Liverpool news: Joris Gnagnon tackle leaves Yasser Larouci in a heap and James Milner labels Sevilla man’s a ‘disgrace’

22 Jul

James Milner labelled the Joris Gnagnon tackle that ended Yasser Larouci’s match against Sevilla early ‘disgraceful’.

The 18-year-old was carried off the pitch on a stretcher in the 80th minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat in Boston and manager Jurgen Klopp later said the teenager had been ‘lucky’ not to have suffered a more serious injury.

Larouci is taken off the pitch on a stretcher at Fenway Park as Milner looks on at his stricken team-mate
Getty Images

For his part, Gnagnon was shown a red card.

“Was it too much? I thought so yes, it was a disgraceful tackle,” Milner told LFCTV afterwards.

“We know it’s only a friendly, but I mean, you don’t see many red cards in friendlies, do you?”

The tackle enraged Liverpool‘s players, with several trying to confront Gnagnon, who later apologised.

“Their guy said it is down to the referee and it’s a tackle and a foul, but it’s very disappointing. We [responded] in the right way,” Milner continued.

Milner was appalled by Gnagnons tackle on Larouci and made his feelings very clear afterwards
Getty Images - Getty

“It is a tough one for the referee because you don’t want to use red cards in a lot in friendlies and it is a a rare thing to see.

“It’s not easy to get hold of the game, you don’t normally see too many tackles [like Gnagnon’s] but it is a disgrace really.”

The loss was Liverpool’s second of their pre-season campaign following defeat to Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp said Larouci will be assessed by the medical department.

“It looks like he was lucky,” Klopp explained at his post-match press conference.

“Of course, how it always is with these things we have to wait a little bit.”

Asked for specifics on the injury, Klopp added: “He hit him full throttle and, in that moment, [if it was] a little bit different position where he hit him then it’s done. He rolls… he is a sports boy so that was OK, nothing happened there.

“I don’t know 100 per cent. It looks like he was lucky but I only spoke quickly to the doc and that’s what he said, but we have to see.”

Gnagnon later called his tackle ‘odious’.

“I would like to publicly apologise towards Liverpool, the family of the player and its supporters,” he posted on Twitter.

“It was an odious act on my part. Whatever the reason, it’s not what should be seen on a football pitch.

“All my prayers are with the player and his family.”

Divock Origi cancelled out Nolito’s first half-half opener two minutes before the break with a finish from close range, with Larouci leaving the pitch with the score at 1-1. However, Sevilla clinched the win in the final minute as Alejandro Pozo scored into an empty net.

Tottenham news: Mauricio Pochettino says Champions League final loss to Liverpool kept him at the club

19 Jul

Tottenham losing the Champions League final to Liverpool could have been a blessing as Mauricio Pochettino would have probably quit if they had won.

The manager guided Spurs to the the final, but were beaten 2-0 in Madrid.

Had Pochettino ended the evening in Madrid victorious, he may have left Tottenham
Getty - Contributor

“It was an amazing period,” Pochettino, who has been in charge since 2014, said.

“After five years in a difficult project at Tottenham we talk a lot about perception and reality, how we fight and all the energy we expend trying to get Tottenham fighting with the best teams in Europe and England.

“Of course it’s always in your head, you never know. With the way I am, I am always going to prioritise the club over myself.”

Pochettino continued: “Maybe if it was a different result after the final you can think, ‘OK, maybe this is a moment to step out of the club, leave the club and give them the possibility of a really new chapter with a new coaching staff’.

“But after the final I felt this was not great to finish like this. I’m not a person that avoids facing problems or a difficult situation.

“I love a massive challenge, a difficult challenge and of course now to rebuild that mentality to make it possible to repeat a similar season, that is exciting and motivates me a lot.”

The Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid is where Pochettino led Tottenham out for their first ever European Cup/Champions League final
Getty Images - Getty

Asked if he could have made a different decision had Spurs won the Champions League, Pochettino said: “For sure.

“You know very much when you touch glory you behave differently or you feel different or the players feel different and the challenge becomes different.

“It’s like Kieran [Trippier, who joined Atletico Madrid] explained to me in private and to the media in Madrid – he loved to be at Tottenham and work with us, but at 28, 29, sometimes a player needs to discover need things and new challenges.

“That is inside yourself and it’s only you who knows how you feel – it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, it’s about accepting how you feel.

“You are an individual, you have (an) individual challenge and you have to accept (it) if all the parts are happy.”

Pochettino says he is looking forward to the challenge of trying to make Spurs a winning club
Getty - Contributor

More depatures are expected, with Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld rumoured to be the next to leave, thought Spurs’ squad has been strengthened since the Liverpool defeat with the arrival of Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon.

Danny Rose, who was omitted from the squad that arrived in Singapore for their pre-season tour, could also be on the way.

“Danny is still our player,” he said, explaining club chairman Daniel Levy is dealing with agents regarding his future along with those of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Vincent Janssen.

Tottenham play Juventus, Man United and Real Madrid before returning to London to play Inter at White Hart Lane.

“When we come back to London if they are, they are going to be normal way with the team,” adding that he also wasn’t involved in the deal to sell Trippier.

“It was Kieran’s decision [to leave]. He communicated the day before we travelled here and he told me that he accepted an offer from Atletico Madrid and in the end it was the club who communicated with me that they had agreed a deal. I wasn’t involved in all this discussion in the last week.”

Trippier left Tottenham to join Atletico Madrid in a £20m transfer
Getty - Contributor

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool corner king 17th in Premier League power rankings, as chosen by talkSPORT panel

18 Jul

The 2019/20 Premier League season is almost upon us and talkSPORT will bring you more live football than ever before.

It’s the greatest league in the world and to celebrate its return, we have compiled a list of the 20 players we expect to shine the most in the upcoming campaign.

Each day, talkSPORT is counting down the best players in the Premier League ahead of the new season
talkSPORT will bring you more than 100 LIVE Premier League commentaries next season
Getty Images - Getty

A team of talkSPORT experts have offered insight, numbers have been crunched and one player will be revealed every working day – with the winner of talkSPORT’s Premier League Power Rankings announced on Friday, August 9, before Liverpool kick-off the new season against Norwich City.


Last season was a breakthrough campaign for Alexander-Arnold, where he went from top talent at the start of the season, to be recognised as one of the best full backs in the world.

His 12 assists in the Premier League was the highest amount ever recorded by a defender in the top flight, and summed up the immense impact he had.

Alexander-Arnold has everything required in a modern full-back and is taking on more responsibility all the time and clearly thriving with it, being Liverpool’s set piece man and playing well in all the big games.

Top scoring Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah benefited from Alexander-Arnold’s creativity last season where he recorded 12 Premier League assists, while his cheeky corner in the Champions League semi-final helped dump Barcelona out
Getty - Contributor

All young players usually have a dip in form at some point, but talkSPORT expects next season he’ll push his standards even higher, cementing his place as the best right back in the world.

He still has a bit of work to do on his defending, but at just 20, the sky is the limit.


Stats my boy

What a year for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who won the Champions League with Liverpool

Premier League games: 27
Premier League goals and assists: one goal, 12 assists
Champions League games: 11
Champions League goals and assists: three assists

A new player will be revealed every day on talkSPORT’s social media accounts with the full verdict from our panel of experts on For more debate on the selections, listen to Drive from 4pm here.

Laurent Koscielny: Piers Morgan says Arsenal should get rid of ‘utterly disgraceful’ captain immediately

11 Jul

Arsenal fan Piers Morgan wants Laurent Koscielny out, calling his refusal to join the pre-season tour ‘utterly disgraceful’.

On Thursday morning, as Morgan was taking delight in England’s early mauling of Australia in the World Cup semi-final, Arsenal revealed club captain Koscielny was not travelling to America where they will train ahead of the new Premier League season.

Arsenal are in American to play Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid in pre-season friendlies, but Koscielny will not be there
Getty Images - Getty

“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions,” a club statement read.

“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

And the host of Good Morning Britain, in addition to being a regular guest on talkSPORT tweeted: “WHAT? Utterly disgraceful way for our Club Captain to behave. Get rid of him immediately.”

The 33-year-old defender, who joined the club from French side Lorient in 2010, has played 255 Premier League games for the club, but reportedly wants to return to France this summer, having entered the final year of his contract.

Gunners in America

Arsenal play four friendlies in the US, but the captain is not joining them

Colorado Rapids – 16 July
Bayern Munich – 18 July
Fiorentina – 20 July
Real Madrid – 24 July

Manager Unai Emery has taken his side to America to begin pre-season training and will play four friendlies, two of which come against European giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

They return to England to play in the Emirates Cup on 28 July against Lyon and also have games against Angers and Barcelona before playing Newcastle in the Premier League on 11 August.

Newcastle manager news: Steve Bruce wants to discuss job with appointment expected before weekend, as Sam Allardyce turns down Magpies

11 Jul

Steve Bruce is keen to talk to Newcastle about replacing Rafa Benitez and is set to be appointed the club’s new manager before the weekend.

The Premier League club are currently looking for a new boss following Benitez’s decision to take over at Chinese club Dalian Yifang and Bruce is thought to be their choice.

Steve Bruce has asked Sheffield Wednesday permission to speak to Newcastle
Getty Images - Getty

Bruce supported the club as a boy, though spent two and a half years managing fierce rivals Sunderland, and The Times report that Wednesday chairman and owner, Dejphon Chansiri, will put up a fight to keep his manager.

Nonetheless, Bruce is expected to be appointed before the end of the weekend, with The Telegraph claiming an announcement will be made over the coming days.

A number of other candidates have been considered, including Nice boss Patrick Vieira, Ranager’ Steven Gerrard and Sam Allardyce, who has managed Newcastle in the past.

However, Allardyce exclusively told talkSPORT he has already turned the job down.

“I was very flattered that I was considered but it’s that thing… don’t go back,” he told the Breakfast show.

“It never got to the type of talks people are suggesting but it wasn’t for me. I politely said ‘no’.

“I never got to talk to Mike [Ashley, owner of the club]. My agent contacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the situation and thanked them very much but [it’s] not for me.”

Allardyce was sacked by Newcastle in January 2008, after just 24 games in charge, with the club 11th in the Premier League at the time – a period he describes as not pleasant.

Bruce, the former Manchester United captain, last managed in the Premier League in 2015 with Hull and has since been in charge of Aston Villa and now Wednesday, whom he took over in February 2019.

The Times suggests a compensation clause of more than £5million was included in his contract.

Benitez left after failing to agree a new contract with the Ashley and has already taken a thinly-veiled swipe at his former boss.

“Since the moment of our arrival we have really been touched by the kindness and respect that we have been shown,” the Spaniard said.

“Our hosts have treated us with great consideration and are always keen to make us happy.

“As we all know from experience, in football, just as in everyday life, when people show you respect and affection and do everything they can to make things easier for you, life is much happier, even when you face difficult moments.”

Bruce is now Ashley’s choice to replace Benitez
Getty Images - Getty

Manchester United news: Paul Pogba and Mino Raiola warned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that club don’t need to sell

10 Jul

Manchester United do not have to sell anyone, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says.

His comments come a day after wantaway midfielder Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, told talkSPORT he hopes the player’s future can be sorted soon.

Pogba is taking part in pre-season training, but is keen to leave Man United
Getty Images - Getty

Pogba has made no secret of his desire to move on and in his first press conference since last season, Solskjaer fielded questions about the happiness of United’s record signing.

“There has been loads of talk and speculation, of course, about all our players or many of our players, both ins and outs,” he said.

“For me, it’s business as usual. When you’re Man United, you expect all these things to pop up in the summer,” Solskjaer added.

“And of course I’ve been in touch with Paul, spoken to Paul. Spoken to Rom [Romelu Lukaku], spoken to Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Jesse [Lingar] – I’ve spoken to all the players, more or less, over the summer. As you do, you keep in touch with them.

“As far as I am aware and up to now, we don’t have any bids for any of our players so there’s no reason to say other than Paul – or most of our players – have long contracts.

