‘Liverpool will win the league, Manchester City have real problems’ – Jason Cundy says Reds’ solid defence will lead them to Premier League title

17 Sep

Manchester City cannot defend their Premier League crown and make it three league titles in a row without Aymeric Laporte, believes Jason Cundy.

The talkSPORT host claims Pep Guardiola’s side have ‘problems’ and Liverpool’s stronger defence will see the trophy go to Anfield this season.

Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte is facing a long spell on the sidelines
AFP or licensors

City may be without top centre-back Laporte for SIX MONTHS after he had surgery on a serious knee injury he suffered during the 4-0 victory over Brighton before the international break.

The Frenchman’s absence was blindingly obvious in their first Premier League clash without their lynchpin, as City suffered a extraordinary 3-2 defeat to Norwich at Carrow Road.

That loss allowed Liverpool to extend their lead to five points at the top of the Premier League, with the Reds winning each of their opening five matches.

And Cundy believes things are so bad for City at the back without Laporte that even Liverpool’s third choice centre-back would walk into their team.

“Without Laporte, Manchester City can’t win the title,” the former Chelsea defender said on Monday night’s Sport Bar.

 

“They’ve lost Vincent Kompany and without him Laporte is their best defender, and he’s out for a long time.

“City have got some problems and Liverpool are going to win the title this year.

“Liverpool are a better team defensively.

Jason Cundy says Joe Gomez would walk into Manchester City’s starting X
getty

“They have better players, their centre-half pairing are better and even the back up is better than what Manchester City have.

“Joe Gomez is Liverpool’s third choice centre-back, he can’t get in right now, but he is better than the defenders Man City have fit right now.”

England boss Gareth Southgate explains why Tottenham and Leicester stars Harry Winks and James Maddison were left out of Bulgaria and Kosovo games

11 Sep

Gareth Southgate has told talkSPORT the carnage of England’s 5-3 victory over Kosovo meant a number of his young players were left wanting at the end of this international break.

The likes of Tottenham and Leicester City midfielders Harry Winks and James Maddison were expected to get game time at St Mary’s on Tuesday after missing out on Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Bulgaria.

James Maddison was unused during this international break by England boss Gareth Southgate
Getty Images - Getty

But they, along with a number of other inexperienced stars hoping for a game, were left on the bench as the Three Lions’ midfield and defence crumbled against the plucky minnows.

Fans were left particularly disappointed by Maddison’s no-show, especially given his brilliant form in a Leicester shirt so far this season and the clamour for his call-up before the squad was announced.

Harry Winks earned a recall to the England side for his solid performances for Spurs, but also didn’t get a game against Bulgaria or Kosovo
Getty Images - Getty

But Southgate explained securing the result was his priority over handing out caps, and admitted Winks and Maddison weren’t the only players he had to disappoint.

“We had ambition to get more people into the games,” the Three Lions boss told talkSPORT’s Nigel Adderley.

“If you look at young players we’ve played [Declan] Rice, who is still in the very early stages of his international career, and [Jadon] Sancho and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] who only have a handful of caps, and then we got Mason [Mount] onto the pitch twice.

“But when the game goes 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, we can’t just be about giving everybody an opportunity.

Declan Rice has now made five appearances for England, while Mason Mount has graduated from the England Under-21s squad
AFP or licensors

“That’s tough on the guys who haven’t got on the pitch, but Tyrone Mings, Joe Gomez and Callum Wilson are all in the same position and our two other goalkeepers who have been brilliant all week are also in the same position.

“It’s a shame for those guys, but they just have to keep playing well for their clubs.”

Jadon Sancho EXCLUSIVE: England happy to strengthen claim for starting spot after scoring two goals against Kosovo

11 Sep

Jadon Sancho has told talkSPORT he was happy to seize his chance to stake a claim for an England starting spot after opening his account for the Three Lions against Kosovo.

The 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund ace was picked in the starting XI for the St Mary’s clash and proved his worth by scoring his first England goal, quickly followed by a second – both assisted by man of the moment Raheem Sterling – in the 5-3 victory.

Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling were all among the goals
AFP or licensors

It meant Sancho become the youngest player since Wayne Rooney in 2004 to score more than one goal in a game for England, and his efforts were appreciated by supporters as he received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Marcus Rashford late on.

Sancho was picked ahead of Rashford for the clash, although Gareth Southgate made it clear that decision was ‘in no way a reflection of how people played at the weekend’ in the 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

The Manchester United striker struggled to make an impact in that game, and has not been at this best for the Red Devils since scoring twice in the opening Premier League win over Chelsea.

Rashford and Sancho are both key members of the senior squad now
getty

With Sancho, meanwhile, Southgate admitted ‘his number of goals and assists at Dortmund speaks for itself’.

While it has taken eight caps to find the net in an England shirt, he’s had no trouble making a regular impact for his German club.

