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  1. Kyle Walker has claimed that England will need a “miracle” to win the World Cup in Russia this summer. The 27-year-old has been a key component of Manchester City's Premier League title-winning season following his summer arrival from Tottenham Hotspur In addition, Walker Gareth Southgate's men earn automatic qualification to the World Cup from Group F as the Lions went unbeaten. Walker was part of the disappointing exit to Iceland at Euro 2016 in France and says their inexperience on the world stage means both players and managers need to be realistic about their chances. "I hope we can go as far as we can go, but we need to be realistic," Walker told TalkSPORT. "To win the World Cup is going to be a miracle, but we have got the players to do it. A lot of us play in probably the best league in the world. "We've got the players to do it, but have we got the experience going further along in competitions? No, we haven't. Not in recent years. "We need to be realistic. There are a lot of good teams out there and our record in tournaments has not been fantastic. "We've had a lot of conversations inside the camp - England haven't won a knockout game for God knows how many years, so for us to go there and win a knockout game, that would be a step in the right direction." 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. Five Manchester City players have been named in the Professional Footballers' Association Premier League Team of the Year. Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi, David Silva and Kyle Walker have all been included after Pep Guardiola's side claimed the Premier League title with five games to spare. Tottenham Hotspur are the only other team to have more than one representative, boasting three players in defender Jan Vertonghen, midfielder Christian Eriksen and striker Harry Kane. Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah were also included in the XI. On Sunday, the overall winner of the PFA Player of the Year award will be unveiled, with De Bruyne, De Gea, Kane, Silva and Salah all nominated, along with City winger Leroy Sane. PFA Premier League Team of the Year: David de Gea, Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Alonso, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero. 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. Manchester City have won their first trophy under Pep Guardiola as they thrashed Arsenal 3-0 in Sunday's EFL Cup final at Wembley. Sergio Aguero took advantage of poor defending by Shkodran Mustafi to connect with Claudio Bravo's goal kick and lob Gunners custodian David Ospina for the opener just 18 minutes into the match. In the second half, Vincent Kompany stuck a foot out to divert Ilkay Gundogan's shot into the net to double their lead, and David Silva added the third when he smashed home from Danilo's pass. How did the various pundits, players and the managers of both teams react to the result? Football Manics takes a closer look as both camps spoke to the press. Pep Guardiola, Man City manager (Sky Sports): "It's important. We're so happy, and a big congratulations to all of Manchester City, and our fans. This trophy is for Manchester City and not for me. "The first half we were not good, there were a lot of mistakes, in the second half we played with a lot more courage and personality - we were outstanding. "It was so important to win this one, because we played 10 v 11 for 45 minutes [against Wigan] so it wasn't easy. "But now we concentrate on the Premier League, where we will try to win the rest of our games, and the Champions League, too." Vincent Kompany, Man City captain (Sky Sports): "It was a difficult game, but as much space there was for us and Arsenal, we did well and controlled the space and I am proud of the team. Winning 3-0 at Wembley is a massive result against any opponent. "Before the game, I thought I was going to score. I came close during the game so there was some luck on the day, but also self-belief. "I have been in the game for 15 years and I have been training well and supporting the lads when I don’t play. When I get the call I want to do the job." Sergio Aguero, Man City forward (Sky Sports): "For me and for the team it is always a special trophy. We are happy and I am very happy. We were better than them and now we have to focus on the next game and think about the Premier League. “For me there was no foul (for the opening goal), a bit of a touch. I am happy because it was a goal.” Kevin De Bruyne, Man City midfielder (Sky Sports): "Obviously last time I missed the final through injury, but I'm very happy we won it, we deserved to win. Now we go onto Thursday. "We have had a good season already, and now we need to keep going. We have this one in the bag and now we have to maintain the same focus in the Premier League and the Champions League. "The potential for this club is amazing, and the way we play is probably one of the best in the world." Kyle Walker, Man City defender (Sky Sports): "It's been a long time coming for me and I'm glad to get my first trophy. "I was nervous coming into it, without a trophy win here before, but thankfully we've come out on top today. "We needed to kill the game early and Sergio Aguero's goal did that for us. "We didn't have the best of seasons last year, so it was important for us to get this trophy under our belts." Arsene Wenger, Arsenal boss (Sky Sports): "I felt the game, we had the first good chance, a very easy one that we missed. After that we made a big mistake for their first goal. But we controlled them pretty well in the first half, but they came out in the second half, and we were unlucky because the second goal was offside. But congratulations to Man City, they deserve the win. "You have to accept being criticized when you lose games. But I believe we have to recover quickly. We got to the final, we lost, so now we have to focus on the next Premier League game. "When you lose 3-0 of course you have to look at defending better, but I still feel like for large periods we defended well, but we lost concentration sometimes and against good teams you pay for it. "It's not the application that was missed it was the concentration at key periods that was missed. The second goal was a big goal in this game and for me, it was 100 per cent offside. "We analyse all the games in a very mathematical way, we didn't give too many chances away, but we gave away easy chances, and didn't create enough for ourselves." Ian Wright, former Arsenal striker (BBC Sport): "Against Manchester City it was always going to be a tough ask. They have been magnificent all season, but it