Michael Keane has finally been living up to his potential – just not where most Manchester United fans had expected. The defender was sold to Burnley during the Van Gaal regime, and while he struggled to find regular game time and decent form under the Dutchman, Keane has blossomed into one of the most consistent defenders in the league with some brilliant performances for Burnley.
Such has been his prowess this season that he’s even made his international debut with England – notable considering he’s playing a team that was considered a front-runner for relegation at the beginning of the season.
Naturally, top clubs have been eyeing the centre-half with Manchester United considered particularly interested in bringing their prodigal son home. And it seems it’s not entirely a one-way feeling.
When quizzed by a fan on social media about his future, Keane responded with the following – surely Ed Woodward had his ears perk up at this?
With the dire state of the centre of defence ravage by injuries, Jose Mourinho would be keen (pun absolutely intended) to bring in competent cover – and in the Burnley man’s potential homecoming there’s a lot to look forward to for all parties concerned.
Chelsea had a lot to celebrate last night – they pulled off a great 4-2 victory over Tottenham to reach the final of FA Cup while also perhaps gaining a psychological edge over their closest rivals in the league as they attempt to preserve their 4 point lead at the top in the lead up to the season’s climax.
There was always going to be more than just a berth in the May showpiece on the line and ultimately Chelsea’s ability to close a game proved superior to Spurs’ dynamic game.
Cesc Fabregas took to Snapchat to celebrate his side’s win with an uber-cool filter as his fellow Spaniards Pedro and Marcos Alonso also joined in. The trio looked to be enjoying the moment, and the Chelsea faithful will be hoping for similar scenes soon enough – with the addition of two shiny trophies to the scene to look forward to.
Being a football manager is an enormous task. Attempting to strike a balance within a squad, catering to demands of board members as well as fans and all while trying to deal with injuries, bad form and a whole gamut of factors which will upset even the most meticulous planning – all while trying to achieve some measure of success, of course.
It is, however, still a postion of privilege and honour – which is exactly what Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reflects on in the latest advertisement from sponsor New Balance.
In the form of a letter to his future self, Klopp addresses the journey that he has undertaken in all his years to reach the stature he currently possess – all the moments of euphoria tempered by the pain of defeat. He speaks of having to deal with critics, trials and tribulations in perservering, while also paying tribute to all those who have fought alongside him and supported his cause.
The brilliantly conceived video also touches on the spirit of football as it transforms “strangers into a team. A team into a band of brothers”. It is an absolutely majestic piece which comes straight from the heart and will resonate with football fans across club divisions and casual viewers alike. New Balance have got it absolutely spot on with this latest promo – it is goosebump inducing.
Check out Jurgen Klopp’s reminder to himself below:
Everyone knows that Eden Hazard is an incredible footballer– but it’s awfully nice of him to grace us from time to time with reminders of just how gifted he is.
The Belgian partaking in the pre-match warm-up before the crunch FA Cup semi-final against fierce rivals Tottenham when he produced a dazzling piece of control. As Diego Costa juggled a ball before booting it into the air, Hazard went into action – pushing a team mate aside, he brought the high ball under his spell with a feather touch, completely killing its motion.
The consummate ease with which he managed the feat is enough to make most people reassess their lives in the face of such class.
It was exactly that class which Hazard eventually brought to Wembley after coming on as a substitute to score one and lay on an assist as Chelsea eventually subdued a spirited Spurs side 4-2 to make it to the final in May. The mercurial winger was definitely the difference-maker in a game where his team were second-best for the most part, and fans will be hoping that he can continue to prove so in the run-in to the title.
Chris Hughton is undoubtedly the man of the moment. The Irishman has successfully led Brighton and Hove Albion into the Premier League after their 2-1 victory over Wigan and Huddersfield’s draw against Derby County secured them automatic promotion. Hughton has had some less than memorable experiences in the top flight, so he will be looking forward to a fresh start. In fact he’s so upbeat about next season that he’s even stated his preference for his first opponents – with a very interesting motive.
The former Norwich manager stated that he would love for Brighton to host Tottenham in the opening game next season since, in his own words, that would be “the winners of the Championship against the winners of the Premier League”.
Bold words considering Tottenham have four points to make up on leaders Chelsea, but hardly surprising – Hughton enjoyed a 12-year playing career with Spurs as a full-back, making nearly 300 league appearances. It’s clear that his love for his former club has not diminished, and he’s definitely backing them to topple their London rivals.
Spurs fans were delighted to say the least with Hughton’s remarks and joined him in hoping that he gets the draw he favours. Hughton has realised Brighton’s dream this season, while it remains to be seen if it will indeed be the Spurs who go marching in to the title this year.
Anyone who has visited Anfield as the opposition will know that it is a daunting task. It’s bad enough to visit a place whose near unmatched legacy is unnerving enough, but then you have to face the supporters with their banners flying high as they launch into the ever-stirring tune of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. No wonder then that some teams have lost the game before the referee’s whistle.
And if the plans revealed by a local designer are to be believed, it will only make an away victory against the Reds seemingly impossible. The proposed plan is to increase the capacity of Anfield to a staggering 108,000 seats – which is just under double its current capacity.
If this design were to be approved, it would make the stadium the second largest on Earth, trailing only the positively mammoth Rungrado in Pyongyang, North Korea which can accommodate 114,000 spectators.
Naturally it is all conjecture at this point – but imagine the plight of teams visiting a stadium capable of holding over 100,000 people packed mostly with die-hard Scousers singing their Club Anthem. Dear me.
Via LiverpoolEcho Check out the insane proposal for the new Anfield stadium below:
Jesse Lingard was the centre of a mini-media storm as news of his new £100,000 a week contract broke. The Manchester United youth product found himself the target of critics who feel that over-paid young players are often led astray.
However, Jose Mourinho is not particularly known for his trust in youth, which stands to reason that he believes in Lingard – and a short clip on social media seems to tell us exactly what that is.
While Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera stole the headlines in the tactical masterpiece that was United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea, Lingard is definitely the unsung hero. He ran himself into the ground as he harried Chelsea players into making mistakes and rushing their passes.
A video doing the round on Twitter clinched this point as it shows the forward rushing to press no less than 4 players in about 8 seconds – all whilst covering a good 70 yards of the pitch. He ended up challenging the goalkeeper after starting in his own half in his quest for the ball – and that is some commitment.
He may have a few critics, but it seems Jesse Lingard is keen to earn every penny of that sweet new contract from the word go.
Check out the insane footage below:
Lingard pressing 4 people and running half the pitch in 8 seconds to give us a chance to win the ball back, this is why Jose likes him pic.twitter.com/wIrRvgC4lN
Poor Erik Lamela. The talented Argentinian was just beginning to show his world-beating potential when he was side-lined by injury. It certainly has helped his standing that in his absence Tottenham are perhaps playing their best football with a free-scoring forward line.
Lamela however seems to remain determined to return to the pitch and have a hand in helping Spurs in their title push as can be inferred by his latest Instagram post. It’s clear that his desire to be back on the playing field is strong and he implies that he is putting his all into training which will bridge the gap between his predicament and his desire.
Spurs fans on social media were appreciative of his spirit, while some would have been pleasantly surprised by remembering that he exists – such has been his extended absence. Here’s hoping the pacey winger will be able to remind the fans of his value soon enough.
Ander Herrera has been receiving rave reviews ever since his impression of Eden Hazard’s shadow led to the Belgian being marked out of the game and was a crucial factor in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea. The Spaniard also chipped in with a goal and an assist – proving his key role in the result.
What may be overlooked however due to his industry is his artistry in laying the perfect through ball for Marcus Rashford’s opener. With respect to the picture below, it would seem that David Luiz and Gary Cahill were favourites to cut out the pass – which meant it would have had to be inch-perfect to even have a chance to reach the forward.
That it did, amongst other things, tells everyone just how much Herrera deserved his man of the match award. Check out the picture that tells a thousand words below:
Liverpool supporters are probably familiar with the name Ryan Kent – and from his performances of late it seems football fans everywhere will come to know his name soon enough.
The 20-year old winger has been lighting it up on loan at Barnsley with his dribbling skills and he had plenty of it on show in the 1-1 draw against Brentford. Kent picked up the ball near the touchline only to completely bamboozle three markers with a mazy run that combined flicks, step-overs feints and even a nutmeg thrown in for good measure.
His run culminated in a pass near the opposition box which resulted in a shot cannoning off the bar, and while his side only came away with a point, the youngster would definitely have his parent club looking on in excitement.