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Football News: Review Of The Day 20th February 2018

Review Of The Day 20th February 2018
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Review of the Day


Neil Hits Out At Wolves' 'Soft Foreigners'

After ten man Preston North End held Championship table-toppers Wolverhampton Wanderers to a 1-1 draw at Deepdale, Alex Neil accused the Midlands side of conning the referee to get decisions. "Against the likes of Wolves they've got a lot of soft foreign players haven't they?" Neil said. "I think a lot of them go down and look as if they're really hurt and makes the referee think the challenge is worse than it actually is. You can guarantee they're going to bounce back up within seconds and that's exactly what happened. It seems to be every time there was a free kick a booking would follow. John [Welsh] got himself got sent-off and I thought the two bookings were soft to be honest. The way the Wolves players go down and roll around it looks like they are really hurt, making the referee think it was a really bad tackle when in actual fact it was an honest attempt to get the ball. I thought John had a good game up to that point."


Morrison Takes Pride In Cardiff's Physical Approach

Cardiff City captain Sean Morrison believes his team's physical approach to games is daunting for opponents. "We 100% take pride in being a physical side," said Morrison. "I don't think many teams want to play us. Teams line up against us and see the size and physicality we have and it's quite daunting." He added: "The manager is huge on it, he won't let our standards drop and if we can keep going now, every game is a cup final. We have a huge one against Ipswich away next and hopefully we can come away with a result."


McLeish Admits Part In Attempt To Buy Charlton

Alex McLeish has admitted that his appearance in the directors' box for a couple of Charlton Athletic games was to do with a takeover attempt, though he was merely consulting for the prospective buyers. Sadly, for Addicks fans, the deal fell through as Roland Duchatelet, their Belgian owner, wanted too much money for the South London club. McLeish said: "There were friends of mine in London who looked to buy Charlton with the help of an investment company. They asked me to help them. It was a consultancy-type thing. Donald Muir and I grew up in Barrhead as kids and he lives not far away from me in London. He was going to be fronting it. But the owner was looking for too much."


Former Blackburn Defender Forced To Retire Due To Congenital Heart Condition

A deteriorating heart problem has forced Nils-Eric Johansson to retire at the age of 38. Johansson had been playing in Germany, where he spent time with both Bayern Munich and Nurnberg before Blackburn Rovers signed him for around £2.7m back in October 2001, in the days before the transfer window nonsense, and, until hanging up his boots, was still playing professional football for AIK in Sweden nearly 17 years later. His heart problem had long been diagnosed and managed throughout his career, but has now worsened and would have brought 'significant risk' to his health if he had continued to play.


Hearts Trialist Looking To Impress

Former RC Arbaa striker Ghislain Guessan has gone on trial with Hearts in the hope of winning a contract with the SPFL club. Guessan started his career with Nantes but is currently a free agent and joined the Tynecastle outfit last week for a trial period. He is set to play in the development game against Dundee United.


Kanchelskis Backs Zenit To Overcome Celtic

Former Rangers, Man Utd and Everton winger Andrei Kanchelskis backs Zenit St Petersburg to overturn a 1-0 deficit to Celtic and make it through to the next round of the Europa League. Kanchelskis said: "Celtic are in the middle of their season and we saw that. Zenit had a two-month break. That much was very obvious in the first leg. For the second leg, Celtic will play the same way they did in the first - they can only play simple football. That means nothing they can do will be a surprise to Zenit. I don't think they will go defensive either."


Nacho Novo To Wear Defibrillator Vest

Former Rangers forward Nacho Novo will have to wear a special lifesaving vest following a heart attack suffered during a legends tournament in Berlin last month. The Spaniard, now 38 years old, will have to wear the vest for the next 6 months. Novo said: "It gives me a feeling of extra security and makes being out of hospital a little less stressful. It's a worrying and scary time after a heart attack and the LifeVest gives me extra protection."


Viera Heads To China

Beijing Guoan have moved to strengthen their attack with the signing of Spanish forward Jonathan Viera from Las Palmas. Viera was on his second stint with boyhood club Las Palmas, returning from a spell in Belgium with Standard Liege.


Sessegnon Compared To Bale

On-loan Fulham defender Matt Targett has compared Ryan Sessegnon to a former team-mate of his, Gareth Bale. Targett, who is on loan from Bale's former team Southampton, was a youth player when Bale broke through into the first team at Saints and has had the chance to have a close look at Sessegnon during his loan spell. "He's going to have a great future in front of him," said Targett. "He's a massive threat and to score over ten goals already in the Championship for any midfielder that's good, but he's 17. It's a massive achievement and he's got a massive future in front of him. He's definitely right up there with the likes of Luke Shaw, Gareth Bale, you could even put. The main thing for him is he has a lot of years ahead of him, he needs to keep working hard, keep his feet on the ground and I'm sure he'll have a bright future. He's so down to earth, very grounded and he's a top professional which sets him apart from the rest."


Agent Confirms English Premier League Interest In Diawara

Napoli starlet Amadou Diawara is just 20 years old, but the midfielder has impressed many with his performances, attracting the attention of scouts from the Premier League according to his agent. "It's not easy to find the right tempo in a match situation if you only play every couple of months, especially considering his role in midfield," agent Daniele Piraino told Tuttomercatoweb. "As soon as he gets to play more consistently, we'll see the same world class player as last season. There are some Premier League clubs interested, but it's premature to talk about this."


Allan Looks To Extend Napoli Stay

Napoli's Brazilian midfielder Allan is hoping for a contract extension as his current deal expires in 2019. "I see my future here. I want to continue at Napoli, but it takes two to make a marriage," Allan told RMC Sport.


Galliani Claims Yonghong Li's Funds Were Checked

Chinese investor Yonghong Li completed a takeover of AC Milan in April 2017, since then he has been plagued by suggestions of a lack of funds, including investigations by the New York Times and Il Sole 24 Ore. It has even been suggested by Corriere della Sera that Li was already facing bankruptcy proceedings before buying the Italian giants. Former Milan CEO, Adriano Galliani, has claimed that Li provided the necessary credentials to prove he had the finances to buy and maintain the Serie A club. "Yonghong Li invested €740m to buy Milan," Galliani told Mattino Cinque. "We were assisted by a very important advisor and a famous law firm, as was Yonghong Li. Not only did he buy Milan, but another three important things happened. First of all, he presented the credentials to the Lega Calcio and was approved. Secondly, the Elliott fund loaned Mr Li over €300m, so they must've made their own evaluations. Finally, over the summer a transfer campaign worth €200m was completed, giving all the necessary financial guarantees and bank bonds that the Italian rules demand. I don't know the reality of what is happening in China, but one plus one plus one makes three, so that's how things have gone so far." One of Yonghong Li's named assets, a packing company, has been ordered to be put up for auction to repay two unpaid debts to banks by a Chinese bankruptcy tribunal.


VAR Footage To Be Shown On Big Screens During Matches In Serie A

Italy's VAR chief, Roberto Rosetti, has revealed that they plan to broadcast the footage on big screens in the stadiums to help supporters understand what is happening. Speaking to Radio Anch'io lo Sport, Rosetti said that: "Shortly, we will be able to show the incidents on the big screens inside the stadiums so the fans can see what the VAR is looking at."


Icardi Reports Denied By Inter

Inter Milan's sporting director, Piero Ausilio, has dismissed reports that Mauro Icardi is unhappy at Inter and that has been the real reason for his recent absence, rather than the official reason that has been given of a knee injury. "I think he'll be back next week," Ausilio told Sky Sports Italia. "He's always been willing and generous, but we didn't want to risk him. As I've said before, there are no problems with him with regards to his contract renewal. He has a long contract already and he is willing to see whether there are the conditions to do something different. There's no rush from him and his advisers, and there have not been any specific requests. When the time is right, we will do what is necessary."


