Getty Images

Mane the latest Liverpool star injured

Leave a comment

Sadio Mane has joined Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk in picking up injuries while on international duty.

It has been reported that Mane suffered a broken left thumb while on international duty with Senegal, with the forward injuring his hand in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan.

He will have the hand strapped up and is said to be a doubt for the trip to Huddersfield this Saturday. However, there has been no confirmation for Liverpool about Mane’s injury.

After Salah suffered a muscle injury playing for Egypt (he also scored straight from a corner because, why not?) and VVD left the Netherlands squad after their win over Germany at the weekend due to his ongoing rib injury, all of a sudden the injuries are mounting up for Jurgen Klopp.

Van Dijk is expected to be fit to play according to his national team manager Ronald Koeman, while Salah also returned to Liverpool for treatment over the past few days and his injury isn’t deemed to be too serious.

Liverpool head to Huddersfield Town on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC) and although Klopp will likely be able to rotate his squad and still get a win against the Terriers, Liverpool have a hectic few weeks coming up with UEFA Champions League and PL games coming thick and fast.

Add in an injury to James Milner and the strength of Liverpool’s squad is now being tested. It was a good job they added Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho in the summer, while the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Naby Keita will surely play a big role in the coming weeks after both were on the bench against Manchester City before the international break.

Season Preview: Can Silva ‘fix’ Everton?

Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images
1 Comment

Everton at a glance

Premier League titles: 0 (English First Division titles – 9)

FA Cups: 5 (1906, 1933, 1966, 1984, 1995)

League Cups: 2 (1977, 1984)

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]


For the better part of the last 15 years, Everton have attempted — every which way imaginable — to burst through the glass ceiling that is the Premier League’s top-six (previously the top-four before Tottenham Hotspur’s rise to stability and Liverpool’s return to elite status). At first, they simply outworked their opponents (while spending next to nothing) under David Moyes; Roberto Martinez was supposed to bring about a free-flowing, attacking revolution (on a slightly larger budget); 12 months ago, Ronald Koeman was supposed to meld the two philosophies together (after spending spending more than $200 million in the transfer market).

Ultimately, all three came up short, each one failing more spectacularly than his predecessor. You can’t say, however, that the Toffees haven’t gone for it, that they’ve been happy to sit idly by and live a comfortable, unambitious life as a perennial top-half side in the PL. Of course, it’s where they’ve most commonly finished over the last decade and a half, but it hasn’t been without aiming higher.

In 2018-19, under the leadership of new manager Marco Silva (he’s more Martinez than Moyes, but with less PL experience than Koeman), the goal remains the same, but just as difficult — and unlikely — to achieve. Farhad Moshiri has owned the club for two and a half years now, and despite pumping nine figures into it (via transfer fees alone, not even including his investment as the club moves toward building a new stadium), the ceiling appears more opaque than ever before.


Everton could push for top-six because… Silva has shown (in a half-season at Watford, albeit) that he’s tactically astute and can piece together a formidable attacking unit. The jury is still out on whether or not he can set up a defense, but that’s where much of Everton’s experience lies, so the idea appears to be to rely upon them outperforming expectations and finishing bang in the middle of the goals-conceded column, at which point a positive goal differential is actually possible (-14 last season).

Everton will fall out of the top-half because…. all of the fancy, expensive pieces just don’t fit together/are redundant. Alongside Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson is arguably the most talented player on the roster (he should be, considering he cost $52 million last summer), but for the last few seasons he’s been the common denominator in a number of teams without any semblance of midfield balance. Richarlison and Theo Walcott aren’t going to cover up his defensive deficiencies out wide, at which point you’re asking an awful lot (read: absolutely everything) of Idrissa Gueye, who’s very good, but only about 75 percent of N'Golo Kante.

Best possible XI:

Pickford

Martina — Keane — Jagielka — Digne

Sigurdsson — Gueye — Davies

Walcott — Niasse — Richarlison

Transfers In: Richarlison ($45 million, Watford), Lucas Digne ($23 million, Barcelona)

Transfers Out: Wayne Rooney (free), Ramiro Funes Mori (undisclosed, Villarreal), Joel Robles (free), Davy Klaassen (undisclosed)

Ranking their offseason: B-

After lighting $225 million on fire last summer, one would imagine there wasn’t a ton of money to be spent this time around — nor was it needed — though Silva clearly earmarked Richarlison as a must-have marquee signing. Lucas Digne was tabbed to become one of the world’s best left backs as recently as three years ago, but it hasn’t quite happened for him at Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona. 

