Pep Guardiola will allow Joe Hart to leave Manchester City

Getty Images
1 Comment

MANCHESTER — Pep Guardiola will not stand in Joe Hart‘s way if he wants to leave Manchester City.

[ MORE: What now for Joe Hart? ]

Guardiola spoke to the media at City’s training ground on Friday and as the rain drizzled down he painted a pretty simple picture for Hart.

If he wants to leave Manchester City, he can go.

Reports have suggested that the England international wants to leave the Etihad after being left out of their opening two games of the season with Willy Caballero selected instead, plus Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo set to arrive from Barcelona in the coming days.

The main topic of discussion was Hart’s future and ahead of City’s trip to the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday to play Stoke City (Watch live, 7:30.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports), Guardiola revealed that Hart is free to go on loan or seal a transfer away if that’s what he wants to do.

“Yeah, of course,” Guardiola said. “I want the happiness for the players. I don’t want the players to stay here if they don’t want to stay. All the players that are here have a contract. If they decide they want to stay, they are going to stay. They know the situation. I already spoke with them about the situation. They know. I spoke individually and I called the club with their managers. The situation, they know exactly what it is. I don’t know the players who are not happy here, or if they want to stay. They decide their future because they have a contract. If they want to stay, stay. We will fight together to achieve. If they want to leave because they prefer to play every game but I’m not speaking about Joe, I’m speaking about all of the players at the squad. I want to live, I want to work, I want to stay with the players who want to stay. There is no doubt on that.”

City’s new manager Guardiola insists that Hart knew the situation since day one when he arrived in China in preseason, and believes that if Hart stays at City his staff will improve the 29-year-old goalkeeper. After winning two Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and being at the club for a decade, it is unclear whether Hart will want to stick around on the bench to bide his time and battle with at least two other goalkeepers for a starting spot.

The main issue with Hart is that Guardiola doesn’t believe he is good enough with his feet and until that improves he will not fit into his new system at City.

“I said to him on the first morning, if he stays here he is going to improve,” Guardiola said. “He is going to understand what we want from our goalkeeper. I met a lot of players in the beginning and had problems, I am not talking about the goalkeepers. So they had their problems at the beginning. After two months, three months, half a year, one year, they became one of the best players in that position. That can happen. But when Willy plays right now, in that situation he is better. Today. That doesn’t mean that is going to happen in the future. They have to decide if they want to stay or leave. If he stays here I want to help him and after every week I will decide.”

The Spanish coach went on to give a specific example of a player who struggled initially under his guidance at Barcelona but then flourished. He is hoping Hart will stay but at this moment in time he sees Caballero ahead of him.

“I have an example: I met Abidal, the left back at the beginning. The way we played he had his problems but at the end he became the best left central defender in Europe. Fast, intelligent, strong in the air. In the build up he was a masterclass but it took time. In the beginning it was not the best and we are demanding,” Guardiola said. “We are demanding from our central defender and goalkeepers that they have to play. They don’t have to only defend. They have to defend and they have to play.

“The goalkeeper, the first thing I am looking for is to be safe, keep the ball. For me that is the most important thing. But after, he has to play with the ball. He has to help us to create a good build up. That is why I am here. In the future of course he can do that but now, in the moment, because Willy was in the whole preseason and was in two, three more weeks than Joe because he was in holidays after the European Cup and because I saw so many things, in those games I decided to play with WIlly. But it doesn’t mean Willy is going to play all the season. It doesn’t mean Joe isn’t going to play. I explained that with Joe in China. I tried to be clear with my players. I know the quality from Joe. I have a lot of respect. It isn’t easy decision for me to say you are not playing but Willy is. But it is clear, what I am looking for, to help us, we are not an academy where you have time. Here you have time, but not too much.”

Now that Hart knows the situation and Guardiola has made it clear for everyone else to understand, an interesting 12 days lies ahead with the transfer window slamming shut at midnight on Aug. 31.

“I spoke with with Joe from the first moment we met in China and I tried to be clear with my players. I was so clear with him. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, as a goalkeeper. I know his value. I know his talent. It was clear what I was looking for. I am here at Manchester City and they contacted me to try and play the way I like. The way I grew up from 13, 14-years old. I am here to try and convince these players,” Guardiola added. “Until 31st of this month, everything is open. People are coming, people are leaving. When it is September you will know exactly which people who will live together, to fight together, to enjoy together, to discuss together.

“If Joe stays here it will be a player who is going to fight with other goalkeepers to convince me to play. It is simple like that. He knows from the beginning what I feel, what is the situation. After that of course I know maybe he stays, maybe he is leaving and it is the same case for other players.”

USWNT vs England, Spain: Rosters for high-profile friendlies, TV, stream

0 Comments

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andovoski has announced his roster for one of the most-anticipated friendlies of all-time — and that’s no exaggeration — as the United States women’s national team takes on EURO champions England in one of two Europe-based friendlies next month.

The Yanks will also play Spain in a match well-worth watching, but the England match is going to be a clash of titans as the now-powerful Lionesses put their 14-match winning streak on the line against USA’s back-to-back World Cup champions.

“These are big tests for our team in front of crowds cheering against us and after long travel, but our players absolutely love games like these,” said Andonovski in a U.S. Soccer press release. “The group we are bringing to Europe includes players who have a lot of experience against top European teams and some that don’t, so these games are even more critical for our growth as our team. Our whole squad needs to get a clear picture of what these games are like as we continue to prepare for the World Cup.”

[ MORE: Watch Premier League live | Peacock Premium details ]

The Oct. 7 match against England at Wembley Stadium is set to shatter the attendance record for a USWNT friendly and U.S. Soccer says it will be second to only the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final in terms of in-person attendance for a USWNT match.

Those are big mile markers in soccer history, but these matches are really big — as big as friendlies get — in terms of telling where the USWNT’s status as the No. 1 team in the world is under threat.

The Women’s Super League has made huge strides alongside its national team in England and the National Women’s Soccer League will be watching this with real excitement and anxiety; All but two members of the USWNT call-up list play in the NWSL. All but four of the England team play in the WSL and only one plies their trade in the NWSL (Ebony Salmon of the Houston Dash).

And these teams very well could meet up this summer, as the friendlies are the final USWNT matches prior to the Oct. 22 Women’s World Cup draw in New Zealand.


How to watch USWNT vs England

Kick off: 3pm ET, Oct. 7
TV Channel: FOX
Online: Stream via FoxSports.com

How to watch USWNT vs Spain

Kick off: 2:30pm ET, Oct. 11
TV Channel: ESPN2
Online: Stream via ESPN.com


USWNT vs England rosters

USWNT: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)

England WNT: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Sandy MacIver (Manchester City), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lucy Parker (West Ham), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jessica Park (Everton), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Ebony Salmon (Houston Dash)

West Ham vs Wolves: How to watch live, stream link, TV, team news

0 Comments

West Ham vs Wolves: Two sides straddling either side of the relegation zone will be desperate for a victory (or even just a goal) when they meet at London Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 12:30 pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com). 

STREAM LIVE WEST HAM vs WOLVES

It’s been a mostly miserable start to the 2022-23 Premier League season for both the Hammers and Wolves. West Ham have just one win on the season (1W-1D-5L) as David Moyes and Co., sit 18th heading into matchweek 8. Wolves also have just one win (1W-3D-3L) while scoring the same number of goals as West Ham (3) in seven games. Misery loves company.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of West Ham vs Wolves

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch West Ham vs Wolves live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12:30 pm ET, Saturday
TV channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

For both sides, the goal-scoring woes are a result of not only a failure to convert scoring chances, but also their inability to create them. West Ham and Wolves both rank in the bottom five of the Premier League in expected goals with identical paltry 0.9 xG averages (per 90 minutes). No other side in the Premier League is anywhere close to underperforming their expected numbers by more than 50 percent.

Goals have come much more easily for West Ham in the Europa Conference League, where they have scored three goals in all four games thus far — six in two games against Danish side Viborg, and three apiece against Romanian runners-up FCSB and another Danish side in Silkeborg.

Wolves made the effort to be a better attacking side this season, as they spent $18 million on Sasa Kalajdzic, but the Austrian international striker tore his ACL on his debut for the club. Raul Jimenez, meanwhile, has played just 211 minutes in three Premier League appearances (none since Aug. 31) and has just one goal, in the League Cup. The Mexican international is now in a race against time to be healthy and fit for the 2022 World Cup eight weeks from now.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Benjamin Johnson (hamstring)

Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Raul Jimenez (groin), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Nathan Collins (suspension), Chiquinho (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Diego Costa (undisclosed)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Arsenal vs Tottenham projected lineups, form, head-to-head, prediction

0 Comments

There is so little between Arsenal and Tottenham this season that every little decision will count as they square off this Saturday (watch live, 7:30am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com) in the north London derby.

[ MORE: Preview, storylines, latest on Arsenal vs Tottenham ]

Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte have overseen superb starts to the season for their teams, with the Gunners top of the table and they are just one point and two places above unbeaten Spurs.

After Tottenham pipped Arsenal to a top four finish late last season, this rivalry has gone to new levels and both believe they can finish in the top four this season, at the very least.