Donnarumma Best Teen Prospect In Europe

According to the CIES Football Observatory AC Milan and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is statistically the most promising teenage player in European football. Toulouse keeper Alban Lafont was placed 2nd, with Kylian Mbappe of PSG 3rd and Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic 4th. Four English players made the top 50, Tom Davies of Everton in 7th, Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham in 10th, Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United in 20th and Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool in 41st, but surprisingly no Jadon Sancho.


Leaving Madrid The Right Thing For James

James Rodriguez left Real Madrid for a 2 year loan to Bayern Munich in the summer, after a difficult time in the Spanish capital. His dad, Wilson Rodriguez, has insisted that it was a good thing for his son: "It was a good thing for my son to leave Real Madrid for Bayern Munich, as he is now very happy," Wilson Rodriguez told Marca Claro. "He is now living a calm and happy life which mean his performances on the pitch improve and despite his love for Madrid, the best thing he could do was move on from there. He no longer had the drive and sporting happiness he had enjoyed when Carlo Ancelotti was Coach at the club. Zidane was one of his idols growing up, but he decided my son did not have a spot in the team... however, he will never criticise Zidane for that or anything related to football."


Ballack Believes Bundesliga Lags Behind English League

Former German international Michael Ballack has experience of both England and Germany, having played for both reigning champions, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Ballack believes that the English Premier League is ahead of the Bundesliga in terms of quality. "If I watch the Bundesliga, I'm interested in Bayern," Ballack told Kicker. "Behind them the level is manageable. [The Premier League is] the measure of all things. I just see a big difference in quality, but I saw that years ago. A few years ago we thought other clubs like Dortmund could at least close the gap, but it seems they are further apart."


Bordeaux Admit Nearly Losing Malcom in January

Malcom was linked with a move to the English Premier League all through the January transfer window, but no move ever actually materialised, however now Bordeaux's manager, Gus Poyet, has confirmed that he nearly did leave. Payet said about Malcom: "He is a special player who can win matches on his own. He is often double-marked because his talent is that special, and in January we were nervous because we almost lost him to the Premier League. We must prepare for this because sooner or later he will leave." Malcom did recently claim that he had been promised a move in the summer to the club of his choosing, but that claim was denied by Bordeaux president Stephan Martin.


Drogba's Son Signs For Guingamp

Didier Drogba's teenage son Isaac, now 17 years old, has joined French Ligue 1 side Guingamp's youth academy. Didier himself played 50 times for Guingamp before joining Marseille.


Put Resigns Kenya Post

The manager of Kenya's national team, Paul Put, has resigned for 'personal reasons'. The Belgian walks away with Kenya sat in 3rd in Group F of the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.


Bundesliga Game Delayed By Tennis Balls

In an attempt to show displeasure at their match being played on a Monday night, Eintracht Frankfurt supporters bombarded the pitch with tennis balls before kick off in a Bundesliga game against RB Leipzig. The big question though is: Why tennis balls?


Wolfsburg Manager Quits After Just 6 Months

Just 6 months after replacing Andries Jonker, Wolfsburg manager Martin Schmidt has quit the role due to "increasing public pressure" with the VW-backed Bundesliga team just one point above a relegation play-off place.


Man City React Badly To Defeat

After Pep Guardiola got the protection for players he had been insistent he was asking for, the Manchester City manager showed a complete lack of grace due to the red card being shown in the direction of one of his own players for a potentially leg-breaking lunge. After Pep's histrionics on the touchline following Fabian Delph's entirely warranted red card, and attempt to blame Wigan Athletic players and coaching staff for the referee making the correct decision in line with the wishes Pep had repeatedly stressed in recent months, things went from bad to worse for Man City. Firstly Will Grigg scored the only goal late in the second half to knock the Cityzens out of the FA Cup, then star striker Sergio Aguero was seen in an altercation with a Wigan supporter, followed by scenes of bad tempered destruction of the stadium by City fans, as the carefully cultivated image of Citeh was smashed apart by their own staff and fans last night. Will that have damaged the media love-in with Pep Guardiola?

Written by Tris Burke February 20 2018 05:15:07