All 44 teams from England’s top two tiers have joined the FA Cup party at the third round stage and there are sure to be upsets galore.
West Ham ousting Pep Guardiola‘s Man City from the competition would certainly be a shock but neither team will really be making the FA Cup a priority this season as City aim to claw their way back into the title race and Slaven Bilic‘s Hammers are eager to push into the top half of the PL table.
Click above to follow the game live, while we will have reaction and analysis from the encounter in east London right here on Pro Soccer Talk.
The deal is reported to be near $28 million for Walcott, who’s made only a half-dozen Premier League appearances this season but did nab three goals in five Europa League matches.
Walcott, 28, scored 108 goals in 397 appearances for the Gunners. His 19-goal campaign last season was his second-best — he scored 21 in 2012-13 — but Walcott dipped down Arsene Wenger‘s depth charge and is leaving to pursue regular football.
“The Club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me. I need that and I wanted that
The move is another exciting one for Everton, which has underachieved under Ronald Koeman and now Sam Allardyce. And it’s another sale from Arsenal which gives pause: Are the underperforming Gunners going to regret the move?
In the 2005-06 season, Walcott made his Southampton debut in the Football League Championship at the age of 16, and moved to Arsenal the next season.
Walcott has eight goals in 47 caps for England, and won two FA Cups at Arsenal.
Here is a useful quote from Sam Allardyce:“His physical output is excellent, he would be one of our top players in that area as well, which will hopefully bring us a lot more excitement and more ability to get forward quicker and create.
And here is an utterly useless one: ““If you analyse his goal record, then we are looking at a player who contributes goals on a regular basis.”
You don’t say. To paraphrase: If you look at all his goals, he regularly scores goals. Here’s more from the player on his move.
🎥 | “I think this place is going to get even more out of me.” Watch the new man’s first interview as a Blue! #WelcomeTheo
Tutto Bologna reports that Algerian playmaker Saphir Taider, 25, is set to sign with the Impact on a contract through 2020.
On loan to Montreal last season, Dzemaili went back to Bologna. Taider is coming back the other way and will reportedly be a Designated Player.
Taider isn’t as consistent a player as Dzemaili, but presents a skill set that should be a massive problem for MLS midfields.
He has 42 caps with five goals for Algeria, and was once property of Juventus. He spent parts of four seasons at Inter Milan, with loan stints back to Bologna, at Sassuolo, and a unremarkable time at Southampton.
Atlanta United Picks: 14, 36
Needs: They’ve signed a number of defenders this offseason, but wouldn’t be surprised to see them take someone to do the dirty work — at back or center defensive mid.
Chicago Fire Picks: 15, 38
Needs: A youngster behind Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty in the center of the park. Maybe Joao Moutinho from Akron, though he shouldn’t drop this far.
Colorado Picks: 25, 27
Needs: Attacker — The club has a number of good defenders and new coach Anthony Hudson has brought a few in, too. Forward or attack-minded midfielder seems the player here.
Columbus Picks: 21, 32, 44 Needs: Attacking talent — Justin Meram wants out, Federico Higuain is quite the veteran, and Ola Kamara may be wanted by La Liga clubs. Trading up may be the call.
DC United Picks: 3
Needs: FW, CAM — An electric attacker is atop DC’s wish list, and there are a few in this draft, but DC will also like the idea of trading down to scoop a couple picks. Thought of them when I saw this Tweet;
Source: New England Revolution trying to move up to a top spot in the draft. Big fan of defender Joao Mutinho. Could they trade their #8 and #9 picks?
FC Dallas Picks: 11, 29, 34
Needs: Anywhere — FCD’s academy has been so productive that the club can take massive home run swings and be happy just hitting on one.
Houston Dynamo Picks: 20, 43
Needs: Defender — There’s an outside shot for a midfielder or goalkeeper here, but with Erick Torres, Romell Quioto, and Alberth Elis, it’s fair to assume attacker isn’t the desired outcome.
LAFC Picks: 1, 24 Needs: Everywhere (It’s their first year, after all). Selecting first overall, LA would do well do deal for more picks, though it’s probably hard for Bob Bradley to overlook center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce of Stanford as a center back for a decade.
LA Galaxy Picks: 2, 40
Needs: CB, ST –An out-and-out big body center forward is a good idea, especially with no guarantees that Gyasi Zardes comes back from the form wilderness.
Minnesota United Picks: 5, 28, 41
Needs: Center back, full back, defensive mid — The Loons are pretty set at forward and playmaking midfielder, and have Alex Kapp as a young backup to Bobby Shuttleworth between the sticks. Anywhere else is possible.
Would love to land: Joao Moutinho, Akron
Montreal Impact Picks: 4, 7, 37
Needs: Expect the Impact to take a swing at an attacker with one of their first two picks, and go best available player with the other.
New England Revolution Picks: 8, 9
Needs: Center midfield — Whether a box-to-box CDM or an heir to Lee Nguyen, New England needs presence in the middle of the park.
New York City FC Picks: 19, 42
Needs: Defender — Finding functional, U.S. born backs is always a good idea. When your parent club keeps finding you legitimate elite attacking prospects, there’s every reason to choose backs.
New York Red Bulls Picks: 16, 31, 39
Needs: Forward — RBNY has produced Homegrown talent everywhere, but it’d be interesting to see them find someone to develop behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Orlando City Picks: 6
Needs: Anywhere but midfield — With Sacha Kljestan, Josue Coleman, Yoshimar Yotun, and a number of X-factors, it seems more likely Orlando looks to find a defender or forward.
Philadelphia Union Picks: None
Needs: Assuming they find some picks, defenders and a developmental center forward could be the play.
Portland Timbers Picks: None
Needs: Could go anywhere given the shift in manager, but a winger seems possible.
Real Salt Lake Picks: 10, 33
Needs: Center midfield, goalkeeper — An heir apparent to Kyle Beckerman and Nick RImando seems appropriate here.
San Jose Earthquakes Picks: 12, 30, 35
Needs: Who knows who Mikael Stahre wants, and really the Quakes seem halfway decent all over the park. A young, shifty forward would be the play if available.
Seattle Sounders Picks: 22, 45
Needs: Forward — Don’t really need anyone, but Clint Dempsey‘s getting a bit older. Jordan Morris isn’t and Will Bruin’s here, too, so any position is possible.
Sporting KC Picks: 13, 18
Needs: Like TFC and Vancouver below, KC can take the best players available.
Toronto FC Picks: 23, 46
Needs: Maybe wingback depth or a Michael Bradley or Jozy Altidore understudy? Best available player is the call here.
Vancouver Whitecaps Picks: 17, 26
Needs: Another team that can go best available player, though wide midfielders or backs seem a decent shout.
The 29-year-old Argentine center back has authored four goals this season, and has found a groove in Pep Guardiola‘s system.
Otamendi leads the team in aerials won (3), interceptions (1.7), clearances (3.5), and offsides drawn per game (1.1) while also five times being named Man of the Match for City. He leads the team in yellow cards, too, with seven.
“My only aim is to help the team and give all I can for this Club. I am learning every day under Pep and enjoying my football and I feel I can still improve as a player. I’m a family man who enjoys being at home and I love living in Manchester, you sort of get hooked by it.”
Morning! So happy to continue in @mancity , thanks to the club and the technical team for their trust and respect, and to the fans for their wholeheartedly support in every match, at all times. -Nico- 🔵 pic.twitter.com/Y92lvaT7Qt