TagsTransfersAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Crystal Palace striker Francis Jno Baptiste agrees Ostersunds moveby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace striker Francis Jno Baptiste is on his way to Sweden. He will join Swedish club Östersunds FK on a permanent deal in January 2019, subject to a medical.The 19-year-old has been a member of the Eagles academy for the past six years and hit 26 goals in the past two seasons at under-18 level to help fire Palace to the U18 Professional Development League South title last term.He has also made 10 appearances for the under-23 side since 2017, seven of which have come this season.Jno Baptiste will join up with Östersunds in the new year, a side that reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League where they were eliminated by Arsenal. They finished sixth in their division last term, having seen manager Graham Potter leave to join Swansea City, with Ian Burchnall taking the reins in June.
Chelsea Transfer Watch: Four targets to solve Sarri’s striker conundrumby Phillip Ekuwem10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAt this point in the season, a top four finish is Chelsea’s most realistic goal. This stems from the team’s lack of a real focal point in the first half of the Premier League campaign – Eden Hazard may be running the show but he’s just one man, he needs his teammates to finish the chances he conjures for them lest his well thought-out passes and crosses will continue to be in vain.Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud simply aren’t good enough to lead the line although, Giroud has proven to be a great option for cup games and even important matches where the team needs a proper target man up front for crosses. So whilst he’s not particularly good enough to start games, he’s likely to be retained as a back-up striker.With all that said, here are four players who could realistically make a move to Chelsea in January:Gonzalo HiguainGonzalo Higuain is one of the best strikers to have graced Europe over the past decade.He’s a consistent performer who has got all the attributes a striker should have. Standing at 6’1 and boasting of great jumping ability, Higuain is able to win aerial duels against strong defenders and score some fantastic headers. The 31-year-old is also a great finisher – present him with goalscoring opportunities and he’ll give you goals – Chelsea haven’t truly had such a player since Diego Costa returned to Atletico Madrid. Despite Higuain’s lack of blistering pace, the Argentine striker is able to get himself into goalscoring positions thanks to his intelligent movement in and out of the box. He’s always looking to get on the end of attacking moves – a trait that has helped him flourish in La Liga and the Serie A.Chelsea are reportedly close to agreeing a swap deal with AC Milan for Higuain in a deal that will result in Morata going to the San Siro. The Argentine has bagged just five goals in 14 league appearances for Milan, but that is primarily due to the team’s poor form in general.Krzysztof PiatekKrzysztof Piatek has gone from being a relatively unknown player to one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe this season.He currently sits atop the Serie A top scorers chart having bagged 13 goals in 17 appearances – one more goal than Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo which is phenomenal considering Genoa have scored just 25 league goals this season, meaning Piatek’s tally constitutes about 50% of his side’s goals.Piatek has been dubbed the next Robert Lewandowski as his style of play is similar to that of the Bayern Munich goal machine.Genoa are unlikely to let him leave for cheap, though, so Chelsea will have to splash the cash should they be keen on acquiring Piatek’s services.Sebastian HallerSebastian Haller has enjoyed a magnificent season at Eintracht Frakfurt thus far, having bagged nine goals and registered eight assists in 17 appearances. The Frenchman has also notched three goals and three assists in the Europa League, helping his side to a clash against Shaktar Donestk in the competition’s first knockout round.Haller has made it clear that he’s open to a Premier League move should a good offer arrive for his services, so should Chelsea come calling, he’s likely to answer. The 24-year-old has got the skillset needed at Stamford Bridge – he’s a good finisher, great at holding up play and laying the ball off for overlapping wingers.Callum WilsonChelsea need not look further than the Premier League’s very own Callum Wilson in their search for a striker. The Bournemouth man has been in superb form since the start of the season scoring eight goals and making five assists in 17 league starts.Wilson, 26, has utilised his pace and trickery quite well this season scoring some magnificent goals. The Englishman is good in the air, capable of running in behind and also dribbling his way past defenders. He would be an excellent addition to Chelsea’s set-up in January especially considering the Premier League experience he has under his belt. TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorPhillip Ekuwem FollowShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid coach Solari defends benching Isco for Copa winby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari started Isco on the bench for their Copa del Rey triumph over Leganes.Isco did enter the fray in the second-half, but it was another blow for the Spain international.Solari said, “There are 24 players in the squad and a part of my job, not the most pleasant one, is to decide who plays.”Just over 44,000 attended the game, the lowest crowd of the season.The coach added: “Real Madrid have hundreds of millions of fans around the world. Not everyone can come to the Bernabéu. Real Madrid is the global brand of football and there are always people watching and we always feel that they are with us.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Coutinho admits he’s happier at Bayern Munich than Barcelona and Liverpoolby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the lovePhilippe Coutinho says he’s happier at Bayern Munich than he was at Barcelona and Liverpool.There has been a lot of criticism labelled at the Brazilian after he failed to thrive at Barcelona in the same way that he did at Liverpool, but he intimates that he is starting to find his feet again at the Allianz Arena.”The first few days they showed me the facilities, I met my teammates, the coaches…” Coutinho said in an interview with Sky.”Every day I feel a little better, I am very happy.”It was well publicised that Coutinho struggled to endear himself to the Barcelona supporters during his time in Catalonia, and he has discussed the difference between Bayern and his previous clubs.”Bayern are more of a family than my old clubs,” he noted.”I know there’s the atmosphere of Liverpool, but it’s even more of a family here.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Calum Chambers determined to prove himself at Arsenalby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCalum Chambers is determined to prove himself at Arsenal.On Sunday against Aston Villa he came off the bench at half-time and scored his first Arsenal goal in more than three years in a 3-2 win.”We spoke at the start of the season,” said Chambers. “The plan always was for me to go to Fulham, to come back and play here. That was always my plan in my head.”I went away, at Fulham it was great. I had a great time there, gained some experience and have come back here and wanted to bring what I learnt last season back here and to help out the team.”Chambers started the first game of the Premier League season but lost his place when Arsenal swooped to sign David Luiz for £8million from Chelsea ahead of the transfer deadline.”Obviously it was disappointing, but I respect the manager and I respect his decisions,’ said the 24-year-old who was signed from Southampton for £16m in 2014. ‘He spoke to me and I spoke to him. What was said is between me and him.”I have to work hard in training every day to get an opportunity again and to prove myself and help the team where I can.”
ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates on the field with quarterback Kenny Guiton #13 and quarterback Cardale Jones #12 after defeating the Michigan Wolverines 42-41 in a game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Ohio State 2016 defensive line commit Terrell Hall has given us a cool look inside the world of college football recruiting. Today, the Buckeyes landed a commitment from 2016 five-star defensive end Nick Bosa, who plays the same position as Hall. Since Hall, ranked the No. 10 player at his position by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, is just a verbal commitment, he’s still getting heavily recruited by other schools. And those schools are definitely going to use Bosa’s commitment as a reason for him to de-commit. Like, for example, this message Hall got from Kentucky wide receiver coach Tommy Mainord. @_TrillTrell_Hall later deleted the tweet. Someone might want to tell Coach Mainord that Urban Meyer can play more than one defensive end at a time.
ESPN College GameDayESPN’s Football Power Index is meant to be the “best predictor of a team’s performance going forward.”Since no games have been played, ESPN’s FPI for the 2016 college football season uses stats from last season, returning players, projected strength of schedule and more. The team at No. 1 in ESPN’s FPI is different than the team that will likely be topping the preseason polls. While Alabama holds the top spot in ESPN’s preseason top 25, it’s Florida State that tops the FPI. Here’s the full top 25. Twitter/@FSU_Football.Florida StateLSUOklahomaClemsonTennesseeAlabama Ole MissOklahoma StateUSCGeorgiaMichigan UCLAWashingtonTexas A&MOhio StateLouisvilleAuburnFloridaNotre DameUNCStanfordBaylorTexas PittsburghArkansasYou can view the full FPI here.
The college football world is still waiting to hear the fate of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Sunday, the school announced that it had put together a committee to investigate Meyer’s handling of 2015 domestic violence allegations against wide receivers coach Zach Smith. The school is supposed to decide within two weeks from that date.SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy joined Golic & Wingo on Tuesday and gave his opinion on the matter. McElroy called Smith a “despicable human” and predicted that Meyer will likely still lose his job after keeping him employed.McElroy admits that Meyer’s chances of staying are higher than they were when the story first broke. But he still thinks Meyer will be out at Ohio State.Here’s what McElroy had to say:“Well I still think it’s a long shot that Urban Meyer’s going to be at Ohio State in 2018 or beyond. Now, if you would have asked me when I first found out all of the information – or when the story first broke last Wednesday? I would have said there is a 0.1% chance Urban Meyer returns. Now I’d probably hover around 25%.Because when he released his statement on Friday, he kind of deflected all attention off of him and put the onus on Gene Smith the Athletic Director.Urban Meyer essentially said “I followed protocol. Now I might have lied to you in the media, but I did not lie to my administration.” And that kind of changed the power dynamic I think and the hierarchy there at Ohio State.I really think there is a possibility that he might return, but I still find it somewhat unlikely. I think the likelihood is that they might just clean house – top to bottom.Because Urban Meyer still should not have had Zach Smith employed on his football program whatsoever. Zach Smith is a despicable human being and doesn’t deserve an opportunity to work with college athletes.Urban Meyer allowed him that opportunity after not one incident in 2009, not after two incidents in 2015 but after three incidents when he finally fired him in 2018. It’s a troubling story for sure and it’s something that we’re still waiting to get all the information to, but I’d still be a little surprised if Urban Meyer is back in Columbus.”Here’s video:“Zach Smith is a despicable human being and doesn’t deserve an opportunity to work with college athletes and Urban Meyer allowed him that opportunity.”–@GregMcElroy pic.twitter.com/G10F5ey8Nn— Golic and Wingo (@GolicAndWingo) August 7, 2018The 2018 college football season kicks off in just three weeks. Who will be Ohio State’s head coach by then? We should find out soon.
