Getty Images

Guardiola recommends off-field role for Kompany

1 Comment

For more than a decade, Vincent Kompany has been a fixture at Manchester City. But his time on the field for the club may be coming to a close.

Heading into the final months of Kompany’s contract, Pep Guardiola addressed the issue and said that he hoped Kompany would stay at the club, but understood that there may not be a place for him on the field in the future.

[READ: JPW’s Premier League picks]

“We miss him when he isn’t able to play, he is our captain and, on the field, he gives us something extra that few centerbacks around the world can give us,” Guardiola said. “He’s incredible, but the reality is in the last five years he has played few games. That is the situation – we will put on the table with the club. We will discuss with his agent and work out what is best solution for both.

“I don’t like clubs to say OK it’s done, go, but at the same time there is one moment when it’s over. It’s not my decision, like him, like with Sergio, David always to be together with the club. I’ve spoken to him many times about the reality of how we can help. But it’s his decision with the club and his agent. I’m not involved, I just give my opinion.”

The 32-year-old Belgian international is one of the only players (likely only?) left in Man City’s squad to pre-date the club’s takeover by Sheikh Mansour, which changed the club’s fortunes overnight. Kompany was signed in August 2018, just days before the takeover. Within a season or two, Kompany established himself as the rock in the middle of the defense, and a player that Man City built itself around as it went on to win the Premier League title in 2012, 2014 and 2018.

However, the reality – as Guardiola said – is that injuries have kept Kompany off the field for many, many games. Kompany hasn’t played 30-games or more in a Premier League season since 2012 and 20 games in a Premier League season since 2015. Last season, he started just 17 times in the league, and this season he has just six starts in nine league matches. For playing purposes, it makes sense why Guardiola might think it’s time to move on, and Kompany, when fit, still has plenty to offer.

Russell hat trick snaps Sporting KC’s win streak (video)

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Leave a comment

Struggling, short-handed Sporting KC needed a star show to kickstart its summer, and Johnny Russell was ready to go.

Maybe the 29-year-old Scotsman was feeding off the buzz of his old club Derby County preparing for the Championship Playoff Final, but Russell scored thrice as Sporting took care of Seattle 3-2 in Washington on Sunday.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

The right winger scored his fifth, sixth, and seventh goals of the MLS season as Sporting won its first match since March 30.

Russell scored 35 goals with 34 assists in 205 matches with the Rams, but has destroyed that mark with KC. He now has 19 and 16 in 55.

Seattle loses ground on LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, while KC is now within four points of the playoff places.

 

 

Report: Newcastle in takeover talks with UAE billionaire

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Reports out of Northeast England say Newcastle United supporters who want owner Mike Ashley out at all costs have new hope.

United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is said to be in talks with Ashley about a takeover of the St. James’ Park-based club, though there’s a lot of work to do for a deal to be complete.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

One report goes as far as to say Ashley has agreed to accept $444 million for the Premier League club.

Sheikh Khaled, 61, was educated at American colleges Boston University and Michigan State. He’s the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and was turned down with a $2.5 billion bid for Liverpool last season.

From The Chronicle:

NUFC have confirmed some talks with Sheikh Khaled. But say there is still “some way” to go on a deal. Newcastle United refusing to make any further comment at this time.

Takeover talks are nothing new at Newcastle, and there does seem to be some heat to these reports, but Ashley and his crew have spun these stories of interest in the past. And with Magpies supporters waiting for news on Rafa Benitez‘s new deal, some will be way of a smoke screen for an inability to reach an agreement with the celebrated Newcastle manager.

Wondolowski scores 149th, 150th goals; Earthquakes win

Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

TORONTO (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored his 149th and 150th MLS goals in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday night.

The MLS career goals leader scored both from close range.

[ MORE: Kante to miss Europa League final ]

Wondolowski got a yard’s separation from Drew Moor and deftly redirected in Cristian Espinoza’s cross in the 37th minute to tie it at 1. The go-ahead goal in the 81st minute was a virtual replay, with Espinoza finding Wondolowski in space.

The San Jose striker has six goals in two games. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Chicago last weekend to surpass Landon Donovan’s league record of 145 goals and up his career total to 148.

Richie Laryea opened the scoring for Toronto (5-6-2) in the 28th minute

San Jose (5-6-2) won for the first time in six road games this season.

Chairman Mubarak: Other clubs are ‘jealous’ of Man City’s success

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes that other clubs — namely those who have fallen miles back of the back-to-back Premier League champions — are “jealous” of the club’s success.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante to miss Europa League final with new injury ]

The root of the perceived jealousy is, of course, Man City’s seemingly unlimited spending power which dwarves that of just about — if not — every other club in the PL. There’s a growing sense around the league — and around the world — that clubs like City, just to name one, are doing the game a disservice by distorting the transfer market and building an infallible super-team with the aid of unprecedented financial resources.

Mubarak believes that these feelings also stem from other clubs’ failed dealings in the transfer market: spending comparable — if not more — money on players who don’t justify that price tag the same way some of City’s big-money buys have done — quotes from the BBC:

“With success, there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it. That’s part of the game.

“It’s not easy for our competition, we know that. But the reality is, we didn’t buy the most expensive player in the Premier League [Paul Pogba], we didn’t buy the most expensive goalkeeper [Kepa Arrizabalaga], we didn’t buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn’t buy the most expensive striker [Romelu Lukaku].

“People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. This is a well-run club.”

City’s financial dealings have regularly been in the headlines of late, as they are believed to have circumvented FFP rules by lying about sponsorship deals so as to balance a larger expenditure on transfer fees and player wages with revenue generated by the club.