Henrik Larsson explains why he once turned down the chance to manage Celtic

Henrik Larsson explains why he once turned down the chance to manage Celtic – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Celtic fans hold former striker Henrik Larsson in high esteem after he helped their side to four league titles and four domestic cups during seven seasons at Parkhead.
The Swede scored 242 goals in 313 appearances for the Hoops, stopped Rangers from winning a 10th consecutive league title, and is without a doubt a Celtic legend.
Neil Lennon was keen to add Larsson to his managerial team back in June, but the former striker could have been in the Celtic dugout four years ago had things worked out.
He has revealed to Chris Sutton in a Daily Mail exclusive how he was offered the job in 2015 but wasn’t convinced to take up the offer after talks with owner Dermot Desmond.
“I was offered the Celtic job once, around 2015. I was manager of Falkenberg. I had a meeting with the owner and another member of the board, and they wanted me,” Larsson said.
“But I saw some things. I asked them a few questions about different things and I wasn’t really pleased with the answers I got.”
Larsson has managed Landskrona BoIS, Falkenberg and Helsingborg since hanging the boots in 2009, and was in talks with English League One outfit Southend United in September before Sol Campbell took over.
The 48-year-old Larsson decided to quit as Helsingborg head coach in August after being verbally assaulted on social media following the club’s loss to third-tier club Oskarshamns AIK in the qualification to the Swedish Cup group stage, and it will be interesting to see where he goes next.
A future move to Celtic can’t be ruled out, though, and fans will definitely love to see him manage the side someday.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

"Advantage for Rangers" – Sutton makes claim following Celtic blow ahead of League Cup final

"Advantage for Rangers" – Sutton makes claim following Celtic blow ahead of League Cup final – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Rangers and Celtic will face off in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park next month, and the Old Firm duo will be looking to make a statement with a victory.
Neil Lennon’s men are keen to win a fourth consecutive domestic treble, while the Light Blues have a lot to prove following an impressive start to the season.
It’s the first time Rangers will be playing in a cup final since 2011, and the first Old Firm final since 2016 promises to be a huge clash.
Celtic will be without right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed for the game after he picked up a knock in their Europa League win against Lazio in Italy, and club legend Chris Sutton reckons the injury blow hands Rangers a huge advantage.
“In terms of match-ups in the Betfred Cup Final I’d say defensively it’s a big loss for Celtic when you look at Rangers in the wide area and it looks like it might be Ryan Kent on that side,” Sutton told Daily Record.
“So you’d have to say it’s an advantage for Rangers that Celtic are missing their first choice and best defensive full back for such a huge game.”
Lennon has Jeremie Frimpong and Moritz Bauer to call upon in Elhamed’s absence, but the duo aren’t as defensively sound as the Israeli, and Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard could look to exploit that weakness.
It remains to be seen if Kent will be manning Rangers’ left wing for the clash, but the battle on that wing could have a huge say on their chances of beating Celtic to the prize, and it will be interesting to see how both managers set up their teams.
Whoever comes out on top at Hampden will go into the second-half of the campaign full of confidence, and it’s safe to say the result could go a long way in determining who wins the Premiership and Scottish Cup.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Gary Lineker's reaction as Kane grabs hat-trick against Montenegro & overtakes Shearer in scoring list

Gary Lineker's reaction as Kane grabs hat-trick against Montenegro & overtakes Shearer in scoring list – originally posted on Sportslens.com
England secured qualifications for Euros 2020 in style, putting seven goals past Montenegro at Wembley last night as the country marked their 1000th game with an emphatic victory.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was in electric form against the visitors, grabbing a hat-trick in 19 minutes as the Three Lions went 5-0 up in the opening 45 minutes.
The Spurs now has 31 goals in 44 games for his country, surpassing the likes of Alan Shearer (30) and becoming England’s sixth all-time top scorer.
It’s a very impressive return and record as they come, and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has reacted thus to the achievement on Twitter:

A first half hat trick for @HKane and he goes past @alanshearer in the list of @England goal-scorers. I would suggest, for context, that Shearer’s goals would’ve been scored against significantly stronger opposition.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 14, 2019

Kane is now just nine goals behind Michael Owen in fifth place, and not many will bet against him going all the way and becoming the Three Lions’s highest goalscorer.
Wayne Rooney currently tops England’s all-time goal-scoring charts with 53 goals, while Lineker’s 48 put him third on the list behind Bobby Charlton’s 49.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

'Forget going up', 'Big mistake' – Some Leeds fans are fuming after Orta's decision

'Forget going up', 'Big mistake' – Some Leeds fans are fuming after Orta's decision – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Leeds United Director of Football Victor Orta has revealed that it will be a quiet January transfer window for the Elland Road outfit given that only 25% of winter shots are successful.
The Spaniard surely isn’t ruling out making signings, though, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise if none is made, or if only one or two players arrive.
Leeds have started the season well once again under boss Marcelo Bielsa, but can they go all way and secure Premier League promotion come May?
After their playoffs heartbreak last term, finishing in top-two will be their best bet this season as far as playing in the top-flight next term goes, and their form in the second half of the season will have a huge say on their promotion chances.
Without a doubt, Leeds could do with a few quality additions in January, and Orta’s decision hasn’t gone down well with many of the fans.
Here is how some of them reacted to it on Twitter:

If he doesn't spend forget going up to the prem
— Garry Maltby (@maltbyg72) November 14, 2019

Big mistake that Orta….
— nathalie hannant (@fontez01) November 14, 2019

That’s what cost us last year a quite January.
— FERNANDO TOMAINO (@ferdytom1990) November 14, 2019

Deja vu…… 12 months down the line again.. Amazing how other teams land who they want but we some how can't for what ever reason
— Alan Thompson (@thombo1987) November 14, 2019

great. Another decade* in the lower leagues it is then*at least
— Ricky Block (@richardblock24) November 14, 2019

Clearly didn’t learn from last season then.. didn’t expect anything different tbh
— Ashley Churchill (@AshleyChurchil1) November 14, 2019

Really? Never expected this….
— Lucas Gibson (@LucasG1998) November 14, 2019

If we don’t strengthen and fall short again I will be fuming
— John Paul Redmond (@john_leeds25) November 14, 2019

Just sell the club Andrea
— Mike (@Mike_J4mes) November 14, 2019

With nine wins, four draws and three losses from their opening 16 league games of the campaign, Leeds are definitely on the right track.
They boast of the best defence having conceded only nine goals so far – the least in the league – but they could do with more attacking firepower having scored 21 goals.
Bielsa will definitely have the final say come January, and it will be interesting to see which department the Argentine will choose to strengthen if he opts to make any additions.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Victor Orta's cryptic response when asked if Leeds will move for Milner next summer

Victor Orta's cryptic response when asked if Leeds will move for Milner next summer – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Leeds United are looking to secure Premier League promotion again this term since relegating in 2004, and an impressive start to the new Championship campaign has boosted their chances.
The Elland Road outfit are currently third in the table after picking up 31 points from their opening 16 league games, and a great form in the second-half of the season will definitely see them playing top-flight football next season.
Marcelo Bielsa could do with a few quality additions to his squad in January, but Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta has told Tuttomercatoweb that it will be a quiet winter transfer window.
The Spaniard says he believes little in the winter market as only 25% of winter shots are successful, and when asked if that means Leeds will wait until to summer to make a move for Liverpool midfielder James Milner, Orta gave this cryptic response:
“No, no, I don’t say anything about the names …”.
The Liverpool star revealed in his new book, ‘Ask a Footballer: My Guide to Kicking a Ball About’ that he would really love to play for Leeds once again.
The 33-year-old midfielder spent six years in the club’s academy before making 54 appearances for the first-team.
He left Elland Road for Newcastle United in 2004 before going on to feature for the likes of Aston Villa and Manchester City, winning two Premier League titles and the F.A Cup.
Milner joined Liverpool in 2015 and won the Champions League with them last term.
He is most likely not going to retire at Anfield, and has claimed that a return to Leeds is still very much on his mind.
Should Leeds secure promotion this season, bringing the Liverpool man back to Yorkshire could be on the cards, and his expertise, experience and versatility would come definitely handy.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Report: Hammers linked with £9m-rated 33y/o striker with six league titles & 212 career goals

Report: Hammers linked with £9m-rated 33y/o striker with six league titles & 212 career goals – originally posted on Sportslens.com
According to Calciomercato, West Ham United are admirers of Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic and could make a move for him in January.
The 33-year-old is out of favour at the Serie A club and is set to leave for around £9 million when the winter transfer window opens.
Juventus director of football Fabio Paratici have travelled to London to discuss the player’s potential transfer, and the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with an interest.
West Ham could do with a veteran striker in the mould of Mandzukic given their recent struggles in front of goal.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have only managed to score 14 Premier League goals thus far, and will need to improve significantly in the final third during the second-half of the campaign to boost their top-seven chances.
The Hammers brought in Sébastien Haller for a club-record £45 million in the summer, and while the Frenchman has scored four goals in 11 games, his cover Albian Ajeti has struggled to impress.
With six league titles (four with Juve and two with Bayern Munich) and 212 career goals to his name, Mandzukic brings a lot of experience to the table, and he could be a quality cover and competition for Haller despite being 33 years of age.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Gareth Southgate assures England a happy squad after Sterling-Gomez clash

Gareth Southgate assures England a happy squad after Sterling-Gomez clash – originally posted on Sportslens.com
The England national team has been rocked with some bad blood in club level rising up to create tensions in international level after Raheem Sterling had a scuffle with Joe Gomez in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat over Manchester City in the Premier League.
Gomez was left with scratch marks beneath his eye after the incident, but Sterling’s Instagram post after the scuffle implied that they had both made up after that fiery incident on Monday.
Gareth Southgate remained firm about how he will deal with Sterling going forward, especially after it was revealed he would not play the next UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.
He explained, “We move forward. The way he’s(Sterling) trained has been exemplary. He’s with the group, that’s the most important thing. He’s a massive part of what we do – has been, will be.”
The England manager also remarked how the 24-year-old will be with the England squad for tomorrow. He said, “He’s with us for the game tomorrow. He’s back with the team on the training pitch enjoying his football.”
When asked about whether Sterling will remain punished or whether he’ll be back into the starting XI in their final qualifier against Kosovo, he exclaimed, “None, none whatsoever. We took the decision and drew a line under everything.”
Southgate agreed that it was a case of tensions in club level goading into the national level and its inevitable for rivalries to come in due to the level of competition in the squad.
The 49-year-old explained, “When you’re involved in high-emotion games it really challenges everybody’s feelings and it is a very difficult situation for everyone to come back immediately together.”
“We had that with the Champions League final in a different way. Because we have so many of our players – nearly all – playing in England, it’s inevitable that we’re going to have those games and those rivalries.”, he added.
Despite all the issues, Southgate was quite persistent in mentioning how united his squad has remained throughout the week is and how happy he himself is with their development.
He stated, “But the players are very, very close and that’s been the case right the way through the rest of the week. I don’t see that changing because they’re too tight for that not to be the case.”
“What I saw on the training ground over the past couple of days, there was full focus on the game, with everybody very together, laughing, enjoying their football again. That’s where all of us want to be.”, the England gaffer added.
The Three Lions have the chance to guarantee qualification for the UEFA Euro 2020 with a win against Montenegro at the Wembley Stadium on Thursday.
With the Sterling-Gomez scuffle creating questions about their cohesion, England will look to silence their doubters with another dominant showing.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

'It would be a remarkable one': Ex-Rangers hero makes Celtic transfer claim

'It would be a remarkable one': Ex-Rangers hero makes Celtic transfer claim – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Former Glasgow Rangers player Alex Rae feels that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would struggle to get into Celtic’s starting line-up.
The former Ibrox midfielder says that Ibrahimovic would be a ‘remarkable’ signing for the Bhoys, but the 38-year-old will struggle to force his way into the first-team squad.
The talisman striker has left LA Galaxy and he is now a free agent. Neil Lennon said recently that he was in the market to sign a forward after the recent injury to Vakoun Issouf Bayo.
Rumours surfaced that the Hoops could be interested in signing the former Manchester United striker on a free transfer.
Although the former Barcelona striker is a free agent, his wage demands will surely be out of Celtic’s reach, even if the Parkhead club were interested.
Rae feels that in terms of marketing for Scottish football, Ibrahimovic would be a very good signing for the Bhoys, but the Swedish striker would struggle to force his way into the Hoops starting XI after the blistering start to the season from Odsonne Edouard.
The French forward has been in tremendous form for the Hoops and Lennon simply cannot afford to drop him to the bench.
Speaking on Clyde 1 Superscoreboard , the former Rangers hero said: “If Celtic pull it off it would be a remarkable one.
“In terms of marketing, he struggles for a bit of confidence though, Ibrahimovic, isn’t he a bit shy?!
“But in terms of what he would bring to the table, we see some of his goals for LA Galaxy. I love the fact that, is it, Carlos Vela? the boy who he was getting embroiled in an argument with, he referred to him as a mini to a Rolls Royce, you know that type of thing. He would be brilliant for the game.
“Look, Celtic play with one up top, where he would fit in, I don’t know – he wouldn’t get a game! He wouldn’t get a game! If he comes do you think big Edouard is going to sit on the bench?”
Ibrahimovic spent two seasons at the MLS club and scored an impressive 31 goals last term.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Opinion: Wolves must take advantage of 27 yr old's current situation and sign him, would be a masterstroke

Opinion: Wolves must take advantage of 27 yr old's current situation and sign him, would be a masterstroke – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Wolves should look to make a move for Granit Xhaka when the transfer window opens in January.
The Swiss midfielder has had a rough start to the season and his future at Arsenal looks unclear.
Xhaka had a falling out with the Arsenal fans recently after they booed him off the pitch.
Perhaps a fresh start at a new club would be ideal for the player.
A move to Wolves wouls be very interesting.
Nuno could use someone like Xhaka alongside Neves. Moutinho is on the decline and they will need a new partner for Neves soon.
Wolves can certainly afford him. Also, they are an ambitious club and that might convince Xhaka as well.
It will be interesting to see if Wolves make their move for the player anytime soon.
There is no doubt that Xhaka is a good player and he could make a big difference to Wolves’ midfield.
He will add presence and drive to Wolves’ midfield if he joins them.
Wolves must make the most of his current problem at Arsenal and tempt him to leave the Gunners in January.
It could prove to be a masterstroke from Nuno.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Danny Murphy's three word response on whether Spurs will finish within the top four

Danny Murphy's three word response on whether Spurs will finish within the top four – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder turned popular pundit Danny Murphy has suggested to TalkSport that he doesn’t think Spurs will finish within the top four in the Premier League this season.

“Liverpool or Man City, would he get in both teams?”
“Would #LFC and #MCFC fans take Harry Kane now?”
“I think Kane would get into the Liverpool team ahead of Firmino.”
Danny Murphy on where Kane could go if he ever left #THFC. pic.twitter.com/dJLXGZI7Sv
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) November 13, 2019

When asked about whether Spurs will finish within the top four in the Premier League, Murphy replied: “Don’t think so.” He also believes that Spurs will not win the Champions League this season as well.
Tottenham have made a poor start under Mauricio Pochettino this season, and find themselves 14th in the league table with only 14 points on board.
Spurs do have enough quality in their side, and they are more than capable of turning the tide in their favour. However, in order to do so, the north London club badly needs to get back into some sort of form and start winning games to bring back the confidence in the side.
Murphy has suggested that if Spurs fail to make it to the top four next season, they could lose several key players including Harry Kane.
The former Liverpool and England midfielder adds that it would take a world-record transfer fee to lure Kane away from Spurs next summer. He adds that Kane would be an ideal replacement for Sergio Aguero at Manchester City, while the England striker would get into the Liverpool team ahead of Roberto Firmino.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog