Football transfer rumours: Godín or Alderweireld to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff might be heading north soonIf Thursday felt like deadline day for the British cabinet then it follows that Friday should be a little woozy, a touch mellow, spent in a fug of regret and looming fear of whatever the Bad Thing was. Fortunately The Mill only knows football and, well, have we got a never-ending stream of guilt-free tittle-tattle for you. First of all, who was José Mourinho watching in Brussels on Thursday when Belgium beat Iceland? None of his Manchester United players were involved, so does that mean he wants another nibble at Toby Alderweireld – who helped Belgium to keep a clean sheet in the 2-0 win – this January? The centre-back was by far the most obvious target out there and it is little secret that Mourinho would like to convince his superiors – a word we naturally wouldn’t use lightly – that United desperately need reinforcing in that position. Related: Alexis Sánchez signing plays part in Manchester United 10% wage bill rise Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Premier League to introduce VAR but clubs reject overseas quota cut

• VAR to be implemented from next season• Widespread opposition to plans to cut overseas playersThe Premier League has finally agreed in principle to introduce video assistant referees next season but discussions over increasing homegrown quotas looks set to continue after clubs indicated they were unwilling to reduce the number of foreign players in the event of any Brexit deal.Having opted to extend VAR trials in April, clubs were provided with an update at the shareholders’ meeting on Thursday and have decided to proceed. They will formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa to use VAR next season. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



'I want to play better': is 2018 the start of Tom Brady's NFL decline?

The New England Patriots star is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league but, at 41, there are signs he may be slipping from his pedestalIt’s time for that biennial tradition of looking at a couple of bad Tom Brady performances and wondering if this is the beginning of the end for the man, the Patriots dynasty and possibly civilization itself.Hyperbole typically surrounds bad Brady outings: after all, they’re so infrequent, we have to get our kicks in. There is something noticeably different this time, though. It’s not just his age (41), it’s the manner of the performances. It’s not as visceral as the night in Kansas City back in 2014 when Brady was picked off twice and replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo in a 41-14 loss, but something feels off. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Republic of Ireland rescued by Darren Randolph in draw with Northern Ireland

This friendly meeting, laced as it was with all kinds of potential drama, of the two Irish sides was a matter of expediency in the international calendar.A dull scoreless encounter ultimately drew a sense of fateful disappointment for the Republic of Ireland and their manager Martin O’Neill in particular, where Northern Ireland – the country he used to captain with much distinction – should have won. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Bold and brave Root century puts England back in the driving seat

England’s risky sweeping strategy pays off in second TestEngland 290 & 324-9; Sri Lanka 336. England lead by 278 runsA brave and brilliant century by Joe Root has given England the chance of a famous victory in a compelling Test match in Kandy. The England captain’s innings was brave not because he was ever in any physical danger – no pace bowler propelled a ball at him until the 55th over – but because the conception of this knock and the approach of the entire England lineup was so unusually bold and risky.They swept and they scurried and they swept again. Their first seven batsmen were all out sweeping, which can easily prompt old-timers to rail against the modern way. Thus they risked severe censure from the wise men in the boxes if their strategy failed abysmally. It did not. They have scored 324 for nine on what is regarded as a Bunsen burner, seldom seen in England (except at Ciderabad). Continue reading...

16-11-2018



England v All Blacks, delicious drop shots and teen strikers | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features a monumental high school football comeback and vintage Australian motorsport mayhem1) It’s England against the All Blacks at Twickenham this weekend, which is a rivalry of sorts … albeit deeply one-sided as New Zealand have won 16 of the 23 contests there since 1925. The Red Rose’s last victory was in 2012, featuring three tries in eight minutes and a show-stopping performance from Manu Tuilagi; for balance, witness Joe Rokocoko in his pomp in 2006 as the hosts were thrashed 41-20, the highlight being Carl Hayman scoring one of his two international tries, and what a try it was. Perhaps the greatest ever contest between the two teams, at least on English shores, was this try-fest from 2002; or maybe it’s this 26-26 humdinger from 1997. The opening match of the 1991 World Cup included a big hit by Peter Winterbottom on Graeme Bachop; the great No 7 had also been in action eight years earlier as England claimed their first win over New Zealand at Twickenham for 47 years.2) No matter what transpires on Saturday afternoon, though, it’s unlikely to top Auguy Slowik’s 80m try for Jersey against London Irish in the Championship last weekend. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Women's World Twenty20 highlights: India beat Ireland, New Zealand end losing streak

Watch the best moments from day seven of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 as India beat Ireland to reach the semi-finals and New Zealand end their losing streak.

