One of the staggering things in the FIFA World Cup 2014 was to see Colombia reaching the Round of 8 beating a couple of comparatively stronger teams coming their way.
Colombia was actually being tipped by some people for making a shocking entry into the semis as well despite the fact that they were up against the host nation Brazil. Yes, they were playing this well. They eventually lost to Brazil though, but, they would surely have gone back home with their heads held high in pride. (more…)
The Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, believes that Philippe Coutinho, the Brazil international, is a player with the X-factor and he can be the man for the Reds in the upcoming season.
Liverpool appears to be a slightly hampered unit after losing Luis Suarez to the Catalan club Barcelona earlier this summer, but, according to Rodgers, Coutinho can make up for Suarez’s absence.
Coutinho had played in the league regularly in the last season too for Liverpool and had made some game changing contributions, but, like many others, he was also overshadowed by Suarez who had ended up as the top scorer in the tournament.
But, with the Uruguayan not being the part of the club any more, Rodgers would be relying more on Coutinho this time around and the 22-year old playmaker has kicked off the summer promisingly enough to give confidence to his boss.
Rodgers was all praise for Coutinho after the pre season match against Borussia Dortmund the other day.
The Reds manager was quoted as saying, “Philippe is not behind may others in terms of skills, that’s for sure. What a player he is. Today, with the opposing team as good as that, the attitude that he showed was incredible. He is innovative on the pitch and he rarely gets panicky even if he’s in a difficult situation.”
“If you have a look at his first strike today, you would know what this guy can do. There is a big platform waiting for him. He will like to make a mark in the European Cup with everyone watching.”
Coutinho was an extremely surprising exclusion from the Brazilian World Cup squad. People close to him say that after being overlooked, he is fired up from inside and is keen to prove himself to the whole world.
Coutinho has so far made only one appearance for the Brazilian national side i.e. in 2010.
Leeds United recently lost the services of striker Ross McCormack, who joined Fulham in a £ 11 million deal a few weeks ago. As a result, the attack of the club is not as strong as it once was towards the end of last season. So far, the club has made four signings. Head coach David Hockaday has revealed that he will not be stressed into making panic buys since there is still a lot of time left in the transfer window. Leads are reportedly negotiating deals with a couple of players, as they target a return to the Premier League after a long time.
Leeds were expected to be one of the promotion contenders last season, but Brian McDermott failure to get the team anywhere close to the play-offs led to him losing his job. Hockaday will be in charge of the team during pre-season. The club recently returned to action with the pre-season camp that began in Italy. Hockaday has revealed that United have always had great players over the years and the loss of McCormack will not be enough to dampen the spirits of the club ahead of the new campaign. The huge transfer fee received from the sale of the striker will be invested back into the team.
“From my point of view, if we need to replace them we will replace them and we’ll do that as quickly as we can, but we won’t panic and we won’t do anything silly. We might have to show patience in some positions and some things might move quicker than others but it’s one of those things where if there’s a gap to fill we’ll fill it properly and professionally, but if needs patience we’ll show patience,” said the Leeds United coach after returning back from the pre-season camp.
During the past few days speculation has been fabricated concerning the future of Brian McDermott as the English coach was believed to have been sacked in January with Gianluca Festa being his replacement, all of this occurred only a few days after the Italian entrepreneur and owner of Cagliari, Massimo Cellino became the majority shareholder of Leeds United but McDermott was eventually reinstated.
Leeds United concluded the season on the 15th spot of the Championship League and even though the squad has not shown any significant improvements, Massimo Cellino insisted in talking about what’s to come for the club and that Brian McDermott has his full support despite of everything that has happened in the past few months.
“Leeds United fans don’t give up. Leeds United’s manager won’t give up because of that. I haven’t given up and the players gave everything against Derby. That’s a really good side we’ve played with a great manager who’s done a fantastic job. The things that have gone on here make you a better manager because you know you can tough situations out. I’ve certainly had to tough this out but there was never any doubt in my mind that I would tough it out and try to get us to the next stage’’.
Brian McDermott has enjoyed a fairly successful and impressive during his stay with Reading as he managed on defeating Liverpool in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and a few weeks later he was even nominated for Manager of the Month award for February after he led Reading to a 4 match winning streak in the league and into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 3-2 victory against West Bromwich Albion.
His success continued on with victories against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United. The owner of Leeds United, Massimo Cellino is hoping that McDermott will lead the club to similar kinds of accomplishments such as he did a few years ago with Reading.
The proposed takeover of Leeds United by Italian businessman Massimo Cellino has been put on hold after the Italian has been charged with tax evasion. This would mean that he may not takeover Leeds United in the near future. Brian McDermott was on the verge of being successful manager, but since the new takeover has not gone through, he will retain his place on the bench. Ahead of this weekend’s matches, McDermott has stated that the club needs some stability in order to achieve the dream of getting back to the Premier league.
Leeds have been trying to get back into the Premier league for several years now, but they have been unable to do so even after the arrival of McDermott. The former Reading manager knows all about getting a club from the championship to the Premier league. Yet, inconsistency has been the main theme since his arrival by year ago. McDermott says that the instability on various aspects is the main reasons for the players being unable to find consistency in their play.
Leeds have slipped the below the top 10 in the table after a run of five matches without a victory. They are 15th in the table with 44 points and are unlikely to make it into the play-offs if results do not improve almost immediately.
“We would love to get some stability at the club so we can move forward. Uncertainty over the future ownership has been dragging on for such a long time that there is apprehension around the place and the main conversation is about the ownership. I know it is a results business but we have had no stability here for a long time. Obviously it would help if the manager knew who the owner was going to be,” said the Leeds United manager.
Gulf Finance House (GFH) Capital are close to completing the sale of Leeds United to Massimo Cellino, who is reportedly looking to sack manager Brian McDermott. The Italian businessman will be buying 75% stake in the club. The takeover deal is yet to be sanctioned by the football league, but reports have emerged in recent weeks that McDermott is counting his days as the Leeds United manager. His inability to guide the club even into the play-offs position is thought to be the reason behind the rumours, but the manager himself has now said that his position remains safe – for now.
Leeds are mid-table right now with only a few matches remaining. They need to make up eight points in order to catch Wigan Athletic in the final play-off place. McDermott has confirmed the recently that the 57-year-old is apparently happy with the work he has done in the last few weeks. Hence, he is likely to remain as the manager until the end of the season. Leeds are one of the famous names in English football after having appeared in the Champions League semi-finals a few years ago. However, they have fallen down the road in recent years and the new owners will be looking to rediscover the former glory.
“After the start of it all, so to speak, I’m in a good place. It happened. I got through it personally, we got through it as a club, things were said, and mistakes have been made on all counts. Now, for me, I’m in a good place, just trying to concentrate solely on what we have to do and that’s to win against QPR. It’s fair to say that Massimo is taking a very close interest. It’s very fair to say he (Cellino) is taking an interest and a very close interest,” said McDermott.