↑ Alvaro Morata (Chelsea and Spain) Two goals in 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League
↓ Jordan Amavi (Marseille & France) Error in 3-0 away loss to Montpellier in France’s Ligue 1
↓ UEFA Football Leaks report on how the football body looks away at the Financial Fair Play issues affecting teams like PSG and Manchester City, allowing the teams to use overvalued sponsorship numbers to get away without severe sanctions
↑ Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea & England) Hattrick – in 3-1 Europa League win over BATE Borisov – for the underused player
↑ Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund & Portugal) The left sided player scored a brace in the 4-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid, after coming in as a sub
↓ AC Milan Followed up a last minute derby loss with a home loss to Real Betis in the Europa League
↑ Arsenal 10 win in a row in all competitions after beating Leicester City 3-1
↑ Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus & Uruguay) Effective midfield performance for Juventus vs Manchester United in Champions League action
↓ Marcus Rashford (Manchester United & England) Lackluster for United, reflecting the team’s poor form
↑ Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt & Serbia) 5 goals in Eintracht Frankfurt 7-1 Fortuna Duesseldorf Bundesliga win
↑ Levante UD Real Madrid 1-2 Levante in Spain’s La Liga Santander
↑ S.P.A.L. Roma 0-2 SPAL in Italy’s Serie A
↓ Ben Mee (Burnley & England) Defender in Manchester City 5-0 Burnley English Premier League
↑ Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund and Spain) 10 goals on 10 shots for club and country this season, Spain 2-3 England UEFA Nations League, League A: Group 4
↑ Raheem Sterling (Manchester City and England) 2 goals in Spain 2-3 England UEFA Nations League, League A: Group 4
↓ Iceland national team 3 losses in UEFA Nations League with 11 goals against
The Dutch international who also played for Ajax, Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Botafogo in Brazil has had an at best indifferent coaching career. He took his first coaching job at Milan and quit his playing career in Brazil to answer the call of his former team. His record was only 11 wins in 22 matches and he lasted only half a season after he had replaced the fired Massimiliano Allegri. He also failed to rescue Deportivo La Coruna from relegation. In between his two European jobs he spent a short in China coaching Shenzhen F.C. where he failed in promoting the club.
Ironically the man who replaced him at Shenzhen F.C., Sven-Goran Eriksson, had been mentioned as Cameroon’s first choice but the The Indomitable Lions failed to agree terms with the veteran Swede.
Patrick Kluivert will assist Seedorf with the Africa Cup of Nations less than a year away. The 2019 edition of the competition is being held in the summer for the first time and starts next June with Cameroon as hosts.
The FIFA World Cup is starting in less than 24 hours on June 14, 2018. One of the powerhouses and favorites to win the trophy has just made a coaching change that has the potential to change the status of the team from favorites to perhaps less so.
Spain fired Julen Lopetegui with two days to go to Spain’s crucial first match vs Portugal. The coach agreed to take over the vacant Real Madrid head coaching position while in Russia preparing for the month long tournament.
It is still somewhat unlikely that Spain’s group stage position is under threat, here is one set predictions for the World Cup (teams in bold to progress)
Germany – Brazil
The Final is to be a repeat of the 2014 World Cup semi final where Germany humiliated the hosts 7-1!
FIFA has released the names of the referees and assistant referees who will take charge of games at World Cup 2018. The list currently contains 36 referees and 63 assistant referees. The VAR (Video Assistant Referees) will also be chosen from these 99.
FIFA chooses referees based on “skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams” and the final list is chosen after three years of seminars that concentrate on fair game, consistency and protecting players.
There are more workshops and seminars to come after which the decisions will be made as to who will be the first ever VARs at a World Cup.
The list of referees does not include any from the United Kingdom, that is a first in 80 years. Mark Clattenburg who would be the leading UK candidate is now working in Saudi Arabia and was not picked.
The referee list includes five from Asia, five from Africa, five from north and central America, five from south America, two from Oceania and 10 from Europe. The assistant referee list includes three from Oceania, 10 each from Asia and Africa, eight from north and central America, 12 from south America and 20 from Europe.
It is hoped that the use VAR will improve the game and cut down on mistakes while not overly delaying games or disrupting the flow of play too long. Recent uses in some leagues have led to confusion and in a few cases offenses not being caught even after review!