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  1. Pep Guardiola has claimed that Manchester City will be judged "failures" if they do not win the Champions League. A point away at Lyon on Tuesday night will guarantee qualification for the knockout stages while victory will ensure they progress as Group F winners. Guardiola's side have won both their away fixtures in the competition so far, but he believes it is not enough to satisfy their critics. "For the people who don't love us too much, who use money as an argument, then we have failed if we don't win the Champions League," he said. "For the other people, especially our fans, the people who say, 'OK, we enjoy watching our games, we are happy with what the guys are doing', I am pretty sure they don't have regrets about what these guys are doing for the last 12, 14, 15 months every three days. "That is the best compliment, the best success a team can have. "But we want to qualify [for the last 16], continue that level in the Premier League, being solid away and at home, and arrive in the best condition possible [at that stage] with everyone fit and [ready to] compete. "Then - OK, try it again, why not? And if we go to the quarter-finals and maybe you are lucky to go forward. After that, the competition it speaks for itself. A lot of desires, a lot of wishes we can have at the end. "The competition is so tough, so clinical, to say if you are better you are going to win, if you don't, you are going home." 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.
  2. Mick McCarthy has been confirmed as Republic of Ireland manager. The Football Association of Ireland [FAI] turned to McCarthy after Martin O'Neill stepped down last week following a run of one win in 11 games. He will be assisted by former Wolves boss Terry Connor and Ireland's record goalscorer Robbie Keane, who made his debut under McCarthy during the 59-year-old's first spell in charge. A former Ireland captain who won 57 caps and played at Euro 1988 and the 1990 World Cup, McCarthy succeeded Jack Charlton as Irish manager in 1996. After missing out on qualification for two major tournaments following play-off defeats to Belgium and Turkey, McCarthy led Ireland to the 2002 World Cup. He has signed a two-year contract and will be succeeded by Stephen Kenny after the Euro 2020 finals - Kenny has left his post with Dundalk and take charge of the Ireland U21s. "I'm honoured and excited to be back with the Republic of Ireland. I am delighted that the FAI board and CEO have given me this opportunity to lead the team to Euro 2020," said McCarthy. "I have been involved in club football for the last 15 years, so this will be a new challenge but one that I know well. I'm delighted to have Terry Connor, a trusted colleague and excellent coach, and Robbie Keane, one of the finest players who I had the pleasure of managing, helping me as assistant coaches. "I am looking forward to getting started and embracing this challenge to qualify for Euro 2020, where it would be fantastic to play in front of the Ireland supporters in Aviva Stadium." 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. Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he doubts Chelsea would keep him as head coach if he went four years without winning a trophy at Stamford Bridge. Sarri's Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino has managed precisely that feat, with the two coming up against each other for the first time in the Premier League on Saturday. They both share the unwanted distinction of not having won any silverware in their managerial careers, but Sarri admits that his drought probably needs to end if he is to remain in his post. Asked if he would be afforded four years at Chelsea without a trophy, Sarri told Sky Sports: "I don't think so, but I don't know. "It's up to the club - if it's more important to win, or more important to improve the players. "I want to win something, just to avoid this question. Sometimes there are the conditions for winning. Sometimes not. "It's clear he (Pochettino) is a very important coach, with a trophy or without a 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.
  4. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has categorically ruled out making any signings during the January transfer window. The Spaniard confirmed on Friday that Benjamin Mendy will miss the next 10-12 weeks following surgery. Asked if that might prompt him to look at reinforcing his squad in January, Guardiola said he would not be making any further additions to his squad. "In January, no window. No, no," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "We're not going to spend anything. I am so happy with the squad and the people that are coming back. No, no. "When we created the squad at the beginning of the season it was [so that we] don't go to January [and make transfers] except if you have problems. but I have enough in the squad. I trust all of them. "We are not going to go the market in January, no way." 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.
  5. Paco Alcacer has signed a permanent contract with Borussia Dortmund after impressing on loan from Barcelona. The 25-year-old moved to BVB on a season-long loan in the summer but has now signed a contract until 2023. Alcacer has been instrumental in the Bundesliga outfit's impressive start to the season, scoring nine goals in all competitions so far. "I'm very happy in Dortmund, at BVB and in this wonderful team," Alcacer told the club's website. "Borussia Dortmund was and is exactly the right decision for me. I'll do everything I can to say thank you for your trust!" 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. FM-News

    N'Golo Kante pens new Chelsea contract

    Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has signed a new contract which will take him to 2023. The France international has put pen to paper on a new five-year deal, the club confirmed on Friday. Kante signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2016, following a debut season in the Premier League which ended with a title medal with Leicester City. "I'm happy to extend my time with Chelsea, it has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come," Kante told Chelsea's official webiste. "Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never thought about. I like the city, I like the club and I am happy to be here for more time." Kante won another Premier League title in his debut season with the Blues, before going on to lift the World Cup with France in Russia this summer. 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.