Star player: Richarlison was the PL’s “Wait, who’s he?” breakout star during Silva’s six months at Watford. Equally adept at winning the ball in the air and dribbling past defenders, the 21-year-old possesses an especially unique blend of skills that Silva clearly values and knows how to maximize. 

Coach’s Corner: If not for Ronald Koeman’s untimely departure last October, Silva might still be the manager at Watford. Silva didn’t make any bones about wanting the Everton job, though, which ultimately led to his dismissal by a quick trigger finger a couple months later. The squad, as it exists now, plays perfectly to Silva’s strengths and ideas as a manager, but we already knew he could set a team out to attack and entertain. It’s the other part — the defending — that he struggles with, and that Everton struggled with last season (58 goals conceded, 7th-most, even after six months under Sam Allardyce).

PST Predicts: They have the seventh-best squad in the PL, and they’re so predictably — and boringly — likely to finish with the seventh-most points in the PL this season. Outside of the “big six” finishing 1-6, Everton finishing 7th is the safest bet one could make.

Premier League transfer needs: All 20 clubs

Getty Images
1 Comment

With the transfer window shutting in just 17 days time for Premier League clubs, we can expect transfer activity to crank up a few notches in the coming days.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

Bearing that in mind, let’s focus on the business each PL club has done so far and look at their biggest transfer need which remains.


Arsenal

Biggest need: They have strengthened in central defense and in central midfield and added competition at right back for Hector Bellerin. Honestly, a decent window for Arsenal so far. Torriera will add competition for Elneny and Xhaka in the holding role but the Gunners probably need one more truly defensive midfielder

In already: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Dortmund), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient)


Bournemouth

Biggest need: Um, yeah, I think we can call this a quiet window for Eddie Howe‘s side. In the end Bournemouth stayed up very comfortably in their third-straight season in the PL, back in their fourth campaign in the top-flight they may need to add at least one more center back and another central midfielder. We all know Howe loves to promote youngsters through the ranks and some of his long-time favorites may be just over the hill.

In alreadyDavid Brooks (Sheffield Utd)


Brighton & Hove Albion

Biggest need: Another striker is needed as Florin Andone scored six times in La Liga last season but Glenn Murray may not be able to replicate his fine 2018-19. Apart from that, pretty set after a plethora of additions to strengthen the depth of their squad.

Already inLeon Balogun (Mainz), Joseph Tomlinson (Yeovil), Florin Andone (Deportivo), Jason Steele (Sunderland), Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior (RB Leipzig), Hugo Keto (Arsenal), David Button (Fulham), Yves Bissouma (Lille), Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns)


Burnley

Biggest need: When you look at this Burnley team, you wonder if Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Sam Vokes will be able to deliver the goals they need for another top 10 finish. Sean Dyche may well be waiting to see if Burnley reach the Europa League group stage before he adds to his squad. The main thing for Burnley is to keep hold of their stars, which they’re likely to do.

Already in: Nobody


Cardiff City

Biggest need: Neil Warnock has picked up plenty of gems from the Championship but you’d think Cardiff need at least two or three need additions, especially in the creative department, if they’re going to secure their PL status. The Bluebirds don’t seem to want to splash the cash.

Already inJosh Murphy (Norwich), Greg Cunningham (Preston), Alex Smithies (QPR), Bobby Reid (Bristol City)


Chelsea

Biggest need: A new goalkeeper is their main aim as Thibaut Courtois edges towards the exit door. Eden Hazard‘s potential departure will change plenty too, while a new striker to replace Alvaro Morata could be needed and Gonzalo Higuain has been linked. Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi will likely move on. Everywhere else they are set as plenty of youngsters will be given a chance by Maurizio Sarri.

Already in: Jorginho (Napoli)


Crystal Palace

Biggest need: Full backs or wing backs are needed for Palace to strengthen Roy Hodgson‘s defensive unit if they’re going to kick on and make the top 10. Keeping hold of Wilfried Zaha is their biggest need but if he doesn’t deliver goals, who will? Moving on Christian Benteke and bringing in a replacement in the final weeks of the window would be a smart move.

Already in: Vicente Guaita (Getafe)


Everton

Biggest need: In all honesty, the bloated squad Ronald Koeman put together needed to be cut down and Marco Silva has done that very well indeed. Richarlison‘s impending arrival from Watford takes care of one of their big needs, a new creative winger, while a new center back must be at the top of their list in the final weeks of the window.

