Getty Images

Giuseppe Rossi training with Man United, hoping for contract somewhere

2 Comments

Giuseppe Rossi has been training with his former club Manchester United and the New Jersey native is feeling sharp as he aims to sign a contract somewhere in the coming weeks.

Rossi, 31, has suffered several serious knee injuries over the past few years and has bounced from Serie A to La Liga clubs as he tries to continue his career, but is currently without a club.

He failed a drugs test at the end of the 2017-18 season in Italy while playing for Genoa, but he was given a warning in October 2018 and is now free to play again after what he called a “nightmare four months” due to the investigation into how a banned substance, Dorzolamide, got into his system.

The predatory forward has been welcomed to United by caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Norwegian striker, who knows a thing or two about scoring goals, spoke highly of Rossi in his recent press conference. Rossi also revealed he has been speaking with Sir Alex Ferguson, the man who signed him for United as a teenager.

Speaking to Simon Peach of the Press Association, Rossi revealed his ambition to sign a contract somewhere soon.

“I just love this game,” Rossi said. “I sacrificed so much in these years, I’ve had many highs, I’ve had a few lows with these injuries that have taken a lot away from me but I never stopped. I always want to keep trying to achieve, keep trying to achieve, keep trying to get better and I just love this game so much that nothing’s ever going to take me away from it. It’s a part of me and I want to keep fighting and keep doing what I have to do in order to be where I want to be.”

Could United use Rossi? It is not out of the realms of possibility, but if it is regular minutes he wants then that isn’t going to happen. Romelu Lukaku is currently sat on the bench as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have ripped it up in attack, and even though Rossi would be useful to have coming off the bench, he needs regular minutes.

On a free transfer he could surely be very useful for Premier League clubs, or maybe even Major League Soccer clubs, as a return back to New Jersey would be a heck of a homecoming with the New York Red Bulls, but perhaps that is just the romantic in us.

More than likely Rossi will land somewhere in Europe and do what he does best: score goals.

Premier League player Power Rankings

Leave a comment

Who excelled and who struggled in the Premier League over the weekend? Our latest batch of player Power Rankings are out as we focus on the top performers in Week 22.

[ MORE: Full Power Rankings archive ]

Stars from Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, West Ham and Southampton all feature, as stars from the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are misfiring.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


  1. David De Gea (Man United) – New entry
  2. Gabriel Jesus (Man City) – New entry
  3. Declan Rice (West Ham) – New entry
  4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Up 6
  5. Paul Pogba (Man United) – Even
  6. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – Up 5
  7. Fernandinho (Man City) – Down 4
  8. Jan Bednarek (Southampton) – New entry
  9. Fabinho (Liverpool) – Up 8
  10. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Down 3
  11. Leroy Sane (Man City) – Down 3
  12. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) – Down 11
  13. Raheem Sterling (Man City) –  Down 4
  14. Aymeric Laporte (Man City) – New entry
  15. Jesse Lingard (Man United) – Doen 2
  16. Felipe Anderson (West Ham) – Doen 3
  17. Shane Long (Southampton) – New entry
  18. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Down 12
  19. Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford) – Even
  20. Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham) – New entry

In-form Pogba: “I was in the shadows”

Leave a comment

Paul Pogba is on fire and is clearly loving life under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

The French midfielder has probably been the main beneficiary of Jose Mourinho’s departure at Manchester United in December, as Solskjaer has built the team around Pogba since taking over on a caretake basis.

[ MORE: Solskjaer hire makes sense ]

Pogba has scored four goals and added four assists during Solskjaer’s five-straight Premier League wins to kick off life at Old Trafford and his influence on United’s play was evident in the huge 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

His wonderful pass to set Marcus Rashford free for the game-winner at Wembley summed up his growing confidence levels and he almost scored a few times himself in the second half after galloping into the final third.

Speaking to reporters at Wembley after the game, Pogba summed up his situation and the difference Solskjaer has made in his first six games in charge.

“Before the coach arrived I was in the shadows, on the bench, and I accepted that,” Pogba said. “It is a pleasure to play again. Now I am always smiling… It’s a pleasure to be reunited with him. I knew him from the academy and the reserves, when his nickname was ‘Supersub’. He is doing a really good job. As a player he knew the mentality of this club. He has come back to help us and it is going very well.”

Solksjaer worked with Pogba in the academy and reserve team at United during his first steps as a coach and the confidence he has given the Frenchman is clear for all to see. He is flourishing alongside Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard and the pace, trickery and power of that quartet has opposition defenses retreating readily.

Mourinho never seemed to trust Pogba and always wanted to make him into a more defensive central midfielder. Solskjaer has taken the shackles off and is reaping the rewards of allowing his attacking players to do what they do best: create and score goals.

Pogba’s return to form is the biggest indicator that Solskjaer is doing a great job at reviving Manchester United on the pitch, as they’re now just six points off the top four and waiting in the shadows to pounce and secure UEFA Champions League qualification.

If Solksjaer is going to get the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season, Pogba will have to stay fit and in-form. Crucially, the World Cup winner is also emerging as a leader of this team and his influence in the dressing room will be key to keep all of the players on Solskjaer’s side.

As long as Pogba is happy and is playing in the correct position, United will be heading in the right direction.

