Rodney Marsh reacts as his Moise Kean prediction fails spectacularly

Rodney Marsh reacts as his Moise Kean prediction fails spectacularly – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Everton secured the signing of Italian striker Moise Kean for £29 million during the summer transfer window, and he was tipped to help boost their top-six chances with his goals.
The 19-year-old is yet to open his account for the Toffees, though, managing just one assist in 11 appearances across all competitions.
Kean has already been linked with a Goodison Park exit in January, with his father urging him to return to Italy and join AC Milan after just two Premier League starts since he left Juventus.
While it’s too early to start judging the teenager, it’s safe to say he has disappointed those who tipped him to hit the ground running at Everton.
Veteran pundit Rodney Marsh tipped Moise to emerge as the Premier League Young Player of the Year at the end of the campaign, tweeting thus in August:

>Siri, put £50 on Moise Kean to be Young Player of the Year in the Premier League…….
— Rodney Marsh (@RodneyMarsh10) August 9, 2019

A Liverpool fan called his attention to the prediction that has since failed spectacularly, with Marsh responding thus:

>Nightmare https://t.co/v7pil1qyyh
— Rodney Marsh (@RodneyMarsh10) November 17, 2019

>Still very young….I'll be watching his career https://t.co/apEOAUhDh6
— Rodney Marsh (@RodneyMarsh10) November 17, 2019

Kean featured in 16 Serie A games for Juventus last term, starting five games and scoring seven goals, and many reckoned Everton snapping him up was a huge move given his huge potential.
Manager Marco Silva has struggled to get the best out of him, while his disciplinary shortcomings have also contributed to his uninspiring start to life at Goodison Park.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the transfer window opens in January, but Kean will have only himself to blame if he fails to live up to expectations going forward.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Danny Mills has his say on Leeds' promotion chances, points out one shortcoming

Danny Mills has his say on Leeds' promotion chances, points out one shortcoming – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Leeds United are looking to finally seal promotion to the English Premier League at the end of this season since relegating in 2004.
The Elland Road outfit are currently third in the Championship table after nine wins and four draws in their opening 16 games of the campaign, with only two points between them and leaders West Bromwich Albion.
After last term’s play-offs heartbreak at the hands of Derby County, Leeds will look to finish in top two and secure automatic promotion to avoid another disappointment, and Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills thinks they have a huge chance of sealing a move to the English top-flight.
He reckons their only shortcoming is their lack of being ruthless in front of goal.
“I’ve said all along, if you finish above Leeds, I think you get automatic promotion. Realistically I can’t see them finishing much further down than third. I think they are one of the best teams in the Championship,” Mills told talkSPORT.
“I think they play some of the best football & defensively they’ve been absolutely superb. They have not quite been clinical enough at times in front of goal, but they are still there are thereabout, and I think the experience of last season will drive them on.”

“Finish above Leeds & you go up.”
“They play some of the best football & defensively they’ve been superb.”
“If they get promoted they’re talking about making Elland Road a 50k seater. They’d sell that out.”
Danny Mills has his say on #LUFC’s promotion hopes pic.twitter.com/8CxxvAg86h
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) November 18, 2019

Having conceded just nine goals – the least in the division – Leeds no doubt have the best defence in the land, but they have scored just 21 goals – one less than struggling Luton Town – and it’s something they must improve on going forward.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

John McGinn finally reacts to Celtic and Rangers Europa League results

John McGinn finally reacts to Celtic and Rangers Europa League results – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Scottish Premiership giants Celtic and Rangers could both be playing in Europe after Christmas for the first time in a long while following impressive starts to their Europa League campaigns.
The Hoops have secured a place in the last-32 after securing three wins and a draw to go top of Group E, defeating Serie A giants Lazio home and away.
Rangers need one more victory to book a place in the knockout stages following impressive results and wins against Porto and Feyenoord in Group G, and Aston Villa star and Scotland international John McGinn is delighted with how outstanding the Scottish duo have been in the competition.
The Premiership isn’t highly rated by many English football fans, but the former Hibernian star reckons Celtic’s and Rangers’ most recent results in the Europa League would help convince the critics.
“English people’s view of Scottish football is something I don’t think we’ll change but results like Celtic and Rangers had in Europe a couple of Thursdays ago help at Friday morning training an awful lot,” McGinn told Scotsman following Scotland’s 2-1 win against Cyprus on Saturday.
The Old Firm duo are currently joint-leaders in the Scottish top-flight league table after 12 games, and will both face off in the League Cup final next month.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon and his Rangers counterpart Steven Gerrard have both done their sides a lot of good following their recent Europa League victories, and it will be interesting to see how they fare in the knockout stages against tougher opponents.
After dealing huge blows on Lazio and Porto, Celtic and Rangers have no doubt caught the attention of some English fans, and they now have to keep performing consistently well in Europe going forward if they are to successfully convince everyone of their qualities.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Sky Sports pundit tips Bielsa's favourite to challenge Spurs & Hammers stars for place in England squad

