Teenage sensation Fati leads Barca thrashing of Valencia

By on September 22, 2020

first_imgRelatedPosts Suarez agrees Atletico terms Messi becomes football’s second billionaire + Top 10 Koeman hints at different approach from Barca after friendly win Barcelona’s 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati continued his explosive start to life in the first team by scoring and providing an assist as the La Liga champions thrashed Valencia 5-2 on Saturday. Goals from Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Pique and two from Luis Suarez gave Barca their second win of the season. Kevin Gameiro and Maxi Gomez scored for Valencia, who suffered their biggest defeat in over three years in coach Albert Celades’ first game. The victory took Barca on to seven points after four games, while Valencia have four. Fati, who became Barca’s youngest ever goalscorer two weeks ago by netting at Osasuna, struck his first goal at the Camp Nou to give Barca the lead with less than two minutes on the clock by smashing a pass from De Jong into the net. The goal had the injured Lionel Messi grinning in admiration as he watched on from the stands but the teenager had fans on their feet again five minutes later as he dashed into the area and teed up De Jong to score his first goal for the club. Valencia were playing their first game since owner Peter Lim took the surprise decision to sack Marcelino, the coach who had secured Champions League football twice and also led the team to victory over Barca in last year’s Copa del Rey final. They pulled a goal back later in the half through Kevin Gameiro but Barca came flying back at them after the interval. Pique bundled the ball into the net in the 51st minute after Antoine Griezmann had hit the post while Luis Suarez netted twice after coming off the bench. Making his return after getting injured on the first day of the season, Suarez flummoxed Valencia goalkeeper and former team mate Jasper Cillessen with two thumping finishes, one which went in off the near post, the other settling in the near corner. Suarez was given a warm reception by Barca fans but it was nothing compared to the remarkable standing ovation they gave to Fati, who heard his name chanted by supporters when he came off to make way for the Uruguayan. “He (Fati) is delighting the fans and making them very excited,” said Sergio Busquets of the teenage sensation. “Every time a player like him bursts on to the scene he is compared to many players but we need to support him and let him continue to grow. “He still needs to be aware of where he is and how difficult it is to make it.” Maxi Gomez got a consolation goal in stoppage time for Valencia, who fell to their heaviest defeat since they were thumped 7-0 at the Camp Nou in 2016 when Gary Neville was in charge. “We cannot forget what has happened in the last few days and how traumatic it has been for some,” said beaten coach Celades, who is in his first role as a senior first team coach. “This scoreline hurts us a lot but we can only look forward and keep working and try to improve.” Reuters/NAN.Tags: Ansu FatiBarcelonaFrenkie De JongLuis SuarezValentialast_img read more

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Redknapp furious with ‘disgusting story’

By on September 21, 2020

first_imgQPR may have just picked up their third Barclays Premier League win of the season – a 2-1 victory over Southampton – but Harry Redknapp was incandescent with rage, accusing an agent of leaking false information in a bid to destabilise the club. Press Association Reports alleged the west Londoners’ Dubai training camp last month was marred by ill-discipline, with unnamed players likening the behaviour on the trip to a “stag party”. The Rs boss only had one thing on his mind after the game and launched into a tirade when asked about Saturday morning’s allegations. “It was a disgusting story in the paper,” Redknapp said. “It was completely full of untruths.” center_img He added: “I took the team away. We arrived at five o’clock in the morning at a hotel in Dubai, trained that morning. We trained every morning I was there. We were on the bus at 8.30am for training, we never missed a training session. “We were the only club over there that trained every day. I let the players have one night out with about four or five other teams out with them that night. That was the only night they went out and the next morning they trained. They never missed a session. “I know where the story come from, I know who done the story and they are trying to make problems for the football club. I know exactly where it has come from.” Asked if he was disappointed that players leaked it, Redknapp retorted: “It wasn’t players. It didn’t come from players. I am sure as I can be that it came from a football agent and I know who did it.” Redknapp refused to name the agent in his post-match interviews as a fine – and rare – win for the Hoops was somewhat overshadowed. Loic Remy opened the scoring after 14 minutes but Julio Cesar’s fumble allowed Gaston Ramirez to level on the stroke of half-time. QPR rallied after the break and Jay Bothroyd prodded home late on to earn an invaluable three points. “They answered all the questions,” Redknapp said of his players. “They worked their socks off today. We worked hard last week against Man United. It was just they had a little bit too much for us.” last_img read more

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Gernot Rohr: Uncertainty over Eagles’ Future?

By on September 8, 2020

first_imgThis policy may however soon change if the condition given by the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick, for the renewal of the German’s contract which expires next year is anything to go by.  Pinnick has revealed that the contract of Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr would only be renewed if he’s ready to scout for players within the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).“Rohr’s contract is due for renewal in June and we don’t have any issue with him at the moment. Contracts are classified documents. What we are going to do is strengthen the clauses in his contract. We are going to domesticate Gernot Rohr in Nigeria and domesticate him to our leagues, that’s just it,” Pinnick said.“He needs to move around, watch some of the league games. We are not saying take a player from here and bring him to the Super Eagles immediately.”The NFF Boss’ recent statement has left a huge amount of uncertainty over the future of the former Gabonese Coach with the Super Eagles.The German’s contract expires in June 2020 and if reports are to be believed, it will not be renewed despite having led the team to the bronze medal at the continental finals this year, and generally improved the quality of the team.The German tactician defended his decision to ignore players in the Nigerian top-flight for the 2021 AFCON qualifying matches saying they are not fit enough.“Unfortunately, we could not take more players from the local league because they did not play so it was difficult for them to be fit. I know that some people cannot be happy about my choice but I can tell you it is my choice, it is always honest,” he said.Rohr is indeed planning to hold showdown talks with the NFF regarding his future at the end of the year.The German has stressed that he is not distracted by his contract situation with the Nigerian Federation despite his current deal set to expire in the next seven months, June 2020.Speaking on his contract situation at Tuesday’s press conference, Rohr told reporters: ‘’A coach has to work like if he’s still here in 10 years, that’s what I try to do, working for the future. My contract is ending next June, we’ll see at the end of the year if we can sit together and speak about the future but for the moment it is not a problem for me and my staff.‘’All the time we give our best, we try to have a good understanding with our officials, our staff, not only the technical staff but also the administrative and medical staff, we have a good team and solidarity. No any distraction because my contract is ending.‘’It is also the time to have a project for at least two years to end after the next AFCON, I start now the AFCON qualifiers and I don’t know if I will remain at the end because the contract is finishing.‘’It is not really a problem but our project must be made for two to three years because what we want to do in this big country is to go also to the next World Cup and other countries are preparing and they have now a project.‘’Project and philosophy of football which cannot stop after two first games of the qualifiers because the qualifiers will continue next June, in March will be friendlies again.‘’For the moment it is not a problem but for the future we should see what is the project and if we can stay together or not.’’Meanwhile, former Nigeria international, Victor Ikpeba would rather not want the issue of Rohr’s contract renewal to bring distraction into the team.“I will advise the Nigeria Football Federation to extend Gernot Rohr’s contract because he has brought stability, progress and winning mentality to the team,” ex-Super Eagles star Victor Ikpeba told SuperSport TV.            “I don’t see any reason why the NFF will want to sack a man that must have qualified the team to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in June next year. For me, Rohr deserves a contract renewal and should be allowed to continue with the good job he has been doing.“How do you think it will look hiring a new coach to manage the Super Eagles after the expiration of his contract in June next summer? In my view, let’s allow Rohr to continue his good job on the Super Eagles.”After the loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in the semi-final at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, in a game which the Super Eagles were the second best for the better part of the encounter, it came as no surprise that soccer loving Nigerians called for Rohr’s head.However, in a swift reaction after the loss, Rohr said there was no hurry for him to make a decision on his future as Nigeria coach in spite of facing unrelenting criticism over tactics and choice of players, but confirmed that he will take time to decide the next step “I’m still under contract for another year, so we will see what is decided together. There are positives for us to look at on this journey, but after this final game we can think and then talk about the future.”Rohr would rather focus on his side’s progress and the attempts to build a team for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. “The team is already on a good level. After the World Cup, we tried to rejuvenate the team,” he added.“When you’re playing in the semi-final of this big tournament you are already at a very good level. I also want to see the players who couldn’t play in this tournament yet, to finally have a team where everybody played.”In spite of the disdain against Rohr and his style of football, Pinnick denied reports suggesting plans to sack the Super Eagles coach then.While Pinnick admitted that there were areas of disagreements with Rohr, he told journalists in Cairo why the coach would stay on the job and the plans being made by the NFF to help the manager get better.“He will remain in the job. I have complete confidence in him,” the NFF president assured even though there were renewed calls for Rohr’s sack following the semi-final defeat to Algeria.“Gernot has taken us to the semi-final, the target we set for him. Right now, we have a third-place match to play for and we intend to have our team leave Egypt with honour.“There are some people that have been calling on me and the federation to sack Gernot. But I am not going to do that. In fact, Gernot is going on a refresher training period with Bayern Munich after the Nations Cup. We have a long-term plan with him.‘We have had rocky and difficult moments in our relationship, but this is normal in any relationship between two people. He is a good coach and we want him to remain with us. That said, we will work together on what needs to be improved upon,” Pinnick had said then.Rohr who was appointed as Super Eagles boss in August 2016, has a contract with the NFF until 2020. He initially joined the Super Eagles on a two-year contract which was renewed for another two years after he successfully led Nigeria to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Under Rohr, the Super Eagles impressively qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and AFCON 2019 with a game to play in both qualification series, but critics believe he had not made any impact in big moments. Nigeria lost 2-1, conceding a late goal to Argentina to crash out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was fodder to his critics. Rohr’s biggest criticism has been that his Super Eagles have lacked a clear identity since he took over although his team did take shape as a defensive and counter-attacking unit during AFCON 2019. In a telephone chat with former Nigeria international, Mutiu Adepoju soon after the German was employed in 2016, he admitted that Rohr may not be one of the best coaches in the world but thinks he was right for the job considering the little time the federation had to employ a new coach.“If we are thinking of bringing the best coach for Nigeria at this time, we would just be going round and round. I just believe Rohr is the right person we can get now and I think he would do a great job for the team considering the way he has related with them, his intelligence and the working ethics he has brought,” Headmaster as he was fondly called by his admirers had told THISDAY.It however remains to be seen if Rohr would be ready to meet the new condition by the NFF Boss for his contract renewal.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram After Super Eagles lacklustre performance at the AFCON in Egypt where the team struggled in all their games, culminating in the clamour by Nigerians for the sack of Gernot Rohr, but he  survived the surge. However, with the new condition given for his contract renewal by the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, the German tactician might have lost his ‘Sacred Cow’ statusSince his arrival as the technical adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr had solely depended on foreign players for the senior national team which had severally attracted condemnation from many quarters.“A reasonable coach should be able to try as much as possible to infuse the home-based players to encourage them to work harder and to do more and giving them an opportunity. I think it’s very important the coach should look inwards too,” former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Joe Erico once charged. Gernot Rohrlast_img read more

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