There are some great golf courses – Wilder jokingly tells Bale to stay in Madrid

By Sports Desk September 16, 2020

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder joked that Gareth Bale should stay at Real Madrid and enjoy the city's "great golf courses".

Bale is heavily linked with a return to Tottenham, the club he left to join Madrid in 2013.

The 31-year-old has won two LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other honours with Madrid, but has been frozen out as he seemingly nears a return to Spurs.

But Wilder joked he wanted Bale to stay in Spain, as the attacker's return would only make life harder for his team.

"I said a couple of years ago when we first landed in the Premier League when Eden Hazard was going to Real Madrid that I'd give him a lift to the airport," he told reporters.

"Hopefully Gareth stays in Madrid, it's a lovely place Madrid and there are some great golf courses out there so don't make it any harder for us."

On their return to the Premier League last season, Sheffield United finished ninth in the table and just five points behind sixth-placed Tottenham.

Wilder, whose team face Burnley in the EFL Cup on Thursday, said he was unsurprised Bale wanted to return to England.

"I'm not surprised that he wants to come and play in the Premier League," he said.

"Our experience over the last year has been fabulous and we want more of that and I suppose there'd be a lot of Spurs fans wishing that to happen.

"But I don't think there'd be a lot of Sheffield United fans wishing that to happen because that just causes another problem when we have to play the likes of Tottenham and the other big hitters."

Related items

  • Klopp hails 'outstanding' Fabinho performance against Chelsea Klopp hails 'outstanding' Fabinho performance against Chelsea

    Jurgen Klopp lauded Fabinho for an "outstanding" performance at centre-back in Liverpool's 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Sunday.

    With Joe Gomez and Joel Matip injured, Fabinho moved into the centre of defence alongside Virgil van Dijk and produced a fine display at Stamford Bridge.

    Sadio Mane's second-half brace lifted Liverpool to a second straight win to begin the Premier League season, with the attacker earlier brought down by Andreas Christensen that led to the defender being sent off.

    Klopp hailed Fabinho for his performance, although Liverpool needed a penalty save from Alisson to deny Jorginho to keep their clean sheet.

    "If Sadio wouldn't have scored two goals, I think Fab would be a proper contender for man of the match," the Liverpool manager told a news conference.

    "I loved his performance, he played outstanding. He helped us a lot with the ball and in defending as well, so yes, a proper performance."

    Fabinho made a game-high four interceptions and gained possession 12 times, while completing 86 of his 89 passes.

    In a further boost for Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara made his debut, replacing Jordan Henderson at half-time.

    But Mane starred with his brace and Klopp said the attacker's second goal, when he dispossessed Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, highlighter Liverpool's hunger.

    "It says everything about that and it says everything about the team as well. I love that because we have these situations quite a lot – that we chase the goalie," he said.

    "I think in the first half Sadio was really close to blocking it there already but you just have to do it. I love it when we get the rewards for these kinds of situations.

    "The first goal was a nice piece of football, everybody involved pretty much. [Roberto] Firmino cross and then Sadio comes in front of his man, so it's really difficult to defend. Good goal and gave the game the right direction. That's exactly what we have to show all the time, that's what we wanted to show today.

    "I saw us today, I saw us playing football today and I'm completely fine with that. I loved it."

    Liverpool face Lincoln City in the EFL Cup on Thursday before hosting Arsenal in the Premier League four days later.

  • Gattuso: Napoli need to raise funds but I'd be happy to keep Man City and PSG target Koulibaly Gattuso: Napoli need to raise funds but I'd be happy to keep Man City and PSG target Koulibaly

    Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso acknowledged Kalidou Koulibaly is likely to leave the Serie A club but he would be happy to keep the star defender.

    Koulibaly has been strongly linked with Premier League giants Manchester City and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Napoli look to raise funds following the club-record signing of Victor Osimhen.

    The 29-year-old Koulibaly played as Napoli opened their 2020-21 Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Parma on Sunday and Gattuso hailed the in-demand centre-back, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United.

    "I had no doubts, he is one of the strongest champions in the world in his role," Gattuso said via Sky Sport.

    "He has always given me great availability and always trains well. I would be sorry to lose him, both for the man and for the player.

    "But you know that numbers are important for clubs and at this moment something needs to be done for numbers, but I'd be happy to keep him."

    Osimhen made his debut for Napoli, coming off the bench to inspire the visitors as Dries Mertens and captain Lorenzo Insigne scored against Parma.

    Gattuso added: "It's not about numbers, but the principles of football. We know Osimhen is an added bonus, but we need to run before we have quality, because quality is not enough on its own.

    "We must set out the team with the right concepts and protect the defence, but we knew that Osimhen could give us another gear in the final 20-25 minutes today.

    "Osimhen is a lad who, in the 25 days I've been working with, I can tell doesn't forget where he started from, who made sacrifices, lost his family very young and has the head of a 40-year-old on 21-year-old shoulders.

    "I am confident he won't change, as he has a great attitude and at this moment is a better player than he's so far shown on the pitch."

  • Premier League data dive: Thiago passes first test, Son and Kane star for Spurs Premier League data dive: Thiago passes first test, Son and Kane star for Spurs

    Liverpool ruthlessly capitalised on playing against 10 men in the second half as they eased to victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

    The reigning champions have won two from two at the start of the new campaign, as is also the case for Leicester City after they saw off Burnley in the late kick-off.

    Brighton and Hove Albion are up and running after a worthwhile journey north, while Tottenham leaned heavily on two of their superstars to put Southampton to the sword.

    With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on another busy day in the Premier League.

    Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool: Thiago makes debut as champions triumph

    A close contest at Stamford Bridge changed complexion when Andreas Christensen was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

    Sadio Mane, the player fouled by the defender, went on to score twice after the break, making him just the third Liverpool player to get a brace of goals at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era. The others? Steve McManaman, back in December 1995, and Philippe Coutinho, who did so in October 2015.

    However, the scorer was overshadowed somewhat by new team-mate Thiago Alcantara, who replaced the injured Jordan Henderson at half-time having only completed his move on Friday.

    Still, the Spaniard managed to complete more passes (75) than any Chelsea player in the entire match. Indeed, since full passing data became available for the Premier League in the 2003-04 season, his total number of successful passes is the most by a player who featured for a maximum of 45 minutes.

    Jorginho missed a penalty for Chelsea too, his first failure in nine attempts for the Blues in all competitions. Alisson not only produced his first save from the spot for Liverpool since joining the club but also his first save of the season.

    Southampton 2-5 Tottenham: Bale force! Son and Kane steal the show 

    Saturday was all about a returning hero for Spurs fans, as the club confirmed Gareth Bale was coming back from Real Madrid on a season-long loan. Less than 24 hours later, Son Heung-min became the headline act for Tottenham, aided by Harry Kane playing a sublime supporting role in a comprehensive win.

    Son scored four of his side's goals at St Mary's Stadium. All of them were set up by Kane, who became just the sixth player to assist four goals in a single Premier League game. No Englishman had previously achieved the feat.

    To put that into context, Kane – who also scored Spurs' fifth in the rout – only provided two assists in the 2019-20 season, albeit he did miss a large chunk of that due to injury. 

    All this came after Southampton had taken the lead, though their failure to hold onto the advantage given to them by Danny Ings should hardly be a surprise. Since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, no side has squandered more points from winning positions in the Premier League. 

    Still, this was a day to admire the victors, not the vanquished. Son and Kane were simply too much for Southampton; the dynamic duo have now combined for more league goals (24) than any other pairing in the competition since the South Korean joined in August 2015. 

    Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls soar thanks to Maupay

    What a difference a week makes. Newcastle United were so impressive in their opener at West Ham, while Brighton were well beaten at home by Chelsea. However, the Seagulls' long journey provided plenty of positives, Graham Potter's team running out comfortable winners against accommodating hosts who failed to muster a shot on target. 

    Neal Maupay had Brighton two ahead inside seven minutes, the earliest brace for a player in the Premier League since Manchester City's Edin Dzeko scored twice in the opening four minutes against Norwich City back in December 2012. 

    Maupay also set up Aaron Connolly for a third goal late on, with the only disappointment for the visitors the late red card shown to the impressive Yves Bissouma, who had more touches (65) than any other player while also recording a 92 per cent passing accuracy. 

    Leicester City 4-2 Burnley: Flying Foxes make it two from two

    Could history be repeated this term? Leicester have won their first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since their famous title-winning campaign in 2015-16.

    For Brendan Rodgers, there was a personal milestone. The Foxes boss recorded his 100th victory in the Premier League, becoming the 23rd different manager to reach a century and needing 210 games. Alex Ferguson (162 games), Kenny Dalglish (197) and Kevin Keegan (209) are the only British managers that did it faster.

    James Justin scored his first league goal for Leicester while Harvey Barnes was also on target, meaning he has now been directly involved in five goals in his past three Premier League games against Burnley.

    The visitors did not help themselves with Erik Pieters' own goal, Burnley's sixth in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season; the most of any current team in the competition.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.