Dele Alli

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Rose, Gacinovic to Man United; Alli, Griezmann to Barca?

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It’s nowhere near January 1, but Manchester United (of course) have been linked with moves for two wide players.

Danny Rose continues to be linked with a move away from Tottenham Hotspur with the England international left back still out injured and his comments at the start of the season about wanting to be “paid what he deserves” still rings true.

With Ben Davies filing in ably for Rose over the past six months, that could persuade Daniel Levy to cash in on another full back if United offer over $60 million for the 27-year-old. Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb say Jose Mourinho will come in with a fresh bid for Rose in January after missing out on him in the summer.

Another wide man United are keeping on eye, according to the Daily Mirror, is Eintracht Frankfurt winger Mijat Gacinovic.

The 22-year-old is regarded as one of the top attacking talents in the Bundesliga and it would explain why Mourinho was spotted in Austria last week wearing a baseball cap as he looked on sheepishly from the stands. Serbia (who have since qualified for the World Cup) lost 3-2 to Austria in a 2018 World Cup qualifier and Mourinho was said to be watching Gacinovic closely.

Gacinovic scored two goals in his first three games for Serbia and comes from the same youth team as Dusan Tadic at Vojvodina. With a deal for Ivan Perisic not coming to fruition following a summer-long chase, Mourinho could well swoop for the promising winger.

Quite why he needs another wide man with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata all capable of playing those positions is beyond me. But Jose usually gets what he wants.


Tottenham’s Dele Alli has been linked with a move to Barcelona and Real Madrid as Barca turn their attentions away from Philippe Coutinho.

According to Sport, Alli, 21, is a key target for both Barca and Real and Real are also eyeing up a move for Harry Kane. Of course, we would be taking about monstrous transfer fees for both of these Tottenham and England stars but given Alli’s recent dip in form, perhaps Spurs would be more wiling to cash in on him compared to Kane.

Barcelona are said to believe that Spurs cannot keep hold of both of their star attackers and that enticing Alli away from north London, just a few weeks after he changed his agent, could be a lot easier to do.

Another star attacker said to be interesting Barca, according to Mundo Deportivo, is Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

The Frenchman decided to stay at Atleti last summer once their transfer ban was confirmed but now that Diego Costa is back at Atleti from January onwards, it is believed Barca will try and swoop in to meet Griezmann’s release clause of $117 million before July 1 when it doubles for the remaining five years of his contract at Atletico.

Griezmann, 26, looked set to move to Manchester United in the summer but Barca will be keen to make him their main man and his record of 86 goals in 167 games for Atleti has seen his star rise over the past three season.

Barca are keen to exploit this loophole in Griezmann’s contract and after all, they now better than most about the risks and rewards of release clauses.

Report: England to play 3-man backline at World Cup

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England National Team fans better get used to seeing their team use a three-man backline because it’s here to stay.

That’s according to a report from the Telegraph, which states that Southgate will use a three-man defense as part of his preferred formation for November’s friendly matches against Brazil and Germany as a way to build the team’s identity ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

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“We have to focus on a system and really try to hone it, work on it, improve it, that might mean we might have to leave some good players out. But we have to start to make those decisions over the next couple of camps,” Southgate said after England’s 1-0 win over Lithuania.

In the past, England has been criticized for not having an identity, for playing a bland style of soccer with the hopes of individual moments of brilliance taking them forward. While some may criticize the use of a three-man backline, it does allow England to release wingbacks Danny Rose and Kyle Walker farther up the field, as well as give John Stones more cover at centerback.

“For me, in terms of the way we’d want to play from the back, I think it (a three-man defense) is a better option,” Southgate said. “At the moment we turn the ball over too much and when we do we split into two centre-backs wide open, we are still open (against Lithuania) with three. So we will benefit if we don’t keep turning the ball over.”

The decision is a change, or evolution, from the 4-2-3-1 formation used by Southgate through most of the qualifying campaign, but with a changed formation, it could lead to some attackers not getting a chance to start, whether it’s Marcus Rashford or Jamie Vardy.

According to the report, Southgate’s preferred attackers behind Harry Kane include Dele Alli and when fit, Adam Lallana, to play in a similar way to Tottenham, with Lallana playing in Christian Eriksen‘s role.

Premier League roundup: Manchester in focus (video)

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Manchester is five points clear of the pack after United and City both posted wins on Saturday.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap ]

The Red Devils’ victory came a bit easier, 4-0 against moribund Crystal Palace, but City’s may have made a bigger statement of intent considering a terrific win at Stamford Bridge.


Huddersfield Town 0-4 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

Harry Kane is really good, and finished September with a combined 13 goals for club and country after scoring a brace Saturday at the John Smith’s Stadium. Even Moussa Sissoko scored for Spurs, who also found a goal from Ben Davies.

Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace — RECAP

Squad rotation was no problem for Jose Mourinho, as Marouane Fellaini scored twice to go with Juan Mata‘s 145-second opener at Old Trafford. Romelu Lukaku bagged one late to doom Palace to a seventh-straight goalless loss.

Chelsea 0-1 Manchester CityRECAP

Don’t let the score line fool you: Manchester City was very, very good on a day without Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany. The goal came from Kevin De Bruyne, and it was wonderful, but this was a total win. The final shot total was 17-4 in favor of City.

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 WatfordRECAP

The Hornets were dormant out of the gates, and both Salomon Rondon and Jonny Evans reaped the spoils to open a 2-0 lead for the hosts. But Abdoulaye Doucoure scored and Brazilian magician Richarlison added an equalizer for Watford.

Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester City — RECAP

Far from a beauty for either side, but Joshua King, Marc Pugh and Bournemouth will feel extra aggrieved after a controlling performance failed to produce a goal.

West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City — RECAP

Diafra Sakho came off the bench to move the Irons out of the drop zone at the expense of now 18th Swans.

Stoke City 2-1 Southampton — RECAP

Good news for USMNT fans, as Geoff Cameron returned to the Starting XI and saw goals from Mame Biram Diouf and Peter Crouch get three points for the Potteries. Saints goal came from Maya Yoshida.

 

Mauricio Pochettino warns Dele Alli after latest dive

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Mauricio Pochettino has a warning for Dele Alli after the Tottenham Hotspur star was booked for simulation in the 4-0 win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

In the second half Alli closed in on goal with Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl coming off his line. The England international then went down and looked to have initiated the contact.

Referee Neil Swarbrick promptly showed Alli a yellow card for the dive and Mauricio Pochettino went into full “disappointed father mode” as he stood on the sidelines shaking his head.

After the game Pochettino had a warning for Alli.

“I didn’t see it, it was difficult from my position. But if it was like this, he needs to learn. He must learn. Because this type of action doesn’t help him, doesn’t help the team and doesn’t help football,” Pochettino said. “We have talked in the last few years about fair play and being honest. I think he’s improving a lot, but still it’s something he has to learn about.”

Dele Alli is no stranger to taking a tumble and it is easy to forgot that one of the rising stars of the Premier League, and Europe, is still only 21 years old.

Still, he should listen to this message from his manager loud and clear.

Alli will sit out England’s first game of their international break after being banned one-game by FIFA for a middle-finger gesture in their recent World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia in September.

With his past of red cards for bad challenges and off-the-ball incidents, he still has a lot of work to do to curb his nasty streak.

Huddersfield 0-4 Tottenham: Kane leads surging Spurs

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  • Spurs have won 14 consecutive PL games v newly-promoted sides
  • Kane has 13 goals in last eight games
  • The last time Spurs won the opening four away league games was during the double-winning campaign of 1960-61
  • Huddersfield suffer first home defeat of season

HUDDERSFIELD — Harry Kane and Tottenham Hotspur are ripping teams apart each time they step on the pitch and it happened again on Saturday as they beat Huddersfield Town 4-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Harry Kane scored twice in the first half — his second was a beauty for his 13th goal in eight games in September — and Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko also found the back of the net as Spurs made it four away wins on the spin to start off the Premier League season.

With the win Spurs move on to 14 points and were momentarily in third place, while Huddersfield suffered their first home defeat of the season and remain on nine points as they battled but were totally outclassed in their biggest challenge to date since arriving in the Premier League.

Despite the defeat, the Huddersfield fans didn’t stop singing all game long.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

Huddersfield started brightly with Aaron Mooy and others flying into tackles and Tommy Smith having a shot well saved by Hugo Lloris.

Just as the Terriers were building momentum one long ball over the top saw Spurs take the lead. Kieran Trippier‘s ball forward should’ve been dealt with by Chris Loewe but he missed his clearance and Kane raced through to score his sixth goal in his last three games.

Soon after it was 2-0 as superb build-up play involving multiple Spurs players saw Christian Eriksen race through and a tackle on him saw the ball run straight into the path of the onrushing Davies who dinked home. Tottenham led 2-0 after 16 minutes and threatened to run riot.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kane then sent a vicious dipping volley onto the top of the net from distance and moments later almost had his second and Spurs’ third goal after Jonas Lossl totally whiffed on the ball but recovered to smother Kane’s effort. Soon Kane did have his second of the game and it was a stunner in the 23rd minute.

The England international turned two Huddersfield defenders in one movement and curled home a wonderful strike into the far corner as even the home fans stood to applaud his brilliance.

Dele Alli hit the post before half time arrived as Spurs led 3-0 at the break after total domination, even though Laurent Depoitre clipped the crossbar for the home side after a fine run.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Spurs started well and Kane could have sealed his hat trick but an effort from close range was blocked as Eriksen looked to play Kane in. From the resulting corner Kane couldn’t adjust his feet quick enough to finish as Tottenham continued to pile on the pressure for most of the second half.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Huddersfield briefly threatened on the break with Scott Malone whipping in a cross to the near post which was cleared but Spurs were comfortable as they surged to yet another away victory with substitute Sissoko scoring in stoppage time to finish things off.

Kane will rightly get the headlines but Pochettino’s men were imperious all over the pitch.