Confirmed: Neil Warnock takes over at Crystal Palace; what will he bring?

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On Wednesday Crystal Palace announced they have hired Neil Warnock as their new manager.

The vastly experienced Englishman has managed over 1,300 matches in charge of over 13 different clubs since 1980 and takes over from Tony Pulis, who walked out on Palace on the eve of the new season after a boardroom dispute.

[RELATED: Pulis leaves Palace]

Warnock has previously been in charge at Palace, leading the South Londoners from 2007-10, before switching to Queens Park Rangers and leading them to the Premier League.

The fiery 65-year-old is a real character in the game and his vast experience will by vital if Palace are to stay in the top-flight.

In a short statement on the Eagles’ website, they confirmed Warnock will take charge of the side away at Newcastle this Saturday.

Crystal Palace are delighted to announce that Neil Warnock has been appointed as their new first team manager with immediate effect.Neil has agreed a two-year deal and will lead the team this Saturday in our Premier League game at Newcastle United.

Warnock has bags of experience but his old school approach is deemed by some to be outdated in the top-flight. He is a magician at getting teams promoted from the Championship to the PL, he has done so with QPR and Sheffield United in the past and got Notts County to the top flight, but on every occasion he has previously managed in the Premier League, Warnock has come up short. His Sheffield United side were relegated on the final day of the season back in 2007, while he was fired by QPR with the R’s struggling towards the bottom of the standings in 2011. He has never kept a team up in the top-flight.

His aim for Palace will be to keep them up. Nothing more, nothing less.

source: Getty Images
Warnock is outspoken, brash and old school. Is he the man to lead Palace to safety this season?

Palace’s robust midfield and defense will be key to the way Warnock sets his teams up as he prefers a 4-4-2 system and his teams are always well-organized and dangerous from set pieces. Sound familiar? Last season Pulis led Palace to safety by setting his team up in a similar way to what Warnock is expected to do and the players he will have at his disposal are used to playing in the way Warnock prefers. That’s a huge plus. Outspoken. Brash. Old-school. Warnock doesn’t beat around the bush and tells it how it is.

After a summer of scandal and upheaval — Palace’s Sporting Director Iain Moody resigned last week following the damaging allegations about him sending sexist, racist and homophobic messages along with former Cardiff boss and contender for the Palace job, Malkay Mackay — the Eagles can now look forward to the final few days of the transfer window as Warnock will look to bolster his squad considerably before the deadline next Monday night. He is said to have plenty of cash to spend, so expect plenty of ins and outs in the coming days at Palace.

He may not be the most glamorous replacement, but Warnock will use all his experience to hit the ground running and try to help steady the Selhurst Park outfit after a turbulent few weeks.

Pochettino calls out Xavi for Dele Alli-Man City “lie to lie to lie”

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“He tried to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he’s Barcelona.”

Even half-kidding, the Derby Barceloni is alive and well for longtime Espanyol man Mauricio Pochettino and Barcelona legend Xavi.

At least that’s why the latter is trying to sabotage the former’s Premier League title fight, Pochettino says.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 4-2 Saints ]

Speaking from his club team in Qatar, Xavi claimed that Manchester City is going to bid high for Spurs’ young star Dele Alli.

Tottenham boss Pochettino says that’s just not true. Pochettino was joking a bit when he answered questions on the topic, but then told a story about Xavi diving for a penalty in the derby. Here are a few of his thoughts, from The Telegraph:

“It wasn’t a penalty but Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for Barcelona and they won the game. After in the replay it was very funny because it was clear no one touched him. Come on! It goes from lie to lie to lie.”

“He is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola and [Vincent] Kompany.”

Boa Esporte goalkeeper back to prison as murder appeal denied

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The risk clearly wasn’t worth it for Boa Esporte.

The Brazilian club signed Bruno Fernandes de Souza in March, not long after the convicted murderer and goalkeeper was released from prison on appeal.

Fernandes, 32, had been jailed for ordering the murder of a lover, who was fed to dogs by the killer. Boa Esporte lost several big sponsors for signing him, but vocally defended the move.

The owner, Rone Moraes da Costa, said he’d rather move the team than not give Fernandes a chance to revive his career. Fernandes admitted his mistakes but said he wasn’t “a bad guy”.

According to the Associated Press:

“Brazil’s Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to deny an appeal to Boa Esporte goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza, who was released in March while appealing a 22-year sentence in the 2010 killing of Eliza Samudio.”

So it’s back to jail for Fernandes, and we’ll be waiting with baited breath to hear from Boa Esporte’s owner.

Conte: Chelsea “ready to fight to the end”

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Following Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal win over Spurs and Tuesday’s blowout of Southampton — the 4-2 score line didn’t tell the story of the second half — Antonio Conte is fired up for Chelsea to complete its Premier League title run.

The manager admits that his side was under pressure after Spurs narrowed the table gap to four points last week, but the wins have eased the Blues’ burden.

Chelsea had lost two of four PL matches before the weekend.

From Football.London:

“I think we passed a big, big psychological step after the defeat to United. We lost three points and had to prepare a semi-final against Tottenham and then another tough game in the league. In that moment we had a really important test and our answer was very good.

“We must think that this race is open, we have reached the final of the FA Cup. The situation in the league is totally open. We are ready to fight to the end. We must be proud for the job we are doing and to fight to the end.”

Spurs can bring the gap back to four with a win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, but have a tougher run-in with five matches to play. As long as the gap is within six points, anything is possible, but the Blues have certainly answered the bell over the past four days.

Chelsea: Big win “feels like a massive step” to title

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“It feels like a massive step to be honest,” said game-changing goal scorer Gary Cahill of Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Chelsea’s Premier League lead stands at seven points after the win, which saw a dominant second half from the hosts.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 4-2 Saints ]

Perhaps it was cued up by Cahill’s first half stoppage time header, which boosted the Blues to a 2-1 lead just before the whistle.

Cahill darted in front of Diego Costa‘s scissor kick attempt to power a header past Fraser Forster.

“(Costa) tried to claim it afterward as well,” Cahill said. “When the ball’s just lofted over, it’s dying to be attacked. We went into halftime with our tails up and it was a big boost for us.”

Cesc Fabregas said Southampton surprised the Blues tactically, leading to an entertaining first half that could’ve seen either side ahead before half.

“We needed a little bit of time to adapt to what they did because we prepared for something else,” he said.

Fabregas said the win was big with second-place Spurs watching at home. Tottenham plays at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

“We needed a good response after the Man United game. We have to keep going with five games to go, to keep it up and make the last push. It would be a big shame if now we relaxed. We just have to push now more than ever,” he said.

“It’s a statement for (Spurs), for us, for everyone, but most of all for us.”
Eden Hazard agreed.
“We scored four beautiful goals,” said the Belgian, who scored the game’s first goal. “It’s good to play before and put pressure on them.”