Opinion: Reported January target could secure the title for Celtic if he joins

Opinion: Reported January target could secure the title for Celtic if he joins – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama has been linked with a move to Celtic for a while now.

Wanyama is unwanted at Spurs and he is no longer a key first-team player for Mauricio Pochettino. The defensive midfielder was expected to depart in the summer but his move fell through.

It will be interesting to see if Celtic bring him back to the club this season.

A January move would be ideal for all parties. Wanyama needs to play regularly and Spurs would like to get his wages off their books.

Furthermore, Celtic could use a powerhouse like him at the heart of their midfield.

Wanyama is a top-class player on his day and he would be a star in the Scottish Premier League. He would make a huge difference for Celtic.

It would be the kind of signing that transforms a side. He will improve Lennon’s side defensively and will allow the attacking players to play with more freedom.

Also, he will take the burden off experienced players like Scott Brown.

Rangers are pushing hard for the title this year and someone like Wanyama could help Celtic pull clear of their challengers and retain their domestic crown.

It could be a season-defining signing for them.

Celtic should do everything in their power to bring him back to the club when the transfer window reopens in January.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Guillem Balague explains how Tottenham’s new stadium has hindered Pochettino’s tactics

Guillem Balague explains how Tottenham's new stadium has hindered Pochettino's tactics – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Tottenham Hotspur are currently going through a very rough patch following a woeful start to 2019-20.

They have been dumped out of the League Cup, suffered a 7-2 loss at the hands of Bayern Munich at home and have won just three of their eight Premier League games.

Spurs headed into the international break with a 3-0 loss to Brighton Hove and Albion, and will look to turn things around when action resumes this weekend.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has cut a frustrated figure in the dugout and during some of his press conferences, and is without a doubt under a lot of pressure.

The Argentine has been widely backed to get Tottenham back on track, but Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reckons the club’s new stadium could have played its role in the side’s struggles.

“In his first years the system used most often was 3-4-3 or a 4-4-2 with offensive full-backs and mobile forwards, but it suddenly became clear to Pochettino and his team last season that their squad possessed an abundance of defensive players and so they began to play five at the back,” Balague told BBC.

“That stops that pressure high up the pitch as the number of players upfront is reduced. The players in the squad are also older and, frankly, many of them simply do not have the ‘legs’ they had three or four years ago. The youthfulness and vigour of the side when Pochettino first arrived, if not totally a thing of the past, has diminished.

“It is also worth noting that it is considered easier to play a high-pressure game on the smaller White Hart Lane surface they used to call home, compared to the longer and slightly wider pitches of Wembley and the new stadium.”

It will be interesting to see if Pochettino can come up with a different style of play as his current tactics are clearly not working.

Given Tottenham’s limited financial strength, a complete squad overhaul isn’t on the cards, but key departures are expected in the next two transfer windows.

Moreover, the club could do with new legs with some of their key players ageing, and how Pochettino sorts things out in the coming months will put his managerial and tactical prowesses to test.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Andrea Radrizzani blasts Sky Sports after Nketiah claims, sends message to the fans

Andrea Radrizzani blasts Sky Sports after Nketiah claims, sends message to the fans – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Leeds United loanee Eddie Nketiah grabbed a hattrick for England’s under-21 in the 5-1 win over Austria last night, and as expected, fans called for his inclusion in manager Marcelo Bielsa’s starting line-up.

The Arsenal kid is yet to start a Championship game for the Elland Road outfit since arriving on a season-long loan on summer transfer deadline day.

Nketiah has two goals in seven league appearances for Leeds and two others in as many League Cup games.

However, Patrick Bamford remains Bielsa’s first-choice striker.

Following his heroics last night, Sky Sports claimed Nketiah isn’t unhappy with his bench role at the club and a Leeds fan urged Bielsa to start him on Saturday or play him and Bamford together.

Whites owner Andrea Radrizzani has reacted to the tweet, blasting Sky Sports for having so much interest in making news out of the club and has sent this message to the fans:

Bristol City have been linked with a January interest in Nketiah, and it will be interesting to see what happens between now and then.

Leeds beat the Ashton Gate outfit and others to the signature of the 20-year-old, and Arsenal, who want him to play regularly have the option to recall him in January.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Report shares what triggered Snodgrass’ international retirement decision

Report shares what triggered Snodgrass' international retirement decision – originally posted on Sportslens.com

According to The Sun, West Ham United winger Robert Snodgrass decided to call time on his international career with Scotland after he learnt he was being dropped from the starting line-up for the San Marino game.

