Dame N’Doye

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Sunderland signs Senegalese striker Dame N’Doye

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Sunderland has gotten a strike partner for Jermain Defoe, signing Dame N'Doye on loan until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old striker comes to the Stadium of Light from Turkish club Trabzonspor, although he is no stranger to the Premier League.

[ MORE: Elneny joins Arsenal ]

N’Doye started last season with Lokomotiv Moscow, but joined Hull City on the final day of the 2015 January transfer window. He scored five goals in 12 appearances for Hull, but left for Turkey when they were relegated to the Championship.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is hoping that N’Doye’s experience in the Premier League last season will help him “hit the ground running.”

[ RELATED: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid hit with transfer bans until 2017 ]

A Senegalese international, N’Doye will not be able to play this weekend at Tottenham as his papers are finalized, but should be ready to face Bournemouth on January 23.

N’Doye will give Jermain Defoe more support up top, as Sunderland needs goals to try and stay up in the Premier League. Defoe has scored nine goals on the year, while the club’s second-leading scorer Steven Fletcher has just four.

Hull City loses a pair of valuable players to the Premier League

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If Hull City achieves a quick return to the Premier League, it’ll be without two of its mainstays.

James Chester was sold to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday for about $12 million, while Irish midfielder Robbie Brady has sealed a move to Norwich City to the tune of $10.5 million.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

That’s a good deal of dough for the Championship side, which spent big last August in an attempt to move up the Premier League table, only to be relegated on the season’s final day.

Steve Bruce’s bid to send his Tigers right back still has a good deal of talent in Robert Snodgrass, Dame N’Doye and Curtis Davies amongst others.

Brady’s move to Norwich comes after four seasons at the KC Stadium. The 23-year-old Manchester United product did two loan spells for Hull before signing permanently.

Chester is another Manchester United product, and the 26-year-old spent 2011-15 with Hull. He’ll

So far, Hull has added versatile but injury prone Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor, as well as Chesterfield Town midfielder Sam Clucas.

Premier League Playback: Looking back at a memorable 2014-15 season

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All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2014-15 Premier League season. From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the 380 games as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

[ ARCHIVE: Premier League season review ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, it’s time to take a look back at an incredible season as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor files his final PL Playback of the season…

PL LEGENDS BID FAREWELL

As we said goodbye to the 2014-15 Premier League season, we also said goodbye to two legendary players who have epitomized what the PL is all about for almost two decades.

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, take a bow. Both players said farewell in a fitting manner during their final appearance in the PL as Lampard captained Manchester City and scored a stereotypical goal as he timed his run into the box perfectly and side-footed home in a 2-0 win over Southampton. As for Gerrard, well, Liverpool lost 6-1 to Stoke City but Gerrard got the lone goal as he burst through the defense and coolly slotted home.

Class is permanent for these two.

For fans of soccer in the United States, don’t fret. You will get to see Lamps and Stevie G on American soil very soon. Lampard, 36, will play for New York City FC in MLS, while Gerrard, 34, is joining the LA Galaxy.

[ RELATED: Gerrard gets fitting farewell at Anfield ]

In the video below you can get a quick look at the legacy both men leave behind in England’s top-flight. For years they played in central midfielder together for the English national team and although that partnership failed to flourish, as individuals they drove on two English giants as goalscoring midfielders who always popped up when it mattered most.

[ RELATED: Friedel looks back on incredible career ]

Lampard and Gerrard have been inspirational and synonymous with the PL for over 17 years. Now, they take their talents Stateside. Other legends of the PL called it quits at the end of this season too as Didier Drogba and Brad Friedel also ended their playing days in England. Congrats and thanks to those four for some wonderful memories over the years.

CHELSEA WORTHY CHAMPS

Premier League Season Review

READ
Top 10 storylines Read the review, here
Story of managers Read the review, here
Top 10 goals Read the review, here
USMNT focus Read the review, here
2014-15 Grades Read the review, here

“Boring, boring Chelsea!” became the chant of the season from… Chelsea’s fans. Lambasted by the outside world and soccer purists for “parking the bus” in the second half of the season to secure the clubs first PL title since 2010, Jose Mourinho looked on smugly as John Terry lifted the title aloft on the final day of the season and the Portuguese held eight fingers in the air to signify how many trophies he has now won as the boss at Stamford Bridge.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Mourinho, 52, is enjoying his second spell in charge of the west London club and his side showed every facet needed to win the championship in 2014-15. When all was said and done, the Blues lost just three times in 38 games. They finished eight points clear of Man City in second. Chelsea kept the most clean sheets (17) and had the best defense in the PL with 31 goals conceded. They scored the second highest number of goals despite missing Diego Costa for most of the second half of the season. In Cesc Fabregas they had the player with the most assists (18) and Eden Hazard created 101 chances, more than any other player in the PL. Nemanja Matic made the most tackles, 129. Whatever way you want to slice it up, Chelsea were deserved champions as they spent a record 274 days at the top of the table during the 2014-15 season.

