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Why England should hire Gareth Southgate

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Gareth Southgate‘s final game in charge of England on an interim basis takes place on Tuesday in a friendly against Spain at Wembley.

After that, he should be given the England job on a full time basis.

[ MORE: How can USA win?

Southgate, 46, was unexpectedly thrust into the role on a temporary basis following the incredible scenes which saw Sam Allardyce lose his job after just 67 days following a sting operation from the Daily Telegraph which showed him explaining how to circumvent FA rules over transfers. 

Since that dark time for the English national team in late September Southgate has steadied the ship admirably with World Cup qualifying wins against Malta and Scotland plus a draw away at Slovenia leading England to the top of Group F.

And although he didn’t want the England managers job when it first became vacant when Roy Hodgson resigned following the shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland at EURO 2016 this summer, he now seems to be the right man at the right time for the Three Lions.

But why should he be given one of the most prestigious jobs in world soccer?

One of the main reasons is because England has tried literally everything else to get success. They’ve gone for expensive foreign imports (Fabio Capello and Sven Goran Eriksson), up and coming coaches at the time (Steve McClaren and Kevin Keegan) experienced heads (Hodgson and Allardyce) but none of it has worked. Another reason is because of the lack of clear English candidates.

If the English FA wants to appoint an English manager then only Premier League duo Eddie Howe or Alan Pardew would suffice. Aside from that, who else is there?

Southgate is in a situation where he is one of the only options England has left. Yet, don’t mistake that for him being a fall guy or a yes man. He is strong, intelligent and disciplined and he has proven himself as manager of England’s U21 side since he took the role in 2013. He has also proven that he will walk away if he feels the role isn’t right for him, just like he did after being appointed head of elite development by the FA but he then left the role in 2012 when he was tabbed to become the technical director of the FA instead.

The former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough center back has already stated that maybe he won’t take the England job if it was offered to him on a full time basis. However, England needs Southgate and he knows it and it is expected he will be offered the job sometime next week. The former England international (he played at EURO 96, missing the pivotal penalty kick in the semifinal shootout defeat to Germany, plus was in the squad for the 1998 World Cup and EURO 2000) should be given a four-year deal to build something sustainable and bring through the talented crop of players he’s helped nurture at U21 level.

England's Daniel Sturridge, second right, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal as Scotland's Grant Hanley, left, Christophe Berra, second left, and Graham Morrison, right, react during the World Cup group F qualifying soccer match between England and Scotland at the Wembley stadium, London, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Yes, his record as a manager with Middlesbrough from 2007-09 leaves a lot to be desired (in two and a bit seasons in charge of the Riverside he led Boro to 45 wins in 151 games and they were relegated from the Premier League) but with England’s youngsters he has worked wonders, losing just three of his 31 games in charge although again the young Three Lions struggled in the European Championships in 2015.

Southgate’s understated nature seems to have resonated strongly with the senior players within the England setup. He is strict when he has to be but mostly laid back. He has helped nurture the careers of many of the current squad (Harry Kane, Dele Alli and John Stones to name a few) and they have his backing. The way he handled the benching of Wayne Rooney was class and he is no-nonsense. Southgate is someone you would here described as a ‘players’ coach’ because he can connect with the younger members and has the respect from everyone for what he achieved as a player and now his ideas as a coach are clear, concise and there’s no hyping things up. He just gets on with it.

Win, lose or draw against Spain at Wembley, Southgate should be handed the reins. England will qualify, once again, for the 2018 World Cup and after that, what’s the worst that can happen? In 2014 World Cup it was a group stage exit in Brazil and in 2010 a Round of 16 humiliation at the hands of Germany.

Southgate can do no worse than that and he should be given a chance to develop this young England squad and help them fly under the radar, if that’s ever possible with the intensely scrutinized Three Lions.

USMNT to meet Canada, 2 others in 2021 Gold Cup group stage

2021 Gold Cup draw
Photo by Roy Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
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The United States men’s national team learned its path to reclaiming the Gold Cup on Monday.

