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University Of Bedfordshire

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Football Team News

» Former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela responds to claims he propositioned transsexual model in flirty texts
The Mexico international, now playing for Los Angeles FC, was accused of asking the model, Alejandra Salinas, for a date - only for her to knock him back
» West Ham suspend youth coach Mark Phillips after he attended march organised by group 'with links to far-right factions'
Phillips, an under-18s coach at West Ham, faces being sacked after he joined a demonstration organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance
» Paul Scholes tells Jose Mourinho to stop moaning and get back to his 'cocky' former self
The Manchester United manager has survived a disappointing start to the season that sees United languishing in eighth
» Raheem Sterling transfer: Real Madrid 'set to ramp up interest' in £100m-rated Manchester City winger
PLUS: Paul Scholes explains what Paul Pogba is missing at Manchester United
» Jurgen Klopp's three-year Liverpool anniversary: How Reds have evolved since German's 2015 Premier League opener
Wednesday marks three years to the day since Klopp took charge of his first Reds game, and plenty has changed since then
» Barcelona respond to Diego Maradona over Lionel Messi claims by calling star "the best player of all time"
The former Napoli star launched a scathing attack on Messi before the Barca superstar's family hit back
» Arsenal and Liverpool fans enjoyed Tuesday night's internationals for EXACTLY the same reason
The Premier League pair will already have their eyes on matches in the top-flight at the weekend, but Tuesday gave them a glimpse of the future
» Gareth Southgate keen to keep England stars' feet on the ground after stunning win in Spain
Southgate’s mindset is that he does not want big wins over big nations to feel particularly special as they should be the norm
» Naby Keita injury: Liverpool charter private jet to fly midfielder back to UK as Reds' problems pile up
Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp had complained about the “senseless matches” in the international break
» Eric Dier makes comments about Sergio Ramos after THAT tackle plus England's future and earning the right to play
The Tottenham midfielder made a memorably crunching tackle on the Real Madrid ace during the clash in Seville
» Gareth Southgate warns England stars not to get carried away by 'Munich moment' after crushing win over Spain
Southgate led England to a glorious win over Spain, arguably the country's best victory since beating Germany 5-1 in 2001
» Harry Winks insists there is more to come after ending year-long international frustration in Seville
Winks made his England debut in early October last year but ankle problems meant he had to wait until Monday for his second
» Nathaniel Chalobah reveals gift England teammates handed him after Three Lions debut
The Watford midfielder replaced Harry Winks in stoppage time during England's 3-2 victory over Spain
» Belgium 1-1 Holland: Ronald Koeman's resurgence continues as the Oranje claim draw in Brussels
Arnaut Groeneveld bagged his first goal for the Dutch to level the scores after Dries Mertens' sensational early volley
» France 2-1 Germany RECAP as Griezmann double hands Les Bleus victory in UEFA Nations League clash
Another defeat for Die Mannschaft thanks to Atletico Madrid hitman Griezmann's second-half double
» Republic of Ireland 0-1 Wales: Harry Wilson free-kick leaves Martin O'Neill fighting for his job
Not for the first time this season Wilson has pinged home a spectacular free kick in a huge stadium
» Jose Mourinho's No.1 fan Michael Essien backs Man United boss to turn around poor start to season
EXCLUSIVE: Mourinho is still clinging onto his job at Old Trafford after a run of poor results and underwhelming performances
» France 2-1 Germany: Antoine Griezmann proves the difference in UEFA Nations League clash - 5 talking points
The Atletico Madrid striker scored a second-half double after Toni Kroos' penalty had given the visitors a half-time lead in Paris
» Paul Scholes picks between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - and says one has "absolutely everything"
The Manchester United icon played with Ronaldo for six years at Old Trafford, and so he was in a good position to answer football's ultimate question
» France vs Germany TV channel and live stream: How to watch UEFA Nations League clash
Didier Deschamps’ France currently have four points and sit top of Group 1 after lifting the World Cup back in July
» Argentina 0-1 Brazil: Neymar attempts to mature and the Lionel Messi void - 5 talking points
Inter Milan defender Miranda made the most of some weak defending to net a late late winner
» Argentina 0-1 Brazil: Joao Miranda heads in last gasp winner as Samba Boys win Saudi Superclasico
Argentina will be without a clutch of big names including Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain
» Kyle Walker's hilarious response as 10,000 people sign petition for Harry Maguire to be on new £50 note
The World Cup may only be a memory, but it seems the camaraderie in the England camp is still alive and kicking
» Paul Scholes explains what Paul Pogba is missing at Manchester United that he had at Juventus
The former United midfielder highlighted the changes in Pogba's game and what is around him as he tried to explain the Frenchman's form

Football resources

» The FA
» BBC Sport
» SportsCoach
» Little Kickers
» Kiddikicks

Other sport news:

» Harry Wilson’s superb free-kick gives Wales win over Republic of Ireland

• Nations League: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Wales
• Wilson 58

Ryan Giggs had challenged his young team to prove they could cope without Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey; Harry Wilson duly offered evidence with a goal that would have made the Real Madrid man proud.