“We are Man United – we don’t have to sell players.”

Solskjaer, though, seemed to agree with Raiola about Pogab’s attitude towards the club. “Agents talk all the time. Paul is a top bloke, a great professional. He has never put himself out of the team. He has always wanted to play and he always gives his best.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was speaking to media in Perth and said the club are in no need to sell players
Getty Images - Getty

Pogba has been linked with both Juventus and Real Madrid and, speaking to the Sports Bar on talkSPORT, football journalist Mark Langdon discussed the obstacles Real face in buying Pogba.

They have already spent heavily on Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy and Luka Jovic and now need to sell players to raise funds for the costly United midfielder.

Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas, Isco and James Rodriguez are all believed to be up for sale and Langdon believes the Colombian is the best chance of making some fast cash.

“James Rodriguez is one player they can sell,” he said. “There’s a fair bit of interest from Napoli and Atletico Madrid and that would be more likely route for Real Madrid to make money than to get rid of Gareth Bale.”

Manchester United news LIVE: Remain up to date with every rumour here

United are in Australia for the first part of their pre-season tour and will face Perth Glory on Saturday 13 July before playing English rivals Leeds United four days later.

The club then travel to Singapore and will play Serie A side Inter at the National Stadium on Saturday 20 July where another wantaway player, Lukaku, could play against his next club.

The striker’s agent has been vocal about Inter’s desire to land him.

However, it has been reported Lukaku has also been offered to Juve and Napoli, managed by former Chelsea bosses Maurizio Sarri and Carlo Ancelotti respectively.

Neymar can have transfer to Barcelona as long as price is right, says PSG sporting director Leonardo

9 Jul

If Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain, his club won’t stop him as long as they receive the right offer.

The forward failed to show up for pre-season training and did not have permission to return late, PSG have claimed.

Getty Images - Getty
Neymar has been in Brazil watching the national side win the Copa America. The 27-year-old has scored 60 goals in 97 games for the team, but injury ruled him out of the tournament[/caption]

Neymar left European giants Barcelona for £198m in 2017 and now feels the time has come to leave France, with his representatives angling for a move away from Ligue 1 and are believed to be keen on a return to Barca.

And he has the club’s blessing – as long as the Catalans pay up.

“We’ve spoken with his representatives. Their position is clear but there’s only one thing that is certain for now: he has a three-year contract with us and, as we’ve not received any offers for him, we can’t discuss anything,” sporting director Leonardo told Le Parisien.

“Neymar can leave PSG if the right offer comes in.

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner believes the Brazil international wants to return, but is unsure if it will happen.

During his career in Spain, he won three Spanish Cups, two league titles and the Champions League, forming a devastating front three alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The 27-year-old is banned from playing in the first three matches of the new Ligue 1 season for an altercation with a fan at the end of PSG’s shock French Cup final defeat to Rennes in April.

He will also miss his next three European matches for insulting match officials in the wake of his side’s Champions League loss to Manchester United in March.

Neymar is keen to return to Barcelona where he played alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi
Getty Images - Getty

Neymar’s no-show on the first day of pre-season training comes less than a month after PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi warned his top players about ‘celebrity behaviour’.

“Players will have to assume their responsibilities even more than before,” he said.

“It must be completely different. They will have to do more, work more.

“They are not there to please themselves. And if they do not agree, the doors are open. Ciao!”

Mohamed Salah devastated by Egypt Africa Cup of Nations loss, which saw boss Javier Aguirre sacked

8 Jul

Mohamed Salah’s hopes of adding another trophy to his season were ended by South Africa in the last 16 on Saturday.

His Egypt side were eliminated in the Africa Cup of Nations by an 85th-minute Thembinkosi Lorch goal in Cairo, where Salah played the whole match.

Salah was close to tears as he left the pitch in Cairo following Egypt’s last 16 defeat
Getty - Contributor

And on the final whistle the top scoring Liverpool forward appeared inconsolable and close to tears. It was only in June when he was celebrating Champions League glory with his club and despite going into the tournament, hosts Egypt were flat in the knockout stage.

