Liverpool boss Klopp urged to forget about new centre-half signingby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp doesn’t need to buy a new centre-half this month.Klopp’s Liverpool team recorded an impressive win against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday to maintain their position at the top of the Premier League table. Injuries to Joel Matip and Joe Gomez left Liverpool short on central defensive options and forced Klopp to drop midfielder Fabinho back into defence. “Jurgen Klopp deserves a lot of credit for playing Fabinho at centre-back against Brighton & Hove Albion,” Cascarino wrote in his Times column. “I don’t understand why more teams don’t do something similar.“Yes he’s a defensive midfielder but they can do a job at the back. Most teams don’t play two strikers anyway these days and the likes of Fabinho, Nemanja Matic and Fernandinho could all do it. Liverpool don’t need to waste any money on a centre back this month. And, let’s face it, I could probably play alongside Virgil van Dijk.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@BigJah15 Twitter/@BigJah15Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor is a 6-foot-10 center with one of the most refined offensive post-games in college basketball, and is almost guaranteed to be the top overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. That we all know. The Wall Street Journal dug a bit deeper into the Blue Devils star, and found out that he’s much more than a talented basketball player… he is also a very unique personality. Specifically, he loves cryptozoology and is adamant about the existence of mermaids.Okafor is obsessed with Netflix. He keeps a teenager’s diet of action movies and soapy television series, but his secret soft spot is for documentaries about odd phenomena—the weirder, the better. Okafor is well-versed in the legend of Bigfoot, for example. He also likes mermaids.“That’s always been my interest,” Okafor said. “Things of the unknown.”…What he likes to do instead—when he’s not playing basketball, of course—is watch television by himself. He has a taste for the mythical. Okafor has tipped multiple people off to a Discovery Channel special that promised new evidence that mermaids are real.“I tried to tell them,” he said. “They wouldn’t listen.”He was doing this in high school, too. Okafor once raved to his coach about a Bigfoot documentary he had just devoured. “He tried to get me to watch that,” said Tyrone Slaughter. “I was like: I’m not watching that.”His college teammates now know who to ask if they ever need a movie recommendation. Okafor even found a kindred spirit in his roommate Tyus Jones, who joined him for a documentary about monster snakes, though he struggled to remember the exact names of Okafor’s favorite films. “A lot of them are just about nature,” Jones said.Jones added: “He’d be a good person to talk to during Shark Week. That’s the kind of stuff he’s really into. And I’m a pretty big fan of Shark Week, too.”Luckily for Duke fans, the Blue Devils’ title hopes are a bit more believable than many of the things that Okafor binge-watches.[WSJ via SB Nation]
Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva has made himself virtually undroppable for manager Pep Guardiola.City’s player of the season last term, Kevin De Bruyne, has been forced to battle two medial knee ligament injuries this time around and only recently returned to full fitness.De Bruyne’s absence has largely left former Monaco star Silva picking up the slack – playing in central midfield as opposed to the wide-right berth he usually occupied when called upon during his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? With the exception of club captain Vincent Kompany, who is once again laid low by a calf problem, Guardiola boasts a clean bill of health heading into Wednesday’s trip to Everton, where victory would edge the reigning champions back above Liverpool at the Premier League summit on goal difference.It means competition for places is fierce, but one gifted Portugal international seemingly need not fear the axe.”For me, to drop Bernardo Silva right now is almost impossible,” Guardiola said.”Right now it is Bernardo and 10 more players.”I don’t know what this guy has done this season. Playing in the middle and outside, every single game he played perfect.“Taking decisions, how he fights, reading the movements offensively and defensively, the way he lives the game.”Every time we miss a chance he makes that reaction [puts head dramatically in hands]. He lives that, he is involved absolutely.”They have to compete with Bernardo in that position.”Across 32 appearances in all competitions in 2018-19, Silva has eight goals and seven assists.Last season, the Portuguese midfielder nine goals in 53 total appearances for the club in his first campaign in English football.Manchester City take on Everton on Wednesday before hosting Chelsea on Sunday.Title rivals Liverpool, meanwhile, face off with Bournemouth on Saturday before turning attention to the Champions League. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave Barcelona at the end of last season as he prepares to join Bayern Munich on loan, according to Ernesto Valverde.Barca and Bayern confirmed on Friday that an agreement is in place for Coutinho to move to the Bundesliga champions for the 2019-20 campaign – the deal including an option to buy the playmaker.Coutinho had been linked to Paris Saint-Germain as a makeweight in a possible deal for former Barca star Neymar, however, the Brazilian is now set for Munich after watching Friday’s shock 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao from the stands. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Barcelona were toppled by a late goal from Artiz Aduriz, who fired a spectacular scissor-kick finish in the game’s waning moments to spoil the debut of summer signings Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong.The La Liga champions also suffered another setback in the form of Luis Suarez, who left the match early with an injury.Asked about Coutinho following Barca’s disappointing La Liga opener, head coach Valverde told Movistar: “It is a situation that last season when the league ended the player had it in his head.”This has come up, he has accepted and hopefully he is lucky.” Der #FCBayern und der @FCBarcelona haben grundsätzlich Einigung über einen Transfer von @Phil_Coutinho nach München erzielt. https://t.co/tXdyp5JS1d — FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) August 16, 2019 Coutinho, who will help to replace James Rodriguez after his two-year loan from Real Madrid ended, has struggled to cement his place at Camp Nou since joining Barca in a reported £142 million ($201m) transfer from Liverpool in January 2018 – a move that saw him become the world’s second-most expensive player.The 27-year-old Brazil international scored five league goals as Barca retained their La Liga crown in 2018-19, while he managed 11 in all competitions as the club fell short of Champions League glory with a stunning semi-final defeat to Coutinho’s former club LiverpoolCoutinho is set to follow another loan signing – Ivan Perisic – through the door, though sections of Bayern’s fanbase were not impressed by the deal to sign the Inter forward, who came in as an alternative to Leroy Sane after the Manchester City winger suffered a serious knee injury.Bayern were also heavily linked with Callum Hudson-Odoi during the winter window, although the currently-injured winger is set to remain with Chelsea for the foreseeable future.
The Auburn Tigers opened the season with a huge win over Washington in what looked like a College Football Playoff resume builder. However, the wheels have fallen off the Tigers program lately and the team currently trails Tennessee in the third quarter.With Auburn’s recent struggles, some might be wondering about the job status of head coach Gus Malzahn. ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum gave his take Malzahn’s job security after last weekend’s loss to Mississippi State.Here’s what Finebuam had to say last week.“When the president of a university gives a coach a seven-year deal at that price, he’s very likely not going anywhere,” Finebaum said onWJOX in Birmingham today, per 247Sports. “That will not make him any more popular. In fact, I would imagine based on what I’m hearing from most Auburn people is that he’s certainly unpopular at the moment, but that’s the deal that you make. Whether fans like it or not, they’re stuck with Gus Malzahn.”Even if the Tigers lose to the Volunteers today, Malzahn is likely locked in as the longterm option at head coach for Auburn – given his massive contract extension.Tennessee leads 27-17 late in the third quarter.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – SEPTEMBER 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the offense against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finished second in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting, losing out on the prestigious award to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.Tagovailoa was the favorite for most of the season, but a late push by Murray – and a tough SEC Championship Game for the Crimson Tide quarterback – tilted the voting in the Sooners’ quarterback’s favor.Alabama isn’t happy.One Crimson Tide player, linebacker Mack Wilson, took to Twitter shortly after the ceremony to voice his displeasure with the voters.“Bullshit..,” he tweeted.Wilson then added:“Make them regret it 13.. Not saying Kyler isn’t good but he took 200 snaps more than Tua,” he wrote.Bullshit..— Lyndell “Mack” Wilson Dirty3o™️ (@iam__mw3o) December 9, 2018Make them regret it 13.. Not saying Kyler isn’t good but he took 200 snaps more than Tua ??♂️— Lyndell “Mack” Wilson Dirty3o™️ (@iam__mw3o) December 9, 2018Murray and Tagovailoa can settle this on the field at the end of the month.Alabama is set to play Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff in a couple of weeks. The Crimson Tide and the Sooners are set to meet in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29.
NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 17: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes chats with his players on the field in the second half of their game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)Ohio State’s football program has one of the best classes in the country for 2019 and keeping those prospects committed in the wake of Urban Meyer’s retirement is paramount.OSU landed some huge news in that department today.Harry Miller, a five-star center out of Georgia, will remain committed to Ohio State following Meyer’s retirement.Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts reports that Miller will be signing with Ohio State on Dec. 19.It’s a “done deal.”Done deal as 5-star OL @h_miller76 will sign with #OhioState on Dec. 19. This is a must read story on a truly unique person and his relationship with @ryandaytime , @OSUCoachMeyer and the OSU staff. https://t.co/2ggmjpbZ6s.— Bill Kurelic (@Bill_Kurelic) December 10, 2018Miller, a 6-foot-4 offensive lineman, is ranked the No. 31 overall recruit in the class.Ohio State’s 2019 class is ranked No. 9 in the country.
NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws during warm ups before the game against the Army Black Knights at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)The big news out of the Orange Bowl this morning is that Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is missing today’s media availability because he is apparently “under the weather.”If you recall, Baker Mayfield missed some media sessions before last year’s Rose Bowl with an illness. This caused a minor stir in the days leading up to the game, but Baker was completely fine to play and played well in the Sooners’ College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Georgia.As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be a large amount of concern about Murray, at least for OU offensive coordinator Cale Gundy.In fact, Gundy told reporters he didn’t even know Murray wasn’t feeling well.Unlike last year when it was very clear Baker Mayfield was sick, there is a noticeable lack of concern about Kyler Murray’s “illness” preventing him from todays media session. “I didn’t know anything about it,” Cale Gundy said.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 26, 2018The Orange Bowl is in three days, meaning we should know by tomorrow if Murray being sick is something that OU should be worried about.As of now, there’s no reason to expect that the Heisman Trophy winner won’t be able to ply on Saturday.The winner of Alabama-Oklahoma will take on the winner of the Clemson-Notre Dame Cotton Bowl matchup in the national title game.
CHESTNUT HILL, MA – SEPTEMBER 16: Brandon Wimbush #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks to pass during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)Brandon Wimbush is one of the many big-name quarterbacks to be replaced as QB1 since the start of the season, as Notre Dame made the switch to Ian Book a few weeks into the year.Clearly that change worked out for the Fighting Irish.The team is undefeated, and about to play as the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff.Wimbush is also the subject of new transfer reports, and he hasn’t exactly denied them. It makes sense that the veteran QB will look to play elsewhere after getting his degree from Notre Dame.Ahead of tomorrow’s match-up with No. 2 Clemson at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, both Wimbush and head coach Brian Kelly discussed the reports.Everyone is pretty much saying the right things, and keeping the focus on the Clemson game first.Here’s what Brandon Wimbush had to say about a potential transfer from Notre Dame.Via NDInsider:“Preparing for the 29th. We’re a couple days away from this game, and I don’t want anything to be a distraction. I’m excited for what’s to come and what lies ahead. I have a year of eligibility left, so I’m excited to fulfill that.”[…]“They know it wasn’t my decision to release that information,” Wimbush said of his teammates. “I didn’t have to worry about that being a distraction to the team and my guys. They asked me and joked around with me about it.”Given how college football has changed, the bigger surprise would have been if his Notre Dame teammates had taken major umbrage with the move.Brian Kelly says that no decision has been made as to whether Wimbush transfers at all, but that he is fully supportive of his former starting quarterback if he makes that decision.“But I honestly think he’s in a position where he’s focused on these games, that he hasn’t gone all in on saying ‘I’m going to X, Y, Z school.’ So our conversations have been supportive. And I truly would tell you, I’m supportive of whatever his decision is. He’s earned the right to transfer and play in his senior year for what he’s done for Notre Dame.”We’ve outlined some potential options for Wimbush, assuming he does leave South Bend. While he might not draw the same attention as a Kelly Bryant or Justin Fields, there’s always a strong market for a veteran starting quarterback.[NDInsider]