Category Archives: Three Lions

How can Manchester United replace Marcus Rashford for the next few months?

Following this past weekend’s 2-0 defeat to fierce rivals Liverpool, Manchester United manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer confirmed every United fans worst fears, that Marcus Rashford could face a minimum of six weeks out.

 Solskjaer said during his post match press conference on Sunday:

“He has suffered a bad injury.  It’s a stress fracture, it happened against Wolverhampton during the FA Cup third round replay.”

This injury could hardly come at a worse time for the Red Devils with the return leg in the Carabao Cup looming against Manchester City at the end of the month where United somehow have to overturn a 3-1 deficit.

An FA Cup fourth round tie against either Watford or Tranmere Rovers is also on the horizon and not to mention the resumption of their Europa League campaign against Club Brugge in February.

Rashford himself has up to this point enjoyed his best ever goal-scoring season for the club to date having scored 19 goals in all competitions so far – making him the top goal scorer.

So how does Solskjaer go about replacing his main man for these up coming season defining games?

Strikers currently at United who could replace Rashford

Anthony Martial

The French international is the most senior fit forward currently at the club and is enjoying his best scoring return since his debut campaign for the team back in 2015/16.

Martial has scored 24 goals in all competitions this term however question marks still remain however about his consistency, he did also miss a crucial chance at weekend against Liverpool that could of altered the outcome.

Mason Greenwood

Greenwood has enjoyed a terrific start to his career at Old Trafford and has proven that he is a clinical finisher having reached 10 goals in all competitions. On top of that his left foot has been likened to Dutch forward Robin Van Persie.

He is only 18 and it is his first season playing Premier League football. This in mind, would it be worth Manchester United bringing in another striker to help fill the void that Rashford would leave?

Striker options in the Transfer Market

Former Manchester United right back Gary Neville has previously stressed that his old club needed to replace Romelu Lukaku following his move to Inter Milan in the summer and yesterday Neville said:

“United have to go into the transfer market. They need someone up there with a physical presence and a bit more maturity – they need another body.”

Solskjaer has also stated that they would be open to a short-term solution following their growing injury list.  So who is currently available?

Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan forward’s name immediately jumps out following his transfer request that he has put in this week.  Cavani’s contract at Paris Saint German expires at the end of the season but the 32 year old wants to leave during the January transfer window.

Cavani has scored 195 goals in 269 appearances for PSG, however this season his game time has been limited due to injuries.

He is a proven international striker but could be a gamble due to his inexperience in the premier league and current injury record. So there is the danger of a repeat of Radamel Falcao’s disastrous loan move a few years ago.

Paco Alcacer

Following the arrival of Erling Haaland at Borussa Dortmund the Spanish international’s game time could be further limited so his game time could be further limited at the German side.

Despite his lack of game time Alcacer has still managed five goals in 11 games this campaign and has managed a good goal scoring return at his previous clubs, particularly Valencia.

The 26 year old is another one however that lacks Premier League experience. There would also be further competition for his signature from Atletico Madrid.

Fernando Llorente

Fernando Llorente, unlike the previous striking options has had experience of playing in the Premier League.

The Spanish international has previously appeared for Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur and would also give United a more physical presence up front that they currently lack with their current forward options.

Llorente is also not getting much game time at his current side, Napoli.

At 34 years old however he is the oldest striker on this list and he also is not scoring many goals having only managed three goals in his 16 appearances so far for the Italian club.

Callum Wilson

Another potential striker option is Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson. His style is similar to that of Rashford’s and he did score 25 goals in all competitions last season.

Wilson however has struggled for form this season scoring just five times but signing for Manchester United could prove beneficial for both player and club and inspire him to get back to that goal scoring form of the last campaign.

Moussa Dembele

The 23-year-old French forward is having a strong season for Lyon.  Dembele has scored 11 goals in 19 appearances in France Ligue 1 and has previously played for English club, Fulham and has impressed while at Scottish Champions Celtic.

Dembele has previously been linked with the 20 time premier league champions while he was at Fulham.   The French side however will unlikely want to part with their prized asset until the summer at the earliest and there would be the added competition from Premier League rivals such as Chelsea for his signature.

Raul Jimenez

Our final option is a striker already applying his trade in the top flight.  Jimenez has already proved to be an excellent acquisition for Wolverhampton Wanders and the 28 year old has led the line brilliantly for Nuno Espirto Santo’s team, scoring ten times and contributing six assists in 23 games.

The Mexican striker would certainly be an effective target man up front for Solskjaer’s side.  The chances of Wolves letting their prize asset go mid-season however are somewhat remote and United may have to splash out in access of 50 million for his signature.

Summary

The need for United to venture into the January transfer market for an additional striker is certainly apparent, particularly if they want to maintain a realistic challenge for the Champions League places and winning a Cup competition.

Otherwise the Red Devils and their fans could face yet again another season without featuring in Europe’s premier competition.

England Boss Southgate Picks 25-man Squad For October Qualifiers

ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate has named a 25-man squad for October’s Euro 2020 Qualifying games against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The Three Lions take on the Czech’s in Prague on Friday 11th October before playing Bulgaria three days later in Sofia.

Southgate has handed call-ups to Chelsea duo Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori following their impressive campaigns at Stamford Bridge so far this season.

Striker Abraham has returned to the senior Three Lions squad for the first time in almost 2 years, when he featured for Southgate’s men at Wembley against both Germany and Brazil. Meanwhile, defender Tomori has earned his first senior call-up after impressing at U19, U20 and U21 levels.

England, who currently sit top of Group A in the Qualifiers after winning four from four, know that a victory in Prague could seal qualification for next summers Euros. However, boss Southgate and his squad will know that if they are to secure top spot in their group, they will need to complete a 100% record in the group campaign.