Now, the real challenge will be kicking on and fending off Man City, Arsenal and Manchester United next season. Chelsea will likely add a few key signings over the offseason as Mourinho knows it will be tough to defend their crown. The man who has won three titles in five seasons in charge of Chelsea knows exactly what he wants to bring in as he must balance expensive additions with a young core of talented players coming through the ranks at the Bridge. Plus, when you have reigning PL Player of the Season Eden Hazard around, you always have a chance. The “Special One”, as always, will do whatever it takes to win. Fans and other managers may despise his tactics and his persona but as Mourinho said it best…

“I think we are what every team would like to be.” Yep, that would be the Champions of England.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

This season saw plenty of expensive foreign imports bursting onto the scene and some young Englishmen making a name for themselves as new heroes were born across the league.

Harry Kane

The local lad is good. Real good. Kane, just 21, didn’t start a PL game until November but finished as the second-highest scorer in the league with 21 goals and was named the PL Young Player of the Year as Tottenham Hotspur finished fifth. Kane made, and scored, 79 seconds into his England debut and plenty is expected of the youngster from north London in the coming years. No pressure, H…

Alexis Sanchez

“Alexis Sanchez, baby! Alexis Sanchez, ohhhh!” Sung to the tune of “Don’t you want me baby?” by Human League, Sanchez’s song has been belted out loud and proud by Gooners this season. The Chilean has been a revelation since arriving from Barcelona for $53 million last summer. Sanchez’ pace, power and trickery saw him score 24 times in 51 games in his debut season for Arsenal in the PL as Arsene Wenger’s men finished third. His attacking ability is one thing but Sanchez’ relentless work-rate has turned him into an instant legend with Arsenal’s fans.

Diego Costa

Chelsea’s new goalscoring hero, and a feisty one at that, Costa missed a huge chunk of the second half of the season through suspension and injury. If the Spanish international wouldn’t have got injured, Chelsea could have easily won the PL by a 15-point margin. At 26, his best years are ahead of him and after 20 goals in 26 PL appearances during his debut season, you get the sense that Costa is only just getting started.

Honorable mentions: Jack Grealish, Graziano Pelle, Diafra Sakho, Ryan Mason, Sadio Mane, Eric Dier

 

MAN UNITED: SLOW PROGRESS

The Red Devils recovered well after an incredibly slow start to finish in fourth and qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Louis van Gaal met his minimum requirement in his first season in charge at Old Trafford but boy, did they make hard work of it.

[ RELATED: Final Premier League standings ]

On Nov. 3 United sat in 10th place and had just 13 points from their opening 10 games. A run of six-straight wins in the Spring propelled them into the top four but LVG has a lot of work to do if United are going to challenge for the PL title next season, which is what he expects.

The big money signings of Radamel Falcao, who has returned to Monaco after his loan, and Angel Di Maria didn’t work out this campaign but in the case of Di Maria, he will be expected to take United to the next level next season. The emergence of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini is promising for LVG but the situation surrounding David De Gea and a possible move to Real Madrid could see the Red Devils lose arguably their most player. Huge investment is needed to kick on again, with Memphis Depay already signed on, but United will likely need a new center back, a top-class central midfielder, a star striker who Wayne Rooney could play in behind and potentially a new world-class goalkeeper. That won’t be cheap but United now have the carrot of the Champions League — as long as they get through the knockout round in August — to dangle at prospective signings.

Slow progress for United, but Van Gaal has them on a steady ascendancy back to where they believe they belong.

MANAGERIAL UNDERDOGS

Ronald Koeman. Garry Monk. Nigel Pearson. Alan Pardew. Those four managers stunned many during the season as Koeman led Saints to seventh and a record points tally after a mass exodus last summer, Monk led Swansea to eighth and a record points tally in his first full season in charge, Pearson kept Leicester City up against all the odds with an incredible late run and Pardew switched Newcastle for Palace midseason and led the struggling Eagles to a top 10 finish.

