Category Archives: English Premier League

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Jose Mourinho: Eric Bailly dropped because he is not going to World Cup

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has said that Eric Bailly has been left out of selection in the past few weeks because Ivory Coast have not qualified for the World Cup.

Mourinho added that he was obligated to give his other four central defenders the chance to shine, because Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelöf are all striving to win a place in their national squads for Russia.

The Portuguese manager also denied reports of a rift or possible sale after Bailly has not played since the Manchester derby a month ago.

“There is no situation, Eric is fine,” he said. “In all honesty my work is not about the World Cup and preparing players for their national teams. I try to be a good team manager and that means being a little bit cold and selfish at times, but I am not as bad as all that and I still have space for a little bit of feeling.”

“If I have to make an emotional choice then Eric is the one I am not going to help. The other four are all fighting for a place.”

United will visit Brighton on Friday night with the home side knowing a victory would make Premier League survival mathematically certain, though Mourinho believes Chris Hughton has already done enough to keep his side up.

“Chris has done a very good job and all he needs to turn that into an amazing job is for safety to be mathematically confirmed,” he said. “Personally, I think Brighton have enough points already.”

Mourinho will also have the opportunity to give Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford a rare start in the middle, because Romelu Lukaku is in Belgium for treatment on an ankle injury in an effort to be fit for the FA Cup final http://sportsnowadays.comon 19 May.

“They have had limited opportunities because Romelu has been playing so well but I trust them both,” he said.

Arsene Wenger praises ‘nice’ gesture from Manchester United

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Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger thanked Manchester United for his warm reception, joking before his team’s 2-1 defeat that he was no longer a “danger” to them.

Wenger, 68, completes 22 years of servitude at Arsenal at the end of the season, was managing them for the final time at Old Trafford.

To mark the occasion, Sir Alex Ferguson presented on United’s behalf a vase to the 68-year-old Frenchman before kick-off. Asked about his ovation as he walked along the touchline, Wenger said: “When you’re not a danger any more, people love you.

“I am thankful to Manchester United because they had a nice gesture. It is the first time I get a trophy before a game. It is very classy from them.”

Wenger fielded an inexperienced squad that was Arsenal’s youngest in the fixture since August 2011 and, after losing to an added-time Marouane Fellaini header, believes whoever succeeds him will take over a squad of depth.

“My successor will watch this game and hopefully he will come to a positive conclusion because I think they are the future of Arsenal football club – some, 100%,” Wenger said. “We had a very young team and the performance was positive.”

“The players are destroyed because they gave everything and were caught in the final minute. There were many question marks if we would be strong enough to fight but the quality was good, the spirit was good, many players stood up. We tired a bit in the last 20 minutes and were a bit more under pressure. It was a negative result and a positive performance.”

Paul Pogba opened the scoring on 16 minutes before Henrikh Mkhitaryan equalised against his former club on 51 minutes.

Victory puts United in pole position for a second-place finish with 77 points with three games remaining, although Romelu Lukaku’s foot injury later in the second half is of concern with the FA Cup final on 19 May.

14-year-old Everton fan became football’s first “remote” mascot

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Jack McLinden, 14, became part of football history as he served as a “remote” matchday mascot for the Premier League game against Newcastle United with the aid of a robot.

McLinden has multiple health conditions and severely reduced mobility but was able to experience joining his heroes on the pitch thanks to the AV1 telepresence robot.

Everton captain, Phil Jagielka, carried the unit onto the pitch Jack enjoying the occasion in real-time from his home via a camera, microphone and speaker linked to his tablet and by also interacting with the players in the tunnel.

The Norwegian company, No Isolation, designed AV1 to help children with long-term illness and to attend school from home and, partnered with the UK charity, WellChild, to give the Merseyside teenager an unforgettable Goodison Park experience.

Everton’s head of engagement, Scott McLeod, said: “The most important thing for everybody at the club is that we have had the opportunity, through this amazing technology and the work with No Isolation and WellChild, to do something incredible for an inspirational young Evertonian.”

“We are thrilled to have had the chance to do this for Jack and we hope it has provided him with a memory he will always treasure.”

His mother, Michelle Wignall, added: “We are thrilled that through No Isolation and Everton Football Club Jack is able to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Everton won against Newcastle by 1-0 thanks to Theo Walcott’s goal, and Jack also got a bird’s-eye view of manager Sam Allardyce’s news conference.

“Sam carried the robot in for his press conference and it was just lovely of him,” said Michelle. “He introduced him and at the end he thanked Jack for the 1-0 win as if it was down to Jack.”

Arsene Wenger: ‘hurtful’ supporters damaged Arsenal’s image

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that supporters campaigning for the manager’s removal had created a “hurtful” atmosphere that was damaging the club’s reputation on a worldwide scale.

Wenger made it clear he was “not tired” and wanted to continue working in football, but declined to explain in full why had chosen to break his contract, stating that he would wait until he had left the club.

However, he spoke at length for the first time about the bitter divisions that have been created among Arsenal’s fanbase.

“I believe this club is respected all over the world, much more than in England, and our fans did not give the image of unity that I wanted. That was hurtful because I feel the club is respected over the world and, overall, the image we gave from our club is not what it is — and not what I like.”

“I feel this club has a fantastic image and, for me, that is absolutely vital. We can speak and speak and speak but sport is about winning and losing and you [the supporters] have to accept you will lose games, even when I will not be here anymore.”

“But it is about something bigger than just winning or losing and that was always a worry: how the club is perceived worldwide, for kids playing in Africa, China and America and the dreams it can create for young children who want to play football.”

“I am not resentful and I do not want to make stupid headlines. I just feel if my personality is in the way of what I think our club is … for me, that is more important than me staying. That is all I want to say. It is nothing to do with the fans. The fans were not happy and I can understand that. It’s my job. I have to live with that. I can accept that.”