All posts by Adam Stephens

Will Harry Kane’s loyalty for Spurs be tested?

A few months is a long time in football, especially it appears this season where so many sides are experiencing fluctuating fortunes.  

Take Liverpool for example, up until the last two months could do no wrong, but have now suffered back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Brendan Rodger’s Leicester.  They subsequently face a battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League. 

Then there is Tottenham Hotspur. Back in November they produced a Jose Mourinho masterclass to secure a 2-0 win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side.  They were in fact setting the pace at the top of the Premier League, both Son-Heung min and Harry Kane were the most prolific pairing in the division and there appeared a new found reliance, which was installed by Mourinho.  

Fast forward, however, to what is commonly referred to as the business end of the campaign and Spurs now find themselves down in ninth in the table, 17 points behind league leaders City following a rather chastening experience of a 3-0 loss at the Etihad.  

Indeed, since that previously highlighted 2-0 loss in November Guardiola’s men have now gone 16 games unbeaten in all competitions and during that time have just conceded three goals, while scoring 36. 

The North London side, meanwhile, have only won four games in 14 since that impressive 2-0 win, the goals have dried up and Kane has looked an increasingly fore lawn figure leading the line. 

During Tottenham’s latest defeat, the England captain failed to register a single touch in the opposition penalty area.  In fact Kane put in an impressive performance as a defender having registered four clearances during yesterday’s 3-0 loss, which was the joint highest of any Spurs player.  

Following the game, however, Jamie Redknapp in the Sky Studio said:

“Harry Kane must look at that and think: ‘I want touches, I want to be the main man, not just taking free-kicks!’ He won’t be happy doing that.”

Redknapp is not the only former Spurs player to have highlighted that Kane would not be happy to be feeding off limited service.  

Prior to the match at the Etihad former fans favourite Clive Allan, who coached Kane during his days in the Tottenham academy raised the point that the England striker will not want to end his career without getting his hands on silverware.   

Allan said on TalkSport: 

“He is integral to Spurs achieving any sort of success, because without him they are not as strong a team. The way he links the play, the way he scores goals, the way he creates chances for other players.

“But, I have no doubt he has had thoughts about it [leaving].

“He’s been fantastic at the club from the first moment he walked in as a 16-year-old. I worked with him at that early age, and you could see he had the most incredible appetite and desire to improve himself, to get the best out of himself, which obviously we have seen he has done.

“But I think he will want a career where he has won something.”

This then leads on to where would Kane go if he were to leave his beloved boyhood club? 

Well, Manchester City are certainly one of the few clubs who can afford the England international and will almost certainly be in the market for a world class striker despite managing so impressively without Sergio Aguero.   

Then there is City’s rivals Manchester United, who have long been reported admirers of Kane and he would certainly provide them with a more cutting edge that times appears to be missing at crucial moments in big games.  

Abroad, meanwhile, there is Real Madrid who are the obvious candidates and Zinedine Zidane’s men are currently experiencing one of the club’s most disappointing season’s to date as they are eight points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid and have already been eliminated from the Copa Del Rey this year.

The likes of Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona would also undoubtedly be interested, despite not being as good as previous Catalan teams they are still a side that offer an obvious attraction. 

In short, Kane will have no shortage of options should he choose to leave his boyhood club and a lot will depend on what happens in the remaining months of the season and also whether he fancies a crack at pastures anew. 

Do you think that Harry Kane will leave his boyhood club this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…..

Fleetwood Town appoint Simon Grayson as new head coach

Fleetwood Town have appointed former Sunderland, Leeds and Preston boss Simon Grayson as Head Coach until the end of the season.

The 51-year-old has agreed a deal until the end of the campaign and succeeds Joey Barton, who left his role on January 4 after almost three years in charge of The Cod Army.  

Grayson arrives at the Highbury Stadium with the club currently sitting 14th in League One having just picked up two points from five games under caretaker-manager Simon Wiles.  

The experienced boss has already expressed his desire to hit the ground running with his new club.  Speaking to the club’s official website, Grayson said:

“Fleetwood Town are a football club I know a lot about, it’s a club with a really good infrastructure and I’m delighted to get back to work and be given this opportunity to get the club winning again. I can’t wait to get started.”

Indeed, The Cod Army will be hoping that Grayson continues his impressive record in the third tier of English football as he has managed four times to secure promotion from the division.  

The first was via the play-offs during his first spell with Blackpool in 2007, and then he successfully led Leeds United to automatic promotion in 2010. 

Grayson then led another Yorkshire based club in Huddersfield Town to the Championship via the play-offs in 2012, before more recently getting promoted with Preston North End in 2015.

Grayson’s first game in charge will be against Bristol Rovers at The Highbury Stadium and the new coach will be hoping to get his new side back to winning ways as soon as possible following a tough run of results, the latest being a 1-0 defeat to Oxford United. 

Grayson added: 

“First and foremost I want to get Fleetwood back to winning ways, get a smile on players’ faces again and get them enjoying what they are doing.

“It’s never easy when you are losing games and things aren’t going your way, so I intend to get them smiling, working hard, and letting us in the right to win football matches. Hopefully, we can do that very quickly.”

Danny Rose now set to remain at spurs after Trabzonspor move COLLASPES

Tottenham’s longest serving player Danny Rose’s reported move to Turkey’s Trabzonspor has now collapsed at the eleventh hour.

The 30-year-old England international has been in North London since 2007, but has fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho having been left out of the Premier League and European squads.  

Rose had initially believed to have accepted a three and a half year contract to move to the Super Lig Turkish club.  Now, however, it appears the move will fail to materialise meaning that the left back will see out the remaining six months of his contract in North London.

Rose had previously spent the second half of the last campaign on loan at Newcastle, but returned to London in the summer and has still found his opportunities few and far between.

Rose has been forced to play for the development side as a result this season, with Mourinho instead opting for Ben Davies and Sergio Regulion to compete for the left back position. 

Indeed, it has been common knowledge that Rose and Mourinho came to blows during the last campaign as it was captured on Spurs’ Amazon Prime documentary ‘All or Nothing’.

Following Spurs’ 0-0 draw with Watford Rose approached Mourinho in his office and said:

“I was wondering what the problem is?”

Rose then continued:

“The way I’ve been treated.  I was excited when you were appointed manager but if you do not want to play me tell me now and I will stay at home and train at home.”

Mourinho replied saying:

“I think you did not play well (against Liverpool). Then, the next game against Middlesbrough, Japhet Tanganga played well and was strong, so defensive and didn’t make any mistakes.  I couldn’t say that you would be first choice or play every match.  It depends on you.”  

Rose joined Newcastle a few days later and admitted: 

“If I have a problem or am not happy about something, I have to be able to have an honest debate or conversation with somebody. He is a very straight talker, as am I.”

Both men subsequently went their separate ways and with Rose entering the last six months of his contract with Spurs, rather than being prepared to wait for the full back to leave for nothing in the summer.  The England international perhaps summed up the situation the best: 

“Everybody has a price in football and sometimes when you get to a certain age, or have a certain amount of years on your contract, people within a football club will think it’s time to move somebody on, or get someone younger in.”

instead of joining up with Chelsea’s Lewis Baker and Stoke’s Benik Afobe, who are both on loan at Trabzonspor, Rose will have to apply himself in the Tottenham Under 23s before looking for a new club in the Summer 2021 transfer window.

Where do you think Danny Rose will end up this summer? Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments below…

Mesut Ozil completes Fenerbahce move

Arsenal attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil has completed his transfer to Turkish side Fenerbahce. 

The German playmaker made 254 appearances for the Gunners since he joined them from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013, but the 32-year-old fell out of favour with Mikel Arteta and was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads since the start of the campaign. 

The World Cup winner recently came to an agreement with the North London club to terminate his contact, which enabled him to join a new club and subsequently travel to Istanbul to complete the transfer.

In a message to the Arsenal fans, Ozil said: 

“I’d like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years. The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for. Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime.”

In addition, following Ozil’s departure Arteta said:

“Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins. These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce.”

Indeed, the German has always expressed a desire of wanting to play in Turkey as he explained to NTV earlier this week:

“I am a Fenerbahce fan.

That is why I am very happy to be coming to Turkey with Fenerbahce. I’m very excited.  God gave me the chance to wear this jersey.  I will carry it with honour and do everything that I can for the team.”  

During his time with the Gunners Ozil scored a total of 44 goals and registered an impressive 77 assists.  His first two seasons with the club resulted in winning back-to-back FA Cups.  It was, however, the 2015/16 campaign, which resulted him providing a phenomenal 19 assists for his team, one short of the legendary Thierry Henry’s record, while he created an outstanding 146 chances.   

Ozil was subsequently named Arsenal’s player of the year that season, but he was never able to reach those lofty heights again despite helping his side reach the Carabao Cup final in 2018 and the Europa League Final in 2019.  

What followed was a decline in performance, a retirement from international duty and a sense of unfulfilled promise from player who promised so much. 

https://247-football.com/2020/11/23/should-arsenal-make-a-move-for-christian-eriksen-in-january/

Lionesses appoint Hege Riise as Short-Term Head Coach

The England Lionesses have appointed the former Norwegian midfielder Hege Riise as a short-term head coach following the sudden departure of Phil Neville to Inter Miami in the MLS.

Riise will step into the role from February of this month to lead the upcoming training camp supported by ex-Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson. 

During her distinguished playing career, Riise was an Olympic, World Cup and European Championship winner and scored 58 goals in 188 internationals.

The 1995 world player of the year has since gone on to have an impressive coaching career too, having managed to steer Norwegian side LSK Kvinner to six consecutive league titles.  She has also previously been the assistant coach to the all-conquering USA Women’s side, which won Olympic Gold in 2012.  

Speaking about her Lionesses appointment, Riise said: 

“I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to work with England Women. This is a proud and ambitious team that I look forward to working with and I am confident of making a positive impact when I meet up with the squad in February.”

The Director of England Women’s football Sue Campbell, meanwhile, added:

“I am delighted to welcome Hege Riise and Rhian Wilkinson to the England coaching team, having had positive discussions with them in recent weeks.  

“They bring significant international experience and will help guide our players before the arrival of Sarina Wiegman as our new head coach to lead us into the home EURO in 2022. Once February is complete, we will sit down and assess the Lionesses situation and consider next steps for Team GB in consultation with the home nations and the British Olympic Association.”

Riise could be in the frame to take on the Team GB job too as that role has also been vacated following Neville’s departure, but it is understood that her primary focus will be working with England.  

This appointment will also have no affect on the incoming Dutch coach Weigman, who is due to take the helm of the Lionesses from September 2021