was disappointing the way Arsenal played. "There was a lack of fight, lack of determination. It’s a final and players were walking. You don’t want to see the team you support in a final put in such an insipid performance. "You look at Aubameyang, and you feel like though he’s a great goal scorer, I have not seen many chances created for him. "He’s not a player who gets millions of touches, he runs in behind off the shoulder of the defender. We've seen he can score if he gets the chance. "But Arsenal don’t work hard to win the ball, keep the ball and play it into the player who cost us nearly £60m." Teddy Sheringham, former England striker (BBC Sport): "I've lost a couple of finals in my time, and it's a tough place to be when you lose. If you're coming to Wembley you want to enjoy it, and the only way to do that is to win it. "I said before the game if Arsenal were going to have a chance today they all needed to be 9/10s, and I don't think any of Arsenal's players were more than a 5/10 today - no-one performed. "There's still a lot of football to be played for Arsenal, and they'll have to pick themselves up, because there's still two months of the season to play. That's what Arsene Wenger is there for, to pick them up. "Arsenal's fans will be more disappointed with the performance than the result." Share your thoughts about this match reaction feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  4. Dele Alli could face disciplinary action after he was caught making a middle-finger gesture on camera during Monday's World Cup qualifying 2-1 win over Slovakia. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was shown making the rude gesture which both he and Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate later claimed was aimed in jest at Kyle Walker. Despite his explanation, Alli could still find himself in trouble with FIFA if it decides to take action against him if world football's governing body believes he aimed the gesture at referee Clement Turpin. "Please note that we are gathering evidence and cannot comment further at this stage," a FIFA spokesman told Press Association Sport when asked if they were looking into the incident. After the game the England manager was asked about the incident, which came with 13 minutes remaining, and said it was "mucking about" with close friend and former Spurs teammate Walker. Alli later took to Twitter to explain, writing: "Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused! Great win tonight." Teammate Joe Hart also supported Alli after the 21-year-old came under fire on social media following the broadcast of his actions. "The world is watching and Dele appreciates that," the England goalkeeper said. "He is a young expressive guy who is trying to get to the peak of his game and sometimes he is going to do things that not everyone is going to agree with. "I think we all know what has gone on--- no one has got hurt from it, let's be honest. Luckily and hopefully it was after 9 pm and after the watershed. Kids are watching, Dele appreciates that. I'm sure it will be dealt with in the right 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. Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker-Peters has signed a new contract with the club until 2020. The 20-year-old right-back made his Premier League debut for Spurs in the 2-0 win at Newcastle United on 13 August. He was drafted in after England right-back Kyle Walker left for Manchester City for £45m in July and Kieran Trippier suffered an injury in a pre-season friendly against Juventus. In a video posted on Tottenham's Twitter page, he said: "Buzzing to sign a new contract with Spurs, can't wait to see what the future holds." Walker-Peters is a product of Tottenham's academy and has represented England at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 levels. He was in the Young Lions team that beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final of the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea in June. 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. Manchester City have announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz from Vasco da Gama on a five-year contract. The 19-year-old was one of Vasco's best players last season and earned a call-up by Brazil for the South American Under-20 Championship at the start of the year. Luiz reportedly cost City £11m to sign and is expected to go straight out on loan for the 2017-18 campaign, having put pen to paper on a contract that will keep him in place until 2022. His arrival follows the signing of Kyle Walker from Tottenham on Friday evening, and he is the second youngster to join Man City from Brazil in recent months following the arrival of Gabriel Jesus. Director of football Txiki Begiristain told the club's official website: "We are pleased to welcome Douglas. He is an exciting player with great potential, and everyone here is looking forward to helping him develop his talent and progress in the game." He is not thought to be ready for the first team yet and is likely to spend at least a season in La Liga, with City saying they would "make a further statement about Douglas' immediate development pathway in the coming days." 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. Manchester City have completed the signing of Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker for an initial £45m on a five-year deal. The deal, worth up to £53m, makes the 27-year-old England international the world’s most expensive defender. With the £3m add-ons, Walker's transfer eclipses the £50m Paris Saint-Germain paid for Chelsea’s David Luiz in 2014 and also ensures he becomes the most expensive English player of all time. He becomes City’s third signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of Bernardo Silva and Ederson. “I am thrilled to be signing for City and can’t wait to get started,” Walker told the official Man City website. “Pep Guardiola is one of the most respected managers in the world and I feel he can help me take my game to a new level.” Txiki Begiristain, the Club’s Director of Football, added: “Kyle is a fine full-back, one capable of producing quality at both ends of the pitch. “We’ve followed his progress at Tottenham and have been really impressed by how he has developed. He is now one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and justifiably an England regular. “I am sure he will be a success at Manchester City this season and beyond.” 