Ian wright fears Madrid may sign Mohamed Salah if the Egyptian attacker maintains his incredible form for Liverpool

Mohamed Salah has registered 36 goals in all competitions this season - with his four goals against Watford last weekend drawing him praises from various football icons.

Ian Wright, who said he was taken aback by Salah's remarkable form submitted that Madrid would be looking towards the direction of the former Roma man.

The Arsenal great said on Skysports debate: "Anybody scoring goals the way he is, coming into the premier league, the toughest league i would say in the world, and taking it by storm the way he has, you are going to court that kind of attention."

"He has done it magnificently .... He's done it surprisingly. Surprisingly to me, i didn't think he's going to have that kind of impact.

The 54-year old English man explained further, "When you've that impact, you're going to court attention.

"With what we've seen and with what Real Madrid have seen, if he does press on, they {Real Madrid} might get him in the end.

Salah joined Liverpool in the summer for a fee worth around 39m, and aside scoring 36 goals for Liverpool, he also assisted 10 goals in all competitions this season. 


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Floyd Mayweather Jnr has hinted that he could invest in Newcastle and lure his friend Cristiano Ronaldo to join the club.

Mike Ashley has been under intense pressure to sell the club, and it was reported that a deal that was said to be in place to sell the club last October fell through – with Ashley describing the process of striking a deal “frustrating.”

The English billionaire is reported to have placed a fee in the region of £350m on the club, and Mayweather had indicated interest in investing in the club.

The 41-year-old said he loved to invest in businesses, and revealed that the City of Newcastle was the major reason he was showing interest in investing in the club.

"I love Newcastle, these boys like to celebrate as hard as in any city in the world, I got to know some of the players last year and they are good guys," he explained

"I am always looking at new business opportunities and I love all sports but I invest with my head and not my heart.

"Invest with the heart is the fastest way to lose money but if someone puts together a business plan then my people can look at it and tell me if I can make money, then I would invest.

“Maybe football is not my game but I have connections everywhere.

"Cristiano is a friend of mine for a long time and he could even finish his career in Newcastle."

Question of whether Cristiano would like to work again with Benitez would be the first thing Mayweather needs to answer if he gets to secure Newcastle.

And with the goal machine CR7 not ready to turn to a defender soonest, all things being equal, this dream from The Money Bag himself is way off the mark





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Premier League set to introduce winter break

Saturday, 10 February 2018 09:13

The Premier League is considering introducing a winter break when the next television rights deal is agreed.

The top leagues in Germany, France, Italy and Spain all take time out in mid-season.

The Football Association has previously said a winter break is not feasible until the end of the current deal in 2019

Talks have been ongoing for several months, and are understood to have been constructive.

A January break has been under discussion which, if agreed, would not impact on the traditional festive football schedule.

An announcement on the next Premier League TV rights is expected next week. The league is seeking an increase on the current £5.14bn deal which includes 168 live matches a season, with Sky holding five packages of games and BT two.

The prospect of a winter break is referenced in the tender documents that have been sent to broadcasters. The next TV deal will cover 2019-2022.

"The Premier League has been in discussions with the FA and EFL for several months regarding the challenges of the increasingly congested English football calendar and ways in which we can work together to ease fixture congestion while also giving players a mid-season break," the Premier League said in a statement.

"Provided space can be found in the calendar, we are open to this in principle and will continue constructive discussions with our football stakeholders to seek a workable solution."




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Mark Clattenburg has been praised after briefly halting Wednesday night’s Saudi King’s Cup clash between Al Feiha and Al Fateh so players could answer the evening call to prayer.

With the score level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the encounter went into extra-time at the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Sport City Stadium.

However Clattenburg, the former Premier League official, opted to suspend play just five minutes into additional time when the call for prayer echoed across the stadium from a nearby mosque.

Footage shows the two teams jostling for possession before the call to prayer begins and Clattenburg immediately blows his whistle to stop the game.