Gregg Berhalter’s Yanks will meet Canada and Martinique in the group stage, as well as one of the Gold Cup prelim winner that will come from the group of Haiti, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Bermuda, or Barbados.

“It’s a good group,” Berhalter said. “Canada has a great generation coming through and the other opponents we’ll see who gets in the four spot but it’s definitely a good group.”

[ MORE: Latest USMNT and Americans abroad news ]

The 2021 Gold Cup will be held July 10 – Aug. 1 in the United States.

Mexico, who beat the U.S. 1-0 in the 2019 Gold Cup Final to take back the trophy from the U.S., will face El Salvador and Curacao plus the nation that survives the prelims between Cuba, French Guyana, Montserrat, and Trinidad and Tobago.

No team has repeated as Gold Cup champion since El Tri beat the United States in 2009 and 2011.

Mexico has won eight Gold Cups and the United States has claimed six. Canada is the only other nation to win the Gold Cup, doing so in 1999.

Tournament invitee Qatar will join Group D with Honduras, Panama, and Grenada.

Group A

Mexico
El Salvador
Curacao
Cuba, French Guyana, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago

Group B

United States
Canada
Martinique
Haiti, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Bermuda, or Barbados

Group C

Costa Rica
Jamaica
Suriname
Guadeloupe, Bahamas, Guatemala, or Guyana

Group D

Honduras
Panama
Grenada
Qatar

UEFA Champions League qualifying: How to watch, start times, odds

Champions League qualifying
Photo by Raddad Jebarah/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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American defender Henry Wingo and manager Jesse Marsch face big weeks as the second legs of the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoffs take center stage Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wingo’s Molde drew Ferencvaros 3-3 in the first leg but those three away goals loom large as the American and his Norwegian club head to Hungary.

[ MORE: Champions League qualifying scores ]

Meanwhile, Marsch saw his Red Bull Salzburg come back from an early deficit in Israel to take a 2-1 advantage over Maccabi Tel-Aviv back to Austria.

Salzburg are very heavy favorites to win and advance to the Champions League group stage for another year.

Marsch has also been linked with an impending transfer for USMNT teen Brenden Aaronson, one of at least eight Americans to watch as the European transfer window reaches its conclusion next month.


How to watch the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoff round

Kickoff: 3 pm ET Tuesday and Wednesday
Stream: CBS All-Access (subscription required)


UEFA Champions League playoff round matches

All 12 legs will kickoff at 3 pm ET between Tuesday and Sept. 30.

First legs (Roundup)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Slavia Prague 0-0 Midtjylland
Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK
Gent 1-2 Dynamo Kiev
Molde 3-3 Ferencvaros
Olympiakos 2-0 Omonia

Tuesday

Ferencvaros v Molde
Dynamo Kiev v Gent
Omonia v Olympiakos

Wednesday

Midtjylland v Slavia Prague
PAOK v Krasnodar
Red Bull Salzburg v Maccabi Tel-Aviv


UCL second leg odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Ferencvaros (+108) v Molde (+215) | Draw (+230)
Dynamo Kiev (-118) v Gent (+280) | Draw (+235)
Omonia (+325) v Olympiakos (-130) | Draw (+235)
Midtjylland (+170) v Slavia Prague (+155) | Draw (+195)
PAOK (+105) v Krasnodar (+220) | Draw (+235)
Red Bull Salzburg (-834) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (+1300) | Draw (+600)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links

League Cup: How to watch, start times, odds, predictions

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The League Cup’s fourth round features two interesting tactical duels in that the tournament gives us rematches of a pair of Premier League matches from the weekend, right down to the locations.

Brighton will hope Manchester United’s Wednesday trip to the Amex Stadium isn’t as lucky as the Red Devils’ 3-2 triumph over the Seagulls, while Arsenal heads back to Anfield on Thursday with designs on a measure of revenge for Monday’s 3-1 loss in league play.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

While Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United are built a bit deeper — easy, Red Devils fans — due to squad necessity for European competition, Graham Potter’s Seagulls don’t have it as simple as chopping and changing (though Brighton has looked plenty good with its depth so far in this tournament.

