TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer & Man Utd job: Why he’d be no caretaker at Man Cityby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: Eleven years. Eleven years he’s been at it. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and this coaching career of his. This Manchester United move has been eleven years in the making.It may come as a surprise for some. Particularly his ex-teammates. But for Solskjaer, there was a career before Cardiff City. And even more significantly, there has been one after it. Yet despite the consecutive victories. The eight goals. The football. The excitement. The simple lift Solskjaer has given everyone connected to the club. The prospect of the Norwegian being rewarded a long-term contract by United remains remote. Well, that is, at least according to those who would regard themselves as Solskjaer’s peers.None of them could rattle off his record pre- and post- Cardiff. The two titles with Molde. The European football. Achievements never before seen in their 107 year history. Then there’s the work that has established him as a manager. His approach to the transfer market. His development of young players. And his transformation of Norwegian football – breaking away from the school of Egil ‘Drillo’ Olsen, the former Wimbledon manager. Indeed, it’s now reached the point where Solskjaer has expressed openly about the national team returning to Drillo’s approach, believing the robust style of game suits the current generation more than the football that he actively pushed in his first spell at Molde.And for all that, there is also the fight-back. The post- Cardiff experience. Learning where he went wrong. Rebuilding his reputation. His self belief. And the belief of those around him. A run to the knockout phase of the Europa League. Consecutive second place finishes in the Eliteserien. Then an enquiry this year. Not from United – but from Malmo of Sweden. The rebuild, even before this dream opportunity, was complete. Need perspective? Gary Neville, who is simply one of many, doesn’t want his long time teammate to get the permanent job. His choice is Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager. The same Pochettino who was sacked after less than three seasons in charge at Espanyol. The one who really owes his career to the foresight and genius of Nicola Cortese, Southampton’s former mover and shaker. The Italian rolling the dice on a Pochettino with eight years less experience than the apparent gamble United have made in Solskjaer.If he was connected to Manchester City, they’d all be celebrating his return today. Solskjaer’s time away from United a mirror to the experience Patrick Vieira, now in charge of Nice, gained doing his apprenticeship at City. The only difference being, Solskjaer is now in the job he most coveted, while Vieira has had to go to France to take the next step in his career.So why can’t these past eleven years be regarded as Solskjaer’s apprenticeship? The hard yards? The peaks. The valleys. And all learning along the way? What is so different between what Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain rolled out for Vieira at City and what Solskjaer has done on his own during a decade away from the club?On Wednesday, after victory over Huddersfield, Solskjaer apologised for being late to the group of Norwegian reporters who have been shadowing him. The reason? He’d had an impromptu meeting with “the boss”. At 45, the same age as Solskjaer today, Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of United some 32 years ago. And unlike those in the media who played under him, he has kept up to date on Solskjaer’s progress since handing him the job of strikers coach 11 years ago. Ferguson’s recommendation wasn’t done on a whim. It wasn’t based on nostalgia or simple hope. Solskjaer was brought to the club because Sir Alex believed him the best candidate for the job.Nils Arne Eggen, Rosenborg’s legendary coach, had it nailed last week.The 15-time league title winner stating: “It was a surprise as they tend to go for the big name in both Europe and the world. But I know full well who is behind it. It’s probably my friend for many years, Mr. Ferguson. “He and I have a bit of the same thing about having a philosophy that is borne out by those who have lived by this philosophy.”Certainly, Solskjaer – like Ferguson – has the United ‘philosophy’, the DNA, coursing through him. And after 11 years on the training pitch, the education to mesh that DNA with his coaching know-how.The Norwegian deserves to be regarded as more than a stop-gap. His achievements through an eleven year apprenticeship is proof enough of that.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Butt insists Man Utd fortunate to have Solskjaer as managerby Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United head of first team development Nicky Butt says the club are fortunate to have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.Academy graduates Axel Tuanzebe, James Garner, Angel Gomes, Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood have all featured this season.And Butt says the Norwegian’s experience of working in the academy and being a young player at the club is vitally important in his role.”He’s really approachable, knows the club inside out, what it takes to be a footballer here,” Butt said of Solskjaer.”Even though he wasn’t an academy member, he came as a very young boy and was lost, didn’t know what to do and embraced the club and ended up becoming one of the family.”We’re fortunate at the minute that Ole is in hotseat. He’s coached in the academy, he did his coaching badges with academy players and coaches, so he knows pretty much everybody right down to the Under-12s in the club and that can only be beneficial.”