That became obvious during Saturday’s training when he was excluded from a 10 v 8 match-up – which featured six changes from the team that lost to Russia on Thursday.

The 32-year-old forward was also likely not to have made Steve Clarke’s XI for next month’s games against Cyprus and Kazakhstan after the manager decided to ring the changes following the 4-0 defeat to Russia.

Snodgrass made his Scotland debut in 2011, going on to earn 28 caps and scoring seven games.

The West Ham man announced his decision on social media on Tuesday, and will now look to fully concentrate on his club career.

Snodgrass initially withdrew from the Scotland squad on Saturday after a calf injury had flared up before informing Clarke of his decision on Monday night, and it remains to be seen if he will be fit for the Hammers’ trip to Everton this weekend.

He has started just a Premier League game for West Ham this season, coming off the bench thrice.

The attacking midfielder featured in both of the Hammers’ League Cup clashes and will now hope his international retirement can help boost his chances at the London Stadium and keep his club career going for a few more years.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Kyle Walker’s hilarious six-word reaction to Zinchenko celebrating Ukraine’s Euros qualifications

Kyle Walker's hilarious six-word reaction to Zinchenko celebrating Ukraine's Euros qualifications – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko helped Ukraine secure a spot at next summer’s European Championships following a 2-1 win over Portugal on Monday night.

The 22-year-old featured in all 90 minutes for his side, playing on the left of a three-man midfield and helping with the defensive duties.

The Man. City left-back played a role in helping to keep Cristiano Ronaldo in check, and he was more than excited with the victory.

Zinchenko was in cloud nine post-game, and a video of him celebrating his country’s qualification for Euros 2020 is currently doing the rounds on the internet.

His City teammate Kyle Walker has reacted to it hilariously on Twitter thus:

Ukraine missed out on last summer’s World Cup in Russia, and Zinchenko would have been very gutted.

So, it’s no surprise to see how jubilant he got after helping them to qualify for his second major international tournament.

The City star has been a key player under manager Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, and while helping his club side defend their domestic treble and also challenge for the Champions League is definitely top of his plans this season, the youngster is definitely more than excited for next summer’s international showdown, and he will be eagerly looking forward to it.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Rashford and Maguire react to Aston Villa star’s England debut

Rashford and Maguire react to Aston Villa star's England debut – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Aston Villa centre-back Harry Maguire made his Three Lions’ debut in England’s 6-0 victory over Bulgaria last night.

The 26-year-old played all 90 minutes as Gareth Southgate’s men all but secured qualifications for next summer’s European Championships, and he put in a commanding and assuring performance alongside Harry Maguire in the centre of the defence.

Mings was also vocal as England players took their stand against the hosts’ shameful racist chants, and he has been widely praised for the act.

The Villa star is slowly establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the land, and could end up claiming a starting berth for himself in the national team ahead of Euros 2020.

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and Maguire were impressed with Mings’ debut and outspokeness in the face of racism, and here is how the duo reacted on Twitter:

Mings is Villa’s rock at the back, and their survival chances in the top-flight this term depend on how he fares.

Playing for England and aiming to establish himself as a regular in Southgate’s starting XI will help provide much-needed extra motivation, though, and manager Dean Smith’s side will get to benefit immensely as a result.

The Midland outfit have won just two league games since returning to the Premier League, losing four and drawing twice, and they have to do much more going forward.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

‘Fantastic’, ‘Consistent performer’: World class star raves about Tottenham ace

'Fantastic', 'Consistent performer': World class star raves about Tottenham ace – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has heaped praise on his international teammate Ben Davies.

The Welsh winger revealed that Davies is very consistent for the national team and Wales are lucky to have him in the side.

“Ben has been fantastic since he has come in, he has been a consistent performer,” said Bale. “He keeps improving every year and we are lucky to have him in the squad with us.” 

The Spurs defender will be delighted to hear these comments from his teammate and he will be looking to work harder and put in better performances.

Davies has been a back up to Rose this season and but he has impressed at the international stage. He will be hoping to impress Pochettino in training and while playing for Wales so that he can regain his starting berth.

Spurs have started the season poorly and Rose has looked out of form recently. It would be wise of Pochettino to make some changes and give Davies his chance in the upcoming games.

Although Rose is a much more accomplished full back, Davies can be a reliable defensive option at the back for the Londoners.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog