Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has admitted the club are ‘close’ to crisis following their League Cup exit at the hands of a weakened Sheffield Wednesday side.Lewis McGugan’s 76th-minute strike secured a 1-0 victory in front of a fuming St James’ Park crowd, with the result leaving McClaren scratching his head over how to mould a team from inherited players plus a host of summer arrivals.The pressure on McClaren, who was only appointed as boss this summer, is heating up with the Magpies currently joint bottom of the Premier League table.They entertain the reigning Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday still looking for their first league win of the campaign, and the manager has told his team to change their victim mentality and get their season on track with an upset against the Blues.Asked why it is not working, McClaren said: “It’s hard to put your finger on, but we have to find it.“It’s a mentality thing. You can go into those games and finish those games and feel sorry for yourself. We can’t have that. We can’t have that and we can’t make excuses.“I’m not here to criticise individuals and whatever I say will never be enough to vindicate the performance and the result. The only thing you can do is get in tomorrow morning and prepare for Chelsea.McClaren, who was pilloried as his reign as England manager drew to a close, admitted it was a tough situation but remains convinced he and his staff will get things right on Tyneside.”We have got to have that fighting mentality rather than that victim one.”McClaren added: “Is the job harder than I thought? Absolutely. Without a doubt.“People say it’s a crisis and it’s getting very close to it. We deserve to be criticised.“That’s football. This is, for me, a challenge. We have got to start using our experience now, and we have got that. We have got to find the solutions. Mentally, technically, tactically, we have got to find the solutions.“It’s in that dressing room, we have got to find it and we have got to find it quickly.” 1
11 11 11. Roberto Firmino – The Brazilian only recently returned from injury but Klopp is an admirer from when they faced each other in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund respectively. 23. Emre Can – Can has all the attributes to be a top quality midfielder and since Klopp has installed him permanently in his favoured position rather than being used in defence by Rodgers he has flourished. 7. James Milner – Milner will stay in midfield but Klopp looks undecided for Cans midfield partner as he rotates between Joe Allen and Lucas. Milners long-term position, once Jordan Henderson returns, could well be the bench. 11 11 11 Liverpool will attempt to follow up their impressive 3-1 victory over Chelsea with a win against Crystal Palace this weekend.Philippe Coutinho looks back to his best after an underwhelming season and could well fire Liverpool back into the Champions League places.The Jugen Klopp revolution on Merseyside looks like it may be going places with the German undefeated so far in his tenure.And is this the team to keep that run going? Click the arrow above, right, to see who will be playing at Anfield on Sunday. 9. Christian Benteke – Like Firmino, the big Belgian has just returned to fitness but should find himself in the line-up on Sunday. Klopp opted against playing a striker for the Chelsea clash but Bentekes substitute appearance and goal seems to have been enough for a starting spot this week. 10. Philippe Coutinho – Coutinho had a quiet start to the season but exploded back into form with a stunning performance and two goals against Chelsea. His form could well be the difference between the Champions League and the Europa League for Liverpool next season. 11 11 17. Mamadou Sakho – Sakho was in and out of the team under Brendan Rodgers but Klopp has taken a liking to his French centre-half. Sakho was immense during last weekends 3-1 defeat of Chelsea. 11 11 20. Adam Lallana – Lallana has done well since the Klopp revolution began last month. His ability to use both feet mean he is capable of either cutting inside defenders to shoot or going around them to cross, an asset which will see him sure of his place in the Reds line up. 11 2. Nathaniel Clyne – click the arrow above, right, to see the possible Liverpool line-up against Crystal Palace in squad number order – The former Southampton man is only getting better and Clyne should be going to France next summer as Roy Hodgsons first choice right back. 37. Martin Skrtel – Rested for the midweek Europa League trip to Rubin Kazan, only coming on in the last few minutes to sure up the game, but should regain his place for the Crystal Palace game. He and Sakho have formed a good understanding under Klopp. 22. Simon Mignolet – Mignolet keeps improving match after match. Long gone are the question marks that dogged him last season. 11 18. Alberto Morneo – Moreno is never really under any pressure for his place with Liverpool lacking a decent replacement for the Spaniard. While he is still defensively struggling, he makes up for it with his lightning pace and attacking threat.
1 Not long ago Neymar was said to be the player wanted to replace Wayne Rooney, now it’s Robert Lewandowski.Over the past week, Manchester United have been linked with Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, and the latest reports claim that they also want the club’s leading centre forward, who has 25 goals to his name already this season.German outlet Bild claim that United are readying an £11m per-year offer to tempt the Poland striker to swap the Allianz Arena for Old Trafford.With another big-name reportedly on the Red Devils’ radar, how have fans reacted to the news?Have a read of what a section of United supporters have had to say, on Twitter, below. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Pep Guardiola
Here are the top headlines and transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers, with the managerial merry-go-round continuing to dominate…A number of today’s back pages claim Manchester United will SACK manager Louis van Gaal if his side suffer a third consecutive league defeat against Stoke on Boxing Day.United have reportedly make contact with axed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to take over the under-pressure Dutchman, with the club sounding out the Portuguese even before Saturday’s defeat to Norwich. (The Sun)Mourinho is ready and willing to walk into the Old Trafford hotseat. (Daily Mail)Meanwhile, shock reports suggest Chelsea have lined up Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini as a permanent Mourinho replacement. (Fox Sports)City are favourites to land out-going Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, but they face competition from Man United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain when he leaves the Bundesliga side at the end of the season. (The Guardian)Chelsea hero Didier Drogba is being groomed as a future Chelsea manager, with owner Roman Abramovich keen to bring the 37-year-old back to Stamford Bridge. (The Sun) Caretaker Blues boss Guus Hiddink, who sat alongside Abramovich and Drogba for the weekend’s victory over Sunderland, wants the former Chelsea striker to be part of his coaching staff. (The Times)Manchester United are preparing a £29million January bid for Leicester star Riyad Mahrez. (Le 10 Sport) David Silva wants to see out the final three-and-a-half years of his Manchester City contract, taking him beyond his 33rd birthday. (Manchester Evening News)On-loan Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao will seek showdown talks with new manager Guus Hiddink this week to find out if he has a future at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Mirror)Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will try to sell Dutch winger Jeremain Lens when the transfer window opens in January, after the 28-year-old was dropped from the first-team for refusing to take part in a post-match workout. (Daily Mirror) And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Watford star Troy Deeney tells talkSPORT: ‘We bullied Liverpool, they didn’t fancy the fight’Jurgen Klopp calls for Liverpool side to simplify things after desperate Watford defeatManchester United: ‘I don’t think a change will bring success’ – Boss Louis van Gaal remains defiant as pressure mountsSwansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis set to continue over the festive periodWATCH: Wales star Gareth Bale scores FOUR as Real Madrid beat nine-man Rayo Vallecano 10-2WATCH: Suarez and Messi score and Neymar grabs two assists as Barcelona romp to Club World Cup victory 1 Transfer rumours and paper review
4. Dennis Praet (Anderlecht) – Liverpool, West Ham, Leicester and Aston Villa are both keen on the 21-year-old Belgian talent. Linked with numerous clubs during his development, Praet has now won three league titles and could well move on with not much left to prove in purple. 20 20. Simone Zaza (Juventus) – Click the right arrow for more players who are likely to be on the move before the end of the transfer window… – With Euro 2016 just around the corner, Zaza is one of many players needing to play more to secure a place in a national team squad for the summer tournament. The Italian striker has only made three starts for the Old Lady this campaign and could look to move in search of regular starts. Crystal Palace, Watford and Norwich all hold an interest in the player. 19. Moussa Dembele (Fulham) – The talented teen striker has hit nine goals in 21 appearances for the Cottagers and is now on the radar of several clubs. Talks have been held with Monaco and Wolfsburg, while Tottenham have reportedly opened talks over a deal. The 19-year-old is a free agent at the end of the season so Fulham may decide to take some money and run. 20 20 14. Stephan El Shaarawy (AC Milan) – The Italy forward has been on loan with Monaco this season and scored twice against Tottenham in the Europa League. The French side, though, want to offload the player because another appearance will trigger a clause in his contract which means they will have to buy him. Bournemouth are interested in El Shaarawy, amongst others. 18. Stefano Sturaro (Juventus) – Crystal Palace and Southampton are both keen on the young midfielder as they look to add some more quality to their teams. Juventus are likely to rebuff most offers but a big one could tempt them to sell. We’re in the second half of the January transfer window already but things are just starting to hot up.Mooted deals are coming to fruition with Jonjo Shelvey heading to Newcastle United in a £12m deal and Benik Afobe joining Bournemouth in a £10m switch.There are plenty of rumours still doing the rounds as Premier League managers prepare their squads for relegation dogfights and title battles, but which moves are likely to happen? talkSPORT takes a look.Click the right arrow above to see 20 players who could make transfers or loan moves in January… 20 16. Andrej Kramaric (Leicester City) – The Croatian was highly-rated when he joined the Foxes last season but hes had his thunder stolen by Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki. With Leonardo Ulloa also in reserve, Claudio Ranieri wont mind selling the striker and is expected to leave in this window. 20 15. Papy Djilobodji (Chelsea) – A shock summer signing from Nantes, the Senegalese defender has played just one minute of action for the Blues this season. Hes likely to return to France with his tail between his legs. 20 20 20 20 13. Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool) – The youngster isnt signing a contract extension with the club and rather than letting the player go on a free they could accept an offer in January and sell for a small fee. Watford and Manchester City are interested, while it is reported the player is keen on a switch to Spain. 20 20 20 20 10. Alexandre Pato (Corinthians) – Being touted around to all of Europes top sides, the rejuvenated forward still hasnt got any takers. Its likely he will move before the window closes though and teams are just attempting to get him on the cheap. 20 20 11. Federico Fazio (Tottenham) – The lumbering centre-back hasnt had a look in since a terrible performance against Arsenal in the League Cup. New signing Kevin Wimmer is above him in the pecking order and even youngster Cameron Carter-Vickers has made the bench ahead of him. A return to Spain could be on the cards. 8. Florian Thauvin (Newcastle United) – The highly-rated 22-year-old joined in the summer but already appears set to return to France with Marseille plotting a loan swoop. The Magpies spent £12m on the player and arent willing to cut their losses just yet. 2. Nolito (Celta Vigo) – With the Spanish side signing French striker Claudio Beauvue from Lyon, it appears they could be ready to let their star man leave. Arsenal and Barcelona are interested parties and a move may well be confirmed before the end of the transfer window. 9. Sam Byram (Leeds United) – The starlet is all set to move to a Premier League club with Everton, West Ham and Newcastle United all keen. The Toffees had a bid accepted of around £3.7m but the deal appears off with the Hammers now frontrunners. 6. Emmanuel Adebayor (Free agent) – After being released by Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, the Togolese striker has been living it up on his £100,000 a week wages while waiting for a new club. Crystal Palace and Watford are interested and there are also murmurs about Chelsea keeping an eye on proceedings. 20 7. Kevin Constant (Free agent) – With Queens Park Rangers looking to improve their squad in the Championship, ex-AC Milan star Constant could be on the way to west London. Saint-Etienne and Toulouse are also interested. 5. Andros Townsend (Tottenham) – The winger has been out of the Spurs side since his bust up with a fitness coach and has, to his credit, worked hard with their Under-21 side as he looks to save his England place. A transfer is almost certain in January with Newcastle keen and Watford keeping tabs on the winger too. 20 17. Seydou Doumbia (Roma) – Prolific against Premier League teams in the Champions League, defences will be wary if the Ivorian completes a switch to England in January. He failed to perform in Italy after success with CSKA Moscow and is now back in Russia on loan. The Serie A side could be tempted to sell up though, and Swansea City are lurking as they look to add some firepower to their team. 12. Patrick Bamford (Chelsea) – The striker couldnt force his way into the side at Crystal Palace and is unlikely to shift Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge either. A loan spell away from the Blues where game time is guaranteed will be the best option for all concerned. 20 20 20 3. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain) – The Argentine international is creeping closer to the end of his contract and is on the periphery at the Parc des Princes. Chelsea, Manchester United and Fenerbahce are currently frontrunners but that could change. 1. Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal) – It looked like a match made in heaven when the Frenchman left Newcastle to join up with the Gunners in 2014. Injuries and the astonishing rise of Hector Bellerin have left Debuchy on the outside looking in, however. Hes desperate for a move to salvage his diminishing chances of playing for his nation at Euro 2016.
Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has announced he faces 10 weeks out of action after damaging his knee and ankle against Everton.The Belgian suffered his injury setback late in the League Cup semi-final win over Everton on Wednesday, having come off the bench during the second half and changed the game with a goal and an assist.His efforts helped to set up a trip to Wembley for City next month, when Liverpool await them, but cruelly De Bruyne is set to miss that occasion along with important Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup games.De Bruyne wrote on Twitter: “Just got back from the specialist. I’ll be out for around 10 weeks.“I’ll work hard on my recovery and hope to be back on the pitch asap. Thank you all for the supportive messages!”City won the second leg 3-1 to take the tie 4-3 on aggregate, with De Bruyne’s appearance ending when the 24-year-old appeared to get his studs caught in the turf and then landed on his knee.He stands to miss both legs of City’s Champions League last-16 clash with Dynamo Kiev, the Wembley clash with Liverpool on February 28 and the Premier League derby against Manchester United on March 20.If the 10-week forecast proves accurate, De Bruyne should be back in contention to feature against his former club Chelsea on April 16.He should also be back in time to play enough football to assure Belgium of his fitness ahead of their Euro 2016 campaign. 1
