Monthly Archives: February 2018

West Brom chairman and chief executive sacked for poor run of results

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West Brom has sacked their chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman and placed them on gardening leave after a miserable sequence of one Premier League win in 25 matches.

The club lost 3-0 at Chelsea on Monday, and remain rock-bottom of the Premier League table.

Their only league win since they started the season with successive victories came against Brighton on 13 January, and they are five points adrift at the foot of the table.

“These changes follow Albion’s poor results this season which currently sees the club at the bottom of the Premier League,” a club statement said. “We would like to thank John and Martin for all their efforts since their appointments and wish them well for the future.”

West Brom had seen a change in managerial personnel in November, where the club appointed Alan Pardew in place of Tony Pulis; defeat by Chelsea on the reverse fixture led to Pulis’s dismissal then, and this latest move follows the defeat at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Mark Jenkins is returning to be the club’s CEO, a role he previously held for 14 years. “There is much to do but for now the focus must solely be on the remaining games of this season,” Jenkins said.

The owner, Guochuan Lai, bought West Brom from Jeremy Peace in 2016 and appointed Williams, a former Blackburn chairman. Albion were last relegated in 2009.

In 2014 Williams was named chairman of the referees’ body, the Professional Game Match Officials, before taking over at West Brom at the recommendation of outgoing owner Jeremy Peace.

Champions League: Eriksen and Kane strikes cancel early Higuain brace

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Tottenham Hotspurs put up a spirited performance against Juventus at Turin as both Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen struck to cancel out an early Gonzalo Higuain brace.

The opening of the game saw a disastrous start to Spurs’ Champions League last-16 first leg when Higuain completed a brace of goals in 10 minutes, first with a volley and then a converted penalty awarded for Ben Davies’ foul on Federico Bernardeschi.

But Spurs kept pressing and found their way back into the game when Eriksen dispossessed Giorgio Chiellini and within a few quick passes see Dele Alli sending Kane scurrying through, with the stiker then calmly rounding Buffon before rolling home a precious away goal.

The goal appeared to gave Spurs confidence as they dominated possession and with Higuain himself missing out on a first-half hat-trick after the Argentinian failed to convert a second spot-kick, awarded for Serge Aurier’s poor challenge on Douglas Costa.

Spurs, who along with their opponents played the second half tighter and more controlled, finally found their equalizer through Eriksen’s set-piece from 25 yards out. The strike was hard and low and wrong-footed Gianluigi Buffon, giving the keeper no chance.

It was therefore only natural as Mauricio Pochettino praised his Tottenham team’s character after they overcame adversity of playing away and going into the second leg with two precious away goals that could prove to be a defining advantage.

“At 2-0 down, my feeling was so bad,” Pochettino said. “We started sloppily. But we showed great character and I feel so proud. We are a young team in this competition. To show that kind of performance was fantastic.”

“We dominated possession and forced them to play deeper, and only use the counterattack. We were so focused. Only the opening minutes were difficult to handle. But after that, we dominated Juventus and that is a thing to praise.

“Not many teams come here and dominate Juventus. We showed we are mature enough to compete in this competition. It is my fourth season at the club and we are always improving in different aspects.”

Ryan Mason to retire footballing career following head injury

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Ryan Mason will retire from football on medical advice following the head injury he suffered during Hull City’s Premier League match at Chelsea in January 2017.

Mason, 26, sustained a fractured skull in a collision of heads with Gary Cahill whilst helping to defend a corner during his team’s defeat and subsequently received treatment for around nine minutes on the Stamford Bridge pitch.

The player subsequently had surgery at St Mary’s Hospital in London and was released eight days later but has since struggled with his recovery, before admitting he had “no option” but to retire and

“I have worked tirelessly in order to be able to return to the pitch,” Mason said in a statement released on his Instagram account. “Unfortunately, having taken expert medical advice, I now have no option but to retire due to the risks involved given the nature of my injury.”

“I am and always will be eternally grateful for the incredible network of people around me who have helped me to recover from what was a life-threatening injury in January 2017,” he added.

Mason began his career at Tottenham and had loan spells with Yeovil, Doncaster, Millwall and Swindon before joining Hull in a £12m move in 2016.

“Ryan has sought the guidance of numerous world-renowned neurologists and neurosurgeons who have all advised that a return to competitive football is not advised,” the Championship club said in a statement.

After Mason confirmed that his career is over, he had since been overwhelmed with messages on social media wishing him luck for the future, including one from Cahill.

“Devastated to hear today’s news from Ryan,” read a tweet from the England defender Cahill. “Competing for a corner is something we’ve done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking. Sending all my love to him and his family, and wishing him the best for the future.”

Matt Ritchie goal earns shock win for Newcastle over Manchester United

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Matt Ritchie scored the only goal for Newcastle in the second half to secure a shock victory over second-placed Manchester United at St. James Park.

The Magpies climbed out of the relegation zone and left the visitors 16 points adrift of leaders Manchester City after the Red Devils missed a string of chances to take something from a ground at which manager Jose Mourinho is yet to win a league match.

Debutant Martin Dubravka was excellent in the Newcastle goal, denying Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Ashley Young and Michael Carrick, with the hosts having a first-half penalty denied when Chris Smalling tripped Dwight Gayle.

Smalling escaped reprieve on that occasion, but was rightly booked for a ridiculous dive in the second half in the build-up to Newcastle’s goal.

The ensuing free-kick from Jonjo Shelvey was headed down by Florian Lejeune and cleverly backheeled into Ritchie’s path by Dwight Gayle, and with a left-foot shot was dispatched low into a corner of the net.

“Hopefully I’ll have bigger wins than this one with Newcastle,” says Newcastle coach Rafael Benitez. “But it was a really great game against a top side. The way we were playing, with everybody giving everything, was absolutely fantastic.”

“We have been so close in so many games and not won but, although, we were a little bit lucky at the end today I still think we deserved three points. It keeps us believing we can win against anyone.”

“Newcastle United’s players and, of course, their staff gave what they have and what they don’t have and I think that’s a beautiful thing in football,” said United coach Jose Mourinho.

“I think they came to fight for a point but found themselves 1-0 up and, from that point, went beyond all the limits. They showed everything a manager likes to see in this game. I can imagine that Benítez is more than pleased with the effort.”

Their win also raises the chances of Manchester City being crowned champions when the teams meet at Etihad Stadium on 7 April; should both teams win all of their league matches prior to that, City would only need to draw with their fierce neigbouring rivals to secure the title that day.