Wednesday Transfer Rumor Roundup: Cheick Tiote on the move to North London?

Leave a comment

Hump-day loves transfer rumors and so do you.

Arsenal need some physicality in the holding role and the more time wears on the less likely it looks like Sami Khedira will end up at the Emirates. No problem for Arsene Wenger because one of the hardest men in all the Premier League, Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, would be over the moon to join the Gunners.

But while the Ivorian is capable of crushing anything in his path, does he possess the technique to play with a side like Arsenal? They already have Matheiu Flamini who is arguably better on the ball and equally as insane as Tiote but even he struggles to get on the pitch. Doesn’t seem like the deal of the century especially at the $13 million Arsenal will reportedly need to pay Newcastle for Tiote’s services but to each his own.

On the other side of North London the doors are wide open for business as Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon, Roberto Soldado, Michael Dawson, Sandro, Etienne Capoue, Mousa Dembele, Kyle Naughton, Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Nacer Chadli are all reportedly up for sale. Oh, what a difference a year makes! The good thing for Spurs fans is that if those players could bring in some cash, Mauricio Pochettino would be happy to splash that out on the likes of Memphis Depay, Mateo Musacchio or Toby Alderweireld.

One deal with a bit more to it is Manchester United’s pursuit of Argentine international Marcos Rojo. The World Cup star, who can play left-back or center-back making him a logical fit in the three man back line of Louis van Gaal, is reportedly close to a deal that would bring him to Old Trafford by next week. And apparently, van Gaal isn’t stopping at Rojo as Daley Blind and Angel Di Maria rumors continue to fill the air.

It’s tough to see Wilfried Zaha staying at Manchester United and while a permanent deal is unlikely a loan looks certain. Crystal Palace are ready to pony up the wages for the player who had a heavy hand in bringing the Eagles into the Premier League two seasons ago. Zaha would be a boon to Selhurst Park where he’d fit right in and could prove a real compliment to fellow wingers Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie.

Finally, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho could make a sensational $50 million move for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, a bid designed to boost the Blues defensive ranks and drive Louis van Gaal, also an admirer of Benatia, crazy. Other reports claim that Mourinho may make a move for QPR striker Loic Remy, to fill the boots of the fallen Didier Drogba.

Players who survived Chapecoense plane crash tell their story

Leave a comment

On November 28, 2016 a plane crashed into a mountainous region outside the Colombian city of Medellin due to a lack of fuel, killing 71 of the 77 passengers on board.

It was carrying players, coaches, officials and journalists from Brazil to Colombia as Chapecoense were set to play in the biggest game in club history.

A team from Brazil’s top-flight was on the verge of its greatest moment when disaster struck.

Only three of the 22 Chapecoense players on board survived the crash.

Neto, Jakson Follmann and Alan Ruschel were the three survivors and all three have been telling their story to the Players’ Tribune in the story titled: “Tomorrow Belongs to God.”

In this piece (see the video above, also) Neto, Follmann and Ruschel go back and forth describing the crash, the aftermath and how they feel today with Neto and Ruschel able to play for Chapecoense once again, while goalkeeper Jakson had to have one of his legs amputated after the crash.

Jakson revealed that, for some reason, he pestered his close friend Ruschel to come and sit next to him on the plane rather than at the back just 30 minutes before the crash. They both survived.

Neto reveals how he woke up before the trip having had a horrible nightmare where he was in a plane but walked away. The dream was so vivid he told his wife and even text her to pray for him before the flight took off.

Below is an excerpt from Neto which opens up the incredibly emotional account from the trio.

I dreamed that it would happen. A few days before we were supposed to leave for the Copa Sudamericana finals in Colombia, I had a terrible nightmare. When I woke up, I told my wife that I had been in a plane crash. I was in the airplane at night, and there was a lot of rain. Then the plane shut off. It fell from the sky. But somehow I could stand up from the wreckage. I walked out and was on a mountain at night. Everything was dark. That’s all I remembered.

On the day of the trip to the finals, I couldn’t get the nightmare out of my mind. The dream was so vivid. It was hammering in my mind. So I sent a message to my wife from the airplane. I told her to pray to God to protect me from that dream. I didn’t want to believe that it was really going to happen. But I asked her to pray for me.

Stats behind Wayne Rooney’s record-breaking England career

Leave a comment

We all know Wayne Rooney was England’s all-time record goalscorer, but what other numbers will define his international career?

[ VIDEO: Rooney’s top five England goals

Rooney, 31, retired from Three Lions duty on Wednesday after scoring 53 goals in 119 games for England over the past 14 years.

Despite his incredible longevity England’s most-capped outfield player (second only behind goalkeeper Peter Shilton) will look back on his international career with some regret as his record in major tournaments was nowhere near what he would have hoped for.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Rooney’s retirement

Via Opta, below are the key stats behind Rooney’s record-breaking England career.

  • Rooney scored 53 goals and collected 20 assists in his 119 appearances for England
  • Overall his England career he created 192 goalscoring chances and recorded 380 shots
  • He struggled to impose his quality for England at international tournaments – scoring just seven goals in 21 apps in World Cup/EURO finals combined.
  • Rooney scored just once in 11 World Cup games for England, attempting 21 shots across the 2006, 2010 and 2014 tournaments
  • Following his breakthrough tournament at EURO 2004, Rooney scored just three goals and assisted another in 17 tournament appearances.
  • His conversion rate of shots since the start of the 2006 World Cup in international tournaments for England was just 6.4%.
  • During his England career, Rooney managed an impressive ratio of scoring every 156.1 minutes in competitive games – a higher ratio than in non-competitive friendlies.
  • Only Ashley Cole (22) has more appearances in major tournaments than Wayne Rooney who had 21 alongside Steven Gerrard

Twitter reacts to Wayne Rooney’s England retirement

Getty Images
1 Comment

Wayne Rooney has retired from international duty and tributes have been pouring in for England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

[ VIDEO: Rooney’s top five England goals ]

Rooney, 31, made the announcement on Wednesday and he ends his England career with 53 goals in 119 games, having appeared in six major tournaments for the Three Lions.

[ MORE: Rooney retires from England

Below is a look at some of the best reaction from players, clubs, pundits and celebrities to Rooney’s decision to call it quits.


VIDEO: Watch Wayne Rooney’s top five England goals

Leave a comment

Can we decide on Wayne Rooney‘s top five goals for the English national team?

[ MORE: Rooney retires from England ]

After the England captain stepped down from international duty on Wednesday, aged 31, now seems like a good time to look back at his best strikes for the Three Lions.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Rooney’s retirement ]

My word, there are a lot to choose from as England’s all-time leading goalscorer struck 53 times in 119 appearances for his country.

Click play on the video above to see Rooney’s top five goals in an England jersey, according to the FA.