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  1. Today
  2. Chris Brunt has announced his retirement from Northern Ireland duty. The 33-year-old made a winning debut against Switzerland in 2004 and went on to make 65 international caps over 14 years, but missed out on the 2016 European Championships because of a knee ligament injury. Brunt scored three goals for his country - the last one against the Czech Republic last year. In a statement released by West Bromwich Albion, Brunt said: "After a period of lengthy consideration I have taken the difficult decision to retire from international football. "I have spent a lot of time thinking it over but I feel, at this point in my career, I need my sole football focus to be on helping West Brom return to the Premier League. "After 14 years of international football this also gives me the opportunity to dedicate more time to my family. "The past six years, since Michael (O'Neill) has been our manager, have been the most enjoyable of my international career. "It has always been an honour to represent my country but Michael restored pride following a difficult period for us as a team. He took us to a new level and for that I will always be grateful. "I would also like to thank my team-mates and all of the staff who have helped me over the years. "A special thank you to the medical team who gave me so much support during our last campaign, especially after my knee injury. "Lastly, but most importantly, I would like to thank the Northern Ireland fans, who have provided atmospheres I will remember for the rest of my days. "It was always a pleasure to play in front of you. I look forward to returning to Windsor Park on your side of the white line." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  3. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed that he is not interested in sending a statement to his side's Premier League title rivals following the victory over Crystal Palace. The Reds, who made several high-profile signings in the summer, have won both of their league games so far, scoring six goals and conceding none. Liverpool's first game of the season saw them run out 4-0 winners over West Ham United, before leaving Palace with three points and a clean sheet in a 2-0 win on Monday night. "It's very early. I couldn't care less really," Klopp told Sky Sports when asked about the early stages of the title race. "We are not in a race with other Premier League teams each weekend. "I was not 100% sure tonight in the first half that we would score. You have to play it as it is and be a real challenger, play ugly, do all that type of stuff. Our target is to be a difficult opponent. "It is too strong to say anything after two match days. You can discuss whatever you want - just do it without us." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has sustained an Achilles tendon injury in training which could rule him out for a lengthy period of time. The Chile international suffered the injury during a training session on Monday and scans have revealed that he has ruptured the tendon in his left foot. The 35-year-old, who will now travel to Barcelona for further tests on Thursday, tweeted: "No matter what happens, or how bad it looks today, life will go on, and tomorrow will certainly be better." Bravo's injury leaves City reliant on 20-year-old Daniel Grimshaw to act as deputy to first choice Ederson. The former Barca stopper has not featured in the Premier League this season but was part of the side that beat Chelsea 2-0 in the Community Shield. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  6. Bainbridge NCFC

    Kyle Bainbridge's England All-Star XI

    England have had some great players appear for the National Team over the years. 1966 World Cup Winning Goalkeeper Gordon Banks, record goalscorer Wayne Rooney amongst others like Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, David Seaman, Paul Scholes. We can even include the class of 2018 in this category who reached the Semi-Finals of the 2018 World Cup. But What is England’s Greatest 11? Here is my take on the greatest 11 to ever appear for England. Goalkeeper - Peter Shilton, England’s record appearance holder with 125 caps. He was the man in goal that conceded Maradonas "hand of god" that ultimately knocked England out of World Cup 1986 against Argentina. 4 years later, he was in the England squad that finished 4th in World Cup 1990 having lost to Germany on penalties in the Semi-Finals. Right Back - Gary Neville, appearing 85 times for his Nation, he was a hard man to displace from the team having been a successful player during Manchester United's dominance in English football. When it comes to Right Backs, he is right up there as one of the best for England. Centre Back - Bobby Moore, with 108 caps to his name, he is the only man to captain England to a World Cup trophy back in 1966. Solid at the back with a calm head, it was his pass that set up England’s fourth in the 4-2 win over West Germany in the final. He also held the record for being England’s youngest ever captain when he was selected in 1963 at the age of 22. Centre Back - Terry Butcher, with 77 caps to his name, he was part of the 1990 World Cup squad who reached the Semi-Finals of a World Cup only to be knocked out on penalties v Germany. But who could forget the famous blood bath he experienced while playing for England v Sweden in 1989 an historic image that shows pride and passion to play for his nation. Left Back - Stuart Pearce, 78 caps, a man that oozes passion for his country. Having being one of the players who missed a penalty in the Semi-Final penalty shootout defeat against Germany in 1990, it was clear to see the devastation in his eyes. But 6 years later at Euro 96, he redeemed himself scoring in the penalty shootout against Spain, which England went on to win, with the famous roar after putting away his penalty. Right Midfield - David Beckham, a man that needs no introduction, the