Man City’s Walker Insists Title Race Not Over

Newcastle United’s French midfielder Allan Saint-Maximin (L) vies with Manchester City’s English defender Kyle Walker during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England on November 30, 2019.
Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Kyle Walker insists the Premier League title race isn’t over for Manchester City despite their latest damaging defeat.

Pep Guardiola’s side trail leaders Liverpool by 14 points after losing 2-1 against Manchester United in Saturday’s derby at the Etihad Stadium.

In a match marred by an alleged racist gesture from a City supporter towards United players, the champions were punished for defensive miscues and a lack of cutting edge in the final third.

United continually cut City open in a series of incisive counter-attacks, with a penalty from Marcus Rashford opening the scoring before Anthony Martial doubled their lead.

City did pull one back through Nicolas Otamendi late on but they could not force an equaliser, condemning them to a fourth defeat of the season.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Man Over ‘Racist Gesture’ At Manchester Derby

City defender Walker is adamant his side aren’t out of contention yet, but he acknowledged it will take a big effort to catch Liverpool.

“We knew they had quick players in quick areas – Martial, Rashford and (Daniel) James. They are very good on the counter-attack. We knew that but we didn’t handle it as well as we could have,” Walker said.

“It’s a massive gap, we know that, but we need to keep fighting until the end. It’s not over until it’s over. We will keep trying, as a team.”

After just 16 games, City, who have also drawn twice, have now dropped as many points as they did in the whole of last season.

They would have to win all their remaining 22 games to match last season’s final points tally of 98.

City midfielder Rodri, in his first season at the club, conceded United had come up with a good game-plan but blamed the loss on poor defending and bad finishing.

“We created lots of chances but we didn’t manage to put the ball in. We played the way we wanted but it’s always difficult when you concede two goals,” he said.

“You need to find spaces but at the same time, you concede more spaces to them for their counter-attacks.

“It’s very difficult to attack when they put 11 players behind the ball but we shouldn’t have conceded those two goals.”

Asked about City’s fading title hopes, Rodri added: “It’s a big gap but my mentality has always been never give up, never. We will play and we will fight until the end.”

AFP

Walker Needs Brains Not Just Brawn, Says Guardiola

Kyle Walker has been told by Pep Guardiola he is physically one of the best full-backs in the world, but needs to improve his football brain to maintain his form into his thirties.

The 27-year-old Manchester City full-back has enjoyed an excellent season since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in July for a fee that could rise to £52million ($69million) with performance-related bonus clauses.

Walker has played a key role as City have streaked clear of the of the Premier League field, dropping just two points in their opening 17 matches.

“Right now I’d rate him as one of the best, definitely,” said Guardiola of Walker at Friday’s press conference.

“He has energy. He is so strong defensively. But I’d like to help him to solve problems not just through his physicality but also through his thinking.

“When you are so strong physically, you solve all the problems that way. When you get to a certain age -– 28, 29, 30 -– you need to think after that more about what is going to happen.

“I always encourage him to think and after that, do it.”

The City manager has revealed that he criticises his players more when they win, because he believes they will be in a better mood to take in what he is saying.

– ‘You can do better’ –

“We try not just to think that if we win, that’s good, and it’s enough, and if we lose, it’s bad,” he said.

“That, I think, is a big mistake.

“You have to develop more by talking about the bad things when you win. Because after that, the players don’t believe that it’s just a complaint or a regret.

“When you lose, you have to work more on their confidence, and say: That is part of the game, you can do better.”

Guardiola, meanwhile, has dismissed Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho’s claim City commit a lot of ‘tactical fouls’ to stop opponents counter-attacking.

Mourinho made his comments before last Sunday’s Manchester derby, which City won 2-1 at Old Trafford.

“I never, never, never, never sent a message like that to my players,” said Guardiola.

“You can ask the players, these players and the old players if my message on the pitch was to commit fouls. I don’t use this kind of message.”

AFP

City’s Walker Targets Victory At Former Club Tottenham

Kyle-Walker
Kyle Walker// Photo Source: mancity.com

New Manchester City defender Kyle Walker on Saturday admitted that the prospect of facing former club Tottenham is difficult, but says it will never affect his focus and will to win.

