Tottenham see Southgate as top replacement for Pochettinoby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham see England boss Gareth Southgate as their top replacement for Mauricio Pochettino if the Argentine quits the club.Spurs chiefs believe Southgate’s relationship with the club’s England stars would make him the ideal successor to Pochettino, who increasingly looks as though he is in his last season at Tottenham, says the Mirror.Pochettino said before last season’s Champions League final that he could might leave if Tottenham lifted the European Cup – as it would have been the culmination of a five-year project.And speculation Real Madrid will come in for him refuses to go away, with Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane already feeling the pressure after returning to the La Liga giants.Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Eric Dier have all made huge strides with England under Southgate’s tutelage.And that made him the perfect candidate when Pochettino’s comments in the lead-up to the Champions League final forced Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to consider potential replacements. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 01: Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh throws the ball during the pregame warms ups prior to the start of the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Jim HarbaughJim Harbaugh is known for his colorful personality on Twitter. Today, he’s using his account to show off some Michigan moms for Mother’s Day.Harbaugh has posted eight photos of Michigan mothers and their sons so far this morning. Loving & Dedicated Moms of Michigan Football – Glenda McCray, Paula O’Korn, Erica Kinnel & Susan Bunting. pic.twitter.com/ZonxmftThj— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 8, 2016Loving & Dedicated Moms of Michigan Football – Sela Litia Tu’ipulutu Mone, Carolyn Malzone, Kesha Bush & Pam Gedeon. pic.twitter.com/GfKpglB35f— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 8, 2016This is very cool on Harbaugh’s part. Hopefully he puts up some more photos as the day goes on.
Wissam Ben Yedder revealed a tribute to missing Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala after scoring for Sevilla against Barcelona on Wednesday evening.Ben Yedder helped his side to a 2-0 win in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg, lifting his shirt to reveal a message that read, “For my brother. Strength. E.Sala.”Sala has been missing since the airplane taking him from Nantes to South Wales went missing over the English Channel on Monday evening. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? His disappearance came after he had completed a £15 million ($19m) to Cardiff in a club record deal.En mi corazón y en mis oraciones 🤲🏻❤❤️ Pienso en ti Emi pic.twitter.com/Irn6FvYDxF— Wissam Ben Yedder (@WissBenYedder) January 23, 2019Although Ben Yedder, a France international, has never played for the same club as Sala, he played against the former Nantes and Bordeaux striker in a number of Ligue 1 clashes when playing for Toulouse.The search for the 28-year-old and his pilot David Ibbotson – the only two men on board the aircraft – will continue but hopes of finding either of the two men are fading fast. John Fitzgerald, chief officer of Channel Islands Air Search, indicated to the BBC that “even the most fit person” would last only a few hours in the Channel at this time of year.”Sadly, I really don’t think, personally, there is any hope. At this time of year the conditions out there are pretty horrendous if you are actually in the water,” he said.Cardiff had hoped Sala, who has netted 12 goals in 19 appearances in France’s top flight this term, would make a strong impact to help their fight to stay in the Premier League. And the forward’s friend and spokesperson Martin Molteni has said Sala’s family still hope to find him: “We only have the information being released by the official media.””The search continues. We’re in constant communication with the Argentine embassy in France, the provincial government and Emiliano’s agent.”All the efforts are in finding the plane. Then, an investigation must be done. Romina, Emiliano’s sister, travelled to England with her partner and a companion. She had official help to facilitate her entrance to the UK.”The search for the missing plane is expected to continue on Thursday.
Wages and transfer fees at the top end of the game grow ever higher. In the case of certain players, it means their options are severely restricted when it comes to their next destination. In other cases, clubs simply cannot find another employer to pay the transfer fee and wages for players they no longer want on their books.There are some unhappy players out there at big clubs who might well want to move on before this summer’s transfer window is over. In this category, Neymar is the most obvious example. It is no secret that the uneasy marriage between the Brazil No.10 and Paris Saint-Germain could well be coming to an end. However, there could yet be an impasse.While PSG would probably settle for their money back – some €222m – there are not many clubs out there willing or able to furnish that outlay. Barcelona would be one interested party but will need to make room in the budget for the transfer fee and wages. Besides, they have other transfer priorities to work upon, with Antoine Griezmann now reckoned to be in the frame. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Neymar makes around €700,000 per week at Parc des Princes, meaning that only a very, very select few clubs can match his salary expectation. With the bases loaded at most top teams, as it were, there is simply nowhere else for him to go. If PSG cash in to the tune of €222m and Neymar earns the same at his next club as he currently does then that means an outlay of around €400m over the course of only a four-year contract.The size of PSG’s pay-packet had the double benefit of convincing Neymar to depart Barcelona for an inferior institution and guarding against rival bids from elsewhere, should Neymar decide to pack his bags. Once he recovers from injury, the only option he might have available to him is to wait it out another year when his transfer value will diminish in proportion to the time remaining on his contract and try again next summer.Paul Pogba, meanwhile, would appear to be in a hurry to leave Manchester United. His end-of-season promotional trip to Japan turned into a nightmare for his club once the France World Cup winner made it known that he would ideally seek a new challenge for next season.It will not be straightforward. The duration of Pogba’s contract – another three years should the club take up their one-year option – means the value of any transfer would exceed the €100m world record fee United paid to Juventus three years ago. Real Madrid could probably afford it – even allowing for their record-breaking summer thus far – but it is by no means guaranteed that they will go in for the 26-year-old. If Madrid or Juventus fail to be convinced, his only option would probably be to stay putOn the other hand, United are stuck in a bind with Alexis Sanchez. Perhaps the most damaging signing of the Jose Mourinho reign, Sanchez’s reported near £600,000 weekly wage has distorted the salary picture inside the club and made it a hell of a lot more difficult to tie existing talents like Marcus Rashford to new deals.While United would want Rashford to commit to extended terms, he quite rightly can point to his own output compared to Sanchez in the year and a half they’ve been alongside one another. That’s one reason why United would happily accept any kind of deal for the Chilean.The problem comes with a very simple question: Who’s going to match that wage?Sanchez is well within his rights to work the terms of his contract should no suitable alternative materialise. And United? Well they would be stuck with the remnants of another Mourinho-Ed Woodward transfer botch.It’s a similar situation that Arsenal have got with Mesut Ozil. The indications are that Ozil is happy to stay in north London – and why wouldn’t he be for £350,000 a week? Arsenal, however, need space in their wage budget and – ideally – more money to improve the squad in the transfer market. But it’s not going to be easy to get those sums in any deal involving Ozil.Unai Emery showed last season he is no fan of Ozil and would happily dispense with him. The key obstruction – aside from his own inconsistent form – is the massive wage Ozil earns. Arsenal are stuck with a player they’d now rather not have with little in the way of a resolution anywhere on the horizon.That dilemma will sound familiar to Real Madrid. They paid a world record sum to sign Gareth Bale but the Welshman has outgrown his purpose at Santiago Bernabeu. That fresh contract he signed in October 2016 weighs heavily though, with his transfer value still high and his wages – like Ozil’s – gargantuan.Real Madrid would dearly love to move him on and – despite his injury troubles – would feel entitled to recoup a good portion of the €100m transfer fee they paid to Tottenham six years ago. That is easier said than done.It is a consequence of the stockpiling of talent that has taken place at a select number of top clubs over the past few years. The stratification of talent and finances thanks to broadcast and commercial deals as well as reforms in competitions like the Champions League has brought about a sort of shadow Super League, which is already in play.Top talents are scarce, they cost a lot to sign and cost a lot to pay. And no one from outside that top band has a hope of getting one. For clubs it means more difficulty in getting them out the door and for players it means a lack of options.It is the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United who are driving wages and transfer fees for that small band of players ever upward.And if anything goes wrong, they are stuck with an unhappy performer on their hands.
AC Milan forward Krzysztof Piatek says Cristiano Ronaldo would be a dream strike partner, but he is determined to prove himself deserving of the No. 9 shirt at San Siro.The prolific Poland international has been a revelation since arriving in Serie A as a stunning impact in 2018-19 saw him score 19 goals in 21 appearances for Genoa, before then recording 11 in as many appearances after securing a big-money move to Milan.His 30-goal haul is two more than five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo managed in his debut campaign at Juventus. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Piatek acknowledges he could not have wished for a better start to life in Italy and is eager to push on further from this point.Quizzed by Gazzetta dello Sport on who he would like to play alongside, the 24-year-old said: “Who would be my dream strike partner? Cristiano Ronaldo and Andriy Shevchenko.“When I arrived in Italy, who would have thought that I would have scored more than CR7. But I want to improve and become top scorer. I will do everything to succeed.”Piatek has quickly become the main man at Milan and considers the No. 9 jersey he has inherited to be a blessing, rather than a curse.He added: “Nine is an important number for a striker, all the best have it – [Robert] Lewandowski, [Luis] Suarez, [Karim] Benzema, [Harry] Kane.“I am happy because the club believed in my qualities, they told me that I should have the shirt, while I said that I would have fought with all my strength to get it, and I did. “I don’t believe in superstition and this curse. For me, nine is normal, everything will be fine like with 19. It’s not scary to me.”Piatek will be chasing down more goals in 2019-20 under the guidance of Marco Giampaolo.Milan have made a change in the dugout after seeing Gennaro Gattuso walk away from a post that meant so much to him as a Rossoneri legend.Piatek said of the managerial movement: “Giampaolo is a master of football.“I like the 4-3-1-2 because it gives us many offensive solutions.“In Italy I have already had four coaches, he is the fifth, but tactically he is certainly the best.“Gattuso is a legend and also a bit crazy. He loves Milan with all his heart, he has taken on many responsibilities and came to the end tired and drained.”
Ernesto Valverde has refused to speak about the possibility of Barcelona bringing back Neymar, who is unsettled at Paris Saint-Germain.PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed the French club will listen to offers for the Brazil international, who left Barca in a world-record deal two years ago.Neymar is reported to favour a switch to Camp Nou, where Lionel Messi is said to be pushing for his return, but La Liga rivals Real Madrid are also interested in the 27-year-old . Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Reports have claimed Barca and Madrid have both had offers rejected by PSG, whose fans displayed banners criticising Neymar during their first Ligue 1 game of the season against Nimes last Sunday.But Valverde, who has led Barca to the league title in each of his two seasons in charge, is unwilling to allow the ongoing saga to act as a distraction ahead of the new campaign.”I’m outside all these matters and focusing on coaching the team, I have enough to think about ahead of the game without thinking about players from other teams,” Valverde told reporters on Thursday. “We need to respect players that play for other clubs, he belongs to Paris Saint-Germain right now so no, I have nothing to comment on right now.”I have a squad to consider and I think about them for tomorrow, what happens after that is a problem for the future.”I’m very happy with the squad and I have no reason to talk about players in other teams.”I’m the coach, my job is to adapt to the players I’ve got. At a club like this there are always mixed opinions.”It has been suggested Barca have offered Ivan Rakitic as a makeweight in a potential deal, but Valverde hopes the Croatia midfielder remains in Spain.”He’s a very important player for us, he has been for my two years here,” he added. “I hope he will continue doing so.”Despite Barcelona’s season getting under way at Athletic Bilbao on Friday, LaLiga’s transfer window remains open. Valverde admits he would rather be sure of his squad ahead of the big kick-off.”Yes it [the transfer window] is a problem, it’s not logical,” he said. “We had a similar situation last season, you want to know your squad when you start the league.”It’s not a sensible situation that the market is still open when the league is starting. The team that starts the league might not finish it and we have 15 days of uncertainty ahead.”But anyway, I have to concentrate on the squad I have. It would be nice if it was definitive, but I don’t know yet.”
No one is totally safe from a good prank. Not even a legendary college football coach like Nick Saban.Saban was on a rare vacation over the weekend. It makes sense, because we’re currently in one of college football recruiting’s dead periods, so he’s not allowed contact with recruits until the end of the month.Still, he will apparently pick up his personal phone for a number he doesn’t recognize. And based on a video first tweeted by “Top Tier Jay,” he did just that on or around July 7.The person on the phone in the video purports to be calling about a kicker recruit from “Happy Valley,” looking to set up a visit.The original video of the Nick Saban prank call, which has been going viral:They prank called Nick Saben lmao… be sure to follow @toptierjay pic.twitter.com/0OyMcyTr3R— TopTier Jay (@toptierjay) July 7, 2018Obviously, we don’t know for sure if that is Saban on the other end of the call, but it sounds just like him, and he plays it like a recruiting conversation that he’s probably had a million times.Saban mentions being on vacation, and the dead period. When the prankster references “a recruiter guy” that his player has been talking to, Saban posits that it might be new quarterbacks coach Dan Enos.If anything, it is a good look on Saban to just brush aside some potentially minor special teams recruit that he doesn’t know right away. He definitely isn’t leaving any stone unturned.That may cost Saban some brief embarrassment whenever he sees this video, but he has plenty of rings and trophies to point to in response.
ESPN College GameDayESPN’s College GameDay guest picker choices have drawn some criticism this year, with many actually calling for the college football pregame show to abandon the idea all together.This weekend could change that, it appears.ESPN might’ve leaked news of a huge celebrity guest for this weekend’s show, which is taking place at Washington State for the first time ever.Golden State Warriors star guard Klay Thompson, a Washington State alumnus, is reportedly the guy.I believe Dave Pasch said Klay Thompson will be the GameDay picker on Saturday in Pullman.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 18, 2018CougCenter.com outlined how Thompson, who’s begun his 2018-19 NBA season, could make it work.We’ve all been wondering who the guest picker will be for College GameDay in Pullman this Saturday. We all had our wishes and, earlier this week, producer Lee Fitting indicated it would be someone with strong Washington State ties. I, and many others, had the pipe dream of Klay Thompson, considering his Golden State Warriors play in Salt Lake City the night prior and Denver the following day. It seemed like a considerable roadblock.Thompson starred at Washington State before heading to the NBA, where he’s won three championships with the Golden State Warriors.ESPN’s College GameDay begins at 9 a.m. E.T. on Saturday.
Here is our pick for the 10 most powerful fan bases in college football in 2019.10. TennesseeTennessee hasn’t been relevant on a national level in several years, but the Volunteers’ fan base remains one of the most-passionate in the country. The Vols showed this off in crazy form during the Greg Schiano saga (something that has since been criticized by several members of the college football world), but the fan base did prove capable of seriously affecting a coaching search.9. OklahomaThe Sooners have been one of the best programs in the nation over the last couple of seasons, consistently contending for the College Football Playoff and the Heisman Trophy. As a result, the fever surrounding the Sooners’ program has increased and the fan base is growing.8. Penn StatePenn State’s fan base remains one of the most-passionate in the country. The Nittany Lions’ “White Outs” are arguably the coolest atmosphere in college football and Beaver Stadium consistently ranks among the most-attended in the nation.7. Texas A&MTexas A&M hasn’t contended for national championships in decades, but the Aggies’ fan base remains insane. The program is among the most-valuable in the country and to be that high on those lists with little national relevance proves how powerful this fan base is.6. NebraskaNebraska’s fan base might be the most loyal in the country. The Huskers have a sellout streak that dates back to the 1960s. The program has gone through some tough times in recent years, but the arrival of Scott Frost has Lincoln, Nebraska ready for more golden years.5. MichiganThe 2019 season could be a make-or-break one for the Wolverines’ program. Urban Meyer is gone from Ohio State and it’s time for Jim Harbaugh to take control of the rivalry. The fan base is certainly ready for him to do that.4. TexasDespite one ESPN analyst saying that “Texas is not back,” the Longhorns appear to be on the verge of something special with Tom Herman. Texas is coming off a Sugar Bowl win over Georgia and the Longhorns’ fan base is itching for College Football Playoff contention.3. AlabamaThe Crimson Tide’s fan base trails just two other programs in terms of powerfulness in 2019. No college football program has dominated the sport more than Alabama over the last decade and the fan base has grown as a result.2. Notre DameNotre Dame remains, arguably, the biggest national brand in college football. The Fighting Irish are starting to play like it, too. Notre Dame is coming off a College Football Playoff appearance and big things are expected in 2019.1. Ohio StateAccording to the Wall Street Journal, the Buckeyes’ football program was the most-valuable in the country in 2017 and the second most valuable in 2018 (trailing only Texas). Ohio State’s football program is worth more than $1 billion, according to WSJ, and its massive, incredibly passionate fan base is a big part of that.Ohio State benefits from being the only major program in its home state, which is among the best in the country at producing college football recruits. Unlike college football rich states like Texas and Florida, the Buckeyes have no competition for fans within its state borders. This results in the most “powerful” fan base in the country. COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes fans cheer on their team against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 27, 2008 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Few sports, if any, have more passionate and loyal fan bases than college football. Many of the best programs in the country have gigantic alumni bases that show their support in full force throughout the fall (and throughout the rest of the year).Some fan bases, of course, are more “powerful” than others.They attend games better, travel better, get mad online better…and so on and so forth.What fan bases are the most “powerful” in the country?
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Big changes are coming to the Big Ten in 2019. Ohio State has a new coach, Michigan has a new offense, and Nebraska looks poised to take the conference by storm. Ahead of the 2019 season, Sporting News has released its rankings and has some interesting takes on Ohio State and Michigan.In Sporting News‘ top 25 preseason ranking, writer Bill Bender placed Ohio State ahead of Michigan. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 4 – on pace for a spot in the College Football Playoff – while the Wolverines ranked No. 10.It’s a strong selection for the Buckeyes to be sure as they head into the season with Ryan Day as a first-year head coach. Day managed Ohio State as an interim head coach to start last season, but has had the entire offseason to mold the team.As for Michigan, finishing ranked tenth would be well outside expectations. Many believe the time is now for Jim Harbaugh to lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten title. No. 1⃣ @AlabamaFTBL No. 2⃣ @ClemsonFB No. 5⃣ @OU_FootballNo. 8⃣ @GatorsFBNo. 🔟 @UMichFootballAlabama and Clemson lead the way, but who else follows behind?Check out SN’s preseason Top 25. 👇https://t.co/cgXcklYhuH— Sporting News (@sportingnews) July 29, 2019As for the rest of the Big Ten, Penn State came in at No. 12, Wisconsin at No. 21, and Nebraska at No. 25.Penn State has been a top-three team in the conference for several years now. Wisconsin has been one of the powers in the Big Ten West division, making three Big Ten title games in the past five years.Nebraska is coming off back-to-back losing seasons, but after a strong 2018, are a sleeper pick to dominate the Big Ten West.The 2019 college football season is only a few weeks away, and the AP preseason poll is even closer.