Tag Archives: boss

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez brilliantly trolls Manchester United

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez was caught on tape at his witty best following his side’s shock victory over Manchester United yesterday afternoon.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head at St. James’ Park, with Jose Mourinho’s visitors having put their disappointing loss to Tottenham last week behind them with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield last time out.

Newcastle, meanwhile, had slipped into the Premier League relegation zone ahead of kick-off yesterday, with the Magpies having picked up draws in their last two outings with Burnley and Crystal Palace respectively.

Shock

The visiting Red Devils understandably headed into the clash as heavy favourites, and took control of the majority of possession from the off.

However, Newcastle made it clear from early on that they would not allow the aura of their opponents to intimidate them, with Rafael Benitez’s men working like dogs when out of possession and making every tackle count.

And, after holding United at bay for the opening 45 minutes, Newcastle were rewarded for their valiant efforts shortly after the hour mark, when Chris Smalling’s ridiculous dive near the halfway-line saw the hosts awarded a free-kick.

The ball was subsequently lofted in towards the edge of Man United’s area, before a flicked header landed at the feet of Dwight Gayle.

From here, Gayle proceeded to expertly lay the ball off into the space behind him, where Matt Ritchie arrived in perfect time to slam home a quality finish into the bottom-left corner of David De Gea’s goal.

Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial were both guilty of fluffing guilt-edged chances for the visitors on ‘one of those days’ for United, with Newcastle in the end holding on for a potentially-crucial 3 points.

Benitez banter

Following the full-time whistle, Jose Mourinho’s praise for Newcastle’s ‘animals’ quickly garnered widespread attention, with the Portuguese tactician having proven uncharacteristically magnanimous in defeat.

However, one aspect of the post-match interviews which slipped relatively under the radar revolved around a comment made by Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, at the expense of Manchester United.

A recap of the exchange, as well as the soundclip itself, are linked below:

Virgil Van Dijk can’t hold back a smile when finding out about Man United’s loss

Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey criticised after Man United win

Five Things: Arsenal boss in denial, Man City striker the star of the show, Newcastle dig in for big win

Five Things: Arsenal boss in denial, Man City striker the star of the show, Newcastle dig in for big win – originally posted on Sportslens.com

It was another fun-packed weekend in the Premier League, with plenty of areas for discussion at both ends of the table.

Manchester City’s victory over Leicester City left them eleventy million points clear at the top of the standings and they could have things wrapped up by the end of March.

Sportslens takes a look at five talking points from over the weekend.

Wenger in denial about his defence

Arsene Wenger hit back at Martin Keown’s criticism of Arsenal’s defence after Saturday’s derby defeat, but the club’s former centre-back was spot on with his assessment.

Harry Kane was given a free header for the winning goal, but the Spurs striker could easily have had a hat-trick against the Gunners’ flaky backline.

Arsenal look dangerous going forward, but they are still an accident waiting to happen at the back. The first step in solving a problem is recognising there is one. Wenger’s continued denials are a joke.

Hernandez proving his worth with West Ham

Javier Hernandez’s goal against Watford on Saturday was his third in his last four games for West Ham and he’s beginning to show his true form for the club.

Hernandez struggled to hit it off with Andy Carroll, but he is thriving with the big striker out injured once again.

The Mexican looked to be on his way out of the club during January, but in this sort of form West Ham would be silly to let him go.

Aguero the star of the show

Kevin De Bruyne has picked up many of the plaudits for Manchester City this season, but Sergio Aguero demonstrated his own value to the team against Leicester City on Saturday.

City were off the pace in the first half, but Aguero’s four-goal haul after the break perfectly showcased his finishing ability.

His fourth was a touch of magic, taking a pass 25 yards from goal and unleashing a spectacular shot that rattled the upright and went straight in. Simply breathtaking.

Benitez can keep Newcastle up

It’s been a frustrating season for Newcastle United fans, especially with the ongoing uncertainty over whether owner Mike Ashley will ever sell the club.

Manager Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his frustration over what he believes to be a lack of investment in the squad, but Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United certainly boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation.

The Red Devils created enough chances to win the game, but Newcastle were competitive throughout and this result could be crucial in their fight for survival.

Aldridge off target with striker comments

There’s a few questionable pundits around the Premier League at the moment and John Aldridge is pretty high up the list.

Aldridge claimed Liverpool’s potential title challenge this season has been hampered by the lack of a recognised striker, but one thing you can’t accuse the Reds of is a shortage of firepower.

Robert Firmino and Mohamed Salah have both broken through the 20-goal barrier in all competitions and the former Liverpool striker’s views are laughable.

Unresolved defensive issues remain Liverpool’s biggest problem, while a creative midfielder also wouldn’t go amiss. Scoring enough goals is the least of their worries.

Aldridge was a superb finisher during his playing career. Punditry? Lousy.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Liverpool boss Klopp makes Van Dijk warning very clear before Southampton game

Return

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has spoken about Virgil van Dijk’s mindset ahead of the club playing Southampton, after the defender of course pushed through a move to the Reds.

He claimed that the mindset of the player is OK, and while the fans may not be thrilled about seeing their former star, the defender will just have to get on with it.

“It is obviously quite special and yes, for sure, I will talk to Virgil about it. With other players I didn’t talk about it but for him yes, of course,” said Klopp.

“It will not be a normal game [for him], how can it be? It was a special story, most of the time really positive and then the end not that positive. And I think how football fans are they want to disturb everything we try to do to help their team and they will whistle.

“Is it nice? I don’t think so. Will it have influence? I don’t think so. But we are all human beings, we are influenced by circumstances. 

“We have to accept it how it is: loud, not nice maybe, but still we have to play football.”

Top four

Liverpool, along with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, are all in a fight for the top four and Klopp knows that a good run at this point in the season is vital. The club cannot see their hard work go to waste, and while beating the likes of Manchester City is certainly impressive, they cannot then go and drop points to sides like Swansea if they want to once again be in the Champions League come next season.

A top four finish will be vital – especially when it comes to attracting the top class players they want come the summer and spending the Coutinho money.

Jose Mourinho offers surprising backing to Newcastle boss Benitez

Respect

Jose Mourinho has offered his backing to Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez, despite the two having a difficult relationship in the past.

Mourinho’s side take on the Magpies this weekend, and the United boss made it very clear he thinks the club are doing well, and are not his pick to drop back down to the Championship come the end of the season, despite being in the relegation battle.

Mourinho said: “They’re a good team, they have a very good transfer window with Kenedy and [Islam] Slimani – two players I know well and who can improve their team. Rafael Benitez knows how to get points.

They are a big club. I believe. I am not the person to say why they have struggled for years because what I know from the club is an incredible army of fans and a city which lives for the club.

“They’ve normally had good players, normally good managers. I can remember many of them, some of the best ones in the country and Benitez is another example. It’s difficult to understand. 

“If you’re asking me if Newcastle will be in then Championship next season, I  say no way.”

League position

Of course, both United and Newcastle have very different aims come the end of the season, and while Mourinho will want to make sure his side gets into the top four, the aim for Newcastle is to avoid relegation.

Benitez and the fans may be unhappy with the amount of money Mike Ashley spent in the transfer window, but the club know they have to try their hardest to remain in the Premier League.

United meanwhile are aware the Premier League title looks like going to Pep Guardiola and their neighbours Manchester City, but know they still have a hope of winning the FA Cup and indeed the Champions League.

 

Liverpool boss Klopp speaks out on Lallana’s outburst v Tottenham U23’s

Red mist

It wasn’t the greatest of weeks for Adam Lallana after he was seen to have lost his temper in a game for the Liverpool U23’s against Tottenham.

Lallana was given game time in the youth side to get back to full fitness after a small injury and a game like that was perfect for his recovery.

That was until it all turned very sour between the former Southampton man and one of Spurs’ young players.

The Englishman was shown a straight red after grabbing Tottenham youngster George Marsh, who had put in a hefty challenge.

Safe to say, he wasn’t happy in the slightest and his actions grabbed the headlines, leading to much criticism.

While not defending Lallana’s actions, Jurgen Klopp has come out and spoken about the incident in his press conference today.

It’s safe to say that he isn’t impressed by what happened with the player but that does not change his plans for this weekend.

In fact, the player still remains in contention for a spot against his former side Southampton.

‘It’s not nice. I spoke to him, it’s not how it should be. He wasn’t happy about the reaction and I wasn’t either.’ he explained.

‘When we played football, we all did a few things we weren’t proud of.

‘He’s an option for the squad (on Sunday). He’s in good shape and looks fresh but he has been injured twice now. We need to settle a little bit.’

Virgil van Dijk’s special treatment ahead of Liverpool v Southampton return

Another player who will be returning to Southampton this weekend is Virgil Van Dijk.

The defender moved to Anfield in a record-breaking deal in January and will be returning for the first time this weekend.

Though, while Van Dijk won’t be the only returning to St Mary’s, he will be getting some special treatment.

Click here to find out what that is. 

Everton boss Allardyce told it’s ‘too late’ by Roy Hodgson ahead of Palace clash

Apology

Sam Allardyce has been told it’s far too late to offer any apology for mocking Roy Hodgson when he was caught in a sting on camera as England boss.

He mocked Hodgson’s speech impediment and called him ‘Woy’, something that many considered to be seriously distasteful at the time – and something that Hodgson expected an apology over.

However, since he’s never been offered one, the Crystal Palace boss claims it’s now too late, and that his relationship with Allardyce isn’t great, ahead of Everton’s meeting with his side.

Hodgson said: “Do you like being insulted? No, not particularly. Did it bother me? I didn’t lose any sleep over it.

“My relationship with him before, I always thought was good. Now I would expect it to be less good.

“Would I like him to apologise? No. It’s far too late. It has gone. It belongs to the distant past.

“In jobs like I am doing at the moment when you are the manager of a Premier League club, you live very much in the ultimate present and the future.

“I’m not interested. I’ve said what I’ve got to say.”

Points

Given how tight it is at the bottom of the table, the one thing all sides need to do is pick up points – especially from the teams around them, and while Everton are in better shape than they were pre-Allardyce, their shocking performance against Arsenal will certainly have knocked their confidence.

Not only that, but it seems that Allardyce may consider a change in players, and Hodgson will know they are there for the taking if he sets his team up right.

Of course, it was a huge blow to Palace to see Zaha added to the injury list that already includes Bakary Sako, Jeffrey Schlupp, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Connor Wickham and Julian Speroni – especially since they’ve not won a league game without him since September 2016.

Barcelona boss praises Antonio Conte despite poor run of form

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