“It’s going to be difficult (against Tottenham) I’m not going to lie. I spent a lot of years there, had special moments and the lads are great, the coaching staff is great and they helped me to get to where I am now. But it’s a football match and I want to win so if we can go there and pick up a victory that would be fantastic,” he told mancity.com.

Walker spent eight years at Spurs before sealing his move to City earlier in July and has made an instant impact for his new club at right-back.

He will be looking to use everything he learned at Spurs when he faces his old friends at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville on the final leg of City’s US tour.

The 27-year-old also enjoyed a tussle with another old pal, Gareth Bale, during City’s 4-1 win over Real Madrid, saying: “Seeing old faces is always good, I shared some special moments with Gareth at Tottenham so it was nice to see him.”

“It was nice to get a win over them. I feel fit and feel strong I’ve been doing a lot of work off season, to keep up my fitness. I’m just looking forward to the start of the season, we have two important games in pre-season to look forward to, get a few more minutes on the board. But it all counts when we go to Brighton and play them”.

Football Transfers: 10 Major Signings So Far

It has been an amazing transfer window ahead of the 2017/18 season, as various European clubs signed a quite number of players to boost their fortunes.

Football Transfers: 10 Major Signings So Far

Here, Channels Television has compiled a list of 10 major deals in “no order of importance,”  involving some distinguished footballers.

Wayne Rooney – Manchester United To Everton (Free Transfer)

Rooney Aims To Bring Trophies To Everton
Photo: evertonfc.com

On Sunday, July 2017 Manchester United and former England captain, Wayne Rooney, rejoined his boyhood favourites Everton on a two-year deal.

Rooney, who also wears the number 10 shirt at Everton, has played more than 550 games for Manchester United, scoring 253 goals to become their all-time leading scorer.

At United, he won the Champions League, five English Premier League titles and the FA Cup. He was also the Footballer of the Year in 2010.

John Terry – Chelsea To Aston Villa (Free Transfer)

John Terry Named Aston Villa Captain
Photo: avfc.co.uk

The former Chelsea and England captain John Terry signed a one-year contract with Championship club Aston Villa on a free transfer.

He was confirmed as the club’s captain for the 2017/18 season 12 days after he joined the club.

Terry led Chelsea to five Premier League victories as well as four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Europa League and one UEFA Champions League title triumphs since 2004.

He is one of five players to have made over 500 appearances for Chelsea and is also the club’s all-time highest scoring defender.

Romelu Lukaku – Everton To Manchester United (Undisclosed Fee)

Lukaku Joins Manchester United From Everton
Photo: manutd.com

Lukaku penned a five-year contract with Manchester United with the option of a further year earlier in July.

Although his transfer fee was officially undisclosed, it was reported to be worth an initial £75 million, plus £15 million in add-ons.

Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon To Arsenal (€53 million)

Photo: Arsenal.com

Lacazette signed a five-year deal for Arsenal, a deal that surpassed the €50m which the Gunners paid to sign Germany’s Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in 2013.

Lacazette previously played as a winger for Lyon, before becoming a striker. In his overall style of play, the 26-year-old has been compared to former Arsenal striker Lan Wright by fellow Frenchman Gerard Houllier.

Kyle Walker – Tottenham Hotspur To Manchester City (£50 million)

Photo: mancity.com

Walker signed a five-year deal with Manchester City, one of his former club Tottenham rivals.

The fee for the 27-year-old made him the world’s joint most expensive defender along with David Luiz who left Chelsea for PSG in 2014.

Bonucci – Juventus To AC Milan (€42 Million)

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Leonardo Bonucci left Juventus for AC Milan after his long-term relationship with Coach Massimiliano Allegri reportedly deteriorated.

The 30-year-old centre-back was said to have joined Juve’s rivals for €42 million move on a five-year contract.

Tiemoue Bakayoko – Monaco To Chelsea (£40 million)

Photo: Chealseafc.com

On 15 July 2017, Bakayoko joined English side Chelsea on a five-year deal for a fee around the margin of £40 million.

Bakayoko who plays as a defensive midfielder, breaking up attacks and making driving forward runs, is Chelsea’s second major summer signing after they brought in defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma.

Mohamed Salah – Roma To Liverpool (£36.9 million)

Photo: liverpoolfc.com

Salah, 25, has been a long-term target, with Liverpool missing out on his signature three years ago when he joined Chelsea before embarking on an underwhelming spell in the Premier League.

