Manuel Pellegrini believes although Manchester City will have to score goals in the return leg of the League Cup semi final tie against Everton, it will also be crucial to be solid at the back as the Toffees have got some quality strikers who can capitalize on any bit of mistake.
Everton has already won the first leg by two goals to one. So, for them, even a draw at Etihad will be good enough to get to the final.
But, the Sky Blues, on the other hand, will have to win by a margin of at least two goals to get past their opponents.
Everton has not been able to reach the final of League Cup for more than three decades. So, they would be absolutely pumped up to make the most of the opportunity this time around.
They would know that the situation would be tricky for City when they take the and they would be looking to put the foot on the pedal right away.
Pellegrini accepted in the pre match media briefing that Everton would perhaps come into the game with more hunger in comparison to City, but, he also said that his players would not hold back and give it everything.
The Chilean said, “It’s been a long time for them. So, they might be hungrier, but, we are looking to qualify for final as well.”
“We will have to keep a balance. Goals are important for sure, but, defending well is important too. They are a very good attacking side and are capable of scoring goals if given the opportunity.”
City had made it to the League Cup final in the 2013-14 Season as well and had even won it that time.
Norwich City’s disappointing start to the season has seen them drop to within three points of the relegation zone.
The team has recently suffered huge thrashings at the hands of fellow relegation threatened the teams like Newcastle United. These results are starting to put a lot of pressure on manager Alex Neil, who is being backed by several bookmakers as the next favourite to get the sack. Ahead of the game against Leicester City, the manager has asked his players not to drop their heads. Neil claims that the Premier League is an extremely tough league and the teams need at least six or seven players playing at their best in order to stay up.
Since this is not happening for Norwich at the moment, working extremely hard will be one of the key priorities for the team. The 3-0 win over West Brom in the League Cup remains the sole victory that the club have achieved in the last few weeks. As a result, confidence is extremely low within the team. Norwich are up against West Brom in the upcoming league game and they should provide some opportunity to take three points. Getting some victories on board is important since the team has difficult upcoming matches against Manchester City and Chelsea.
“At this level you need seven or eight of your players playing well. I don’t think we had that. That is what cost us. At West Ham, in the last away game, we had players playing at the top of their level. If you have too many of your players not playing as well as they can that is obviously going to cause you a real issue.It is such fine margins at this level. There have been a couple of games when I feel we have deserved to win,” said Neil.
Liverpool recently completed the signing of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa, but many have expressed their doubts about the success of the Belgian at Anfield.
He becomes the second most expensive player in Liverpool’s history after having cost £ 32.5 million. He is only behind Andy Carroll, who was a signing from Newcastle United. The disastrous transfer involving Carroll has been well-documented and many see Benteke as a similar player to Carroll. The comparisons may largely come about due to the physical stature of the two players, but manager Brendan Rodgers believes that Benteke has enough qualities to be a success at Liverpool.
Immediately upon becoming the new Liverpool manager more than three years ago, Rodgers decided to spend the club record signing Carroll on loan to West Ham. Carroll did not appear to have a future at Liverpool, who were set to play football on the ground. The philosophy has not changed in the last three years. Hence, the reasoning behind Rodgers signing another physical player does not appear to be clear. Benteke was one of the top strikers in the second half of last season. His goals were a major reason behind Aston Villa staying in the Premier League.
“There’s a number of qualities that he has and he will only improve in his time at the club. I think first and foremost his goals, if you look at his goals record since the time that he’s been in the Premier League he’s up there with the best in terms of numbers. So that was very important for us.Obviously I’ve heard and I’ve seen stuff about the style, ‘he won’t fit the style of how we play’ – I think he’ll only complement it and help us. He’s a big guy but he’s got the attributes that I like in terms of pace and movement,” said Rodgers.
The 2014-15 Premier League season was sort of bizarre for Tottenham Hotspur.
Overall, they did well finishing in the top quarter of the table with 64 points, but, their position could have been much better and they probably could have ended up even making it to the Champions League if they had been a little consistent against the weaker teams.
They often put up spirited performances in what was supposed to be the tough games for them, but, whenever they got to face the opposition that was not right up there in terms of quality, they could not produce their A game and that, at the end of the day, made them suffer.
The boss, Mauricio Pochettino, admitted in his press conference post the Everton game, which was the last game of the season for Tottenham, the only way for a team to become a force in a top league is to be consistent.