Some players leave the pitch while others use the time to recover with the break lasting just over two minutes. 

The referee has won a number of plaudits for the gesture on social media with some even describing it as a sign of 'respect' and 'beautiful'. 

Al Feiha went on to secure a late 2-1 win thanks to an 118th-minute strike from Sami Al Khaibari.

Clattenburg has occupied the role of Head of Refereeing in Saudi Arabia since February 2017. 

The 42-year-old Englishman took charge of the finals of Euro 2016 and has overseen both the Champions League and FA Cup final during his career.

( Daily Mail )


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Classic Liverpool and Arsenal Meetings

Thursday, 21 December 2017 20:53

Yeah, yeah, El Clasico. We get it, you’re cute and all, and you offer the highest calibre of players and a few red cards and late goals. But have you ever seen two late goals scored by the same side at the home of an opponent to win the title, or Neil Mellor thundering a long range belter into the net in December, or Olivier Giroud miss from two yards. Didn’t think so either.

So, in that case, Liverpool against Arsenal is the game of this weekend, not the Spanish Clasico (keep sniggering down there), a fixture not short on drama and intrigue. The stakes might not be as high as in the past, but it’s still a cracking game to look forward, and an even better one to watch.

So, here are five of the memorable games watched between these two sides in the past:

Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool (April 2004)

Of course this is where we begin, Arsenal still unbeaten in the league as they welcomed Liverpool to Highbury, but had been knocked out of the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League not long before, turning their treble dreams into a plain single. And that looked in danger at halftime here, goals from Sami Hyypia and Michael Owen for the Reds either side of Thierry Henry’s strike saw the visitors lead at the break.

Robert Pires would restore parity for Arsenal in the second half, before Henry took centre stage, sidestepping two Liverpool defenders, leaving them bundling into each other, before slotting the ball into the bottom corner in typical Thierry Henry fashion. Henry would add another, completing his hatrick and sealing the win, and Arsenal didn’t do much looking back as they made their way to that single, in unprecedented fashion (sit down Preston of 1889).

Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal (April 2009)

Liverpool were the ones with their eyes set on the title this time, but unlike Arsenal they were playing catch up, and needed to beat the Gunners to keep the pressure on Manchester United.

So, cue whistles of disdain when Andrey Arshavin gave Arsenal the lead at Anfield, and it stayed that way until halftime. But barely 10 minutes after the interval, Liverpool would go from 1-0 down to 2-1 up, headers from Fernando Torres, and Yossi Benayoun, one brilliant and one brave, turn things around.

The hosts were bouncing again, but Arshavin would restore parity, pouncing on Alvaro Arbeloa’s error to rifle home a long range effort. The Russian completed his hatrick soon after, as the Anfield crowd watched in horror, Liverpool were 3-2 behind and the title was going away, but Torres pulled it back level again, with a shot that was too much for Lukasz Fabianski to handle. But in stoppage time as Liverpool pushed for a winner, Arsenal struck again. Arshavin struck again. After Theo Walcott ignited a lightning counter attack, the Russian was on hand again, finishing with aplomb, and that would surely be that.

Benayoun, however, had other ideas. As Liverpool pushed forward again, a ricochet fell the midfielder’s way, and a swing of his right boot later, it was 4-4. An astonishing game that did little to help Rafa Benitez team’s title cause, they had returned to the top of the league with the point, but United had two games in hand. The title wouldn’t be coming to Anfield.

Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal (February 2014)

Again, the title was in play, but this time it involved both sides, Arsenal were top of the table, and Liverpool were looking to keep up. But after just 20 minutes played everyone was in dreamland, shell-shock, astonishment, you name it, and the word still wouldn’t do the game justice. Two goals inside the opening 10 minutes from Martin Skrtel, added to by Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, and Liverpool were 4-0 up (4-0!!).

