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totopickpro1
1 month ago
'I've seen this a lot...is it Klinsmann?" England's Southgate says after draw "I didn't have Philips"

England manager Gareth Southgate (53) has blamed the absence of Calvin Phillips (28-Manchester City) for the draw against Denmark.

England played Denmark to a hard-fought 1-1 draw in their UEFA Euro 2024 Group B second leg at the Frankfurt am Main Arena in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on Tuesday (June 20).

It was a performance that should have been a walkover, with many saying that the midfield, especially Declan Rice (Arsenal) and Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), were not up to the task. British publication Tribuna also criticized the players, saying "the second half was sloppy."

Southgate was not immune to criticism. His baffling substitution tactics, such as "never" bringing on Cole Palmer (Chelsea), angered local fans, and his inability to react to changes in the opposition's tactics was lamented.

To make matters worse, with an all-time great midfield featuring Rice, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Bellingham, and Kobi Mainu (Manchester United), he singled out Phillips for what he called his "worst performance" last season.

"Alexander Arnold showed a number of things against Denmark that we were hoping for," Southgate told the BBC after the game, "but we haven't found a suitable replacement for Phillips at the moment. "It's true that at the moment he's not getting the performances we want and we haven't found a suitable replacement for Phillips," he said.

He added: "I think people are disappointed, and rightly so. We need to be much better, and we need to fix the fact that we don't know what to do with the ball when we have it," he added, criticizing the subpar performance.

Southgate's "out-of-body" approach, reminiscent of former South Korea coach Jürgen Klinsmann's, has been met with a chilly response from local fans. "No manager would ever experiment in the Euros," "Did you forget about Phillips last season?" and "Adam Wotton (Crystal Palace), what the hell are you doing with Mainu?" were some of the sharp criticisms on social media.

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totopickpro1
2 months ago
Man City 'super ace' in the hole...negotiations 'underway' with Ukrainian shrine for '104.5 billion' as SON partner

Giorgi Sudakov is reportedly in talks to join Tottenham Hotspur.

"Tottenham are reportedly in talks to sign Sudakov," the UK's Team Talk reported on June 26 (KST). He is said to be similar to Manchester City and England playmaker Phil Foden. Manager Enze Postecoglou is looking for more attacking threat from the center of the park and Sudakov is seen as Spurs' best option. The transfer could go ahead."

Tottenham have been limited in attack this season. In the early part of the season, Son Heung-min was a constant source of goals up front and down the flanks, and they benefited from James Maddison, who was considered one of the best playmakers in the Premier League (PL). He became the centerpiece of Spurs' offense and defense, and was praised for being the perfect fit to spark the creative attack that had been missing since the departure of Christian Eriksen.

In the second half of the season, however, he struggled. An injury against Chelsea last year sidelined him for a while, and when he returned in the winter, his performances were far from satisfactory. His replacement, Giovanni Lo Celso, wasn't good enough, and Son Heung-min was limited in the top spot. Amidst the frequent injuries, Tottenham failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and finished the season in a disappointing fifth place.

Over the summer, Postecoglou plans to strengthen his attack. Recently, he has been linked with Sudakov. The Ukrainian international was born in 2002 and came up through the ranks of his country's top-flight Shakhtar Donetsk youth team. His main position is attacking midfielder, but he can play in a variety of positions. Last season, he was a key player in the league with five goals and eight assists, and this season, he has six goals and four assists in 23 league games.

He has been compared to Foden, who had his best season at Man City. Foden is still a regular for City at the age of 2000. He has the ability to create goals himself and set up his teammates. This season, he reached career highs with 17 goals and eight assists in 34 league games and was named PL Player of the Year. Sudakov himself cites Foden as his idol.

Sudakov was already attracting interest from several clubs. Napoli made a £34 million bid for him last winter, and Chelsea have been keeping tabs on him. However, Shakhtar will not be letting go of the high-potential player easily. According to the media, they are reportedly offering £60 million for his transfer.

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totopickpro1
3 months ago
Bayern Munich renew bid to sign Walker

Bayern Munich are targeting Walker again.

"Harry Kane could be reunited with Kyle Walker at Bayern Munich, with the German club renewing their interest in the Manchester City defender," Goal.com reported on Monday (Aug. 28).

Walker was heavily linked with a move to Munich during last summer's transfer window. The talks were serious, but Pep had no intention of letting Walker go. Despite the growing trend of replacing Walker on and off the field, Pep pulled out all the stops to keep him at City.

When Pep announced his starting lineup for last season's Champions League final, Kyle Walker was disappointed that he didn't make the cut. But Walker still had a job to do. Pep wanted him to give a team talk in the dressing room before the game, which reflected Walker's growing stature as a leader and Pep's trust in him.

Walker remained an influential figure all the way to the final, including an impressive performance against Vinicius Junior in the semifinal against Real Madrid. When an offer came in from Munich this summer, Walker's relationship with Guardiola was a major factor in his decision to stay.

At a private dinner at Manchester's Japanese restaurant Musu, Pep emphasized Walker's value both in the dressing room and on the pitch. In September of that year, Walker rejected a move to Munich and agreed to a two-year contract extension.

Munich have made another approach for Walker, who is still an integral part of the team at the age of 33, having played 28 games this season. "Walker will be given another chance in the next transfer window to leave the Premier League and join former Tottenham teammates Kane and Eric Dier in Munich," the Daily Star reported.

After seven years at City, where he won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, and one Champions League title, a new challenge at Bayern Munich could be appealing to Walker. Walker is currently under contract with City until 2026. Munich would have to pay a transfer fee for Walker, but not a lot of money.

Walker's age is now approaching his mid-30s, so Munich won't pay a lot of money for a player who doesn't know when the aging curve will come.

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totopickpro1
4 months ago
'9K+QS' second-year foreign pitcher leads winning series

SSG Landers foreign pitcher Roenis Elias celebrates his first win.

SSG won 9-6 against the Samsung Lions of the 2024 KBO League on Tuesday at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea. SSG secured the winning series with its second straight victory and improved to 4-3 on the season.

Elias pitched six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk while striking out nine. The right-hander pitched a quality start (six innings of three earned runs or less in a start). With plenty of offensive support from the bats, Elias earned his first win of the season.

After the game, Elias said, "I'm very happy, and it wasn't my pitching that got us the win, it was the hitters up front that scored a lot of runs. I want to thank my teammates," he said after the game.

Before the Samsung game, Elias strategized with catcher Cho Hyung-woo, who will be sharing the battery. "I pitched aggressively to get a good result like last time," Elias said. I had good chemistry with Cho Hyung-woo, and he was able to adjust to me, so I was able to be aggressive and pitch well," Elias said, adding that he was able to win thanks to Cho's lead.

Elias is now in his second season in the KBO League. He tried to perfect his pitching to improve on what he lacked last year. "Last year, my changeup was lacking, so I worked on it during camp, and I got a lot of advice from the head coach about my changeup, and I'm grateful for that," Elias said.

"The difference from last year is that I know the hitters and I can analyze how to face them, so I think it's producing good results," he added.

"Of course, I'm a player, so I want to keep doing well to help the team win the championship," he concluded.

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