Manchester United’s pre-season tour might have changed Jose Mourinho’s plans

Manchester United’s pre-season tour might have changed Jose Mourinho’s plans

It means expectations are mixed ahead of the new Premier League campaign. It would be inexcusable not to mount a serious title challenge, yet supporters can’t help be alarmed by developments. However, there are plenty positives for Mourinho to take ahead of the new season following a sometimes testing pre-season trip to the US. Pereira performs Andreas Pereira has had to stake his claim the hard way after risking a loan-move to Valencia last season against Mourinho’s judgment – but he looks revitalised and full of desire this summer.

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He has excelled in the No.6 position on the tour of the US and though Nemanja Matic is still the main man, the young Brazilian has shown he is ready to step up. If Paul Pogba maintains his World Cup form and Fred can hit the ground running, United’s midfield department will look pretty healthy. And Pereira might have played his way into Mourinho’s line-up plans, certainly for the opening game against Leicester. Sanchez sharp United fans are yet to see the best of Alexis Sanchez, but he looks like he could be ready to lift off. This is the first summer in nine years in which the 29-year-old has not had to juggle international commitments with resting his body for the new campaign. An extended break has helped him to get back up to sharpness and his performances in a front-two alongside Juan Mata certainly bode well in terms of a potential back-up plan – and given Mourinho something to think about. His contribution to the team could sky-rocket once the World Cup stars have found their feet and the scene is set for the Chilean to prove his doubters wrong next season.

Giving youth a chance The lack of senior stars during pre-season has had both positive and negative effects for United this summer. Results have been below par and first-team players who have played have been required to do so in an unsettled team which lacked consistency. However, those negatives need to be taken with a pinch of salt, especially when the positive development of the likes of Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Demetri Mitchell are considered. Eyebrows were raised when so many academy stars boarded the initial flight to the US but they have soundly expressed their qualities. Expectations need to be contained for the next crop of hopefuls, but there is certainly quality knocking on the door of the first-team eagerly anticipating its opportunity. Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Joshua Bohui in action during a first team training session at UCLA.

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Take nothing for Granted David de Gea’s presence will again be vital for United this season and with Sergio Romero in reserve United are blessed with strength in depth. However, if injury were to strike either or both them, new signing Lee Grant has shown on the tour that he has not been signed just to keep the other two company. At 35, he is back-up to the back-up, but in the US he proved himself capable of contributing to first-team duties. His experience adds value to the dressing room environment and he has already proven himself to be a popular addition among teammates.

Squad bonding Mourinho has helped give the impression of a tense mood within the United camp. The United manager has had to cope without his World Cup stars and is clearly frustrated with the club’s failure to get a fourth signing over the line. However, it is clear to see the players have enjoyed themselves. The young players have integrated into the squad well, with their initiation singing entertaining first-team stars and staff. Social media has once again provided a behind-the-scenes look at the stay in America and supporters should be encouraged by the way in which new signings Grant, Diogo Dalot and Fred have all settled in. And a number of players have been at pains to get the message out that the mood is positive within the group.

Championship predictions for 2018/ 19 season

Championship predictions for 2018/19 season

The most competitive league in the country gets going again this weekend. Every year, the Championship throws up some of the weirdest results and crazy stories – and the same is expected again this year. Stoke, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest are the early bookmakers’ favourites, but there are plenty of others expected to be in the mix. Leeds have made big changes, Aston Villa is desperate to go back up and Derby have renewed optimism under Frank Lampard. We got our writers and editors to predict the unpredictable and give us their ups, downs and ones to watch ahead of the new season. Lampard is hoping to lead Derby to a promotion.

Stoke are hoping for an immediate return to the top flight. Alex Richards Who will win promotion Stoke, Derby, Middlesbrough Who will be relegated Bolton, Rotherham, Ipswich Player to watch Ollie Watkins (Brentford) Liam Prenderville Promoted Stoke, Swansea, Nottingham Forest Relegated Bolton, Rotherham, Bristol City Player to watch Mason Mount (Derby) Middlesbrough hope for a return to the top flight.

Big things are expected of Mount at Derby (Image: Action Images via Reuters) Aaron Flanagan Who will win promotion Stoke, Derby, Sheffield Utd Who will be relegated Bolton, Rotherham, Hull Player to watch Mason Mount (Derby) Neil McLeman Who will win promotion Nottingham Forest, Stoke, Middlesbrough Who will be relegated Bolton, QPR, Rotherham Player to watch Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest) Grabban is hoping for a big season at Nottingham Forest.  Grealish remains at Villa for the new season. Jacob Murtagh Who will win promotion Stoke, West Brom, Middlesbrough Who will be relegated Rotherham, Ipswich, Bolton Player to watch Ryan Woods (Brentford) Mike Allen Who will win promotion Stoke, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough Who will be relegated Rotherham, Bolton, Reading Player to watch Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) Jon Livesey Who will win promotion Swansea, Stoke, Preston Who will be relegated Bolton, QPR, Rotherham Player to watch Sean Maguire (Preston) poll loading Who will win the Championship title?

Bologna’s Creative Goalkeeper Training Drills Are The Future

Bologna’s Creative Goalkeeper Training Drills Are The Future

Championship side Norwich City started the trend with their ‘spikeball’ drill that involves a trampoline and four goalkeepers, but the Serie A side, who are managed by the legendary Filippo Inzaghi, have outdone them with a series of genius maneuvers. As you can see in the footage below, the club have designed exercises to engage players and test their reaction times, using objects that can direct the ball in a number of different directions. Just check out this one minute clip of the drills in action. TAKE MY MONEY! If you want to watch the full version of the clip, Bologna’s official Twitter account directed fans to check out the YouTube clip. Seriously, you need to check it out. I want to try that and dont/cant even play in goal- Troy Bryan (@TroyBryan24) August 1, 2018 Those things are so cool!! Wanna try one out soon as!- Alyta Norman (@LytaN09) August 1, 2018 As we know by now, Sunday League football rules state that one player must warm up the goalkeeper by smashing balls at him before-kick off. No fancy equipment is needed, just a rock hard Mitre ball and goalposts. In a standard team though, you might have a back up goalkeeper if your lucky, so the last thing you’d expect to see on a muddy, wet Sunday is a trampoline in the middle of a pitch, surrounded by four shot-stoppers. Championship side Norwich City have brought in a unique training drill that makes us Sunday League players look a bit daft. ‘Spikeball’ takes a huge amount of skill but it looks like a barrel of laughs. The temptation to buy a pair goalkeeper gloves and try this out in my neighbour’s garden right now is very strong. Jack Kenmare Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He’s interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

 

‘£50,000’ fiver spent in off licence

Micro-engraver Graham Short made six of the notes after Kane won the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals during the 2018 World Cup. He used the note at a shop in Cefn Coed last Wednesday. The artist previously etched Jane Austen on to new £5 notes when they were first circulated – and those have been valued at £50,000. He uses very fine needles to scratch the images into clear sections of the notes. They remain legal tender – so it is up to sharp-eyed customers or shopkeepers to see if they have one.

Mr Short, from Birmingham, chose Merthyr Tydfil because his father was born in nearby Dowlais. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The image of England striker Harry Kane means the £5 note could now be worth about £50,000 The shop’s owner did not notice the image of Kane – and handed the note to another customer in change. Mr Short’s other notes were spent in Meriden in the West Midlands, and the Elephant House in Edinburgh – where JK Rowling used to write. A fourth note will be spent in Northern Ireland. Mr Short gifted the other two notes to the Football Association and to Tottenham Hotspur forward Kane himself. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGraham Short’s portrait of the Queen on a pinhead fetched £100,000

