Altidore

Is Jozy Altidore’s Premier League experiment nearly over?

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Since February 15, Jozy Altidore has seen just 45 minutes of action for Sunderland – against Arsenal where he was subbed off at halftime.

With news today that Jozy Altidore was not only left out of the 18 against Hull City in Sunderland’s FA Cup journey, but also completely absent from the team bus, things are going from bad to worse for the American.

(Note: manager Gus Poyet revealed Altidore picked up an injury in training, explaining his absence)

Today marks the third time in as many cup competitions for Sunderland that Jozy has not only found himself not in the starting lineup, but out of the 18 altogether.

In his second attempt at making a name for himself in England’s top flight, it’s a dose of painful irony that the potential finishing blow to Altidore’s season comes against Hull City, the team he made his first attempt with.

Managing just one goal for Hull in 28 Premier League appearances and two in all competitions back in the 2009/10 season, things are looking eerily similar this season for the 24-year-old.

Namely, his goal tally – one in 24 Premier League appearances and two in all competitions. Sound familiar? See previous paragraph.

As a result, it would appear Gus Poyet’s patience with Altidore has run dry.

So, barring a miraculous late-season flurry of goals in their final 10 Premier League matches, he will finish with the same disappointing numbers he found himself stuck with four seasons ago.

Will that be the end of Jozy Altidore at Sunderland? The Telegraph‘s Luke Edwards seems to think so. It’s possible he could get himself another season at the Stadium of Light, but he would certainly have to earn it.

But remember – Kenwyne Jones somehow continues to find a job, and that in and of itself should give Jozy some hope.

STREAM: Premier League Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 2

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Premier League outfit Watford have had the “Premier League Behind the Badge” treatment in the past few months and last week we saw episode one open up the series.

[ MORE: Behind the Badge archive

This Sunday at 2 p.m. ET the second episode (see the promo video above for a taster) is coming your way on NBCSN which features the players’ recovery after their hard-fought win against Leicester City, discusses the club’s one-of-a-kind internship program, and looks back on one of the most memorable moments in the team’s history. The episode will also include a tour of the club’s training facilities, given by defender Adrian Mariappa.

[ STREAM: Behind the Badge ]

In an exclusive series, NBC Sports followed around the Hornets in a very similar fashion to HBO’s Hard Knocks which joins the preseason camp of one NFL team each summer.

Below is the schedule for the three remaining episodes on Watford, which you can watch on NBCSN and live online via NBCSports.com in the coming weeks, plus a link to watch episode one in full from last week.


First episode: Watch full episode, here
Second episode: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Third episode: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Fourth episode: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN

Bradley reacts to Swans’ blowout loss: “Today is a big concern”

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur is tackled by Jordi Amat of Swansea City during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City at White Hart Lane on December 3, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images
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A penalty decision isn’t the reason that Tottenham waxed Swansea City on Saturday, but that’s what Bob Bradley was asked about after Swans sank to the Premier League basement.

The 5-0 loss actually could’ve been worse, as Swansea’s out-of-depth defensive players looked oarless — forget the rudder.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

Alas there was some controversy in the penalty won by Dele Alli and converted by Harry Kane, and Bradley was not pleased with the decision (although he obviously knows the issues run deeper than a whistle and a point to the spot).

It was one of those days where all progress feels undone.

From the BBC:

“I didn’t think the referee was in a good position and that certainly changed the game.

“Today is a big concern. I think the starting point was Tottenham, physically, got to every ball faster. On a day like today it feels like we have a long, long way to go.”

Swans are still just a win from safety, though their nine points now trail both Sunderland and Hull City (11 each, with the latter playing Monday at Middlesbrough).

Follow @NicholasMendola

El Clasico: Ramos’ 90th minute equalizer leaves Real, Barca level (video)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 03:  Luis Suarez (2nd L) of FC Barcelona and Sergio Ramos (L) of Real Madrid CF fight for the ball during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou stadium on December 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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Real Madrid’s six-point table lead over Barcelona remains thanks to Sergio Ramos’ heroics near both goal lines, as La Liga’s leaders came back to draw 1-1 at Camp Nou on Saturday in the first El Clasico of the season.

Luis Suarez gave Barca a second-half lead only to see Ramos claw one back and then save a goal at the death.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

It’s no surprise that Ronaldo was lively, and one of his two shots saved by Ter Stegen after a clever dribble inside the 18.

Messi had a moment, too, his free kick dipping around the wall but into the waiting arms of Keylor Navas.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A careful Messi dribble ended with a lofted ball that Luis Suarez chose to trap rather than volley, and Real Madrid killed the chance for a corner kick.

Suarez put Barca up off Neymar’s arrow of a free kick, slightly redirecting the tight-angle shot with his head.

Neymar nearly made it 2-0 in the 68th minute, dribbling through Real’s right side before sailing a shot over Navas and the goal.

Andres Iniesta sprung Messi through in the 82nd minute, but the Argentine dragged his shot wide of goal.

The chances came late for Real, with Sergio Ramos heading a corner just over a leaping Ter Stegen… and the bar. Then Jordi Alba cleared Ronaldo’s in-tight header off the line after Marcelo’s terrific cross.

The equalizer came in the 90th minute, as Ramos rose high to head his chance off a diving Ter Stegen and into the goal. Barca answered with a chance of their own, but Ramos cleared the chance off the line.

Follow @NicholasMendola

West Brom 3-1 Watford: Baggies ruthless against 10-man Hornets

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion heads to score the opening goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Watford at The Hawthorns on December 3, 2016 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
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  • Evans, Brunt, Phillips score
  • Kabasele got Hornets back in it
  • Pereyra sent off late on 
  • West Brom unbeaten in four

West Brom beat 10-man Watford 3-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday to continue their good form as Tony Pulis‘ side push towards the top six.

The Baggies went 2-0 up in the first half through Jonny Evans‘ header and then Chris Brunt‘s low free kick found the back of the net. Watford had some hope in the second half as Christian Kabasele made it 2-1 but after Roberto Pereyra was sent off the Hornets’ chances of a comeback were all but over and Matt Phillips scored late on to seal the win.

With the victory West Brom moves on to 20 points and leapfrog Watford in the table, who stay on 18.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Baggies got off to a flying start at home as Brunt’s corner was met with a towering header by Evans at the back post to put them 1-0 up in the 16th minute.

West Brom then sat back for the rest of the first half, with Watford doing most of the pressing but coming up against a stubborn Baggies rearguard.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Then came the sucker-punch.

Brunt doubled West Brom’s lead before the break as his free kick from 25-yards out took a deflection off Juan Zuniga and hit the back of the net. 2-0 and Watford were in a hole.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Watford came out fighting in the second half with Troy Deeney meeting a cross from the right but his shot was blocked by Gareth McAuley.

Soon Watford did pull one back as Ben Forster made a great save as McAuley’s header looped towards his own goal and from the resulting corner the ball was slotted home by Kabasele. 2-1. Game on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Watford’s quest for an equalizer was hampered late on as Pereyra was sent off for reacting to a challenge by James McClean with plenty of players from both teams getting involved.

And the game was put beyond doubt in the closing stages as Phillips cut in off the right flank and drilled a low left-footed shot home. 3-1.