U21 Euro 2015 Qualifiers: Spain, France And Holland Knocked Out

Defending champions Spain U-21 were knocked out in the qualification play-off of Euro 2015 by Serbia U-21 in Cadiz while strong contenders France U-21 dramatically lost against Sweden U-21. Albert Celades’ La Rojita will not defend their title in Czech Republic next summer after they were beaten by Serbia. After a goalless first leg in Serbia, they lost 2-1 in Cadiz on Tuesday night. The Spaniards were boasting household names such as Javier Manquilo, Sergi Roberto, Isco, Iker Munian, Munir El Haddadi and Gerard Deulofeu but fell behind in the first half thanks to an own goal. The two teams traded goals in stoppage time but it was not enough as the Spaniards miss out on the show-piece event next summer. Spain coach Albert Celades said after the match: “We did everything we could, but in football the best team doesn’t always win. They had two shots on target and scored two goals. We played well, we had a lot […] Read more »

De Gea - The Flying Spaniard!

De Gea, Koke, Alcacer and other youngsters pivotal for Spain’s success

Spain’s recent victory against Luxembourg came felt like a breath of fresh after a few disastrous games. After sustaining 4 defeats in 6 games and a terrible World Cup, questions were raised about the abilities of Del Bosque as a coach and his unreasonable trust on certain players. There were doubts about the team’s adaptability and ability to cope with high-tempo counter-attacks. Many felt that the coach should give younger players a chance and let go of some of the deadwood. It seems like all the opinions haven’t fallen on deaf ears as Del Bosque fielded the youngest team of his reign in a game against Luxembourg which Spain went on to win 4-0. The coach dropped Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas, who had a disastrous game against Slovakia, in favour of the young and in-form David De Gea (23). Other youngsters such as Bartra (23), Dani Carvajal (22) and Alcacer (21) also got a chance on-field which meant the […] Read more »

Roy Hodgson [C] Wikipedia

Roy Hodgson Feud With Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Escalates Over Raheem Sterling

England boss Roy Hodgson’s tense relationship with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks set to continue in the wake of the controversy surrounding Raheem Sterling’s fitness. Roy Hodgson has risked inflaming his simmering feud with Brendan Rodgers by questioning the Liverpool manager’s method of keeping Raheem Sterling fit. Rodgers revealed last month that he believes in giving players, whose primary attribute is pace, a two-day recovery period from the stresses and strains caused by the speed. However, Hodgson says there is little evidence that this program benefits the recovery of an individual. “Raheem might say it is something that is becoming ingrained in him and that he felt the need to talk about being tired more than he would normally do.” Hodgson said. “We have never had any problems with that [Liverpool’s policy] but I don’t think there is a lot of medical evidence to support the two-day recovery so, if you want to, you might want to research that.” “Certainly […] Read more »

Azzuri Italy 1

Bright Start For Antonio Conte’s Italy But Caution Is To Be Observed

Gli Azzurri have reacted well so far under their new head coach Antonio Conte after a dismal showing in the World Cup in Brazil. Italy should work hard to carry on this trend and Conte himself has to deal with some unanswered problems. Italy needed a fresh start following their humiliating group stage exit in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Cesare Prandelli accepted responsibility for the failure and subsequently stepped down from his position as the head coach of the national team. Antonio Conte, who surprisingly left his job at Juventus after three consecutive Scudetto wins, took the job of restoring the pride back in the Italian national team. Antonio Conte has started his tenure as Italy manager with three impressive victories, seeing off Holland in a friendly match before claiming victories over Norway and Azerbaijan in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. They have scored six goals and conceded one so far. Still early days but the hallmarks of Conte’s […] Read more »

Tabarez masterminded Uruguay's success

New Generation Offers Hope For Uruguay

Uruguay’s recent friendlies have shown that there is hope for this tiny nation even after star players such as Diego Forlan & Diego Lugano finally call it a day. It is a great source of amazement to many that a country the size of Uruguay with a little over 3 million people manages to often punch above its weight in competitions such as the World Cup & the Copa America. They have won the former two times which is the same number that the much more fancied Argentines have won & as far as the Copa America is concerned, La Celeste are out on their own with 15 titles to their name. The majority of their success though came in the first half of the 20th century & since then they have developed a habit of hitting occasional peaks followed by long periods of disappointing performances. This point brings us to the present & a very important period for La […] Read more »