Alisson Becker Becomes No. 1 Goalkeeper in Premier League

There’s never been a goalkeeper in the Premier League that has been as dominant as David De Gea from Manchester United. Obviously, there’s been more successful ones, as David De Gea only has one title in the Premier League and only one award for the Golden Glove thanks to the highest number in terms of clean sheets.

However, these figures are greatly dependent on the quality of team members in De Gea’s team. Include another aspect, the number of times De Gea has been voted for the PFA team of the Year, and he is in a league of his own. De Gea has been named the best in the league by his team members, including the last 4 campaigns. In the Premier League, no other goalkeeper has managed to earn this honour more than 3 times.

David De Gea Is Struggling in the 2018/19 Campaign

However, De Gea’s reign seems like its coming to an end. Although we are less than halfway through the current season, it’s rather impossible to make a case for David De Gea following his poor performance since last season. During the 2017/18 season, De Gea performed the best statistically and held the highest number when it came to clean sheets throughout the division. He managed to concede 14 less goals that anyone expected when you base it off the shots he faced which is undoubtedly the most impressive record in the Premier League. However, something has changed. De Gea suffered an awful World Cup tournament, allowing a Ronaldo shot to go beneath him during a 3-3 draw against Portugal.

In addition, this season’s statistics make for a grim read with the world-class goalkeeper only having two clean sheets in a total of 16 games. What’s even more alarming is that he isn’t saving enough shots this season with a 67% save rate which places him at the bottom half when you look at the goalkeepers in the Premier League.

The Rise of Alisson Becker

This weekend, De Gea will be facing the top goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Alisson, who is currently ranked fourth in the world by several experts, managed to produce his unforgettable moment while wearing the Liverpool shirt as he saved a point-blank shot from Milik, effectively earning his team members a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Was this considered an excellent save, or did Milik strike the ball directly at Becker? Perhaps somewhere in the middle as the overall finish wasn’t especially impressive. However, Becker advanced for a few yards forward to minimize the angle, forcing Milik to rush.

Either way, the save was considered phenomenal and spoke volumes about the reputation of Alisson. He’s already regarded as the best in the Premier League. It’s hard to remember another side in the Premier League that upgraded so incredibly between two posts. Although Alisson wasn’t cheap, at £67 million, it was something that Liverpool certainly needed.

Can Manchester City Continue to Handle the Pressure?

Mind games, heat of battle, pressure: these are all key factors in every single title clash – apart from when a football team manages to win by 19 points in the Premier League and leave the rest of the brigade trailing in their wake.

Manchester City was so undisputed dominant during in the previous season that the normal rules when it came to engagement simply didn’t apply to the team. The race to the finish line from Manchester City was so brilliant that it became more of a procession as opposed to an examination in terms of their credentials.

Chelsea’s Defeat Over Manchester City

However, after the surprising 2-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea this weekend, the missing ingredients have returned, and Manchester City are now facing a completely different test if they want to retain the crown before the end of the tournament. This Premier League season will be about how the current leaders decide to deal with it and if they are able to handle the pressure.

“Our primary objective is to accumulate one point more than our opponents. However, Liverpool is better than us at the moment,” Pep Guardiola started. “We were favourites before the weekend, but Liverpool claimed that spot. They are both unbeaten and at the top. Our level of performance is the same as last season, but our rivals are stronger.

“You won’t find a sport anywhere in the world where only one team is winning constantly,” Guardiola continued. “This is simply an illusion. Losing is, unfortunately, part of the competition. During our match against Chelsea, we dominated when it came to possession and had outstanding passes, but Chelsea dominated where it mattered most, scoring.”

Defining Moments in the 2018/19 Premier League Campaign

Every single title race in the Premier League will have defining moments which will mark a fork in the road for those that are involved at the sharp end, and the first was certainly the stoppage-time winner from Divock Origi during Liverpool’s clash against Everton.

The strike by N’Golo Kante during the Manchester City vs Chelsea match, minutes before halftime and after his squad had been flooded by Man City men for 44 minutes was undoubtably another significant moment as it placed Sarri’s team on the right path for victory that managed to inflict the first defeat for Manchester City.

The results for these two moments, including the second-half header from David Luiz, is that Liverpool received a turbo boost which made Manchester City realise instantly that an all out war is going to take place this season for the prestigious title. If Origi didn’t nod home a spectacular goal during the 99th-minute, Manchester City would have had a 4-point lead along with a psychological advantage when they witnessed their closest rival slip. However, they, unfortunately, had the pressure placed on themselves this time round.

Liverpool is currently leading the chase. The question is, can they maintain their lead or will Manchester City make a return to the top?

Manchester United’s Situation Remains Dire under Jose Mourinho

There’s no one at Manchester United who wants the club in the shape it is now. Certainly not Ed Woodward, who is busy with agents representing some world-class footballers. Certainly not the staff, most of whom are Man Utd supporters situated in Manchester who merely want their favorite club to start winning matches like before.

Certainly not Jose Mourinho, who is currently defending himself and his phenomenal record against several detractors. Certainly not the players who are currently destroying their reputations for being below par in relation to their enormous salaries and the huge expectations that have been placed upon them, and certainly not the fans who are completely bored with the way things are turning out for the squad.

Jose Mourinho’s Current Reputation

As much as the 91st minute goal from Marouane Fellaini was celebrated earlier this week, several United fans had mixed feelings about it. If Manchester United failed to win, it would have brought the decision to replace the current manager much closer.

Manchester United is closer to the bottom of the Premier League than the top when it comes to points and Jose Mourinho’s squad has never been this low among fans at Old Trafford. Fan polls indicate that between 70% and 80% want to replace Jose Mourinho and the vocal support from the Old Trafford club is extremely minimal. Less than 3 weeks ago, fans were cheering Mourinho’s name, and therefore the club shouldn’t dismiss him now that’s there trouble around the camp fire.

Jose Mourinho can certainly still turn things around for the club. Let’s judge him after the requested three years is over and let’s enjoy him as he cups his ears for haters and laugh at how he throws water bottles around when one of his strikers finally scores a goal towards the end of a match. Jose’s sacking is definitely not imminent while Manchester United still has loads to play for. They managed to defeat Juventus away from home, so there’s certainly still hope that they can get somewhere in the Champions League.

The Recent Win Has Helped Jose Mourinho

The recent win against Young Boys on Tuesday has certainly helped, even if it’s only a little. Mourinho was obviously disappointed with Rashford due to the fact that he missed multiple chances during the game, transforming it into a huge talking point all week. However, Alex Ferguson reacted in the same manner whenever Christiano Ronaldo missed a golden opportunity as he matured during his stay with Manchester United.

Should Mourinho make it through to 2020, things within the team undoubtably need to change. The team will be required to provide much more entertainment, especially at Old Trafford as seats are getting emptier and emptier with each passing match. The squad also needs to obtain a lot more points going forward to keep the manager in his current role and will need to finish in the top 5 at least to keep the dreams alive for both the manager and the players.

Tottenham Hopes Christian Eriksen Signs New Contract

Mauricio Pochettino has recently stated that he is in high hopes that Christian Eriksen will ink a brand-new contract as the famous midfielder enjoys his last 18 months with Tottenham Hotspur. Dele Alli and Henry Kane already signed their long-term extensions with Tottenham Hotspur, and Mauricio Pochettino wants Christian Eriksen as he managed to score 10 goals, along with 10 assists, during the Premier League in the previous season. The famous midfielder has also been linked to both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Mauricio Pochettino commented  on the potential contract with Christian Eriksen stating,  “Eriksen knowns exactly what we are doing, and we know that we are working extremely hard this year,” Pochettino stated. “The squad is working extremely hard to ensure we make the best decisions. Eriksen will undoubtedly take some time to ensure he is making the best decision for him.

Pochettino added that they are not worried about it and added,

“However, we are certainly not worried about it. In the world of football, I am never worried. However, I would prefer that Eriksen signs the brand-new contract, allowing him to spend loads of time with the Hotspurs. There’s no denying that it would be absolutely remarkable for both him and the squad. Christian Eriksen is a phenomenal player. When he was initially signed, everyone could see he had potential, an extremely diverse player at Ajax but still relatively young at the time. Tottenham managed to provide an incredible platform for him to further develop his skills. No one can deny that Tottenham and Eriksen was a fantastic mix. It’s for this reason that I sincerely hope he continues to play for Tottenham to fine tune his skills and quality even further.”

The EUFA National League and the Champions League
Christian Eriksen, who was unfortunately sidelined for almost a month due to abdominal problems earlier in the year, was primarily used for sparingly at Tottenham before the international break occurred, and Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t pleased at all that the famous midfielder started on both matches for Denmark during the EUFA Nations League.

“I believe looking after him prior to going to the national team was one of the best decisions I could make as he managed to start in the last ten days in two matches,” Mauricio Pochettino stated. “Playing 90 minutes against a difficult Crystal Palace squad, followed by 2 matches with the national team, it really too much for Eriksen.”

Mauricio Pochettino is going to be without 3 defenders against Chelsea on Saturday, with Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, and Davinson Sanchez out of action as well as Mousa Dembele as a midfielder. Thankfully, Jan Vertonghen will be back in action after a hamstring injury that saw him miss a total of nine matches.

“There’s still one more day of training, but its fantastic news that he is back in the fold, Mauricio Pochettino stated.” During the last two weeks, Vertonghen trained well, and now we merely need to see if we can include him in the squad when we face Chelsea this weekend.

England’s Revenge on Croatia in UEFA Nations League

Four months after an unbelievable semi-final defeat during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, England’s optimism once again looked like it was going to be punctured by the experience and resilience of Croatia. However, the England squad, as we quickly found out, doesn’t use the same tactics and managed to engineer a mind-blowing comeback to reinstate the team’s reputation.

England Claims Victory Against Croatia

The two teams played for a place in the UEFA Nations League final and provided a dramatic match from start to finish. Croatia managed to take the lead thanks to Andrej Kramaric. However, the home side managed to score during the 78th minute and the 85th minute thanks to Jesse Lingard as well as Harry Kane, sending Wembley into a complete frenzy.

Although it took some time to be confirmed, it was a well-deserved victory from the England squad. Croatia pressed hard during the early stages of the match, but England was fully prepared as they played around with the opposition as they looked for the early ball to release Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling, moving at a completely different pace to the severely panicked defenders who were assigned to defend them.

Sterling could have done better instead of firing a straight shot to the Croatian goalkeeper when received by Kane, and minutes later the captain of the England squad managed to fluff his lines when Barkley’s corner was sent straight to him by Stones. On multiple occasions, England’s sensational work was denied merely by last-ditch defending. The England captain witnessed a goal-bound shot which was unfortunately blocked by Tin Jedvaj along with a follow-up save from Kalinic. The Croatian team managed to make it to halftime on level grounds, failing to create a shot on target.

Southgate’s Substitution

Sterling and Rashford’s fearless running and speed continue to be the best route for a breakthrough during the early stages of the second half, but it was the Croatian team who went ahead. Ante Rebic created a phenomenal counter-attack, feeding Kramaric, who clipped a shot off the outstretched leg of Eric Dier and past Jordan Pickford.

Déjà vu quickly grew as the attack of England crumbled against the Croatian squad, but the substitutions made by Southgate managed to turn the tide. New ideas and fresh legs were injected thanks to Jadon Sancho, Lingard, and Dele Alli. Lingard provided the equaliser after Kane managed to scramble the ball past Kalinic, setting the stage for a beautiful goal with only 6 minutes left on the clock.

If it wasn’t for Kane’s decisiveness and Southgate’s substitutions, the game would have been regarded as another monument for the Croatian squad that continues to defy both logic and belief in the months following their incredible final in the Russian World Cup. While the energy reserves of Croatia seemed limitless in 2018, it looked like physical exertion was the main reason England had the opportunity to add more pressure during the final minutes of the game, allowing them to win by one goal in order to get their revenge.

Jose Mourinho Wants Zlatan Ibrahimovic Back at Man Utd

If the rumours going around the Manchester football club are true, Jose Mourinho is planning a move to return Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United in early 2019.

While Jose Mourinho has yet to deny or confirm his interest, there are several reasons for him to do everything in his power to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to the Manchester United squad, even if it’s just for a few months.

Zlatan’s Impact on Man Utd

From a football perspective, Ibrahimovic’s tail end of his 2017/18 career at Manchester United, when he only scored once in 7 appearances after making a return following his ligament injury, would suggest that his impact in a match would be minimal should he return to the Premier League during the off-season of the MLS.

Although Ibrahimovic is 37 years old, his record of 21 goals in just 25 matches for LA Galaxy proves that there is still life in the former Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Barcelona forward. However, his value when he returns to Man Utd will be measured in the number of goals he scores by Jose Mourinho. Ibrahimovic’s true worth the Mourinho, who is currently under a great deal of pressure, will be the influence he has in the dressing room. There’s no denying that disharmony within the Manchester United squad started the day Ibrahimovic left the club.

Jose Mourinho is Struggling

It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho is struggling to manage certain members in the Manchester United squad where plenty of senior players are growing frustrated and angry with him due to the way he treats players, his negative demeanour, and his tactical decisions when it comes to training.

