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Watford reportedly shoots down second Silva shout from Everton

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Watford has turned down a second approach from Everton for manager Marco Silva.

The wildly-disappointing Toffees fired manager Ronald Koeman on Oct. 23, are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind win, coincidentally over Watford.

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That victory was caretaker manager David Unsworth‘s first in four outings in charge of the club, with Chelsea, Leicester City, and Lyon taking the other three.

Watford issued a rebuke of Everton’s desires after a Monday approach, but Everton apparently went back to the well on Wednesday. No dice.

Everton spent in the neighborhood of $200 million this summer on players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford, Sandro Ramirez, and Michael Keane amongst others.

A coach like Silva, who nearly saved Hull City’s Premier Legaue status before leading a resurgent Watford this season, is certainly capable of righting Everton’s ship. That said, reports say Watford has no interest in letting him walk at any price and Silva is said to not want to rock the boat.

On the plus side for Everton supporters, at least Sam Allardyce declared himself out of the running for the gig. Looks like Unsworth will have more time to make his case to Bill Kenwright, Farhad Moshiri, and Co.

Report: USMNT interested in Northern Ireland manager

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And an outsider emerges…

English commentator Ian Darke says the United States will talk to Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill regarding its vacant managerial spot.

Dave Sarachan is leading the USMNT for Tuesday’s friendly in Portugal, and the lack of competitive international fixtures for more than 600 days means U.S. Soccer needs not rush to find a boss.

[ USMNT: Most to gain/lose vs. Portugal ]

O’Neill, 48, was capped 31 times by Northern Ireland and played club for Newcastle United, Dundee United, Hibernian, and Wigan Athletic during a long and well-traveled playing career.

He managed Brechin City and Shamrock Rovers before taking the NI gig, leading the Norn Iron to an upset of Ukraine at EURO 2016 and a 1-0 knockout round loss to Wales. Northern Ireland finished second in its World Cup qualifying group, but lost an international playoff to highly-favored Switzerland 1-0 on an away goal (one that came from an awful penalty call).

That said, O’Neill still has limited experience in managing, and NI was blessed by favorable draws in EURO and World Cup qualifying. Marquee wins are few and far between, especially away from home, and NI does have some strong players in Steven Davis, Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley, and Jonny Evans.

He also has a DUI in his background.

O’Neill might be a good choice, given his experience in rallying an underdog on the world stage. He’s certainly the right sort of guy to interview, so this is a promising sign. Most important in my book? He’s not Sam Allardyce.

Switzerland clinches World Cup berth

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The pitch was far from perfect on Sunday, but that didn’t for Switzerland.

[ MORE: Serie B coach goes on epic rant with Italy on verge of elimination ]

The Swiss became the 27th team to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia after settling for a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland at St Jakob-Park.

Chances were at a minimum throughout the match, but the visitors nearly forced the game into extra time when Jonny Evans‘ close-range effort forced a goal-line clearance out of the Swiss back line.

The hosts came out strong in the second half, with Ricardo Rodriguez testing No. Ireland keeper Michael McGovern immediately after the halftime break.

Xherdan Shaqiri was a menace down the wing throughout the first half for the Swiss, testing McGovern on several occasions as well.

The Northern Irish nearly broke the deadlock just two minutes into the match when Chris Brunt unleashed a powerful effort from distance.

Three more European spots will be up for grabs in the coming days as the WCQ cycle rounds out.

Serie B coach delivers epic rant with Italy on verge of missing World Cup

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World Cup qualifying has presented soccer with one of the most unprecedented cycles in recently memory.

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With the U.S. Men’s National Team, Chile, Holland and other recognizable soccer nations already eliminated from reaching next summer’s World Cup, another giant is on the verge of missing the competition.

After falling to Sweden, 1-0, in their first leg meeting on Friday, Italy is hanging on for dear life as it awaits the return leg when the two European nations meet again Tuesday.

This is where Sandro Pochesci stepped in. Pochesci, a manager for Serie B side Ternana, delivered an epic rant following Italy’s defeat to Sweden.

