Category Archives: International Friendly

Gareth Bale: forward’s return delayed with fresh injury

Published by:

Gareth Bale’s return is delayed once more after suffering a fresh thigh injury just days after returning to training after more than a month out with a calf injury and is likely to be out for the rest of the year.

The Real Madrid and Wales International forward will be having 19th layoff during his four years at the Bernabeu after joining Real from Tottenham for a then world-record transfer fee of £85.

Thus far, Bale has missed 40 of Real Madrid’s last 60 matches while also being absent for Wales in crucial World Cup qualifiers against Serbia, Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

Wales manager Chris Coleman received the news of Bale’s fresh injury at the Stade de France ahead of a friendly against France — a game his side lost 2-0.

His team, who were denied a place in the World Cup finals, will also play Panama at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.

“I don’t know the full extent of it,” Coleman said. “He’ll be devastated. We haven’t had dialogue with Real Madrid, but we’ll speak with Gareth in the next few days and find out exactly what it is. It’s bad luck, bad news, and he’ll be gutted.”

“The harder you try to get back you get a setback and sometimes you have to go through that. He’ll get over and he’ll be back. He just needs to get settled again and get his fitness. He needs to take his time and not rush himself back.”

“Some players as they get older they change their schedule,” Coleman added. “That’s up to him and Real Madrid. When he’s with us all our players have different programmes at different times of the week because we know what they do with their clubs. We have to make sure we taper that in with the way we work.”

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss tells media to be calm over friendlies

Published by:

Jurgen Klopp has called on the media not to get carried away with England’s showing in their forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

England, led Gareth Southgate will face the world’s two highest-ranking nations at Wembley on Friday and next Tuesday respectively as they begin their build-up to next summer’s World Cup.

There is anticipation in those exhibition games both due to the calibre of opposition and the fresh and youthful nature of Southgate’s squad, after the head coach has dropped seven players from England’s previous call-up in addition to bringing in uncapped players.

However, Klopp has called for caution and even suggested that the Football Association may be mistaken in choosing two such strong opponents.

“If you want to play a friendly you should choose another team than Germany. And Brazil is the second one, that’s really funny,” said the Liverpool manager. “All the journalists need to cool down and don’t expect too much. It’s not that they [England] cannot win, of course, but you make it too big if they win, too big if they lose.”

“When qualification was over, people said now the problems start because the tournament is coming up. So England has a bunch of fantastic young players, that’s how it is. I’m not sure how Germany will line up but it’s a very good game for sure but I would not say it should be a sign for the future.”

Klopp also feels England’s prospects lies in their youth group who won the under-17s’ recent World Cup triumph following on the back of the under-19s winning the European Championship and the under-20s also being crowned world champions.

“The sign for the future was the Under-17 and the Under-20 World Cup successes,” Klopp said. “We have to make sure they are coming through.”

England: Gareth Southgate drops stars for international friendlies

Published by:

England coach Gareth Southgate has dropped a handful of stars ahead of international friendly games against Brazil and Germany.

Southgate dropped a total of seven players after he claimed that there were people in his squad who had not necessarily justified their inclusions and were in fact, lucky to be involved during their last international fixture.

“I don’t think anybody can sit back and safely think they’re going to be involved next summer,” he said. “In every position on the field there’s really strong competition. If I had to do it tomorrow [pick a squad] I’d know who I’d take, but over the next six months that could evolve drastically.”

Former U-21 coach Southgate also said that some players who were in his squad for the World Cup qualifiers “are not playing regularly with their club at the moment”. Forwards Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe, as well as the Manchester United defender Chris Smalling are amongst the prominent stars dropped by the manager.

“We want to play a certain way,” Southgate added. “We want to see the players we’ve brought in using the ball from the back and building up in a certain way. I have huge respect for Chris and he’s obviously at a big club. I think he can [play that way]. But we have players like John Stones, Eric Dier and Harry Maguire who are even better.”

In place of the dropped players Southgate has called up a trio of uncapped players in Joe Gomez, Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus‑Cheek, with the manager also insisting that this was the time to experiment and try to help shape the England squad.

“Now we’ve got a phase where, OK, let’s see what’s possible here: how can we evolve the team, how can we take it forward, how can we give some of the young players that we’ve seen over the summer coming through?” he explained.

“And whether I see the benefit of that, or whether other England managers down the line see the benefit of that, I think it’s the right thing to do for English football.”

France and England thrill in five-goal friendly

Published by:

The France and England international both thrilled in an entertaining five-goal friendly match that Les Blues won by 3-2 in Stade de France.

The night was filled emotional scenes before kick-off, with the crowd singing the Oasis hit Don’t Look Back In Anger and France fans joining England supporters in singing the national anthem in memory of those who died in the Manchester and London attacks.

Then, only nine minutes after kick-off, England captain Harry Kane gave his team a dream start when he turned in Ryan Bertrand’s cross.

However, the pace and movement of the France attack quickly overwhelmed manager Gareth Southgate’s experimental three-man defence.

While England goalkeeper Tom Heaton managed to keep out efforts from Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and then Djibril Sidibe put the hosts ahead, and the Burnley keeper was subsequently replaced by Stoke City’s Jack Butland.

Still, England managed to find an equalizer three minutes after half-time when Kane scored once again from the penalty spot following a collision between Raphael Varane and Dele Alli which required the intervention of the video assistant referee Marco Guido.

Guido confirmed referee Davide Massa’s original decision to award the spot-kick, resulting in the sending off of Varane.

But France remained uncowed and tormented England’s defence, and with their maintaining of the pressure it was no surprise when their winner came eventually, 12 minutes from time when Ousmane Dembele for a powerful, low finish.