Football News: Review Of The Day 16th March 2018

 

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Review Of The Day 16th March 2018
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Review of the Day


Pair Face Charges Following Final Whistle Fracas

In the SPFL Dundee manager Neil McCann and St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark have been charged with 'excessive misconduct' by the SFA. The pair clashed after St Johnstone beat Dundee 4-0 at Dens Park at the weekend and their disciplinary hearing will be held at the end of the month.


Transfer Round Up

Swindon Town's new boss Phil Brown has moved swiftly to bolster his squad with the signing of free agent defender Ryan McGivern on a short-term deal. The 28 year old left Northampton Town in January. Brian Horton also arrived at the club to work as Brown's assistant manager.

Veteran forward Gary McSheffrey has signed for Grimsby Town until the end of the season.

Caio Rangel has made a loan move to Ponte Preta from Cruzeiro.

Blati Toure has left Cypriot side Omonia Nikosia to move on a free transfer to Swedish side AFC Eskilstuna.

Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv have signed Jurica Buljat from Bate Borisov of the Belarus league.

FK Vitebsk, also from Belarus, signed Nenad Adamovic on a free transfer from FK Cukaricki of Serbia.

Yannick Boli has left the Chinese Super League's Dalian Yifang to move to the MLS with Colorado Rapids.

Hammarby have picked up Erkan Zengin on a free transfer from Eskisehirspor.


Mavinga Demands Answers After Omission

Former Liverpool youngster Chris Mavinga has demanded answers from DR Congo's coach Florent Ibenge after he was once again left out of the national squad despite having an excellent season for Toronto FC. The France-born Mavinga represented the nation of his birth at youth level, switching to Congo in 2015 and made two appearances for them shortly after under Ibenge. However he has been frustrated by being overlooked ever since and wrote on social media: "Go on coach Florent Ibenge, answer me on the phone and tell me what is happening? I miss the national team; I really hope to come back very soon." Ibenge has not commented on Mavinga's absence.


Bale To Play In China Cup

Ryan Giggs has made it clear that he intends to play Gareth Bale in their two matches in the China Cup later this month, as the Real Madrid star needs minutes. Giggs said: "All players that go out are preparing for playing both games. But you have to be sensible as well. If players get a knock when they are on tour and we feel it's better they go back, they will go back early. There are players for who it is an ideal trip for them to get games and minutes under their belt - and it is for Gareth. He's started the majority of Real's league games recently, but he was on the bench for the two Champions League games. I was at the first game [against Paris St Germain] where he came on and did well in the last 20 or 25 minutes, and there is a case with a lot of the players where they need games."


Lennon Gets 3 Match Ban

Neil Lennon, manager of Hibernian in the SPFL, was sent off recently against Kilmarnock, after sarcastically applauding in a referee's face following a penalty decision he disagree with. Following the game he said: "We should be able to send referees off for their performances, instead of managers." He also called the decision he disagreed with "a scandalous decision" along with comments disparaging the standard of officiating in Scotland. An SFA charge swiftly followed and he has now received a 3 match touchline ban, with a further 2 match suspension should he breach misconduct rules again this season.


Hammers Set For Increased Police Presence

Following the rash of pitch invasions last weekend at West Ham United's London Stadium new, tighter, safety and security measures have been announced for forthcoming home games. After an emergency meeting on Thursday, it was decided that there would be an increased police presence but London Stadium's Safety Advisory Group have warned that future trouble could lead to closures. It has come to light since the game that a large number of highly organised pitch invasions were stopped as hundreds of supporters were involved in causing problems to draw security staff away from designated areas such as the directors' box.


Barnes Gets New Clarets Deal

On-form Ashley Barnes, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season, has signed a new deal with Burnley. The 28 year old now has a contract which runs out in 2021, joining Stephen Ward, Kevin Long, Nick Pope and James Tarkowski in signing new deals this season. Barnes said: "The club is only going in one direction and that's up and I'm privileged to be part of it. Come the end of season who knows where we'll be and if we can still be where we are now that would be huge credit to all the lads. I think I am playing some of my best football, but I've still got a lot to come. I'm still learning. I learn every day on the training ground."