Solskjaer beats Pochettino in public Man United job interview

1 Comment

LONDON — The boardroom was 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium. The interview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer v. Mauricio Pochettino for the Manchester United job.

The former has his nose in front, for now.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Billed as a clash between Solskjaer and Pochettino and who will be handed the chance to lead United long-term, an absorbing end-to-end clash took place at Wembley as United shaded a splendid encounter.

This was a statement win from United and Solskjaer which breathed new life into their season.

David De Gea made several wonderful saves to deny Spurs in the second half as the Red Devils sealed a fifth-straight Premier League win (it was the biggest so far by some margin) to kick off Solskjaer’s reign as caretaker boss.

The way he has rejuvenated Marcus Rashford as a central striker and Paul Pogba as a dominant no.10 are two of the biggest reasons for giving him the United job on a permanent basis right now.

After the game both Solskjaer and Pochettino, who were shown enjoying a warm embrace before the game, were asked about their supposed duel to be sat in the hot seat at Old Trafford for the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

“This game was never about me or him. You made it out to be, for us it is three points,” Solskjaer said. “We had to beat them today if we are going to have the chance to catch them. We were 10 points behind them, now we are seven. Seven points is catchable. 13 impossible. 10 difficult. Now, we have a chance.”

Pochettino was standoffish when asked about the rumored battle between himself and Solskjaer to take the United job.

Instead he focused on how much better Tottenham were than United throughout the 90 minutes and how De Gea was the difference between the teams.

“It is not ethical to talk about what he is doing or what I am doing. You can only talk about the game. Today, to talk about the game, of course we were better,” Pochettino said. “I think we dominated the game, we created more chances than them, and the second half we created 11 shots on target that produced 11 saves from the goalkeeper. It was a game and a battle between Tottenham and Manchester United. If not, we need to play him against me, one v. one, on the pitch. And then the next game against Fulham, Ranieri. The next game, Sarri. Come on, it is football.”

The fact that Solskjaer beat Pochettino to close the gap on Spurs and leave United just six points off the top four shows his ability to deliver big wins at key moments, and how that extends from his playing career to his managerial career.

He is getting the most out of this Man United squad and has them playing to their strengths. No doubt.

But the sample size is still too small to suggest he is by far the best long-term prospect to take charge of United.

Pochettino may well be the best man to lead them into a brave new world with youngsters at the core if United decide to make their move for him this summer and he decides he has taken Spurs as far as he can.

But back to the man of the moment, Solskjaer: United’s legendary forward admitted he isn’t thinking about taking over full-time when his caretaker role ends, even if he has mentioned it a few times over the last month since he took over from Jose Mourinho.

“I am just doing my job every single day here until the contract runs out, the end of June, I will have a holiday in there. I am not thinking about that whatsoever,” Solskjaer said.

But there’s no doubt the win at Spurs, and against Pochettino, has massively boosted his chances of getting the gig on a permanent basis.

“The win here was massive. The team spirit was massive. The belief and joy in the dressing room absolutely fantastic,” Solskjaer said. “Of course we have been away for a week working on certain things and when the boys see the benefits of that work, both fitness and maybe tactically. It is massive. Results like this, against big teams, they do give you confidence.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, De Gea summed up what Solskjaer has done to lift the gloom from the Mourinho era.

“The manager brought some happiness, the players are playing well and the team is very strong now. This is the real Manchester United.”

Man Utd marvels at De Gea; Pogba praises Solskjaer plan

Leave a comment

David De Gea had to make so many saves against Tottenham Hotspur that the Manchester United star shot-stopper couldn’t pick a favorite.

Moreover, he couldn’t recall them all.

“I don’t even remember some of the saves so I can’t pick a best,” De Gea said. “The manager brought some happiness, the players are playing well and the team is very strong now. This is the real Manchester United.”

[ MORE: Match recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

De Gea was speaking after United, still flawed, picked up a memorable 1-0 win over Spurs at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, inspiring interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to quip of winning with 11 saves that “You are allowed to have a good goalkeeper.”

Goal scorer Marcus Rashford couldn’t help but rave about De Gea, especially after the Spaniard bailed Rashford off the hook when Toby Alderweireld got free to turn a shot on goal from close range.

“It wasn’t about the goals today, it was about the keeper,” Rashford said. “The amount of saves he’s made is tremendous.”

Luke Shaw, on Twitter, clearly agrees.

Then there’s Paul Pogba, who set up Rashford for the goal with an outstanding diagonal ball that swept around the Spurs back line.

But while the confident Pogba admitted he made a sublime pass, he was one of the few offering credit beyond De Gea. The Frenchman loved the performance of… wait for it… his manager.

“Yeah it’s a great ball but we’ve been training on this,” Pogba said. “We knew that is the weakness of Tottenham when they attack one side, they really get high and you need to attack in the opposite side. That’s what we did and we scored a goal. We prepared on this. We knew we could hurt them in that context. … It was a big test. Tottenham need points. We needed points. Today really team performance was the key. We did it today and are really proud.”

And he says Solskjaer compares him to a player from the manager’s playing days.

“The manager tells me to get into the box and score goals,” Pogba said. “The best example is Frank Lampard.”