Connect with us


Klopp tears into TNT Sports over English European struggles: football news – live



Key events

Vincent Kompany: “Why start to overthink it now?”

Burnley: We’ve already written about Burnley’s recent upturn in form at the business end of the season and Vincent Kompany has been getting his chat on with the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate ahead of their match against Newcastle tomorrow.

“You have to respect their attacking capabilities but at the same time it’s Saturday at Turf Moor,” he said. “It’s a different day, a different opponent and anything can happen. That’s the mindset and we’ve played good players all season so why start to overthink it now? If they are better than us well done, if not we need to make sure we are the best we can be.

“It’s not been a case of at home we haven’t had a chance. We have been close so many times but it’s clear on Saturday we have to be close again and then we have to be more than that and take points. That’s the impressive part about my team – we were always like this when we were having no success or results.

“They have been exceptional in that sense and we might not come out of this season winners, in terms of winning trophies and stuff, but what I’ve seen in terms of how the group has behaved has given me confidence for how much success they will have in the future.”

Miguel Almiron celebrates scoring against Burnley during Newcastle’s 2-0 win over the Clarets at St James’ Park in September last year. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Liverpool v Tottenham: Jurgen Klopp and Ange Postecoglou will be standing in adjacent technical areas for Sunday afternoon’s feature game and the Liverpool manager has confirmed that Diogo Jota is still unavailable, Conor Bradley is back in training and his captain Virgil van Dijk is a doubt.

“We will have to be prepared,” he said. “We will have to defend really compact. If we don’t do that then we will play through us because the idea is really obvious. They have worked together nearly a year.”

I think it’s safe to deduce from those comments that Jurgen may not have tuned into last night’s Premier League game between Chelsea and Tottenham, when Ange Postecoglou was left visibly enraged by his team’s general incompetence during a dismal performance.

“We were nowhere near the levels of energy we usually show,” said the Australian this morning, having had the night to reflect on his side’s defeat. “Our pressing has been consistent all year and our football has fluctuated. [That was the case] in the first half especially last night. That is my responsibility.”

Mauricio Pochettino (left) and Ange Postecoglou shake hands following Chelsea’s win over Tottenham last night. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 

Eddie Howe: “Vincent Kompany has done a good job”

Burnley v Newcastle: No longer looking the relegation certainties they seemed throughout the season, Burnley have been showing signs of life in recent weeks and have lost just one of their past eight games. A propensity to cough up cheap goals continues to cost them dearly but they are only two from safety with three games left to play and still in with a fighting chance of staying up at the expense of Nottingham Forest and Luton Town. Tomorrow afternoon they host Newcastle, whose manager Eddie Howe had a brief spell as boss at Turf Moor.

“Burnley are an interesting team, in terms of how they play,” said Howe. “Vincent Kompany has done a good job. He’s been true to his principles and they play a really expansive, attacking brand of football. Something they have not deviated from and the manager deserves credit for that. In recent weeks they have been reaping the rewards of that. I know Turf Moor really well. It is a difficult place to go, but we will be ready for the game.”

Newcastle’s form on the road will be a source of optimism for Burnley fans, as Howe’s side have won just 14 of the 53 points they have amassed so far this season away from home. “For me I always try to focus on the game and not where it is played,” says Howe. “I urge my players to do the same. In the last few games we have shown flashes of being back to our very best. I want to see that for 90 minutes if we can.”


Updated at 

Wolves make Tommy Doyle loan move permanent

Ben Fisher

Wolverhampton Wanderers: A bit of transfer news: Wolves have triggered the option to make the signing of Tommy Doyle from Manchester City a permanent one, for a fee of about £4.3m. The 22-year-old midfielder has impressed since joining on a season’s loan last summer, making 30 appearances. City have inserted a buy-back option and significant sell-on clause in the deal. Doyle is ineligible to face his parent club at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Wolves have signed loanee Tommy Doyle from Manchester City on a permanent basis. Photograph: Jack Thomas/WWFC/Wolves/Getty Images

Erik ten Hag speaks to Sky Sports

Jamie Jackson

Jamie Jackson

Manchester United: Erik ten Hag has offered an interesting take on why Manchester United can be so open and concede too easily in an interview with Sky Sports. He points to the “bad luck” that has caused 60-plus injuries and illness as undermining his desired “proactive” mode of play and claims that being more pragmatic might cause a detrimental, long-term effect.

He said: “We thought about this, but one of my objectives here was to bring in a proactive way of play. The players [unavailable] will return so if you then adjust, go in a very defensive style and it doesn’t fit to the players we already have, then if you don’t get the results everyone will lose confidence. Then when the players are back, you have to return to the proactive and you have lost many times.”

An interesting answer as it throws up an obvious follow-up question: as an elite coach can Ten Hag not tinker and adjust enough to retain the proactive style while ensuring needless goals are not leaked? One to put to him soon.

Nuno: “It’s going to be until the end”

Nottingham Forest: Nuno Espirito Santo expects his side’s Premier League relegation battle to go down to the wire. Nottingham Forest are locked in a three-way battle with Luton and Burnley to avoid the remaining two places in the bottom three and are away at already-relegated Sheffield United tomorrow afternoon. Forest are still awaiting news of their appeal against a four-point deduction due to breaking profit and sustainability rules. Nuno believes even if his side win tomorrow, their fate will not be decided until the final day of the season when they play Burnley in what could be a relegation shootout.

“Looking at the table and the next matches, it’s going to be until the end, it’s not going to be solved tomorrow,” Nuno said. “We depend on ourselves and after Sheffield United it must still be in our hands so, for that, we must win.”

Nuno does not know whether his side will be helped or hindered by the Blades’ fate already sealed. “You never know,” he said. “The element of pressure they had is not there anymore. I don’t know what Chris [Wilder] is going to do: shape, organisation … all these things, but we know it is going to be tough. They are relegated but there is a pride element in front of their fans. We know it’s going to be tough but we believe in ourselves and we know we have a hard task ahead of us. We are confident knowing it’s going to be tough. The players are ready to go.”

Nuno Espirito Santo expects Nottingham Forest’s battle for Premier League survival to go down to the final game of the season. Photograph: Copa/Getty Images

Updated at 

Jurgen Klopp: “I was waiting for Amnesty International”

It would be fair to say that Jurgen Klopp is at it again. The outgoing Liverpool manager loves nothing more than moaning about his team having to play in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off after a European midweek game and despite the fact it is a horror he will never have to endure again, he’s still complaiming about last weekend, when his side were held to a draw by West Ham and saw any faint hopes they still entertained of winning the title evaporate.

Never mind the fact that they missed enough goalscoring chances to win several football matches, it seems the blame for their failure to take all three points lies squarely at the door of TNT Sports. “Seeing Aston Villa lost last night it means no English team will be in a European final, we should ask do we decrease the intensity for the players,” he says.

“If no English team is in a European final, have we underperformed? The Premier League is the best in the world but the players are overworked. Someone needs to help the people, cut off one game. Two more Champions League games next season and you can cut off the League Cup semi-final second legs.

“Everyone has a reason to say we cannot do it but we cannot sort it all the time. I had a chat with TNT – a television channel I will never watch again! – and they said they pay us to play football but I don’t see it that way. Football pays them. You have to become a part of football again and not just the squeezer, that is some advice from an old man on the way out.

“People can survive without match-days from time to time. City, Arsenal, us all out in the quarter-finals. It’s not a reflection of quality but that we couldn’t deliver on the day. Other countries have good teams, of course. When I speak about it people think it is because of the last game, no. It’s not. It’s a general problem. They dare Thursday-Sunday, Wednesday-Saturday 12:30pm. It is a crime. I was waiting for Amnesty International to go to them!

“I would like to be part of that meeting when someone says ‘Liverpool 12:30pm’ and the whole room bursts into laughter. I would love to be there. In the whole world we have the quickest turnaround between games but they are still happy and collect subscribers. You can take me off. If they are ever after a pundit, I speak English I could do it.”

While he may have been joking, Klopp has worked as a pundit in his native Germany in the past and is reported to be a very entertaining and informative match analyst. There is bound to be a clamour for his services in the months ahead, although it seems unlikely TNT Sports will be successful in any overtures they may make.

It seems that TNT Sports presenter Lynsey Hipgrave and her employers do not feature prominently on Jurgen Klopp’s Christmas card list. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Updated at 

Eddie Howe on Sandro Tonali: “It’s the right decision, I think the FA have arrived at the ban that isn’t extended,” he says. “Sandro’s currently working hard behind the scenes, he’s trained very well. But as always, referring to this situation, we’re still supporting him and helping him as he serves his time.