Below we take a closer look at form, head-to-head info, projected lineups and a prediction for what promises to be a classic Arsenal vs Tottenham clash in the north London derby.


Arsenal vs Tottenham recent Premier League form

Arsenal last five fixtures – WLWWW | Last match: 3-0 win at Brentford

Tottenham last five fixtures – WWDWW  | Last match: 6-2 win vs Leicester City


Who has more wins, Arsenal or Tottenham? (all competitions head-to-head)

Tottenham wins: 67

Arsenal wins: 84

Draws: 54


Projected lineups

Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

—– Ramsdale —–

— White — Saliba — Gabriel — Zinchenko —

—- Partey —- Xhaka —-

—- Saka —- Odegaard —- Martinelli —-

—– Jesus —–

If Partey is out with injury then Arteta has a big decision to make in midfield: does Lokonga come in? Or does Odegaard drop deeper with Vieira coming in to an attacking midfield role? Elsewhere, Zinchenko will likely start ahead of Tierney if both are fit, while Zinchenko could also start in holding midfield given his incredible vesatility.


Tottenham (3-4-2-1)

—– Lloris —–

—- Romero —- Dier —- Davies —-

— Emerson — Hojbjerg — Bentancur — Perisic —

—- Richarlison —- Son —-

—– Kane —–

The back three picks itself, if everyone is fit, with Llenget and Sanchez coming in and doing okay when injuries have flared up. But the big debate is what Spurs do with Kulusevski potentially out. Does Richarlison come in for him? Or does Yves Bissouma start in midfield and the formation switch to a 3-5-2 with Son supporting Kane in attack? If it’s the latter, that would give Spurs extra defensive cover in the engine room.


Arsenal vs Tottenham prediction

This is going to be a very close game with these managers, players and clubs so evenly-matched across the board. Arsenal have been in better form but are battling with some key injuries, while Spurs look more capable of grinding out results when they’re not at their best. All of that adds up to an entertaining draw. I’m going for 2-2.


Southampton vs Everton: How to watch, stream link, team news

0 Comments

Southampton host Everton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday and both Ralph Hasenhuttl and Frank Lampard are desperate for a win.

STREAM LIVE SOUTHAMPTON v EVERTON

Before the break Saints put in their worst display of the season as they lost at Aston Villa and their trademark high-pressing was non-existent. With such a young team they are likely to have ups and downs throughout this season and overall they’ve had a very solid start to the new campaign.

Everton got their first win of the season last time out as they edged past West Ham at home before the break and Lampard has made the Toffees very tough to beat. They sit on seven points (the same as Southampton) and have lost just twice so far this season. That said, scoring goals is a real issue for them as they’ve scored just five goals in their first seven games.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of a huge game as Southampton vs Everton is a clash both teams will believe they can win.


How to watch Arsenal vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines

Saints have so many good youngsters with Armel Bella-Kotchap, Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia all catching the eye early in the season. The latter has missed the last few games through injury and Saints have lost both 1-0 at Wolves and Aston Villa. Scoring goals will be a problem for them but they look defensively solid this season and Hasenhuttl is relying on Che Adams and James Ward-Prowse to score the goals to keep them well away from the relegation scrap.

Lampard’s Everton are also tougher to break down and scoring goals is also an issue for them. After selling Richarlison in the summer and having Dominic Calvert-Lewin out injured so far, Lampard has relied on Anthony Gordon to be his main attacking weapon. The youngster has a lot of pressure on his shoulders.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Saints’ Bella-Kotchap (20) and Mohammed Salisu (23) have formed a really strong partnership at center back and both made their international debuts over the break for Germany and Ghana respectively. Saints need Ward-Prowse to get back to his best as he’s struggled to start the season and is so important to the way they play.

Alex Iwobi has been superb in a deeper central midfield role for Everton and Amadou Onana continues to show his class alongside him, while the experienced duo of Conor Coady and James Tarkwoski are forging a very solid partnership at center back with the summer signings leading by example.


Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options

Tino Livramento continues his recovery from a long-term knee injury and is getting closer to a return, while 18-year-old midfield sensation Lavia is still a few weeks away from returning. It will be intriguing to see who starts in attack with Adams as Hasenhuttl has so many attacking midfield options but nobody has staked their claim for a regular starting spot.


Everton team news, injuries, lineup options

Injury issues continue to mount up for Lampard as they lost right back Nathan Patterson over the break and that is a big blow as he’s been sensational in recent games. Jordan Pickford should be back from injury, which is a massive boost, but Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Andros Townsend all remain out. Calvert-Lewin has a chance of being back for this game.