Arsenal barely got going throughout, and by the time Mikel Arteta got one for the Gunners from the penalty spot in the second half, Sterling had already added another for the home side. That 5-1 win set the tone for Liverpool, as it kick-started their 11-game winning run, as they climbed to top spot, only to fall short with three gayles…sorry games left.

As for Arsenal, that defeat saw them slip out of top spot, and they never climbed back. In fact, they eventually got locked in a battle for fourth spot with Everton, which they won…eventually, of course.

Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal (February 2016)

Another Liverpool-Arsenal clash at Anfield in February, and there was another early blitz, and by the midway point of the first half four goals had been scored.

But this time, it was no one-sided affair, Liverpool took a deserved lead when Petr Cech beat Emre Can’s shot into the path Roberto Firmino who made no mistake, and Arsenal replied through Aaron Ramsey moments after. Firmino put Liverpool back in front, with, as Peter Drury put it, ‘a diamond of a goal’, but Arsenal would restore parity once more, Olivier Giroud poking in Ramsey’s corner.

Giroud would miss from two yards in inexplicable manner as the first half wore to a close, but he began the second period with delightful turn and shot to put the Gunners in front. Arsenal held on till the final minute of normal time, until Joe Allen’s shot was too much for Cech, as it game, awash with drama and rain, finished 3-3.

Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (August 2016)

Six months after that six-goal thriller, Arsenal played host this time, as both sides met on the opening day of the new season.

Arsenal had a chance to go in front in the 22nd minute, after Alberto Moreno fouled Theo Walcott in the box, but the latter saw his penalty saved by Simon Mignolet. Walcott did make amends 90 seconds later, latching on to Alex Iwobi’s pass, and putting the shot beyond Mignolet that time. Liverpool did manage to equalise just before halftime, however, Philippe Coutinho’s brilliant free-kick finding its way to the top corner.

Then came the flurry, as Liverpool become too hot for the Gunners to handle. First Roberto Firmino laid on for Adam Lallana to put the Reds in front, then Coutinho tapped in Nathaniel Clyne’s cross for 3-1, before debutant Sadio Mane added a fourth with a sublime solo effort.

It was getting embarrassing for Arsenal, but a minute after Mane’s goal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came up with his own solo effort, albeit aided by a deflection, to reduce the deficit, and then with nine minutes left Calum Chambers headed another one back for the hosts.

There would be no comeback for Arsenal though, as for the sixth time in seven seasons, they failed to win their opening game.

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When Swansea inevitably dismissed Paul Clement with the club at the foot of the table, it was the fourth managerial sacking they had made in two years. Garry Monk, Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley and now Clement have all parted company with the Welsh side since December 2015, the model of stability that the club once portrayed feels long in the memory.

On  announcing the sacking of Clement, chairman Huw Jenkins stated that changing managers during the season was the last thing the club wanted to do, after they had done it for each of the past two other campaigns, Monk was sacked in December two years ago, Guidolin was dismissed in October last year, and his replacement Bradley only lasted three months. Next up, on a temporary basis at least, is midfielder Leon Britton, who has been confirmed as the interim boss. 

The changes haven’t been limited to just the dugout in that time. The owners have changed, Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien have been around for 18 months. Well ‘around’ isn’t quite the word, as the Americans have been playing the role of absentee owners quite well, leaving Jenkins in charge of key decisions, most of which haven’t turned out well. 

The most notable change, though, is arguably on the pitch, as Swansea have gone from a forward playing side to one that seem consistently blocked by some invisible force field. Granted, they had to scrap in the 2015/16 season to survive after sacking Monk, Guidolin putting aside niceties as the Swans battled their way to survival. After Guidolin’s axing in 2016, the style was less combative, more confusing under Bradley, and while Clement restored some fight in the side on arrival, there hasn’t much front foot football.

Granted, Clement lost key men in the summer in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, and supposed inspiring loan signing Renato Sanches has hardly put a foot right, but the lack of creativity or any form of attacking impetus in the side is appalling as it is obvious, they haven’t come from behind to win league game since last season’s final day dead rubber. 

Clement’s tactics haven’t helped his cause as well, too cautious, almost no width in the side, more often than not whatever rare moments of forward the team produced came from a player grabbing the game by the scruff of its neck. Waiting until the final day to re-sign Wilfred Bony who had been put up for transfer much earlier wasn’t the smartest move in the summer, and the Ivorian has struggled for fitness, and even hobbled off injured at Everton on Monday. The signing of Luciano Narsingh last January hasn’t had much impact still, providing very little up front, and leaving loanee Tammy Abraham to shoulder the goal scoring responsibility, no side has found the net less than the Swans.

Swansea look to have become a true Premier League lower reach club: loss of identity, managerial chopping and changing, incompetent board and long-term aim taking a back seat for survival. Like Leeds, Aston Villa, Fulham and Sunderland in the past, relegation would cap it off.

Published in International Watch

It seemed like the managerial dismissals in the Premier League had taken a back seat to give way for some actual football recently, but after some actual football on Monday night, Swansea City decided to dismiss Paul Clement from managerial duty following the club’s troubling form since the season began.

The Jacks have won just three games all campaign, and their loss at Everton yesterday saw the club drop to the foot of the Premier League table, prompting club chairman Huw Jenkins to act. In typical ruthless board fashion, Jenkins described the decision to change managers midway through a season as the ‘last thing we wanted to do’, but the club felt they couldn’t leave it any longer and needed to make a change to give them the best chance of an ‘uplift’.

The club hierarchy thanked Clement for his work at the club (typical, even Frank de Boer got thanked at Crystal Palace), with the Englishman, having taken over in January, lifting the club from bottom to 15th place at the end of last season, but they’ve felt he isn’t quite capable of repeating the trick.

45-year-old Clement took charge of Swansea at the start of the year, replacing Bob Bradley, and also managed Derby County for most part of the 2015/16 Championship season. He was also part of Carlo Ancelotti’s staff at Bayern Munich, as well as at Real Madrid and Chelsea, and it wouldn’t be daft to presume he’ll turn up wherever the Italian ends up.

Swansea confirmed that Clement’s assistants Nigel Gibbs and Karl Halabi have also left the club, and that an update on a replacement coaching staff would arrive in 24 hours.

Published in International Watch

Emirate Stadium is under mice attack

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 18:41

Whilst there are problems at Arsenal on the pitch this moment, there is a growing issue off it with it being revealed that the Emirates Stadium has been hit with a mice problem.

A health inspection took place recently and there has been evidence that mice were living on all four levels of the stadium, usually an indicator of a top-to-bottom infestation on the premises.

"Officials found mouse droppings in a variety of places," a Daily Mail report explained.

"These included under pipes and behind furnaces, in addition to pot washing areas."

A report was sent to the Premier League which cited a general lack of cleanliness, although Arsenal have maintained that the problem has arisen due to a lack of communication between the Gunners and the company entrusted with managing the stadium.


Initially the club must clean all the excrement that has appeared in the stadium; furthermore all meals produced for the VIP areas must be monitored closely.







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There was something telling late in the game at the Etihad: Raheem Sterling had beaten Hugo Lloris and had an open goal in front in him, he still had time to stop for a second before rolling the ball into the net. That moment seemed to be an embodiment of Manchester City this term, the rest of the league has been looking from behind as the Mancunians lie ahead, even with time to slow down. Except: City are not slowing down.

The win is their 16th in a row, beating the record of 15 they had set four days earlier (that just sounds absurd doesn’t it), their current points tally is better than their tallies at the end of the 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2005/06 seasons, and in the past 11 seasons it would be enough for a top half finish.

‘We want to win every game and everybody who comes in is doing an incredible job’, said Kevin de Bruyne afterwards, and when it comes to incredible, the Belgian knows a few things or two. His goal in the second period was as decisive as it was a joy to see, another terrific hit from his supposedly weaker foot.

By then City were previously one to the good; David Silva, who has scored four goals in his last three league games, missed this game due to personal issues, and it was his replacement Ilkay Gundogan who headed home the opening goal after 14 minutes, his first strike since October 2016, a man who had recently recovered from another injury problem. ‘I have been through tough times, so especially games like today where you are able to improve your self-confidence are very important’, said the German midfielder.

City could even afford for Gabriel Jesus to miss a penalty and for Sterling to miss from even closer range, albeit his attempt was rendered irrelevant by the linesman’s flag, on a day where Spurs, who according to The Express’ Jim Holden ‘were left flummoxed’, were admittedly underwhelming, to sugar coat it. ‘We cannot concede in the way that we conceded, a lack of concentration and focus and this situation changed the game’, admitted a rather sorry Mauricio Pochettino, and he wasn’t wrong.

It was a particularly torrid day for Eric Dier at the back, failing to cut out a number of passes (see the fourth goal for instance), and his ill-advised extravagance led to Spurs conceding the missed penalty. Up front Spurs were just as disappointing, the most notable incidents involving Harry Kane and Dele Alli was when they were perhaps lucky not to get sent off after dangerous tackles, while Christian Eriksen’s late consolation couldn’t mask his under-par display.

As for City, the latest victory means they’re three wins away from equalling the European record set by Pep Guardiola with Bayern Munich, but the manager, who’s grateful for being provided ‘outstanding players’ by ‘three amazing clubs’ in his career so far, is only focusing on what comes next, saying they can only look at the records at the end of the season, a season which De Bruyne hopes ends with at least the league crown.

‘We are here to win titles’, said the midfielder. ‘We had a great start, it’s more than half (of the season left) so it’s still very difficult’. When asked if the squad was starting to think about whether they could go the season unbeaten, De Bruyne’s response was ‘no, absolutely not’.

Going unbeaten for the whole season might be a bit of a stretch, but they still look unstoppable. Spurs, like the rest before them, just had no answer.

Red-hot Reds at the South Coast

It was another attacking masterclass for Liverpool, this time Bournemouth were the side mauled in their own backyard. There was no sign of last season’s dramatic coming when Dejan Lovren headed in Liverpool’s second, after Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring with a gem of a solo effort. And because a Liverpool rout wouldn’t be complete without him getting on the score sheet, Mohammed Salah added the third before halftime, his 20th league of the season, the first man to hit that tally for Liverpool since 2014. Eddie Howe and his Cherries would no doubt rue the moment Jermain Defoe hit the post when the score was at 2-0, with the hosts growing into the game, but they would have no complaints when Roberto Firmino added a fourth in the second period. They are only a point away from the drop zone. Next up, a trip to Manchester City.


  • ‘I think we played the wrong team today really. We had a full stadium but we gave them nothing to shout about in the first half’. Alan Pardew was pulling no punches about West Brom’s first half display at home to Manchester United, a terrible showing which ended with the Baggies two-nil down. The second 45 saw an improved performance, and substitute Gareth Barry pulled one back. Jay Rodriguez might have levelled things afterwards, but it would have been scarcely deserved. That says something considering that United were nowhere their best; it’s two in two games for Romelu Lukaku, while Jesse Lingard continues his fine form.
  • Marko Arnautovic had missed four opportunities, one of which hit the bar, and was subject to never-ending boos from the Stoke fans when Manuel Lanzini played him in with 15 minutes left at the Bet365 stadium. He found the net at the fifth time of asking, and those never ending boos came to an end. At least until when he was substituted, the point which they were at their loudest. The home fans did reserve some of those harsh vocal treatment for their manager Mark Hughes after the final whistle. Sparky was irked by Lanzini’s dive which led to Mark Noble opening the scoring from the spot for West Ham, but his side were deserved losers. Only one place separates them from the bottom three. This is the kind of time a club like this sacks the gaffer and goes for… yes, him. Tony Pulis.
  • Crystal Palace finally got off the mark, in terms of goals and wins, away from home, and it was a particularly satisfying game for one big Belgian. After over 1000 minutes without a goal, Christian Benteke met Andros Townsend’s brilliant cross to end his goal drought and open the scoring. For opponents Leicester it was a rather torrid afternoon, embodied by Wilfred Ndidi getting sent off for simulation. It’s their second defeat under Claude Puel. Palace meanwhile may only be two points above the relegation zone, but they are only five from the top half as well. Not bad for a side who started the campaign with seven straight losses, a run which saw them score zero.
  • It was a first away win since the opening match of the season for Huddersfield, and it was quite emphatic, scoring four at Vicarage Road. Hosts Watford would definitely have cause for grievance over the Terriers first goal, although they weren’t helped by a daft challenge from captain Troy Deeney which saw them reduced to ten men. They could take consolation from Abdoulaye Doucoure belter of a strike, but it’s scant. The once promising Hornets are on the slide.
  • Speaking of the slide, Newcastle just can’t help themselves at the moment. Their defeat at Arsenal, a ninth in 10 games, sees them drop into the bottom three. But forget that for a bit, how about this effort from Mesut Ozil for a match-winning goal!


Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham

West Brom 1-2 Manchester United

Brighton 0-0 Burnley

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool

Leicester 0-3 Crystal Palace

Chelsea 1-0 Southampton

Stoke 0-3 West Ham

Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

Watford 1-4 Huddersfield

Monday Night Football: Everton v Swansea

Published in International Watch

So, they’re finally going to talk about it; after the ton of publicity the issue of having the transfer window shut before the season begins has received, Premier League and the clubs are contemplating implementing that action, which would see teams have their squads set before a ball is kicked. This issue has been brought up by a few managers over the years, not long ago Paul Clement was the latest boss to express his dissatisfaction, with his star man Gylfi Sigurdsson the subject of interest from Everton and the Icelandic midfielder missed the season opener for Swansea City, and if a decision is reached to close the window before the start of the new campaigns there’ll be more than a few sighs of relief. But this is an idea in which the Premier League really need to consider the end result before giving the green light.

Closing the transfer window before the season begins also means eliminating the opportunity of managers adding to their squad where they feel is necessary after having a couple of league matches to assess the team, which positions still lack the required personnel or which additions can aid a tactical reshuffle. Two of Chelsea’s key players in their title-winning campaign last term were David Luiz and Marcos Alonso, both of whom didn’t get signed until deadline day- some three games into the new season-, in the previous campaign, Anthony Martial joined Manchester United four games in while a handful of the signings made by Tottenham in the 2013-14 came after the season had begun, although admittedly some of them didn’t prove to be worth the trouble. Say the season starts on the 11th of August, there’s still some 20 days before the window would close, that’s more than enough time for a player wanted by a Premier League club to have a rethink and/or have his head turned, a time by which that club would have played at least three times, and probably discovered they need a player of his particular skillset.

Then there’s the case of this transfer window decision involving just the Premier League, which would still leave them prone to losing players to clubs overseas. For instance, with Barcelona’s continued in Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, if the window was shut before the league season begins and the Brazilian playmaker still makes a departure, Jurgen Klopp’s would have lost arguably their most influential player, with no prospect of replacing him with a new buy until the turn of the year.

Sure there’s the upsides, like having a more settled side as the season kicks off or managers not having to spend the bulk of pre-match and post-match conferences answering whether or not they would still add to their squad or whether or not they’re interested in certain players, but that settled squad can still be disrupted by foreign clubs and managers will still have to answer questions regarding if players would depart.

The Prem. better have the right key before deciding to shut the door on themselves.

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