Benitez Rules Himself Out Of Arsenal And Everton Jobs

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 26, 2018 Newcastle United’s Spanish manager Rafael Benitez gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England. Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United after three years as manager when his contract expires next week, the Premier League club confirmed on June 24, 2019.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Rafael Benitez insisted on Monday there is “no chance” he will fill the managerial vacancies at either Arsenal or Everton, but he refused to completely rule out a return to the Premier League.

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez is currently in charge of Chinese side Dalian Yifang after leaving Newcastle United after the end of last season.

Arsenal are still looking for a permanent successor to Unai Emery while Everton, Liverpool’s local rivals, sacked Marco Silva last week, and former Champions League winner Benitez said he was happy in the Chinese Super League despite finishing a lowly ninth this season.

“I can be very clear — there is no chance I will come back now because I’m really happy,” he said on Sky Sports.

“I’m really pleased (Dalian Yifang) trust me. We have a lot of staff working on a big, big project. We want to leave a legacy and it’s a challenge for me. I’m quite happy at the moment.

“In the future I would like to come back to the Premier League because I like the league.”

Benitez has also seen his name linked with West Ham should Manuel Pellegrini leave the London club.

But although he was linked with a move to the Hammers four years ago before joining Real Madrid, Benitez said there was no chance of them tempting him away from China.

“It was in the past, it’s true that I was nearly there (at West Ham),” he said. “Then Real Madrid came, and I needed a couple of days to know exactly what was going on.

“Obviously I couldn’t say no to Real Madrid, but it was a good time and it’s a massive club.

“Everybody can see both teams (West Ham and Arsenal) have problems, but both are massive clubs and they will do well at the end.”

Steve Bruce Named Newcastle United Head Coach

In this file photo taken on May 28, 2016 Hull City’s English manager Steve Bruce (R) reacts during the English Championship play-off final football match between Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley Stadium. Premier League club Newcastle United have announced that Steve Bruce is their new head coach. PHOTO: Ian Kington / AFP

Newcastle United announced on Wednesday that Steve Bruce has been appointed head coach following the departure of Rafael Benitez from the Premier League club.

“Newcastle United can now announce that Steve Bruce has been appointed as the club’s new head coach,” the club said on its website, adding that the former Manchester United player had signed an initial three-year contract.

The 58-year-old Bruce, who grew up in Tyneside and is a former coach of Newcastle’s fierce rivals Sunderland, will be joined at St. James’ Park by coaches Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, the club added.

Bruce, who resigned from Sheffield Wednesday prior to signing with Newcastle, told the club website: “I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United.

“This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.”

Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said the club was pleased to appoint a coach of Bruce’s “vast experience and connections…”

“The hard work for Steve and his team starts immediately and we will be fully prepared for the challenge of a new Premier League season,” he added.

The Newcastle squad are currently on a pre-season tour in China and Bruce and his staff are scheduled to travel to join them there following Wednesday’s match in Nanjing against Wolves.

AFP

Rafael Benitez To Leave Newcastle

Newcastle United’s Spanish manager Rafael Benitez.                                                     Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United after three years as manager when his contract expires next week, the Premier League club confirmed on Monday.

Benitez was a hugely popular figure among the Newcastle support after stabilising the Magpies in the Premier League and the news is likely to spark more protests aimed at the club’s owner Mike Ashley.

“It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019,” Newcastle said in a statement.

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“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however, it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.”

Despite failing to keep Newcastle in the top flight shortly after taking over in March 2016, Benitez earned hero status on Tyneside as he led Newcastle back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. He then comfortably secured survival by finishing 10th and 13th in the last two seasons.

However, the Spaniard did not hide his displeasure at the lack of backing he was afforded by Ashley and was believed to be seeking assurances over the budget he would have to work with before committing his future to the club.

“I have been trying to win titles everywhere, in different countries, and we have to have a team that can compete,” the former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager told Sky Sports in April.

“The city, the club, everyone in Newcastle is supporting the team so it’s massive. I’m not saying £200m but doing a little bit more, doing the right things, we can compete against the teams that are now maybe between seventh and 12th. But we have to do things right.”

Benitez, who won the Champions League when in charge of Liverpool in 2005, has been reportedly offered a contract worth £12 million-a-year at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.

British retail tycoon Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007, but has been a deeply unpopular figure among fans, largely due to a lack of investment in the playing squad that has seen the club relegated twice during his reign in charge.

The signing of Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United for £20 million in January finally broke a transfer record that had stood since Michael Owen’s arrival at St James’ Park from Real Madrid in 2005.

Last month representatives of Dubai-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a relative of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, said they had “agreed terms” with Ashley for a potential takeover of the club.

AFP

Newcastle United Celebrate Return To EPL

Courtesy: thesun.uk.com

Newcastle United started a promotion party on Monday by beating 10-man Preston North 4-1 at St James’ Park.

The victory means a return to the English Premier League for Rafa Benitez’s side.

Exactly 348 days after being relegated, Newcastle overcame their obvious nerves to bag a prize worth more than 100 million pounds and retain an outside chance of pipping Brighton & Hove Albion to the championship title.

The club has spent just one season outside the Premier League, and their return to the highest level of English football was a welcome sight for the historic club.

However, in order to avoid another relegation battle, the club’s manager, Rafa Benitez, will need to get his new additions spot on.

Xhaka Looks Forward To Arsenal’s ‘Family Atmosphere’

Granit Xhaka, ArsenalGranit Xhaka says former Gunners Havard Nordtveit, Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos encouraged him to join the “family” atmosphere at Arsenal.

The 23-year-old midfielder arrived in north London as Arsène Wenger’s first signing of the summer, having spent the last four years at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Xhaka says his former Gladbach team-mate Nordtveit and Swiss compatriots Djourou and Senderos talked up the positive atmosphere at the club.

“I spoke with [Nordtveit] about Arsenal and he told me it’s a big club, a family club and it’s very important for me to come here,” Xhaka told Arsenal Player.

“Philippe played here and I play with him in the national team. Johan and Philippe have only told me positive things.

“Arsenal is Arsenal. It’s not a small club, it’s a very big club and it’s like a family. It’s very good for me because I love my family and to have another family here is very good.”

Xhaka progressed through the youth ranks of Mohamed Elneny’s former side Basel, and the 23-year-old says he is looking forward to playing with the Egyptian.

“I know him by name, but when I went to Monchengladbach he came to Basel,” he said. “My brother played with him and I had heard of him before I came here. In Switzerland we produce very good young players and many of these players have come to England. That’s very good.”

 

Wenger Hails Arsenal Character In Man City Draw

ArsenalArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger believes his side have the character to seal a top-three finish in the Barclays Premier League going by the manner in which they drew 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

The Gunners extended their unbeaten run to nine league matches as they came from behind twice through goals for Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez against City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal now need a point in their final match of the season, against relegated Aston Villa on Sunday, to guarantee third place in the table.

“We have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result,” Wenger said. “We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season.

“We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.”

Wenger also said striker Danny Welbeck will have a scan on his knee on Monday to determine the extent of an injury that forced him off the field in the 59th minute.

“I hope that it is not bad one and a meniscus.” Wenger added. “We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain.”

Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, was remorseful that things did not end well as the result means that Manchester United will now finish above them if they win both their final league matches.

“It was not the way we wanted to finish the season, We wanted to qualify for the Champions League final and to win again today.

“But there are three years of work here, for me, three wonderful and unforgettable years so all I can say to all the fans is thanks for all of it.

“I will never forget you and, most of all, don’t change. Continue the same way because I’m sure next year that this team will need you and will be a very successful team in all the competitions.”

Losing out on Champions League qualification would prove a disaster for incoming City boss, Pep Guardiola.

Manchester United Force Leicester City To Wait For Title

Leicester CityLeicester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United at Old Trafford and will have to wait to complete their fairytale Barclays Premier League triumph.

The Foxes needed a win to be crowned champions with two matches to spare.

Claudio Ranieri’s unchanged side had a passive start and Anthony Martial capitalised by opening the scoring but captain Wes Morgan headed a 16th-minute equaliser.

Leicester will emerge as champions at home to Everton next weekend if Tottenham Hotspur fail to beat Chelsea on Monday, while any victory from City or slip-up by Spurs will complete the remarkable story that Sunday’s draw left dangling.

United, who could not capitalise on a late red card for Danny Drinkwater, lost ground on Arsenal and Manchester City in the race for a top-four spot but edged ahead of West Ham United into fifth.

 

Sunderland, Arsenal Draw Goalless As Leicester Crush Swansea

premier leagueEnglish Premier League side, Sunderland are out of the relegation zone following a goalless draw against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light.

Both sides had penalty shouts turned down in the first half, as referee Mike Dean waved away appeals from Jermain Defoe and Alex Iwobi.

Patrick Van Aanholt went closest to breaking the deadlock when his free-kick hit the post, while former Arsenal goalkeeper, Vito Mannone made several impressive saves to preserve his clean sheet.

As Sunderland pressed for a vital winner in the second half, Arsenal Petr Cech stood strong with equally impressive saves to ensure both teams shared the points.

Leicester City moved within sight of the Premier League crown after cruising to a 4-0 victory over Swansea City at the King Power Stadium also on Sunday.

Claudio Ranieri’s side were without the suspended Jamie Vardy for the game, but still cruised past the Swans to establish an eight-point lead in the Premier League.

Mahrez opened the scoring while Ulloa added a brace either side of half-time and Albrighton made it 4-0 late on.

Second-placed Tottenham face West Brom at White Hart Lane on Monday evening.

In other matches played on Saturday, Super Eagles forward Kelechi Iheanacho helped Manchester City beat Stoke City 4-0 in the day’s lunchtime kick-off.

The 19-year-old scored twice in the 64th and 74th minute adding to further strikes from Fernando and Sergio Aguero.

Iheanacho who also recorded an assist against the potters now has 5 goals in the Premier League this season.

The big win ensures that Man City has leapfrogged Arsenal to occupy the third position on goal difference.

In other games, Liverpool and Newcastle battled to a 2-2 draw in Rafael Benitez’s return to Anfield.

Chelsea beat AFC Bournemouth 4-1, while already relegated Aston Villa lost 2-4 against Southampton.

 

Aguero Treble Sinks Chelsea, Puts Pressure On Arsenal

AgueroSergio Aguero continued his good scoring form with a hat-trick as Manchester City beat 10-man Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The striker has 13 goals in his last 12 top-flight appearances and his display helped Man City move up to third position ahead of Arsenal, who play Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Kevin De Bruyne was a constant menace for City on his first return to the club who sold him in 2014, playing a key role in Aguero’s first two goals, which both came from swift counter-attacks.

Thibaut Courtois was shown a red card for fouling Fernandinho inside the box, and Aguero was afforded the chance to complete his hat-trick. He made no mistake.

Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri returned to the starting line-up but David Silva was rested with an ongoing ankle injury.

Chelsea also welcomed Courtois, Gary Cahill and Willian back into the team but their return could not save the defending champions.

With this loss, Guus Hiddink’s men have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.

Meanwhile, in other matches played on Saturday, Aston Villa were relegated to English football’s second tier for the first time since 1987 after defeat at Manchester United.

Newcastle claimed a first win under Rafael Benitez as they overcame Swansea to bolster their chances of survival.

Sunderland also climbed to within a point of safety by beating relegation rivals Norwich 3-0 at Carrow road.

Southampton’s hopes of a European spot suffered a setback as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Everton.

Saido Berahino missed two second-half penalties as Watford hung on for a narrow win against West Brom.

Benitez Earns First Win To Move Newcastle Closer To Safety

Rafael BenitezRafael Benitez earned his first win as Newcastle United manager and boosted their hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday.

Benitez made five changes to the starting XI in response to last weekend’s defeat by Southampton and the Spaniard’s team selection was vindicated on his birthday, with Newcastle earning their reward for a much-improved showing.

Jamaal Lascelles, who came in for Steven Taylor in the back four, opened the scoring in the 40th minute, heading in only his second goal for the club from Andros Townsend’s corner.

Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis both spurned big chances for Swansea before Moussa Sissoko’s first goal of the campaign and Townsend’s late third sealed a result that, combined with Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Norwich City, moves Newcastle within three points of safety with five matches to play.

Newcastle United boss, Rafael Benitez, praised the “passion and commitment” shown by his players in their victory over Swansea City.

“I have to say congratulations to the players,” Benitez told BBC Sport. “They showed passion and commitment. Thank you to the fans. If we stick together then it’s easier for us to approach the game and gives us the chance to win. The players that started were really good. And the other players who came on helped the team.

“Striker Papiss Cisse was fantastic up front and Aleksandar Mitrovic was good too when he came on. When you win games everybody is happy. Today we saw what we expect from this team.

“We have to show the same in the other games. We were not thinking about the earlier win for Sunderland over Norwich. Now we can see the table but before the game it was about focusing on the game.”

The North-East outfit are now three points within safety with five games left to play.

Barcelona Are World Club Champions

BarcelonaBarcelona are the 2015 World Champions, defeating River Plate 3-0 on Sunday night in Japan.

Luis Enrique’s men cruised to victory in the final of FIFA Club World Cup competition, adding the gong to their La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Champions League and Uefa Super Cup successes.

It was a spectacle by the ‘MSN’ trio. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez scored with big contributions from Neymar, and after a tough first half.

Lionel Messi had opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a sublime strike to help the champions’ confidence against a determined River Plate team.

Dani Alves found Neymar in the box, and the Brazilian passed the ball to Messi, who got away with a little handball and finally found the opening goal with his left foot.

Luis Suarez netted a superb second half double to help the Spanish giants emerge as the world’s best football club in 2015.

River Platehad come into the second half seeking an equalizer that seemed highly possible but they left gaps which Barça took advantage of.

Less than five minutes in, Sergio Busquets stole a ball and ignited a counter-attack with a beautiful through ball to Luis Suárez, who calmly finished to score the second goal.

In the 68th minute, Neymar’s beautiful cross found Suárez in the box, and the Uruguayan headed away from the keeper to get the third.

Barcelona have now equaled the record of Egypt’s Ahly, reaching the 20th international title after winning the Club World Cup title.

El Classico: Suarez Shines As Barcelona Trash Real Madrid 4-0

BarcelonaBarcelona moved six points clear at the top of La Liga with a dominant victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Luis Suarez scored in 11th and 74th minute respectively as Barcelona cruised past Real Madrid in style.

The visitors controlled El Classico throughout as Neymar’s side-footed goal and Andres Iniesta’s cool finish in-between Suarez’s goals killed off the hosts.

Isco also saw red on a miserable night for Real Madrid.

It was a first home defeat in 23 league games for Real, but also a stinging blow to Real Madrid’s title hopes.

Rafael Benitez’s side are second with 24 points with Barcelona moving onto 30 points after 12 games and are chasing a sixth La Liga title in eight years.

Barca’s dominance prompted the angry Real fans to roundly whistle their own team and chant for Club President, Florentino Perez to step down.

Barcelona played most of the match without Lionel Messi, who came off the bench in the 56th after being sidelined for nearly two months because of a left knee injury.