16-11-2018



Michael O'Neill: It is a game Northern Ireland should have won

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says he is disappointed his side failed to take their chances in the 0-0 draw away to the Republic of Ireland.

16-11-2018



Jadon Sancho and Callum Wilson point to bright England future | Jacob Steinberg

Lewis Dunk failed to allay concerns over his ability at the highest level while USA’s limitations were also clearOn a night when England fielded their least experienced side in 38 years, nobody epitomised the hunger in this young squad more than Jesse Lingard. After missing last month’s win over Spain with a groin injury, the Manchester United midfielder was desperate to make a strong impression and he did not take long to make his mark against the USA, setting the hosts on their way to a comfortable win with a brilliant opening goal in the 25th minute. As the competition for places in midfield grows ever more fierce, it was pleasing for Gareth Southgate to see Lingard rise to the challenge and seize the initiative with an effective display in the final third. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Northern Ireland Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan sails into quarter finals

Ronnie O'Sullivan advances to the Northern Ireland Open quarter finals while Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Ryan Day also progress.

16-11-2018



Japan plot fast route to ‘emotionally smash’ Eddie Jones’s England

• Masakatsu Nishikawa returns fire at former coach • ‘Sometimes size doesn’t work for you,’ says Jamie JosephIf you are looking for a little hint of Eddie Jones’s lingering influence on Japanese rugby, have a read of what the flanker Masakatsu Nishikawa had to say about the England pack he will be playing against on Saturday.Nishikawa said he was not too familiar with the two rookie back-rowers, Mark Wilson and Zach Mercer, but it did not matter because “we just need to smash them whoever is on the field”. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Wayne Rooney on England, leaving the Premier League, and life in the US

Wayne Rooney talks to Football Focus about England, leaving the Premier League, and life in the US playing for DC United.

16-11-2018



‘I had to make a statement’: Joe Root says century was special innings

• England captain helps England to 278-run lead in Pallekele• ‘You have to try to enjoy the occasion, not feel the pressure’As good leaders must Joe Root has practised what he preached. Throughout this tour Root has promised a more aggressive approach on the turning tracks of Sri Lanka and when the going became tougher his players did not desert those ambitious plans. “There might have been a temptation to go into our shell after we had a deficit after the first innings. Yet it was the inexperienced men at the top of the order [Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings] who set the benchmark. That was very pleasing.”Root soon followed them to the crease and he has seldom batted with such brio. “As captain I had to make a statement and play in that manner.” Otherwise his promises – and instructions – would seem hollow. “Anyway,” he added, “I think that style of play suits our players.” Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Video assistant referees (VAR) in English football - the story so far

Match of the Day pundits debate how successful the video assistant referee system has been so far in England.

16-11-2018



Jayce Olivero: from Abingdon United to facing Hazard with Gibraltar

Student and non-league defender on the thrill of turning out for his country and tears that greeted their first competitive winIf Craig David considers his 7 Days hectic, he clearly has never met Jayce Olivero. Take the international break last month when Olivero and his country tasted their first competitive win, against Armenia; Saturday 13 October 2018 will live with Gibraltar forever. By the Tuesday night they were celebrating another, against Liechtenstein, and by Wednesday afternoon, via Gatwick airport, he was back home in Headington. By 9am Thursday, Olivero, a third-year student at Oxford Brookes University, was sitting in a two-hour lecture. Two days later he helped Abingdon United beat ninth-tier Tuffley Rovers in the Hellenic League Challenge Cup.Olivero, who had trials at Leicester and West Ham in his mid-teens, knows what is coming. “I always get that question,” he says, laughing. “I’ve been very fortunate to play against players like Hazard, Lukaku, Dzeko, Nani, all these great players … Kompany, Courtois, just a big list of brilliant players. Kevin De Bruyne. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



David McNamara: Referees plan to use 'rock, paper, scissors' in support of banned official

Referees at some grassroots football matches are planning to use the rock, paper, scissors game at kick-off to show support for a suspended official.

16-11-2018



José Mourinho: People who don't understand football analyse with statistics – video

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has blamed exertions for his side's 3-1 derby defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.United fought back for a 2-1 victory against the Italian champions Juventus in Turin on Wednesday while City cruised through a home game against Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0.'Everybody has to agree - it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed. We arrived in different circumstances,' said the Portuguese coach. But in contrast with some defeats this season, Mourinho was unwilling to criticise his team's attitude and effort, saying 'for me zero words against my players, everything is positive. I am with them and they are with me.'Sportblog: Would Pep Guardiola win the title with this Manchester United squad? Continue reading...

16-11-2018