Game On! Alan Pardew smack talks Gus Poyet ahead of Tyne-Wear derby

1 Comment

Not sure what’s gotten into Alan Pardew lately but the man has been positively enfuego the last few days.

On Sunday he discussed how his boss, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, doesn’t understand football: “He loves football but he sometimes can’t understand how it works and it confuses and upsets him, and when he is upset, he does things that aren’t brilliant for the football club.”

More: Pardew calls Newcastle owner ‘confused’

Yikes.

But then earlier today the Magpies manager was at it again, telling new Sunderland boss Gus Poyet that he’s not experienced enough to cope with the Tyne-Wear derby.

“Gus will find it difficult there,” said Pardew. “The side that he’s managing need a bit of maintenance. They need their confidence building up.” The Englishman continued, “that first derby will be a shock to him. He might think he’s ready for it but it will be a shock.”

Bold words for a man whose side got spanked 3-0 at home in the same fixture last spring. That match, marked by Paolo Di Canio’s memorable display of suited knee slides and chest pounds, was the cherry on top of an embarrassing season for Pardew’s side.

Ironically enough, that was only Di Canio’s second match on Wearside after taking over for a squad that also lacked plenty of confidence and needed some maintenance.

Which makes Pardew’s decision to light a fire under Poyet all the more interesting. The derby, set to take place at the Stadium of Light on October 27th, will be Poyet’s second match in charge of the Black Cats following this weekend’s trip to Swansea City.

So what’s Pardew’s deal?

Tough to say. Pardew isn’t out to get Poyet (he insists he’s a fan of the Uruguayan), but at the same time the Newcastle manager is definitely stirring the up the derby pot, which you have to love. Either way, it’s Game On!

Last season Magpies defender Steven Taylor made headlines when he insisted that not a single Sunderland player would be able to get in the Newcastle team. It’s a soundbite Pardew hasn’t forgotten.

“The press are looking for an angle, a quote,” he said. “Last year Steven made a silly quote and that got really brought out into the open, and made into a massive story. It’s that sort of thing: you wake up in the morning and look at your phone and think ‘Oh god, here we go – someone’s make a rick’ and it makes it even more pressurized.”

Time to check your cell, Alan.

World Cup’s only black coach says there should be more

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) — The only black coach at this year’s World Cup says there is a need for more in soccer.

“In European countries, in major clubs, you see lots of African players. Now we need African coaches for our continent to go ahead,” Senegal’s Aliou Cisse said through a translator on Monday, a day ahead of his nation’s World Cup opener against Poland.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The percentage of black players at this year’s tournament and with clubs in the world’s top leagues is far higher.

Cisse was captain of Senegal when it reached the 2002 quarterfinals in the nation’s only previous World Cup appearance.

“I am the only black coach in this World Cup. That is true,” Cisse said. “But really these are debates that disturb me. I think that football is a universal sport and that the color of your skin is of very little importance.”

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cisse cited Florent Ibenge, the coach of Congo’s national team, as a sign of progress.

“I think we have a new generation that is working, that is doing its utmost, and beyond being good players with a past of professional footballers,” Cisse said. “We are very good in our tactics, and we have the right to be part of the top international coaches.”

Africa’s best performance at the World Cup has been to reach the quarterfinals, accomplished by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“I have the certainty that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup,” Cisse said. “It’s a bit more complicated in our countries. We have realities that are not there in other continents, but I think that the African continent is full of qualities. We are on the way, and I’m sure that Senegal, Nigeria or other African countries will be able win, just like Brazil, Germany or other European countries.”

A lack of minority managers also has been documented at the club level. The Sports People’s Think Tank said in November there were just three minority managers among the 92 English professional clubs as of Sept. 1.

World Cup: Saudi team safe after plane caught fire mid-flight

Photo credit: @SaudiNT
Leave a comment

The Saudi Arabian national team arrived alive and well in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Monday after a terrifying incident that saw their plane catch fire in the air.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The blaze was caused by “a technical failure in one of the airplane engines,” which the airline, Rossiya, claims was caused by a bird flying into the engine. Each of the planes engines were reportedly in operation upon landing at its final destination.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted a message on Twitter later on Monday, saying they “would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely.”

The Green Falcons will face Uruguay in Rostov, hoping to rebound from their tournament-opening 5-0 loss to Russia on Thursday, in each side’s second game of Group A action on Wednesday (11 a.m. ET).

Seismologists clarify Mexico fans didn’t cause earthquake

Photo by Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images
Leave a comment

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s National Seismological Service says there was seismic activity around the country’s capital Sunday, but it wasn’t linked to soccer fans celebrating their country’s game-winning goal vs. Germany at the World Cup.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The service says in a report that there were two small earthquakes at 10:24 a.m. and 12:01 p.m. The goal came around 11:35 a.m. local time.

A geological institute reported Sunday that seismic detectors had registered a false earthquake that may have been generated by “massive jumps” by fans.

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

Mexico’s Seismological Service explained Monday that the city’s normal bustle of traffic and other movement causes vibrations that are detected by sensitive instruments.

It says those vibrations notably quieted during the match as people gathered in front of TVs to watch, and rose after the goal.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 6 — Colombia vs. Japan; Salah’s debut?

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Day 6 of the 2018 World Cup is up next, on Tuesday — and would you believe it? — there’s another three games on the schedule. This whole “back-to-back-to-back games of soccer” thing isn’t so bad.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Up first, it’s the 2018 debut of Colombia, winners of tens hundreds of millions of hearts in 2014, as they take on Japan. In the day’s other Group H fixture, it’ll be Robert Lewandowski and Poland facing Sadio Mane and Senegal. Star power aplenty.

Then, we swing things back around to Group A, where the hosts Russia will look to continue their hot start against Egypt with Mohamed Salah expected to make his World Cup debut.

Below is Tuesday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Tuesday, June 19

Group H
Colombia vs. Japan: Saransk, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Poland vs. Senegal: Moscow, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group A
Russia vs. Egypt: St. Petersburg, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE