Norman Hunter Passes Away From COVID-19

One of the most infamous legends in British football history has passed away after contracting the novel coronavirus. This individual was Normal Hunter, who played with Leeds United as a forward. He’d dominate over the competition and become known for tackling players to the ground when it was still permitted. Norman acquired the nickname, “Mr Bites Yer Legs”. Norman Hunter would be a critical asset during Leeds United most infamous and historical era in football.

While playing with Leeds United, Norman spent fourteen years at the LUFC home stadium of Elland Road. During this significant campaign, two league championship titles would be acquired. These victories gave him a specialized seat on the 1966 England National Football Team, who won the World Cup. Older and younger fans behind Norman Hunter were shocked to learn he’d been admitted into an unnamed hospital. It’d follow after he’d test positive for COVID-19.

Condolences for this significant loss immediately were provided through social media. Eddie Gray, a former teammate of Norman Hunter with Leeds United FC, mentioned that he was one of the best athletes to play the sport. Gray also noted that Norman was more than a tackler but a notable footballer with professional capabilities. Most forget that Norman Hunter wasn’t provided with the opportunities deserved because his legend was dominated over by the iconic Bobby Moore.

Leeds United FC provided a formal statement regarding the passing, expressing that an unfilled void has been left in this football family. It was remarked that LUFC Fans wouldn’t forget the legacy of Norman Hunter. Sentiments from Leeds United finished with their thoughts and prayers towards the Norman Family.

It should be mentioned that Normal Hunter joined the Leeds United Association at fifteen, experiencing his entire career with a singular association. Throughout his lengthy career of fourteen years, more than 700+ professional matches were played. Norman stands as the 4th longest-playing footballers in Premier League History, which is an accomplishment not easily reached. It’s expected that organizers with Leeds United FC will honour Norman Hunter once the COVID-19 pandemic has concluded in Great Britain. It’s not known when the Premier League will begin their 2020 Season, with it being postponed indefinitely until Great Britain lifts their nation-wide lockdown.

MLS Weekly Roundup for February 17th

Three significant new stories were released to MLS supporters this week. The 1st is related to the LA Galaxy, who announced that they’re considering to contract out Lionel Messi. Born in Argentina, Lionel Messi includes the option to leave Barcelona yearly with the end of each season. The latest contract for this professional athlete expires following June 2021, leaving countless outfits in the Premier League and Major League Soccer, negotiating for Messi’s updated contract.

The announcement that Lionel Messi could join the Los Angeles Galaxy Football Club came from Radio Continental. Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the Argentina Head Coach for LA Galaxy, confirmed to this radio channel that they’re interested in this potential contract. It’d follow after Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t adhere to his contract with LA Galaxy, who abruptly left to enter an illegal agreement with AC Milan.

Differences in leagues forced this otherwise illegal action to go unnoticed for punishment. Guillermo wants to avoid this going forward with any other potential famous athletes, with Lionel Messi infamous for his loyalty to new outfits. It should be noted that neither Guillermo Barros Schelotto nor Lionel Messi has begun discussing if he’ll move State-Side following the 2021 MLS Season.

Javier Hernandez Starts Preseason with LA Galaxy

Another announcement regarding the Los Angeles Galaxy Football Club was made this week as well. Representatives with the team confirmed that Javier Hernandez had made his debut preseason appearance on Saturday, February 15th. LA Galaxy competed against the Toronto FC, who dominated over Los Angeles by 2-1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

Javier Hernandez was considered one of the best components for the LA Galaxy’s side, with him being the single-player to acquire a goal. When it applies to the Toronto Football Club, two points were achieved through Alejandro Pozuelo and Infunayachi Achara. These points were obtained through the false strategic behaviours implemented by Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The LA Galaxy Football Club competed next week on the 22nd against Chicago Fire FC.

LA Galaxy will have to formulate new strategies to compete for the MLS Championship. Both the Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC are looking to be the best teams in 2020. It’d follow a similar pattern from last season, which works against LA Galaxy, who used to be considered the team outfit in MLS with David Beckham. They’d hope similar popularity with Zlatan, who let down team owners and managers by leaving without any warning.

Matthew McConaughey’s Austin FC

Major League Soccer completed its expansion period last week, with numerous new cities acquiring their respective football club. Austin FC was one of the first teams acquired throughout the expansion period, with their first matchup now being played until 2021. However, this hasn’t stopped team executives or owners from creating buzz around the Texas-based football club. This is mainly because of Matthew McConaughey, who is one of the co-owners of Austin FC. The infamous Hollywood Actor often can be found at sporting events like Soccer or Formula One.

When appearing at Chelsea’s Playoff Matchup, he began speaking with reporters on Austin FC. He noted that they’ve acquired their general manager and that the stadium has already started being developed. Matthew mentioned that this stadium would seat 22 thousand fans, with future players already being contacted by team representatives. Many have begun speculating that McConaughey was looking for potential players at this matchup, where he was seen speaking with Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odio. Acquiring these two players would immediately make Austin FC a dominating force in MLS.

Matthew McConaughey expressed that he hopes the trend for American Players joining European Leagues will continue to grow. He emphasized that this shows MLS Academies are beginning to create formidable players, with youth soccer in the United States increasing by 10% annually. However, Matthew also expressed his commitment to Austin FC and has created a ten-year plan. The chances that Callum Hudson-Odio is moving to the Texas-based football club is growing, with his contract slated to end on December 31st, 2020. However, Christian Pulisic will most likely remain in the Premier League going forward.

The Plugs

This superstar mentioned how he has travelled the entire globe and that football can be found at any corner. This has led sports analysts to believe that Matthew McConaughey is seeking new talent in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Subsequently, a championship team could be created in their premiere year in Major League Soccer. The actor expressed that he believes in youth soccer and plans to develop numerous organizations worldwide, with the assistance of Austin FC, to promote this level of the sport. Subsequently, new talent that nobody would’ve anticipated could come in fifteen years.

None of the representatives with Austin FC, Team Owners, or Coaching Staff has provided any details of which official players there looking for in 2021. Any of the star players in MLS or the Premier League will immediately be taken into consideration. Will inform our readers when additional details are released.

Liverpool and Manchester City Complete a Phenomenal Season

There weren’t any unexpected twists on the last day of the Premier League. Just two of the best clubs that England has ever seen doing precisely what they’ve been doing in every league game in the last couple of months: winning.

Manchester City has managed to accumulate 198 Premier League points out of a possible 228 over the last two seasons. That showcases a level of dominance that has never been seen before in the Premier League, and it offers cause to think when it comes to those that ridiculed the achievements by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Equally impressive is the fact that Manchester City was pushed until the end by the Reds, which is a true statement of the work done by their rivals. Most of us were too focused on the overall storylines that we never stopped to marvel at the work both these managers achieved in the 2018/19 Premier League season. Both individually and collectively as well as in the way they represented their clubs in the campaign. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at each of these clubs.

Manchester City

Manchester City was defeated 2-1 by Newcastle towards the end of January. From there on in, Man City only conceded four goals in the last 14 games. This occurred although Fernandinho only started in 5 of these games even though he is considered irreplaceable when it comes to the defence. Down the field, Pep Guardiola put his trust in two footballers who only a handful would have seen as critical contributors to their victory, one old, one young.

Oleksandr Zinchenko started as a winger but was under the radar for most of last year. However, in the previous 3 months, he was an ever-present left back, which gave the impression that he’d been part of the team for years. Vincent Kompany, a player who was slowed by injuries, seemed to have become a non-playing footballer in the last couple of years.

However, he was a secret weapon in the final weeks, especially when he scored his phenomenal goal while playing against Leicester City. He is one of the reasons why Manchester City lifted the trophy.

Liverpool

Liverpool, on the other hand, only lost one league match the entire season while boasting with the best defensive record within the league. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson as full-backs, along with Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, received loads of praise.

However, has anyone considered Joel Matip? Eighteen months ago, when he suffered from injuries and when van Dijk arrived, he seemed the had fallen behind. However, he joined the starting line-up in January and has been ever-present ever since.

Look at Naby Keita and Fabinho, two wildly expensive players that didn’t do much during the first three months. Klopp worked on them during the season, and both of them played vital roles in midfield.

Liverpool Claims Another Win Against Southampton

Jurgen Klopp informed reporters that they shouldn’t stress about Mohamed Salah. Fifty-five days after he scored his 49th goal for Liverpool, he managed to score his 50th goal to transform what seemed like a nervous draw against Southampton into a phenomenal 3-1 victory on Friday that allowed Liverpool to reclaim the Premier League top spot for at least another nine days.

Mohamed Salah on His 50th Goal for Liverpool

Mohamed Salah seemed jittery all evening. Nothing he tried was on point. His passes were a little off, the ball seemed to get caught under his feet, and he was stumbling here and there for most of the game. Similar to previous games, he seemed desperate to score a goal, frantically attempting to put a stop to his poor form of late.

However, when he eventually got the ball from the header of Jordan Henderson, he made a run for goal on a counterattack, and it seemed like he entered a state of trance 50 yards away from goal. Although he had several passing options, he decided not to use it and instead go for glory. Salah was never going to miss this little opportunity. While the world was on pause, he selected his spot and drove the ball into the back of the net like a real football star.

“I never considered passing the ball as you need to score when you are a striker,” stated Salah after the match. He provided the perfect combination of nerve and technique when he made his way down the pitch to score his 50th goal. It was even more impressive when Henderson managed to score the third goal of the game which was considered the nerve-settler of the match. Also though he is not regarded as the most exceptional player in the team, he provides the necessary caution that brings with it certainty and control.

Jurgen Klopp’s Decisions with Liverpool

Klopp initially wanted to provide his captain the evening off, leaving James Milner and Jordan Henderson on the bench, while Fabinho and Naby Keita were brought onto the field. However, when Southampton made another run down the pitch passed the wispy midfield of Liverpool, changes had to be made, and Henderson was brought onto the field to make an impact. It worked beautifully in Klopp’s favour as Henderson provided the crucial goal to ensure Southampton couldn’t end the game in a tie.

You can easily make a case that this match was the most difficult when compared to the remaining games Liverpool still need to play. The revival of Southampton included wins against Arsenal and Tottenham. This is quite impressive when you consider that Southampton was below Huddersfield when Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived at the club.

Liverpool now needs to face Wolves, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Cardiff City, and Chelsea in the Premier League before the campaign comes to an end. They will also need to face Porto on two occasions in the Champions League before then.

How Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Can Finish in the Top 4

The title race for the Premier League between Liverpool and Manchester City is alive and well. However, when you look at the clubs behind them, things are equally compelling in the fight for the top-four places. With just 3 points between Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham, it’s finally possible to make a case as to where each team might end up.

Tottenham Hotspur

The wait is finally over for Tottenham to make their return to White Hart Lane. The stadium has offered a crucial morale boost for the club that is currently struggling after they only made 1 point in the last five games. The 2-0 win against Crystal Palace doesn’t solve the question entirely of how well each player adjusted, but fans are much happier in the great new arena, following two years of travelling from London to Wembley. A place that never honestly felt like home. Tottenham Hotspur also has a relatively easy run going forward. Apart from Manchester City, they can enjoy a few simple home games against Everton, West Ham, Brighton, and Huddersfield along with an away trip to face Bournemouth.

Arsenal

The 2-0 win against Manchester United in March represented the last fixture against a Big 6 club, which means their remaining run is much easier on paper. Arsenal has also managed to collect 16 points in their previous 6 matches. Unai Emery has also managed to get the perfect balance with his team after spending the first half of the season changing and chopping. If things continue down this glorious path, Arsenal will be in the top 4 of the Premier League.

Chelsea

The 3-0 win against Brighton might prove crucial, especially when you consider that Maurizio Sarri’s brand-new changes made a significant impact on the field. Fans of Chelsea remain anti-Sarri. However, the use of Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Oddi proved very popular on the pitch, giving Chelsea a breath of fresh air going forward. If the club can create a winning streak going forward with new players on the field successfully doing what they need to do, Chelsea can make a significant impact on the top 4 teams in the Premier League.

Manchester United

Manchester United has four matches at home out of 6, with the away games being played against Huddersfield and Everton. There’s also a feel-good atmosphere at Old Trafford, and while the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba haven’t been in the same form, they showcased during the first few months under Solskjaer, the overall improvement on the tenure of Jose Mourinho is very clear. Manchester United are the least favourite team to make it to the Champions League semi-final this year because they are playing against La Liga giants, Barcelona. However, this gives them the perfect opportunity to place all their focus on the remaining Premier League games to ensure they reach the top four.

Manchester City Can Become Immortal

Manchester City is currently chasing history. The team’s journey to Craven Cottage to play against Fulham on the 30th of March 2019 will make the first of a potential 15 matches in 64 days. This journey will end with Manchester City and Pep Guardiola becoming immortals in the world of football.

There hasn’t been an English club that has managed to achieve a clean sweep of the competition in a season. In 1999, Manchester United claimed victory in the Champions League, the FA Cup, and the Premier League, while in 1984, Liverpool won the European Cup, the League Cup, and the Premier League. Liverpool also managed to win a treble of cup competitions, including the UEFA Cup, League Cup, and FA Cup in 2001.

An Unprecedented Quadruple

After winning the Carabao Cup against Chelsea with a penalty shoot-out last month at Wembley, Manchester City are still hunting down a quadruple. Every win will take them one step closer to success in their quest. After the controversial and dramatic 3-2 victory against Swansea on the FA Cup quarterfinal on Saturday, Pep Guardiola admitted that he was tired and was in desperate need of a break. However, although the international fixtures provide a much-needed break for the players and the manager. It will only be a brief interval as the next two months will be career-defining, draining, and hectic.

Manchester City will head into the final 15 matches after an incredible run that has witnessed the team winning 18 matches and losing one from 20 fixtures in every competition they participated in. The draw against Chelsea ended in a win thanks to penalties which means they won 19 matches of the last 20. If they can maintain this kind of form, there’s no doubt that the record books will be rewritten. However, fatigue will come into play as Manchester City will need to overcome several elite opponents to claim victory in all four competitions. Their journey to the quadruple has recently been confirmed, and Manchester City is heading for a difficult two months to achieve it.

Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League

Manchester City still has 8 matches to play in the Premier League and are two points behind Liverpool at the moment. In the Champions League, Manchester City is well aware that a win against Tottenham Hotspur in the quarterfinals will set them up for a semi-final battle against either Juventus or Ajax. In the FA Cup, only Hove Albion and Brighton stand in their way to reach the FA Cup Final where they will either face off against Wolves or Watford on 18 Mat 2019.

The Premier League will be the most difficult to claim, while the Champions League is undoubtedly the most prestigious tournament to claim in 2019. Manchester City will take the FA Cup this year, but are they able to claim victory in the other two competitions to successfully rewrite history with a quadruple?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Proves His Worth at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently admitted that he wanted to give the best interview possible during his temporary spell as manager for Manchester United. He already managed to do this before his club defeated PSG to advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. However, this incredible victory will surely confirm that he is indeed the perfect man for the permanent role.

Solskjaer can’t do more to prove that he is the man to become the full-time successor at Manchester United after the match against PSG. The 3-1 result and performance being showcased in front of Sir Alex Ferguson, Avram Glazer, and Eric Cantona, it was an evening that felt like an inauguration.

The next time United makes a public announcement, it will be about Solskjaer as the new manager for United. If not, supporters of the team are going to storm the club in protest, and who would blame them?

PSG vs Manchester United

Never before had Manchester United lost a home game in a European tournament. Managing not to qualify for the next round after that. Never before, in a total of 106 attempts, had a football club fought back from a 2-0 defeat at home to progress.

However, Solskjaer’s team, missing a total of 10 senior football players due to injury. Including Paul Pogba as an 11th due to suspension, managed to rewrite the history books while playing in Paris to successfully book a place in the final eight.

To further add to the list of achievements created by Solskjaer, this was the ninth consecutive win for Manchester United, a club record. However, when asked after the match whether he had the permanent position, Solskjaer stated that he is still waiting to hear.

“No, I’m going to keep doing my job to the best of my abilities and see where it takes me,” Solskjaer stated. “It’s been a phenomenal time with the staff and players that I have working with me.

“I will continue to enjoy my job for as long as I have it. I will smile and enjoy it for as long as I can.”

Solskjaer’s Road at Manchester United

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford in December 2018. He answered an SOS from his former club who managed to drift badly off course under Mourinho in the Premier League.

Manchester United was 11 points away from the top 4 teams, and most of the senior players had various issues with Mourinho at the time, especially Paul Pogba. Solskjaer was called by the executive vice-chairman of United, Ed Woodward, to steer the ship back on course. They were salvaging something from the current season while they searched for someone else to take the role.

Mauricio Pochettino was obviously at the top of the list of Woodward. However, Solskjaer managed to restore believe with United supporters, repaired the dressing room that was broken, and placed a smile back on the face of the club.

Liverpool’s 5-0 Victory Against Watford

Liverpool’s outstanding performance in the 5-0 whipping of Watford was an example of how football should be played. The Reds produced their most significant victory of the season and managed to maintain their one-point lead against Manchester City in the title race for the Premier League trophy.

After two consecutive goalless draws, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane managed to score at Anfield. While Divock Origi also found the back of the net in only his third start of the Premier League season.

Comments from Jurgen Klopp

“This is exactly what I wanted from my team,” Klopp stated during the post-match press conference. “Even though tomorrow will bring new challenges for Liverpool, today we managed to deliver some outstanding football.

“I’m extremely happy for my players because they deserve it so much. We, unfortunately, drew against Manchester United and Bayern Munich and everyone starts talking. I’m not 100% sure what they talk about, but it all comes down to showing reactions.

“We would love to play like this in every single match, and that’s perhaps possible at times. You need to be stable, and the players on the field were constantly stable and truly fluent offensively. It was fantastic and a great example of how football should be played. We now need to do it again and again.”

Liverpool vs Watford Match Analysis

Since Roberto Firmino was injured, the Liverpool manager had to decide to let Mane lead the front line of the team against Watford, while Origi lined-up on the left0hand side. Mane managed to score two goals within 20 minutes, the first with a leaping header and the second with a creative backheel kick past Ben Forster.

“I didn’t see the backheel goal,” Klopp stated. “However, I loved the first goal, especially when he jumped so high. “Mane was placed in a new position, and he played it exceptionally well. He managed to assist in the build-up situation because he is that kind of football. However, we also needed him in the box.

“Mo Salah also played phenomenally. He wasn’t playable tonight. However, in a match where he didn’t score, he still produced an exceptional performance for his team.

“Divock is not a natural defender as a wing. However, he managed to perform quite well offensively and was a constant threat on the field. He also scored an incredible goal. Both my full-backs were flying down the wing, while the midfield produced good passes and was very flexible and aggressive. “Overall, it was just an outstanding performance. I’m delighted with my players. It was exceptional, and it helped a great deal.”

The victory witnessed Trent Alexander-Arnold become the youngest footballer to assist with three goals in a match. He managed to produce inviting delivers to both Van Dijk and Mane which allowed them to score. He was absent during the game against Manchester United, but he quickly made up for it when he played against Watford.

Neymar Could End His Season After Foot Injury

Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain football star Neymar could potentially have his second successive football season ended due to a metatarsal injury after a source confirmed that he might need to go for surgery to rectify his latest problem on his right foot.

Neymar was hobbling off in tears in the second half during their 2-0 victory over Strasbourg last week in the Coupe de France round of 32. His availability to clash against Manchester United in the round of 16 for the Champions League in February has been one of the hottest topics ever since.

Neymar’s Injury

According to sources, the Paris Saint-Germain forward has managed to fracture the same metatarsal as last year, although not in the same location. That means its quite impossible for him to recover completely before the squad makes their way to Old Trafford on 12 February 2019 to face Manchester United in the Champions League.

With Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor for the Brazil national team, currently in France to attend to Neymar’s injury, attention has turned to this year’s Copa America in Brazil as well as the final two months of Neymar’s season for PSG.

Both the Selecao Brasileira and the Ligue 1 giants are yet to comment on Neymar’s injury, and several sources confirmed that the two parties involved are still in debate whether surgery is Neymar’s only option going forward to fix the problem. However, Tite, the Brazil coach, confirmed that he wouldn’t be called up half-fit.

“We’ve been in contact with Neymar and visited the player since the injury occurred. It was a personal call from my end to see how he was doing. Should there be any information on his injury, the medical team and Edu Gaspar will pass it on. I am well aware that everyone is interested in knowing what is going on, but I know when to stay out of someone’s business, “Tite stated.

Edu Gaspar, the national team director, stated that officials in Brazil would further evaluate the situation once a full report has been submitted by Lasmar. “Keep in mind that Neymar is a player for PSG,” Gaspar stated. “We have to respect all decisions that are made by the club. Our doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, will certainly aid him. Once that’s done, we will look at technical decisions. The club is quite conservative and invited Lasmar along with other specialists to assist Neymar before making decisions.”

Possible Surgery for Neymar

Should Neymar need surgery on his right foot, his recovery time will take much longer than the last time this occurred which means his second season for PSG will end prematurely and will threaten his participation in Brazil’s Copa America on home soil.

The Brazilian boss has also admitted that he is unsure whether he’ll be able to call Neymar for a friendly fixture in March when they face the Czech Republic. All we can do now is wait for the results from his doctor to see if surgery is needed.