Obviously, Ibrahimovic can’t offer a miracle cure for the disharmony in the squad, but while he was playing for Manchester United for 18 months, his presence was significant where all players considered him to be the leader. In addition, Ibrahimovic was essentially a buffer between Mourinho and the dressing room due to his longstanding relationship with the United manager as they previously worked together at Inter Milan.

Trouble at Manchester United

After Ibrahimovic left Old Trafford, along with the departure of Rooney who was transferred to Everton last summer, there hasn’t been a player to successfully fill the void left by Rooney and Ibrahimovic.

Although Paul Pogba is the most valued player at Manchester United, he hasn’t been able to gain the same respect that Zlatan instantly earned due to his career achievements and persona. United’s highest-paid player, Alexis Sanchez, is considered a remote figure who lacks the charisma of Ibrahimovic, while others have simply formed small groups based on their shared language and nationality.

Ibrahimovic has always led by example where he inspires youngsters in the club with his dedication and humility and is able to lead from the front when it comes to speaking to the press. So, moving Ibrahimovic back to Manchester United is not the craziest idea as the manager is in desperate need of resolving the current issues in the squad and Ibrahimovic will certainly help with that.

D.C United Closes Playoff Gap After Defeating Montreal Impact

It was the biggest game of the 2018 season, and in the second half, the Montreal Impact dropped the proverbial ball. It cost them any chance of recovery in what saw United winning 5-0 and leaving the Impact with a devastating and embarrassing loss.

Paul Arriola, and Wayne Rooney each scored two goal for D.C United. Luciano Acosta scored one and also earned three assists on Saturday. The win helped put D.C United to within two points of the Impact for the final playoff spot in the MLS Eastern Conference.

Head coach of the Impact, Remi Garde stated, in post-game interviews with reporters that,

“In the first half, I wasn’t under the impression that we would play such a horrible second. There are certain behaviours we need to correct. These are important games in which we need all 11 players on the field to be at their best physically, mentally, and in their aggressiveness. Today, we were outclassed by our opponent in these categories.”

Luciano Acosta sent a shot to an open net at the 17th minute mark to start the scoring for D.C. Rooney made it 2-0 after he found an opening at the 48th minute mark. Rooney earned his second goal with 8 minutes left in regulation time to increase their lead to 5-0 and at the 78th and 82ond minute mark. D.C’s Bill Hamid had five saves and earned his second shutout this season.

Commenting on the devastating loss, Montreal Impact striker, Quincy Amarikwa stated.

“”When we look back on the season, this will be the moment that we decided if we stepped up or we crumbled. I’m confident of the quality we have in the locker room, and we’re going to use this as motivation to move forward into the playoffs.”

About D.C United

D.C. United plays in the Major League Soccer, a North American professional soccer league. They compete in the Eastern division and began as an organisation in 1996. D.C United has won eight titles and shares the record for the most “Supporters’ Shields”. The franchise also has won hour MLS Cups, and won three U.S. Open Cup championships.

UEFA Nations League loss to Spain Results in Luke Shaw Injury

The satisfaction that England felt from the World Cup was brought to an end this week as Spain. The team returned to action this week after finishing fourth at this year’s World Cup but saw the hope of win vanish after Spain to the win, and for England, it was the first loss in eleven years.

The start of the UEFA Nations League campaign at Wembley Stadium saw Rodrigo and Saul Niguez scoring for Spain to give the Spaniards a 2-1 victory of England. The game was a bright spot for the recently hired Luis Enrique who joined the team after the unexpected early exit from the World Cup.

England managed to make it to the semifinals at this year’s World Cup but lost in the semis to Croatia, and again lost to Belgium in the third-place game. The loss on Saturday brings England’s record to 3-0 in the last three played and brings into question the leadership of Gareth Southgate’s

England had a lead in the game for only two minutes when Marcus Rashford scored England’s only goal. Rashford’ was set up by Like Shaw eleven minutes into the first half, but it didn’t take long for Spain to counter and tie the match 1-1.

Shaw exited the game in the second half with an injury, one that looked rather serious after he and Spain’s Dani Carvajal came in contact with each other while challenging for the ball. Shaw managed to connect with a header but then fell awkwardly hitting his head on the ground. This was Shaw’s first start with England since 2015

About Luke Shaw

Shaw generated a large amount of interest as a teenager while playing for the Southampton youth system. In 2012, he signed his first contract professionally with Southampton before moving to Manchester United. ManU signed the star teenager for a record £30 million, which at the time, was the highest ever transfer fee paid for a teenager. Later that year, he agreed to a four-year contract with Manchester United rumoured to be worth £30 million. That officially made Shaw the highest earning teenager in football.

Christiano Ronaldo joins Juventus in Record-breaking deal

Christiano Ronaldo joined Juventus in mid-July earlier this year after the Italian club agreed to a record-breaking €100 million fee to transfer the Portugal forward from Real Madrid.

After celebrating his 33rd birthday in February, the world-class player is ready to take on a new challenge after spending nine years with Real Madrid and requested that the club lets him go. Christiano Ronaldo and Jorge Mendes, his agent, met with Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of Juventus in Greece during July to negotiate the final details surrounding the deal.

The player signed a 4-year contract consisting of an annual salary of €30 million. The clubs in Italy are required to pay that amount in tax as well, which makes the total cost of Christiano Ronaldo’s transfer a whopping €340 million (a transfer fee of €100 million along with €240 million in taxes and salary).

Ronaldo stated in an open letter to fans of Real Madrid that he feels enormous gratitude for the city and the club and that he truly enjoyed his nine years. Real Madrid managed to conquer his heart as well as his family, and it is for this reason that he wants to say thank you to not only the club, but also the staff, his colleagues, doctors, the directors, the president, and physics that made everything work.

Shortly after Christiano Ronaldo published the open letter, the Real Madrid answered with a statement saying that Ronaldo agreed to the transfer “at the request of the player”. Real Madrid also stated that they would like to express their gratitude for a player that managed to prove himself as the best in the world and provided one of the most incredible times when it comes to the club’s history. “Beyond the several titles claimed by Ronaldo during his time at the club, he has also been a fine example of constant improvement, talent, responsibility, work, and dedication.”

Real Madrid and Christiano Ronaldo

Christiano Ronaldo managed to join Real Madrid way back in 2009 after spending six years with Manchester United. Ronaldo managed to win 4 Champions League titles during his stay with Real Madrid, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 Spanish Cups, and 2 League Championships. Ronaldo also managed to become a record scorer at Real Madrid, boasting with 451 goals in a total of 438 games. During his stay with Real Madrid, he also won 3 Golden Boots and 4 Ballons d’Or.

Real Madrid finished their statement to Christiano Ronaldo saying: “Christiano Ronaldo will always be considered one of the best symbols for Real Madrid and a superb reference for future generations. Your home will always be with Real Madrid.”

The Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos, sent the player a Twitter message thanking Christiano Ronaldo for everything he accomplished since joining the club in 2009. “Ronaldo, your numbers, your goals, and everything you’ve managed to win speak for themselves. You earned yourself a special place in Real Madrid. We’ll remember you forever as Madridistas. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you. Good luck at Juventus.”

England Heading to Semi-finals

England has done what no other team from the nation has done since 1990 – make it to the semi-finals. This is an accomplishment not even Beckham achieved. Saturday’s game saw England victorious over the Swedes 2-0 to send the U.K to the semi-finals and one game away from playing the finals.

Scoring first for England was Harry Maguire, their second came as a result of Dele Alli, who scored at the 59th minute of play. For Harry Kane, he felt the team was composed and in control and considering many are playing their first World Cup tournament, their performance has been one that was not expected. However, this has been a tournament that has been full of surprises.
When the clock brought an end to the game, celebrations in the United Kingdom were off the charts. Of course, they started well before knowing the odds of Sweden coming back and catching up to earn a draw and force a shootout were slim.

When you consider the likes of Beckham and Gerrard w,ere unable to achieve what this year’s team lead by Harry Kane has achieved is something to honour. England has not made it this far since 1990 and in the last tournament they failed to advance beyond the group stage.

What made the difference

A big part of the success came as a result of a young team and the guidance given by Kane and Coach Southgate. Kane stated after the game ended that he expected fans would be pleased and celebrating back home adding he imagines some good celebratory videos would be seen in the aftermath of the win.

Fans could be heard chanting at the stadium in Russia saying “On our way, on our way, to Moscow, on our way” If not for the large number of goals scored by the squad, England may not have made it this far, but with superior speed, agility and youthfulness behind them, they are strong contenders to go the distance and earn a place in the finals.

Maguire drove the first one home 30 minutes into the game. It was his first of the tournament and England’s 11th. England has been stellar in their passing skills and accepting a pass from Jesse Lingard put Ali in positon to score their second goal – fancy footwork goes along way.

Commenting on his goal, Maguire said, “We knew set plays would be key, and also that little ball that Jesse sent in for Dele, that was great. We worked on that in practice.”

The reality is, England proved to be too much for Sweden. Considering they were the underdogs and not expected to have advanced as far as they did, they were unable to break down the superior skill of the English team.