Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Reports: De Boer offered Crystal Palace manager’s spot

1 Comment

Multiple reports claim Crystal Palace has offered its managerial position to Dutch boss Frank De Boer.

Palace has been without a manager since Sam Allardyce retired after the season. The Eagles finished 15th in the Premier League, five points behind eighth place Southampton and seven points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]

An accomplished defender at Ajax and Barcelona, the 47-year-old De Boer led Ajax in his first managerial stint before spending less than three months at Inter Milan last season.

De Boer twice won the Rinus Michels Award as the top manager in Dutch football, and would become just the second Palace manager from outside the British Isles.

He would inherit a very good group of attackers with Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, and Andros Townsend. Palace also has a talented midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Yohan Cabaye to go with marauding Dutch back Patrick Van Aanholt.

Russia 2-0 New Zealand: Hosts ease through opening match

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The 2017 Confederations Cup got off to a strong start for hosts Russia as they held much of the possession and soundly defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the tournament opener.

Russia ended the game with 62% of the possession and it felt like much more. They also out-shot New Zealand 16-6 (7-1 in shots on target).

The hosts poured on the pressure in the early going. Just six minutes in, a corner swung in and defender Viktor Vasin got his head to it, but he hit the inside of the post and failed to go in before Michael McGlinchy cleared it off the line. Three minutes later New Zealand needed yet another goal-line clearance as Dmitry Poloz chested down a cross and touched it awkwardly past goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, but Tommy Smith was there to boot away the slow-roller.

On 15 minutes, Russia went direct and dropped in a long-ball for Poloz who got behind the defense, but Marinovic came off his line to clear the ball. The 2017 Confederations Cup does sport video assistant referees who were on hand to review the penalty shout as play continued, but they chose not to pull it back despite some contact.

With the game slowing past the half-hour mark, pressure in the attacking half by Russia forced a bad giveaway from New Zealand, and a brilliant touch by Poloz sprung Denis Glushakov who poked the ball over Marinovic and it trickled in off the post with defenders giving chase to put the hosts up 1-0. Michael Boxall, one of the charging defenders, was credited with the own-goal as it glanced off his knee after coming off the post.

The first half ended without any further incident, and the second half begun in a similar fashion up to the hour mark. With 20 minutes remaining and Russia again on top, Aleksandr Samedov crossed low from the right, and when Boxall whiffed with the chance to clear the dangerous ball, it fell to Fedor Smolov at the far post who had the simplest of tap-ins to double the lead.

Despite the deficit, New Zealand wasn’t done as they looked for a way back in. Ryan Thomas ripped an absolute howitzer towards the top-right corner in the 77th minute, but it was saved by Igor Akinfeev. On the ensuing corner Smith had a free header on net, but veteran Yuri Zhirkov cleared off the line while manning the far post.

The clock eventually wound down with no further danger, and Russia secured the first three points of the tournament, sending them to the top of Group A with Mexico and Portugal still to play on Sunday.

Premier League releases 2017-2018 season fixture list

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Premier League fans will only have to wait two more months until their favorite teams are back in action.

The 2017-2018 season kicks off on August 12 with champions Chelsea hosting Burnley among a number of interesting opening day fixtures. Tottenham travel north to face newly-promoted Newcastle while fellow promoted side Brighton and Hove Albion gets one of its most difficult tests of the season, hosting Manchester City.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Spurs open up its temporary home at Wembley Stadium two weeks into the season when they host the first London derby of the season against Antonio Conte and Chelsea.

Looking between the lines, expect to hear some complaints from managers over the opening course of the season as teams deal with travel ahead of UEFA Champions League matches.

The BBC noted that Chelsea and Tottenham have away games the weekend before five of its six group stage matches, while Manchester United has four, Liverpool three and Manchester City two. On the flip side, Spurs will play home games after five of its six group stages matches while Chelsea and Manchester United have four, Liverpool has three and Manchester City has two.

Arsenal, which is playing in the UEFA Europa League for the first time since it was called the UEFA Cup, is currently scheduled for a season full of Saturday matches, but some of those will likely be pushed back to Sunday after Europa League matches.

The Gunners currently have five home games prior to Europa League group stage dates including the season’s first North London derby with Tottenham on November 18, but Arsenal also has an early-season trip to Chelsea following its first Europa League match.

Here’s a look at the 2017-2018 Premier League schedule and below is a look at the first five league matches of the season. Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments section below.

(more…)

Ranieri offered Nantes spot, but wants a Premier League job

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to the Telegraph, Claudio Ranieri has been offered the open managerial position at French club FC Nantes, but the Italian would favor to return to the Premier League, and is sitting on the Ligue 1 offer in the hopes that an English job will crop up.

Ranieri has been without a job after being fired by Leicester City in February, and wishes to return to the league where he won the title a year ago.

Nantes was left without a boss after Sergio Conceicao left last week to take the FC Porto job in his home country. Conceicao had joined Nantes in December and took the club from bottom of the table to a seventh-placed finish, just missing out on a Europa League berth.

There is only one Premier League position currently open, and that is at Crystal Palace where Sam Allardyce quit recently for undisclosed reasons. In the Championship, both Sunderland and Leeds United are without a manager, but it’s unclear if Ranieri would drop down a league with the Nantes offer already in hand.

Ranieri obviously has the Premier League title to his name, but it seems that clubs are wary of the circumstances surrounding his Leicester City exit. There were extensive rumors of player unrest, and for a squad to lose faith in the manager who brought them a historic championship is clearly giving clubs pause when it comes to hiring the Italian.

Palace job still open; Who can end the merry-go-round?

Getty Images
2 Comments

Steve Parish is tired of hiring new managers, and this time wants to nab a lifer for the Crystal Palace managerial post.

“We do not really want someone who sees it as a stepping stone,” said the Palace chairman.

[ MORE: Everton to snag bargain Sandro? ]

Saying he’d like to find a man who appreciates Palace’s style of play and wants to grow the club, Parish expounded the virtues of his potential boss on Sirius XM’s FC show.

“We have got a personnel and a way of playing. It has served us well. Do we try and change that again? That will inform probably where we go on the list of managers. After that you are just looking for somebody who has got a long-term view for the club.”

In 112 years of play, the club has hired exactly one manager from outside Wales, Scotland, England, and Ireland, and the bettors’ favorite for the job is Burnley man Sean Dyche. Also on that list with decent odds are Garry Monk and Roy Hodgson.

At 69, that last name doesn’t fit the bill of a long-term solution (though it’s energy, not age, that would dictate that).

Some other ideas who could fit Palace’s bill, especially if they are open to heading away from the island in terms of nationality (and one Brit, too).

  • Jaap Stam — The Reading boss has had an outstanding debut as First Team manager, and is well-connected in terms of the transfer market.
  • Thomas Tuchel — Would the ex-BVB man be willing to dip down from the Champions League to challenge his predecessor Jurgen Klopp and old nemesis Pep Guardiola in the Premier League?
  • Nigel Clough — Currently with Burton Albion, a club he also played for, would he relish a chance at the PL?
  • Walter Mazzarri or Quique Flores — Both kept Watford in the Premier League, and both were victims of the notoriously short-sighted Hornets.