In the words of Pochettino, “If you have to be in top two in the league here in England or anywhere in the world, it’s important that there is consistency in your play. You see the sides which clinch the title; they remain consistent for the whole of the season. So, it’s very important and you would only be able to do that if you have a balanced squad.”
When asked about the transfer planning for this summer, the 43-year old who played a bit of international Football for Argentina said, “We have to be smart in our decisions. Spending the bucks is not the only thing. You have to see where you are spending and what kind of personnel do you need.”
Pochettino would surely be looking to bring in a couple of attackers to make sure the pressure is taken off his main man Kane.
David Bentley was one of the promising young England internationals when he scored the first goal at the new Wembley several years ago. Since then, his career had gone down the hill and he announced his retirement last year much to the shock of many.
The shock was primarily created since Bentley was only 29 years old at the time of his retirement. The former Tottenham and Blackburn Rovers winger was unable to find a new club and instead started focusing on other business ventures. He stated openly that he had fallen out of love football party because it had become too overwhelming to handle because of the money.
He has now returned to the game but has not joined one of the elite clubs. Instead, he is playing in Gaelic land with Crossmaglen Rangers. He made his debut for the Northern Ireland club and helped them get three points in his first match by scoring a wonderful goal. The return to football has been made possible because of Aaron Kernan, who will train with Premier League outfit Sunderland as part of the arrangement.Kernan revealed that Bentley will also be focusing on real estate business in the region while also playing his football.
“To hear that he has enjoyed his first night with us and that there is that excitement around the town and the club is fantastic.I know it mightn’t have been that great for an English man walking around the streets 20 years ago but we’ve moved on well from that. He is working for myself, as a property, sales and lettings management agent. He has his car and all so he’s off trying to let out a few properties,” said Kernan. Bentley opened a restaurant in Spain when he was with Tottenham but his love for football has brought him back.
The former Arsenal player and retired footballer David Bentley came out of retirement as he played a match for Crossmaglen Rangers as the Englishman was part of a match of Gaelic football.
David Bentley played for Crossmaglen Rangers while Aaron Kernan who had already decided to retire opted to train with the Premier League club Sunderland as this was part of the arrangement that was done involving a documentary show for Irish television.
Bentley will also be working in the estate agent business of Aaron Kernan as this was also part of the agreement.
Aaron Kernan revealed details concerning the settlement as the Gaelic footballer said: “I know it might not have been that great for an English man walking around the streets 20 years ago but we’ve moved on well from that. He is working for myself, as a property, sales and lettings management agent. He has his car and all so he’s off trying to let out a few properties.”
During the early stages of the career of David Bentley, he was rumored to be the next David Beckham due to his precise passing abilities as the Englishman was able to deliver accurate crosses and connect to his teammates with relative ease on the pitch but after his loan deal with Blackburn Rovers reached it’s end, Bentley decided to hang up his boots at the age of 29 as he had lost his passion for football.
According to Bentley, football was being affected too much by social media and the influence that money has been making in the sport as more and more cash is being spent in signing players and it’s turning into a battle where the wealthiest club is the one which has a substantially bigger advantage.
David Bentley was making raves as he made his way through the youth academy of Arsenal and at the age of 16, Bentley was already training with the senior squad of Arsenal before making his official appearance in a competitive match for Arsenal when he was 19 years old.
The Englishman was labeled to be one of the next big things in English football as Bentley was a dead-ball specialist and during his childhood he was already scoring goals in the form of free-kicks as well as providing impressive crosses to his teammates but his career stalled and started to fall apart when he signed for Tottenham Hotspurs and in 3 seasons he only managed on making 42 appearances as well as having to be transferred outside of the club on a number of loan deals.
During his time at White Hart Lane, Bentley was mostly just being used as a substitute player and this was why he opted to join other clubs and get more playing time even if it only was on loan deals but at the age of 29 Bentley decided to hang up his boots and retire.
David Bentley has revealed a few of the main reasons on why he decided to retire despite having a few more years and seasons left in him to play at a high level.
“I remember being a bit disappointed in myself. I was thinking: ‘You should love it, what’s the matter with you? You’re only saying this because you’re a little bit unhappy at the minute’.
“But in the end I just got tired of all the bull**** that goes with it, people wanting you to sell yourself as something you’re not. I loved matchdays, the atmosphere and the buzz, but, looking back, the biggest disappointment was coming out of youth team football. Back then I was with my mates, playing Sunday League, you’re winning together with all your mums and dads, that’s when football is brilliant’’ Bentley said as he stated that his love for football just disappeared.
Following his retirement from playing football at a top level, Bentley has gone on to invest in restaurant and a few weeks ago it was revealed that he was the co-owner of a fine dining place in Spain that opened up not too long ago.
David Bentley said yesterday that he never saw a better coach than Arsene Wenger during his playing career.
Bentley also disclosed that Wenger had asked him not to make a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
While chatting with a daily, the 30-year old who, shockingly, retired last year said, “For me, nobody is even close to Wenger as far as the coaching is concerned. He takes care of his boys so very well.”
“He had tried to stop me when I was leaving Arsenal back in 2006, but, I did not listen to him, I was a little worried about future and I did what I thought, at that time, was right and I don’t regret any of my decisions.”
Bentley actually played only one game for the senior team of the Gunners before he was sold to Blackburn.
Bentley does not live in England any more. He has made his way to Spain for work. He has started his own business there and is very happy with how his life is going at present.
When asked about retirement, the former striker said, “Frankly speaking, I never quite enjoyed football as much at the senior level as I did at the junior level. Football was absolutely fantastic when I was a part of the Arsenal youth squad, but, not so much thereafter.”
“There are certain things in life which, you think, are just not made for you and Football was one of them for me. I did try my hand at it. I was blessed with the talent and I pursued as long as I could. You see I respected my contract. Once the contract was over, only then I left. It was just that I was not happy with what I was doing and I changed my profession.
West Ham suffered their second consecutive defeat at home after a 3-1 loss against Southampton in a performance that was branded by manager Sam Allardyce has not been good enough. The former Bolton manager has been under a lot of pressure to deliver results along with good football at Upton Park. West Ham are preparing for this campaign by bringing in a number of attacking players over the summer, but their campaign started with a disappointing 1-0 defeat against archrivals Tottenham. A 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace, though, helped them get off the mark for the campaign.
This victory showed a lot of good attacking football and expectations were raised ahead of the home match against Southampton. Three points looked to be heading West Ham’s way when Mark Noble scored in the first half to get West Ham in front. However, a remarkable comeback from Southampton with Schneiderlin scoring two goals meant that the hammers have suffered two consecutive home defeats. They put a lot of question marks on manager Allardyce’s ability to get the best out of players when playing in an attacking mode.
After the match, the manager said that he was surprised with the way his team conceded two goals from set pieces, where they are usually strong.
“We weren’t good enough. Southampton taught us a lesson. We weren’t sharp enough, didn’t retain the ball as well as they did or close down as well as they did, and we gifted them two goals. As much as they were in control and on top of the game, we’ve lost two very stupid goals from set-pieces. The big problem I had with the corner [for the second goal] was that it was a goal-kick of course,” said Allardyce, whose team are away at Hull City after the international break.
David Bentley has decided to hang his boots for a strange reason. He says football is not the same nowadays as it used to be once. It’s become less enjoyable.
Bentley had started being called as the second ‘David Beckham’ when he first burst onto the scene. He was brilliant with his crosses.
The winger represented a lot of clubs during his career. He had started at Arsenal in 2002 and during his 4-year tenure there, he featured for a couple of other teams as well i.e. Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers on loan. He, then, took a permanent transfer to Blackburn in 2006.
One of the highs of Bentley’s career was being signed by the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in 2008. He remained there till the end of his career. He didn’t play too many matches for the Spurs though as he spent most of the seasons playing on loan.
Bentley is just 29 years of age at the moment and that’s why, his retirement has raised a lot of eyebrows.
Announcing his retirement a couple of days ago, Bentley said, “I was in love with the game when I started my professional career. I am not sure if that’s the case with me now. That love isn’t there.”
“Earlier, the game’s about enjoying out there, but, nowadays, the players are like robots.”
“There has been so much influence of the social media on the game in the recent past that it hasn’t remained unpredictable at all. It has become calculated.”
A lot of people might not agree with what Bentley said, but, there is definitely some truth in his statement and one should not be surprised if more players retire from the game for this reason in the future.