American teen Hyndman trying to earn Magath’s trust at Fulham

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Emerson Hyndman’s play for Fulham’s youth side last season had American fans salivating at the prospect of watching him compete for a spot with the Premier League side this year, but the Cottagers relegation has the 18-year-old in the starting lineup.

Fulham has started the Championship campaign 0-2, but Hyndman has featured and shown well enough in both losses. Now with Wolverhampton on the radar for a Wednesday night match, Hyndman is looking to play a big part in the club’s first three points of the season.

And in the process, he’s hoping to earn the trust of noted disciplinarian Felix Magath.

[ RELATED: Americans Abroad Wrap – US teens go distance for Fulham, Utrecht ]

From FulhamFC.com:

An old head on young shoulders, Hyndman gave another cultured display in the middle of the park on Saturday. He was joined by fellow Academy graduates Jesse Joronen, Cameron Burgess, Lasse Vigen Christensen and George Williams in Magath’s starting XI.

“The more I play, the more I feel comfortable,” stated Hyndman. “It’s still early days and we’re still getting used to each other as a new group.

“I want the Manager to trust me. I’m young but I try my hardest to be professional and I hope that’s what he sees.

“It’s great to be playing alongside these younger guys in the First Team as I’ve been playing with them for the last two years. When you look at the way we’ve been playing, okay not the results, but it’s only good for the future.”

The Cottagers could really use a win against Wolves on Wednesday, but read the whole article and you’ll be impressed with the maturity of Hyndman’s comments. Perhaps it’s no surprise given his father Schellas’ coaching acumen — granddad coached FC Dallas — but Hyndman is a promising prospect to watch.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.