He said: “I wanted someone [in Merthyr] to find it who perhaps needed the money, and they can perhaps sell it for whatever – holidays or Christmas.” “I like the magical feeling of it and just want people to be as excited as I am,” he added. “It’s just a bit of fun, but it also puts my art beyond the walls of a gallery. My art sells for a lot of money now and it’s really out of reach for most people. “But if they find this and sell it and make a lot of money, I’ll be really pleased with that.” Manpreet Kaur, who owns the off licence where the note was spent – but failed to spot it for herself – said: “You don’t think. Someone will give you a note and then another customer comes in and needs a five pounds note. “That’s why I missed it.” LISTEN: Interview with Graham Short on why he spent his £50,000 five pound note in Merthyr Image copyright Graham Short Image caption Mr Short spent one of the precious £5 notes in the Bal Off Licence in Merthyr Tydfil

 

How does Liverpool’s transfer window compare to their rivals – and should the Reds be worried?

How does Liverpool’s transfer window compare to their rivals – and should the Reds be worried?

Following Xherdan Shaqiri’s spectacular Liverpool debut against Manchester United on Saturday, supporters have been vocal with their support to the Reds’ transfer business this summer. Initially, the lowest-key addition to Jurgen Klopp’s first team squad, costing just £13million from relegated Stoke City, the Swiss playmaker’s stunning overhead kick against Jose Mourinho’s side left fans salivating with the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season now just over a week away. Naby Keita finally made the move to Anfield after a deal was agreed with RB Leipzig last summer, and the Guinean midfielder has looked worth every penny of his £52.75million transfer fee in early showings and more than capable of taking over Steven Gerrard’s famous number eight jersey.

Elsewhere, where once Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius unconvincingly fought to be Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper, the dilemma over who should start between the sticks is no more following the arrival of Alisson from AS Roma in a £65million world record deal. And finally, the Reds caught many off-guard by bringing Fabinho to Anfield from Monaco in a £39.3million move just days after their Champions League Final loss to Real Madrid, with the Brazilian midfielder going about his business quietly but effectively in pre-season so far. And with Klopp unlikely to add to his ranks before next Thursday’s Transfer Deadline Day, Liverpool’s additions have eradicated issues with problem positions and lack of squad depth, leaving them with a squad more than capable of challenging Manchester City as they look to win a maiden Premier League title and first league championship since 1990. Read More But what of the Reds’ rivals? In a summer disrupted by a thoroughly entertaining World Cup, transfer activity has been slow across the continent with a number of deals going under the radar. So who have the Premier League title contenders brought in, what else do they need and should Klopp’s Liverpool be worried? Manchester City Mohamed Salah greets Riyad Mahrez after Liverpool’s win over Man City Who have they signed?

Riyad Mahrez [Leicester City] £60m What else do they need? The most dominant champions the Premier League has ever seen having won an astonishing 32 of their 38 games, it’s safe to say Manchester City are in a pretty good place already as they look to defend their title. Sergio Agüero continues to score goals for fun but also to battle with injury each season too, while Gabriel Jesus is coming into the campaign off the back of an underwhelming World Cup so an extra option up front would not go amiss. Elsewhere, another option at left-back is a possibility as Benjamin Mendy continues to feel his way back from the anterior cruciate ligament that saw him miss the majority of 2017/18, with Danilo and Fabian Delph not natural replacements despite filling in last season. Should Liverpool be worried? In a nutshell, yes. Manchester City became the first side to claim 100 points last year and will no doubt once again be the side to beat, with Riyad Mahrez adding further strength to an already breathtaking armoury. Liverpool and Klopp know what it takes to beat Guardiola’s side in one-off games, but it remains to be seen whether they can do it over a 38-game season. Manchester United Jose Mourinho speaks to Referee Ismail Etfath at halftime of the pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Michigan Stadium on July 28, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Who have they signed? Lee Grant [Stoke City] Undisclosed Fred [Shakhtar Donetsk] £47m Diogo Dalot [Porto] £19m What else do they need? A lot if their showing against the Reds last Saturday and Jose Mourinho’s bottom lip is anything to go by! The Portuguese manager has spoken publicly saying he believes he needs at least two more signings and remains confident of landing at least one. With Anthony Martial heavy linked towards the exit door and Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford not yet back in training following their own World Cup exploits, a further body in the attack could be the priority. Meanwhile, with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling all unconvincing, could World Cup hero Harry Maguire be the man to partner Eric Bailly after also impressing for both England and Leicester City? Should Liverpool be worried? An on-form Manchester United remain a great threat, and it is easy to forget they still finished second last season despite what was perceived as a poor season. Boasting one of the best goalkeepers in the world in David De Gea, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba will both return to Old Trafford high on confidence following impressive World Cups. And with Alexis Sanchez also now settled after joining the club back in January, Mourinho boasts an impressive squad on paper, boosted by the arrivals of Fred and Diogo Dalot. But football is not won on paper. Liverpool will be confident of finishing ahead of their great rivals as things stand. Tottenham Hotspur Mauricio Pochettino

