Rooney Injured, To Miss England vs. Spain Friendly

Wayne Rooney Injured, To Miss England vs. Spain FriendlyLiverpool midfielder, Jordan Henderson will captain England against Spain on Tuesday, with Wayne Rooney injured.

Wayne Rooney and left back Ryan Bertrand are injury doubts for the year-ending friendly as they were the only players absent from training on the eve of the meeting with Spain at Wembley.

Having started the previous game – a 0-0 draw away to Slovenia – on the bench, forward Rooney returned to lead the side in Friday’s World Cup qualifying win over Scotland.

He then missed training with a knee injury on Monday and later pulled out of the squad.

“Both are being assessed. They had minor issues this morning, so we’ll have a look at them as the game goes on,” said interim manager, Gareth Southgate, on Monday.

“Obviously, they weren’t able to train, so they must be a doubt, but until we look at them we won’t know for sure.”

Henderson, 26, captained England in their 0-0 draw in Slovenia in October when Rooney was dropped to the bench.

“I don’t think we can have just one captain,” Southgate said.

“We have several leaders. Too much responsibility has been on Wayne – we need to share that. Once you have a team of those leaders you can have a lot of success.”

Tottenham striker, Harry Kane will also not feature against Spain, having been released from the squad over the weekend as he recovers from injury.

The 23-year-old damaged an ankle against Sunderland on 18 September and only returned for 73 minutes of action against Arsenal on 6 November before joining up with the England squad.

He was an unused substitute for the 3-0 win over Scotland at Wembley.

Pochetinno Says Harry Kane To Miss Bayer Leverkusen Clash

Harry Kane, Tottenham, Mauricio Pochetinno, Bayer LevekusenTottenham Hotspur Manager, Mauricio Pochetinno, has confirmed that Harry Kane is back in training but will not feature in Wednesday night’s Champions League match against Bayer Levekusen.

Although Pochetinno admits it would be a tough clash, he insists he wants all three points against the Germans.

Tottenham have won only once in six matches since Wembley was redeveloped with their most recent disappointment coming in September’s 2-1 defeat to Monaco.

They are using the stadium for Champions League ties this season because of a reduced capacity at the White Hart Lane as work continues in a new 60,000-seater ground.

On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen are happy to play Tottenham at the Wembley stadium in London.

Leverkusen forward Javier Hernandez says he cannot wait to play against the English side.

Both sides know a win tonight could move them top of Group E.

French side, Monaco, who are currently ahead of Spurs by a single point, have a tricky fixture against CSKA Moscow in the group’s other match.

Sam Allardyce Steps Down As England Manager

Sam AllardyceSam Allardyce has stepped down as England manager after just two months on the job.

The former Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers boss was forced out after a newspaper sting filmed him telling undercover reporters how to bend rules on third party ownership of players.

He is alleged to have met the bogus consortium of Far East businessmen seeking advice on the English Premier League’s billion pound transfer market.

During meetings with undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph, Allardyce is reported to have criticised his predecessor Roy Hodgson, saying he “hasn’t got the personality” for public speaking.

The former Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United manager is also alleged to have said England’s players were underperforming because they had a “psychological barrier” and “can’t cope”.

He was also accused of using his position to negotiate a £400,000 deal.

An FA statement said Allardyce’s conduct “was inappropriate” and Gareth Southgate will take temporary charge for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia next month.

“He accepts he made a significant error of judgement and has apologised,” the FA said.

“This is not a decision that was taken lightly but the FA’s priority is to protect the wider interests of the game and maintain the highest standards of conduct in football.

“The manager of the England men’s senior team is a position which must demonstrate strong leadership and show respect for the integrity of the game at all times.”

Sam Allardyce Has Been Appointed England Manager

Sam AllardyceSam Allardyce, has been appointed as the new coach of the English national team.

The English Football Association announced this in a statement on Friday after what it called a comprehensive and structured process.

The 61-year-old has signed an initial two-year contract and takes up the position with immediate effect following a successful spell retaining Sunderland’s status in the Premier League.

Allardyce’s first match in charge will be a friendly fixture at Wembley Stadium on Thursday September 1.

The FA said he was a unanimous choice of its three-man selection panel, comprising FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn, Technical Director Dan Ashworth and acting Chairman David Gill.

“Alongside his primary target of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Allardyce has a mandate to shape a strong, purposeful team identity and maximise the performance potential of a young, talented England squad at a major tournament.

“Allardyce is also charged with helping Ashworth integrate and strengthen The FA’s elite performance and coaching programme across the England senior and development teams at St. George’s Park,” the FA stated.

Allardyce said: “I am extremely honoured to be appointed England manager especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted. For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football.

