Concern for Daniel James as Man United star is knocked unconscious, before returning to action for Wales

A concerning sequence of events involving Manchester United winger Daniel James has been garnering widespread attention online this evening.

Wales held

James’ Wales welcomed Croatia to the Cardiff City Stadium a short time ago, for their latest Euro 2020 qualifier.

The visitors headed into proceedings sitting pretty atop the Group E table.

Ryan Giggs’ hosts, meanwhile, sat 4th, 6 points adrift of their opponents (albeit having played a game less).

As such, with Hungary having secured a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan already today, Wales no doubt entered their latest outing desperate for a much-needed 3-point haul.

When all was said and done in the country’s capital, however, the Dragons were forced to settle for a draw.

Croatia took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes of the clash, courtesy of Nikola Vlasic.

Wales, though, soon fought back, notching a timely equaliser just before the interval, through star man Gareth Bale:

The second-half, however, saw Ryan Giggs’ men fail to muster up an all-important 2nd, leaving their qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

James concern

Result aside, meanwhile, another major talking point to have been taken away from Wales’ draw this evening surrounded an incident involving Daniel James.

As the Manchester United summer arrival rose for a header during the early exchanges in Cardiff, he was inadvertently caught by the knee of the arriving Domagoj Vida.

This saw James hit the ground hard, before lying motionless on the turf, in truly worrying scenes.

After appearing to come to, the 21-year-old was quickly seen to by the hosts’ medical team, as he regained consciousness.

However, much to the surprise of viewers, James was then, just minutes later, allowed to return to the action, despite having picked up what at one point looked a potentially-serious head injury.

Safe to say, the online reaction has since been heavily-critical, with many having called into question football’s concussion protocol:

Man United & Moussa Dembele have mutual interest in January transfer – Castles

Man United loanee Alexis Sanchez picks up potentially-serious injury on international duty

What is the strongest Chelsea FC team if everyone was fit and available?

What is the strongest Chelsea FC team if everyone was fit and available? Welcome to another bonus video from me tonight looking naming the strongest Chelsea FC team if everyone was fit and available. Who would be in your Chelsea FC Team?

Take a look at the video below because trust me, the defence was fairly easy but the midfield and forward line was a tough one!

What do you think of the video? Post your comments below!


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Manchester United interested in Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic – Sport

Rakitic’s Barcelona stint

Ivan Rakitic joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014.

Barca are said to have paid somewhere in the region of £16m for Rakitic’s services.

The Croatian has gone on to feature 274 times across all competitions for the Catalonian giants.

In those 274 games Rakitic has found the back of the net on 34 occasions and provided 37 assists.

Rakitic has also won a plethora of trophies during his stint with Barcelona.

In total, Rakitic has helped Barca win 13 pieces of silverware including four league titles, four Copa del Reys, two Supercopa de Españas, one Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.


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A post shared by Ivan Rakitic (@ivanrakitic) on Oct 12, 2019 at 2:37pm PDT

Rakitic to leave Barca in January?

However, Rakitic’s game time at Barca looks to be on the decline.

The 31-year-old has featured in five of Barcelona’s eight La Liga games this season.

However, Rakitic would start in just one of those games vs Granada, which Barca would lose 2-0 with Rakitic only managing 62 minutes of action.

With Rakitic’s game time dwindling at the Nou Camp, could we see him departing sooner rather than later?

Spanish outlet Sport are speculating that could be the case, writing that Rakitic is more likely to leave in the January window than complete his sixth season at Barcelona.

The same report from Sport also mentions potential suitors for Rakitic.

Sport claim Serie A outfit Inter Milan are admirers of Rakitic but they also allege Manchester United are interested in the midfielder:

Plenty of sides would love to add Rakitic to their squad. Inter Milan are long-term admirers of the Croatian midfielder and a €40m price-tag is unlikely to put off suitors. Manchester United are also interested as they look to rebuild their squad.