Liverpool striker Origi earns praise from Genk chief: The perfect squad playerby Freddie Taylor2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGenk technical director Dimitri de Conde believes that Liverpool have the perfect squad player in Divock Origi.The young striker may not be first choice at the Anfield club, but he is a key member of the squad.He proved his worth last season, scoring key goals for the team throughout the season.The 24-year-old scored two in the Champions League semi final second leg, and in the final against Tottenham.”He is a fantastic person,” Genk director de Conde said about Origi to the Mirror. “I played with his father Mike and he has the same respect for the game.”He puts so much effort in, he is a team player and, even though he doesn’t start every game, he is just as determined as every other player.”That is the perfect quality to have in your squad and that is why he deserved his chance in the Champions League last season and the reason that he scored in the final. He gives everything for the team.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@BleacherReportMidway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Big 12 showdown between Baylor and Oklahoma, Bears safety Terrell Burt went down with what Kirk Herbstreit, on air, called a “bush league” flop. As it turns out, Burt’s injury was legit, and Herbstreit later apologized for his comments on Twitter. Today, Burt took to the platform, and made sure to let everyone know that he’d do something like that.I will never ever fake an injury. I will always fight for my brothers and give them my all regardless. #BaylorNation #lionhearted— Terrell Burt (@terrell_burt_13) November 16, 2015Burt had reportedly been injured on a prior play, but did not want to come out of the game, so teammate Ryan Reid had to tell him to go down to receive treatment.
Twitter/@ClemsonFBClemson, last year’s national runner-up, opened up its 2016 training camp yesterday. The Tigers are considered one of the favorites to win this year’s national championship after coming up just short in 2015.Besides a Heisman candidate at quarterback and an intimidating home field, Clemson is known for its social media presence. The program dropped a highlight video this afternoon recapping yesterday’s practice.Clemson aims to take the next step in 2016.Lace up. Strap in. Cross the line. #Clemson Football is here. Finish with no regrets. #ALLIN #BYOG pic.twitter.com/oxL4kEKCrC— Clemso Football (@ClemsonFB) August 4, 2016The Tigers open up their 2016 season at Auburn on Sept. 3. Kick-off is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.To see what Auburn has been up to in its camp, click here.
Royal Rumble fever is gripping wrestling fans across the world and Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp got in the mood with a ‘Mr Socko’ celebration ahead of the pay-per-view event.The Blades captain was instrumental in his side’s 2-2 Championship draw away to Norwich City on Saturday, scoring two equalisers to ensure United left Carrow Road with a point.Things took an unexpected turn after Sharp equalised from the penalty spot just before half time, when he produced a sock and placed it over his hand in the style of iconic wrestler Mick Foley. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He proceeded to celebrate with the prop, known as ‘Mr Socko’, and jokingly performed Foley’s infamous finishing move, ‘the Mandible Claw’, on his team-mates.Billy Sharp’s Mr Socko WWE celebration is the best thing you’ll see all day 🧦Does @RealMickFoley know that you’ve kidnapped Socko, @billysharp10? pic.twitter.com/ZgfuLPghKR— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) January 26, 2019Having cancelled out Onel Hernandez’s opener, Sharp was again on hand to haul Sheffield United level in the second half, striking in the 79th minute after Teemu Pukki put Norwich ahead once more.The 32-year-old’s unusual Mick Foley-themed celebration did not go unnoticed and the man himself even took to Twitter to acknowledge it.”Oh, this is TREMENDOUS! Thank you Billy Sharp,” Foley said on his official page.Oh, this is TREMENDOUS! Thank you @billysharp10 & @SoccerAM https://t.co/fSEhpm68IJ— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) January 26, 2019The 2019 Royal Rumble, which is one of the WWE’s flagship events, will take place on Sunday, January 27, with things set to kick off at around 10pm GMT (5pm ET).It is the 32nd edition of the event, which is a ‘battle royal’ style of tournament, in which participants enter at timed intervals.The aim of the Royal Rumble is to eliminate opponents by throwing them over the top rope and making both feet touch the floor.The last wrestler left in the ring is typically rewarded with a main event bout at Wrestlemania.