“Italy used to be a team that beat other teams up (physically),” Pochesci said. “Now we’re the ones that get beat up and cry about it. When you bring all these foreigners to Italy, that’s what happens.

“We don’t play rough anymore. We go to Sweden and they’re the ones that beat us up. We’ve all become so entitled. Italian football is finished.

“We’re all spoiled. We’re going to get kicked out of the World Cup, and it’s because we’re scared. We go to Sweden and we’re scared to play. You can’t play being scared.

“If I see my team play scared, I’d just resign right away and we’ll put out a coach who has more courage than I do.

“It means that I’m teaching my team be scared. Honest, who did we lose to? We’re getting kicked out of the World Cup and all of us are losing.

“You journalists lose. Everyone who works in football loses. Italy loses. We need to wake up.”

Italy, four-time World Cup winners, haven’t missed out on qualification for the world’s greatest competition since 1958. Ironically enough, that tournament was held in Sweden.

Premier League Power Rankings

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Which clubs are surging? Which are struggling?

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With the international break here, it is time to take stock of the story so far in the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Below you will find the latest batch of club Power Rankings as we rank PL clubs in terms of where they’re at right now with their form.


#1 – Manchester City: Best-ever start to a PL season. Unbeaten. 10 wins from 11. 52 goals in all comps. Do you need me to continue?
#2 – Burnley: Their best-ever start to a PL season and in 7th place under Sean Dyche. Miracles being worked at Turf Moor.
#3 – Huddersfield Town: Talking about miracles, David Wagner has fostered incredible togetherness and the Terriers are in 10th place in their first-ever PL season.
#4 – Tottenham Hotspur: Defeats to Chelsea and Man United have been disappointing but Spurs have excelled in the UCL. Underrated start with Kane majestic.
#5 – Chelsea: Antonio Conte‘s boys have been up and down but there shouldn’t be a panic. Top four and UCL run beckons.
#6 – Brighton & Hove Albion: Chris Hughton‘s Seagulls have found their feet in the PL impressively. Tough to break down and dogged. Fantastic start.
#7 – Manchester United: Jose Mourinho can moan about injuries all he wants but a defensive style has seen them slip. Red-hot start has been extinguished.
#8 – Newcastle United: Rafael Benitez’s side aren’t sure what they are yet but they’ve ground out impressive wins. Solid and steady return to the PL.
#9 – Watford: Marco Silva‘s Hornets have hit a bit of a sticky patch with three-straight defeats but they enjoyed a superb start. Top 10 possible.
#10 – Liverpool: Up and down start but there are signs the Reds are settling down after some high-profile and heavy defeats. Goals galore going forward. Shaky in defense.

#11 – Stoke: The Potters have had a very strange season. They beat Arsenal and drew with Man United but the jury is still out. Defensive issues problematic.
#12 – Arsenal: Same old, same old for the Gunners. Arsene Wenger‘s men look fragile and weak on the road and haven’t addressed defensive deficiencies.
#13 – Leicester City: New manager Puel has taken over at a good time for the Foxes who have recovered from a poor start which saw Shakespeare sacked.
#14 – Bournemouth: Eddie Howe‘s Cherries are struggling for goals but did snatch a win before the break. They’re getting back to their best.
#15 – Crystal Palace: Despite being bottom of the table, things have improved drastically since Roy Hodgson took charge. Hope for the Eagles, especially with Zaha.
#16 – Southampton: Worrying start for Saints who have a horrendous schedule between now and January. Mauricio Pellegrino‘s side just can’t score.
#17 – West Brom: Two wins to start the season and none since. Tony Pulis is panicking and two wins in their last 20 PL games tells the story. Baggies in freefall.
#18 – Swansea City: Five defeats in six for the Swans and the decisions to let Llorente and Sigurdsson go this summer look very costly. Where will the goals come from?
#19 – West Ham: Moyes has taken over from Bilic and the Hammers look destined for a relegation scrap. Not the season they expected with all of their big name signings.
#20 – Everton: No permanent manager, out of Europe and despite a win vs. Watford, things aren’t looking good for a side meant to challenge for the top four. Massive disappointment.