See also: Bulgaria vs England betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

Czech Republic vs Northern Ireland betting tips: International friendly match preview and predictions


Jorginho’s agent: Chelsea star ‘will always feel the desire to come back home’

The agent of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has this evening hinted at a potential return to Serie A for his client.

Jorginho’s Blues stint

Italian international Jorginho made the move to Stamford Bridge from Napoli last summer, following Maurizio Sarri from the Stadio San Paolo to London.

However, the 27-year-old, much like his now-former boss, subsequently endured something of an up-and-down debut campaign with Chelsea.

A change of system for the Blues saw Jorginho moved into N’Golo Kante’s position at the base of the the club’s midfield, albeit in a deep-lying regista role, as opposed to Kante’s previous defensive-minded role.

And while the former Napoli standout went on to showcase that he is very much capable of controlling the tempo of proceedings when Chelsea are in possession, his defensive shortcomings were all-too regularly highlighted by the all-action stylings of the Premier League.

Andre Gomes battles for possession with Jorginho during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

‘Come back home’

The early months of the new season, though, have seen Jorginho look much-improved.

Having seemingly settled further into the physical requirements of English football, the gifted Italian looks better equipped to control Chelsea’s midfield, with Jorginho himself citing ‘more determination’ on the defensive side of the ball as key to his upturn in form.

As such, speaking in an interview with Radio Sportiva (via Football-Italia) earlier today, Jorginho’s agent was questioned on his client’s improvement, as well as the Blues star’s future.

First, Joao Santos explained:

‘It has certainly been a positive year for Jorginho.’

‘He is doing well for the Nazionale and can take part in the Euros. He always converts his penalties. I am very happy for him, as he is working so hard every day.’

‘Naturally, it was not positive when Giampiero Ventura was the Italy Coach. But he has slowly become first choice in that midfield.’

‘It certainly helps that he plays for Chelsea, because it’s a very intense style of football in England and he learned a lot from both Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard.’

The Italian’s representative then hinted at a return to Serie A in the future, confirming that Jorginho ‘will always feel the desire to come back home’:

‘I think Jorginho can do very well at the Euros and, why not, also at the next World Cup. As for a return to Serie A, anything is possible. He will always feel the desire to come back home.’

Olivier Giroud says he doesn’t accept his current role at Chelsea

Chelsea to consider recalling Ethan Ampadu from Leipzig loan early – Sun

Gareth Southgate on returning to a three-man backline with England: ‘It’s certainly something we’ve considered’

England embarrassed in Prague

England traveled to Prague on Friday to face off with the Czech Republic.

This was England’s 5th Euro 2020 qualifier and a win would have put Gareth Southgate’s side six points above the Czech Republic, who started the day 2nd in Group A, three points behind England.

However, England produced a rather lackluster display on Friday, which eventually ended with the Three Lions walking away with a 2-1 loss.

England are still top of Group A as they prepare to face Bulgaria, although the Czech Republic are now level on points with them.

The loss in Prague was England’s first loss in a European Championship/World Cup qualifier since October of 2009.

Highlights: Czech Republic 2-England 1

Southgate on changing his backline

Arguably Gareth Southgate’s biggest achievement during his tenure as England boss was reaching the 2018 World Cup semi-final.

During the 2018 WC, England deployed a system with three centre-backs.

Given England’s poor display vs the Czech Republic, switching back to the system that took them so close to a World Cup final may be an option for Southgate vs Bulgaria.

The England boss would discuss said system after Friday’s defeat, stating that it is something England have considered. Although he is not sure ahead of Monday’s game with Bulgaria:

“I think we are in a difficult situation in terms of the players that have played international football with us in that area of the pitch [defence] and who are playing regularly with their clubs.

“So, that’s part of the reason we didn’t do that [switch to a three-man back line against the Czechs].

“It’s certainly something we’ve considered and I don’t think we can dismiss. I’m not sure, ahead of Monday, if that’s the right thing to do but we’re very aware and assessing those things.” As quoted by the Telegraph.

See also: Bulgaria vs England betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

Czech Republic vs Northern Ireland betting tips: International friendly match preview and predictions



Declan Rice on West Ham: ‘For me this is the best place to be right now’

Rice’s stint at West Ham

Despite being just 20 years of age Declan Rice has already cemented himself as a regular in West Ham’s midfield.

The Hammer’s youth product has racked up 78 appearances for the club, in which he has scored two and assisted one.

Last season saw Rice earn 38 appearances across all competitions for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

And he has once again been a prominent feature this campaign, starting all eight of Wets Ham’s league games so far.

Rice has also begun to feature on a regular basis for England, starting their last qualifier vs the Czech Republic.


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The lads witnessing top bins 👀🦁

A post shared by Declan Rice (@declanrice) on Oct 9, 2019 at 1:27pm PDT

Rice on West Ham

Given Rice is English, just 20 years of age and is already proving himself to be a Premier League caliber player, you would expect some clubs to be interested in signing him.

Well according to the Mirror, Rice has been linked with a £70m move to Manchester United.

Man United look to be attempting to sign young English talent recently with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Harry Maguire their latest additions.

So, signing 20-year-old Rice would make a fair bit of sense to Man United. ANd their recent form suggests they still need to improve their squad.

However, Rice has recently stated that he thinks West Ham is the best place for him to be right now:

“I signed a five year contract with West Ham last year, which will keep me at club till I’m 24, and for me this is the best place to be right now.

“I am playing for a manager who has given me my chance and played me week in week out.

“I’m improving every week and although I see all this speculation, I don’t really think about it too much.

“It’s all talk until something happens – and nothing has – so I’m just focussed on West Ham, doing my best and making fans happy.” As quoted by the Mirror.

See also: Bulgaria vs England betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

Czech Republic vs Northern Ireland betting tips: International friendly match preview and predictions


Olivier Giroud says he doesn’t accept his current role at Chelsea

Tammy vs Giroud

Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea in January of 2018, moving from fellow Premier League outfit, Arsenal.

During his stint at Chelsea Giroud has had to compete with the likes of Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain for a place as Chelsea’s main striker.

Both of those forwards have now moved on from Stamford Bridge. However, Giroud is now facing a new challenge from Tammy Abraham.

Frank Lampard put a lot of faith in the Chelsea youth product this season when he started playing him week in week out over the much more experienced Giroud.

However, Lampard’s faith has certainly been rewarded with Abraham bagging himself nine goals in 11 games across all competitions for the Blues this campaign.

Giroud on not playing

This has left Giroud somewhat on the fringes of the Chelsea team with the 33-year-old making just three PL appearances this season, only one of which came as a starter.

Giroud has not even been starting in the cup competitions for Chelsea. He has managed just 17 minutes of football across Chelsea’s two Champions League games this season. And Giroud did not feature when Chelsea faced off with Grimsby in the League Cup.

Now, in a recent interview, Giroud has been speaking about his current role at Chelsea, stating he does not accept it:

“Accept it? No, I do not accept it.

“You do not have to be fatalistic in certain situations. I have always been respectful and humble. Even if I do not agree with the coach, I do not criticise him.

“But in myself, I cannot accept it because I know what I’m worth on a pitch. Last year, when I felt that I deserved to play, I asked the coach for explanations.” As quoted by the Evening Standard.

See also: Bulgaria vs England betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

Czech Republic vs Northern Ireland betting tips: International friendly match preview and predictions

Barcelona target Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford & Man United linked to Krzysztof Piatek

Barcelona target Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford

Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo claimed this weekend that Barcelona could sign Harry Kane or Marcus Rashford this January.

Mundo Deportivo believe that Barcelona have four strikers on their January shopping list.

Aside from Tottenham’s Kane and Man United’s Rashford, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan were also listed as targets.

But, are any of these players realistic Barcelona signings?

Of course, Leo Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele are at the Camp Nou.

Could Harry Kane leave Tottenham?

Stories linking Harry Kane with a Tottenham exit are growing louder.

Prior to MD’s Kane-Barcelona story, the Times recently claimed that Kane could leave Tottenham this summer.

The Times previously reported:

Tottenham Hotspur fear that a disillusioned Harry Kane could join the growing list of senior players who want to leave in the summer.

The striker, who will be 27 in July, is ambitious to win trophies and the club fear that he is losing patience.

Kane is under contract until 2024.

Kane agreed his current six-year contract in June 2018.

However, as pointed out by Football London’s Alasdair Gold, one of the principal impacts of Kane’s long contract at Spurs is that it protects the club against losing their striker for cheap.

Alasdair Gold, reporting on the likelihood of Kane leaving the club, said:

(Kane’s) frequently said that he will always be happy at Tottenham as long as they match his ambitions.

Next summer is likely to be the first time that the relationship is really tested. 

He also knows that being contracted until 2024 as one of the best strikers on the planet right now means Tottenham can slap an enormous price tag on his head, a world record fee, as they did with Gareth Bale. 

Could Marcus Rashford leave Man United?

It seems difficult to imagine that Man United would sanction Marcus Rashford’s sale to Barcelona anytime soon.

Man United are already thin in attacking options after Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez (loan) joined Inter Milan last summer.

Moreover, Rashford recently agreed a new long-term deal with the Red Devils.

In the summer, Man United announced that Rashford put pen to paper on a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2023.

There is also an option for Man United to extend the deal for an extra year.


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Manchester is my home. United is my team. Proud to have signed a new contract at the club ⚽📝 #MUFC

A post shared by Marcus Rashford (@marcusrashford) on Jul 1, 2019 at 6:01am PDT

Man United linked to Krzysztof Piatek

Sticking with Man United, the M.E.N have recycled a report from Calciomercato claiming that Man United could try to sign Polish forward Krzysztof Piatek from AC Milan.

Piatek joined AC Milan last season, scoring 13 goals in 28 games. Previously, Piatek scored 19 goals in 21 games for Genoa.

24-year-old Piatek is under contract at the San Siro until 2023.

Also see: Wales vs Croatia betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions.

Scotland vs San Marino betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview and predictions.

EURO 2020 | NORWAY 1 – SPAIN 1

EURO 2020 Group qualifiers tonight with NORWAY hosting SPAIN in a must win match for the home team. Spain needed a win to mathematically go through to next years Euro Championships, while Norway needed to not lose to keep alive there options for the second place of the Group. Here is a short summary of events, goalscorers & final result.

Above is the Spain starting XI in the image with the

Manchester United’s current squad: Who should be shown the door?

Man United’s struggles

Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United in 2013 they have never really been able to replicate the form they became so accustomed to under the Scotsman.

Instead, the past six or so years have been spent with Man United splashing big money on players and managers and getting fairly average results.

Whether it be to do with the board or the managers themselves, United are now in a position where they are seriously struggling to even crack the top six in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did look as though he could have been Man United’s savior.

When the Norwegian first took the reins at Old Trafford, United went 12 Premier League games unbeaten.

CARDIFF, WALES – DECEMBER 22: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United celebrates with the fans after the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Manchester United at Cardiff City Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The stats behind Man United’s dismal form

However, reality soon set in and now, since OGS was permanently appointed Man United gaffer, the Red Devils have amassed just 17 points from 16 PL outings.

Manchester United have also picked up just nine points from their opening eight Premier League ties this campaign, which is their worst start to a league season since 1989-90.

Man United are also winless in their last 11 away games across all competitions.
This stat was posted by Opta prior to Man United’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle at St James’ Park last weekend.

Man United need a clear-out

So, given United have tried in the past to just paper over the cracks by signing big-name stars and hoping everything falls into place, what they probably need to do now is have a mass clear-out of their squad in order to start fresh and rebuild from the ground up.

