Daily Archives: December 28, 2016

Swansea manager Bob Bradley sacked after 11 games in charge

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Swansea City dismissed Bob Bradley just 85 days and 11 games after the American took over from Francesco Guidolin.

Bob Bradley had been the first American to manage a Premier League club.

At the time of his arrival, Swansea were above the relegation zone only on goal difference but have picked up just eight points out of a possible 33 since, conceding 29 goals in the process.

Bradley constantly made changes to the team in search of a winning formula and there was hope that a corner may have been turned when Swansea defeated Sunderland 3-0 earlier in the month to briefly escape the bottom three.

However, three successive defeats, against West Brom, Middlesbrough and West Ham, left Swansea looking like a club fated to the relegation zone.

Their latest result – a 4-1 home defeat on Boxing Day at the hands of West Ham united – was their seventh loss in 11 games since Bradley took over on 3 October.

It left the Welsh club on 12 points – equal but just above bottom club Hull City on goal difference.

As West Ham ran riot at the Liberty Stadium, disgruntled fans vented unconcealed feelings of frustration with vocal chants of “We want Bradley out” – which could have played a part in prompting the Swansea board to take action.

“I knew exactly what I was getting into when I came to Swansea and realised the hardest part was always going to be getting points in the short run,” said Bradley following his dismissal.

“But I believe in myself and I believe in going for it. That’s what I’ve always told my players. Football can be cruel and to have a chance, you have to be strong.”

“I wish Swansea the best and look forward to my next challenge.”

In a club statement, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said: “We are sorry to lose Bob after such a short period of time. Unfortunately things haven’t worked out as planned and we felt we had to make the change with half the Premier League season remaining.”

“With the club going through such a tough time, we have to try and find the answers to get ourselves out of trouble. Personally, I have nothing but praise for Bob. He is a good man; a good person who gave everything to the job. His work-rate is phenomenal and we wish him well for the future.”

Leicester City to sign Genk midfielder Wilfred Ndidi for £15m

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Leicester City has agreed a deal to sign Genk’s Wilfred Ndidi in a deal worth £15m plus £3.5m in potential add-ons.

Born in Lagos, Ndidi was discovered by Manchester United’s Belgium scout Roland Janssen at a youth tournament in 2013. He joined Genk in 2015 and has made 62 league appearances for the Belgian club and scored four goals.

The midfielder had the first part of his medical in December and is looking to conclude the final part of the tests to join the Foxes on 1 January.

For Leicester’s part, they have applied for a work permit for the 20-year-old and will be able to announce the deal once that has come through.

The Premier League champions also had to wrestle the deal from other interested European clubs in the process. Their manager, Claudio Ranieri, sees him as the perfect replacement for French defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante, who joined Chelsea in the summer.

Leicester have struggled to replicate their performances during their title-winning campaign without the presence of the French international, and Ranieri hopes Ndidi will adapt to the Premier League quickly and help the club propel away from the relegation zone.

The club had dropped to 16th place in the Premier League table following a 2-0 defeat by Everton on Boxing day, three points above the relegation zone.

Liverpool cuts gap against Chelsea with victory over Stoke

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Liverpool cut the gap against Chelsea and took second place at the Premier League table after an energetic 4-1 victory over Stoke City.

Jon Walters headed home to give Stoke an early lead at Anfield, highlighting the home team’s persisting vulnerability in defence.

Joe Allen, a former Liverpool player, almost doubled the visitors’ lead when Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren failed to clear. The Welshman weaved his way into the area and shot low towards the far corner, forcing opposition keeper Simon Mignolet to produce a vital save with his foot.

However, Liverpool managed to respond positively, taking control of the game as Adam Lallana equalized by sweeping home from an acute angle after Glen Johnson failed to clear the danger inside his six-yard box. Robert Firmino then managed to somehow turn unchallenged in the box, and with a low shot bouncing in off the far and then near post gave Liverpool the lead one minute before half-time.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had the win in the bag, which moves them one point ahead of third-placed Manchester City – whom they play on New Year’s Eve – when Giannelli Imbula directed Divock Origi’s cross into his own net.

Striker Daniel Sturridge then completed the scoreline by picking up Ryan Shawcross’s careless back pass, rounding keeper Lee Grant and rolling the ball in to score his first league goal of the season.

The strong scoreline cuts the gap for Liverpool against Chelsea down to six, setting a perfect showdown as they host the Blues on New Year’s Eve, as Pep Guardiola’s men came off a convincing 3-0 victory against bottom team Hull City themselves.

Meanwhile, having recovered from a terrible start to the season, Stoke now find themselves in another poor run with four winless games, although there is a seven-point cushion between them and the relegation zone.