Manchester United defender Chris Smalling hailed the former coach Louis van Gaal for helping him reach the quality that made the first team of the Three Lions squad.
LvG was sacked despite winning the FA cup in England as he failed to qualify for the Champions League but Smalling reveals that the coach played a huge part in his career.
Smalling who is 26 years old said: “Louis is very tactically aware. He really drilled us from the front to the back in terms of how we move, how we shift, and that’s helped me.”
On the first game against Russia, Smalling said the team has been watching videos and he is aware of their threats, especially 6ft 5in striker Zenit St Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba, who scored eight goals in qualifying for the tournament. Smalling said the defence would be “very physical and aggressive” to contain the Russian attackers when they play their first game in Marseille on Saturday. Artem Dzyuba scored six goals in eight Champions League games for Zenit last season and will be leading the attack for Russia against England but Smalling assured that they were ready to contain him. Continue reading SMALLING HAILS LVG FOR HELPING HIM MAKE ENGLAND FIRST TEAM
Winger Gareth Bale hasn’t had it easy at Spanish side, Real Madrid, but he returns to England in rich form in the very important tie against Manchester City in the Semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
The former PFA Player of the Year Award winner in 2013 returns to England in the week where Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez picks up the same award for this season. This will be the first time the right-winger will return to the country in a competitive match for his current club, since leaving Tottenham for a record-breaking fee of 85 million Pounds.
Despite scoring the winner in a Champions League final, his three seasons with the club have not been without their difficulties. The Welsh forward has directly contributed to 28 La Liga goals this season, netting 18 and providing 10 assists. Bale’s minutes per goal stands at 87 minutes this season. That’s better than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with 99 and 98 goals respectively. Rivals for his role in the side such as James Rodriguez and Isco have proven nowhere near as effective despite at the Santiago Bernabeu. The star player has found the net with eight headers this season, a number that is more than any other player in Europe’s major leagues. Continue reading BALE RETURNS TO ENGLAND AGAINST CITY
The English national football team has recently played friendly matches against Germany and Netherlands. Roy Hodgson and his team faced off with Germany on March 26 and despite falling behind in the scoreboard by 2-0 in the first half, the English side somehow managed to get back on track and came out on top with the victory after scoring 3 goals in the 2nd half.
This comeback from England was extremely impressive as the German national squad was filled with highly rated players including: Manuel Neuer, MesutOzil, Marco Reus, Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez.
Even with all of these renowned and talented players, England was able to make a superb comeback and win.
3 days later and England played another friendly encounter, this time against Netherlands but the performance from Roy Hodgson’s team wasn’t as impressive as they lost 1-2 with the only goal from England arriving from Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.
The 22 year old star player of Tottenham Hotspur Harry Kane was given playing time in both of these friendly matches and the young attacker stated that England has a long way to go if they want to reach the advanced stages of the 2016 Euro’s. Continue reading Harry Kane knows that England have their work cut out
It’s about 10 years now that Theo Walcott has been playing for the Gunners, but, Arsene Wenger reckons the forward has not yet got to his peak.
Walcott has had to cope up with a lot of injury setbacks in the past years, but, in the ongoing season, whenever he has been slotted in the centre, he has shown good form.
Walcott had caught everyone’s attention when he was given a place in the Three Lions team for World Cup in 2006.
He was in his teenage at that point of time and had not even made his debut in Premier League.
But, Sven Goran Eriksson, the then England boss, recognized him as a special talent.
Over the years, Walcott has failed to evolve as quickly as he would perhaps have been expected to, but, from time to time, he has come up with class performances to keep reminding people that there’s no lack of talent.
According to Wenger, it’s in the mid twenties that a player makes big strides in the game and grows in stature. So, for Walcott, what he does from here onwards is vital and would decide where he ends up in his career. Continue reading It’s about 10 years now that Theo Walcott has been playing for the Gunners
Racism has been a major problem in Russia and the country has failed to do enough to curb this issue. Incidents about fans vocally humiliating their own players have taken place in this part of the world, but Fifa have not been undeterred in their decision to offer the country the right to host the World Cup 2018. Concerns about racism have taken precedence in recent months and they have not been helped by the recent issues surrounding Emmanuel Frimpong. In a recent game against Spartak Moscow, the player was sent off for reacting to a racist abuse.
Rather than prevent racist abuse from the terraces, the Russian football Federation has suspended the player for two matches. Yuri Boychenko, who is one of the top UN officials in charge of the antidiscrimination section, says that the authorities should be doing more in order to prevent such incidents from tarnishing the reputation of the country. FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently expressed his confidence that Russia will be able to hold a fantastic World Cup, but concerns about the visiting fans has grown already. Several African and Asian fans have travelled to support their teams in previous editions, but the World Cup 2018 is expected to witness a drop in this aspect.
“I don’t think there is a total denial of racism in Russia but there is certainly a lack of understanding by officials in Russia of what racism is. The authorities here should do more to stop it. Too often, officials in Russia only see the problem from their point of view. They do not stand inside the shoes of the victim and see it from his point of view. I believe the recognition is coming. It’s a behavioural problem and a societal problem, indeed in Russia there is no clear understanding of what racism means,” said Boychenko.