England Training and Press Conference - Group D: UEFA EURO 2012

Talking England, Brazil and … yes, central midfielders

Leave a comment

When it comes to England, how long have we been talking about a crowded central midfield and how best to arrange it? Since wee Stevie Gerrard was such a young figure at Anfield.

This certainly does go back to the Fabio Capello days of trying to shoehorn Frank Lampard and Gerrard (Steven Gerrard, of course) into the Three Lions midfield, or asking Gerrard to play wide on the right. Yes, that happened.

Now it’s Roy Hodgson’s job to shoehorn all the central midfielders into some kind of balanced, workable assembly. His next chance comes Wednesday in one of the high-profile friendlies – perhaps even the highest of profile friendlies – among a bunch of them around the world.

England meets Brazil on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium as part of the country’s Football Association’s 150-year anniversary celebrations.

And in the run-up to the match … yes, we will talk about England and central midfielders. Scott Parker and Gareth Barry apparently will not be part of the plan.

So Gerrard, Lampard, Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick will be in some arrangement against the powerful Brazilians.  Says Hodgson:

You must balance your team out. You get as many of your best players in the team but if you are really very fortunate and have got four exceptional players, who play in the same position and they are all fit and ready to play, I’m afraid you have to make the choice. The mistake can be to try and include them all. But I’m not going to ask Jack Wilshere, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard or Michael Carrick to play on the right wing.”

Celtic 3-3 Manchester City: Visitors come back thrice on wild night in Glasgow

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City battles for the ball with Nir Bitton and Scott Brown of Celtic during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September 28, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Dembele nets twice
  • Celtic led 1-0, 2-1, 3-2
  • Sterling scores for, against City
  • Fernandinho, Nolito also score

Moussa Dembele scored a brace, but Manchester City came back from a trio of deficits to draw Celtic 3-3 at Celtic Park in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday.

Raheem Sterling had a goal and an own goal for Man City, while Fernandinho and Nolito also netted for the visitors.

The draw means Pep Guardiola remains unbeaten at City through 11 matches in charge, but City falls behind Barcelona in Group C. City is three points ahead of third-place Celtic after two matches.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

What a start we had at Celtic Park, with four goals coming in the first 28 minutes as Brendan Rodgers‘ Scots have opened up a pair of leads.

Moussa Dembele‘s was a bit offside for his third-minute redirection of a Erik Sviatchenko attempt, but Celtic had its surprise 1-0 lead nonetheless.

Fernandinho leveled things for Man City when he in the right place at the right time to turn a low left-footer home for 1-1.

It was then Sterling’s turn, as he first deflected Kieran Tierney’s cross into his own goal before scoring a goal of his own eight minutes later.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Celtic found a third lead through Dembele, and this one was onside and deliberate. Aleksandar Kolarov made a horrible attempt at a trap, and Dembele trapped, turned, and fired by Claudio Bravo to make it 3-2.

Believe it or not, there were stops in this one, too. Craig Gordon dove left to parry a good free kick from Ilkay Gundogan. Gordon then made a solid palm save on Aguero before Nolito found the rebound and deposited into the gaping goal.

It would be wrong to say Celtic looked a threat to retake the lead, but the Bhoys were resolute at the back to keep things 3-3. Gordon stopped Gundogan just into stoppage time.

Man City now turns its attention to Sunday’s Premier League showdown with second-place Spurs. City next faces Barcelona on Oct. 19 in the Champions League.

UCL AT HALF: Man City, Celtic in thriller; Walcott driving Arsenal

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  David Silva of Manchester City runs with the ball uner pressure from Nir Bitton of Celtic during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September 28, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The goals have been flying in around Europe, as the UEFA Champions League treks on through the group stage with an octet of Wednesday games.

[ LIVE: UCL scores ]

Celtic 2-2 Manchester City

The Scots have opened up a pair of leads through Moussa Dembele‘s third-minute redirection of a Erik Sviatchenko attempt and a Raheem Sterling own goal, but Fernandinho has one for City and Sterling made amends with a goal of his own to level things in a thriller at Celtic Park.

Arsenal 2-0 Basel

A Theo Walcott brace has the Gunners rolling at the Emirates in a match which pits Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka against older brother Taulant Xhaka.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 Barcelona

Well, well, well… the middle Hazard brother, Thorgan, had staked the German hosts to a 1-0 lead over Lionel Messi-less Barcelona with his 34th minute tally.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich

Yannick Carrasco has the hosts up at the Vicente Calderon, on a nice shot to boot.

Elsewhere
Ludogorets Razgrad 1-1 PSG — Matuidi nabs equalizer
Napoli 1-0 Benfica — Hamsik scores for hosts
Besiktas 1-0 Dynamo Kyiv — Quaresma the scorer
FC Rostov 2-2 PSV Eindhoven — Two for Dmitri Poloz

LIVE, UCL group stage: Celtic-Man City, Arsenal-Basel, Atletico-Bayern

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City is congratulated by Josep Guardiola manager of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City FC and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on September 14, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

We have another packed slate of UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday as Groups A through D are in action across Europe.

[ LIVE: UCL scores ]

Manchester City head to Celtic and Pep Guardiola‘s boy can expect a cauldron of noise at Celtic Park, while Arsenal host Basel at the Emirates. Elsewhere a mouthwatering clashing takes place in the Spanish capital where Atletico Madrid host German giants Bayern Munich.

City will be hoping to avoid an upset ahead of their next two UCL games against Pep’s old side, Barcelona, while Arsene Wenger will look to build on Arsenal’s solid draw away at PSG in their Group A opener two weeks ago.

All matches kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET, and you can follow all the action live as it happens by clicking on the link above.

Wednesday UCL schedule

Celtic vs. Manchester City
Arsenal vs. Basel
Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Barcelona
Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Napoli vs. Benfica
Besiktas vs. Dynamo Kyiv
FC Rostov vs. PSV Eindhoven

Men In Blazers podcast: Arsene Wenger on 20 years at Arsenal

ctirxnqxeaaphkq
Roger Bennett
Leave a comment

Rog talks with Arsene Wenger about his 20 years as manager of Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League’s changing landscape, and what motivates him to continue.

Rog’s film, “Inside the Mind of Arsene Wenger,” airs on NBCSN Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]

Click here for the RSS feed ]