England National Team Call Ups

Gareth Southgate has named his 26 man squad for England’s matches against Germany in a friendly, and the World Cup qualifying match against Lithuania, and in his squad he has included a player who hasn’t featured for the Three Lions, since November 2013, in a game against Chile.

Sunderland star man, Jermain Defoe has been given, what many would consider, a deserved call up to the national squad, after his outstanding past few seasons with the struggling Black Cats.

Since joining Sunderland back in 2014, Defoe has scored 33 goals in 77 appearances in the Premier League. In this season alone, he has netted a total of 14 times in his 27 games.

There was no room for Arsenal players Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere, and Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Andy Carroll and Daniel Sturridge all miss out due to injury.

James Ward-Prowse, Michael Keane, Nathan Redmond and Michail Antonio are all included in the squad but are yet to play for England, while Jake Livermore has only made senior appearance for England.

Gareth Southgate’s full squad includes:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Clyne, Phil Jones, Michael Keane, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Dele Alli, Michail Antonio, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier, Adam Lallana, Jesse Lingard, Jake Livermore, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nathan Redmond, Raheem Sterling, James Ward-Prowse

Strikers: Jermain Defoe, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy

Champions League Review

 As the round of 16 of the Champions League drew to a close, we have decided to take a look back at the fixtures and results of each team involved.

In the first set of fixtures, we witnessed some absolutely astonishing set of results. First came the clash of the super clubs, Paris Saint Germain and FC Barcelona. In the capital of France the, the French giants PSG, defeated the super team of spain by 4 goals, keeping a cleansheet in the progress.

During the second leg, in the beautiful city of Barcelona, the story was however very different. Barcelona had begun their historic comeback by scoring 3 goals in around 50 minutes, making the score 4-3 on aggregate to PSG. Star striker Edinson Cavani struck back for the blues, before an incredible 3 goals in the final 7 minutes for Barcelona taking them through 6-5 on aggregate.

It was like déjà vu in the game between Bayern Munich and Arsenal, as they have faced each other 3 times in the last 16 of the Champions League, in the past 4 seasons. Each leg seemed like a complete copy of the other, with Bayern winning both times, by 5 goals to 1.

Once again in the matches between Spanish giants Real Madrid and the Italians Napoli, the results were the same in both legs. The final result on aggregate was 6-2, after the 3-1 win in both legs for Madrid.

In the games between Borussia Dortmund and Benfica, the Portuguese team created an upset in the first leg on their home turf, before the Germans made a really improved performance in the second leg, winning 4-1 overall.  

Reigning Premier league Champions Leicester City, took on Sevilla and could only settle with a 2-1 defeat away in Spain, but did take back to the King Power, a crucial away goal. Not long after this match, Leicester’s boss, Claudio Ranieri was sacked. Even considering this, Leicester still went on to win the home leg 2-0 and went through 3-2 on aggregate.

Juventus took on Porto and took a clean sweep by winning both legs, the first 2-0 and the second 1-0, without conceding a goal.

Atletico Madrid were set to face Bayer Leverkusen, and won the first leg 4-2, setting them up nicely for the second leg. Back in spain, Madrid did exactly what they needed to and kept the score line at 0-0 to guarantee they went through to the quarter finals.

The final match of the round of 16 was an absolute thriller between two high goalscoring teams in Monaco and Manchester city. The first leg was an incredible 5-3 win for the blues, but the second leg was quite a contrast. Monaco won in the second leg 3-1, making the aggregate score 6-6, and as a result sending them through on the away goals rule.

This leaves the quarter final teams as: AS Monaco, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona, Juventus, Leicester City and Real Madrid.

African Footballer of the Year Announced

After weeks of voting, the African footballer of the year has been announced, and Riyhad Mahrez took the trophy over Yaya Toure, Andre Ayew, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mane.

On the 12th December 2016 at 5:30 pm, Riyhad Mahrez won his first ever African Footballer of the year, which is voted for by the public. It is a very prestigious award in Africa, as it shows you were the best footballer in that continent in that respected year. The voting system eliminates three of the five candidates early on, and then reveals the winner about an hour later. The three people eliminated first are in particular order, but the last two are the first and second in the voting.  Sadio Mane came in a close second but Riyhad Mahrez took the trophy. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was eliminated first which left some people very surprised. The next footballer eliminated was Yaya Toure who has won the award twice (the same amount as Jay-Jay Okocha and one more than George Weah) but maybe he didn’t have as good of a year as the other contestants, so there was not much outcry over his elimination. The last of the first three eliminations came in the form of West Ham’s Andre Ayew who was injured at the start of this season so it came as no surprise when he was eliminated.

It came down to the final two footballers: Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Leicester’s Riyhad Mahrez. Both players had never won the award before, and so wanted just as bad as each other. Eventually, Mahrez won the award after taking Leicester to a BPL title. He told BBC sport   “It means a lot, it’s something big for African players so I am very happy, I am very proud”.

By Matthew

New era of Footballing Rules?

 

Recently, during an interview, Pep Guardiola  (Manchester City Manager) had a few rule adjustments in mind for the FA to consider adding in to the beautiful game.

 During the interview, he suggested the idea of giving the managers the opportunity to use up to 6 substitutions during the course of the 90 minutes. He believes that, “They [the players] are focusing on more and more and more – it affects the quality,” which means that because football is becoming more intense, in footballing quality and on the athletes themselves, that they are becoming at risk of burning themselves out.

He also stated, “You play against Milan, Juventus, Madrid and you have to win. People demand you have to play good [with] no preparation. Then you come back and it’s 11 months again and it’s the European Cup. ”

“This kind of thing is impossible because we are going to finish [the season], then after one week the World Cup then after three weeks we go to the pre-season, we go to China, the States, Australia,”

So far, nothing has been said by FA regarding this matter, but we believe nothing shall come of it apart from a few confused faces towards Guardiola.

By Cameron

Anthony against Klitschko?

Anthony Joshua’s fight against Eric Molina was a breeze for Joshua. It was a hard hitting brawl between two beasts where Joshua came out on top. After three rounds, Joshua knocked out Molina.

Molina must of been looking for Anthony Joshua not to turn up fit and catch him off guard with a knock out punch, but sadly for Molina, Joshua brought the fight to him. With Joshua clean sweeping Molina, is Klitschko next to face Joshua?

Joshua says money will never get to his head with the quotes “Fighters can lose their way after tasting a bit of success but it’s not about the money, it’s about class,” and “It’s about morals, how much you conduct yourself. Glitz and glamour doesn’t come into it. I don’t live in luxury, I’m still at home with my mum!”

So will Joshua get Kiltschko or will he have to go through someone else?

By Fernley