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. Another Premier League season has come to an end, with Chelsea victorious, Champions League qualification for Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, and relegation for Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull City. In this piece, Football Manics writer Joe Jones looks at the players who impressed this season in the English top flight. Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton (Burnley) Sure, David de Gea was goalkeeper for the PFA Team of the Year, and the likes of Hugo Lloris, Thibaut Courtois and, lower down the table, Jordan Pickford all excelled, but Tom Heaton made more saves than any of the other goalkeepers (141) and had a save percentage of 74.6 percent, behind only Lloris and Petr Cech, helping the Clarets - one of the favourites for the drop earlier in the season - to survive in the Premier League. Left-back: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) A bit of a surprising choice, but given that Danny Rose has played less than half of Tottenham's league games this season and Chelsea's Marcos Alonso has played primarily in a wing-back role, I've given the left-back berth to Nacho Monreal, whose record of 91 tackles was bettered only by James Milner in that position, but the Spaniard boasts superior interception success, more clean sheets, blocks and pass completion. Centre-back: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur) Toby Alderweireld has established himself as among the best defenders in the Premier League in his three seasons on these shores. With 30 appearances to his name this season, the 28-year-old Belgian was instrumental in Spurs conceding a league-lowest 26 goals. His ability to read the game and anticipate play meant he only picked up two bookings, making him a player Mauricio Pochettino can rely on for the long haul. Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) As good as David Luiz was for Chelsea this season, he is not particularly adept in a four-man defence, which is why I'm picking Alderweireld's Spurs teammate Jan Vertonghen. Together, the two Belgians are undoubtedly the best Premier League centre-back pairing this season, the latter being excellent with the ball at his feet and a very classy operator. Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) Edging Kyle Walker into our team of the season at right-back is the versatile Cesar Azpilicueta, who has impressed in all three defensive positions this season for club and country. His omission from the PFA Team of the Year raised eyebrows as his performances, versatility, adaptability and professionalism were key in Chelsea - for whom he played every single minute this season - cruising to the title. Centre midfield: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea) It’s no coincidence that N'Golo Kante won two Premier League titles back-to-back with two different teams. As great as he was for Leicester City, he was even more impressive for Chelsea, with his near-limitless energy and reading of the game making him one of the toughest opponents to play against. PFA Player of the Year, FWA Player of the Year and the first outfield player to win back-to-back league titles with different clubs - enough said. Centre midfield: Ander Herrera (Manchester United) Arguably one of the most improved players of the year, Ander Herrera is a player reborn after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho remoulded him into a more disciplined, defensive midfielder. His tenacious displays this season have seen him compared to N'Golo Kante in terms of shackling opposition attackers - his man-marking of Eden Hazard against Chelsea was one of the best individual displays of the season. Left wing: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) After a seriously underwhelming 2015-16 season which saw his stock fall, Eden Hazard has bounced right back to the world-class player he was the season before. With 16 goals and five assists from 36 appearances, it's safe to say the diminutive Belgian has delivered some big performances for the title winners. His presence in the team of the year is almost obligatory. Right wing: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) After making the switch from Southampton to Liverpool in the summer, Sadio Mane has enjoyed a brilliant debut season at Anfield, bagging 13 goals and creating five from 27 league appearances. His absence from the Reds squad when he was at the Africa Cup of Nations was hard-hitting to Jurgen Klopp's side, who slipped out of title contention - and two cup competitions - with him gone. I know he's been largely deployed on the left this season, but as he has also played on the right, it felt wrong not to include him in the XI. Forward: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Alexis Sanchez spent most of his first two seasons at Arsenal playing as a wide forward, but Arsene Wenger deployed him through the middle for much of 2016/17 and was rewarded with the Chilean's most productive campaign yet. Sanchez netted a total of 24 goals, an inferior record only to Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku, while no forward created more chances than his 78, and only Sergio Aguero took more shots. Forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) For the third season in a row, Kane broke the 20-goal barrier in the Premier League as he fired Tottenham to their first top-two finish since 1963. A remarkable seven goals in the final two games of Spurs’ season helped make this his most prolific year yet – 29 goals in 30 top-flight appearances was enough for him to win the Golden Boot – and he also provided seven assists. Substitutes: David de Gea (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), Oriol Romeu (Southampton), Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 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.
  9. Kyle Walker has become the latest Tottenham Hotspur player to sign a new long-term contract at White Hart Lane. The 26-year-old joined Spurs from Sheffield United in 2009, but spent time on loan at at Bramall Lane, Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa before earning a regular spot in Tottenham's first team. "It's a great honour," Walker told Spurs TV. "I want to thank the chairman (Daniel Levy) and the manager (Mauricio Pochettino) for putting their faith in me. "It's been a long stay here but a very enjoyable one. I'm fully enjoying it. It's like my second home now, and I'm happy to commit my future to Tottenham Hotspur." The full-back, who has signed until 2021, follows the likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier in committing his future to the North London outfit. Share your thoughts about this story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.

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