Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has taken a dig at his former club Chelsea by claiming that their club’s title defence will not implode in the same way as Chelsea’s last season.
Despite finishing as champions in the 2014-15 campaign, the blues were reduced to a lowly 10th place in one of their worst seasons in recent memory. It has created a new record for the worst defence of a league title. It has been suggested that Leicester City may break this record, as some bookmakers still favour them as favourites for relegation.
Even though they won the title in incredible circumstances last season, it was seen as opportunity taken since there was no real competition from the top clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. Leicester were out on their own throughout the campaign and it was only in the final few weeks of the campaign that they were taken seriously. As a result, they experienced little pressure throughout the campaign. The summer has turned out as expected with the club losing a number of their key players like N’Golo Kanté. Jamie Vardy did sign a new contract to show his commitment, but last year’s PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez continues to be linked with a move elsewhere.
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The Football Association says it was not impressed with the actions of Jamie Vardy when they were in the camp for the Euro 2016 before they were knocked out by Iceland in the Round of 16.
They claim they were impressed when the player said he would solely focus on the tournament, especially with the huge task they had to prosecute. However, the Leicester City forward rejected the offer from Arsenal to remain at his club.
The player’s 24 goals, which were the second highest in the Premier League behind Harry Kane’s 25, were hugely responsible for the club’s success in the last campaign. Leicester City had placed a release clause of £22m but the Gunners triggered the clause and were hoping he would give a response before he left for the games in France.
The player, much to the admiration of the FA, said he couldn’t as he was focusing solely on the tournament. So it was a bit surprising when the England international decided to break his word and reject the offer even when the team was in camp and battling poor performances. The Three Lions were touted to top the group but they fell to a surprise second place in the group standings. They were eventually dumped 2-1 by Iceland despite going up first in the encounter. read more …
One of the first and foremost aspect for any club is keeping hold of the good players.
Bournemouth have managed to do exactly the same after tying down midfielder Harry Arter on a new three-year contract. The 26-year-old has been one of the regular first-team players for the club in the debut Premier League season. Bournemouth were expected to struggle due to the intense level of competition in the English top division, but they more than held their ground and ended up staying up in the league quite comfortably. As they prepare for a second season, manager Eddie Howe made it a priority to keep players like Arter.
Arter has been at Bournemouth since joining the club in 2011 from a nonleague outfit. Few would have imagined that a player for nonleague team Woking would continue to perform at the very top of the English football pyramid quite so well. He has made 203 appearances for the club in the last five years. At just 26 years of age, he is at the peak of his powers and could continue playing at the same level for another five years. Considering this aspect, Bournemouth will feel that the three-year contract is will deserved for the player. read more …
David Moyes branded his former club Everton’s performance in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool as horrible.
Everton lost 4-0 to their arch rivals in a result that will surely question manager Roberto Martinez’ position at the club. It has already been speculated that the arrival of new investors will see Martinez depart the club unless results are excellent until the end of the season. A thrashing at the hands of the major rivals is not a good start. It is also not an ideal preparation for the FA Cup semi-final in a few days.
Everton were reduced to 10 men for much of the second half after defender Ramiro Funes Mori was given the marching orders in the 50th minute. The club were further weakened by the departure of John Stones due to injury, but former manager Moyes was unable to defend Everton’s performance. The club are in a desperately bad run and it could potentially cost them a place in the FA Cup final. Winning a major trophy will not only help Martinez keep his job, but also keep his top players like Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has been agitated in recent weeks about the lack of progress on the pitch. He has spoken about his desire to play in the Champions League. read more …
Juventus secured their 7th successive Serie A victory after having claimed a 3-2 triumph over Carpi in their latest Italian League match. This string of victories has given the squad and the coach himself a huge boost of confidence and has sparked back to life Juventus chances of winning yet another Serie A title.
Not only is the Serie A, the only title that MassimilianoAllegri is aiming to win with Juventus, the Champions League is a piece of silverware that the Italian club almost managed to secure in the previous season as they managed to reach the finals but were eventually knocked out after losing against Barcelona.
Even though they lost against Barcelona in the finals of the past season, it still was a hugely impressive campaign for MassimilianoAllegri and Juventus as they overcame a number of obstacles including having defeated Real Madrid as well as a few other difficult opponents.
MassimilianoAllegri stated that any opponent who faces them in the upcoming stages of the Champions League should fear what Juventus is capable of accomplishing and can take anyone by surprise. read more …
Former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies reveals that most players react when involved in a physical battle with the striker. This is especially true of the central defenders. Davies, however, sees the former United centre back Nemanja Vidic as a different personality. During his time in English football, Vidic went on from being an unknown from Serbian football into one of the best defenders in the world. He did pick up red cards during his time at Old Trafford, but Vidic will largely be remembered as someone who held his character on the pitch.
Davies is one of the most physical strikers to have played in the Premier League. For several years, Bolton were able to stay in the league largely because of the threat offered by Davies. Even though his goals dried towards the latter end of his career, he remained an integral part of the club who are now playing in the Championship. The former striker recently retired from football after spending his last two years at Preston North End. Davies has recalled how most of the top defenders like John Terry will patch up once the game is over. However, this was not the case with Vidic who did not choose to remain friends with opposition players.
“You know in the first challenge or two if you have the beating of [an opponent] in the air. The one I always loved playing against was John Terry. I caught him, he caught me. He was stretchered off once, but there were no grudges and we’d swap shirts. Someone like Nemanja Vidic, you’d tackle them and they wouldn’t shake your hand because they thought it was a personal insult. But it’s a physical game. Nowadays it’s going a bit soft,” said Davies, who especially fought against Vidic several times while playing for Bolton.
Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon’s future at the club appears to be coming to a halt after he has been made to train with the youth team in order to just keep of his fitness. This is seen as a major sign that Lennon does not figure in the plans of manager Mauricio Pochettino. Tottenham have already sold a few important players in this transfer window. Kaboul had been a first choice regular at Tottenham in the last few years. He has been sold to Sunderland – a team that was once rejected by the defender himself.
After spending the second half of last season on loan at Everton, Lennon will now target a permanent move away from White Hart Lane. The England international will find no shortage of takers, but the transfer value of the player is now expected to plummet. Since the interested parties are now made aware that Lennon does not come anywhere near the first team selection, they are likely to offer significantly less than they would have for the player when he was in the first team squad. Another player who is also on his way out is striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Despite a good start to his life at Spurs, the Togo international scored only three goals in 13 appearances last season.
His troublemaker attitude is unlikely to help matters. Lennon and Adebayor are now training with the youth team with the prospect of completing a transfer before this window shuts down. Training with the youth team gives them a chance to keep up their fitness ahead of the new campaign. It is understood that West Ham are interested in bringing the player. However, any deal will depend on the green light given by chairman Daniel Levy, who is known as one of the hardest negotiators in football.