sharp decline in status?
The most immediate concern for Nasri is the doping case, being overseen by Uefa, that hangs over him following an intravenous drip therapy treatment he is said to have received at a Los Angeles clinic late last year. http://www.officialnationalstore.com/Chris_Heisey_Jersey City are yet to be given a date for its resolution and the effect is obvious: nobody, whether Roma or one of the other Italian and Chinese clubs to have been linked with his services, will exercise anything but caution while the possibility of a lengthy ban remains.
It may turn out Nasri was simply unlucky but the wider picture is that he tends to bring problems on himself. Few more infuriating characters have competed in the Premier League over recent years; the one thing no one questions about Nasri is his talent and it is only three years since, having frustrated Roberto Mancini with inconsistency to the extent the former City manager said he would like to “give him a punch”, he rallied under Manuel Pellegrini to star in a second title-winning campaign. Perhaps he will come good again but the suggestions are of burned bridges, with team-mates reported to have bridled against his perceived arrogance in pre-season.
That flash of annoyance with the media in December 2008, a month after he had scored twice in a defeat of Manchester United, betrayed more than seemed obvious at the time. Nasri is a sensitive, touchy character who reads his reviews and has a habit of reacting to them. Authentic Alexei Kovalev Youth Jersey It is a trait whose most high-profile effect came in the foul-mouthed row with a French journalist during Euro 2012 that led to his being phased out of the internationalset-up; it has rubbed others, too, up the wrong way and the impression is of an individual whose reflex for self-preservation has had the opposite effect to the one he intended.
Vikash Dhorasoo, a former France international who knows the alienation a free footballing spirit can feel, expressed it well – and sympathetically – when saying in a newspaper column five years ago: “I just hope when he retires Nasri will discover the joys of the collective.”
It was a telling remark because Nasri, famously accused of disrespecting Thierry Henry by sitting in his seat on the France team bus, http://www.officialcanadiensauthentic.com/Alexei_Emelin_Jersey has rarely been one to go with the crowd. In football that does not get one very far and perhaps Nasri has suffered on the pitch by not being the player a manager is willing to build an attack round.
Manchester United were beaten but should take some encouragement for making Real Madrid fight until the end and, following Nemanja Matic’s fine performance, will hope real quality has been added to the midfield.
As it was, Madrid claimed the trophy, #77 Ahtyba Rubin Womens Jersey goals by Casemiro and Isco answered only by Romelu Lukaku’s first competitive strike since his £75m move from Everton – though he also missed an easier chance in what was a mixed outing for him.
Madrid dominated for large swathes yet United might have forced extra-time when, near the end, Marcus Rashford raced in at goal but his effort allowed goalkeeper Keylor Navas to steer the ball away for a corner.
There was a large roar when Cristiano Ronaldo was given the final few minutes - there were seven added – but Madrid’s real jubilation was in winning http://www.seahawksofficialsproshop.com/Arthur-Brown-Jersey their second consecutive Uefa Super Cup to add to their back-to-back Champions League triumphs.
Gareth Bale missed the first golden opportunity in the oppressive heat inside the Philip II Arena. The 28-year-old, operating as a striker alongside Karim Benzema, won a corner. When play broke from this Marcelo swung in a cross from the left. For some reason Paul Pogba ducked and the ball landed on Bale’s right boot, but he spurned the chance despite being close to David de Gea’s goal.
For this first competitive outing of the 2017-18 term José Mourinho sent out a largely predictable XI. Bobby Orr Womens Jersey The one debatable selection was that of Jesse Lingard for Rashford in a 4-3-3. The midfield trio of Ander Herrera, Matic and Pogba is one the manager will hope to field consistently, form permitting.
The Madrid talking point was Ronaldo starting on the bench – he has only recently returned to training – and Bale’s inclusion from the off. According to Mourinho this meant Bale is not for sale, after the Portuguese’s claim in the buildup that should the Welshman be chosen by Zinedine Zidane he must be in his long-term plans. Mourinho conceded the point by saying it was “game over” in terms of that transfer and that Bale was going nowhere.
Despite the muggy air there was a slick pace to proceedings. Madrid’s initial burst was followed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Matic and Lukaku all combining in and around the Spanish champions’ area.
Matic particularly impressed. His was an all-round contribution that saw him cleaning up near De Gea and prompting Lukaku and Lingard into attacking pockets with clever balls.
Casemiro, though, showed how dangerous the European champions are from a Toni Kroos corner. The German floated in the ball in from the left and the Brazilian’s stooping header hit the bar, the No14 beating Matteo Darmian’s challenge.
Zidane’s strategy was for Bale and Benzema to swap between left and right and for playmaker Isco to race into holes they created. An illustration came when the latter burned along the left, played a give-and-go and let fly a 20-yarder.
His effort was too high but it was Isco’s dazzling footwork that led to Madrid’s opener. After a run-and-pirouette he took aim, the ball rebounding and falling to Dani Carvajal. The right-back scooped a sweet pass to Casemiro and his half-volley made it 1-0. Mourinho later complained this was offside but it looked marginal.
When Gianluca Rocchi called for drinks at 30 minutes United could thank the referee for the relief. Each coach had an animated chat though Mourinho was the more concerned.
The 54-year-old was to wear a dismayed look when United’s next two attacks foundered due two mistakes. First Herrera aimed a free-kick straight out. Then when the same player charged down a Kroos pass and Lukaku played himself offside by touching the ball. The half ended with a Benzema shot being beaten away by De Gea and Lukaku aiming a rare header at Navas.
Mourinho replaced the anonymous Lingard with Rashford for the second half. http://www.officialbruinsprostore.com/brad-marchand-jersey-for-sale-c-8.html Yet United were almost instantly pinned back. Kroos forced De Gea to save to his right, then a Mkhitaryan dribble foundered and Marcelo failed to make the keeper save again.
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Virgil van Dijk has handed in a transfer request as he looks to force his way out of Southampton.
The centre-half, who has been linked with moves to Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, Adam Graves Youth Jersey says he is “insulted” by suggestions he has refused to train. Last month the 26-year-old saw a dream move to Liverpool collapse with Southampton reporting the Anfield club to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach. Liverpool were forced into an apology and, in a bid to defuse the situation, promised they would back away from the former Celtic player.
Mauricio Pellegrino has since revealed Van Dijk had been training alone and was not in the right frame of mind to play for Southampton. The club insist the Holland international is not for sale but Van Dijk has now made it plain he wishes to leave.
A statement from Van Dijk read: “It is with regret I can confirm I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton. http://www.authenticrangersstore.com/antti-raanta-jersey_c-439.html I feel I have no alternative after I was given notice of the club’s intention to impose a disciplinary sanction against me of a fine equivalent to two weeks’ wages. I will be appealing what I feel to be an unjustified sanction and their inability to follow the correct disciplinary protocol in due course.
“Over the past six months I have held numerous discussions with representatives of the board, the former manager Claude Puel as well as the new manager Mauricio Pellegrino to inform them all of my desire to leave in search of a new challenge.
“I am incredibly ambitious and want to achieve as much as I possibly can to fulfil my potential in what is a very short career as a professional footballer. Authentic Alex Pietrangelo Womens Jersey I want to play European football again and challenge for major honours and as such I would like Southampton to consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist. I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed inquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.
“The period of time that I have just spent injured and unable to play has put a number of things into perspective and made me realise just how important it is to take major opportunities should they arise. I have consistently relayed my feelings to senior management in what I believed to be private and personal conversations. Disappointingly these conversations have regularly found their way into the media. I would also like to make clear that I have never once refused to train. As a proud professional I am insulted by the suggestion that it was me who refused to train and so feel it is important to point out the true version of events.
“I had very much hoped to retain the good relationship I’ve always enjoyed with everyone at the club, http://www.authenticbluesstore.com/al-macinnis-jersey_c-429.html especially the fans, but in light of everything that’s happened this has now been seriously affected. I have nothing but gratitude to everyone at Southampton for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
“However, the time for me to move on is now and I hope to be able to work with the club to find the best resolution to suit all parties.”
Liverpool were willing to pay a world-record sum for a defender – around £60m – to win the race for Van Dijk and the £200,000-a-week contract offer had made Anfield his preferred destination. It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will now return for their No1 summer transfer target.
Ben Davies knows how it feels to be down the pecking order under Mauricio Pochettino. But the Wales left-back is enjoying his longest spell in the Tottenham first team since joining from Swansea in July 2014, in the absence of Danny Rose through injury, and Davies believes he and Kieran Trippier are reaping the rewards from their spells as understudies.
Pochettino expects to discover later on Monday the extent of the injury that forced Trippier off during the first half of their 2-0 win over Juventus on Saturday; Authentic Andrei Vasilevskiy Youth Jersey the Spurs manager said the former Burnley defender had twisted his ankle after a challenge with Alex Sandro. The 26-year-old left Wembley on crutches and wearing a protective boot but Pochettino appeared upbeat about his chances of featuring against Newcastle on Sunday in their opening Premier League game of the season.
