About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Cardiff manager Warnock: Solskjaer can’t lose in Man Utd roleby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City manager Neil Warnock says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer “can’t lose” in his new role as caretaker manager of Manchester United.The former Red Devils striker has taken over from Jose Mourinho for the rest of the season.Speaking ahead of Cardiff’s clash with United on Saturday, Warnock said: “I think it needed somebody who’s been there. He’s a legend really.”Four or five names came to my mind, maybe Steve Bruce or Ryan Giggs. It’s a different type of management, with (Mike) Phelan coming back in, Sir Alex’s man. With the players they’ve got, young lads, I bet he can’t believe his luck.”I think it’s the best job Ole will have in his life, because you can’t lose! Hold the fort until the end of the season, if he does well he’ll get a couple of years. If he doesn’t, he’ll go back to where he was enjoying [managing] anyhow.”
Man Utd players question coach Kieran McKenna’s methodsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United coach Kieran McKenna’s methods are being questioned, it is being claimed.McKenna joined the senior staff last year under former manager Jose Mourinho.The Daily Mail says some players harbour reservations over McKenna having such a key role in first-team training little more than a year after being promoted from the Under 18s. His sessions are thought by some to be more suited to the academy. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Arsenal fullback Hector Bellerin: What I missed most while injured…by Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHector Bellerin says what he missed most during his injury lay-off was the camaraderie in the Arsenal dressing room.The Spaniard recently returned to action after recovering from an injury that kept him out of action since January.Speaking on his Vlog, Bellering said: “The one thing you miss the most is the hotel life, being with the boys, the chats and just being involved in that routine.”Like in half an hour I have to go to that meeting to learn about the other team and then you eat with the whole team and have time to rest or time for yourself which is really useful for me because I like to read a lot in those times.”It’s been nice to be involved with it.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
PISCATAWAY, NJ – OCTOBER 24: Braxton Miller #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during warmups before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)Now that Braxton Miller is a wide receiver, it’d probably be good for the Ohio State star to learn from some veterans of the position. It appears that he did that last night. At OSU’s Friday Night Lights recruiting event in Ohio Stadium, Miller spent some time with NFL great Keyshawn Johnson, whose son, Keyshawn Jr., attended the event. Braxton says something to Keyshawn Johnson. pic.twitter.com/uZ0pYNY6SH— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOZone) July 24, 2015Braxton and Keyshawn talking the finer points of receiving, it appears pic.twitter.com/huQ2pdT5eX— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) July 25, 2015Perhaps Keyshawn Johnson is passing some receiver knowledge on to Braxton Miller pic.twitter.com/FiFjx69GV4— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) July 25, 2015If Miller starts yelling, “just give me the damn ball!” at any point this fall, we’ll know where that came from.
Just three months after his 16th birthday, Sepp van den Berg became the youngest player ever to feature for PEC Zwolle and the youngest to appear in the Eredivisie for almost 60 years.The match – a 2-0 defeat to Groningen in March 2018 – was unremarkable except for the half-time substitution which saw the tall youngster with the distinct ginger mop step into the defence alongside Philippe Sandler, who left to join Manchester City a few months later.Even Van den Berg was caught by surprise when coach John van ‘t Schip told him to get ready. 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? “I really didn’t see it coming,” he later told Voetbal International. “I already thought it was nice that I was [in the squad]. I was shocked enormously. The coach said I had to come on. I remember thinking: ‘Did I hear that right?’ I almost started to doubt myself.“Then I sat and looked around, dreaming. After a few seconds, I carefully asked if I should warm up. ‘Yes, Sepp, you have to warm up now’. It sounded quite serious. Then I just went outside.”By then, however, he had already caught the attention of top teams in Europe. Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund had been scouting him before he signed his first professional contract. A few more teams would join the list when he went on to break Clarence Seedorf’s record as the youngest to play in 10 Eredivisie matches last September.“He’s a good boy,” Dwight Lodeweges, who assisted Van ‘t Schip at PEC when Van den Berg broke through, said last year. “We have all watched him grow. In certain games he was our best man. He is tall, fast, has ball-playing ability and has insight.”The scrawny 6ft 2in teenager is clearly a raw talent, but with Europe’s hawkish, super-rich clubs constantly lurking and ready to snap up the Dutch league’s best players, his reputation as a precocious defender with bags of potential made him stand out.Entering the final year of his contract and having admitted he had no intention of extending his stay in Zwolle, Van den Berg became an easy target for teams looking to invest in cheap but promising players.Sampdoria tried to sign him in January while Bayern Munich, Ajax and PSV were all interested this summer. But it is Champions League winners Liverpool who have pounced on the centre-back’s precarious position at PEC Zwolle and plucked him from his hometown team for a mere £1.3 million.It may be a relatively risk-free transfer for the Reds, but for Van den Berg the move to Anfield is a giant step just over a year after he made his senior debut.With 23 senior appearances and only 15 starts to his name, he is unproven and far from the level required to break into the Liverpool starting XI.However, the Reds believe he has the potential to develop into a first-team player in the future – even if he is likely to start next season in the Under-23s squad.He reads the game well and is conscious of his positioning, helping the defence keep its shape when they are under attack. He makes sure he is there to bat crosses away or block the path of forwards trying to charge into the box.He is calm and composed in tackles, too, staying on his feet for as long as he can to shut out the danger instead of sliding in recklessly.He will continue to develop at Liverpool and learn from senior stars like compatriots Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum.It is the lack of guarantees over a spot in the PEC Zwolle defence that encouraged him to leave so soon. Things turned sour once Jaap Stam replaced Van ‘t Schip in December and dropped the baby-faced academy graduate to the reserves, even though he had still been impressive when called upon.An iconic centre-back for Netherlands and Manchester United, Stam merely wanted to encourage Van den Berg to be more of a commanding presence in the heart of the defence. Instead, he took it as an insult.“It is actually really simple,” he said in April. “PEC would like to extend but until this weekend I hadn’t played for weeks. I see no reason to extend at the moment.“Really, I am satisfied at PEC. This is my youth club. If I was always playing, I’d probably say: ‘I’ll sign’. Then the chance that I’ll play next season would automatically be greater. Now I’m in no hurry.“With the last coach I played a lot. When a new coach comes in, you know things can change. But the fact I wasn’t even in the squad was quite a shock.”Liverpool fans may have already christened him the “baby Van Dijk”, but he is taking a considerably different path to the Netherlands captain.Van Dijk was a pillar of consistency and class at Groningen, where he made 66 appearances before leaving for Celtic. His potential to reach the top was obvious by the end of his second season, but he still had to take the long route to European glory and Ballon d’Or candidacy.The younger Van den Berg may have impressed at PEC Zwolle, but he has a long way to go to develop into the complete defender that Van Dijk has worked so hard to become. At the age of just 17, time is certainly on his side.Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes stands with his players before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Ohio Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan State game will go a long way in determining if the Buckeyes can threaten Michigan for the Big Ten title.Prior to the big game, ESPN’s analysts gave their picks. Of the 16 analysts polled, 10 believe that Ohio State will carry the day, while six believe the Spartans will win at home.Worth noting is that most analysts believe the game will be very close. Only three of them projected that the victor would win by more than a touchdown.Michigan State lost to Michigan last month in a loss that essentially ended the Spartans’ chances at the Big Ten title game. The Spartans recovered from the game with back-to-back wins and boast one of the Big Ten’s best rushing defenses.Ohio State is coming off a 36-31 win over Nebraska. But prior to that, the Buckeyes’ last game a 49-20 loss to Purdue – a team Michigan State beat handily.The Buckeyes have won the last two meetings in the Ohio State-Michigan State rivalry.Together, the two teams have won four of the last five Big Ten conference titles.
COLUMBIA, MO – OCTOBER 19: A general view of Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium during the game between the Florida Gators and the Missouri Tigers on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)An SEC college football player has been suspended indefinitely ahead of his team’s bowl game.Tre Williams, a defensive lineman at Missouri, has been suspended following his arrest for second-degree domestic assault.“We were made aware of the situation yesterday, and Tre was immediately suspended indefinitely from all team activities. We will provide an update if his status changes,” Missouri’s head coach, Barry Odom, said in a statement.#Mizzou spokesman sent this statement from Barry Odom on the arrest of Tre Williams: “We were made aware of the situation yesterday, and Tre was immediately suspended indefinitely from all team activities. We will provide an update if his status changes.”— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) December 10, 2018Williams, who ranks third on the team in sacks, was arrested early Sunday morning.Missouri, the No. 23 team in the country, is set to play Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve.Kickoff is set for 3:45 p.m. E.T. on ESPN.