No player in Europe’s top five leagues has produced more assists in league football than Sancho since the start of last season – 17.

That total includes four in five appearances for Dortmund this term, as well as three goals.

And he was pleased to take his chance against a tricky Kosovo side, in a game that was chaotic at the back but slick and tidy in attack.

“It was a very special moment for me and my family,” he told talkSPORT following the match.

“They caught us early and how we reacted to that was really good by scoring five goals, and to get two of them was really good.

“There’s always competition in a front three, so when you get your opportunity you’ve just got to take it.

“In training I’m going to keep working hard and if I do start on the bench I’m going to come on and try to impact the game.

“I’m just happy to be a part of this team.”

Bury fan ‘totally heartbroken’ over beloved club’s demise and says he is ‘livid’ with the EFL and ‘greedy’ Steve Dale

28 Aug

A heartbroken Bury fan joined the Sports Bar on Tuesday night to share her grief in losing her beloved club, in what could be one of talkSPORT’s saddest ever calls.

Kate the Shaker told Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy she is ‘done with football’ as the club she has supported all her life stands on the precipice of extinction.

Bury were expelled from the English Football League on Tuesday night after owner Steve Dale failed to sell the club or prove he has the funds to start their season before the 5pm deadline they were given by league chiefs.

Bury fans have been left devastated by the rapid demise of their beloved club
Getty Images - Getty

London-based firm C&N Sporting Risk were close to doing a deal but they devastatingly pulled out 90 minutes before the deadline.

The results of a dramatic day in Greater Manchester will almost certainly result in the 134-year-old club being liquidated.

And Kate said she, like many Bury fans, is ‘livid’ with the EFL and Dale, saying the ‘greedy’ owner has ‘devastated the community’.

“I’ve been a Bury fan all my life and I just can’t believe it,” said told the Sports Bar.

“I’m totally broken hearted.

“I’m so angry at so many different people and I just can’t believe that something that has been a constant in my life has gone.

“I was first taken by my Dad when I was two, we’re supported Bury through four generations of my family and I can’t believe it’s gone.

“I’m so livid. I’m livid at the EFL, I’m livid at our two owners, firstly Stewart Day for racking up the ridiculous amounts of debt and secondly Steve Dale for his greed.

“If he had interacted with our prospective buyers when they first got in touch we might have had a deal, but he wanted to line his own pockets.

Steve Date purchased Bury from former chairman Stewart Day for just £1 in December and eight months later they are out of the EFL and on the verge of liquidation
getty

“He bought us for £1, he wanted to line his pockets and he walks away scot-free. He has devastated our community.

“I’ll be broken hearted for the rest of my life over this. Football is done for me. When you support a club you can’t support another.”

talkSPORT host Will Gavin was also joined on Extra Time by Bury fan Andrea, who revealed she and many other supporters warned the EFL months ago about their club’s plight, but their messages were met with ‘a rather patronising’ statement that they would keep an eye on it.

Arsenal should have appointed Rafael Benitez instead of ‘caretaker manager’ Unai Emery, says Gunners caller

27 Aug

An Arsenal fan has told talkSPORT the club should have appointed Rafael Benitez instead of ‘caretaker manager’ Unai Emery.

After watching his side outclassed by Liverpool in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield, Richard the Gooner has blasted Emery’s lack of tactical expertise.

Many fans and pundits agreed the Gunners boss got his game plan wrong against the Reds.

Unai Emery was criticised for his tactics in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool
AFP or licensors

And Richard the Gooner believes Benitez would have been a better fit to succeed Arsene Wenger as he would have started by strengthening their defence, which remains a big problem for the north London side.

Benitez’ defensive record speaks for itself, especially away from home where Arsenal have particularly struggled.

Last season, only champions Manchester City (11) and runners-up Liverpool (12) conceded fewer goals away from home than Newcastle United (23) in the Premier League.

And, speaking on Monday night’s Sports Bar, Richard admitted he is not convinced by his current boss.

“Unai Emery is basically a caretaker manager,” he said.

“The best Arsenal could have done was to appoint someone like Rafael Benitez.

“At least he would sort out our defence and then you can start again, and we’d also have a manager who has got some tactical nous.

“Poor old Unai hasn’t got any tactical nous!

Benitez joined Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang after leaving Newcastle this summer, but Richard the Gooner wanted the Champions League winner at the Emirates Stadium
AFP or licensors

“We’ve got a problem at Arsenal.

“There is not one single player who would get into the Liverpool or Man City sides.

“Of course we’ve all got to strive to catch these two clubs, but the reality is they are a long way ahead.

“There is a sense, certainly at Arsenal and Man United, of people searching for a bit of a fairy tale, but I just think it’s gone.”

Former Tottenham defender beginning to doubt Mauricio Pochettino – ‘Something is definitely not right’

27 Aug

Former Tottenham defender Jason Cundy has admitted he is beginning to doubt manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs have endured a mixed bag of results to start the season, with a win, draw and loss from their opening three Premier League games, but their performances have not been convincing.

Pochettino’s men suffered a surprise defeat at home to Newcastle on Sunday, as record-signing Joelinton’s first goal earned the Magpies a 1-0 victory and their first points of the campaign.

Pochettino cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines during Sunday’s defeat
AFP or licensors

The hosts recorded 80 per cent possession at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but were lacking in creativity with star playmaker Christian Eriksen starting the game on the bench.

Pochettino admitted following the game he is unsure if Eriksen, who came on in the second half, has played his final game for the club amid links with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The boss also conceded his Spurs squad is the ‘most unsettled’ it has ever been in his five years in charge, with the futures of a number of other first-team players also uncertain.

And Cundy says there is ‘something definitely not right’ at his former club under Pochettino.

“This Spurs side have promised so much,” said the Sports Bar host on Monday night.

“I think Pochettino has done a really good job with trying to mess with the big clubs in terms of what Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United have spent, and they still produce a brand of football that is attacking and open.

Pochettino has admitted his squad are unsettled, with the futures of a number of players – including key midfielder Christian Eriksen – uncertain
Getty Images - Getty

“I like the way he coaches players, he brings young players on, gets the best out of them and makes them better.

“But then you look back on their record over the last year, in all competitions they’ve lost 20 games over the last 12 months – that’s a horrendous record.

“You can’t do that, you can’t keep doing that.

“There’s something weird about Spurs at the moment. Something is definitely not right.”

Watch a clip of Jason Cundy on talkSPORT’s Sports Bar above

Manchester United will be Premier League ‘dark horses’ this season and ‘on fire’ Alexis Sanchez will score 20-plus goals, says talkSPORT caller

24 Jul

You have to admire this Manchester United fan’s optimism ahead of the new Premier League season.

Or laugh. Take your pick.

The unnamed supporter – probably for the best – joined The Sports Bar on Tuesday night to share his prediction for the upcoming campaign, and he certainly has high hopes.

Listen to the brilliantly optimistic Man United fan (not pictured) on talkSPORT below
getty

Not only does he believe United will finish big six rivals Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal in the table…

…he also thinks Alexis Sanchez will be the man to fire them to a top-three with 20-plus goals.

“You don’t just have a really good season at Arsenal and then come to Man United, score two goals in a season and just be crap like that overnight,” he said.

Well, five goals in 18 months says otherwise, pal.

Alexis Sanchez is one of the best-paid footballers in England. Just think about that for a moment…
getty

Check out what his hopeful Red Devils fan said in full below:

“I think Manchester United will finished third, maybe second at a push, but I don’t think we’ll struggle to get top four.

“I guarantee you, they will kick on and finish second and third and the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal will be battling.

“Alexis Sanchez is going to be firing – he is going to score at least 20 goals this season.

Alexis Sanchez scored two goals for Chile at the Copa America this summer – perhaps he’s on his way back?
GETTY

“You don’t just have a really good season at Arsenal and then come to Man United, score two goals in a season and just be crap like that overnight. He’s had bad injuries.

“Rashford and Martial will be firing too.

“Martial will be happier up front because Lukaku is going, Rashford has got to step up and Sanchez will deliver.

“I promise you, we will be the dark horse this season.

“After all the mess-ups over the years, they have to be, otherwise we are stuffed.

“But I can’t see that happening.”

Everton transfer news: Mario Mandzukic move would not make sense for Juventus player, European football journalist explains

19 Jul

European football expert Kevin Hatchard has downplayed reports suggesting Mario Mandzukic could be on his way to Everton, telling talkSPORT Juventus would be ‘mad’ to let him go.

The Toffees are reportedly interested in the 33-year-old striker and are waiting to see if the Croatia international has a future at the Serie A champions under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

Manchester United FC transfer news: Red Devils linked with wonderkid Nikola Moro who has been dubbed the 'new Luka Modric'
Hatchard has dismissed claims Mandzukic is on his way to Everton

The forward had another solid season in Serie A, scoring nine goals and adding six assists as Juventus were crowned Italian champions for an eighth successive season.

But Hatchard has doubts over the reported move, insisting a move away wouldn’t make sense for the player at this stage of his career.

“I don’t think this [will happen],” he told the Sports Bar.

“It will be a big surprise in the sense that you look at the clubs he’s played for in his career, and the fact he’s still performing at a decent level for Juve, it’s by no means certain Sarri would not want to use him.

“Obviously [Cristiano] Ronaldo is expected to have the central role, but Mandzukic, under [Max] Allegri, played well in a wide attacking role at times. So he is versatile, experienced and a real competitor.