Following the sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City for a fee that could reach £50m and with Tottenham yet to make a signing since the end of last season, the injury could not have come in a worse position for Pochettino; he has only the England under-20 defender and near-namesake Kyle Walker-Peters to call on if Trippier is ruled out for a significant period. Walker-Peters impressed against the Serie A champions in the second half but has yet to make a senior appearance, meaning the club could decide to firm up interest in Hoffenheim’s Jeremy Toljan, who impressed for Germany at the European Under-21 Championship in June.
With Rose also not expected back from his long-term knee injury until at least the end of the month, Spurs face starting the season with Davies as their only fit senior full-back, an area of the team which excelled last season. http://www.officialtampabaylightning.com/Adidas-Alex-Killorn-Jersey “It’s going to be an opportunity for me to get some games and it’s all about trying to do well in those games, then we will see what happens,” said Davies, who admitted he and Trippier have had to be patient since arriving in north London.
“We’re definitely quite similar. We’ve been in and out of the team the time we’ve been here but in any club you’re going to have the rotation system with the amount of games you have. But when you get that jersey you’ve got to try to make the best of the opportunity.”
While Pochettino repeated that Spurs intend to add some new faces before the transfer window closes, the quality of the two goals against Juventus – scored by Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen – showed there remains plenty of talent at his disposal.
After a slow start to last season during which Spurs won only five of their first 11 matches and drew six, Davies believes they are in a strong position to improve this time around.
“It’s a definite confidence boost. It is only pre-season so we can’t look at it too much but overall we’re delighted with the performance and the result,” Authentic Andy Janovich Youth Jersey he said. “We’ve used the pre-season games just to build our fitness ready for the start of the season and this was definitely a confidence-booster to beat a world-class side like Juventus. Anybody would be happy with that.”
First up is the trip to face Newcastle at St James’ Park, where a 5-1 defeat on the final day of the 2015-16 season against a team that had already been relegated condemned Spurs to finishing third behind Arsenal.
“It was a strange game,” said Davies. “None of us as players wanted that to happen and we’re determined for it not to happen again. http://www.denverbroncosauthorizedstore.com/adam-gotsis-jersey-elite It’s a game that’s kind of been wiped from our minds and it’s going to be us going there looking to be better than them.
Nobody wants a result like that against anybody. We were a different team then and hopefully we’ve grown and we can show that next weekend.”
Arsène Wenger has called on Arsenal to build on their Community Shield victory against Chelsea by making an intense and spirited start to the new Premier League season.
The Frenchman goes into the new campaign under intense scrutiny having signed a two?year contract last May on the back of a campaign in which his side failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1997. Authentic Adidas Colin Wilson Womens Jersey But he appeared an emboldened figure after his side overcame the champions at Wembley on Sunday via a 4-1 penalty shootout victory after the contest had ended 1-1 in normal time.
Wenger described winning the Community Shield, the 15th in Arsenal’s history, as “an encouragement” and now wants his side to avoid their poor starts to the previous two Premier League campaigns, when they lost their opening fixtures on both occasions, in order to mount a serious title challenge.
“We want to find a balance between the confidence we can get out of this game and the urgency every Premier League game demands,” he said. http://www.authenticnashvillepredators.com/authentic-dante-fabbro-jersey “We had some bad starts recently but we have had intensity in our preparation, so let’s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit and see where we can go.”
Arsenal fell behind to Victor Moses’s strike shortly after half-time but did not wilt and equalised when the summer arrival Sead Kolasinac scored with an 82nd?minute header. The goal came from a free-kick given for a studs-up tackle by Pedro on Mohamed Elneny that led to the Spaniard being sent off.
The penalty shootout was the first in this country to deploy the ABBA system. Following successive misses by Chelsea’s goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, and record signing, Cam Fowler Womens Jersey Álvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud scored the decisive spot kick for Arsenal to give them victory over Chelsea at the national stadium for the second time in 71 days following their triumph in the FA Cup final in May.
Antonio Conte was left frustrated not only by the outcome but by the decision of the referee, Bobby Madley, not to award his side a penalty on 35 minutes after Willian fellinside Arsenal’s area following a challenge by Hector Bellerin.
“A lot of people told me penalty was clear,” the Italian said before going on to defend the decision to let Courtois step up in the shootout. http://www.officialsanaheimducks.com/Adidas-Andrew-Cogliano-Jersey “He is one of the best players [at the club] at taking penalties,” he said of the Belgian.
Chelsea begin their title defence against Burnley on Saturday, when Conte will hope to have Eden Hazard and his new signing Tiémoué Bakayoko available to play. Both missed this match due to a lack of match sharpness.
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Mark Sampson’s bold ambitions of European domination were reduced to tatters as, inspired by Danielle van de Donk’s outstanding midfield performance, Holland left his Lionesses uncharacteristically cowed and thoroughly chastened.
Well before the final whistle, the England coach’s tight white shirt had been torn, Barry Larkin Youth Jersey perhaps emblematically, during a particularly vexing technical area moment. As Sampson stewed over some controversial refereeing decisions, the Oranje ended an evening on which their nation finally seemed to have fallen in love with women’s football, having deservedly earned a place in Sunday’s final against Denmark.
It left Sampson talking of his “disappointment,” of the “devastation in the dressing room” and “tears among the staff”. For all his annoyance about specific incidents, the young Welshman was in impressively magnanimous mode.
“We always knew it was going to be difficult,” http://www.authenticcincinnatireds.com/Billy-Hamilton-Jersey he said. “Congratulations to Holland they deserve their place in the final. I wish them all the best. Their supporters made it a wonderful night for women’s football.”
Even so the hosts’ triumph was surely facilitated partly by the loss of England’s Jill Scott to suspension. The former junior cross-country champions covers a lot of miles, invariably box to box, and, as feared, her athletic dynamism proved much missed.
Scott’s place went to the veteran Fara Williams who adopted the deepest sitting holding role alongside Jade Moore in a 4-2-3-1 formation seemingly Bo Jackson Authentic Jersey designed to frustrate Holland before aiming to overwhelm Sarina Wiegman’s side on the counterattack. Unfortunately Sampson’s midfield struggled to cope with the excellent Van de Donk, who eclipsed her Arsenal team-mate Williams.
Beforehand Wiegman had labelled England a long-ball team and, for lengthy stretches, they looked two-dimensional at best as they strove to contain a front three featuring Lieke Martens, Barcelona’s new £180,000-a-year left winger. As the message emblazoned on one Dutch banner, put it: “Who needs Neymar when you’ve got Martens.”
She was up against a formidable opponent in Lucy Bronze and initially found getting behind England’s right-back tricky. With Wiegman’s defence holding similarly firm, Sampson’s leading striker, Jodie Taylor lacked early chances to challenge her Arsenal team-mate and good friend, Holland’s goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.
It was turning into a cagey, physical game but then England suffered a concentration lapse. With Demi Stokes minding Holland’s menacing right winger, Shanice van der Sanden, Ellen White failed to close down Jackie Groenen, who used the resultant space to swing in a cross towards Vivianne Miedema at the far post.
Miedema, newly signed by Arsenal from Bayern Munich, had no hesitation in heading beyond the England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain. http://www.authentickansascityroyals.com/Brandon-Moss-Jersey The ball’s unerring trajectory left Millie Bright, hoping to clear off the line, merely helping usher it on its journey to the bottom corner. It was only the second goal the Lionesses had conceded during Euro 2017 and the first time they had fallen behind.
Already a sea of orange, FC Twente’s home had turned into a wall of sound as many of the 27,000-plus crowd celebrated. A test of England’s much vaunted mental resilience beckoned and they appeared to rally. From a corner Moore unleashed a header which looked to be going wide until Sherida Spitse hacked it onto a post from where, to wholesale Dutch relief, it rebounded to safety.
England then demanded a penalty – with some justification – when Desiree van Lunteren appeared to elbow White as they competed for Bronze’s cross but Stéphanie Frappart, the French referee, was not buying it and Sampson ripped his shirt. “There was contact,” he said. “We didn’t get the decisions but I’m incredibly proud of my players.”
Neymar is set to complete a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain worth around £450m in fees and wages after telling Barcelona he is leaving.
PSG have given the go?ahead for the forward’s buyout fee of €222m (£198m) to be handed over at the Spanish football federation offices, the protocol required to clear the transfer. Jarell Martin Womens Jersey Neymar, who flew to Porto on Wednesday for his medical, is expected to be presented in Paris this week.
On a dramatic day Neymar, accompanied by his father, who advises him, informed Barcelona at their training ground in the morning of his desire to go. The club responded by saying the release clause would have to be paid in full.
PSG had anticipated that and always intended to meet it. A five-year contract for Neymar has been waiting to be signed for several days. The wages are understood to be around €30m a year after tax – equivalent to around £520,000 a week – almost doubling the player’s salary. Neymar Sr and others including the agent Pini Zahavi are due to share a €38m payment for facilitating the move.