Salah scored twice en route to the game as Egypt came through their group with a 100 per cent record, but was understood to be ill going into the last 16 tie.

Following the defeat, manager Javier Aguirre lost his job and Egypt Football Association president Hany Abo Rida has resigned.

The forward will now go on holiday before returning to Liverpool for pre-season training ahead of their Premier League opener against Norwich on 9 August.

Before that, though, the Reds play Tranmere, Bradord City, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Sporting, Napoli and Lyon in July, while there is the Community Shield final on 4 August against Manchester City.

Egypt’s elimination means Salah should be back for the game against Lyon, in Geneva on 31 July.

Sadio Mane, meanwhile, will remain in Egypt a little longer as his Senegal side reached the quarter-finals at Uganda’s expense.

Frank Lampard replaced by Phillip Cocu as Derby County manager

5 Jul

Phillip Cocu will replace Frank Lampard as Derby manager, the club have confirmed.

Former Netherlands international Cocu is the club’s first ever foreign manager, has signed a four-year contract and will be joined by assistant manager Chris Van Der Weerden and specialist first-team coach Twan Scheepers.

Dutchman Cocu has replaced Frank Lampard at Pride Park

In addition, Derby say head goalkeeping coach, Shay Given, will remain as part of the new-look coaching team.

“I am pleased and honoured to confirm that Derby County will be my new club and can’t wait to meet with the team and the fans to start this adventure together,” Cocu, who has joined the team in Florida, told the official club website.

Derby begin their season against Huddersfield Town on 5 August.

Coventry City fine Jak Hickman and transfer list him after investigation into foul mouthed holiday video

5 Jul

Jak Hickman, the Coventry City youngster, has been fined and placed on the transfer list for his foul-mouthed holiday video rant.

The 20-year-old development player was filmed boasting about his wealth, leading many fans to joke the dock in pay won’t hurt him considering he claims to have ‘heavy pockets’.

Hickman appeared in a two-minute video that was circulated online by Coventry fans (it’s not clear whether the attempted moustache is some sort of inside joke)

In addition, he told fans he was leaving, adding ‘f*** Cov’, though there were a lot of supporters who were then forced to search Hickman’s name on Google to find out who he was.

However, once the video emerged in June, the player tweeted an apology, calling his comments ‘disgraceful’.

It prompted an investigation by Coventry, which led Hickman being subject to a formal club disciplinary procedure.

“Hickman has been given a fine of 2 weeks wages by Coventry City for bringing the Club into disrepute – this is the maximum permissible fine the Club is able to give according to Football Association rules for a player on a standard FA contract for a first offence,” a statement on the club’s website read.

“The Club also reported the matter to the FA, and they advised us that they would not be taking any action against Hickman.

“Hickman has been immediately placed on the transfer list.

“Coventry City Football Club will not be making any further comment.”

Hickman has not yet played for the Coventry first team and his career so far has included loan spells at Mickleover Sports, Ashton United and Hereford.


“Just want to speak on the video what people seen yesterday,” the statement posted to his Twitter account said.

“It’s disgraceful on my behalf saying them words and I’m so disappointed in myself, I’m not going to try and condone what I said because it’s just not on.

“I have nothing but love for Coventry City football club. I know a lot of people have had their opinion what they saw and I cannot blame them.

“I’m on holiday with friends and I had a drink but that is not an excuse for what I said.

The 20-year-old academy graduate has yet to play a league game for the club

“All I can say is sorry and try to prove myself to you on the pitch where it matters, if I get the chance.

“I and anyone else I mentioned are not leaving their club just to clear that up, it was drunken words which were not acceptable and I didn’t want anything I said to be seen.

“People who know me personally will know what I’m like and will laugh but if you don’t I cannot blame you for thinking I’m an idiot.

“But it’s happened now, all I can do personally now is try and put it right.

“Secondly, I just want to say as fans of the club you lot shouldn’t have to see someone giving it the big one like that, thinking I’m something special when I’m far from it.

“And I’m very different to that if you know me personally. I’m just upset with myself right now.”