Already in: Nobody


Fulham

Biggest need: You have to say that the Cottagers are looking a little light in defense, especially after losing Ryan Fredericks to West Ham over the summer. A new right back, left back and a back-up center back is needed.

Already in: Jean Michael Seri (Nice), Maxime Le Marchand (Nice)


Huddersfield Town

Biggest need: The Terriers have once again done their business early and after signing Kongolo and Lossl after their impressive loan spells, David Wagner is sticking with who he knows best. Durm will be a great signing but you struggle to see which of their current strikers will score over 10 goals this season. A poacher is badly needed.

Already inBen Hamer (Leicester), Terence Kongolo (Monaco), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke), Juninho Bacuna (Groningen), Jonas Lossl (Mainz), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Adama Diakhaby (Monaco)


Leicester City

Biggest need: A very solid window for the Foxes as they’ve added a new right back, center back and talented winger as well as a back-up goalkeeper. Riyad Mahrez‘s replacement is Maddison but they may need to look at bringing in a more experienced winger.

Already inRicardo Pereira (Porto), Jonny Evans (West Brom), James Maddison (Norwich), Danny Ward (Liverpool)


Liverpool

Biggest need: Jurgen Klopp has spent plenty of cash and has strengthened his defense with Alisson coming in as a new goalkeeper, while Keita and Fabinho will beef up the midfield and Shaqiri is a great secondary option to Salah, Mane and Firmino. They could really do with a new center back though as Klavan, Matip and Co. just aren’t cutting it alongside Virgil Van Dijk.

Already in: Fabinho (Monaco), Naby Keita (RB Leipzig), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Alisson Becker (AS Roma)


Manchester City

Biggest need: What do you get the kid who has everything? Seriously, though, Pep Guardiola could maybe do with an extra center back to challenge Stones, Kompany, Laporte and Otamendi but that’s not a big need. Arguably a long-term replacement for Fernandinho is their biggest need but after Jorginho chose to join Chelsea, they’re still on the hunt.

Already in: Riyad Mahrez (Man City)


Manchester United

Biggest need: Not the most inspiring transfer window so far but with Alexis Sanchez arriving in January, Jose Mourinho is largely happy with his squad. If the likes of Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba or Luke Shaw move on then we can expect movement, but Fred‘s arrival in the heart of their midfield was their biggest need. Job done, pretty much, although a new center back could be a game-changer.

Already in: Diogo Dalot (Porto), Fred (Shakhtar), Lee Grant (Stoke)


Newcastle United

Biggest need: Rafael Benitez continues to play a game of cat and mouse with owner Mike Ashley and once again Newcastle aren’t really spending anything. Bringing in Dubravka and Kenedy (on loan) was great business after they starred in the second half of last season and Ki will be a solid squad player. With a solid defensive unit intact, the big question is whether or not Rafa will be given the cash to spend on a clinical finisher in attack.

Already inMartin Dubravka (Sparta Prague), Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea), Kenedy (Chelsea)


Southampton

Biggest need: After losing Dusan Tadic over the summer, Saints need Armstrong and Elyounoussi to deliver goals and assists right away. Even their forwards, Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long, look particularly lean in the goals department so Mark Hughes may have to work some magic to bring in a new strikers in the coming weeks. Danny Ings a good option? In midfield they look solid, but another new center back may be necessary.

Already inStuart Armstrong (Celtic), Mohamed Elyounoussi (Basel), Angus Gunn (Man City), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach)


Tottenham Hotspur

Biggest need: The squad is now deep and Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping Fernando Llorente and Lucas Moura step up as back ups to Harry Kane and Dele Alli respectively this season. Getting in a new center back is their biggest need, especially if Toby Alderweireld leaves

Already in: Nobody


Watford

Biggest need: In central defense. Watford let in 64 goals last season, the second most in the entire Premier League, and they have to start getting things right defensively. Ben Foster should help out with that.

Already inBen Wilmot (Stevenage), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona), Marc Navarro (Espanyol), Adam Masina (Bologna), Ken Sema (Ostersunds), Ben Foster (West Brom)


West Ham United

Biggest need: With Winston Reid to miss the opening months of the season with injury, Manuel Pellegrini may have to bring in another center back to help shore things up for the Hammers. Elsewhere they’ve added plenty of quality in Wilshere, Fredericks, Yarmolenko, Fabianski and Anderson. A very good window for West Ham, at least on paper.

