EPL

Walter Smith dies: Ferguson, McCoist and Dalglish lead tributes to former Rangers and Scotland boss

By Sports Desk October 26, 2021

Related items

  • Klopp's agent distances Liverpool boss from Germany role as pressure mounts on Flick Klopp's agent distances Liverpool boss from Germany role as pressure mounts on Flick

    Jurgen Klopp's agent has ruled out the prospect of the Liverpool manager replacing Hansi Flick as Germany boss following their surprise World Cup exit.

    Kai Havertz's brace, as well as goals from Serge Gnabry and Niclas Fullkrug, ensured Germany secured a 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday, but their efforts were in vain as Japan staged a remarkable comeback to beat Spain and join them in escaping Group E.

    Germany's group-stage elimination – their second in as many World Cup tournaments – has led to stern criticism of the side, with some questioning Flick's suitability for the role of head coach.

    Former Germany international Dietmar Hamann has called for Flick to depart after overseeing a "pathetic" campaign in Qatar, and Liverpool boss Klopp – as well as former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel – has been touted as a potential replacement.

    However, Klopp's representative Marc Kosicke told Sky Sports in Germany his client would not be interested in the role, saying: "This is a media topic. 

    "Jurgen has a contract at Liverpool until 2026 and he intends to fulfil it."

    Flick signed a three-year contract to lead Germany last year, which is set to run through their Euro 2024 campaign on home soil.

    The former Bayern Munich boss will be cursing Germany's finishing after they were eliminated from the World Cup despite generating the highest expected goals (xG) tally at the tournament (10.4), three more than the total managed by the competition's second-most creative side (France with 7.4 xG).

  • Stones lauds 'frightening' Foden talent as Southgate faces selection dilemma Stones lauds 'frightening' Foden talent as Southgate faces selection dilemma

    John Stones says he has never seen a young player as talented as Phil Foden, as Gareth Southgate weighs up whether to stick with the Manchester City man for England's World Cup last-16 clash with Senegal.

    Foden was left out of England's line-up for their first two games in Qatar – a 6-2 thrashing of Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – but he got on the scoresheet after starting Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales. 

    He led his team-mates for expected goals (1.04 xG), shots in the Wales area (four) and crosses (five) last time out, and Foden's City colleague expects him to continue impressing.

    "I've never seen anyone at that age like Phil, with his ability, his football knowledge, and his freedom in how he plays and how he expresses himself," Stones said on Friday.

    "The ability he's got is frightening. I'm a huge fan of Phil, I'm lucky to get to play with him pretty much every day.

    "I look forward to seeing what he can do and I love playing with him. I'm extremely lucky, City are extremely lucky, England as well, that we've got somebody like that. 

    "I want to help him through whatever it might be, and make sure he gets what he needs on and off the pitch that allows him to go and play as he played the other night."

    Foden faces stern competition for a place in England's frontline, with each of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka having scored in Qatar, and Stones does not envy Southgate's dilemma. 

    "It's the hardest part of being a manager, choosing that starting eleven and knowing there's eleven happy players and the rest aren't," Stones added.

    "We've got an incredible group here, and the boys who don't make the pitch or come on are very selfless and they put their own feelings aside for the group. 

    "That's part of our success. I don't envy managers in general when they've got to make those decisions."

    While England's tally of nine goals at this World Cup is the most they have scored in the group stages at a major tournament, back-to-back clean sheets also aided their bid to top Group B.

    Stones' central defensive partner Harry Maguire has been heavily criticised after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester United, and the City man believes his response has been exemplary.

    "Right from the first game, he's given the best response with what he's been doing. In all three games, he's been terrific," Stones said of Maguire. 

    "Knowing what he's been going through and knowing the person he is, it speaks volumes about him to come through that and still believe in himself, like I believed in him and all his team-mates did.

    "I think there was a lot of noise from outside which he's not listened to, and he's tried to improve and better himself, and he's come into this tournament and hit the ground running. That's great credit to him."

  • Pele hospital admission just 'monthly visit', says Brazil legend Pele hospital admission just 'monthly visit', says Brazil legend

    Pele has moved to reassure people his recent hospital admission was just a "monthly visit".

    The three-time World Cup winner, regarded among the greatest players of all time, has been receiving medical care at home in Brazil.

    Pele underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon last year, and has been in and out of hospital since.

    His daughter, Kely Nascimento, said on Wednesday there was "no surprise or emergency" over her father's hospitalisation after he was admitted earlier this week.

    The 82-year-old was sent a message of support by the Brazil men's squad competing in Qatar at the World Cup.

    Pele took to Instagram to show his gratitude for the support, sharing a picture of a building in Qatar with his image and the words "get well soon" lit up.

    "Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit," he wrote. "It's always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.