The fee was a club record, eclipsing the £35m spent on Andy Carroll in 2011.

Pepe – Real Madrid To Besiktas (Free Transfer)

Photo: bjk.com.tr

Pepe proceeded to Besiktas on a free transfer on July 4 after playing with European Champions Real Madrid for 10 years.

He is expected to earn €9.5 million in total during the two-year contract, plus €4,000 for each match.

The 34-year-old defender joined Real from Porto in 2007 for 30 million euros, winning the La Liga title in his first campaign.

James Rodriguez – Real Madrid To Bayern Munich (Loan)

Photo: fcbayern.com

On 11 July 2017, it was announced that James was loaned to German side Bayern Munich on a two-year long deal.

The 25-year-old Colombia international made 22 La Liga appearances for the European and Spanish champions last season, scoring eight goals and featured six times in the Champions League.

James is a versatile footballer who can play in several positions across the midfield or front line.

Harry Kane Hat Trick Eases Spurs Into Second Spot

Kane Hat Trick Eases Spurs Into Second SpotHarry Kane scored a hat trick to help Tottenham Hotspur ease into second place on the Premier League table with a comfortable win over West Bromwich Albion.

Kane opened the scoring at White Hart Lane after 12 minutes, finishing Christian Eriksen’s pass.

Eriksen helped to double the lead 14 minutes later when his shot hit Jonas Olsson and then Gareth McAuley, whose deflection diverted it into the net.

West Brom emerged more competitive after the break but, despite the departure of Jan Vertonghen through injury, it was Spurs who continued to score.

Kane got his second from Kyle Walker’s cross on 77 minutes and claimed the match ball for the third time in the league after a one-two with Dele Alli five minutes later.

His 13th PL goal puts him one behind Diego Costa, who leads the race for the Golden Boot.

Despite defeat, West Brom’s ninth position is not under threat.

The win was Spurs’ sixth win in a row.

In other matches, Marcos Alonso scored twice as Chelsea outclassed Leicester 3-0 to restore their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Hull City moved off the foot of the table with an impressive 3-1 win over Bournemouth.

Sunderland remained in the relegation zone following a home defeat against Stoke City.

Arsenal returned to the top four with a handsome 4-0 victory at Swansea City.

Andy Carroll scored with a stunning volley as West Ham defeated Crystal Palace 3-0.

Vertonghen Signs New Tottenham Deal

Vertonghen Signs New Tottenham Deal  Tottenham defender, Jan Vertonghen, has signed a new deal that would keep him at white hart lane until 2019.

The Belgium International, joined from Ajax in July 2012 and immediately established himself as a vital part of their back four.

Vertonghen became the latest spurs player to commit his future to the club after striker, Harry Kane, signed fresh terms on Thursday.

Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, have also signed new deals since the start of the 2016/2017 season.

Kyle Promises More Determination As Tottenham Face QPR

TottenhamTottenham Hotspurs defender, Kyle Walker, insists the players are ready to give 100 per cent again at Queens Park Rangers, despite the intense fixture schedule in recent weeks.

Spurs travel to Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon, three days after defeating Swansea City at White Hart Lane and just six days on from the Capital One Cup Final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley.

The Europa League trip to Italy in the last midweek adds up to a congested spell of matches – but right-back Kyle says everyone is raring to go as ever, as they come up against a Rangers side managed by Chris Ramsey, a former Spurs coach.

“The training that we put in throughout the week is very intense and the gaffer makes sure that we can go for the 90 minutes at all times,” he said.

“To be fair we’ve got a lot of good cover on the bench as well, so we’re not just an 11-man squad – we have strength in depth.

“We roll onto QPR now, which is another London derby, so we need to go there and take the game to them as we took it to Swansea in the second half on Wednesday.

“Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand know us well but we need to play our game as I’ve said all season, take one game at a time and hopefully we should get the three points.”

Reflecting on the 3-2 win over Swansea, Kyle regretted the manner in which the team conceded in both halves against the South Wales club.

“I feel that teams are coming here sometimes and we’re probably giving them a bit too easy goals from a defensive point of view, but we showed good character in the second half to come back out and do the attacking.

“With them playing the diamond, it gave us license to go forward a little bit and we saw a good few balls into the box. Danny Rose set up the first goal which was vital to keeping us on track.”