Already in: Ryan Fredericks (Fulham), Issa Diop (Toulouse), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Andriy Yarmolenko (Dortmund), Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians), Felipe Anderson (Lazio)


Wolverhampton Wanderers

Biggest need: Plenty of wheeling and dealing at Wolves over the summer, especially from Portugal, due to their close connections with super agent Jorge Mendes. The newly-promoted club have made some big statements of intent with Jimenez and Patricio arriving, with Joao Moutinho set to join them. Biggest need is probably another center back.

Already in: Benik Afobe (AFC Bournemouth), Willy Boly (Porto), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Leo Bonatini (Al-Hilal), Ruben Vinagre (Monaco), Paulo Alves (Liverpool)


Report: Wayne Rooney agrees to three-year D.C. deal

Getty Images
3 Comments

Wayne Rooney continues to edge closer to completing his move to D.C. United in Major League Soccer, as the Everton forward is said to have been told he’s not needed by new Toffees boss Marco Silva.

Rooney, 32, flew out to D.C. last month to tour the club and he has been in talks with the MLS side about arriving in early July when the transfer window re-opens in North America’s top-flight.

A report from the Daily Mirror in the UK claims that Rooney is “furious” after “being told he is not in Marco Silva’s plans.”

Per the report, Rooney doesn’t seem to keen on a move to MLS but it appears he will be nothing more than a bit-part player under Silva, who was officially unveiled on June 4. During his opening press conference Silva, along with new director of football Marcel Brands, spoke about Rooney’s move to DCU almost being completed but that they would sit down with him and let him decide what he wants to do.

It appears that talk didn’t go the way Rooney wanted it to…

With Rooney’s return to his boyhood club set to last for just one season after his glittering, record-breaking career with Manchester United and England, there is an air of disappointment within the blue half of Merseyside as to how this has played out.

Rooney can still hold his head high after leading Everton’s scoring charts (11 goals in all competitions) in a troubled 2017/18 campaign which initially saw them battling relegation with Ronald Koeman fired, then Sam Allardyce moving them into midtable but defensive tactics cost Big Sam his job at the end of the season.

Silva is known to prefer young, speedy attackers and Rooney isn’t that, and he hasn’t been that for quite some time. He could still score and contribute from a deeper position but it appears he won’t get that chance at Everton.

Now he’s on his way to MLS.

Everton appoint Marco Silva as manager

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Everton have confirmed the worst kept secret in soccer: Marco Silva is their new manager.

The Toffees released the news on Thursday, with the Portuguese coach arriving at Goodison Park after spells at Hull City and Watford in the Premier League.

Silva, 40, was wanted by Everton back in October when they fired former manager Ronald Koeman but his former club Watford didn’t allow him to leave and the Toffees instead appointed Sam Allardyce who led them to an eighth place finish in the table in 2017/18.

Speaking to Everton’s website about his arrival at the club, it’s clear that the former Sporting Lisbon, Olympiakos and Estoril boss matches the ambitions of Everton’s board and fans.

“I know what our fans expect – they expect results but not only results. I want our fans to be proud when they see our team on the pitch. I want them to feel that we are committed, that we are working hard and enjoying our football because that is important as well. We want to build a great connection between the squad and the fans, and I’m sure that with our attitude and demands of commitment then our style of play will see that, I believe. Everton is a really ambitious club and that is what I want. What we are seeing now are good changes at the Club. The Club is changing its approach. But one thing we cannot change and nobody wants to change is the huge history and ambition of the Club.

Silva’s star is still bright as he took charge of Hull City in the latter stages of the 2016/17 season and almost saved them from relegation with the Tigers playing fast-paced, attacking soccer.

He then joined Watford and after a bright start with the Hornets in 2017/18, Silva won just once in 11 games and he was sacked in February with the club citing Everton’s approach as a key reason for their dip in form.

Silva will work alongside Everton’s new Director of Football, Marcel Brands, who joined from PSV Eindhoven earlier this month and the latter believes Silva is a perfect fit for the style of play Everton want to develop.

“One of the most important things is that he’s a guy who wants to play attractive, attacking football and also wants to work in the structure we have at Everton,” Brands said. “He’s a guy who has proved already that he wants to work with young players, make them better and he has performed very well with the teams he’s worked with. He will be a very good manager for Everton.”

Together they will foster a counter-attacking style of play, built on a solid defensive foundation as Silva’s teams press high and look to get on the front foot and spring attacks whenever possible.

After the defensive style of play under Allardyce was lambasted for the past few months (it was a key factor in his departure earlier this month) Silva’s attacking philosophy will be music to the ears of Everton’s fans.