The season of 2015-16 was the debut campaign of ZinedineZidane as the head coach of Real Madrid and it was a historic season not only for the Frenchman but for the club itself as they were able to win the Champions League.
Winning the Champions League is something that many top managers who have had an extensive coaching career have not been able to seal but Zidane was somehow able to do it in his debut season and this is one of the reasons of why it was such an important and historic feat when Real Madrid overcame Athletic Madrid on May 28 of 2016 and lifted the European piece of silverware in a dramatic penalty session.
Barcelona won the Spanish League of that season but nonetheless, the UEFA Champions League is widely regarded as the most prestigious and difficult piece of silverware to lift at club level and this is why ZinedineZidane’s debut season in charge of Real Madrid is considered to be as a successful one.
This accomplishment was done around 5 months ago and a new season has kicked off and despite having gone through such an impressive debut season, ZinedineZidane is rumored to be under fire and at risk of losing his managerial position in Real Madrid due to the amount of successive draws that his squad has been sustaining.
Real Madrid went through a streak of 4 successive draws after playing against: Villareal, Las Palmas, Borussia Dortmund and Eibar. All of these games concluded in draws and Real Madrid dropped a number of important points that could have pushed Zidane’s team above Athletic Madrid in the Spanish League standings but both clubs are currently sitting at the top with 18 points being secured after 8 matches. read more …
France international Dimitri Payet is set to make his season start when the Hammers host Watford this weekend in the English Premier League.
The Euro 2016 star has missed the first three games for his club – West Ham United – with the manager Slaven Bilic admitting that his side has missed him. Payet came on as a substitute when West Ham played Chelsea in the opening game, but it was clear he wasn’t back to full fitness.
Payet was in action for his country again, appearing twice as a sub during the international break. An injury-hit West Ham have started slowly in the new term after their brilliant run last season. They would really need the best from Payet as he return to action. The former Marseille forward was critical in their last run, and would have to shake off the thigh strain limitation to impress this term as well.
“Of course we’ve been missing him, like any club is missing their key players. France missed him. I watched the game and France was better when he came on with his quality, with his delivery from set pieces and his quality in open play. read more …
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has claimed that the club now have a transfer target in the form of Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.
The Ivory Coast international is thought to be unhappy at Etihad stadium due to lack of first-team opportunities. He has never come close to replacing Sergio Aguero in the last 18 months at City. Bony had joined the former Premier League champions for close to £ 30 million. Even as he made the move, many expected him to spend much of the season on the bench and this proved to be the case.
At 27,Bony is now keen on getting back on the pitch on a regular basis. West Ham will be a club who can offer him exactly the situation even though they have a forward like Andy Carroll in the ranks. Bilic stated that it was imperative that West Ham had a player who can score 20 goals a season without being injured for most of the time. Even though Carroll has a good scoring record or at least contribute indirectly to the goals, his injury record has been very poor. The £ 15 million signing is likely to be looked down upon if a player likeBony arrives at the Olympic stadium.
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The team of Nigerian male players playing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games have been promised good remuneration if they lift the trophy in the event. The team qualified for the semi final, despite lots of management issues regarding lack of payment of match bonuses amongst other things.
The team was promised as much as USD30,000 per player if they were to win the gold in the men’s Olympic football tournament in Brazil. Top Japanese Plastic Surgeon Katsuya Takasu made the promise after hearing the tale of financial woes of the 1996 Olympic football champions. He promised USD20,000 or USD10,000 per player for Silver and Bronze medals respectively. read more …
Hull City’s midfielder Tom Huddlestone has signed a new contract with the newly promoted side.
The midfielder’s contract was due to expire on the 1st of July, but he has agreed to stay for a further two years. He said that it was a great achievement to be part of the team that won promotion to the Premier League and that he wants to be part of the adventure again.
Tom Huddlestone believes that Hull City has a great role to play in the Premier League and believes that he can contribute to it. He said that he has enjoyed mixed feelings during his time at Hull City and that he wants to remain as long as he can. Indeed, Tom Huddlestone has enjoyed it all at Hull City. He has been part of the Hull City team that played in Europe; he was part of the team that was relegated from the Premier League, and now he is part of the team that won promotion back to the Premier League.
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South Korea stunned the football world with their 2-1 victory over Czech Republic in Prague. Going that distance many would not have expected the win. The team keeps receiving commendation for that superb effort, though it was a victory over a 10-man Czech Republic team. The victory was the first ever for Korea over the Czechs.
Yoon Bitgaram was impressive for the team during the friendly match. The midfielder scored a goal and contributed to the second in the game played at Eden Arena. The teams had met four times going into the game. Three draws and a loss for Korea; a result that has changed after the game. In 2001, South Korea fell 5-1 to Czech and it was just sweet revenge on Sunday.
The victory was also great for the fans who watched the team crushed by the current Euro champions, Spain. Spain defeated the team by 6-1 in Austria, leaving the fans in misery. South Korea still have two more friendly games to play as they prepare for the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting in September.
The overjoyed South Korea head coach Uli Stielike praised his players for their efforts, adding that they got the result they wanted to give them the needed boost in morale. He said:
“After the 6-1 defeat against Spain, it was important to see how much our players have recovered their mental strength. They showed that they were 100 percent recovered.”
The coach also said that if the team had lost again to the Czechs, it would have been difficult going into the qualifiers. He said he was confident that the boost would help them when they face strong teams. The 61-year old added that he noticed an improvement in the passing and ball winning. He hopes that the team would just keep up with the improvements.
After coming under serious criticism for its poor condition, the playing surface at Stade Pierre-Mauroy is finally going to be freshly placed in the middle of the on-going Euros.
The Union of the Football Associations in Europe which is the governing body of the Euros is believed to have conveyed the instructions regarding it to the French Football Federation.
A similar situation had arisen in the Euros in Switzerland 8 years back when St. Jakob Park had been resurfaced.
However, before all that, there is a game still to be played on the same surface, which is the damaged one, tonight and the teams facing off are the Group E leaders Italy and one of the pre quarter final aspirants in the group, Republic of Ireland.
Completely pissed off after visiting the ground yesterday, Antonio Conte, the Azzurri coach declared the conditions, especially the game area, unsuitable and unfit to be used in Europe’s biggest competition and said he had not expected that. read more …
Chris Hughton was disappointed to see Brighton failed to achieve qualification play-off final after a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the second leg.
A 2-0 loss in the first leg meant that his team were knocked out 3-1 on aggregate. The defeat was especially hard to take considering that Brighton missed out on the automatic promotion spots on goal difference, while they also finished 15 points ahead of Wednesday in the league table. Brighton were only two goals behind Middlesbrough in the goal difference stakes after a draw in the final game of the season.
Hughton has received a lot of praise for turning around the fortunes of the seagulls, but his major task comes ahead in the summer. He will have to motivate his players once again in order to fight next campaign. This will be the hardest part especially given that Brighton came so close to getting to the Premier League. Momentum and confidence always plays a major role when it comes to play-offs. Sheffield Wednesday seem to have more of it especially after their win over Cardiff City to secure the final play-off spot. Brighton, meanwhile, had just failed to achieve automatic promotion after having been one of the best teams in the division throughout the campaign. read more …
Claudio Ranieri says that he is unlikely to witness the game between Tottenham and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
Leicester City could potentially seal the Premier League title without kicking the ball, as any other result other than the victory for Spurs would see them crowned as champions. Leicester secured a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday. This improved their advantage over Spurs to 8 points with only two games left. Prior to the game, they needed only three points to win the title. Ranieri says that he will be on the plane to Italy while the game goes on.
Earlier, Chelsea fans and players have expressed their desire to see Leicester win the title ahead of Tottenham, who are their big rivals. After the recent 4-1 win over Bournemouth, the blues will come into the game on a positive frame of mind. They have been criticised in recent weeks for their lack of commitment – since there is nothing to play for – but they are expected to step up their game just in time for this match. Ranieri says that he will at least be to follow the result once his plane lands in Italy. Even if the outcome is not a positive one for Ranieri, Leicester City will feel confident about winning the title at home next weekend. read more …
For months now speculation has been intense among critics and fans alike as to who will go to France and who will unfortunately have to stay home, with most of the focus being on the England team. As expected, there are undoubtedly highs and lows in the latest reports for both the players and spectators; one team member thought to be disappointed is Arsenal midfielder, Theo Walcott.
The 27 year old could find himself without a place in France as it is said that Roy Hodgson is swinging towards picking Newcastle United’s Andros Townsend instead. Despite there being a couple of weeks left until the final team deadline, it is suspected that Hodgson will select a group of 25 before dropping two prior to May 31st. read more …