The 21-year-old’s beautiful second-half free-kick earned a victory that sent Wales to the top of their Nations League group and condemned the Republic of Ireland to bottom place. It also lit up an otherwise gruelling spectacle that intensified the pressure on Martin O’Neill.

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» West Ham suspend coach who went on Democratic Football Lads Alliance march
• Under-18s coach Mark Phillips tweeted about event
• Kick It Out confirm they are monitoring situation

West Ham have suspended one of their youth coaches pending an investigation after he said he went on a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, a group condemned by anti-racism campaigners.

Mark Phillips, who coaches West Ham’s Under-18s, now faces a fight to keep his job after his support for the DFLA was brought to the attention of Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity. Phillips tweeted about attending the DFLA’s march through central London last Saturday and went on to defend the right-wing organisation in subsequent tweets.

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» Gareth Southgate’s young side continue adding to their list of firsts | Daniel Taylor

England manager and his burgeoning team have passed through several barriers already and now they have an away win against a top side

As Gareth Southgate reflected on the most striking result of his two years as England manager – and the considerable evidence that, on his watch, they are going to fear nobody – he thought back to a moment in Croatia to illustrate his point that these are uncommon, and happy, times for the national team.

The first player to congratulate Jadon Sancho for making his debut, Southgate wanted us to know, was possibly the one with the most to lose. Raheem Sterling, after all, had been the player to make way for the 18-year-old substitute during the goalless draw in Rijeka. Yet Sterling, Southgate revealed, had been “straight over” to England’s new kid on the block to embrace. Southgate watched this dressing-room scene unfold and was so impressed he wanted to share what he saw.

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» France add to Germany’s woes as Antoine Griezmann leads comeback win

• France 2-1 Germany
• Griezmann 62, 80pen; Kroos 14pen

Antoine Griezmann scored twice in the second half as France came from behind to beat Germany in the Nations League and increase the pressure on Joachim Löw.

Germany looked to be producing the desired response to a 3-0 defeat by Holland on Saturday that left them in danger of relegation when Toni Kroos scored an early penalty.

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» Eric Dier says England have learned how to avoid being intimidated
• Tottenham midfielder was quick into action against Spain
• ‘It’s knowing when to win fouls, when to take your time’

Eric Dier has pointed to England’s eagerness to stamp their authority on the Nations League match with Spain as evidence their youthful side will no longer be intimidated by elite opposition.

England inflicted a first competitive home defeat on their hosts for 15 years and the midfielder set the tone in Seville, first by snapping into a challenge on Sergio Busquets after 18 seconds that left the Barcelona player rattled and then slide-tackling Sergio Ramos 11 minutes in.

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» Gareth Southgate may allow several seniors to play at Euro Under-21 finals

• The more games I play the better, says Harry Winks
• Tournament takes place in Italy and San Marino during June

Gareth Southgate’s desire for his players to gain further tournament experience will leave him facing key decisions next summer, with members of England’s senior squad still eligible and eager to feature at the European Under-21 Championship in June.

Seven members of the squad for the Nations League ties against Croatia and Spain are eligible to play for Aidy Boothroyd’s junior side for the finals in Italy and San Marino. Harry Winks, who is actually 22 but was born after the 1 January 1996 cut-off, has publicly expressed a willingness to play for the under-21s next summer, with decisions to be made over Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell and Joe Gomez among others.

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» Miranda edges Brazil past Argentina while Belgium and Holland draw

• Goal in stoppage time settles South American derby
• Arnaut Groeneveld equalises for Holland in Brussels

A stoppage-time goal from Miranda gave Brazil a 1-0 victory over Argentina in a foul-strewn friendly in Saudi Arabia. The central defender beat the goalkeeper Sergio Romero to a Neymar corner and headed home, deciding a game that looked set to go to penalties.

“Scoring a goal against Argentina is always gratifying and always exciting,” Miranda said. Argentina are one of only two teams to have beaten Brazil since Tite took over as the manager in 2016, but without Lionel Messi, who is taking a sabbatical from international football, they rarely troubled their neighbours.

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» José Mourinho charged with improper conduct after Newcastle match
• Manchester United manager must respond by 6pm on Friday
• Mourinho alleged to have sworn to TV camera

José Mourinho has been charged with improper conduct following Manchester United’s game against Newcastle United on 6 October, the Football Association has announced.

The United manager spoke into a camera after his side came from behind to triumph 3-2 at Old Trafford.

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» Glasgow City dream of Champions League upset against Barcelona | Suzanne Wrack

The Scottish champions face a grandstand finish to their domestic season but first visit Spain in search of a last-16 shock

This is a season-defining week for the Scottish champions, Glasgow City. A 2-1 defeat by their title rivals, Hibernian, in the Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final was not the ideal start to the crunch period, which reaches its climax on Sunday with the two teams – separated by two goals only – meeting in their penultimate league outing. Hibs have won their last five knockout games against City but have not beaten them in the league for a staggering 11 years.

