Saturday, November 14, 2015

Arsene Wenger : Lauren One of the Best Full Backs in the World

Tweet Football - Wenger signed Lauren as a midfielder but converted him to a right-back, but admits it was not easy to convince him to make the move

Arsène Wenger says Lauren’s character made him “one of the best full backs in the world”.
Wenger signed Lauren as a midfielder but converted him to a right-back, but admits it was not easy to convince him to make the move.
“He was, for me, one of the best full backs in the world,” the boss told Arsenal Player. “Not only because of his quality but he was a character, a real character. He was scared of nobody and when you needed the nerves you could count on Lauren.
“When he arrived here I had many discussions with him as I needed to convince him that he can become a right back and an outstanding right back. For a while, because he was a strong character, he didn’t accept it.
“Suddenly he understood that and I think that in Lauren and Ashley Cole, we had the best two full backs in the world.”

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Manchester City U18 Extend Record Not Invincible

Tweet Football - Manchester City U18 Successfully Conquering Sunderland and extend its unbeaten run

Manchester City
Manchester City
Premier League - Jason Wilcox's side show they possess steel as well as skill to recover from a 2-0 deficit and turn the tables on their opponents to run out 4-2 winners, and thereby extend their unbeaten run to five games. 

With nine wins from the season's opening 14 games, City lie in second in the table staying in close touch with leaders Everton. 

The boss made a total of four changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Wolves last weekend. Daniel Grimshaw returned between the sticks, Marcus Wood was handed the captain's armband at the base of midfield while Lukas Nmecha and Will Patching, who have both been in flying form this term, earned another start apiece. 

Brahim Diaz and Isaac Buckley were given the task of supporting striker Nmecha from the wings. 

It was a strong side with a number of the starters already seeing action for the u19s and EDS this season, but the young Blues found themselves two goals down midway through the first half as the home side flew out of the blocks. 

However, City refused to let their heads drop and centre-back Charlie Oliver halved the deficit shortly before the break. 

The second half belonged to City and it was nothing less than the boys in blue deserved when Demeaco Duhaney popped up with the equaliser. 

Further goals from Lukas Nmecha and substitute Paolo Fernandes within just minutes of each other effectively ended the game as a contest and ensured City would be taking all three points back with them down the M1. 

Wilcox's young charges will be looking to build on their momentum when they host Blackburn Rovers at the CFA next Saturday. 

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David Beckham Back To Old Trafford

Tweet Football-The return of David Beckham gave Manchester United victory: Score 3-1

David Beckham
David Beckham
David Beckham's Great Britain and Ireland side won 3-1 against the Rest of the World at Old Trafford in the UNICEF 'Match for Children' charity clash.

A crowd of 75,381 saw an entertaining affair with Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti in the dug-outs while Beckham and Luis Figo captained the two teams. Beckham helped roll back the years when his pinpoint cross was headed home by former Manchester United colleague Paul Scholes in the first half.

Another ex-Red, Michael Owen, thumped in a second after Scholes volleyed another Beckham cross towards the centre-forward. Although Dwight Yorke pulled one back with an unerring finish, Owen claimed his second following an Ashley Cole centre to complete the scoring.

Scholes and Ronaldinho both went close late on with cheeky chips and Beckham's eldest son Brooklyn came on for GB and Ireland to show his skills on the right wing.

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Results Report of the Group Matches Qualifying Campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Mexico and USA kicked off Reviews their qualifying campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia with big wins at home.

fifa logo
fifa logo
Elsewhere, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago managed wins away from home, a rare commodity in CONCACAF, while Costa Rica did just enough and Canada settled an old score with a win over Honduras. takes a closer look at Friday night's action.

Match of the day
Jamaica 0-2 Panama
Armando Cooper 43, Alberto Quintero 52

Panama's Group B win over Jamaica in Kingston was no fluke. The Central Americans were in total control from the opening whistle, even without Injured captain Roman Torres. They pressed in numbers against the Reggae Boyz, who must have been expecting better after finishing runners-up at this summer's Gold Cup. Armando Cooper's opener was an audacious free-kick that has the Canaleros, the most improved team in the region over the last 15 years, dreaming again of a debut at the World Cup finals.

Mexico Began Reviews their Group A journey under new coach Juan Carlos Osorio with a 3-0 win over El Salvador at a frosty Estadio Azteca. Andres Guardado, Mexico's captain fantastic, got the goals rolling with a stunning free-kick from distance. Hector Herrera added another before the break and Carlos Vela made it three with a delicate chip as El Tri now breathe easy with Reviews their first qualifier in the books.

The late game in the group of Allah Canada atone for Reviews their 8-1 loss to Honduras in Brazil 2014 qualifying, with a 1-0 win in Vancouver. Will Johnson scored the only goal against the Catrachos, an ungainly header at the back post.

Costa Rica got the job done in their Group B curtain-raiser at home against Haiti. It was not the kind of stunning performance they rode to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil two summers ago, but the Ticos got the job done with a 1-0 win, the lone goal coming from Cristian Gamboa.

The United States kicked off Reviews their Group C account with a 6-1 rout of Caribbean minnows St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Jurgen Klinsmann's Star and Stripes Suffered an early set-back, but it did not amount to much as they maintained virtually all of the possession, took 19 shots and scored six unanswered goals through Jozy Altidore (2) Fabian Johnson, Gyasi Zardes, Geoff Cameron and Bobby Wood.

The other game in the section did not have as much goalmouth pyrotechnics, but it did see Trinidad and Tobago Reviews their start campaign in style with a win away against Guatemala. Khaleem Hyland and veteran skipper Kenwyne Jones scored in the 2-1 win as the youthful Soca Warriors took all the points on offer.

Player of the day
Andres Guardado (Mexico)
Mexico's skipper, hero from this summer's championship run in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, was at it again at Azteca. His glorious free-kick from 30 yards after just seven minutes allowed the Mexicans to relax a bit. He spent the rest of the game, against an outmatched El Salvador, pushing up through the midfield to start the attacks. He was, quite simply, El Tri's beating heart on the night.

The number - 2
No2 was conspicuous on Friday. Two teams - Trinidad and Tobago and Panama - won away from home. Also there were two sensational goals scored directly from free-kicks. And, completing the hat-trick of twos, USA's Bobby Wood Became only the second American from the state of Hawaii to start for the Stars and Stripes - and, would not you know it, he scored the second goal of the game.

Did you know?
St. St. Vincent and the Grenadines winger Oalex Anderson, just 20 years old, scored the first goal of the group stages. Cutting inside from the left after only five minutes, the youngest player on the pitch in St. Louis, USA No1 slotted past Brad Guzan to send the small pocket of island fans on hand into dreamland. The Americans soon found Reviews their footing and won Easily, but SVG's No10 looks like a star in the making, and he seemingly will not be in Seattle Sounders reserve team, coached by legend Vincentian Ezra Hendrickson, much longer.

What they said
"We believe in Jozy. In him we have a very special player. He's going through ups and downs. You have to stay calm and work even harder. "US coach Klinsmann on striker Altidore, who scored twice against SVG to break a poor run of form.

Results (Round Four, Matchday 1)
13 November
Group A
Mexico 3-0 El Salvador
Canada 1-0 Honduras
Group B
Costa Rica 1-0 Haiti
Jamaica 0-2 Panama
Group C
USA 6-1 St. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Guatemala 1-2 Trinidad and Tobago

Up next (Round Four, Matchday 2)
17 November
Group A
El Salvador-Canada
Group B
Panama-Costa Rica
Group C
St. St. Vincent and the Grenadines-Guatemala
Trinidad & Tobago-USA

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Barcelona optimism ahead of Clasico

Barcelona is still the threat of Real Madrid, Barcelona seen from the statistical advantage over his opponent

The ESPN FC crew discuss how Barcelona would perform in the Premier League.
A palpable sense of optimism seems to be growing in Barcelona. The Catalans may have only a three-point margin going into the first Clasico of the season, but the confidence that they can extend it on November 21 is building.