Yes it will likely take a few windows to do this properly and United shouldn’t be expecting to challenge for the PL title anytime soon. But they have backed themselves into a corner with their poor decision making since SAF departed and now it needs to be cleaned up.

This piece will go through all of Man United’s first-team players, listed on their official website and decide if United should keep or sell them.

It will not include players currently out on loan such as Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, etc.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – MAY 05: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach / manager of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith’s Stadium on May 5, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The keepers

Starting at the back, Davide de Gea is currently Manchester United’s number one shot-stopper.

Granted the Spaniard has not been at his best recently, particularly last campaign. But the fact remains he has showcased in the past what a top keeper he is.

And given the state United are currently in, they should do everything they can to retain de Gea’s services as they probably won’t find anyone better at this time.

As for the subs, Sergio Romero is a solid backup choice while 36-year-old Lee Grant does the job as third choice.

David de Gea

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 21: David De Gea of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Man United’s backline

While Man United’s goalkeepers are pretty solid for now, their defence needs some serious work.

Man United do seem to be aware of this as they splashed the cash on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka over the summer, both of whom United should look to keep hold of.

But there are a copious amount of defenders currently on the books for Man United that just aren’t good enough.

An ageing Ashley Young should probably be moved on in the coming months.

Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo just aren’t good enough to be regular features for Man United if they wish to return to their past glories.

And while Eric Bailly is a solid defender, the Ivorian is just too injury prone.

As for the rest of Man United’s current crop of defenders, Luke Shaw isn’t the greatest but he will probably have to do Man United for the time being.

The likes of Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are all still fairly young and should be retained by United until their true potential can be fully assessed.

Finally, Victor Lindelof is a decent defender and could prove a useful asset for United. However, he shouldn’t be one of their first-choice central defenders, like he currently is.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea FC at Old Trafford on August 11, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Deadwood in midfield

Moving into the midfield department, Man United have a lot of potential in this area.

But there is also a fair bit of deadwood that needs to be removed before United can reinvent their side.

For example, 31-year-old Nemanja Matic is now well past his best and needs to be sold.

As well as Matic, the Red Devils should look to move on Fred, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba.

Since Fred made the switch to Manchester he just hasn’t been good enough. And United are at a stage in their cycle where they can’t afford to sit around and hope a player finds his feet in the PL.

Jesse Lingard, despite people still thinking he is this young promising English midfielder that will come good soon, is now 26, 27 in December and he has yet to prove he is a ‘top six’ caliber player.

As for Paul Pogba, while the Frenchman has proven on occasions what an outstanding player he can be, his good displays are few and far between with United better served cashing in on him and investing his likely lucrative transfer fee elsewhere.

Bright prospects

In terms of people Manchester United should retain, Angel Gomes, James Garner Daniel James and Scott McTominay are all young prospects who can prove real assets in United’s rebuilding process with McTominay and James already becoming regular features in the first-team.

That leaves Juan Mata, who Man United should look to keep for his experience and unlike Matic, the little Spaniard still puts in some solid displays from time to time.

And finally, Andrea Pereira hasn’t been overly impressive so far this campaign. But he too could be a decent squad player.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 24: Daniel James of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on August 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Man United’s forwards

Given Manchester United sold Romelu Lukaku over the summer and Alexis Sanchez is out on loan, Solskjaer’s side are fairly short-staffed up top.

Currently, on United’s official website listed as their forwards, ignoring Sanchez, they have Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong.

As a result, until United bring in some serious reinforcements for their frontline, they could do with keeping hold of the four aforementioned forwards.

However, while this may be an unpopular opinion, if Man United do bring in a couple of quality attackers in the future, they should look to move on Rashford.

People may argue Rashford is still young and learning. But he has already racked up 180 appearances for Man United and that is more than enough time to asses his ability. And at the moment, he just doesn’t look good enough.

See also: Paul Pogba ‘looks certain’ to miss Man United vs Liverpool – Mail

Man United & Real Madrid target Erling Braut Haaland – AS