“Juve may let him go, but I’d be very surprised if Everton are at the head of the queue for him.

“I think for his experience and quality Juventus would be mad to let him go at this stage.

Pressed on how much Juve would need to consider letting Mandzukic leave this summer, Hatchard continued: “Some reports were saying as little as €15m- which is mad! I don’t think that’s anywhere near enough.

“I think you’re looking at another €10m on top of that… maybe €25m or that kind of mark.”

Philippe Coutinho transfer: Barcelona are misusing ex-Liverpool playmaker and will sell him for right price, European football expert tells talkSPORT

11 Jul

Barcelona are using Philippe Coutinho in the wrong position and as a result he has struggled to perform for the club, European football expert Kevin Hatchard has told talkSPORT.

The Brazil playmaker has failed to justify his £142million transfer fee since leaving Liverpool for Barca in January 2018 – and he could even be SOLD this summer to end his Camp Nou nightmare.

Coutinho had endured a difficult time since his move to Barcelona
Getty

The 27-year-old recorded just five goals and two assists in 34 LaLiga appearances last season, and doubts have been raised about his future at the club.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have both been linked with summer moves for Coutinho, while a shock return to former club Liverpool has also been touted as a possibility.

And European football expert Hatchard revealed the reasons for Coutinho’s failure at Barcelona while speaking on talkSPORT’s Sports Bar.

“Ernesto Valverde is a fan [of Coutinho],” said Hatchard, “but it just hasn’t worked out yet despite him playing in lots of games

“I think a few things [have affected his time in Barcelona].

“There is a feeling Barcelona were labouring under the misapprehension that he could replace Andres Iniesta in the role Iniesta played – and Iniesta is a one-off, an extraordinary player.

“Coutinho is more effective when he’s farther up the pitch and can do more damage; I think that’s where he is more comfortable.

“So he got stuck [in the wrong position] and his confidence has been damaged.”

Hatchard continued to say that Barca chiefs could be tempted to sell Coutinho this summer – but only if they make back as much of the £142million fee they paid for him.

“This was his dream move; it was a move he desperately wanted,” he added. “There were not many clubs he was going to leave Liverpool for, and Barcelona managed to tempt him – and it just hasn’t worked out.

Hatchard claims Barca are trying too hard to force Coutinho into the role Iniesta used to play

“Barcelona, if they can get anywhere near what they paid for him, that’s a deal they would do.”

Despite his obvious struggles in Catalonia, Coutinho’s agent has insisted there are no plans in place for his client to leave the Camp Nou this summer.

“I talked a few days ago with [general manager] Pep Segura at Barcelona,” Kia Joorabchian told French publication RMC Sport.

“He told me that the club does not want to sell Coutinho this summer, no matter what. And then, we have not had any contact with PSG.”

Sebastien Haller transfer: New West Ham signing profiled by European football expert as Hammers complete ‘one of the deals of the season’

11 Jul

West Ham have completed ‘one of the deals of the season’ by signing Sebastien Haller, European football expert Kevin Hatchard has told talkSPORT.

The Hammers announced Haller’s arrival in a deal worth up to £45million on Wednesday afternoon, with the striker passing a medical earlier this week.

He was NOT Manuel Pellegrini’s first-choice forward target this summer as West Ham hoped to sign Maxi Gomez, but Haller was chosen as the alternate option when Gomez decided to sign for Valencia instead of the Hammers.

West Ham’s dream of signing Maxi Gomez ended with the arrival of Haller
Getty Images

And having decided to chase Haller, West Ham moved quickly to get his signing over the line as the 25-year-old was interesting other clubs across Europe following an impressive campaign for Eintracht Frankfurt.

He netted 20 goals in 41 games for the German side last season, in his second year in the Bundesliga following his 2017 transfer from FC Utrecht in the Netherlands.

But what will Haller bring to West Ham? European football expert Kevin Hatchard joined talkSPORT last week to profile the striker – and said if West Ham got his signing over the line, which they have now done, they would be completing ‘one of the deals of the season’.

Speaking to the Sports Bar, Hatchard said: “I think he [Haller] is a super player. He’s a centre-forward who is great at bringing others into play.

“You look at Eintracht’s front three from last season; they had Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic.

“And a lot of Jovic’s goals are because Haller has either set him up or has dragged a defender out the space Jovic moves into.

“His all-round game is great; he’s good in the air and a really good goalscorer.

“I think he’d be an absolute steal if West Ham could get him.

Haller was part of one of Europe’s best attacks last season alongside Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic
EPA

“The feeling amongst local journalists who follow Frankfurt is there is nothing concrete – but they certainly aren’t denying it. And there have been widespread reports that it has moved on and Haller is very strongly linked to West Ham.

“If they can get it done, I think it could be one of the deals of the season.”