Liverpool and Manchester United players clash Liverpool and Manchester United have been drawn against each other in the last 16 of the Europa League.The pair – English football’s most successful clubs – will face off in the first leg at Anfield on March 10, while the reverse fixture at Old Trafford will take place a week later.It will be the first time the two bitter domestic rivals have met in European competition.Liverpool booked their place in the last 16 by seeing off Augsburg 1-0 over two legs, while United secured a 6-3 aggregate victory over FC Midtjylland.The Premier League’s other representative, Tottenham, will face tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund.The north London club beat Fiorentina 4-1 on aggregate to progress to the next round.Mauricio Pochettino’s side now face a formidable task against Dortmund, who are sitting second in the Bundesliga table, but will have the advantage of being at home for the second leg on March 17.Gary Neville’s Valencia have an all-Spanish tie having been drawn against Athletic Bilbao, while holders Sevilla will meet Basle.But there is no doubting the tie of the round is Liverpool v Manchester United.Five-time European Cup winners Liverpool have also tasted a trio of successes in the Europa League – lifting the then UEFA Cup in 1973, 1976 and 2001.United have three European Cup victories to their name but have never triumphed in this tournament.Louis van Gaal’s side slipped into the Europa League having failed to get out of their Champions League group stage and then went on to suffer a shock 2-1 defeat to FC Midtjylland in Demark.But, with pressure mounting on the United boss, they turned the tie around as they recorded a 5-1 victory at Old Trafford – with young striker Marcus Rashford scoring a brace on his first-team debut.Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool made heavy weather of their round of 32 tie with Augsburg, with a James Milner penalty early in Thursday’s second leg the only goal across both games and they have also lost at home and away in the Premier League to United this season.With both famous clubs struggling to get into the top four this season, winning the Europa League could yet prove to be the easiest way to qualify for next season’s Champions League and that will no doubt add even more spice to an already mouth-watering affair.UEFA Europa League last 16 draw:Shakhtar Donetsk v AnderlechtBasle v SevillaVillarreal v Bayer LeverkusenAthletic Bilbao v ValenciaLiverpool v Manchester UtdSparta Prague v LazioBorussia Dortmund v Tottenham HotspurFenerbahce v BragaGames will be played on 10th and 17th March. 1
Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic Inter Milan have put Arsenal on red alert by putting Marcelo Brozovic up for sale.The midfielder is currently on loan at the San Siro from Dinamo Zagreb until the summer – when his move will be made permanent.Arsenal have been tracking the Croatia international for over a year and have scouted him again this season.And, according to Tuttosport, the Gunners can snap Brozovic up this summer if they stump up £15m.Inter are willing to cash in on the 23-year-old as soon as his move is made permanent at the end of the season as they need the money to reinvest in the squad.Manager Roberto Mancini reportedly wants to sell Brozovic to use the funds for Sampdoria’s Roberto Soriano and Besiktas’ Oguzhan Ozyakup. 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityCigarettes are unhealthy and unpleasant ? but the proposed measures are so intrusive they raise serious questions about privacy and property rights. The bans single out apartment dwellers, and they also discriminate in another way: New tenants may not smoke; current renters may. An apartment ? is still a home, and the occupants should enjoy certain rights to the use of their private space. ? This is government trying to dictate personal choice, and it is far too intrusive. – Dale McFeatters Scripps Howard News Service The anti-smoking movement is picking up serious momentum. ? Atlantic City, N.J., casinos are making their gambling floors smoke-free. The University of Mississippi has restricted smoking on campus to the parking lots. And Congress is upping the federal tax on cigarettes to $1 a pack. Maybe the drive is picking up a little too much momentum. Two California cities, Calabasas and Belmont, are considering banning smoking in ? apartments and condos. The bans would apply to new renters in buildings with 15 or more units. ? The bans would be backed by fines and, ultimately, eviction for violators. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The storms continued throughout the day, pelting downtown Chicago with hail during the evening rush hour and spawning tornadoes in Kentucky as they swept eastward, officials said. In rural northeastern Missouri, the state Highway Patrol said Kent Ensor and Kristy Secrease had sought refuge in Secrease’s mobile home in Monroe County as a tornado approached. Their bodies were found about 400 feet from where the home had been. The mobile home’s frame was found three-quarters of a mile away, with debris as far as 2 miles away. The National Weather Service said the storm traveled a mile and had winds as high as 135 mph. Ensor, 44, and Secrease, 25, had been dating for about a year, friends and family members said. A tornado late Thursday morning in Pensacola, Fla., damaged the city’s major shopping mall. WEATHER: Two people are thrown 400 feet from mobile home where they took shelter. By Alan Scher Zagier THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PARIS, Mo. – Storms that raked the Plains and Southeast on Thursday tossed a mobile home in Missouri, killing both people inside, and spawned a tornado in Florida that sent mall shoppers and children at a day care center running for cover. Eddie English Jr., a department store stock manager, said he heard the wind outside the store suddenly speed up and get louder. Then mall security guards entered the store and ordered 200 to 300 employees and shoppers into the basement. Greater Little Rock Baptist Church’s roof was damaged, as was its day care center, said Escambia County sheriff’s spokesman Glenn Austin. But the children there had been moved to safety before the tornado struck, he said. “They heard the warnings, grabbed the kids and followed the drill,” he said. Jack Cullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, confirmed that a tornado touched down shortly before noon. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!