Sadio Mane hinted at a Liverpool stay as he vowed to deliver more trophies for the club after winning the Champions League.A Mohamed Salah penalty and Divock Origi strike saw Liverpool overcome Tottenham 2-0 in the decider in Madrid on Saturday.After helping the Premier League giants win a sixth European Cup/Champions League crown, Mane – who has been linked with Real Madrid – said the squad would push on. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “We have more things to come,” he said, via the club’s website.”We will do everything to win [more] trophies with this squad.”The star attacker added: “We are very proud and very happy to win this trophy. The dream has come true.”I could not have anything better.”Mane produced a good display in the final, but Liverpool needed some fine stops from goalkeeper Alisson to secure their win.CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE. #SixTimes pic.twitter.com/Vu4pJ6YdaC — Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 1, 2019 The Senegal international believes Brazil shot-stopper Alisson deserves to be recognised as the world’s best.”I can’t describe how good Alisson was – I saw him make incredible saves for us,” Mane said.”We are very happy to have him in our squad. He makes us even better. For me he is the best in the world.”Liverpool’s sixth crown has them double the next best total for any English side, and they became the first side since 2010 to win a Champions League final while having less of the ball than their opponent. But the Reds are still searching for a Premier League title having come up just short in the chase this season, finishing a single point behind Manchester City. Mane will once again be expected to carry a heavy load for the club next season, with he and team-mate Mohamed Salah having both ended up on 22 goals in the league, tied with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the joint-leaders. The two have formed one of the most formidable strike partnerships in world football over the last two seasons and, having both scored in Champions League finals, are now two of the five players African players to have scored in the European showpiece, following Rabah Madjer, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Chelsea full-back Reece James is set to remain at Stamford Bridge this season as a host of other Blues players are lined up for loan or permanent departures.James, who impressed during a loan spell with Wigan Athletic last season, is nursing an ankle injury suffered while playing for England in the Toulon Tournament over the summer.Once fit he will join up with a group of players who have been training with the club’s development squad in west London while Frank Lampard and the first team have been away in Ireland and Japan on pre-season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? But James is set to be retained by Lampard alongside fellow academy graduates Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham as he builds his squad at Stamford Bridge.Other members of that group currently in the English capital include United States international Matt Miazga, who is closing in on a return to Reading having spent the second half of last season on loan with the Championship side.Fellow centre-back and England Under-21 captain Jake Clarke-Salter, meanwhile, is in talks with Birmingham City, Swansea City and Leeds United regarding a loan move.Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain have been exploring a loan move for Tiemoue Bakayoko with an expensive purchase option, but have not progressed talks after initial contact for the France midfielder.And Celta Vigo are continuing to battle Leganes to sign Kenneth Omeruo on a permanent deal, but they are both struggling to meet Chelsea’s €7 million (£6m/$8m) valuation of the Nigeria defender.Baba Rahman, who is in the last year of his Chelsea contract, is also likely to leave on a permanent basis having spoken to clubs in England and France regarding a move.Marseille have been linked by some with signing the Ghana international, but are not understood to be one of those interested in making a move.Izzy Brown, Lucas Piazon, Dujon Sterling, Lewis Baker and Trevoh Chalobah are also expected to depart on loan as the young stars increasingly work out moves for next season.Lampard is happily promoting stars as he works with a transfer ban that has been imposed by FIFA on Chelsea for the wrongdoing signing of overseas minors.The 41-year-old has already signalled his intent to keep Mount, Abraham and Kurt Zouma within the squad for the upcoming season, although the futures of others currently in Japan such as Fikayo Tomori, Michy Batshuayi and Kenedy are less clear.It had been thought that Tomori could feature under Lampard having been named Derby County’s Player of the Season last season under the new Blues boss, but at best would be fifth-choice at Stamford Bridge this term and would be better served earning further experience elsewhere.