Now, the amateur side head to Spain for a David v Goliath style match-up with star-studded Barcelona. It is hard to overstate the task at hand and the delicate decisions their manager, Scott Booth, has to make. With a packed fixture schedule, the former Aberdeen player’s squad is being stretched.

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» Spanish press reaction: ‘Lord’ Harry Kane brought Spain to their knees | Sid Lowe
‘We hadn’t cocked it up like this against England since the 16th century’ said El Mundo while Marca felt Kane showed he was ‘a classic striker who is good at absolutely everything’

“I was great at half-time,” said the Spain manager Luis Enrique. “The logical thing would have been to kick something, crap on everything and kill them, but I didn’t.” He didn’t need to: Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane – especially Harry Kane – had already done so.

That was the verdict from the Spanish media in Seville. If Luis Enrique didn’t kill his players, nor for the most part did they. After three wins out of three, 12 goals scored, “the spell was broken” said Sport and there was criticism of course, a lot of it. Luis Enrique had expected that: “I’m ready for the ‘party’,” he insisted. Mostly, though, there was Kane, the man El Mundo said had “dismantled Spain”.

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» Next Generation 2018: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From Lilian Thuram’s son to Real Madrid-bound Rodrygo and the ‘Croatian Neymar’, the Guardian picks 60 of the most talented players born in 2001. Check out the progress of our 2017 class | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

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» Mark Walters: ‘It wasn’t just fruit – people threw darts and a pig’s leg’
The former England winger discusses the racism he faced when he joined Rangers and why having ‘all the badges and every award going’ never landed him a top coaching job

Mark Walters cannot help smiling about the time Mo Johnston, his then teammate, received a bullet in the post. “I said: ‘Mo, you’ve taken the pressure right off me!” he recalls of the death threat sent to Johnston after the striker, a Catholic and former Celtic hero, joined Rangers in 1989. “We had a good laugh about it,” says Walters. “I had all sorts thrown at me – bananas, darts, a pig’s leg – and I had letters from the Ku Klux Klan telling me where I should go and what I should be doing with myself. But I never got a bullet! Unless you’ve been in a professionals’ dressing room, it’s hard to explain the humour.”

Laughing off or blocking out hatred had been Walters’ modus operandi since long before he joined Rangers in 1987, when he became the only black player in the Scottish Premier League. He encountered abuse that may seem almost unbelievable today but says it was, in one respect only, easy to ignore because racism is boring and paying attention to it would not have helped him to fulfil his ambition of becoming a successful footballer. He achieved that, playing for his hometown club Aston Villa before winning three Scottish titles with Rangers, a cap for England and the FA Cup with Liverpool.

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» David Squires on … England's travels in the Nations League

Our resident cartoonist on an international break that has offered irrefutable evidence of who the world’s best team is

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» Usain Bolt offered professional football deal by Maltese champions
  • Valletta FC reportedly table unconditional two-year deal
  • Sprint champion currently training with Central Coast

Central Coast insist it is business as usual for Usain Bolt, who is mulling whether to take up an offer in Malta or continue chasing an A-League contract.

Reigning Maltese champions Valletta FC, boasting cash to splash after investors from the UAE recently took charge of the club and vowed to fund a charge towards the Champions League, have reportedly offered Bolt a two-year contract.

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» Dean Smith says John Terry will be an asset not a threat at Aston Villa

• Villa manager behind decision for Terry to be his No 2
• Smith: ‘I felt it was a win-win for both of us’

Dean Smith has insisted that he was behind the decision to make John Terry his No 2 at Aston Villa.

Laughing off suggestions that Terry could undermine him, Villa’s new manager said he is looking forward to developing a productive working relationship with the former Chelsea and England captain.

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» Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

• Spain 2-3 England
• Alcácer 58, Ramos 90; Sterling 16 38, Rashford 29

Where to start? It was a wild, epic night and, ultimately, these are the occasions England ought to cherish. Any victory against a team of Spain’s calibre has to be celebrated but the narrative of this performance should bring back all the feelgood factor from the World Cup and makes it, without exaggeration, one of the more pleasurable nights of England’s modern history.

Related: Luis Enrique sees Spain’s optimism washed away in the Seville rain | Sid Lowe

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» Nations League round-up: Northern Ireland face relegation after Dzeko double

• Michael O’Neill’s side beaten 2-0 in Sarajevo
• Switzerland relegate Iceland with 2-1 victory

Northern Ireland were shown the value of clinical finishing as the Bosnia-Herzegovina captain, Edin Dzeko, condemned them to a third successive Nations League defeat in a match during which they hit the post three times.

Related: Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

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» Luke Shaw in advanced talks over new Manchester United contract
• Left-back could sign extension within days
• Shaw wants sizeable rise on £100,000-a-week wage

Luke Shaw is in advanced talks with Manchester United regarding a new contract, with the left-back content to commit his long-term future to the club following an impressive start to the season.

Related: Jake Clarke-Salter: ‘I was with players I played with on PlayStation. Crazy’

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» Paul Gascoigne hits back at Scottish FA over Hall of Fame snub
  • Former Rangers player: ‘I feel the love & support of the People’
  • Gascoigne tweets footage of Euro 96 goal against Scotland

Paul Gascoigne has hit back at the Scottish Football Association and insisted he does not need to be in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame to know he was “the best”.

