When words like “postponement” start being used at official level, there may be some over-caution at work here — but it certainly seems worth talking about:
Officials in some corners of Brazil are wondering aloud about the possibility to postponing Wednesday’s semifinal between the host country and Uruguay due to scheduled protest that could draw more than 100,000 to Belo Horizonte.
At least one man in the middle of the ongoing competition, Brazilian striker Fred, has been outspoken in his support for the demonstrations, although he calling for them to proceed peacefully.
“I’m in favor of the protests because the people deserve better,” he said. “It has to be done without violence and vandalism though.”
Belo Horizonte has already been the site of some of the protests that have continue to roil during the Confederations Cup. Police there said up to 60,000 protesters may have participated around a match Saturday, when riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
For some good writing on where the worlds of soccer and social unrest meet, check out Roger Bennett’s good work from Brazil here.
Many Hull City fans didn’t want Steve Bruce to leave the club, and this open letter shows why.
After leaving the club by “mutual consent” on Friday — it was first widely reported that he quit — fans protested at Hull’s game on Monday.
[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]
Bruce may’ve had his problems with Hull’s ownership, but he certainly got his supporters’ feelings right down to the core.
From the Hull Daily Mail:
My biggest regret is having to walk away but it was a decision I had to make for the sake of the club. The last 12 months have been very tough and it felt like the right step for the club to move forward in a different direction and with someone else in charge.
I desperately wanted to make it work this summer and be a Premier League manager again but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, I’ve left Hull City with some fantastic memories that I’ll always cherish, including just eight weeks ago in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Class from the longtime boss, and we imagine he’ll have a job very soon if he wants it.
Everton is going to activate Marko Arnautovic‘s $16 million release clause to bring the Stoke City striker to Goodison Park, according to a report out of Austria.
Stoke had been trying to sign Arnautovic to a contract extension, but the player was reportedly prepared to play out the final year of his deal.
[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]
The huge 27-year-old Austrian has been with Stoke since 2013, and broke through with 11 Premier League goals last season.
Arnautovic would give Everton support behind Romelu Lukaku, and insurance in case the Toffees do wind up selling their Belgian striker. Everton also has Arouna Kone as a potential target forward, but Oumar Niasse is expecting to leave after less than a year at Goodison Park.
A family of English newspapers conducted its annual survey of which teams are the most hated in the Premier League, and there’s a new champion.
Manchester United has dropped to second in the table to Chelsea in what the Manchester Evening News called the “League of Hate”.
[ MORE: Rooney’s England position not set ]
According to the MEN, 10,000 fans were quizzed on their love and hate:
A national survey asked fans of each top flight club which sides they hate, and which they love, and the west London club came out as the most disliked club overall.
United, who won the dubious accolade last year, have been revealed to be the next most reviled side.
It’s no surprise that the league’s more successful sides sit atop the table while newer PL clubs like Bournemouth and Burnley are not reviled. That said, Leicester’s dream story has them 19th. How much more success do they need to have before shooting up the hate table?
Here’s the Top Five, and all results:
2) Manchester United
4) Manchester City
England manager Sam Allardyce is going to choose the best players going, and play them where they’re playing for their club.
Joe Prince-Wright has a full write-up on Allardyce’s unveiling here, as the English boss says Wayne Rooney will play for his country in the same spot as his club.
[ MORE: Cresswell out four months ]
So it seems Jose Mourinho’s preference at Manchester United will help dictate where England’s leading scorer will line up.
From the BBC:
“I still think Wayne Rooney has a massive place to play in the England side,” said the 61-year-old.
“If Jose says he is not going to play him in centre midfield and he is playing up front and scoring goals for Manchester United then it would be pointless me bringing him into England and playing him in centre midfield.”
Those comments will have anti-Jurgen Klinsmann folks nodding their heads in approval. That said, Allardyce isn’t exactly going out on a limb, as Rooney is widely expected to play deeper for United with strikers like Anthony Martial, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford also around.