  7. Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton has stated that he is not interested in taking over as Republic of Ireland manager. Martin O'Neill left his role as ROI manager on Wednesday after a disappointing Nations League campaign. Hughton, who played 53 times for Ireland between 1979 and 1991, has been in charge at Brighton since 2014 and has guided them to 12th in the Premier League so far this season. The 59-year-old also worked as Ireland's assistant manager for two and a half years under Brian Kerr. When asked if he was interested in the Ireland manager's job, Hughton said: "No. What I am very interested in is the job that I am doing here. "I have got a group of players that have worked very hard to get into this division and that is where all my thoughts and concentrations are." Under O'Neill, Ireland managed just one win in 11 games since last November and were relegated from Nations League group B without winning a single match. Speaking about Ireland's current poor form, Hughton added: "I think it is probably the normal challenges that come with international football. "You are always going to get periods of time when the squad is particularly strong but over the last few years there have been changing dynamics of the squad. "At international level it is always about qualifying for major championships and that will be the job for the next manager." 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. Martin O'Neill has stated that he left his role as Republic of Ireland manager "with a heavy heart", having fulfilled one of his "lifetime ambitions" by taking on the role. His five-year tenure as Republic boss ended on Wednesday after Ireland failed to win a game as they were relegated from Nations League Group B. The Football Association of Ireland said O'Neill's departure, and that of Roy Keane as his assistant, was by mutual consent, adding that its board "will meet promptly to discuss the process of recruiting a new manager". In a statement released by the League Managers' Association, O'Neill said: "I have had the great honour of managing the Republic of Ireland national football team for the past five years and it is with a heavy heart that I leave this role. "It was one of my lifetime ambitions to take charge of the Irish senior squad and I would like to thank the FAI board for giving me that opportunity. "I will not forget the night in Lille when we beat Italy to secure the nation's best-ever achievement in the Euros competition, the terrific night we beat the world champions Germany at home in Dublin, or James McClean's goal in that euphoric win against Wales in Cardiff that put us through to the play-offs for this year's World Cup. "The Irish fans have been a source of motivation to myself, the team and the whole backroom staff, embodying the passionate Irish spirit, and I thank them for their fervent support of the team. "I am also very proud of the relationships I have built with the players, who have carried that very same spirit, imbued by the fans, on to the field of play." O'Neill added: "A special thanks to Roy Keane my assistant, an inspirational figure in the world of football, Seamus McDonagh, Steve Guppy and Steve Walford for their brilliant contributions and to those backroom staff at the FAI that were of enormous help to me. "Knowing that the past year would be a transitional phase for the squad, I have capped 12 new players in the last nine games, with the aim that they become significant international contributors in the coming campaign. "To the players, I reserve great praise and admiration for the phenomenal commitment they have shown whilst wearing the Irish shirt. Having had these great experiences in my spell as the Irish international manager, I am looking forward to my next adventure in football." 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. Wales manager Ryan Giggs has hit out at his "complacent" players after their 1-0 friendly defeat in Albania. Tuesday's loss in Elbasan was Giggs' fifth in nine matches in charge. Wales wasted several chances before conceding a second-half penalty, which Bekim Balaj converted to condemn the visitors to defeat. “The performance was not good enough, we deserved what we got,” said the Wales manager. “We totally controlled the first half and we thought it was going to be easy. It’s nothing to do with hard work or the ability of the players. “Quite simply, it was concentration and complacency. We just turned up thinking we would win, someone would score the goal, someone would get us out of trouble.” 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. The agent of Roma midfielder and reported Manchester United target Lorenzo Pellegrini says his client is not considering a move away and is "only thinking about Roma". The 22-year-old Italy international has a £27m release clause in his contract and has reportedly attracted interest from United boss Jose Mourinho following a fruitful start to the season. However, agent Giampiero Pocetta dismissed speculation that Pellegrini is set to join the Red Devils, despite reports they were ready to make a move for him as soon as January. "I'm sorry that rumours have spread about financial aspects relating to him and his team-mates, that for Lorenzo have never been important," Pocetta told Corriere dello Sport. "He doesn't live for meetings, especially financial ones. "He's getting what he deserves on the pitch, and the rumours about the transfer market have never distracted him nor disturbed him. "Pellegrini is only thinking about improving with, and for, Roma. "These issues don't count for now, it's normal that Pellegrini is liked. Lorenzo is happy though, he's already chosen Roma once. "Then, when it's time, we'll sit down with Monchi [Roma sporting director] again." 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.