Spurs Confident Of Kane's Return This Season

After Harry Kane once again suffered damage to his right ankle ligaments, the 3rd significant injury to them in the last 18 months, there were fears that the Tottenham Hotspur striker would miss the rest of the season. However manager Mauricio Pochettino has suggested Kane should be back before the season ends: "We're happy because he's so positive. When you see a positive player it helps us too, to believe he can be ready again to compete. The reality is now he's in his crutches and a boot and we need to assess him day by day and we'll see the reaction. We want to recover him as soon as possible and the professionals here are focused on trying to recover. We cannot put a day or date on him starting to participate in training with the team."


Besiktas Charged Over Cat Invasion

Besiktas have been charged by UEFA after a cat wandered on to the pitch during their defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. The charge levelled is insufficient organisation after the cat held up play for a number of minutes and went on to win the online Bayern Munich vote for man of the match with 81% of the vote. The Turkish club have also been charged with 'throwing objects and blocked stairways'.


Poch Calls Alli Best Young Player In The World

Despite having the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Marco Asensio, Ousmane Dembele, Leroy Sane, Malcom, Leon Bailey, Timo Werner and Gabriel Jesus to choose from, Mauricio Pochettino has called Spurs' Dele Alli the best young player in the world. Pochettino said: "It is difficult to criticise Dele. When you compare him with all the young players in the world, not only in Europe, I think he is the best. Tell me one better than him, a 21-year-old, all that he achieves. Tell me one. A current player. Maybe you can find similar or better than him? For me he is the best because he is my player too. Maybe I am not objective but for me, he is amazing, all that he is doing."


England Squad Announced As Uncapped Quartet Get Call-Ups

Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Alfie Mawson (Swansea City) Nick Pope and James Tarkowski (both of Burnley) have all been included in Gareth Southgate's 27 man squad to face Netherlands and Italy later this month. There were also recalls for Arsenal pair Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck. Oddly, Joe Hart has been included.
England squad:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Alfie Mawson (Swansea)
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (West Brom)
Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)


Ramsey Left Out By Wales To Have Minor Op

Aaron Ramsey has been left out of the Wales' squad to contest the China Cup as he is set for 'a small procedure' during the international break. Liverpool keeper Danny Ward also misses out due to an issue with his visa, which manager Ryan Giggs said was not his fault. Defender Paul Dummett was also left out as he asked not to be considered to concentrate on Newcastle United's relegation battle.
Wales squad:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Chris Maxwell (Preston), Michael Crowe (Ipswich)
Defenders: Ashley Williams (Everton), James Chester (Aston Villa), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Chris Gunter (Reading), Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Declan John (Rangers), Connor Roberts (Swansea), Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea), Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers)
Midfielders: Joe Allen (Stoke), Joe Ledley (Derby), Lee Evans (Sheffield United), Andy King (Swansea), Ryan Hedges (Barnsley), Chris Mepham (Brentford), Marley Watkins (Norwich), Tom Lawrence (Derby), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Ben Woodburn (Liverpool), Harry Wilson (Hull)
Forwards: Billy Bodin (Preston), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley)


US, Mexico, Canada Joint Bid Hit By More Cities Dropping Out

Following Vancouver's rejection from the bidding process, which they say was because it refused to comply with FIFA's requirements that included tax waivers and putting agreements under Swiss law, four more cities are now out. US cities Charlotte, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Minneapolis, Arizona and the home of the US Soccer Federation, Chicago, are all out due to 'burdensome financial demands by FIFA'. FIFA's bid documents said "the government must grant a general tax exemption for FIFA" along with the local organizing committee and any subsidiaries and "unrestricted import and export of all foreign currencies." The documents also state "the government is requested to generally establish a visa-free environment or facilitate existing visa procedures for them." FIFA also requires contracts with governments be under the jurisdiction of Swiss law.


Christensen Set For International Midfield Role

Denmark's manager has decided to stick with the centre-back pairing that got them through qualifying for the World Cup, Brentford's Andreas Bjelland and Sevilla's Simon Kjaer, but Age Hareide is determined to find a role for Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen. Hareide said: "We will definitely try him off at the defensive midfield in the two games we have now, because we have to have more options than William Kvist to the position."


Savvidis Facing Criminal Charges

PAOK Salonika owner Ivan Savvidis has been summoned to appear before a public prosecutor on Friday to face criminal charges, following his pitch invasions while carrying a gun. "He has not been seen since the incident and, under Greek law, it is no longer in our jurisdiction to arrest him," police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos said. "The matter is now in the hands of justice." After the criminal charges were announced, the tycoon's son wrote in English on Instagram: "We are off to Russia - one small message to all our enemies before I leave." The Panhellenic Federation of Police expressed dismay that Savvidis had not been arrested and asked if he had "privileged protection".


Arnautovic Denies Miami Trip Is A Holiday

West Ham United have been on a short break in the sun of Miami with pictures emerging in the papers of the squad sunning itself on the beach causing anger amongst fans of the struggling team. Forward Marko Arnautovic has denied that the trip is just a holiday for the players: "The training has been tough, and this is not a holiday for us. We came out here to take some sun, of course, but I think this was like pre-season as the training was really hard. We have to work hard, we have to stay together, like we are doing this week, until the end of the season because it's going to be really hard for us. Everybody who wears this badge has to stay together and fight until the end of the season. I think we're going to do our best to come out of this."


Varane Admits Mourinho Contact

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane has long been linked with a move to Manchester United, but now the French star has confirmed that the rumours have some substance to them. Varane has admitted to Spanish newspaper AS that he has received contact from Jose Mourinho about it: "No, not directly. There were contacts [with Mourinho], but not directly."


Ben Yedder Gets Call Up On Back Of Knocking Man Utd Out Of Champions League

Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder has got his first ever call up to the French national team after his goals saw Sevilla through to the quarter finals of the Champions League at the expense of Manchester United. Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez, who is also eligible for Spain, has also been given his first call up.
France squad:
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Florent Thauvin (Marseille)


Balotelli's Yellow For Being Racially Abused Withdrawn

The yellow card Nice striker Mario Balotelli was shown after he complained to the referee about being racially abused by Dijon fans has been rescinded. However, oddly, the French league are to take no action against Dijon as they say Dijon had no responsibility in the situation. I really have no words.


Bilbao Security Guards Attacked By Marseille Fans

Marseille fans stand accused of causing havoc on their trip to face Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League as two security guards required treatment following an attack by fans of the French club. Three supporters were detained. Marseille are likely to face action after their 'Ultras' were filmed throwing flares into the crowd of Athletic Bilbao fans.


Heracles Appoint New Boss

In the Netherlands Heracles Almelo have appointed German coach Frank Wormuth to take charge at the end of the season. Current head coach John Stegeman had announced earlier this season that he would leave at the end of the season to take over at Go Ahead Eagles.


Alonso Becomes Latest Player To Face Tax Evasion Charges In Spain

Now-retired former Spanish international Xabi Alonso has become the latest footballer to be hit with tax evasion charges as the authorities look to clamp down on celebrities hiding their image rights income in companies based in tax havens. Alonso joins Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sanchez, Javier Mascherano and Marcelo, amongst others to face charges.


Calhanoglu Calls Ref Arsenal's MOTM

As Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-1 on the night, 5-1 on aggregate, you could be forgiven for thinking it was an easy night for the Gunners. However Milan's Turkish playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu had put Milan ahead in the first half, pulling the tie back to 2-1 before a blatant and obvious dive by Danny Welbeck, in full view of three of the officials, gave Arsenal a penalty to equalise with. Calhanoglu told Milan TV: "We played well and it's not easy to do that here. We scored and then conceded an incredible goal, it's not normal in the Europa League to see something like that. Ricardo Rodriguez didn't touch him, but for the referee it was a penalty anyway. I was fouled in the first leg and didn't let myself go like that. It's obvious that was the incident that changed the game. We reacted well even after their equaliser and had chances, but this is football. The referee was the man of the match and I will never forget that."


Klopp Cites Social Media As The Reason He Will Leave Football

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was asked by the BBC if he would like to manage at the club for as long as Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, but the German dismissed the idea due to the bane of social media. "No, no, no. No way, no chance, no chance. I respect Arsene and Sir Alex a lot, I love what they did for football. But the game changed a lot especially these kind of things change a lot. I think the first 15 years from these two guys were a holiday in comparison with what they had in the last 15 years of their job, because this social media thing, I'm not on social media, I don't read it, but it has influence from all sides, I don't really understand. I am 50, I feel young in all things of life, but I'm too old for this."

Written by Tris Burke



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