Newcastle’s John Carver believes he is “best coach in the Premier League”

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After guiding Newcastle United to just two wins in 16 games in charge, John Carver thinks John Carver is the best coach in the Premier League.

[ RELATED: Carver to remain Magpies boss ]

No. Seriously.

Speaking to the media on Thursday ahead of Newcastle’s clash with West Bromwich Albion at St James’ Park (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra) Carver showed no lack of self belief and declared himself ready to tackle the challenge of first keeping the Magpies in the PL this season and then taking the job if he’s offered it.

Here’s what Carver had to say about his job as interim boss until the end of the season.

“I still have the enthusiasm for it. I try not to take as much notice of whats going on on the outside because they can’t affect me. What can affect my situation is my trail of thought and how positive I am. I am a positive guy and I still think I am the best coach in the Premier League,” Carver said. “That’s what I think. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I still do. And if I have the right tools, I can do the job.”

Carver’s side has lost eight on the spin and he has come under intense scrutiny after publicly criticizing his players following their 3-0 defeat at Leicester City last weekend. Rumors about Steve McLaren replacing Carver have been gathering steam but earlier this week Newcastle released a statement saying officials from the club engaged in “frank dialogue” with Carver and senior players and that the long-time assistant coach would be sticking around until the end of the season despite the recent poor form.

After picking up just nine points from a possible 48, Newcastle now sit just two points above the relegation zone with three games to go. Carver may not be what he thinks he is, the best coach in the PL, but if he keeps Newcastle up then he can probably walk away with his head held high this summer.

When Alan Pardew walked out on Newcastle at the start of January to manage Crystal Palace, Carver was handed the reins to help steer Newcastle into a steady midtable position. That message of coasting through the rest of the season obviously resonated strongly with the Magpies players and their shocking form had seen the fans revolt, once again, and owner Mike Ashley has been lambasted as supporters refuse to turn up to home games in their thousands.

All in all, not a good situation at St James’ and Carver’s latest comments, well, they just seem utterly bizarre.

WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.