Related: Eden Hazard faces impossible choice with the benefit of perspective | Jacob Steinberg

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» Six of the best England performances since Euro 96 | Philip Cornwall
From drawing in Rome to that night in Munich, one England fan recalls half a dozen great displays over the last 22 years

Goalless draws are rarely treasured but, given the rarity with which England get the better of elite teams, the 0-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, pushing the hosts into the France 98 play-offs, stands out. Against a side that had won 1-0 at Wembley, Glenn Hoddle’s team more than held their own. It being England, the glory is tinged with regrets: Ian Wright, who struck a post in added time, did not make the cut for the finals on his return from injury; Paul Gascoigne likewise, albeit more explosively; and Paul Ince, the bloodied hero here, missed a penalty in the shootout against Argentina. Still, rich memories, albeit from the sofa.

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» England's dazzling front three fills gap on Gareth Southgate’s CV | Dominic Fifield

Gareth Southgate’s young side were quickly into their stride against Spain and finally have a win against a team of pedigree

There must have been times as the interval approached when even Gareth Southgate, such a staunch believer in the talent of this youthful group, found himself peering in disbelief up at the big screen at one end of this bowl of an arena. The list of English goalscorers had become cluttered by then, the board increasingly untidy if gloriously lopsided. The eerie silence in Rijeka last week had felt surreal but the stunned hush among the locals in Andalusia was far harder to comprehend.

Related: Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

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» Luis Enrique sees Spain’s optimism washed away in the Seville rain | Sid Lowe
After winning his first three matches he oversaw the country’s first competitive home defeat for 15 years as England won 3-2

The inquiry began way before the game had finished. The stadium clock had not yet reached half an hour when to the right of it, high in the Benito Villamarín, England’s drenched fans began to chant: “Are you Scotland in disguise?!” They were not, of course, but nor, it seemed, were the team down below Spain. Luis Enrique has been swift to quieten comparisons to that Spain – the team who won three tournaments in a row, European, world and European champions – but nor, at that point, were they this Spain, the team who had recovered so well since Russia.

Related: Raheem Sterling’s double inspires England to stunning victory in Spain

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» Spain 2-3 England: player ratings from the Nations League tie
The best marks for the home side were earned by the substitute scorer Paco Alcácer and Marcos Alonso – but England’s Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford were superior

Jordan Pickford Horrible moment of overplaying should have resulted in conceding a penalty, but his bold pass helped create the first goal. 6

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» Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action

Arsenal look unstoppable, Chelsea are missing Chapman, miserly Birmingham win again and Yeovil are improving

The way Arsenal are brushing teams aside this season is reminiscent of their glory days. They have won every match, most of them with ease – their four league games include two 5-0 wins and a 7-0, and this week it was the reigning champions on the receiving end. The major difference this season is how clinical they have been in front of goal, with Vivianne Miedema, who has six goals and four assists already and scored another two at Chelsea, seeming unstoppable. Their best play comes down the middle, with Miedema combining with Kim Little and Jordan Nobbs to cut through their opponents. They only had 11 shots on Sunday, and seven on target, but five of those went in. They are getting the rub of the green in some situations – their third goal was a cross from Nobbs that flew straight in – but that kind of clinical chance conversion demonstrates the confidence bubbling through the team at the moment.

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» Goalkeeper scores spectacular injury-time equaliser in Belgium – video

Goalkeeper Kevin Frans salvaged a point for K.R.C. Gent in the fourth tier of Belgian football with an acrobatic goal in the final moments of their match against Olsa Brakel. 

Gent had gone into the second half trailing Brakel by two goals, but were able to draw level through a header from Jorgo Waeghe and the skilful 94th-minute equaliser from Frans.

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» Back to the start: Thierry Henry joins Monaco as head coach – video

Thierry Henry has been named as the new head coach at Monaco, the team where he made his professional debut in 1994. His first challenge will be to help them recover from a poor start to the season as they lie 18th in Ligue 1

Thierry Henry appointed as Monaco manager on three-year deal

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» A look back at the life of 'Mr Aston Villa', Sir Doug Ellis – video obituary

The former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis has died aged 94. Ellis enjoyed two periods at the club, the first from 1968 to 1975 before returning in 1982. He left the club in 2006 after the club was bought by American billionaire Randy Lerner. A stand was named in his honour and he was made life president of the club

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» Rubin Kazan footballer scores astonishing backflip penalty – video

A Rubin Kazan footballer has scored an incredible penalty in Russia's National Student League. Norik Avdalyan performed a backward somersault as he netted a penalty in Kazan's 4-0 victory over against Cheboksary. This isn't the first time the 22-year-old, who also plays for Rubin Kazan's second team, has scored such a goal – Avdalyan also used the skill back in November 2017

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» Mourinho says 'manhunt' against him affecting Manchester United players - video

Manchester United manager José  Mourinho says speculation over his future had become a "manhunt" and that the atmosphere it has generated has been impacting the players.

United fought back from 2-0 down to defeat Newcastle United 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday with Alexis Sanchez grabbing the 90th-minute winner.

The game came amid media reports of Mourinho's future being on the line, with one paper saying he would be fired this weekend regardless of the Newcastle result - a claim denied by the club.

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» Referee inadvertently scores goal as ball ricochets off his head – video

A referee deflected in a a goal during a match in the second round of the LFL Dagestan between Keyes DD from Kizilyurt and Manas of Dahadaevskiy. 

A Manas player took a penalty kick in the 43rd minute, but the ball ricocheted off the head of official Atay Daudov and went into the net. Daudov later explained that, according to the rules, referees are active, so he had to allow the goal, but it was instead awarded to Ali Japarov from Manas. The game ended in a 4-4 draw

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» The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.

Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10
Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

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» A-League 2018-19 preview part one: Adelaide United to Melbourne Victory | Jonathan Howcroft

Keisuke Honda has made headlines but there are plenty of other reasons to get excited about season 14

With the help of a World Cup and seismic change in the corridors of power, the usually interminable A-League offseason has flown by. We can now look forward to the first “straightforward” domestic campaign in yonks, one unencumbered by off-field distractions.

The early signs are promising. There’s plenty of upbeat and meaningful publicity, some belting new signings, and a realistic possibility every club has strengthened since the end of last season.

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» USA rampage past Jamaica to qualify for 2019 Women's World Cup
  • Alex Morgan scores twice as USWNT beat Jamaica 6-0
  • Canada also book place in France with win over Panama

It was only eight years ago that the US almost missed out on the 2011 Women’s World Cup due to a shock loss in qualifying. Coming into Sunday’s Concacaf Women’s Tournament semi-final against Jamaica, the players and coach Jill Ellis were keenly aware of what happened in 2010, admitting they talked about it before the tournament started.

But this time around, there was no such suspense for the No1-ranked team in the world. On Sunday, the Americans steamrolled their way past Jamaica, 6-0, and clinched their spot at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, giving them the chance to defend their title.

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» Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny calls time on his international career
• Defender says France’s World Cup success damaged him
• Koscielny criticises Didier Deschamps for lack of contact

The Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has announced the end of his international career with France and criticised the World Cup-winning manager, Didier Deschamps.

Related: Didier Deschamps: ‘The biggest victories can lead to the greatest foolishness’

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» Mohamed Salah limps off after scoring goal direct from corner for Egypt

• Liverpool forward suffers muscle strain but ‘not a big injury’
• Northern Ireland beaten by Austria in Nations League

Mohamed Salah limped off towards the end of Egypt’s 4-1 win over Swaziland with a “muscle strain”. The Liverpool forward scored direct from a corner in the Africa Nations Cup qualifier in Cairo before appearing to suffer a hamstring injury. The Egypt assistant coach, Hany Ramzy, eased fears over the 26-year-old’s fitness by insisting it was “not a big injury”.

“The initial diagnosis confirmed that the injury is a muscle strain and there is no possibility of muscle rupture,” Ramzy said. “It is not a big injury. We support him with all our energy and we hope he will return as soon as possible.”

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» How Liga MX is thinking big with a link-up to US and live data for fans
Mexico’s Liga MX is determined to grow and compete with Europe – and it is ready to integrate with MLS to achieve its goal

How do you solve a problem like the Liga? That’s Liga MX, by the way, Mexican football’s top flight. As football’s cultural (and financial) explosion continues, it’s a competition keen to get a piece of the action, but how?

Mexico is, of course, football mad. Hirving Lozano’s goal against Germany triggered earthquake alerts in Mexico City, such was the fervour with which it was celebrated. Footage of supporters bouncing a South Korean embassy official around after Son Heung-min’s goal against Germany sent Mexico through to the second, was one of the highlights of the tournament.

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» Colombia too good for USA as James Rodríguez scores stunner
  • USA 2-4 Colombia

Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja scored second-half goals to lead Colombia past the United States 4-2 on Thursday night in an match that marked the return of USA captain Michael Bradley to the national team following a one-year absence.





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» Eden Hazard says he may need Real Madrid move to win Ballon d’Or
• Chelsea forward rules out transfer in January
• Bruce Buck: big clubs should not have to join ‘great unwashed’

Eden Hazard has dismissed the possibility of a January move to Real Madrid but said he may have to move to Spain to win the Ballon d’Or.

The Chelsea forward admitted this week that he was torn between wanting to extend his contract and seeking his “dream” move to Real.

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» Authorities charge five in Belgian football corruption claims

• Claims centred on last season’s relegation battle
• Financial fraud revolved around two agents

Belgian authorities have charged five people in relation to a massive financial fraud and match-fixing inquiry into football.

Four were charged with belonging to a criminal organisation while a fifth person was charged with money laundering. Prosecutors said match-fixing allegations centred on the relegation battle from the top division last season and did not involve a major club.

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» Real Madrid sue over claims club forced Ronaldo to settle in rape case

• Real claim to have ‘no knowledge’ of newspaper claims
• Correio da Manhã stands by story published on Wednesday

Real Madrid have taken legal action against a Portuguese newspaper that reported the club forced Cristiano Ronaldo to settle with the woman who accused him of rape.

Real said the information published by Correio da Manhã is “categorically false” and was printed in an effort to “seriously damage the image of this club”.

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» Enjoy Eden Hazard while you can lest Real Madrid land their man | Daniel Taylor
Chelsea should try to keep the Belgian but the Spanish giants usually get their targets. At least Hazard is lighting up the Premier League for one more season

They don’t bother putting stars on Real Madrid’s shirt to signify all the times they have accumulated the sport’s most coveted trophies. For other clubs, those stars take the form of a status symbol. At Madrid, though, they go by the theory that all they need is their club badge to signify football royalty. No stars necessary – which is just as well because they would need to find space for their own constellation to reflect what makes them different to the rest.

In total, they have had the European Cup in their possession on 13 occasions, including four of the previous five seasons. Milan are next on the list with seven wins and then it is Barcelona, Liverpool and Bayern Munich on five. Ajax are even further back, on four, with Manchester United and Internazionale little more than a speck in the distance, on three apiece. Madrid might have their faults, they might be arrogant off the scale, permanently riven with politics and difficult sometimes to love, but their captain, Sergio Ramos, summed it up neatly. “When you put on this shirt, you know you’ve arrived at the very top,” Ramos said. “There is no greater honour.”

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» Why future England squads will have heavy south London accent | Ed Aarons

With its mix of cultures the area is fast becoming one of the most productive breeding grounds for young talent who have grown up playing on estates and in parks

As some black-cab drivers in London used to insist, we never go south of the river. But when England’s Under-21s run out at Tynecastle on Tuesday there is one part of the country that should take particular pride. Having qualified for next year’s European Championship in Italy and San Marino with a 7-0 win against Andorra on Thursday, Aidy Boothroyd’s side to face Scotland could include as many as eight players born and raised in south London – an area fast becoming one of the most productive breeding grounds on the planet.

As well as the regulars Tammy Abraham and Under-20 World Cup winner Ademola Lookman, who hail from Camberwell, Boothroyd’s squad has been boosted by the emergence of a new generation of young players including Roehampton’s Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham and Reiss Nelson, the Arsenal forward on loan at Hoffenheim this season. His fellow 18-year-old, the Kennington‑raised Jadon Sancho, was one of four south Londoners named in Gareth Southgate’s senior squad last week, moreover, along with the young goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli (Croydon), Joe Gomez (Catford) and Nathaniel Chalobah (Gipsy Hill).

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» Investments are protected and for now Cristiano Ronaldo is too big to fail | Barney Ronay

Juve’s response to the Ronaldo rape allegations was to call him ‘a great champion’ but the important thing is to judge on facts

As the Uefa Nations League weekender rolls on from Friday into Tuesday it is hard not to luxuriate a little in the glow of international football, to feel fuzzy and loved-up still from that sun-bleached World Cup. The Nations League has been criticised for its fiddly nature but whatever the background noise there is an undying grandeur to these games. Netherlands v Germany remains one of the great European retro-hate matches, and on Monday night Spain, still stung from the summer, still effortlessly talented, will host England in Andalusia.

There is one significant absence from this spectacle. Cristiano Ronaldo did not play for Portugal against Poland, nor will he in Sunday’s friendly against Scotland. Officially Ronaldo is being rested. Unofficially he is mounting his defence, public and legal, to allegations of rape and physical assault.

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» The Fiver | Old-timers have seen this movie before

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And to think there were some who thought England’s march to the Ethics World Cup semi-finals was a false dawn! Sure, they triumphed over Tunisia, pummelled Panama, conquered Colombia and smothered Sweden before capitulating against Croatia (despite playing well for a bit), but the actual football hadn’t really been that good, had it? On Monday night in Seville that idea was buried in an avalanche of first-half goals. England’s march was but a false distant glimmer of light on a fake far horizon. Maybe some car headlights or a bloke with a torch or something. This – this – was the false dawn.

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» Football transfer rumours: Frenkie de Jong to Manchester City for £62m?

Today’s piffle is blinding you with its brilliance

Pep Guardiola has seen the future of football – and it’s orange! Actually, it’s usually red and white but it has worn orange three times, for the resurgent Netherlands, and goes by the name of Frenkie de Jong. The jinky playmaker has got Manchester City hot and bothered with his Pep-approved pop-pop-pop passing style in Ajax’s midfield this season and the club are said to be readying a £62m bid for the 21-year-old. They will have stiff competition from Barcelona and Spurs tho… Oh, hang on, let’s do that again. They’ll have stiff competition from Barcelona though who, according to Mundo Deportivo, have had a bid of around £45m rejected.

In other disheartening news for Phil Foden’s future playing opportunities at City, the club has a buyback clause for Jadon Sancho, Foden’s one-time contemporary who is ripping it up at Dortmund. Mind you, that could encourage Dortmund to make a concrete move for Foden, as reported in Monday’s Mill.

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» Said & Done: Ronaldinho, marquee clubs and multiple defamations

The season so far – also featuring Fifa 2.0, a fined lion and football’s saddest lament

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» Nations League, Lionesses and roundabouts – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Philippe Auclair to discuss international football, Aston Villa, the Ballon d’Or and our Next Generation 2018 list

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Max Rushden is joined by Respected Journalism’s Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Philippe Auclair to discuss the international fixtures, including England’s behind-closed-doors Nations League game in Croatia. Just which England player will have a potty mouth?

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» Which fruit and vegetables have been hurled at footballers and managers? | The Knowledge

Plus: dotty names, goalscoring streakers and the Socceroos’ animal-heavy crest. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“After Steve Bruce had a cabbage thrown at him, it got me wondering what other odd fruits or vegetables have been tossed in the direction of underperforming managers or players?” asks George Jones.

It wouldn’t take a genius to guess which vegetable was thrown at the late Graham Taylor back in the 1990s. Here’s an extract of Jeremy Alexander’s match report from Bolton Wanderers’ 5-1 defeat of Wolves in 1995. “As Graham Taylor settled on the bench three turnips winged past him on to the pitch. Compared to his goalkeeper he got off lightly. Three shots flew in from 30 yards like sticks of celery.” Three turnips! And not one hit the target. That’s a poor conversion rate.

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» Sports quiz of the week: beer, bears, burgers, a cabbage and the postman

This week’s questions take in the Ryder Cup celebrations, Champions League hat-tricks and Conor McGregor’s comeback

Ian Poulter celebrated victory in the Ryder Cup by dressing up as a postbox. Why is Poulter nicknamed “the postman”?

Because he worked as a postman before he became a pro golfer

Because he owns a black and white cat and drives a red van

Because his favourite song is Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Because “he always delivers” in the Ryder Cup

Which American player had this to say after his team's defeat in France: “I’m 48, I’m not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore. It’s a waste of my time. They had brutal rough, almost unplayable and that’s not the way I play”?

Tiger Woods

Tony Finau

Phil Mickelson

Patrick Reed

Who said: "It sums up the society we are in at the moment. There’s no respect for anyone"?

José Mourinho while talking about Paul Scholes

Steve Bruce on a fan who threw a cabbage at him

Patrick Reed on his USA teammates

The ballboy who was berated by Fernando Verdasco

Which organisation presented League Two club Forest Green Rovers with an award in New York this week?

United Nations



European Union

Who said: "I ain’t doing this for money. I can’t live a better lifestyle than I live. I live in Morecambe for God’s sake, not Beverly Hills. I live in the arsehole of nowhere. There’s not much to spend millions on. I can get a burger for £1.50 and 20 pieces of rock for £1. If you change a fiver into 2p coins you can spend all day on them machines"?

José Mourinho

Joe Hart

Jürgen Klopp

Tyson Fury

When did Manchester United last win at Old Trafford?





Khabib Nurmagomedov is fighting Conor McGregor this weekend. Who did he wrestle as a nine-year-old?

Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Gennady Golovkin

A Bear

Which of these players did not score a hat-trick in the Champions League this week?


Lionel Messi

Paulo Dybala

Edin Dzeko

Kennedy Bakircioglu scored a cracking, 30-yard free-kick for Hammarby in Sweden this week. How did he celebrate?

He caught a glass of beer thrown from the crowd and had a drink

He proposed to his girlfriend and she said no

He punched the goalpost, broke his hand and was sent off

He grabbed a mic from a TV reporter and sang for his wife

Gareth Southgate has picked a 25-man squad for England’s forthcoming matches against Croatia and Spain. Only one of those players is not based in England. Which club does he represent?



Swansea City

Borussia Dortmund

How did Luis Corcoran make the news this week?

He scored five goals in a game of football but his team still lost

He hit a double century on his debut for England’s Under 21 cricket team

He won the Budapest marathon and broke the world record in the process

1 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

2 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

3 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

4 and above.

Decent shooting. Have a super weekend

5 and above.

Nice work. Have a super weekend

6 and above.

Solid scoring. Have a super weekend

7 and above.

Solid scoring. Have a super weekend

8 and above.

Have a super weekend. You've earned it

9 and above.

Have a super weekend. You've earned it

10 and above.

Have a super weekend. You've earned it

0 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a super weekend

11 and above.

Have a super weekend you absolute hero

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» The Joy of Six: footballers who can take or leave football | Nick Miller

Some players are happy to live their lives and not let careers on the pitch dominate their existence. Here are a few of them

Of all the players who seemed to play football with a passion and joie de vivre, Batistuta seemed among the most passionate and joiest de vivrest. Those lusty shots, those screaming celebrations, those goals. But, it seems, he wasn’t especially keen on football. “I do not like football, it is just my profession,” he once said in an interview with Argentinian TV.