Arsenal coach Unai Emery has hailed Nicolas Pepe as a “very good player” as his side close in on signing the winger.Sources have confirmed to Goal that Gunners are close to an €80 million (£72m/$89m) agreement with Lille as talks progressed rapidly over the weekend.Pepe had been linked to Liverpool, Manchester United, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain after tallying 23 goals and 12 assists in all competitions last term, but it is the north London side who have jumped ahead of the queue with an offer to pay Lille’s asking price in installments. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Emery was full of praise for the 24-year-old, saying Arsenal will keep looking to strengthen the squad before the new season begins on August 11.”The club is thinking about how we can improve. There are different players on the table,” Emery said after his side’s 2-1 defeat to Lyon in a friendly on Sunday. “Pepe’s a very good player. We only want players who can really, really improve the squad. We want the best players possible for the first game at Newcastle.”Meanwhile, Lyon boss and former Arsenal star Sylvinho backed Pepe to succeed at the Emirates Stadium when he was asked how he thinks the attacker will fare in England.“Pepe is a top player and could add a lot to Arsenal,” he said.Arsenal are not the only side to have made a bid for Pepe this summer, as the club’s president, Gerard Lopez, admitted on Friday that four clubs have made acceptable bids, naming Napoli as one.“We received offers that satisfy us economically from four big clubs.“[Napoli chairman Aurelio] De Laurentiis has satisfied our request for €80m. Now it is up to the player to decide where he wants to go.“He must make that decision based on the offers that his agents have received from the four clubs.“On Monday, Pepe will return from vacation and I believe that by the middle of the week he will have made a decision.”Pepe, whose contract with Lille runs until 2022, has scored 37 times in 79 appearances for the club since joining from Angers in 2017.
SAN DIEGO, CA- DECEMBER 27: Members of the United States Marine Corps hold a giant flag while the National Anthem is sung before the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the USC Trojans take the field during the National University Holiday Bowl on December 27, 2014 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)The Holiday Bowl, one of the longest-running bowl games, will be undergoing a scheduling change this year. For the first time ever, the game will be played New Year’s Eve.Usually, the Holiday Bowl is played between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Last year’s game was played on Dec. 28, and the contest has been held on Dec. 30 on 16 occasions in its 40-year history.In the early years of the Holiday Bowl, the game was occasionally played before Christmas, but hasn’t been played before Dec. 27 since the mid-1980s.This year’s edition will be played at SDCCU Stadium on Dec. 31. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on FS1.“We’re fired up,” said Mark Neville, the Holiday Bowl’s executive director. “For the first time in our history, we’ll be kicking off the new year with the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. We’re looking at it as we’ve got your plans set for New Year’s Eve. You can check that box off. SDCCU Stadium is the place to be on New Year’s Eve.”[ … ]“It will end before midnight on the East Coast, probably around 10:30,” Neville said. “People are going to be awake, so they’re going to be watching it. Then they can turn over and watch the ball drop (in New York).”In addition to the Holiday Bowl, the Military, San Francisco, Sun, Liberty and Gator Bowls will all be played on Dec. 31.The Holiday Bowl pairs a team from the Big Ten against an opponent from the Pac-12. Michigan State topped Washington State in last year’s meeting.[ San Diego Union-Tribune ]