We talk a lot (and I mean a lot) about the managers of the top five or six PL teams but 2014-15 was without question the year of the managerial underdog.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The most exciting thing about the success of these so-called smaller clubs is that their progress has now become sustainable and if they invest the huge amounts of cash they are getting wisely then they can challenge the top six or even the top four.

Elsewhere, Tim Sherwood saved Aston Villa when they looked dead and buried. Mark Hughes led Stoke to a record points tally and ninth-placed finish, while Tony Pulis performed his annual Harry Houdini impression to save West Bromwich Albion with another midseason turnaround.

TOP GOALS

The studio team looks at the top 10 goals from the PL this season.

Agree? Disagree? Any you think should have made it? Let us know in the comments section below.

THAT SINKING FEELING

Ah, amid the euphoria of celebrating and analyzing another superb season in the PL, there has to be some losers. Relegation for Queens Park Rangers, Burnley and then Hull City (on the final day) means fans of those clubs will have a summer of soul-searching as their clubs prepare for life in the rough and tumble of the Championship.

Let’s take a look at why the three aforementioned teams had that sinking feeling at the end of the season:

QPR

Harry Redknapp left the R’s languishing in the relegation zone in February as QPR hadn’t gained a single point away from home at that point. Chris Ramsey was thrown in at the deep end and although the R’s rallied in March and April, their Achilles heel sent them down: shocking defending. QPR conceded 73 goals, the most in the PL, and had far too many veterans on huge wages who, quite simply, couldn’t care less if the west London side went down. Ramsey is now in charge for the next three-years. After Tony Fernandes and his board chucked hundreds of millions at veteran players, expect a philosophical change at Loftus Road as youngsters will get the chance to shine.

Burnley

Sean Dyche’s men put up a brave fight but after hardly spending any cash after promotion from the Championship, relegation was always inevitable. Sure, the Clarets are on a sound financial footing but not investing in more quality really hurt them. They hung in so many games but scoring goals became a real issue in the second half of the season. Danny Ings was their top scorer with 11 and he will leave on a free transfer this summer. Burnley could well be back in 2016-17 as continuity is the key word at Turf Moor for the tiny Lancashire club.

Hull

On the final day of the season Hull needed to beat Manchester United and hope that Newcastle slipped up at home to West Ham. That didn’t happen as the Tigers’ meager tally of 33 goals from 38 games was their downfall. Steve Bruce will now look to bring Hull back up, just as he did three seasons ago, but a lot of their players will look to move on as the wage bill has to be decreased rapidly at the KC Stadium. Injuries to forwards Nikica Jelavic, Abel Hernandez and Dame N’Doye were costly but when it came down to it, Hull deserved to go down.

LEICESTER’S GREAT ESCAPE

Talking of the teams who succumbed to relegation, Leicester came back from what looked like an unassailable position to win seven of their final nine matches and stun everyone to stay in the Premier League. Their manager Nigel Pearson had some strange episodes along the way as he called a journalist an “ostrich”, grabbed Crystal Palace’s James McArthur around the throat during a game and blurted out expletives at his own fans. Yeah, that’s the pressure of a relegation battle.

[ RELATED: Premier League stats ]

But Leicester’s form in the final nine games was remarkable. They had won just four of their previous 29 matches but when you have experienced professionals like Esteban Cambiasso pulling the strings and a hungry forward like Jamie Vardy running at opposition defenses, you have a chance. Leicester’s luck changed at the tail end of the season and they pulled of one of the greatest “Great Escapes” the PL has ever seen.

EURO STRUGGLES

The less said about this the better for PL teams, but it has to be addressed. Three of the PL’s four teams in the UCL made it into the knockout stages, Liverpool did not, but only Chelsea made it to the quarterfinals and they lost to Paris Saint-Germain in extra time.

In the Europa League both Tottenham and Liverpool crashed out at the last 32 stage, while Everton were beaten in the last 16 after breezing through the group stages.

With eight of the PL’s 20 teams involved in either the UCL or Europa League next season, a much needed improvement is needed to keep England’s UEFA coefficient high and safeguard the fourth UCL spot for the PL in the foreseeable future. After dominating European club competitions for quite some time, 2014-15 was a year to forget for English clubs on the continent.

THE JURY’S STILL OUT IN MERSEYSIDE

Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers is under severe pressure at Liverpool after a disappointing season which saw the Reds exit the Champions League at the group stage and finish six in the PL. Rodgers blew the $128 million Liverpool received for Suarez last summer on the likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Mario Balotelli and Alberto Moreno. All of the aforementioned players under-performed as the Reds are once again out of the UCL and now without their legendary captain Steven Gerrard to keep digging them out of troublesome situations. Add into the mix Raheem Sterling’s contract situation — the 20-year-old winger is refusing to sign a new contract at Liverpool with two years still left on his current deal — and you have a real mess for Rodgers to try and sort out. The Fenway Sports Group are backing Rodgers to turn things around next season but make no mistake about it, after three years in the job and no trophies to show for his efforts, all of a sudden Rodgers has gone from the messiah to a mess. What a difference 12 months makes in soccer…

Everton

Talking of a difference in 12 months… Liverpool’s crosstown rivals Everton had a season to forget at Goodison Park. Roberto Martinez’s side finished in 11th and although a run into the last 16 of the Europa League excited the crowd it probably had an adverse impact on their league play. Martinez, 41, is one of the brightest managers around. After guiding Everton to fifth last season that was clear to see. Romelu Lukaku suffering injuries and Ross Barkley struggling for form undoubtedly hit the Toffees hard but the lack of evolution in Martinez’s tactics has been questioned. This season Everton became predictable and failed to cause new problems for teams who adjusted to the way they prevailed most weeks during the 2013-14 campaign. Martinez’s position isn’t as precarious as Rodgers’ but a bad start to next season could see the Spaniard in a bit of trouble.

GRIT EVADES CITY IN TITLE RACE

On January 1 Manchester City and Chelsea were level at the top of the PL standings with identical goal differences.

The second half of the season was set up perfectly for a two-horse title race and then, just like that, City crumbled.

Key players Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure were either injured or suffered huge losses of form and as City suffered a debilitating run of four-straight away defeats in March and April in the PL, the pressure began to mount on Pellegrini. Similar to Rodgers and Martinez, the jury is still out on Pellegrini and it would not be surprising if he is axed from the hot seat at the Etihad Stadium this summer.

[ RELATED: What did it go wrong for Man City? ]

That said, Pellegrini should stay. In two seasons at City he has won the League Cup and the PL title, been knocked out of the UCL by Barcelona two years on the spin and finished second this season. Questions will be asked about the arrival of Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala last summer but if Pellegrini can wheel and deal this offseason and is given the chance to bring in two to three key players then City could become the favorites to lift the PL title next year. They were the top scorers in the PL with 83 goals this season. They are not far off becoming champions but with the average age of their squad the highest in the PL, some housekeeping is long overdue as we should expect plenty of players going in and out of the door this summer.

Despite Joe Hart winning the golden glove with a league-high 14 assists, City’s defensive core crumbled when it mattered most. If they can get their defensive solidity back, key players return to top form and new additions settle in right away, the Citizens will put 2014-15 behind them and become the team to beat next season.

Premier League Playback comes out every week as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an alternative look at all the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here

Hull City 0-0 Manchester United: Tigers go down after squandering chances

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Hull City were relegated to English soccer’s second-tier on Sunday, as the Tigers drew 0-0 with 10-man Manchester United at the KC Stadium.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steve Bruce’s side threw everything at United but after scoring just 33 times all season, it was clear that Hull’s lack of composure in front of goal is the main reason they will be playing in the Championship next season.

“It is one of those awful experience,” Bruce said. “This is a particularly low time. We are not in the big league.”

The Tigers had two goals disallowed in the first half, squandered some glorious chances and tested a shaky Victor Valdes in goal for United.

“Too many times I have come out and said we have not done bad but we have not scored,” Bruce said. “That is 17 or 18 times we have not scored.”

 

Hull’s failure to win meant they were relegated, as Newcastle’s win against West Ham hammered the final nail in their coffin. The Tigers finished the season on 35 points in 18th and United finished in fourth on 70 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Predictably, Hull came flying out of the traps early on as Dame N’Doye headed an effort towards goal but then Wayne Rooney clipped the bar at the other end shortly after.

