Report shares why Bielsa once rejected the West Ham job


Report shares why Bielsa once rejected the West Ham job – originally posted on Sportslens.com
West Ham United could end the season with another manager following reports that Manuel Pellegrini has been given just two games to save his job.
The Hammers have had three managers since 2015, with David Moyes taking charge on an interim basis when Slaven Bilic was fired with the club in the relegation zone in November 2017.
The Croatian helped West Ham to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League table in his first season before things went south.
However, Bilic might have never gotten the job if the club’s board had their way.
According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, West Ham wanted current Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa ahead of him, and courted the Argentine directly.
He was in the middle of discussions about a contract extension with Marseille at the time, and there were aspects about West Ham’s ownership that concerned him.
Given what he has heard and knows about David Sullivan and David Gold, Bielsa wasn’t particularly pleased to work with them, and the club went after Bilic, despite earlier links with the likes of David Moyes, Jurgen Klopp, Unai Emery and Rafael Benitez.
Bilic led West Ham to 11th place at the end of his second season, but his records in his debut campaign remain enviable, and not even Pellegrini has been able to get close.
The Hammers picked up their highest number of points (62), their highest number of goals in a season (65), a positive goal difference for the first time in the Premier League (+14), the fewest games lost in a season (eight) and the fewest away defeats (five).
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Chris Sutton aims fresh five-word dig at Rangers after League Cup defeat


Chris Sutton aims fresh five-word dig at Rangers after League Cup defeat – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Rangers came short once again when it mattered most against Celtic, losing the final of the Scottish League Cup to their bitter rivals at Hampden Park yesterday.
Steven Gerrard’s men should have secured victory in the opening 45 minutes following an impressive start to the game.
However, they couldn’t find the back of the net, with Hoops goalkeeper Fraser Forster making some brilliant saves.
Celtic scored with their only attempt on target of the game – a Christopher Jullien’s 60th-minute header – and Rangers just couldn’t find a way back, with Alfredo Morelos wasting a huge chance from the spot three minutes later.
The Colombian was felled by Jeremie Frimpong – who was subsequently sent off – in the box, but Forster was on hand to save his penalty kick.
Despite playing the last 27 minutes of the clash with one more man, Rangers failed to score, with Celtic proving why they are the biggest team in the land with a resolute performance.
Hoops legend Chris Sutton wasn’t going to let go of a chance to mock Rangers, and he has aimed a fresh dig at them on Twitter:

And they are still coming…
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) December 8, 2019

Celtic currently lead the way in the Scottish Premiership table with two points, with Rangers behind them, and it will be interesting to see if the Ibrox outfit can stop Neil Lennon’s side from winning their ninth consecutive title.
The fourth round of the Scottish Cup kicks off next month, and Rangers will hope they can go all the way to the final and stop Celtic from securing their fourth domestic treble in a row.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Spurs eyeing January move for 32-yr-old who helped Mourinho win a double


Spurs eyeing January move for 32-yr-old who helped Mourinho win a double – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Tottenham could make a move for Marouane Fellaini soon.
According to reports from Belgium (translated by Four Four Two), Jose Mourinho is plotting a reunion with the midfielder at Spurs.
The pair worked together at Manchester United and he was a key player for Mourinho back then. He helped the Portuguese win a double (League Cup and the Europa League) at Old Trafford.
It is not surprising that Mourinho wants to bring him to Tottenham. The Londoners do not have a player like him and the 32-year-old Belgian could prove to be a useful option off the bench.
It will be interesting to see if Spurs make their move for Fellaini when the transfer window opens in January.
Fellaini has scored 12 goals for Shandon Luneng in his 32 games for them and he has assisted 5 more as well. He might be keen on a return to the Premier League in January. Also, the chance to work with Mourinho again might just tempt him.
The report claims that Mourinho has already been in touch with the midfielder to let him know of Spurs’ interest.
It will be interesting to see if the Londoners can pull off the transfer now.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Dean Smith eyeing up a bargain move for PL winning attacker in January


