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Thread: ☆ Barclays Premier League Season 2016-17 ☆

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    Mourinho should be sent to prison over Schweinsteiger 'bullying', claims FIFPro board member




    By Jack Davies
    Aug 4, 2016 17:37:41

    Dejan Stefanovic believes that the Germany international should initiate legal proceedings against his Manchester United boss over his treatment

    Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho should be sent to prison over his "bullying" of Bastian Schweinsteiger, according to a leading figure at FIFPro.

    Schweinsteiger has found himself marginalised at Old Trafford only one year after his €9 million move to England from Bayern Munich, with reports suggesting he has been told to train with the reserves.

    And Dejan Stefanovic - a board member at world players' union FIFPro - believes the World Cup winner has justifiable cause to take legal action against the club and Mourinho.

    "It's clear bullying," he told BBC World Service Sport. "In Slovenia, we would have indicted Mourinho and asked for the highest penalty - three years in prison.

    "This is clearly meant to discourage Bastian. Unfortunately, a lot of our fans accept that, because he's idolised and he's getting a lot of money, he can be treated differently. They do not perceive our rights as equal to their rights just because we earn a lot of money and that's not right.

    "He should turn to the PFA and he should file a complaint and I would also seek a penalty for Mourinho.

    "Mourinho is setting a bad example. I would take it to the ordinary court. In our case, the penal code is quite clear. If there is bullying and harassment, there's a prison sanction, a maximum of three years in prison.

    "[This is] in Slovenia and in most countries in Europe, but nobody applies that [to football]. Usually, in our case, it's enough for us to call the club and just threaten but nobody seems to have done it yet in England."

    "He should turn to the PFA and he should file a complaint and I would also seek a penalty for Mourinho."







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    Rummenigge slams Manchester United over Schweinsteiger treatment



    By Chris Myson
    Aug 4, 2016 12:01:38

    The Germany legend has said that top players will "think long and hard" over whether to make a move to Old Trafford after marginalising the World Cup winner

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has slammed Manchester United and Jose Mourinho for their treatment of former Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger.

    The World Cup winner, who recently announced his international retirement after Germany lost in the semi-finals of Euro 2016, has been marginalised at Old Trafford only one year after his €9million move to England.

    Rummenigge has been stunned by Schweinsteiger's exclusion from United's first-team plans amid reports he has been told to train with the reserves.

    The Bayern executive chairman feels the 32-year-old's treatment will make other big players think twice about joining United.

    "When I read that I could hardly believe it," Rummenigge told Bild.

    "One or two players are going to think long and hard in future about whether they want to go to such a club.

    "Nothing like that has ever happened at Bayern Munich and it will never happen."

    Schweinsteiger made just 18 Premier League appearances last season as he struggled with form and injury.







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    Klopp: I still chat to my Mainz players on WhatsApp!


    4 August 2016



    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed he still reminisces about his early days as a coach by keeping in touch with Mainz's class of 2004 via WhatsApp.

    Klopp guided Mainz to promotion to the Bundesliga during the 2003-04 season, enjoying three campaigns of top-flight football with the club.

    That spell laid the foundations for a career that later saw Klopp win back-to-back Bundesliga crowns with Borussia Dortmund and now sees him preparing for his first full season in charge at Anfield.

    And Klopp believes it is important to cherish successful periods as a coach.

    "I know football is all about success, but it's also worth having a situation in 20 years when you can look back and think over the great times you had together in this development and learning period with hard work," he told Goal.com.

    "I have this with the squad I promoted from Mainz. We have a chat group on WhatsApp called 'Team 2004' and a lot of these players are now coaches and managers and they all still take away things from this time we shared.

    "I had no idea when we started how it would work. I had absolutely no experience as a coach and it was just having a little human understanding, respecting everyone and helping each other to reach our best potential.

    "I love looking back or dreaming back to these kind of things and remembering that it was unbelievable. You think maybe it will never happen again, but then I had the chance for something special at Dortmund.

    "And here at Liverpool, we have that chance again. It's again possible to do something great. It's always possible to improve together, it's always possible to get the next highlight.

    "There are always sunny days, but you just have to make sure you are prepared to make the most of it."

    And Klopp is keen to leave a legacy when he does eventually depart Merseyside.

    "When you sit in the main chair like I sit, you have a lot of power, but even more than that, you have all the responsibility," he added.

    "And responsibility for me means it never ends, even when you leave. You need to create something where you can really be measured by even after you've gone."




    "I am 'The Normal One'. I am a normal guy from the Black Forest. I was a very average player.
    I don't compare myself with these genius managers from the past."






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    No Champions League an opportunity for Chelsea - Conte

    1 August 2016



    Antonio Conte believes failing to qualify for the Champions League will give Chelsea an advantage in the Premier League this season.

    Chelsea finished 10th in the Premier League last year, but Conte says the lack of European football at Stamford Bridge will give him more time to work with his players.

    The ex-Italy boss noted that in his first year at Juventus, the Serie A side were not competing in Europe either and he subsequently led them to the league title.

    "Chelsea aren't involved [in the Champions League] this season but these things can happen to big teams," Conte told the Evening Standard.

    "In my first season in charge of Juventus, they were in the same position. I took over after they had finished seventh the season before.

    "Obviously we didn't play in the Champions League or the Europa League and our energy was only focused on the championship. We were able to take advantage of that and we won the title. I hope to do the same with Chelsea.

    "Not playing in the Champions League could be an opportunity because I will be able to work more with my players.

    "If you ask me if I prefer this situation, I don't because Chelsea must be in this competition. You do feel like you're missing something when you're not involved in the Champions League. It is a special competition and you want to play in it every year.

    "But because we are not, I will have a whole week to train with my players and that gives me a chance to work with them more compared to Chelsea managers in previous seasons."

    Conte is expecting a "battle" for Champions League qualification this season, with Manchester United also set to challenge for a place in the top four under their new manager Jose Mourinho after missing out last season.

    "It is going to be some battle to finish in the top four next season between all the managers and some will lose out," said Conte. "The players know this, too.

    "This club must play in the competition because for a club like Chelsea, the Champions League is their home. It’s important to get back into it.

    "This won't be easy because in England there are seven or eight teams who are very tough and are ready to fight for the title. But that means they are also all fighting for the top four.

    "Yet we are Chelsea. We have a great team and we must find our way back quickly to compete for the title or at least a top-four place. We are working very hard to prepare and we want to try to cancel the bad season of last year."






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    Klopp: Managers come to Premier League for the challenge

    2 August 2016



    Jurgen Klopp says the challenge of winning the Premier League has attracted the world's best managers and coaches to work in England.

    Klopp was a big-name replacement for Brendan Rogers at Liverpool and has been followed by an influx of notable managers into the Premier League with Pep Guardiola taking the reins at Manchester City and Antonio Conte arriving at Stamford Bridge to help return Chelsea to the top of the table.

    Jose Mourinho also knocked back offers from outside of England to take on the job at Manchester United after his failed campaign at Chelsea last season, making for an impressive line-up of managerial talent on the Premier League touchlines.

    And with so many teams capable of winning the Premier League - Leicester City shocked everyone as they upset the established order, while Tottenham finished third alongside usual challengers Arsenal - Klopp said there is simply no greater challenge in football at the moment.

    "Winning the title in England is the biggest challenge of them all. There are the most teams of any league who can win it," Klopp explained.

    "If you are looking for the biggest challenge then you need to go to England.

    "That's the difference 100 per cent. It's not like they wanted an easier job. They wanted this. But it is hard. The toughest challenge of all, because there are so many who can win.

    "In other countries, only one team is favourite. In Germany, if you want to be in front of Bayern Munich, you have to win all the other games and then a minimum of one against Bayern, because they never lose.

    "In this country it's a very different kind of difficulty. Here you have a number of clubs who think they should be number one.

    "In Germany there is one team who think they have to be and one team who think they should be. The rest hope for I don't know what. It's different."








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    Arsenal beginning to reap rewards of academy chief's contacts book




    Chris Wheatley
    Aug 4, 2016 07:00:00

    Andries Jonker was appointed as the head of the Gunners' academy in 2014 and has set about trying to send the club's best prospects all around the world on loan spells

    Andries Jonker's role as head of the Arsenal academy is beginning to pay off for the Gunners as the Dutchman continues to help secure loan moves for the club's talented prospects over the summer transfer window.

    Jonker arrived at Arsenal from Wolfsburg in 2014 after Liam Brady left his job as academy chief and immediately set to work on a multi-million pound development of the club's famed Hale End academy, where the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Iwobi learnt their trade before being promoted into the first team.

    Highly respected across Europe and particularly well regarded in his native Netherlands, 53-year-old Jonker has previous experience working for the Dutch youth teams and alongside Louis van Gaal at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

    As Goal revealed in July, Arsenal have entertained loan offers for youngsters including Ismael Bennacer and Glen Kamara, while Julio Pleguezuelo completed a season-long loan move to Mallorca on Wednesday.

    Other starlets including Tafari Moore and Stefan O'Connor are all likely to benefit from Jonker's impressively large contacts book, with Moore expected to join Utrecht on a season-long loan and O'Connor on the verge of signing for Dordrecht.

    Added to that, 18-year-old Nike Academy goalkeeper Thom Jonkerman is currently on trial with Arsenal and playing with the Under-19 squad at the Durban International Cup in South Africa where he will hope to earn a permanent deal and rival fellow shot-stopper Hugo Keto in the goalkeeping ranks.

    Arsenal's first team squad travel to Scandinavia for the final leg of their pre-season tour on Thursday and it's expected that Krystian Bielik and Gedion Zelalem will feature heavily as Arsene Wenger assesses whether they will be included in the squad to face Liverpool on August 14.




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    Mourinho annoyed by Manchester United's 'really bad' pre-season




    By Chris Davie
    Aug 3, 2016 20:35:00

    United will have played only four games before their Community Shield clash against Leicester City on Sunday and the Portuguese admits he has been frustrated by the disruption

    Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United have had a “really bad” pre-season following their disruptive campaign in China.

    United have played just three games this summer after poor weather cancelled their derby against Manchester City in Beijing, while several key players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney, have taken extended breaks after featuring at Euro 2016.

    United are in action against Everton for Rooney’s testimonial on Wednesday evening, while their final warm-up game will be Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Leicester City at Wembley.

    “My players need minutes, we had a really bad pre-season because of the Euros and then in China,” Mourinho told BT Sport.

    “I am sorry for the fans but more important than to win the match is to get minutes in my players' legs.”







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    Manchester United announce Pogba medical



    By Alex Young
    Aug 7, 2016 15:02:00

    The 23-year-old is on the verge of completing a world-record £92 million return to the club he left in 2012 after Juventus granted permission for an examination

    Paul Pogba is set to undergo a medical ahead of completing a world-record move to Manchester United, the club have confirmed.

    The 23-year-old has been granted permission by Juventus to seal a £92 million transfer four years after leaving for Italy for a nominal fee, which will eclipse Gareth Bale's £86 million move to Real Madrid in 2013.

    Pogba made just seven appearances for United under Sir Alex Ferguson before leaving and is now on the verge of becoming Jose Mourinho's fourth summer signing after Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    Confirmation of the medical comes an hour before Mourinho leads United out at Wembley in the Community Shield season curtain-raiser against Premier League champions Leicester City.

    Pogba's arrival is expected to mark an end to United's summer business, with Mourinho hinting at the France international's imminent arrival when talking to reporters on Friday.

    "We brought Micki [Mkhitaryan] here, we know the quality he has," he said. "We got a super striker [Ibrahimovic] and we are going to get a very good midfield player, so I am happy with the balance of my squad. I'm happy with the effort that the club has, and is still putting in for us."







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    Conte wants Chelsea stars to share his passion




    Simon Harrison
    Aug 7, 2016 12:10:52

    The Italian says that there is a fine line to tread between praise and criticism, as his aim is to create "a great atmosphere" around Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is hoping to improve the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge for players and fans alike with his infectious passion ahead of the new season.

    Conte received plenty of attention from the media for his colourful touchline antics when in charge of Italy at Euro 2016.

    The former Juventus boss wants to see that same intense passion in his squad as they look to rebound from a poor Premier League title defence last season and recently spoke of how he lost his voice in pre-season as he tries to instil his style of play at Stamford Bridge.

    But Conte is also keen to keep his emotions in check, stating that some tough love from his father during his early playing days has helped him learn to strike the right balance between criticism and positivity.

    "He was very tough - and especially with me. He wouldn't shout at the other kids. He would just shout at me," Conte told a news conference.

    "I will try to transfer my passion on to the players.

    "I want to see them with the passion that I have. I think that I will have a very intensive relationship with my players, but it takes time - we need to get to know each other first.

    "That is very important. When you start a job, you are at the beginning of the season and you have only worked with the players for two weeks. You must use the time to get to know them and for them to know you.

    "I love to create a link with my team, that's what I want. I want to see the players with great passion.

    "For me, it's not right to get angry, but I always have an intensive relationship with my players.

    "If the players have the passion, then it transfers to their team-mates and the fans, and you create a great atmosphere."






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    I'm not afraid of Manchester United expectations - Mourinho



    Sacha Pisani
    Aug 7, 2016 09:20:00

    After two disappointing finishes in the Premier League, the Portuguese is ready to step into the Old Trafford hotseat and embrace the challenge presented to him

    Jose Mourinho insisted he can meet the high level of expectations at Old Trafford as the Portuguese manager looks to transform Manchester United back into Premier League champions.

    Despite being the Premier League's most successful club, United have struggled to keep pace with their rivals since Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013, finishing fifth last season under former boss Louis van Gaal.

    Van Gaal's first campaign in charge resulted in a fourth-place finish, an improvement on the season prior, which saw a David Moyes-led United end 2013-14 in seventh position.

    But with three-time Premier League and two-time Champions League-winning manager Mourinho now at the helm, the former Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter and Porto boss said he is well equipped to meet the demands in Manchester.

    "It is not new in my career," Mourinho said ahead of Sunday's Community Shield showdown against Premier League title holders Leicester City. "Everywhere I've been I've had to cope with that situation.



    "It doesn't matter where I am, everyone expects big things. It's nothing new for me, I like to create that expectation. I like the players to feel it.

    "Sometimes during my career I've created some unrealistic targets but by creating these you push the team to unexpected levels.

    "To win the Champions League with Porto or Inter is unexpected and a very risky objective target. To win championships in the first season is a little bit of the same but I like that.

    "People analyse it as arrogant and so on, that's not a problem for me. The reality is I always feel for players, managers, clubs that this kind of establishment of very difficult targets can only help us."







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    Wenger: Arsenal must spend big in unpredictable market




    Dom Farrell
    Aug 10, 2016 12:07:06

    The €110 million transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United is just the next step in ever-rising transfer fees, according to the French coach, who admits his side must follow suit

    Arsene Wenger has toned down his assessment of Paul Pogba's world-record move to Manchester United but feels Arsenal and other clubs find themselves at the mercy of a wildly spiralling transfer market.

    Pogba's return to Old Trafford from Juventus has marked the latest front in Wenger and Jose Mourinho's long-running verbal feud, with the Manchester United boss unhappy at the Frenchman's assessment of the deal as being "completely crazy".

    United's neighbours Manchester City made John Stones the most expensive defender in Premier League history on the heels of the Pogba deal and Wenger, who has struggled in the search of significant additions to his Arsenal team following the early close-season capture of Granit Xhaka, believes the money coursing through English football is causing unpredictability.

    "The value of a player is dependent on his talent, the expected strengthening of the team, his age and of course his resale value," he told Sky Sports.

    "When you speak about Pogba it ticks all these boxes – but we are in a system that we don't master.

    "We have to follow the prices paid by other people. That has gone up because the availability of money is much higher. That’s why we've crossed the £100m bar for the first time.



    "It makes the market more unpredictable. Where you could approximately value a player before, today the identity of a club that comes in for a transfer is more important than the rest.

    "If you go to Spain and you're an English club – straight away the inflation comes in. So I would say, in France the clubs amongst themselves are very reasonable.

    "If an English club comes in the price goes straight away up because they know there is money in England."

    Wenger has been frustrated in his attempts to add a new forward to his ranks after Jamie Vardy opted to remain with champions Leicester City, but he insists he is ready to spend if the right deal presents itself.

    "We want to spend the money when we have it," he explained. "But we respect the money we have – it is very difficult to find the quality of players who are available.

    "Despite all the money that exists in England there is very little movement in the transfer market.

    "We are in the transfer market, we are focused on concentrating on the players we have to get them ready for the season. On the other hand, with what happened with us [last season], of course we are looking outside to strengthen our squad."

    Leicester surprise Premier League triumph means Arsenal have now gone 12 seasons without claiming English football's top prize and the missed opportunity was a source of guilt for Wenger.

    "Guilt because you want to predict who would win the league and you would not have included Leicester, so everybody else would say we should have come in front of Leicester," he added.

    "But if you look at the numbers they are worthy champions, what they have done is exceptional."








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    Mahrez told me he is staying at Leicester - Ranieri




    Dom Farrell
    Aug 10, 2016 13:42:57

    The Foxes' star player has been linked with a move to Arsenal and Chelsea throughout the transfer window but the coach insists he will not be leaving the King Power Stadium

    Riyad Mahrez will be part of Leicester City's Premier League title defence, according to boss Claudio Ranieri.

    Mahrez scooped the PFA Player of the Year award last season after a succession of dazzling performances inspired Leicester to an improbable triumph.

    Heavyweight clubs from home and abroad have been linked to Ranieri's heroes during the close season but N'Golo Kante stands as the only major departure from the King Power Stadium after Chelsea met the France midfielder's buyout clause.

    Jamie Vardy spurned Arsenal's advances by signing a contract extension and, after Ranieri penned his own four-year renewal on Wednesday, he expects Mahrez to be at his disposal for the foreseeable future despite numerous reported suitors for the Algeria winger.

    "He stays with us," Ranieri told Sky Sports. "We wanted to keep all our players. Of course, Kante had the clause and Chelsea paid the clause.

    "But Riyad does not have the clause and he will stay with us. Yes, he told me he will stay with us."

    Ranieri conceded Kante's loss was a blow but praised Vardy's decision to stay.

    "With N'Golo I always said we played with 12 men," he joked. "When the referee counts it is 11 but N'Golo was two midfielders and plus [Danny] Drinkwater it meant I always played three midfielders.

    "Jamie is our strength, our point of reference and with him on the field you can score at any time."

    Vardy could be joined in attack by new signing Ahmed Musa in Saturday's Premier League opener against newly promoted Hull City and the Nigeria international, signed from CSKA Moscow, made a favourable early impression with Leicester fans by scoring an impressive double in the 4-2 friendly defeat to Barcelona.

    "I expect first of all he must understand the Premier League speed because in Russia It is different football and now it is important he understands our football in the Premier League," Ranieri explained.

    "Also he can permit me to change positions because he is not only a first striker. He can play behind the strikers, he can play in the wide position and he can permit me to change something."

    Midfielder Nampalys Mendy is another new signing saddled with considerable expectations but Ranieri played down any comparisons between the ex-Nice midfielder and former crowd favourite Kante.

    “No, he is a different type of player and we bought Mendy before Kante went away," the 64-year-old Italian added.

    "They are not similar, they are different. We bought him to have another midfielder and it is important now to look at what we need and see."





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    Don't sell Joe Hart? What we learned from Guardiola's Man City debut




    Sam Lee
    Aug 13, 2016 20:25:34

    The Catalan passed his first test in English football but his decision to drop the England No.1 will rumble on until a permanent resolution is found

    GOAL COMMENT at the Etihad Stadium

    Pep Guardiola got off to a winning start as Manchester City manager on Saturday but the 2-1 victory against Sunderland provided more questions than answers.

    With Joe Hart dropped to the bench, issues in defence and an inability to break the Black Cats down for long periods, there remains plenty to be resolved both in the transfer market and on the pitch even if the new boss did pass his first test in English football.

    DON'T SELL JOE HART?

    There have long been rumblings that Guardiola was not sold on Manchester City and England No.1 Hart. Many fans refused to believe that the goalkeeper, a firm favourite at the Etihad Stadium, would fall so quickly out of favour. But their fears were confirmed on Saturday.

    Guardiola, who began assessing the City players while he was still in charge of Bayern Munich, dropped Hart to the bench for the visit of the Black Cats.

    That decision would have attracted more criticism had the Blues not got off to a winning start but it will remain a contentious one regardless. Willy Caballero deputised well, but this issue will not go away.

    It is not simply a case of Hart having had less of a pre-season than Caballero. Guardiola wants to sign a new goalkeeper this summer - one who is excellent with the ball at his feet - and if Hart has to move on to facilitate that then so be it.

    Whether Guardiola will get his wish or not depends on several factors, including Barcelona's not insignificant asking price for Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    Guardiola will stand by his decision but it is one that will rub many supporters up the wrong way. There are plenty who simply cannot countenance selling Hart. In fact, there has long been a song protesting against the very idea, but before this afternoon it was never really sung with much genuine feeling.

    "Don’t sell Joe Hart,
    Super Joey Hart,
    I just don't think you understand,
    If you sell Joe Hart,
    Super Joey Hart,
    You'll have a f****** riot on your hands."

    Plenty of supporters have refused to sing it on the basis that Hart would never be sold anyway. In the current circumstances, however, it may pick up more traction around the Etihad.

    Hart's previous exploits, though, are beside the point, just as his poor summer at Euro 2016 should not come into it. He is a great shot-stopper and one of the best goalkeepers in England, but he is simply not Guardiola's type.

    Goal previously took an in-depth look at the possible mismatch when it emerged back in April that City want Ter Stegen.

    Guardiola has insisted publicly that it may just be a question of time, that Hart will get to grips with his system eventually, but privately there is an urgency to get somebody else in.

    There were rumours swirling round the Etihad on Saturday that Hart has already been told to find another club. That, if true, will also prove tricky. Everton are said to be the current favourites but would they be able to offer a goalkeeper of Hart's ability title challenges and Champions League campaigns?

    It is certainly a tricky situation and one which may appear hard to understand from the outside. The Guardiola era may have claimed its first casualty.

    MORE TRANSFER UPHEAVAL ON THE WAY



    And there may be more. While Hart was left on the bench on Saturday evening, Yaya Toure, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony were not in the squad at all. They could all leave the club in the coming weeks but once again their exits will not be easy to negotiate.

    All are on big wages - even allowing for their incentivised contracts - and their potential suitors may not be able to stump up the necessary funds to prise them away from the Etihad. That will frustrate City, who are likely to put any money raised towards signing a new goalkeeper.

    Aleksandar Kolarov, who started the match at centre-back despite many believing his days at the club were numbered, could yet still leave, too. Then there are the question marks that surround Vincent Kompany, much in the same way that Hart's future is up in the air.

    City started the summer with hopes of signing two central defenders and as yet have only signed one. They had also enquired about Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. and remain in the market for a striker.

    There are sure to be a number of changes in the coming weeks and all the upheaval that comes with it. And that's without getting to matters on the pitch.

    POSSESSION, NOT PENETRATION



    City enjoyed 77 per cent of the possession against Sunderland but, after Sergio Aguero's fourth-minute penalty, struggled to create chances for long periods.

    Jermain Defoe's equaliser almost made them pay for that and had David Moyes' men held on for a point, City would have paid for a failure to sign one of their top defensive targets so far this summer.

    It is true that Nicolas Otamendi would have started if he were fit enough but City's failure to tempt Aymeric Laporte away from Athletic Bilbao set their transfer plans back considerably. That snub forced them to look towards Leonardo Bonucci, but Juventus' asking price has proven prohibitive. Those frustrations ensured they would always get a deal done for John Stones, but he has only been at the club a matter of days.

    The sight of Kolarov at centre-back tells its own story. Although he played better than he did during pre-season, City do not currently have the players they need to hit the ground running.

    Nolito made his debut at the other end and, although he was quiet, the problems in the backline highlight the importance of signing somebody capable of slotting in quickly.

    The Spaniard was affordable and has been playing Guardiola-type football for years. Centre-backs of that profile are proving hard to come by.

    Paddy McNair ended up bundling home a rather fortunate own goal but this performance was more in keeping with those that so frustrated fans in Manuel Pellegrini's final season. Guardiola will not deny that there is much work to do.

    THE POSITIVES



    There were positives, of course. Raheem Sterling looked brighter than he has done in months, for either City or England, and Guardiola's decision to play him on the right-hand side in a behind-closed-doors friendly against St Johnstone may prove to be a masterstroke.

    David Silva, deployed in a deeper midfield role, also played well and ensured that City had a stranglehold on possession. Ilkay Gundogan will take that position when fit but Silva certainly showed that he has a place in Pep's plans.

    Stones, apart from his meandering for Defoe's goal, looked assured in the main. Jesus Navas provided a good outlet on the right-hand side when he came off the bench, too.

    City were never going to be perfect on opening day and also had the curtailed pre-seasons of their many internationals to deal with. That may explain the relatively limited showings of Sergio Aguero and particularly Kevin De Bruyne.

    There is still much work to be done and Guardiola will not be afraid to do it - whatever that may mean for Joe Hart.








  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    218
    My Reputation Points: 150 / Power: 4

    Default Re: ☆ Barclays Premier League Season 2016-17 ☆


    Ibrahimovic: Pogba joined United to play with me




    Aug 13, 2016 15:14:58

    The Swede has revealed the real motive behind the midfielder's £89 million move to the Premier League side, insisting it's all down to him

    GOAL EXTRA TIME

    What lured Paul Pogba back to Manchester United? The opportunity to become the world’s most expensive player? Maybe it was the reported £200k-a-week salary? Or perhaps it was the challenge of proving his critics wrong, to show the world that he can indeed perform in the Premier League.

    Well, according to his new team mate, the reason he re-joined the Red Devils was simply to link up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.



    A photo posted by IAmZlatan (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on
    Aug 13, 2016 at 5:27am PDT

    In an Instagram post uploaded on Saturday, the former Sweden captain boldly claims: ‘Finally my shirt brought him back’ to go alongside a powerful photograph of the two standing face-to-face in short-sleeved United training gear.

    Ibrahimovic then jumped into a video posted just minutes later on Pogba's Twitter - new best friends, it seems.

    It seems the fans are not the only ones struggling to contain their excitement at the thought of these two linking up at Old Trafford.

    Tu peux faire tout les photos que tu veux av moi Thor U can get any pic u want w/ me Thor @Ibra_official @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/PUZa5bVKy7
    — Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) August 13, 2016






    Only fools place football bets with loser SG Pools... shitty odds and you can't even do real-time betting.








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