During a training ground visit of around 30 minutes Neymar also told his team-mates he was leaving. http://www.officialgrizzliestore.com/authentic-25-chandler-parsons-jersey.html They were disappointed to learn of his decision and although it was not unexpected there had been hopes they could convince him to stay. Lionel Messi posted an Instagram video and message to Neymar a few hours later, writing: “It was a great pleasure to have shared all these years with you, friend @neymarjr. I wish you good luck in this new stage of your life.” Neymar had been due to return to training on Wednesday but was given permission by the coach, Ernesto Valverde, not to take part. He headed for Porto, where PSG’s doctor was with Maxwell, the club’s sporting coordinator.
Barcelona’s No1 target to replace Neymar is Philippe Coutinho but Liverpool are adamant he is not for sale. They have rejected a £72m bid and are braced for renewed interest, although Jürgen Klopp made his club’s position clear from the Audi Cup in Munich. “It’s nice that Coutinho is so highly rated but they can save their energy,” the manager said. “I cannot talk about this just because a Barcelona guy starts talking. Did he say they come to Liverpool and do business, something like this? They want to come over? They are funny. I don’t want things like this.” Klopp also had a dig at the amount of money being spent.
He said: “There are clubs that can pay fees like that – Manchester City and PSG. Authentic Brandon Marshall Youth Jersey Everybody knows that. I thought financial fair play was introduced so situations like this could not happen but it seems to be more of a suggestion than a real rule. I don’t understand how it happens but I hope this is not the next step. I hope it will stay the exception but you never know.”
Next on Barcelona’s list is likely to be Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembélé. Kylian Mbappé of Monaco and the Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann are also coveted but those deals would be harder to secure.
Barcelona’s official position was that Neymar was not for sale but, with PSG willing to meet a clause the club had considered unpayable when inserting it in his contract extension last year, the matter was out of their hands. The fee dwarfs the record €105m Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.
At board level Barcelona are irritated not only at the outcome but by the manner it has been brought about. The political damage is considerable and the club’s image, http://www.officialgiantsfootballs.com/Brad-Wing-Jersey-Cheap already deteriorated, has been hit. Barcelona confirmed that a bonus due to Neymar for renewing his contract last season had been put on hold, rather than paid out, pending the resolution of his transfer. That €26m bonus may explain the silence from Neymar’s camp. Neymar’s father has driven the deal.
Barcelona have found support from La Liga, which has indicated it would be reluctant to sign off the move. Legally, however, it appears it has little way of preventing Neymar from triggering his buyout clause as stipulated in its rules and formally becoming a free agent ready to sign for PSG. Fifa and Uefa rules do not contemplate a scenario whereby the Spanish league can prevent a buyout clause being triggered. There has been no suggestion from Barcelona they will complain that he was tapped up.
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Daniel Sturridge has given Liverpool a pre-season injury scare after suffering a thigh problem while scoring the final goal in a convincing 3-0 defeat of Bayern Munich.
The injury-prone Liverpool striker chipped an exquisite finish over Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in the 83rd minute of the Audi Cup game at the Allianz Arena. In doing so Sturridge, a 67th minute substitute for Jürgen Klopp’s team, Bishop Sankey Youth Jersey sustained a thigh injury that forced his own substitution with four minutes remaining. The England international will have further tests before the full extent of the problem and any lay-off is known.
“I can’t say [the extent] but he hurt his thigh,” said Klopp after the win that set up a final against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday. “He has prepared really well and I just hope it’s only a small injury and he can play again soon. His goal was really great and he had another chance before that. You could see how fast he is. It is a shame and I just hope it is nothing serious.”
Sturridge later downplayed the injury, insisting he “will be OK”. “I think it’s just a bit of fatigue. I’m feeling the best I’ve felt for a while,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the season and hopefully we can have some success this season as well.”
Any time on the sidelines would represent a significant setback to Sturridge who, http://www.chiefsofficialsauthentic.com/CHIEFS-ANTHONY-SHERMAN-JERSEY despite doubts over his long-term Liverpool future at the end of last season, has impressed Klopp this summer with his fitness and application. The striker had spoken only recently about his sharpness after being sidelined by a hip injury last season and losing his starting role in the Liverpool team behind Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho. The competition for forward places in Klopp’s side has intensified following the club record signing of Mohamed Salah from Roma this summer, and Liverpool’s attacking prowess was evident as they beat Bayern comfortably at the Allianz Arena.
Mané, who is working his way back to full fitness having undergone knee surgery in April, opened the scoring against Carlo Ancelotti’s team and was instrumental in Liverpool’s second, a close-range header from Salah. Bayern enjoyed plenty of possession but could not cope with their opponents’ pace and penetration on the counter attack.
The Bundesliga champions face their first competitive match of the season on Saturday – the German Supercup Final against Klopp’s old club Borussia Dortmund – and their preparations have been far from ideal. Bayern have lost to Arsenal, Milan, Authentic Austin Romine Youth Jersey Internazionale and now Liverpool in pre-season. Robert Lewandowski’s obvious displeasure at the poor quality service he received and an anonymous display from summer recruit James Rodriguez, stationed wide on the right, showed Ancelotti has several problems to address ahead of the new season. Not that Klopp got carried away with Liverpool’s most impressive result of the summer so far.
“Nearly everything was good but we are still in our preparations, we haven’t played enough football so far, and Bayern enjoyed too much possession tonight,” the Liverpool manager said. “We gave the ball to Bayern too much and we had to run around too much but at times my team showed how good they can play football. The third goal was great. In attack we were really good. In the first half we were very dangerous on the counter, the pressing was very good.”
Out-of-favour Alberto Moreno, who has been linked with a move away from Liverpool this summer, produced a productive display at left back. Klopp suggested the Spanish defender would have a future at Anfield if he displayed that form on a more consistent basis.
Klopp said: “He would play if he played like he did today, yes. It was a really good game by Alberto. Every second he was playing better, http://www.authenticyankeeshop.com/authentic-3-babe-ruth-jersey.html that’s why we kept playing him. He looked really fit although he had a little problem with his thigh but we had a test with him this morning and he was OK. The players decide themselves how many games they play.”
In the other Audi Cup semi-final Atlético came from a goal behind to beat Napoli 2-1 thanks to strikes from Fernando Torres and Luciano Vietto. Diego Simeone’s team also had Diego Godín sent off for two bookable offences, the second of which sparked furious exchanges between the opposing benches. “I hope things will calm down for tomorrow as we want to play a bit,” said Klopp.
Mauricio Pochettino fears Tottenham will not be able to challenge for the Premier League title unless he makes signings who can force Harry Kane, Dele Alli and other key players to raise their games.
Pochettino accepts Tottenham cannot compete financially with the biggest spenders but is determined to strengthen a squad that finished runners-up to Chelsea last season. Alexei Emelin Womens Jersey He has not made a summer buy, with Kyle Walker’s departure for Manchester City the most notable activity.
The manager believes complacency can creep in if players are not challenged by new arrivals and made to feel their place is under threat. “How have Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and different clubs tried to improve their season?” Pochettino said. “Bringing players and trying to put more pressure on their star players, their key players – and for us we need to do that too.”
Pochettino pointed out that whereas he arrived at Tottenham in 2014 amid fears that the leading players could leave unless the club qualified for the Champions League, expectations have changed.
“Right, now [I hear] we need to win some trophies, no?” he said. “That is good, the pressure. http://www.officialflyersteamonline.com/Brian_Propp_Jersey I think it’s important to understand now that we need to be clever how we manage the expectation and how we need to put pressure on our own players.
“We understand that Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, [Eric] Dier, [Toby] Alderweireld are really good players. They want to win but need to feel the pressure a little bit to improve every season.
“If there’s no competition in behind it’s normal to drop your motivation, it’s normal to drop everything that you do. And then it’s difficult to win.”
During the recent tour of the United States Tottenham fielded a number of academy products, Brayden Schenn Authentic Jersey which yielded mixed results and the realisation that although players such as Josh Onomah, Kyle Walker-Peters and Cameron Carter-Vickers have potential, they are not ready to push first-team regulars. Pochettino said he and Daniel Levy, the chairman, were in agreement regarding transfers.
“Every season we need to be clever in how we bring more energy and make sure our main players are not in a comfortable situation – because if not it is normal in human beings,” Pochettino said.
“If some players arrive with different energy then it’s: ‘OK, come on, we need to push, we need to run, we need to do the same.’ That is the risk we will have in the future if we only keep 11 players.
“We are finding the balance because now is the moment to maybe refresh the team with some new faces – and it’s sure that will happen. In three years, http://www.mavericksteamonline.com/Jose_Juan_Barea_Jersey my experience with Daniel has always been trying to find a player to improve. The difference is were they the right or wrong signing?”
Tottenham broke their transfer record last summer for Moussa Sissoko, who has not proved he is worth £30m. Fees have continued to rise, with significant outlay in this window by City (£200m-plus), Manchester United (around £140m) and Chelsea (around £120m). Levy has described the spending as “unsustainable”.
“The problem is so clear,” Pochettino said. “We are not a club today that can compete with Manchester United and City for a player. We cannot fight. We are in a different way. But the thing is Daniel is very keen to sign like me. These type of player we are talking about they are not easy to find.”
Everton’s Ross Barkley is a prime target for Pochettino, though the demands regarding fee and wages would need to drop for Levy to sanction the move. The midfielder recently rejected a contract at Goodison Park which would have taken his wages to around £100,000 a week and paying £35m for a player in the final year of his contract deal does not sit easily with the Tottenham hierarchy.
Pochettino was happy to allow Walker to leave in the belief that Kieran Trippier, who made his England debut this summer, is ready to step up at right-back. “The problem here is what happens when you say, ‘I am No1’, ‘I am No2’,” Pochettino said. “And the No1 believes they have more right than another and the other feels he is less.
“It’s so difficult to manage that situation. That’s why as a manager you must give the possibility to rotate when they’re at the same level. But we are so relaxed and so calm. There is no doubt in what we are trying to do.”
Pochettino disclosed that Álvaro Morata, Chelsea’s new £58m striker, previously rejected a move to Tottenham for fear that he would be unable to compete with Kane. Jose Barea Youth Jersey The revelations are likely to increase the intensity of the relationship between the two managers, with Conte angering Pochettino last week for questioning his ambition and declaring his admiration for Kane.
“Morata talked about myself, in the media – he said: ‘Mauricio called me,’” Pochettino said. “That was from the beginning, two years ago or more. He said to me: ‘Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?’ You know, if you go to try to sign a striker, they will say: ‘Eh, gaffer, you want me for what? To be on the bench?”
Six months into his first season back at Chelsea, José Mourinho had identified three key areas in which his team were deficient. Hindsight suggests it was that recognition that led, at the beginning of February 2014, Authentic Alexei Emelin Youth Jersey to his “little horses” press conference in which he denied Chelsea were title contenders despite having pulled to within two points of the top with a 1-0 win at Manchester City. He was lacking a genuine goalscorer and a creative presence in midfield, problems resolved by the signings that summer of Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas, but he had already moved in January to plug the other gap by bringing Nemanja Matic back from Benfica.
Chelsea made 10 signings in 2014 but it was those three who were the most important, something that was obvious from the moment Chelsea beat Burnley in their opening game of the season. Each of the three major deficiencies the previous season had been dealt with and it is only a slight exaggeration to say that from that moment Chelsea’s title win was a procession.
Mourinho has made a habit of such clinical changes after a season at a club. Since he joined Porto in 2002, he has always won the league in his second season – at Porto, http://www.officialcanadiensauthentic.com/Alexei_Kovalev_Jersey at Chelsea, at Internazionale and Real Madrid, and at Chelsea again – as though that is the happy midpoint when he has had time to organise his team but not quite had time to exhaust them with his constant political manoeuvring.
Matic makes it three major signings at United this summer: each in the spine of the side and each addressing a specific issue. Romelu Lukaku should bring the goals that United could not find against lesser sides who defended compactly last season. Victor Lindelof should add stability to the centre of a defence that clearly never satisfied Mourinho last season. But in terms of the structure of the team, Matic may be the most important of the lot.
Mourinho has always sought a dominant presence at the back of midfield, somebody who could offer, as he himself has put it, “position, stability, control”, somebody for whom “to score a goal is a miracle but to lose a ball is also a miracle”. At Porto he had Costinha; Authentic Brian Propp Womens Jersey at Chelsea the first time Claude Makelele (and Mikel John Obi, initially a far more complete midfielder whom he tried to mould into his enforcer); at Inter Esteban Cambiasso; at Madrid Lassana Diarra or Xabi Alonso; and then Matic at Chelsea.
Last season, when Michael Carrick was unavailable, the ever-willing Ander Herrera was pressed into service in the role but he seems more naturally a shuttler, the all-rounder who can link the front and back of the team alongside a holder in the manner of Pedro Mendes, Tiago Mendes, Michael Ballack, Javier Zanetti or Ramires.
It’s a role that has a profound influence over the rest of the team. The holder serves as a breakwater in front of the central defenders, making it harder for forwards to isolate them, while keeping the shape compact and ideally leading the press. He also needs to be able to distribute, whether he is keeping the ball circulating or initiating counterattacks.
Matic ended up expendable to Chelsea because of the overwhelming excellence of N’Golo Kanté, whose energy made it possible for him to perform that role and more, but he was a hugely important presence in the title season under Mourinho. He ought to offer protection to whichever pairing of Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones ends up as first choice but in the context of United’s squad, his more important influence may end up being at the other end of the pitch.
The biggest single tactical issue United faced last season was getting the best out of Paul Pogba, who had a decent season but not a season of the sort of indelible brilliance you may expect from somebody just signed for a world record fee. He seemed always to be between roles, http://www.officialflyersteamonline.com/Boyd_Gordon_Jersey occasionally too high up the pitch, where he lacked the close technical abilities and guile to be effective and where his pace and stamina seemed a little wasted, or too deep, so he was always playing within himself, unable to unleash the sort of surge that had made him so effective at Juventus. With a dedicated holding presence – and possibly Herrera as well – alongside him, Pogba should be liberated to become the dominant box-to-box player he can be.
It matters, too, that Matic is a Mourinho loyalist; his respect for his manager is apparently undimmed by what others may have taken as the humiliation of being taken off 28 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute against Southampton in October 2015. With the odd hint that Mourinho is becoming frustrated by United’s transfer policy this summer, that could be significant in the internal politicking that tends to follow the 54-year-old to any club.
For now, though, Matic represents a classic Mourinho second-season signing, strengthening the spine, answering a specific need and, in theory at least, making it easier for others to do their jobs.
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Manchester United are poised to complete the purchase of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea after the midfielder underwent a medical on Sunday.
Matic’s signing would be a significant boost to José Mourinho after United failed in their efforts to purchase Eric Dier from Tottenham Hotspur.
Juventus were also keen on Matic but the player, who will be 29 on Tuesday, preferred a move to Old Trafford to be reunited with Mourinho, who brought him back to Chelsea in January 2014. Bobby Orr Authentic Jersey Talks between United and Chelsea over a fee have taken some time, with the clubs initially substantially apart over the price.
Chelsea had set their sights on receiving £50m and it is not yet clear what the fee will be for the 28-year-old. They were particularly keen to drive a hard bargain with United after missing out to them over the signing of Romelu Lukaku.
Matic’s Stamford Bridge exit had long been expected after the Chelsea manager Antonio Conte signed the France international Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco in £39.7m deal this month.
A picture circulated on Twitter purporting to show Matic in United training kit and wearing No31, http://www.officialbruinsprostore.com/brad-marchand-jersey-for-sale-c-8.html which has been vacant since the departure of Bastian Schweinsteiger. Chelsea had left Matic out of their tour to Asia to allow him to finalise a move. Next on Juventus’s list of midfield targets are Paris Saint-Germain’s Blase Matuidi and Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi.
Matic would be United’s third signing of the summer following a £31m deal for the defender Victor Lindelof and the £75m move for Lukaku from Everton. Matic could make his debut against Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday or in the Uefa Super Cup against Real Madrid next week. Mourinho told MUTV: “I’m waiting for news. I know that he wants that very, very much and when a player wants very, very much the chance is bigger … so I think we have a chance but in football until it’s official, I saw so many things happen that I refuse to say more than I am telling you now.”
Matic was a key component of Chelsea’s title-winning team in 2014-15 after Mourinho brought him back to the club from Benfica for £20.75m.
United have also been linked with a winger and are keen on Ivan Perisic. Internazionale’s £49m asking price, however, has proved a substantial stumbling block.
Perisic fits Mourinho’s requirements but the United manager may now be forced to look elsewhere for an attacking solution, with the club reportedly also interested in Everton’s Ross Barkley.
Mourinho, speaking after a 3-0 friendly victory against Valerenga in Oslo on Sunday , appeared to end Galatasaray’s hopes of signing Marouane Fellaini. Cliff Pennington Authentic Jersey The Turkish club were sufficiently confident of getting the midfielder that they had made plans for their president, Dursun Ozbek, or another board member to come to Manchester on Monday or Tuesday.
An agreement has been reached in principle with the 29-year-old Fellaini over a four?year contract worth in the region of €4m (£3.6m), which would make him their highest-paid player.
However, Mourinho said after Fellaini scored against Valerenga: “It’s easier for Galatasaray to get me than Marouane. http://www.officialangelsproshop.com/Cj_Wilson_Jersey If they need a manager, they can try and have a chance, but Marouane? Forget it. He’s too important for me.”
 
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