Who have they signed? N/A What else do they need? With the focus being on securing the futures of the likes of manager Mauricio Pochettino, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Tottenham have yet to move in the transfer window but are yet to lose any players either. Links to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia remain, while Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose have both been mooted to move on in the past. Replacements for any departures would be required but Tottenham still boasts one of the more balanced squads in the division. Should Liverpool be worried? With focus switching to the latter stages of their Champions League run, Liverpool slipped behind Tottenham in the table last season, while the Reds also found out how deadly Pochettino’s side can be with their Wembley horror show back in October. But as things stand, Liverpool have strengthened. Spurs have not. Well-matched last season, they remain contenders but Klopp’s side may now just edge it. Chelsea Jorginho of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring a 2-2 goal during the UEFA Champions League group F match between SSC Napoli and Manchester City at Stadio San Paolo on November 1, 2017, in Naples, Italy.

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Who have they signed? Jorginho [Napoli] Undisclosed Robert Green [Huddersfield Town] Free What else do they need? With the futures of Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, N’Kolo Kante and Willian all still up in the air, things could look very different at Stamford Bridge come to the end of the transfer window. A striker is a necessity with fans unconvinced by Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi, while Chelsea continues to be playing catch-up following the eventual appointment of new head coach Maurizio Sarri. Everything else rests on who stays and who goes. Should Liverpool be worried? With Sarri likely to discard Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system, the upcoming season could well be one of transition at Stamford Bridge. Jorginho is a very good signing, Hazard and Kante remain two of the division’s finest talents while Ross Barkley will be looking to make up for lost time after a season to forget last year. Who else Sarri can bring in, who he can keep hold of and how quickly Chelsea can adapt to the new regime at Stamford Bridge will decide how worried Liverpool should be.

 

Liverpool’s New Goalkeeper Alisson Makes Elegant Gesture To Loris Karius

Liverpool’s New Goalkeeper Alisson Makes Classy Gesture To Loris Karius

Liverpool secured his providers forward of the brand new season by tabling a world report deal (£62 million) for a goalkeeper. He is anticipated to switch Loris Karius in the objective for Liverpool’s opening Premier League fixture in opposition to West Ham United. Regardless of being drafted in to grow to be the golf equipment new No.1, Alisson will reportedly flip down the No.1 shirt out of respect to Karius. The German presently wears the No.1 jersey at Liverpool, however, Alisson is ready to go for the No.13 shirt in keeping with Brazilian outlet UOL. Karius throughout pre-season. Picture: PA In the meantime, on Tuesday, Alisson took half in his first Liverpool coaching session, and made a prompt impression by producing heroics between the sticks. He pulled off a surprising save to the delight of Liverpool followers. It could have been his first day, however, the 25-year-old already feels at dwelling. “It has been an ideal day which I had been wanting ahead to,” he instructed Liverpool FC.

Alisson on international duty. Alisson added: “I’ve had a great few resting days with my household, however, all of us could not wait to get the brand new season below method quickly. “It is solely my first day and I really feel at dwelling already! “I’ve met a few of my teammates and had my first-morning session, however, the day is not over but as we’ll keep it up coaching this afternoon.” How will Liverpool’s new stopper fare within the new season?

Liverpool no longer a stepping stone as Jürgen Klopp believes Sadio mane will stay for the long-term

Liverpool no longer a stepping stone as Jürgen Klopp believes Sadio mane will stay for the long-term

The Merseyside outfit impressed under Klopp last season with the attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Mane spurring the team on to a fourth-placed league finish and the Champions League final. The club’s progress has led to top players, including Salah and Firmino, signing new long-term contracts earlier this year and Klopp is optimistic that Mane will follow suit.

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“When I speak about the good mood in the club, that is not only in the stands. We are Liverpool as a team and the boys want to be part of it,” Klopp said. “That’s really cool and it’s a big achievement for the club because these boys, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, and a lot of the others as well, could play for pretty much any team in the world. Liverpool warned about Shaqiri’s attitude by former teammate “It is an improved situation that these players don’t use us and then go. It’s cool but now we all together have to deliver. Sign your contracts but now, go again.

” The German boss believes Liverpool’s four new signings in the current transfer window are sufficient and said the club will not need to replace attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who moved to Barcelona in January. “We don’t need to replace Phil. We need to make a squad for the next year. Out there on the market, there isn’t a Phil Coutinho-light. It’s not there. But there are a lot of good players and we have brought a few of them in,” Klopp added. Klopp believes Liverpool’s signings this summer means they do not need to replace Coutinho.

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Liverpool will play friendlies against Italian teams Napoli and Torino before hosting West Ham United in the opening league fixture on 12 August.

 

David Beckham’s 50 Yard Bin Challenge Will Never Get Old

David Beckham’s 50 Yard Bin Challenge Will Never Get Old

If you’re a sceptic like me, then you’ll have questioned this almost impossible feat straight away, but the 43-year-old has always maintained that the footage is genuine. The debate still continues to this day on social media, seven years after it was released.

Beckham, who was playing with LA Galaxy at the time, smashes three shots into three different trash cans as a very excited bloke commentates over the entire thing. We bow down to your wand of a right foot, David, but we’re not entirely convinced. is it genuine or fake? You decide. The footage went down a hit with fans. It received over one million views in just a matter of days when it was released in 2011, but how does it compare to some of his other appearances? Beckham has featured in a number of iconic adverts down the years. He played a gladiator, a cowboy and a surfer in a number of Pepsi campaigns and worked alongside Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, as well as a handful of world class footballers. Image: PepsiImage result for beckham advert pepsi Who could forget this famous Sumo ad, which will go down as one of the most iconic of all time. He even joined celebrity friend Kevin Hart in a hilarious video released by H&M, in which the former-England captain ‘saves the life’ of the comedian by capturing a snake with his bare hands. The video was made as part of an advertising campaign for the clothing company which introduced the H&M Modern Essentials collection for Autumn 2016. Never change, David. Jack Kenmare Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He’s interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

 

Manchester United’s One-Touch Training Drill Emerges Online, Fans Can’t Believe It

Manchester United’s One-Touch Training Drill Emerges Online, Fans Can’t Believe It

 

Jose Mourinho’s charges have endured a woeful pre-season in the States. A thumping defeat to Liverpool preceded uninspiring draws against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and AC Milan (eventually beating the Italian side on penalties). United are back in pre-season action on Wednesday when they face Champions League holders Real Madrid in Miami, Florida. Ahead of the fixture, United players have been going through their paces including a spot of Rondo. A one-touch keep-ball exercise. It wasn’t very impressive to say the least. Sure, it’s pre-season but where’s the intensity?! Here’s Manchester City doing the same drill. Naturally, it got Twitter talking:

The Reds have two more games before opening their Premier League campaign against Leicester City. The aforementioned game versus Real Madrid then Bayern Munich on Saturday. Looking forward to the new season, United fans? Let us know. Nasir Jabbar Nasir Jabbar is a journalist at SPORTbible. He graduated from Bath Spa University with a BA in Media Communications. He’s a combat sport aficionado, and has contributed to MMA websites AddictedMMA and CagePotato. Nasir has covered some of the biggest fights, while interviewing the likes of Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping and Anthony Joshua. He’s also an avid Bristol City fan.