Angel Di Maria and Ahmed Elmohamady collided which saw the later come off injured in the first half despite getting his first start since March. Hull continued to push for the opener and Chris Smalling cleared at the back post with Nikica Jelavic crashing in. Then Hull thought they went ahead in the 19th minute as Victor Valdes fumbled the ball under pressure from David Meyler and Paul McShane tapped home but he was offside. No goal.

Moments later Hull again had an effort ruled out for offside as Valdes first made a wonderful save from Elmohamady and then Stephen Quinn’s shot was deflected in by N’Doye but the Hull striker was in an offside position.

In the second half Meyler somehow put the ball over the bar from eight yards out after a wonderful knockdown from Jelavic in what was a huge chance for the Tigers to take the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hull continued to press and Valdes completely missed a cross and then Daley Blind hacked off the line as United survived. After that both McShane and N’Doye went close as the Tigers didn’t give up but were running out of time.

Sone Aluko’s shot was then flicked towards goal by Jelavic but Valdes made a wonderful reaction stop as Hull just couldn’t go ahead. N’Doye somehow stayed on the pitch after appearing to punch Phil Jones in the stomach, and then all hell broke loose in Yorkshire.

[ MORE: ‘Exhausted’ Bruce says future not in his hands ]

Substitute Fellaini was sent off for a terrible challenge on McShane as United played the final 15 minutes with 10-men at the KC. Valdes then parried down another ball and Hernandez somehow missed the ball completely  as another big chance went begging for Hull.

The game finished 0-0, as Hull’s stay in the PL ended after being promoted in 2013.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester (Hernandez, 70′), McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Meyler (Robertson, 86′), Quinn, N’Doye (Aluko, 71′), Jelavic.

Manchester United: Valdes, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria (Januzaj, 23′), Mata (Wilson, 73′), Young (Fellaini, 59′), Rooney

Red card: Fellaini (77′)

LIVE – Premier League at the half: Hull without a breakthrough; Arsenal, Stoke up big

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At halftime of the season’s final day, the clock ticks down on Hull City’s Premier League status as they have yet to break down Manchester United.

The Tigers have had a pair of goals ruled out via the offside flag, and they must win to stay in the Premier League. They also must see Newcastle lose, but the Magpies are holding onto a scoreless draw with West Ham.

WATCH ALL MATCHES ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

Other matches are taking place around the league, as all 10 games are in action today and the storylines are writing themselves.

Hull City 0-0 Manchester United

Paul McShane and Dame N’Doye have both had goals ruled out for offsides as Hull City looks to save its Premier League status, which requires a win and Newcastle loss to maintain. Angel Di Maria has come off injured for Manchester United.

Newcastle 0-0 West Ham

The Magpies need just a point to stay up, but they’ve gone for it so far, coming close from Daryl Janmaat and

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Theo Walcott has a hat-trick on his first start since mid-march and Jack Wilshere has a thunderbolt of his own as the Gunners look to finish the season strong and lock down third place.

Stoke City 5-0 Liverpool

Amid reports that Brendan Rodgers’ job is safe for next season, things have gone all wrong for Liverpool on the final day as Stoke has snatched five first-half goals via four different players, with Mame Diouf scoring twice. Liverpool have never conceded five first-half goals in their club’s history.

Everton 0-1 Tottenham

Who but Harry Kane? The young striker has Spurs’ goal and as of now Tottenham is into the fifth position in the table and firmly into the Europa League.

Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland

Petr Cech and Didier Drogba are likely making their Chelsea farewells, but it’s Diego Costa who has his 20th goal of the season slotting home a penalty earned by Juan Cuadrado. Steven Fletcher has the visiting goal at Stamford Bridge on a header from a corner.

Leicester City 2-0 QPR

QPR is relegated but the Foxes are on track to finish the season safe and positively as Marc Albrighton grabbed the opener and Jamie Vardy tapped in the second just before halftime.

Manchester City 1-0 Southampton

Frank Lampard has a goal in his final Premier League game, meaning Southampton needs a comeback to earn a Europa League-guaranteed position, currently sitting seventh and needing a win to move up.

Aston Villa 0-1 Burnley

Danny Ings grabbed a 6th-minute header as Tim Sherwood is staring down a disappointing finish to the season.

Swansea City 0-0 Crystal Palace

The visitors have looked the better side, but have not found a breakthrough as Wilfried Zaha has looked dangerous in the first 45 minutes.