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» The Joy of Six: World Cup goal celebrations

From Roger Milla’s hips to a human Slinky, half a dozen joyful celebrations from the festival of football

Want to feel old? Bebeto’s third son Mattheus Oliviera, the celebration’s subject, recently turned 23, and has signed for Sporting Lisbon. Back to 1994, an hour gone, and from a wayward header Bebeto embarrassed the entire Dutch back-four, caught waiting for an offside flag that never came. Running unimpeded through on goal, he rounded Ed de Goey with a touch both deft and impetuous, before slotting into the empty net. Like your dad at a family barbecue, Bebeto started to laugh at his own joke before the punchline, heading towards the corner flag with a giddy grin plastered on his face. Shaping his arms into a cradle, he began to rock the proverbial baby, before being joined by team-mates Mazinho and Romário in a tableau of parental bliss. Hopefully this will have assuaged the anger of his other half; the Brazilian sheepishly explained this was the only child whose birth he wasn’t present for. Perhaps a touch hubristically, he added: “When I made that celebration maybe it was like Mattheus was baptised by God.” At the least it christened a celebration copied in recent years by a succession of happy parents.

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» When Brian Lenihan left football in 2017 it was from despair, not injury | Barry Glendenning
Former Cork City, Hull City, Blackpool and Republic of Ireland Under-21 can be an example to others in the game

“I poured my heart and soul into football and all I got in return was money. That might sound strange to some people, but it’s true.” In a world where more and more professional sportsmen and women are increasingly comfortable discussing the psychological demons which plague them, the former footballer Brian Lenihan gave an extraordinary, at times chilling and vitally important interview that was broadcast last week.

Speaking to his compatriot and fellow former professional Richie Sadlier on the Player’s Chair section of the popular Second Captains World Service podcast, the 24-year-old explained how he had been living the dream – his dream, my dream and quite possibly your dream – as a young Irish player making his way in the English professional game. Having left Cork City, his hometown club, to join Hull City in 2014, the midfielder received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad soon afterwards. Lenihan described the week he spent rubbing shoulders with Robbie Keane and others as “the best feeling ever”.

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» Premier League assistant managers: who are they and what do they do?
One shares a flat with his boss, another is known as the manager’s ‘brother’. A run-down of the men who help to shape their clubs’ success

Known as Carlos, the 45-year-old Spaniard is building up good relationships with the Arsenal players, even if he is not the type to shy away from confrontation. Fiery and animated, if he feels that something needs to be said, he will say it – even to Unai Emery. Arsenal are the sixth club at which he has worked as Emery’s assistant, following Almería, Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and PSG. Carcedo was an uncompromising midfielder, who had spells with Atlético Madrid and Nice but played mainly at second division level. David Hytner

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» Kirsty Linnett and Chris Wood: life as a professional football couple

She plays for Liverpool, he for Burnley. They discuss equal pay, the pain of discovering your club has folded and being harsh about each other’s games

Chris Wood and Kirsty Linnett remember vividly the day the reality of life as a professional football couple became far removed from the dream. It was Friday 21 April 2017 and the two strikers, then of Leeds United and Notts County Ladies, were settling into the first home they had bought together two months earlier. As was their new puppy, Luna. It was also two days before the Women’s Super League Spring Series was due to start for Linnett with a trip to Arsenal.

“Kirsty came home and said: ‘Our club is no more,’” recalls Wood. “I said: ‘That can’t be possible. Notts County has folded?’ And she said: ‘No, just our side of it.’”

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» Hostile players, irate fans and decisions that haunt you: who’d be a football ref?

From the horror of making a mistake to the teams that came armed with knives, football’s unsung heroes share their stories

It is a wet Saturday morning in September, the kind when the prickling heat of August feels a distant memory. In Regent’s Park in London, a man in a black shirt, shorts and socks jogs over to a group of parents watching their 14-year-olds warm up in the drizzle. He’s clutching two small flags, each in fluorescent yellow and orange. “I need two linesmen,” he says. Technically, he should say “assistant referees”, but we all know what he means.

I step forward. A few days earlier, I had met one of Britain’s leading assistant referees – whose decisions have seen him jeered from the stands and mocked in the House of Commons. This might give me an inkling of what his job entails.

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» France 2-1 Germany, Brazil 1-0 Argentina and more – as it happened

Germany slipped to a sixth defeat in 10 matches as Antoine Griezmann scored twice in Paris, while Miranda snatched victory for Brazil

Related: France add to Germany’s woes as Antoine Griezmann leads comeback win

Related: Miranda edges Brazil past Argentina while Belgium and Holland draw

Another unforgettable evening for Gibraltar, after earning history-making back-to-back wins following 22 straight defeats. They came from behind to edge out Liechtenstein at a rocking Victoria Stadium. Elsewhere, a wonderful Harry Wilson strike – a sumptuous free-kick – was the difference in Dublin. Thanks for joining and goodbye.

Related: Harry Wilson free-kick gives Wales victory over Republic of Ireland

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» Republic of Ireland 0-1 Wales: Nations League – as it happened

A lovely free kick from Harry Wilson won the game for a Bale-less and Ramsey-free Wales as the Republic of Ireland struggled to create

And with that, I’m off. Bye!

Keith Andrews is really sticking the boot in:

Morale is on the floor. It’s been one of the worst years in living memory. A lot of that is down to Martin.

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