How will the tactician plot his overthrow of United? And will Mikel Arteta do anything different with Arsenal to help thwart the high line Liverpool used to limit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Monday (if the Gabonese star even plays)?

[ MORE: JPW’s 3 things from Liverpool-Arsenal ]

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho thinks that schedule congestion is going to cost Spurs on Tuesday against Chelsea as well as in the treatment room.

The Portuguese boss says he will not be able to give the League Cup the respect he’d like because of Thursday’s Europa League visit from Maccabi Haifa is a match the club needs to make the UEL group stage.

Mourinho lost Heung-min Son to injury in Sunday’s controversial draw against Newcastle and he’s worried about what’s next.

“I think Sonny was just the first [injury],” Mourinho said, via Football.London. “More will come. So he was the first, but more will come.”

Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell could make their first Chelsea starts in the match, which comes too soon for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

Three lower league remain and will be playing their fourth League Cup matches of the month compared to the PL’s three outings. Those who win this week will have a lot longer to wait for the quarterfinals, which won’t be held until December.


League Cup fourth round kickoff times and odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Tottenham (+420) v Chelsea (-180) | Draw (+360) — 2:45 pm ET Tuesday
Newport County (+560) v Newcastle (-230)  | Draw (+340)— 12:30 pm ET Weds
Burnley (+625) v Manchester City (-275) | Draw (+375) — 2 pm ET Weds
Brighton (+300) v Manchester United (-120) | Draw (+250)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Everton (-145) v West Ham (+350) | Draw (+280)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Brentford (+135) v Fulham (+185) | Draw (+225)— 12:30 pm ET Thursday
Aston Villa (-150) v Stoke City (+360) | Draw (+275)— 2 pm ET Thursday
Liverpool (-105) v Arsenal (+230) | Draw (+270)— 2:45 pm ET Thursday

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


League Cup fourth round predictions

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea
Newport County 1-3 Newcastle United
Burnley 0-3 Manchester City
Brighton 2-1 Manchester United
Everton 2-2 (EFC wins in penalties) West Ham United
Brentford 1-1 (Brentford wins in penalties) Fulham
Aston Villa 2-0 Stoke City
Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal


How to watch League Cup fourth round streams and start time

Kickoff: Tuesday through Thursday
Online: Select games on ESPN+
Updates: Follow League Cup scores via NBCSports.com

Arteta rues missed chances in Arsenal loss to Liverpool

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Mikel Arteta knows his Arsenal team has a long way to go to be as fearsome as reigning Premier League champions Liverpool.

He also knows the Gunners could’ve easily taken a point off the Reds in place of the 3-1 loss on the scoreboard after Monday’s match at Anfield.

[ MORE: JPW’s 3 things | Player ratings ]

“Really tough place to come for anybody in the world,” Arteta said. “They set incredible standards. They dominate every aspect of the game. … They’ve been together five years. We are at a different moment of our journey.”

Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal an early lead in the game and was stymied by Alisson Becker in a second-half bid to make it 2-2.

But the Reds had so many chances before substitute Diogo Jota salted away the points, out-attempting Arsenal 21-4 and holding 66 percent possession.

[ MORE: Klopp’s animated post-match reaction ]

“Taking the lead put us in a really strong position to believe we could get something out of the game but we conceded too early,” Arteta said. “We had some problems with the ball and we had the best chances in the game and when it comes to Anfield you’re not going to get 10 chances. When you get through 1-against-1 against the keeper you have to score if you want to get something out of the game.”

Lacazette won’t love reading that, but Arteta is right. And Alisson also stopped a Lacazette chip on a breakaway goal bid that wouldn’t have counted because the Frenchman was offside.

Arsenal lost its first Premier League match of the season after winning its first two. The two sides meet again at the same venue in League Cup fourth round action on Thursday.

Arsenal’s next PL match is home to Sheffield United on Sunday.