Squad in full for the Three Lions trips to Prague and Sofia:

Goalkeepers: Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Kieran Tripper (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)

Strikers: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth)

There has been a few surprise inclusions in the squad, especially Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham being involved despite their impressive starts in the Premier League. I would have thought Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Southampton’s Nathan Redmond would have been included despite their clubs positions in the table.

Let us at 24/7 Football know your thoughts on the latest Three Lions squad. Are you happy with the selection Gareth Southgate’s made?

Would you have included both Tomori and Abraham? Let us know in the comments below.

Swans Swoop In For Cooper

SWANSEA City have appointed England Under-17 Head Coach Steve Cooper as their new Head Coach.

Cooper, 39, has signed a three-year deal to replace Graham Potter who joined Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this summer.

He will be joined by former Liverpool and West Ham United midfielder Mike Marsh, who becomes the assistant first-team coach, with further backroom appointments to come.

Marsh worked alongside Cooper at the FA and is also the former Liverpool and Huddersfield Town first-team coach.

Cooper, who during his career played as a defender, is the son of former top-flight referee Keith – was on the books of Wrexham as a youngster before joining the clubs academy coaching set-up, acheiveing his UEFA Pro Licence coaching certificate at the age of 26.

After becoming Head of Youth at Wrexham, he moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy manager in 2011. During his time at Anfield, he worked under technical director Pep Segura, who is currently, general football manager at Barcelona and he helped develop players such as Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn.

He first joined the FA set-up in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014 before moving to under-17 level a year level.

Cooper’s Young Lions reached the 2017 European Championship finals, where they lost against Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year when they beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final.

The England Under-17 World Cup final side featured the likes of Phil Foden, Rhian Brewster, Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi, whilst Jadon Sancho, who has since made his senior debut, was also in the squad for the tournament.

Swansea chairman Trevor Birch told the clubs official website:“We are excited and delighted with the appointment.

“Together with Leon (Britton) and Alan (Curtis) we went through a long and thorough interview process covering a lot of very good candidates. The quality was extremely high, which speaks volumes about the attractiveness of the opportunity and how well respected this football club is within the game.

“At the forefront of our thinking was the appointment of a head coach who was hungry, ambitious, had a clear track record of playing our style of football, plus a pedigree to work with and develop young, talented players.

“Steve matched all those requirements in abundance and his views, coaching ethos and presentation were extremely compelling.

“It may be his first senior role, but he has been coaching for over 20 years and, let’s not forget, our young squad saw more game time for under-23 players than any other team in the Championship last season. And not many people can say they have won a World Cup, even at under-17 level!

“He is highly regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country and at some stage was always going to be given an opportunity by someone. I’m delighted we are that club because Swansea has a great track record of success in doing just that with the likes of Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers, for example.’’

Birch also revealed that the club were targeting appointing a head coach rather than a manager saying:“We were targeting a head coach rather than a manager because we feel the work on the training pitch will be vital to our success. The appointment of Mike Marsh as his assistant – who has a wealth of knowledge and senior experience – will play a vital role in supporting Steve.

“We will also ensure he receives support from a strong infrastructure around him. Leon and Alan will be regular and familiar figures down at the training ground who, together with the impending new head of recruitment and other backroom hires, will form a strong collaborative team behind the scenes.

“We believe Steve is ready for it, but more importantly he believes he is ready for it as well. We are excited by the appointment and have every confidence and belief in his abilities to be successful.’’

FIFA Women’s World Cup: 7th June – 7th July 2019

With only 54 days until the first kick off in France, the 24 teams are upping their game with team announcements being released and international friendlies taking place across this week. For those competing for the title, as well as those hoping to shine for the first time on a global scale, the countdown to the World Cup has begun…

There have only been four different winners of the prestigious World Cup, which comes with £4 million in prize money and an increase in the FIFA world rankings. As defending champions and current leaders of the FIFA rankings, the USWNT (USA), are arguably favourites to defend their title following a breeze-through in qualification. The road to France saw the USA comfortably beat Mexico and Panama 6-0 and 5-0 respectively, before thumping Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 and Jamaica 6-0 in the CONCACAF Championship to cement their qualification. However, having been closely pipped by England’s Lionesses to the title of the SheBelieves Cup in March, it may not be all plain sailing for the USA this time around!

England Lionesses boss Phil Neville has recently expressed his intent to be ‘ruthless’ in his team selection as he drives for success in his first World Cup over his managerial and footballing career. Having lost to Canada but putting two past Spain in a 2-1 win during this weeks’ international friendlies, Neville has advised his players to “stay fit, keep in form and keep charging forward”, in the hope of replicating the success they saw in the SheBelieves Cup in March. England currently stand 3rd in the FIFA rankings as they head into the tournament, with their campaign kicking off against bordering rivals Scotland on the 9th June.

With more than prize money and glory on the cards, England striker Toni Duggan has highlighted her hope for the media to boost the crowd numbers and TV audience across the women’s game. With the current attendance record (60,739) coming last month at Barcelona’s success over Atletico Madrid, Duggan hopes that success at this summers tournament can improve these numbers in England, which on average sees just short of 1000 fans per Women’s Super League (WSL) game.

As well as the FIFA top 10 heading to France this summer, the 2019 World Cup will also see the introduction of 4 new teams; Jamaica, Chile, Scotland and South Africa. Jamaica, one of the the lowest ranked teams in the tournament, saw their funding cut 8 years ago by the Jamaican Football Federation, this led to 3 years of inactivity and they failed to even achieve a FIFA rank. They begin their campaign on the 9th June against the competition’s 2007 runners-up Brazil.

The tournament kicks off on the 7th June with France hosting South Korea at the Parc des Princes in Paris, with the final being played a month later in Lyon at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais. Coverage of all 52 games is on BBC this summer.