ultimate English footballing icon. Having played 115 times for his country, he played with passion every time he wore the Three Lions shirt. Although, he did get sent off against Argentina in 1998 for lashing out and kicking Diego Simeone, he went on to captain England in 2001 when Sven Goran-Eriksson took charge. He was Captain for England in there most famous win, behind the 4-2 win in 1966 which saw them win the World Cup, by beating Germany 5-1 in a World Cup Qualifier in September 2001. Centre Midfield - Paul Gascoigne, 57 caps for his nation, he often made headlines for his off the field antics but on the field he was a master class in midfield with mesmorising dribbling abilities who could forget his most famous goal against Scotland in Euro 96. He was booked in the 1990 Semi-Final, which meant he would miss the Final had England reached it. Thus came the infamous Gazza Tears. Centre Midfield - Bobby Charlton, 106 caps and 49 goals, he was England’s all time leading goal scorer for 45 years until Wayne Rooney took the record away from him in 2015 against Switzerland. He was also a member of the 1966 World Cup winning team, having made his full debut in 1958, 2 months after he survived the Munich Air Disaster. Left Midfield - John Barnes, the Jamaican born midfielder moved to England at the age of 12 and chose to represent England at international level making 79 appearances. Silky skills and often referred to as a Brazilian like player, he was part of the 1990 England squad who made the Semi-Finals of the World Cup. Centre Forward - Sir Geoff Hurst, the only man to ever score a Hat-Trick in a World Cup Final against West Germany in 1966. He made just 49 caps for his country scoring 24 goals. He didn't make his England debut until February 1966, a few months before the World Cup. Centre Forward - Gary Lineker, Golden Boot winner in 1986 and Semi-Finalist with England in the following World Cup in 1990. He was the ultimate goal poacher scoring 48 times in 80 caps. Manager - Sir Bobby Robson, 1 of 3 managers to take England to a World Cup Semi-Final, alongside Gareth Southgate & Sir Alf Ramsey. His credentials in both Club & National management speak volumes. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  7. Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier has stressed that wants to build on his outstanding World Cup display and deliver even more at club level. The 27-year-old was arguably England's player of the tournament as Gareth Southgate's men made it to the semi-finals in Russia before bowing out to Croatia. "I was delighted to play at the World Cup, it's crazy what a year can do because I only made my debut for England last year and a year later I am playing in a World Cup," he told Sky Sports. "I learnt a lot about myself, it gave me a lot of confidence and I am happy to come back with more experience. "Hopefully I can put that to good use by playing as many games as I can for Tottenham this season and helping the team out." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  8. Paul Pogba has conceded that Manchester United had the wrong attitude in their 3-2 defeat at Brighton. The Red Devils delivered a lacklustre display as they were humbled at the Amex Stadium on Sunday. Pogba was again named United captain but failed to replicate his strong showing in the opening-day win over Leicester. "We lost, we did not deserve to win," Pogba told Sky Sports after the match. "The attitude we had was not like we wanted to beat them, they had more hunger than us. "I put myself first, my attitude wasn't right enough, we keep trying and pushing, and it is going to be a big lesson for us. "I think we made the mistake we shouldn't make. You go 1-0 down, it's OK, then 2-0, then 2-1 and you have hope we can score again, but we concede a goal. It's a hit for us. In the first half it was a hit. It was very disappointing, we tried to push. "You cannot always approach the game the same way as the last one. You always try to play better than the last game, but we know, and I know we can always play very good, but the attitude has to be good and we missed that today." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  9. Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has blamed former boss Antonio Conte's "direct" style for his indifferent form last season. The Spain international made an impressive start to his Blues career, scoring seven goals in his first seven games, but his form tailed off after Christmas. Morata found the net just three times in 23 appearances as Chelsea missed out on Champions League qualification, and that barren run saw him miss out on a place in Spain's World Cup squad. The 25-year-old looked set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, with Juventus among the clubs interested, but he was determined to stay at Chelsea. "For me, it's easy. I could have gone back to Spain or Italy, all the people believe in me there, but I want to change things here," Morata told Sky Sports. "I want to, not for all the haters, but for me and for Chelsea. Chelsea gave me everything that I needed and now I have time to give back all that Chelsea give me. "The most important thing is the way we play. Last season it was direct balls and for me to protect the ball in the air is not my best quality. "Now I can attack the space, I can play one touch and go in the area for the crosses. It's better for me. "Sarri works with the ball always and when you always have the ball the strikers have more chances. "I want to score more than 30 goals, but I would prefer to score 15 or 20 and get the Premier League or one big trophy." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  10. Last week
  11. Eden Hazard has stressed that he is happy at Chelsea for the time being. Real Madrid and Barcelona were interested in signing Hazard this summer after the Belgium international admitted "it might be time to try something different" following the World Cup in Russia. Hazard, who has two years remaining on his current contract, says he intends to stay at Chelsea for the season but was coy over his future prospects. "Everybody knows what I have said after the World Cup," the 27-year-old told Sky Sports. "But I'm happy here. I don't want to talk about it yet. A lot has been said, but at the moment I'm happy. I have two years left on my contract and we'll see what happens. Leaving this year? I won't go. "The transfer market in England is closed. Clubs can still sell players, but not sign new ones anymore. It would be a bit strange that they would sell me now while they can't sign a replacement. "Today we have seen that the fans quite like me. I'm good where I am now. Let's see what happens in one or two years." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  12. Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City will not be making a move for free agent Claudio Marchisio. The 32-year-old midfielder, who made 389 appearances during a 25-year spell at Juventus, had his contract at the Serie A champions terminated by mutual consent this week. City, meanwhile, announced on Friday they would be without midfielder Kevin De Bruyne for three months after he suffered a knee injury in training. When asked whether City would make an offer to Marchisio in response to losing De Bruyne to injury, Guardiola said: "No. First a big comment for his career - he made an amazing career at Juventus and with the national team. "In December, we are going to see what happens in the [next] transfer window but now the squad is the squad." Marchisio - capped 55 times by Italy - made 20 appearances for Juventus last season after recovering from a serious knee injury. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  13. Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he does not see Chelsea as potential Premier League title contenders yet. The Blues ran out 3-2 winners over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, following their opening-day win over Huddersfield Town. However, Arsenal were allowed several clear chances towards the end of the first half, and Sarri was not completely happy by his side's performance. Asked if he sees Chelsea as potential title challengers, Sarri said: "Not in this moment. We did very well in the last 25 minutes today, but I think that we have to work, we have to improve in the defensive parts, and I am not talking about only the defenders. "The defensive phase of all the team, all players. Because if we press very high, we are able to do well. But in the moment where we are not going to press in the other half, we are in trouble. So I think we have to work and need to improve. "I think we have done very well for 75 minutes. 15 minutes from maybe the 30th-minute was horrible. We lost the distances I think, we were not able to cover the last third, or press as a team, only one player to player. "I think that the players were very good in the second half. It was not easy in the final part of the first half. "We want to defend by looking only at the ball. We have to stay very compact and need to press on the other half. In that 15 minutes, we were not able to do this, so we were in trouble. "We have to improve because I think we did really very well in the first 25 minutes today, but we need to continue to press and press and press in the other half. Otherwise, for us it may be a problem. I hope we will be able to play 90 minutes like the first 25 in two months." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  14. Arsenal manager Unai Emery has stated that he expects Mesut Ozil to take on his fair share of defensive duties this season. The Spaniard tasted defeat in his first game in charge at the Emirates as the Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City on the opening day of the Premier League season. Emery insists Ozil, who has been criticised in the past for a perceived lack of effort at times, will be expected to give his all when defending for the team. When asked about the defensive duties placed on Ozil during the defeat to City, Emery replied: "Every player needs to [defend] in the true moment of a match. "There are defensive moments and attacking moments. Every player each needs this commitment. For me, we need to start together, whether we are attacking or defending. I want that from every player. "The position, [Ozil] is playing all his career like a number 10-player, like a right-winger going inside to receive the ball. "It's clear he needs the ball more to give more options in the attacking moments. He needs to do [it] in each match, be demanding for us but defensive moments are for each and every player." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  15. Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies has denied there is a rift between the coaches and the club's board. The Hoops were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers this week amid reported disagreements with Dedryck Boyata and speculation that boss Brendan Rodgers has been at odds with the club's hierarchy over transfers. But Davies, covering for Rodgers in his pre-match media duties ahead of the Scottish League Cup clash with Partick Thistle, for which the Hoops manager is not obligated to attend, insisted rumours of a rift were simply "not true". "There is no fallout with the board," he said. "There are no deep fractures within the club. It's not there. Brendan is in dialogue with the board as ever. He's working closely with the board as always. He's fine. There is no issue. "What's happened is that we've gone out to a team we've deserved to beat over two legs. We were the better team than AEK Athens, home and, but that can happen, and people are looking at it and trying to create one single narrative; 'there's been a fallout, Boyata, this has happened, that has happened'. "It's not as simple as that. We all share responsibility. Brendan has made his point previously - that he wants the squad to be as strong as it can be - and we all want that. He's working and thinking about leading the team. "What I can tell you now is that we won't let this negativity be created and start holding us back. What we've done over the last two years has been incredible in terms of domestic trophies, qualifying for the Champions League. "We have been here two years and it's the first setback we've probably had. Brendan is dealing with it. We've had some negativity over the past few weeks but Brendan's dealt with that as a manager before. "We as a club will come out of this strong and better. There's not a chance that this negativity will hold us back or stop us in any way. In football you have to be resilient, learn from your experiences and come back stronger, with optimism for the future - and that's exactly what we're going to do." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  16. Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan has left Anfield for Serie A side Cagliari on a permanent deal. The Estonia captain made 53 appearances for Jurgen Klopp's side after joining from German club Augsburg for £4.2m in July 2016. Klavan played 28 games last season, including eight Champions League ties, but fell down the pecking order as Klopp preferred Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. "I had offers from several teams, including in other countries, but Cagliari really wanted me," Klavan told Sky Sport Italia. "Darijo Srna advised me to come here, as I talked to him via Dejan Lovren. Other Liverpool teammates like Alisson, Salah and Lucas Leiva all spoke highly of Serie A. "I’m certain we’ll do great things here and I am really fired up. The city is wonderful and so are the fans, I can’t wait to get started." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  17. Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that he is anticipating players leaving Tottenham Hotspur before the European transfer deadline. Despite not signing a single player before the domestic deadline last week, the futures of a number of players remain uncertain ahead of August 31 including Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, Georges-Kevin N'Koudou and Vincent Janssen. Pochettino has promised any unhappy players that he will help try to "fix" them a move to another club because he must have every squad member focused on the season at hand. Ahead of their first 'home' clash of the season against Fulham at Wembley he told Sky Sports: "Maybe, yes, we are going to see if some players believe that they can achieve their goals in another club. "Maybe they are going to move. Different individual things can happen in the next few weeks. "If some player is not happy because he needs to play or believes he can play more at another team, or needs to change the environment, or needs a new challenge or motivation, I told them that I am open to find the solution. "I want people who feel happy to be involved here every day, happy to be in the place that the manager, who is the boss, puts you, and I think that is the only way to success. "If we are 25 players, 40 or 50 staff, fans, board altogether, working for the same objective, which is to win games. That is why I am so open to fix problems. I don't want anyone upset or unhappy, or with negative feelings here. "It is so clear the rules. It is so clear my message. I promise I am going to fix it if someone is not happy to be here for the next five months until the transfer window opens again. All people here need to feel they can be part of the team, and help the team any time the manager commands." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  18. Sean Dyche has no concerns about his Burnley squad's early-season workload as they return to Premier League action against Watford this weekend. The Clarets' season kicked off with Europa League qualifying over three weeks ago and, following Thursday's 1-0 win against Istanbul Basaksehir, will contest a two-legged play-off against Olympiakos with a place in the Europa League group stages at stake. The Burnley boss is keen to build on his side's goalless draw at Southampton last weekend, and believes their steely resolve can help the Clarets notch their first league win of the season. "The fitness here is unbelievable. The players' mental and physical fitness is absolutely fantastic, so they will be ready for Sunday," Dyche said. "Statistically, it has been very high since I have been here, [even more so] once I got my own group in the first summer. "And if you then add in a bit more know-how, a bit more individual awareness and team awareness of what it means to be in the Premier League, then that bodes well. "But as we saw last season, there were different teams that struggled. There is no gimme situation. We have to work for everything, which is what we are prepared to do. "It's about your own team's focus and the ability to drive forward no matter what is put in front of them and I think we are good at that, so I'll be going into Sunday believing these players will go again, "They will run hard, they will play hard and they will do what they need to do to try and win a game." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  19. Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio has left Juventus, ending a 25-year association with the club. Both parties agreed to the termination of the 32-year-old's contract, which was due to expire in 2020. Marchisio played 389 times for the Bianconeri, winning seven league titles and four Coppas Italia. The Turin-born player, who suffered a serious knee injury in April 2016 which ruled him out for six months, made 20 appearances last season. Marchisio posted a picture on social media of him as a Juventus youth team player, saying: "I can't stop looking at this photograph and these stripes on which I wrote my life as a man and a footballer. "I love this shirt to the point that, despite everything, I am convinced that the good of the team comes first. All the time." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  20. Manchester City's instrumental midfielder Kevin De Bruyne suffered what is thought to be knee ligament damage during training on Wednesday. He has been seen wearing a leg brace while having the use of crutches and is due to undergo more tests to reveal the severity of the injury which is expected to rule the midfielder out for at least 2 months meaning he would miss Manchester City's opening Champions League games and potentially a clash with Liverpool in October. In January 2016, De Bruyne injured the same knee against Everton in a Premier League fixture resulting in the Belgian being sidelined for 9 weeks. During this time, Manchester City played 12 matches winning just 4 of them and losing 5. Since arriving to Manchester City in 2015, De Bruyne has become a huge hit amongst many City supporters and footballing fans around the world. He was a key part of Pep Guardiola's team last season, helping the club win both the Premier League and Carabao Cup. Manchester City scored a record breaking 106 goals last season with De Bruyne contributing to 24 of them, 8 goals and 16 assists. Many Fantasy Football Fans selected De Bruyne in their teams last season and many selected him as captain. They were not to be disappointed as game after game he put in fantastic performances lighting up the Premier League. During the summer, Kevin De Bruyne helped Belgium secure 3rd Place in the World Cup. The "Golden Generation" of Belgium was out to prove a point with the likes of Hazard, Lukaku and Co. joining De Bruyne. In the last 16, with the scores at 2-2 in the 90th minute, Japan had a corner only for Courtois to claim the ball and roll it out to De Bruyne who drove into Japan's half and contribute to Belgium’s claiming a winner and help them qualify to the Quarter-Finals. It was in the Quarter-Finals where Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 and De Bruyne scoring the winning goal, in which was one of the goals of the tournament. But how well adapt are Manchester City to cope with the loss of one of their key players of last season? Do they have enough depth in his position? Riyad Mahrez would be the obvious choice to cover the injured Belgian, who in turn was replaced by De Bruyne in Manchester City’s season opening 2-0 win over Arsenal. Bernardo Silva is another candidate to replace him, having scored on opening day. David Silva, despite his age, still has something to offer the team and Pep Guardiola looks keen on keeping him in the squad rotation which was used for much of last season. Pep Guardiola is also keen on giving England youngster Phil Foden a chance in the squad, could this be the perfect opportunity for Pep to introduce Foden into the squad or even give Foden the chance to prove himself worthy of becoming a regular at Manchester City? Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  21. West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has ruled out a move for free agent Yaya Toure. The 35-year-old left Manchester City at the end of last season after eight years at the club, having won the Premier League during the Chilean's spell in charge. Pellegrini, who has already made nine signings over the summer after taking over at the London Stadium, has however distanced the club from making an offer to the midfielder. Speaking ahead of Saturday's game against Bournemouth, Pellegrini said: "Yaya is a very good player. In his position at the moment we have very good players. "He will always be a good player in any team but right now our squad is ready." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  22. Everton director of football Marcel Brands has admitted that his club paid over the odds to sign Richarlison from Watford. The Hornets accepted a club record fee which could rise to £44m for the Brazilian winger, who starred early on last season but found it hard to maintain his form as the campaign progressed. His failure to impress throughout the entire season led many to question the fee paid by Everton for the 21-year-old who scored twice on his Everton debut on Saturday. The ill-feeling between Watford and Everton, which started when the Goodison Park club allegedly made an unwarranted approach for then Watford boss Marco Silva in November, made securing Richarlison’s services challenging. “We thought it would be a very difficult one because of the history of the clubs,” Brands told The Guardian. “We were convinced with him but I think with the situation with Watford we had to pay a little more. “I think maybe the market value was a little bit lower but, at the end, we are happy with him. We think he can be very special. “He has a lot of speed, the capability to work; he is strong and he is tall. There are a lot of qualities for all the competitions in Europe. They are important qualities.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  23. Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has criticised former World Cup-winning teammate Mesut Ozil for the way he announced his international retirement. In July, the Arsenal man announced that he would no longer play for Germany, citing "racism and disrespect" within the country's football setup. Ozil said he received hate mail and threats following his photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Germany's lacklustre World Cup campaign. Kroos told Bild newspaper: "Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure. But the way he resigned was not in order. "The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense. "I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  24. Julen Lopetegui has conceded that Real Madrid "have to improve in all facets" after their first competitive match under his management saw them suffer a 4-2 extra-time defeat to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup. Saul Niguez and Koke struck in quick succession in the additional period at Tallinn's A. Le Coq Arena after the game ended 2-2 in normal time. Real had been 2-1 up, with Karim Benzema cancelling out Diego Costa's first-minute opener and Sergio Ramos then converting a 63rd-minute penalty, before Costa netted his second of the contest to draw things level. Lopetegui was quoted by AS as saying in his post-match press conference: "We had good game phases but it was not enough. "We have to congratulate Atletico, I believe that they have won deservedly. "We are not happy and the negative is that we have conceded four goals and this is not normal. This will have to be improved, without a doubt. "We have to improve in all facets, we do not like when we make mistakes and we have to improve in everything, not only in individual errors. "(It is a) feeling of frustration and sadness. But knowing that responsibility forces us to get up and try to improve and start the league as we want to start." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  25. Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui is happy to have Gareth Bale on his books and is confident that the Welshman can help fill the void left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. Ronaldo, who scored 450 goals in 438 games for Real, moved to Juventus in July and Madrid have not yet signed a replacement. The onus is now on Bale to become the team's key figure after he struck twice in the Champions League final win over Liverpool and his new manager is pleased with what he's seen so far. "We love that [Bale] is with us. He is so motivated with a lot of hope and he's been working well since the beginning of the season," Lopetegui told reporters on the eve of Real's UEFA Super Cup meeting with Europa League holders and city rivals Atletico Madrid in Tallinn. "We are delighted with his attitude and his desire, he's an ultra professional who is training with the desire of a youth teamer. We are convinced he will have a great season." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  26. Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin says he did not use interest from Manchester United to secure an improved contract. The Uruguay defender was rumoured to be a transfer target for Manchester United on deadline day, but a move failed to materialise. A report by The Sun suggested Jose Mourinho blamed Godin's agent for supposedly wanting to use interest by the Red Devils as leverage to land his client a fresh deal. However, ahead of Wednesday night's UEFA Super Cup final match against Real Madrid in Tallinn, Godin denied the events were linked. "I have not renewed," Godin said. "I have had offers, although I have decided to stay for personal reasons, and I am only thinking about the final. "But I have not extended my contract. I saw that news came out but I do not know where it came from." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  27. Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Dedryck Boyata had been fit to play despite missing Celtic's 2-1 defeat at AEK Athens, which put them out of the Champions League 3-2 on aggregate. The Belgium defender, reportedly the subject of a failed £9m bid by Fulham before the English transfer window closed, had posted a video of him receiving treatment before Tuesday night's game in Greece. His agent Jacques Lichtenstein was quoted earlier in the week by saying that as his client is in the final year of his contract, he could not risk playing when not 100 per cent fit. "Yes, we were obviously missing our two best centre-halves this evening, unfortunately," said Rodgers. "My concentration really until I get back is only with the players that are here. But yes, Dedryck would have been fit to play." Asked if he felt frustrated on a night where defensive inadequacies proved costly, Rodgers said: "Yes, of course. He has been with us on the journey now for a couple of years and helped us get to this position and of course, someone of his quality, a World Cup semi-finalist in our team, would certainly have helped. "But he wasn't here and we look at the performance without him and I can't think any more than that". Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
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  29. Eric Dier has stressed that Tottenham Hotspur are seeking to "shut everyone up" about their uneventful transfer window. Spurs failed to sign a single player before last week's deadline but manager Mauricio Pochettino has moved to allay fears that it could impact their ability to compete for the Premier League's top places this term. And midfielder Dier, who impressed during their opening-day win away at Newcastle United has backed his boss by insisting that new players do not automatically make you a stronger side. "It's a great challenge for us to shut everyone up. We're going to enjoy that challenge," he told reporters on Saturday. "We've got a fantastic squad here, with fantastic players in every position. To strengthen it is not easy. All the other teams around us might have signed players but not many of those are better than the players they've already got. "If you're trying to create a better atmosphere or give the team a boost then that's cool, but we'll find the same boost in a different way. "So we're really happy, we've got a fantastic group. We really enjoy training together, playing together and being with each other. We'll just continue to build on that. "For the past three years we've been challenging the best teams in the country and last year we were challenging the best in the Champions League with the squad that we have here today. "As the manager has said, we're in a fight but we're having to use different tools. "We've known that for the past three years and we have to try and compensate for what other clubs can do in different ways with our attitude, work ethic, desire and we have to try and compensate in those ways. It'll make us better." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
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