  11. Andy Robertson has revealed that he came close to joining Stoke City instead of Liverpool. The Scotland captain joined the Reds for £8m in 2017 following Hull City's relegation and, after a slow start, has become one of Jurgen Klopp's most important players. Robertson, however, has revealed Stoke and their manager at the time, Mark Hughes, were keen to sign the left-back. "Stoke were quite interested in me," Robertson said in an interview with YouTube channel Open Goal. "Mark Hughes had liked me and I think there was a wee bit of chat with them. "So I was thinking they were a really good option; I think they finished top 10 that season and I was trying to get my head on a move to Stoke. "I was thinking they were really keen, and at that point, under Mark Hughes, they were playing good football. They had Erik Pieters; I wasn't sure if I was going in as back-up to him as he was flying that 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.
  12. Marouane Fellaini has claimed Manchester United are not far from matching Manchester City's quality. The Citizens beat their city rivals 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the final league game before the international break, leaving them eighth in the Premier League and seven points off the top four. However, Fellaini told Sky Sports thatJose Mourinho's side are not as far away from the Premier League leaders as the table suggests. When asked if the result had emphasised a significant gap between the two teams, he said: "I don't think so. I remember when I arrived in England it was a top four, now it is a top six, so every year it is more difficult. "Next season we will see how it changes and in two and three years I think every year it is more difficult, the intensity is higher, so that's why the Premier League is attractive. "Manchester City are strong, but I think they will lose. Ok, they are very good and they have good players but it's possible to beat them. We lost, but we have the second game at Old Trafford and we will see." 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. Corry Evans has claimed that Northern Ireland can take confidence from their Nations League campaign even if things did not go their way. Valentino Lazaro struck a stoppage-time winner for Austria as Norn Iron lost 2-1 on Sunday evening, making it four defeats out of four for Michael O'Neill's men who have suffered relegation to League C. Evans had earlier scored his first international goal in eight years to cancel out Xaver Schlager's strike, and it had looked like being enough to give Northern Ireland their first Nations League point. "It's always disappointing when you lose the game with the last kick of the ball," the Blackburn Rovers man told Sky Sports. "But we can take a lot of positives out of the performance. "The manner of the way we played; going a goal down we came back to level the game and at that stage it looked like we were the only side going to go win the game, but it wasn't to be. "We have to take great confidence from the way we have been playing in the campaign and take that into the Euro 2020 qualifiers." 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. Gareth Southgate has described Harry Kane as the "best goalscorer in the world" after the Tottenham Hotspur star's late winner sent England into the inaugural Nations League semi-finals. The Three Lions came from a goal down to secure a 2-1 victory over Croatia at Wembley on Sunday to pip Spain to top spot in group A4 and relegate their opponents. Kane's 85th-minute strike came at the perfect moment for England, and ended an eight-game goal drought with the national team for the captain. Southgate told Sky Sports: "He's the best goalscorer in the world. You're always loathe to take a player off of his ability. "He's our main penalty-taker, leader and his hold-up play is critical. We have huge belief in him and he is so hungry to lead the team further." 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. Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has praised England following their UEFA Nations League defeat on Sunday by saying "it's coming home very soon". The Three Lions ran out 2-1 winners over the Vatreni at Wembley to secure their place in the semi-finals of the competition and relegate their opponents. Croatia beat England in the semi-finals of the World Cup last summer and made it clear afterwards that they were irked by talk around England of 'football coming home'. However, Dalic has now suggested that Gareth Southgate's team have the chance to win silverware. "They have a young and fast team. It's coming home, very soon," he told Sky Sports. "I think England showed already at the World Cup. They, I think, exceeded expectations. They have a really young and very fast team, which is very important in modern football. "I'd like to congratulate England on a deserved win and for qualifying for the final four of the Nations League." 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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