Sky Sports pundit tips Bielsa's favourite to challenge Spurs & Hammers stars for place in England squad – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips appears more than ready to cut his teeth in the English Premier League following impressive campaigns in the Championship in recent seasons, and it was no surprise to see some of the top-flight clubs go after his signature during the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old has since signed a new deal with the Elland Road outfit and is playing a crucial role as Marcelo Bielsa’s side look to secure automatic promotion after last season’s play-offs heartbreak.
Phillips is having another great individual season, and Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham reckons he could soon be giving Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Winks and West Ham United’s Declan Rice a run for their money in the Three Lions’ holding midfield position if he keeps improving.
“Gareth Southgate has switched between Declan Rice and Harry Winks in this holding position — but for me it is still up for grabs ahead of next summer. Looking outside the current squad, there are not exactly many English defensive midfielders excelling in the Premier League,” Higginbotham told The Sun.
“But in Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips I see someone who could force his way into Southgate’s reckoning. I like his positional sense, he’s a very good tackler, and his distribution both long and short is fantastic.
“The Three Lions don’t play again until March — if Phillips continues in this current vein of form then I see no reason why he shouldn’t be involved. I’m not saying he should be brought in as first choice. But in a position which is yet to be locked down, Phillips is well worth having a look at.”
While Phillips is yet to play in the Premier League, there is no doubt that he has the quality to prove his worth once he finally moves to the top-flight.
The Leeds star will have to keep producing a lot of top-notch performances on a consistent basis to attract and convince England boss Gareth Southgate, though, and it will be interesting to see if he can do that ahead of Euros 2020.
If he doesn’t, Phillips remains a prospective Three Lions star, and he will almost certainly be playing in the Premier League next season regardless of Leeds’ status.
The Leeds academy graduate will be itching to prove himself at the highest level, and it will be interesting to see how he fares and how fasts he gets a national team call-up once he is in the top-flight.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Who will win the 2019 Ballon d’Or? Here are the top 5 candidates

Who will win the 2019 Ballon d’Or? Here are the top 5 candidates – originally posted on Sportslens.com
The announcement date for the winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or draws ever closer. There is just over two weeks to go until the winner is unveiled. Here we will look at the five players who are most worthy of winning football’s most coveted individual prize.
1. Virgil Van Dijk

Van Dijk has been a colossal figure for Liverpool since he joined in January 2018. He took his performances to a whole new level over the course of the 2018-2019 season. He was the defensive anchor in Liverpool’s Premier League record points haul of 97 points as well as in their Champions League triumph.
Van Dijk’s defensive greatness is illustrated by no player being able to dribble past him for 64 consecutive matches. That is a simply astonishing statistic. It shows his ability to read the game, position himself correctly and make precise tackles was unbelievable during this run of matches. This alone demonstrates his worthiness to win the Ballon d’Or.
Van Dijk has maintained his elite level of performance this season. He has still been Liverpool’s most important player and performed admirably against their toughest opponents of the season Manchester City, before the international break.
All in all, Van Dijk has a major claim to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or and who could begrudge him of that?
2. Lionel Messi

What more can be said about Messi: the Argentinian artist. He is already a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and a sixth title would take him one clear of arch nemesis and decade-long rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi lit up La Liga and the Champions League over the course of last season. He scored 51 goals in all competitions and provided 19 assists. His 36 La Liga goals claimed him a sixth European Golden Shoe, which is a record total. These figures blow the breath away. But this is just normal for him.
This season Messi has already score 9 goals in 11 matches while providing 5 assists. He illuminated Barcelona’s recent match against Celta Vigo on 10 November with two sumptuous free kicks. Not many players have ever scored one free kick in a match let alone two.
Messi, is one of the favourites for the award and rightly so. A sixth Ballon d’Or win would cement his legacy as one of, if not, the best player who has ever played the beautiful game.
3. Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe broke on to the scene at 18 years of age back in 2017. His astounding performances were too much for Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund to handle as he helped lead Monaco to the Champions League semi finals scoring home and away against both sides.
Mbappe’s form hasn’t dropped since. During the 2018-2019 season he became Paris Saint-Germain’s focal point and didn’t disappoint. He bagged 39 goals in 43 appearances and laid on 17 assists. Such a feat for a 20 year old is phenomenal.  It is reminiscent of a young R9 (Ronaldo Nazario) who plundered in a ridiculous tally of 169 goals by the age of 21 for club sides Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona as well as the Brazilian national team. Mbappe won’t reach that remarkable feat but he is well on his way to hitting the heights Ronaldo Nazario did during his career.
Mbappe has been wonderful this season too. Highlighted by a sensational off the bench hat-trick in the Champions League against Belgian side Club Brugge. Overall he has scored 9 goals and provided 4 assists across his 11 appearances so far.
Mbappe may not be the number one candidate to lift the Ballon d’Or but his performances do justify him winning it.
4. Sadio Mane