At the moment, good news is seemingly never-ending for the Blaugrana: the team is beginning to hit its stride, big players are in the best form of their career and the biggest of them all, Lionel Messi, has just returned to training. When contrasted with Real Madrid's poor form and constant trips to the physio room, it is easy to get carried away, but would it perhaps be wise for supporters of the league champions to temper their expectations in the build-up to the Bernabeu?
As a club, Barcelona have at least tried to dampen some of the euphoria when it comes to Messi. While numerous reports confirmed that he trained with the group on Thursday for the first time since picking up an injury on September 26, Barca made sure not to include him in any of the audio-visual material released from the training session that day, actively shielding him from the public eye.

It ultimately made little difference. On Friday morning, Sport's front cover led with the headline "Messi is already shooting!" while Mundo Deportivo also featured the news that he was back in action on their own front page. To top it off, Marca subsequently revealed that the Argentinean chose to work on his day off on Friday in order to further his recovery. So much for keeping things under wraps.

Lionel Messi may be back in training but the euphoria around him returning for the Clasico must be tempered.
"Messi fever" will no doubt build further as the game draws nearer, but in contrast to previous years, the prospect of the forward appearing at the Bernabeu feels more like a bonus rather than a defining factor in Barcelona's potential for success. That is in large part to Neymar's sizable step up in the Argentine's absence. The Brazilian has taken charge of Barcelona's attack with aplomb, coming into contact with the ball significantly more often than when he plays alongside Messi, hitting the target with almost half of his shots on goal and producing spectacular strikes that have put his status as one of the best players in the world beyond doubt.

On Friday, Sport's Francesc de Haro predicted that even without Messi, Barca can win at the Bernabeu; considering the way things are going at the moment, who can blame him? After all, it isn't just Neymar who is experiencing his best moment of form.

In the heart of midfield, Sergio Busquets has perhaps never been better, marrying the security and positioning of old with a new, more pro-active side to his game. On top of his usual short-pass, one-touch game, the Catalan has also been completing an average of 61 "vertical" (more direct) passes per match in La Liga, the usefulness of that shift exemplified by his sharp turnover to assist Neymar for the opener against Villarreal. Xavi Hernandez recently said that with his departure, the younger midfielder now needs to pick up the baton for Barca in the middle of the pitch. That's exactly what Busquets has done.

The positives for Barca don't stop there: fitness wise, things are also starting to look up. The blow of losing Rafinha Alcantara and Ivan Rakitic to injury has been lessened by the return of Andres Iniesta, who looked sharp last weekend, and on his day is still one of the finest players in the world. On the physical side of things, reports that Vicente del Bosque will only use Barca players in the first of Spain's two forthcoming friendlies against England and Belgium will also be music to Catalan ears. That would certainly help to lessen the odds of any of them returning to their club with niggles and knocks.

Barca's current form is superior to that of Real, but these derbies are notoriously unpredictable.
Things couldn't be more different for Real Madrid, who saw both Isco and Sergio Ramos pull out of international duty due to fitness concerns. On the pitch, the aura isn't exactly positive either; the ease with which Rafa Benitez's side appeared to give up after going 3-1 down against Sevilla last weekend a cause for concern. Above all, their problems are creative ones. At this stage last season, Los Blancos had scored 16 more goals in the league than present, and off-field distractions for their best out-and-out striker aren't likely to help change that deficiency. Barcelona must be rubbing their hands with glee.

Barca supporters would be wise to exercise a degree of caution as opposed to getting carried away. While Madrid's toils and positive developments in Catalonia might be inspiring, ambitious predictions regarding next Saturday's result, the reality is that grudge matches on the level of El Clasico are never a straightforward affair. Just ask Xavi, who noted on Thursday that while "in principle it looks like Barca are going into the game in a better state, you never know what can happen in a Clasico," adding that in the past the result has defied expectations in similar circumstances.

Perhaps it's worth listening to the 35-year-old: he knows a thing or two about these games, and if there's one thing Real Madrid do well, it's comebacks.

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