Dean Smith eyeing up a bargain move for PL winning attacker in January – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Aston Villa want to sign the Chelsea winger Pedro this January.
According to The Telegraph, Dean Smith is plotting a bargain move for the Spaniard who has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford bridge.
The 32-year-old has started just one game in the last few weeks and a move away from Chelsea would be ideal for Pedro.
Villa could use an intelligent and versatile attacker like him and he would be a superb signing for them. Pedro will add pace, flair and goals to the side.
He has won several trophies throughout his career and his winning mentality and experience could prove to be priceless for Dean Smith. He won the Premier League with Chelsea as well.
Aston Villa spent a lot of money on new players earlier this year and they won’t be able to spend heavily in January. A purchase like Pedro would make a lot of sense.
The 32-year-old will be a free agent at the end of this season and Chelsea could look to cash in on him this January. He would be available on a bargain.
It will be interesting to see if Aston Villa manage to convince the player to join them. Pedro won’t have any shortage of offers if he is up for grabs.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Report claims Everton are eyeing up a move for 29-yr-old Leicester City target


Report claims Everton are eyeing up a move for 29-yr-old Leicester City target – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Everton are eyeing up a move for the Roma defender Chris Smalling.
The 29-year-old is on loan at the Italian club and he has managed to impress in the Serie A.
According to Daily Mirror, Arsenal and Leicester City are keen on the defender as well. It will be interesting to see who makes the first move for him.
Smalling is valued at £18m by Manchester United and all three clubs can afford to pay the asking price.
Everton need a centre back right now and Smalling could prove to be a good addition for them. The likes of Mina and Zouma have been quite inconsistent and Smalling’s arrival will force them to work harder and improve.
The on-loan Manchester United defender might be keen on returning to England permanently as well and a move to Everton would be ideal for him.
He will get to play regularly and it could help him earn a regular starting berth for his country.
It will be interesting to see where Smalling ends up eventually. A move to Everton would be ideal for all parties involved and the Toffees should look to make their move as soon as possible.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


8 goals this season: Mourinho wants former PL winner at Tottenham in January


8 goals this season: Mourinho wants former PL winner at Tottenham in January – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Tottenham are keeping tabs on the Roma striker Edin Dzeko.
The Bosnian has been in very good form ever since his move to Italy and Mourinho wants to sign the experienced striker.
Currently, Spurs do not have any quality backups for Harry Kane and the 34-year-old could play that role for Mourinho.
According to Mirror, the Tottenham manager sent scouts to watch the player in action last week.
It will be interesting to see if Spurs make their move for Dzeko in January.
The former Manchester City striker knows the Premier League well and he has done well in England in the past. He should be able to make an immediate impact if he joins Spurs.
The 34-year-old might be tempted to return to the Premier League if Spurs come calling. Also, the chance to work with Mourinho could be tempting.
The Bosnian has scored 8 goals so far this season.
Tottenham need a game-changer off the bench and Dzeko could be that player. The 34-year-old can play as a target man and he will give Mourinho some tactical flexibility.
It will be interesting to see if Spurs can pull off the move now.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


"I’m disappointed with myself” – Bruce expresses regret over Southampton decision


"I’m disappointed with myself” – Bruce expresses regret over Southampton decision – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Newcastle United picked up another valuable three points with a top performance against Southampton at Saint James’ Park yesterday.
The Magpies came from a goal down to run out 2-1 winners, with goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Federico Fernandez getting the job done.
Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce got everything spot on, from his starting line-up, to his tactics and substitution, but he has been left to rue Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury.
The French winger left the pitch in the sixth minute of stoppage time after appearing to sustain a hamstring problem and he was pictured later leaving SJP on crutches.
The summer signing got substituted in the 81st minute during Thursday’s 2-0 win at Sheffield United, and left the field with a heavily strapped ankle.
With Newcastle now sweating on his fitness, Bruce says he’s disappointed with himself for not leaving Saint-Maximin out of Sunday’s team.
“That’s what happens when you play with fatigue. Allan has never had that before – in France, it’s half the intensity of here,” the Magpies boss told reporters after the game.
“Looking at him yesterday, he was the big one, and could he recover? I know it’s 95th minute but, obviously, he didn’t
“I nearly left him out today – and, now, I wish I had done because he could be out for weeks. I’m disappointed with myself.”

Steve Bruce speaking to @bbcnewcastle about Allan Saint-Maximin: “I nearly left him out today – and, now, I wish I had done because he could be out for weeks. I’m disappointed with myself.” #NUFC
— Matthew Raisbeck (@raisbeck10) December 8, 2019

Saint-Maximin wasn’t available for selection in the games against Norwich City, Watford and Liverpool due to injury, and could now miss the rest of the year.
Since his arrival from Nice for £16.5 million, the Newcastle winger has started 10 Premier League games, coming off the bench twice and scoring and assisting once.
Being without him for a while will be a huge blow, and Bruce will really hope it isn’t very bad.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


13 goals this season: Bruce likes 22-yr-old, Newcastle eyeing January transfer


13 goals this season: Bruce likes 22-yr-old, Newcastle eyeing January transfer – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Newcastle are keen on the Hull City attacker Jarrod Bowen.
According to The Telegraph, the Magpies are looking to sign at least one player in January and Steve Bruce likes the Hull City star.
Bowen has been in fantastic form for the Championship outfit for a while now and he is ready to make the step up to the Premier League.
A move to Newcastle United would be ideal for his career right now. Also, it would give the Magpies more options in attack.
Steve Bruce’s side are in good form right now and they have managed to break into the top half of the table. With the correct additions in January, they can finish the season really strongly.
The likes of Arsenal, Everton, West Ham have faltered this season and Newcastle have a great chance of securing a top ten finish.
Bowen will add creativity and goals to the side. The likes of Joelinton are not scoring consistently this season and the Hull City star could make up for that.
He has scored 13 goals in 20 games for Hull this season.
Hull City won’t want to sell the 22-year-old midway through the season and Newcastle might have to pay over the odds to secure his services.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Sutton's & Dembélé's instant reactions as Celtic beat Rangers to Scottish League Cup


Sutton's & Dembélé's instant reactions as Celtic beat Rangers to Scottish League Cup – originally posted on Sportslens.com
10-man Celtic pipped Rangers to the Scottish League Cup at Hampden Park on Sunday evening, with Christopher Jullien’s 60th-minute header making all the difference.
Steven Gerrard’s men dominated the first-half, but were unable to convert their chances.
Rangers had a huge opportunity to restore parity three minutes after Celtic’s opener after they were awarded a penalty when Jeremie Frimpong fouled Alfredo Morelos in the box.
The Hoops full-back was shown his marching orders, but Fraser Forster saved Morelos’ spotkick, and Celtic held on to the end.
Here is how Chris Sutton and former Celtic striker Moussa Dembélé reacted to the victory on Twitter:

And still Superb game Rangers deserved more… Fraser Forster Serial winners
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) December 8, 2019

— Moussa Dembélé (@MDembele_10) December 8, 2019

The Hoops have now won four Scottish League Cups in a row and a 10th consecutive domestic trophy, and it took them just a single shot on target to get the job done.
The French defender appeared a yard offside, and while Rangers would have wished VAR was available to help them, their striker didn’t help matters.
Morelos wasted a number of chances, including one in stoppage time as, and his wait for a goal against Celtic goes on.
Forster was brilliant all day, denying Ryan Jack before the break and also shutting out Morelos on two other occasions, and Celtic will be more than keen to make his loan move permanent
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Alan Shearer's & Gary Lineker's immediate reactions to Newcastle's win v Southampton


Alan Shearer's & Gary Lineker's immediate reactions to Newcastle's win v Southampton – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Newcastle United came from a goal down to secure their sixth Premier League victory of the campaign at the expense of Southampton at Saint James’ Park on Sunday.
The Magpies found themselves a goal down courtesy of Danny Ings’ 52nd-minute goal, but battled back through Jonjo Shelvey 16 minutes later.
The midfielder scored a brilliant header to draw Newcastle level, making it three consecutive goals in three games.
Federico Fernandez netted the winner for Steve Bruce’s side in the 87th minute, scoring from the rebound after the Saints goalie spilled Sean Longstaff’s shot.
Here is how Newcastle legend Alan Shearer and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker reacted to the victory on Twitter:

Not pretty at times but a great 3 points for the Toon. Very good substitutions that worked very well. #NEWSOT
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) December 8, 2019

Another win for @NUFC. Are we allowed to say that Steve Bruce is an excellent manager?
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 8, 2019

Ciaran Clark replaced Fabian Schar for the second-half, with Joelinton coming on for Andy Carroll after the hour mark.
Miguel Almiron was withdrawn from action five minutes to the end of the game for Longstaff, and it was the final inspired substitution that helped produce the winner.
Martin Dubravka was in inspired form for the hosts all game, making several key saves, and Bruce definitely got his tactics and subs spot on.
Newcastle are now 10th in the Premier League table after picking up 22 points from their opening 16 games of the season, but not many gave them a chance upon Bruce’s arrival.
The Toons visit Burnley next Saturday, and they will surely fancy their chances against Sean Dyche’s men having lost just once in their last seven league games.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog