Among the top stuff from the men with the gloves, Allan McGregor’s big stop truly stands out. Not only was it outstanding stuff (as you will see), but it was part of the Scottish international’s Man of the Match overall performance for 10-man Hull City, helping his team collect all three points in a 1-0 win over Norwich.
From his time at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp is used to a much more positive, family-like, everyone-pulling-in-the-same-direction atmosphere at his club of employment, so the present goings-on at Liverpool understandably have the Reds’ first-year manager feeling more than a little uneasy.
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Saturday’s late 2-2 draw with Sunderland wasn’t the first time Liverpool fans have headed for the exit before the final whistle, leaving Klopp feeling all alone, but it was the first time the fans have departed from Anfield early in a pre-planned, organized manner (Klopp missed the game himself with appendicitis). The Anfield faithful didn’t walk out on 77 minutes due to their team’s poor performance — Liverpool were 2-0 ahead at the time — but in protest of steadily rising ticket prices, which were unveiled at $111 per game to sit in the 132-year-old stadium’s new main stand next season.
Klopp, coming from the Bundesliga, where a season ticket at clubs the size of Bayern Munich and Dortmund doesn’t cost much more than a single-game ticket at many Premier League grounds, understands the fans’ frustration. At the end of the day, though, he works for the club, which is why he just wants the whole thing settled quickly, for the sake of his squad — quotes from the BBC:
“It’s not what we want. What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this. We don’t want people to leave the stadium before the game is finished.”
An LFC TV appearance by Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre, in which he was expected to answer fan-submitted questions, was consequently canceled on Monday due to the ongoing dispute.
Dimitri Payet is going to be a red-hot commodity during this summer’s transfer window, there’s no doubt about it.
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Given he’s currently contracted to one of the Premier League’s “smaller” clubs — in comparison to some of the giants which are bound to be interested — West Ham United, there’s a decent-to-good chance he could be wearing a different club’s shirt come August. Especially if the 28-year-old attacker shows up and shows out at this summer’s European Championship in his native France.
If I can foresee the interest in Payet, then so too can the executives at West Ham, which is why manager Slaven Bilic took to the press on Monday to convey his desire for Payet to consider signing a new, increased contract at his earliest convenience — quotes from the Guardian:
“We are moving, the club is moving, with the new stadium, with the revenue and everything. We have to move and the most important move is to keep your best players and to add some new players who are needed and Dimitri Payet is our best player — I have no problem whatsoever to say that. Of course, I would love to have him happy, long term, at the club.”
Of course West Ham want Payet to sign a new deal immediately — doing so would accomplish two things in the club’s eyes: 1) increase the likelihood he remains at the club next season, or 2) insure the club receives a higher transfer fee for the player if he leaves in the summer anyway. The more total money remaining on his West Ham contract, the more they can demand of a prospective buyer.
From Payet’s side — unless he has absolutely zero desire to move to a club like Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United, where he’d likely be paid close to $200,000 per week — he’d be crazy to sign a new contract at this point. Not only would it make a move this summer more difficult, but a strong showing at EURO 2016 could be worth another $15,000 or $20,000 per week on a new contract with West Ham (his current contract is rumored to be close to $100,000 per week).
With as many as five seasons still remaining on his current contract (a one-year club option can be exercised at any point), and his stock perhaps at an all-time high, the next six months could hold Payet’s last chance to get really, really paid before he hits the downside of his career.
(AP) — The union that represents the Women’s World Cup-winning American national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.
The federation sued in an attempt to establish it has a contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year’s Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.
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The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking for an expedited schedule, and the submitted opposition papers Monday that claim “facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed.”
The union also maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.
An initial status conference is set for April 4.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Lionel Messi is to undergo medical tests to assess a recurrence of kidney problems.
Messi missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to a renal colic, an abdominal ailment often related to the presence of kidney stones within renal ducts.
Barcelona says in a statement Monday that the tests to be conducted by Tuesday at the latest, are “to assess the evolution of the kidney problem he suffered last December.”
The statement says Messi will resume training with the squad on Wednesday, when Barcelona travels to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals in which it carries a 7-0 lead.