“He’s been very good, very consistent. Of course I see a small fraction of his life, the time he is at the training ground. He’s a very good professional, he’s trained very well, but he’s relatively quiet, that’s just his personality. I wouldn’t necessarily see what goes on beneath the surface, I’m sure he’s had difficult moments but he’s done really well.

“I’ve seen the hunger there throughout the entire time. He’s done a lot of work alone, individual work, fitness work, gym work, we’ve worked on his speed, and covered loads of aspects of his game to try and help him.”

Fabian Schar to miss final games of the season

Newcastle United: You need to be up early in the moring to catch Eddie Howe and as is customary, the Newcastle boss is first out of the traps when it comes to Friday press briefings. Not for the first time this season, he has news of another injury. Fabian Schar has a hamstring issue that is likely to keep him out of Newcastle’s remaining games of the season and Howe reveals that the Swiss international’s absence could open a door for Paul Dummett, Alex Taylor or Emile Krafth.

In better news for Newcastle fans, Howe reveals that Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Nick Pope are all back in training, although he says Kieran Trippier is a little behind them in his recovery from a calf injury. We’ll have more from Wor Eddie shortly, as he’s likely to address the good news that Sandro Tonali has received a suspended two-month ban for illegal betting activity from the Football Association and will not have to serve any additional time on the 10-month ban he is currently serving that harks back to his time in Italy.

That suspension ends in August and if the Italian midfielder keeps his bib clean until the end of next season, he will not have to serve the shorter one handed down by the FA. All in all, it seems a fairly sensible approach to ending what has been a difficult situation for the Italian and it is to be hoped that Tonali is receiving any help or counselling he requires to get his addiction in check.

Sandro Tonali has not played for Newqcastle since their Champions League defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in late October. Photograph: Scott Heppell/AP

Women’s Super League: Following a tired Chelsea side’s defeat at the hands of Liverpool in a seven-goal whiteknuckle ride at Prenton Park on Wednesday night, Emma Hayes conceded defeat in the title race to Manchester City. The Chelsea manager looks likely to end her 12-year reign at the club without winning a trophy in her final season, a prosepect that seemed unthinkable as recently as five weeks ago when a quadruple was still on the cards. All hope is not lost in the WSL, however, despite Manchester City having a six point lead and a significantly better goal difference (+8).

With three matches still to play, Chelsea have a game in hand over the leaders and host already-relegated Bristol City at the weekend. Elsewhere, City entertain Arsenal. Following their unedifying row in the immediate aftermath of the Continental Cup final, Hayes desperately needs Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall and his players to do her a favour on Sunday. If Chelsea can beat Bristol City by a big score this weekend and Arsenal do a number on City at the Etihad Campus, it would still be all to play for going into the final week of the season.

Liverpool Gemma Bonner (right) celebrates with her teammates after scoring their side’s second goal of the game against Chelsea at Prenton Park on Wednesday night. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Updated at 

West Ham: The club’s hunt for a new manager has resulted in Tim Steidten, the technical director, being asked to stay away from David Moyes and the first team for the rest of the season, writes Jacob Steinberg.

West Ham technical director Tim Steidten (left) has been told to steer a wide berth of David Moyes and his players as he goes through the process of trying to recruit the Scotsman’s replacement. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Aston Villa 2-4 Olympiakos

Europa Conference League: Aston Villa’s first major European semi-final since 1982 fell flat and unless they can inspire a ­memorable turnaround in the port of Piraeus next Thursday, their adventure will end in disappointment. Ben Fisher reports from Villa Park …

Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League: Ange Postecoglou admitted Tottenham had the wrong mindset after their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were hit by a limp 2-0 loss to Chelsea. Jacob Steinberg reports from Stamford Bridge.

Good morning!

Another weekend is upon us, with no shortage of potentially thrilling football action to keep us entertained and as assorted leagues head towards their denouements, there could be no end of twists and turns remaining in what’s left of the road ahead.

The Premier League and Women’s Super League remain undecided but for now but they are both Manchester City’s to lose, while in the men’s top flight the unseemly scramble to avoid the two remaining relegation places will enter its latest phase. A division below, there are still I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed in the final round of Championship games, while the promotion playoffs for Leagues One and Two also get under way on this bank holiday weekend.

We’ll bring you news from various press conferences throughout what promises to be a busy day of often inane managerial chat, while flagging up any other stories or talking points of interest as the day unfolds.


Updated at 

Continue Reading