Mane’s inclusion on this list may surprise some but he is worthy of being crowned the 2019 Ballon d’Or winner.
Mane has been the essential cog in Liverpool’s fantastic attacking triumvirate alongside Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino. He scored many crucial goals for Liverpool throughout the 2018-2019 season and continues to do so this season. When Mane has not played the other two falter. That’s the sign of his true importance to Liverpool’s attack.
Considering Mane is not an out and out striker and is required to do the defensive work Salah dislikes, his total of 26 goals in all competitions last season is nothing to be sniffed at. This included a season high 20 Premier League goals which claimed him the Golden Boot alongside Salah and Arsenal’s lethal marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
We mustn’t forget Mane, as captain of the Senegalese national team led them to the final of the 2019 African Nations Cup. He was their leader and talisman scoring 3 important goals on their way to the final. Without his composure in front of goal and creativity Senegal would not have made it that far.
Mane has not let up this season. He has already scored 11 goals with 7 coming in the Premier League and is well on his way to another Premier League Golden Boot. For a winger to win the Golden Boot two years in a row would be an outstanding achievement.
If Mane was to become only the second African player to win the Ballon d’Or after the great George Weah, that would be a momentous occasion. A feat which would live long, long in the memory.
5. Raheem Sterling

Sterling was an ever present for Manchester City in their title winning seasons of 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. Last season, in particular, Sterling was sensational. The England international scored 17 Premier League goals and contributed 12 assists. Like Mane, to provide so many goals from a wide position is mightily impressive.
Sterling also contributed heavily to Manchester City’s run to the Champions League quarter finals last season. He bagged 5 goals in 10 games. It was a great shame that his 95th minute goal against Tottenham Hotspur, which would have put City through to the semi-finals was ruled out by VAR. Its crazy to think, if that goal had stood and City had gone on to win the Champions League, Sterling would be the favourite for this award. It shows how one moment can change everything.
Despite this disappointment Sterling has continued to turn in match-winning displays this season. In particular, his impressive performances against West Ham away and Atalanta at home. There is no surprise he has already scored 7 Premier League goals and added another 5 in the Champions League.
Sterling is a prominent contender for the Ballon d’Or. Winning it would be recognition for the consistently, excellent performances he’s produced over the last year. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t understand the game.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

"I did think about leaving" – £2million Rangers signing makes transfer admission

"I did think about leaving" – £2million Rangers signing makes transfer admission – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Rangers left-back Borna Barisic has revealed that he was thinking about leaving Ibrox during the second half of last season following a struggling start to life in Scotland.
The Croatian arrived from Osijek last summer for £2 million, but failed to hit the ground running.
Barisic couldn’t hold down a regular playing berth, while injuries also limited him to only 22 games – out of a possible 55 – across all competitions.
The 27-year-old returned from the summer break with the zeal to establish himself as a key player for the Light Blues, and has since become first-choice ahead of Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday.
“To be honest, I did think about leaving Rangers. It was the second half of last season around February, March. It was a hard time for me. I had a few injuries and I couldn’t really settle down. That is normal when you keep getting injuries, you start to think maybe it is too much,” the full-back told The Scottish Sun.
“When you play for Rangers it isn’t just about your physicality, the mental side is really important too. To be a player here, you have to have that mentality to win every single game.
“In the summer, I thought of everything and I decided I wanted to come back and be a success at Rangers. I knew I needed to train when I was on holiday to make sure I was fit and ready to go this season.”
Barisic has featured in 18 games across all competitions for Rangers this term and is now starting to justify his transfer fees.
The Croatian played a huge role as Steven Gerrard’s men secured a place in the finals of the Scottish League Cup and was solid in both legs of the Europa League games against Porto.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Report: Manager with eight titles & two UCLs wants Spurs job

Report: Manager with eight titles & two UCLs wants Spurs job – originally posted on Sportslens.com
According to The Sun, former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is keen on the Tottenham Hotspur job and is keeping a close eye on the situation at the North London club.
The 56-year-old has been without work since leaving Old Trafford last December, and while he has severally been linked with a return to Real Madrid, the Portuguese would prefer a Premier League gig.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is under a lot of pressure following his side’s woeful start to the domestic campaign.
Tottenham, currently 14th in the table, have picked up just 14 points in 12 league games this term, and are just six points above the relegation zone.
It remains to be seen if chairman Daniel Levy will sack the Argentine or if he will choose to walk away, but Spurs’ options for an immediate replacement would be limited in the middle of a campaign, and a move for Mourinho could be considered.
With eight league titles and two Champions League titles to his name, the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Porto boss has quite an enviable c.v, but given his recent struggles, appointing him to manage Tottenham will be a huge gamble, and it will be interesting to see how things go in the dugout going forward.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Report: EPL side plotting audacious January move for Celtic star & his Rangers counterpart

Report: EPL side plotting audacious January move for Celtic star & his Rangers counterpart – originally posted on Sportslens.com
According to The Scottish Sun, Crystal Palace are interested in bringing Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard and Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos to the English Premier League in January.
With Christian Benteke misfiring, manager Roy Hodgson has had to deploy Jordan Ayew as his number 9, and he is now looking to strengthen his striking department come winter.
Celtic and Rangers are joint-leaders in the Scottish Premiership table following an impressive start to the season, and both strikers have played key roles.
Edouard has 12 goals and 12 assists for the Hoops this term, while Morelos has 22 goals across all competitions.
While both strikers would love to seal a Premier League move, it’s almost impossible to see them leaving Scotland midway through the campaign.
Celtic are gunning for a fourth consecutive treble and have already secured a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League, thanks to Edouard’s impressive form in front of goal.
Rangers will hope to stop the domestic dominance of Neil Lennon’s men starting from next month when both sides clash in the League Cup final at Hampden Park, and will rely on Morelos goals to do so.
With £50 million in the coffers following the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United in the summer, Palace have enough money to tempt Celtic and Rangers with in their pursuit of a top striker in January, and it will be interesting to see how the Old Firm duo respond once tempting bids are tabled.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Report suggests Newcastle trio don't have long-term futures at SJP

Report suggests Newcastle trio don't have long-term futures at SJP – originally posted on Sportslens.com
According to The Athletic’s Chris Waugh, Rob Elliot, Ki Sung-yueng and Javier Manquillo do not appear to have long-term futures at Newcastle United as the trio are about to enter the final six months of their deals.
The third-choice goalkeeper, midfielder and right-back have been surplus to requirements this term, with the outfield duo making just seven appearances (three starts) between them so far.
Both of them could be sold in January in order not to lose them for nothing come summer, and it will be interesting to see how Newcastle fare in the winter transfer window.
Elliot, 33, joined Newcastle on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2011, and has since made 68 appearances despite arriving as a back-up to Tim Krul.
He hasn’t been in goal since the end of the 2017-18 season, and he is set to move on when his contract expires.
Since arriving at Saint James’ Park from Swansea City last summer, Ki, 30, has featured 22 times for Newcastle, with only three of them coming this season.
Manquillo, 25, made 21 league appearances in his first season for the club after arriving in the summer of 2017, but has since struggled for playing minutes, and he isn’t likely to get a new contract.
Steve Bruce’s side brought in five new players during the summer, and it’s safe to say it was a successful window given how impressive and influential most of them have been.
Newcastle have picked up 15 points from their opening 12 league games after four victories and three draws, but could do with a few quality additions to the squad in January in order to finish the campaign strongly.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Morelos opens goal account for Colombia & celebrates perfectly

Morelos opens goal account for Colombia & celebrates perfectly – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has replicated his brilliant goalscoring form for club on the international level, grabbing his first goal in injury time for Colombia in the 1-0 win against Peru in a friendly game a few hours ago.

El gol de Morelos contra Peru en el minuto 90+3 pic.twitter.com/bPoLv6SRVn
— Eliana (@MissEliJ) November 16, 2019

Revive las imágenes del gol del triunfo frente a @SeleccionPeru. ¡Debut en las redes para Alfredo Morelos con la Selección! #VamosColombia pic.twitter.com/RXgPe9MKpW
— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) November 16, 2019

The 23-year-old has scored 22 goals for the Light Blues across all competitions this term, and he justified his inclusion in his country’s starting XI.
It was Morelos’ fifth cap for the South American side since his debut against Venezuela last September, and he will now hope to keep earning more and scoring more goals.
The Rangers star was not named in the 40-man preliminary squad for the 2019 Copa America, with claims that his poor disciplinary record at club level played a huge role in his omission.
Morelos was sent off five times last term, but is yet to receive a red card this term and will hope to finish the campaign without any sending off.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog