Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Angry Magpies “didn’t deserve anything” in loss at Goodison Park

Leave a comment

One is well-liked by Newcastle United fans while the other is on the hot seat, but both Daryl Janmaat and Steve McClaren sounded the same note when it comes to the Magpies’ 3-0 loss to Everton on Wednesday at Goodison Park.

It was obviously a sour one.

[ MORE: Hiddink defends Costa after scuffle versus Watford ]

The Magpies were again flustered in their attempts to finish despite the introduction of new signing Andros Townsend. Two points behind 17th place and with an absolutely massive home match against West Brom on the weekend, both Janmaat and McClaren know time is running out to embrace realistic opportunities to rise up the table.

Here’s Janmaat, from the Chronicle Live:

“It’s really disappointing. We didn’t play very well and we didn’t deserve anything out of the game.

We have to give a reaction on Saturday for the fans and for the club and for ourselves. We let ourselves down and that cannot happen. We have to get used to the new players and hopefully everyone will settle very soon and we can do better than we’re doing at the moment.

And his manager, from the BBC:

 “In the first half we were never really in it. The crowd and the players here were nervous but we did not capitalise on that. Unfortunately we then had injuries in defence which meant we had to reshuffle.

“The new signings will take time to gel. At West Brom we will have 52,000 cheering us on and we will have to show a reaction. We have shown we can react before. Fans want to see fight and we need to show it on Saturday.”

Newcastle will likely enter Saturday’s home match without a pair of center backs. Jamal Lascelles picked up a red card in stoppage time, while Chancel Mbemba left Wednesday’s match early with injury.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.