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – SEPTEMBER 20: A general view of play between the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)After the impressive first season they had under Jeff Brohm last year, few would’ve picked Purdue to open 0-2. A home loss to Northwestern isn’t overly surprising. Today’s loss to Eastern Michigan definitely is.EMU is just a few years past being perhaps the worst team in all of FBS football. Chris Creighton has engineered an amazing turnaround in Ypsilanti.Today, he picked up a signature win against a Big Ten team.EMU battled throughout the game, and led in the fourth quarter, 17-12. Purdue’s D.J. Knox broke a 45-yard touchdown run to put the Boilermakers up 18-17.The Eagles got a big break, as the referees called Knox for a very questionable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the play. Instead of lining up for a two-point conversion, the penalty knocked Purdue out of range, and they settled for an extra point.Quarterback Tyler Wiegers, who had a good game overall, drove the team 72 yards down the field for the game-winning field goal.Purdue was a 15.5 point favorite over Eastern Michigan entering the game.FINAL | EMU-20, PUR-19 | RYLAND (@c_ryland9) is GOOD FROM 25 YARDS OUT! #FocusFightFinish | #EMUEagles | #MACtion pic.twitter.com/c9DA5yWqsc— Eastern Michigan Football (@EMUFB) September 8, 2018Eastern Michigan is now 2-0, and has no more games against Power Five opponents. The Eagles have a very good chance to getting back to bowl eligibility.It wasn’t a great slate of early games on paper, but we got one significant upset already.
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – NOVEMBER 03: General view of Iowa Hawkeyes helmets are seen during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 3, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)Black and Gold has been Iowa’s color scheme for decades, but the team has largely used black jerseys with gold pants for home games and white jerseys with black and gold trim for away games. But the Hawkeyes plan to change things up this year, and are introducing a special jersey for a special game.On Thursday the football team unveiled the special jerseys that they will be wearing on October 12 against Penn State. The bold design is all gold with black trim and feather shapes sticking out from the neck.Going BOLD for Our Dear Old GOLD | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/utbMrQJgcz— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 27, 2019October 12th. It’ll be golden | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/w3l1X8QXXe— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 27, 2019 The new jerseys were revealed with a Nike hype video and were very well received by the players.What do we have here?? pic.twitter.com/gTwa1BuTEX— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 27, 2019The design is a clear throwback to another former Iowaw design, but using gold instead of black as the primary color.Oh boy, back to this design! pic.twitter.com/8jk3iqSMG7— Austin Jeschke (@austin_jeschke) June 27, 2019Though the fan reaction was a bit mixed, most were generally very excited by the new designs, giving their stamps of approving on social media. Even some non-Iowa fans couldn’t help but admire the design.Excellent. You have my blessing. #TheHawkFather https://t.co/YFa6wnBJHq— The Hawk Father (@TheHawkFather) June 27, 2019From a Tennessee fan, these look pretty good! Love the gold on gold.— Horses in the back (@Orange__White) June 27, 2019💥I’ve wanted change or more special uni’s for years‼️👍👍😆— Kred (@kensylr) June 27, 2019Damn these are amazing. From an MSU fan— Jad Safadi (@jad_safadi) June 27, 2019It’s unclear at this time if the Hawkeyes will be utilizing these jerseys beyond the game against Penn State though.As with almost any new uniform, it has its critics…Lol https://t.co/DmhyiFbyu9— Wide Right & Natty Lite (@WideRtNattyLt) June 27, 2019 pic.twitter.com/o6ta0le61U— Drew (@DR73SEN) June 27, 2019But who knows? Maybe they’ll look even better in person.