“I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.

“While my main focus will be on the senior team and getting positive results, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St. George’s Park – a facility I have used with my previous clubs.

“I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver.”

FA chief executive Martin Glenn has expressed confidence that Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job.

“His excellent managerial credentials, including his ability to realise the potential of players and teams, develop a strong team ethos and embrace modern methods that enhance performance, made him the outstanding choice.

“That was underlined when we sat down to talk and we could not help but be energised by his personal perspective on England’s future and how it complemented the extensive work that we are looking to build on at St. George’s Park.

“Dan Ashworth, David Gill and I have carried out a thorough process in the last three weeks and ultimately we could not look beyond Sam as the ideal candidate.”

The former Sunderland Manager will select his first England squad towards the end of August ahead of the friendly on 1 September and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Slovakia in Trnava three days later.

English FA To Confirm Sam Allardyce As New England Coach

Sam AllardyceSunderland Manager, Sam Allardyce is set to be named as the new coach of the English national team, after an FA board meeting at Wembley.

Outgoing FA Chairman, Greg Dyke, confirmed to Sky Sports outside Wembley ahead of Thursday’s board meeting that the three-man panel entrusted with appointing the new England manager have recommended Sam Allardyce.

“The three-man group are convinced (Allardyce) is the right man, and I would agree with them,” Dyke said.

The FA board are currently holding a meeting at Wembley, where the panel – Martin Glenn, David Gill and Dan Ashworth – presenting the case for Allardyce to the board.

“You’d have to ask them but as far as I understand it that’s the discussion. We appointed a three-man committee to go out and look at the candidates and they’ve come back with a decision about who they think is the best man.

“We want to integrate the England team closer into St George’s Park and we’ve planned to do that for the past two years,” Dyke concluded.

Allardyce will replace Roy Hodgson, who quit in June after England’s surprise defeat by Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016.

The 61-year-old will leave Sunderland after nine months at the Premier League club. He has also managed West Ham, Newcastle, Bolton and Notts County.

Crystal Palace To Face Manchester United In FA Cup Final

FA CupCrystal Palace on Sunday evening set up a repeat of the 1990 English FA Cup final against Manchester United after Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham secured a 2-1 victory over Watford at Wembley.

Bolasie headed in Yohan Cabaye’s corner to put Palace in front but after six minutes Troy Deeney sparked the semi-final into life with Watford’s equaliser nine minutes after halftime.

The equaliser, however, only lasted for seven minutes as Wickham popped up with the winning goal on 61 minutes.

Manchester United had defeated Everton 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday to go through into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final.

Marouane Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range and goalkeeper David de Gea also brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty.

An injury-time goal by Anthony Martial ensured Louis van Gaal’s side will face Crystal Palace.

Martial’s Late Goal Puts Manchester United Into FA Cup Final

Anthony-Martial leads Man Utd into FA Cup FinalsAn injury-time goal by Anthony Martial in a game against Everton at Wembley was enough for Manchester United to go through into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final.

Martial ensured Louis van Gaal’s side will face either Crystal Palace or Watford with a composed finish in the dying seconds of the semi-final.

Marouane Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range – but they were then indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea as he brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty, the BBC reports.

After a passive first 45 minutes that saw Everton jeered off at half-time, they drew level with 15 minutes left when Chris Smalling deflected Gerard Deulofeu’s cross into his own net.

As the game looked destined for extra-time, Ander Herrera’s poked pass sent Martial clear and the striker showed great composure to drill a low finish past Everton keeper Joel Robles.

England’s international captain, Wayne Rooney, showed his class in a deep-lying role behind United’s attack.

In the opening half especially, afforded time and space by a timid Everton, Rooney not only showed his full range of passes to create chances and dictate the game, he even showed the energy to get back and clear Lukaku’s early goalbound effort off the line.

FA Cup: Watford Beat Arsenal To Book Semi-Final Ticket

ArsenalWatford have defeated FA Cup defending champions Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as they battle for a place in the semi-finals at Wembley.

Sequel to the Gunners’ misuse of a series of good chances, Odion Ighalo scored his first goal in the 50th minute for Watford, who are currently 14th on the English Premier League table.

Consequently, Adlene Guedioura gave Watford a winning hope after a shot on target in the 63rd minutes to make the score 2-nil.

Danny Welbeck scored a consolation goal for the Cup  holders with two minutes left to the end of the match.

This is Arsenal’s third consecutive defeat at the Emirates Stadium after losses to Swansea and Barcelona.

It was also their first FA Cup knockout since February 2013, when they lost to Blackburn Rovers.

Manchester City Emerge 2016 League Cup Winner

Manchester cityManchester City have emerged champions of the League Cup 2016, making it their fourth victory in five finals.