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: General view of footballs used by the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Iowa junior defensive lineman Garret Jansen just finished his fourth year with the Hawkeyes but still has a year of eligibility due to a freshman redshirt. He was given the option to either stay at Iowa or transfer, and has apparently made his decision.On Thursday, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz announced that Jansen would be leaving the Hawkeyes and will pursue a graduate transfer.“All of us are appreciative of Garret’s efforts and contributions,” said Ferentz, per a transcription from Hawkeye Insider. “Garret will seek a graduate program course of study that is unavailable to him here.”Jansen played in just one game in 2018 – a two tackle performance against Northern Illinois back in September.In three seasons since redshirting his freshman year, Jansen has nine tackles and one pass defended in five games for Iowa.Jansen was a three-star weak-side defensive end prospect in the Class of 2015, per 247Sports.Despite being well outside the top 1000 prospects in the country, 247Sports had him rated as the No. 11 prospect from the state of Iowa.
COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 26: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates a sack against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)With the end of the 2018 college football season now in the rear-view mirror, plenty of college players have made the decision to leave school early and enter the 2019 NFL Draft.On Friday, the NFL released its list of undergraduate players entering the 2019 NFL Draft.Of the 103 undergrads who have declared or been ruled eligible for the draft, six are from the Ohio State Buckeyes.The six are defensive end Nick Bosa, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, offensive guard Michael Jordan, defensive back Kendall Sheffield, running back Mike Webber, and defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones.Bosa and Haskins are two of the most highly-touted prospects at their positions in the 2019 NFL Draft. Bosa played only sparingly in 2018 due to an injury. Haskins went on to set and break numerous school and conference records, finishing third in the Heisman trophy voting.Most analysts have Bosa going No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals, while Haskins is the consensus first quarterback to be selected.Jones is also graded as a top defensive lineman, with Tankathon projecting him as a first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Chargers. Tankathon similarly projected that Jordan would go in the third round to the New York Jets.The Buckeyes finished the 2018 season with a 13-1 record that included a Big Ten title, and a win over Washington in the Rose Bowl.
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 07: University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban (left) and University of Georgia head coach Kirby Smart stand with the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy after a Coaches Press Conference on January 7, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)Before becoming the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, Kirby Smart had been with Nick Saban for over a decade. He coached safeties under Saban with the Miami Dolphins, and joined him at Alabama, where he served as the longtime Crimson Tide defensive coordinator.At the end of the 2016 season, an Alabama national title year, Smart left to take over Georgia. While he is yet to break through for a national title in Athens, he did win the SEC in 2017, and took the Dawgs to the championship game vs. Alabama.Saban has had a number of top assistants go on to be prominent head coaches. Smart is probably the top example, and has come closest to replicating Saban’s success elsewhere, even if there is still work to do.Among the biggest factors is recruiting. In 2018, Georgia knocked Alabama from the recruiting throne, signing the No. 1 class in the country. It was the first time a non-Saban staff had pulled it off in years.Apparently, recruiting is a bone of contention between Nick Saban and Kirby Smart since Smart left for Georgia, and not just because they recruit many of the same players.In a recent radio interview, SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum hinted at a particular incident that drove a wedge between Saban and his former top lieutenant.Finebaum told 680 The Fan’s Cellini and Dimino that when Smart left, he used inside info of where recruits were on Alabama’s big board, and used it to recruit against his former employer.Via Saturday Down South:“They pointed towards Kirby and what really created the friction that exists to this day is that Alabama officials and coaches blame Kirby Smart for ripping off the inner sanctum recruiting room — which is in Saban’s office. If you go to the secondary office where they keep all the prospects, what I mean by that, Kirby went to recruits and said, ‘Hey listen. We want you, you are No. 1 on our list but I know for a fact Alabama has you third or fourth or fifth.’ And that cost Alabama some key recruits and they have not forgiven Kirby Smart yet in Tuscaloosa.”There are certainly no rules against that kind of recruiting tactic, but per Finebaum, it rubbed Saban the wrong way.Obviously Alabama isn’t hurting too much on the trail. The Crimson Tide bounced back for the No. 1 class in 2019. And wew’re definitely all here for the continuation of the Alabama-Georgia rivalry, even if it may only come in the form of SEC Championships or the College Football Playoff most years.[680 The Fan via Saturday Down South]