The English football club lifted the League Cup at Wembley after beating Liverpool 3-1 on penalties after the game had finished 1-1 after extra-time.

Fernandinho scored the opener in the 49 minute before Philippe Coutinho created the equaliser in the 83rd minute, before the penalty shootout.

During the penalty, goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved three shots from Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana, making them the champion.

Manchester City have won the title in 1970, 1976, 2014 and 2016.

Chelsea Defender Admits Man City Game ‘Will Be Difficult’

ChelseaChelsea defender, Kurt Zouma is expecting a tough match away to Manchester City in their Barclays Premier League Match Day 2 fixture on Sunday.

He is, however, relishing the challenge that awaits the team and this is because of the impressive performance he produced against Manchester City at the end of January, when the Premier League’s top two sides met at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea five points clear at the summit.

Four days earlier, Chelsea had beaten Liverpool to progress to the Capital One Cup final when Zouma shone from the off. It was enough to earn him only his second start in England’s top-flight for the visit of their nearest title rivals.

“It is a good memory,” he recalled in a chat with the official Chelsea website. “And it was an important stage in my development.

“First of all I played the game and I was really proud of that. We drew 1-1 and we defended well. For my part I think I did well against a good attack, helping the team to a draw.

“We know we are playing against a good team on Sunday and it will be difficult, but we have a chance to win. I think it will be a very interesting game.

“It’s a chance early in the season to show why we are champions. We want to defend our title. The season after a very good season is always hard but we have to show we are ready to try and do it.”

Zouma showed his versatility in the 2014/15 season when he lined up in central midfield for certain games, most notably the League Cup triumph over Tottenham at Wembley.

He had grown up as a right-sided defender but both in the pre-season game against Barcelona and the Community Shield he featured on the other side of the back four.

Cesc Fabregas would also make his 50th appearance for Chelsea if selected for the game.

The Spaniard’s 49 appearances to date have come in the Premier League (35), the FA Cup (1), the League Cup (4), the Champions League (8) and the recent Community Shield.

Rodgers Pleased With New Signings

RodgersLiverpool Manager, Brendan Rodgers is optimistic that the new players signed by the club will help the team compete for major titles this season despite the record sale of Raheem Sterling.

The club have already signed Adam Lallana and are on the verge of adding Aston Villa top hit man Christian Benteke to their line up.

Rodgers believes Sterling’s move will not affect the team and described the 20-year-old as a talented footballer.

Aston villa striker Christian Benteke has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool, who now have money in their pocket following the sale of Sterling to Manchester City in a deal worth up to 49 million pounds.

The Reds are closing in on Benteke who has a 32.5 million pound buyout clause in his contract.

However Aston Villa manager, Tim Sherwood reiterated the club’s stance that he would not be leaving unless the clause was activated.

Barcelona Beat Juventus To Win 5th Champions League Title

BarcelonaSpanish giants, Barcelona have emerged Champions of Europe after beating Italian greats, Juventus 3-1 in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final on Saturday night.

Goals by Rakitic and Suarez in both halves of the fierce battle seemed to have ensured that Morata’s equalizer would amount to nothing for Juventus before Neymar sealed victory with the final kick of the game.

Rakitic provided Barca with a great start with his side footed goal in the 4th minute benefiting from great enterprising moves by Jordi Alba, Neymar and Iniesta who would claim the assist as the Juve defence was pulled to pieces.

On the 55th minute, Morata, would not miss the chance for an equalizer with a rebound off a well taken shot by Tevez which ter Stegen got down well to parry brilliantly.

Buffon had also gotten down to save brilliantly from a Messi shot, but the ball only broke into the middle for Suarez, who batters a sidefoot into the unguarded net to make it 2-1

Having already won the La Liga and the King’s Cup trophies, Barcelona have now equalled their treble success of 2009.

Before the game, both teams had the chance of completing a domestic and European treble this season, with both clubs having already claimed their respective league titles and main national cup competitions.

Two points separated first and second in La Liga this campaign, with Barca taking the crown from fierce rivals Real Madrid courtesy of a 1-0 win over 2013-14 champions Atletico Madrid in the penultimate game of the season.

They followed this up with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp in the Copa Del Rey final to leave the Catalan club, in the words of defender Gerard Pique, “90 minutes away from perfection”.

Juventus led Serie A from the fourth round of fixtures onward and sealed their fourth straight league title and 31st Scudetto with four games to play before beating Lazio 2-1 after extra time to win the Coppa Italia.

The last meeting in the knockout stage between both teams came in 2003, when Juventus won 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals en route to the final, where they lost to Milan.