Transfers Fekir, Draxler & 15 summer transfer targets in Ligue 1 Robin Bairner 04:58 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Getty Transfers Ligue 1 France’s top flight has long been a source of low-cost, high-quality players for some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Here’s some who could be on the move.
Paris Saint-Germain 3 Marseille 0: Di Maria at the double as holders put Neymar injury aside Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 06:02 1/3/2018 AFP Hit by the news of Neymar’s impending surgery on Wednesday, PSG cruised into the last four of the Coupe de France by beating Marseille. Paris Saint-Germain put the disappointment of Neymar’s foot surgery to one side to thump rivals Marseille 3-0 and reach the semi-finals of the Coupe de France.The Ligue 1 leaders announced on Wednesday that the world’s most expensive player will miss next week’s second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid, which they trail 3-1, after the decision was made for him to have surgery on a cracked metatarsal.While Neymar’s prolonged absence may prove fatal to their Champions League hopes, PSG reaffirmed that it will have little impact on their domestic success as Angel Di Maria’s double saw them into a fourth successive Coupe de France semi-final. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Di Maria settled the contest with a pair of deflected strikes, the first a vicious shot from outside the box, either side of half-time.Deserved gloss to the scoreline was added courtesy of a wonderful team move finished off by Edinson Cavani, as Marseille again suffered at PSG’s hands having lost by the same scoreline in the weekend’s Ligue 1 meeting, where Neymar suffered his injury.The win keeps PSG firmly on course for a domestic treble and they will be one of just two top-flight teams in the last four after shock triumphs for third-tier Chambly and Les Herbiers, while a free-flowing second-half showing will perhaps give Unai Emery added hope they can fight back against Madrid even without their world-record signing.6 – Angel Di Maria has scored six goals in his last four starts with @PSG_English in all competitions. Revitalized.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 28, 2018PSG started very brightly and, after Yuri Berchiche had an effort beaten away by Steve Mandanda, Cavani wasted a gilt-edged chance to give them the lead.The Uruguay international met Di Maria’s pull back after the Argentina winger was sent clear down the left, but he only succeeded in fizzing a shot over the bar.Aymen Abdennour was then fortunate not to concede a penalty when the Marseille centre-back appeared to handle in the area.Most of the pressing was unsurprisingly done by PSG, but Marseille remained dangerous on the counter-attack and Florian Thauvin curled an effort well over the crossbar.Di Maria then showed Thauvin how it should be done as he bent one towards goal from the edge of the area, only to be denied by a brilliant diving save from Mandanda.But Mandanda could not replicate the same heroics on the stroke of half-time, the Marseille goalkeeper beaten as Di Maria unleashed a fierce half-volley that took a slight deflection off Adil Rami and flew into the bottom-left corner.Javier Pastore replaced Kylian Mbappe ahead of the restart and three minutes into the second half Di Maria effectively put the tie to bed – but in far less spectacular fashion.Marseille failed to deal with Yuri’s cross from the left, which eventually fell to Di Maria, and his side-foot effort deflected off Hiroki Saki and under Mandanda.Di Maria then lashed narrowly wide from long range and Julian Draxler went agonisingly close to scoring one of the goals of the season as his bicycle kick from Marco Verratti’s lofted pass was only just off target.A stunning reflex save saw Mandanda keep out Pastore’s diving header, but the final flourish came in style as Draxler nodded a Verratti chip down for Cavani to fire into the bottom-right corner in an illustration of the kind of football they will need to produce to deliver a Champions League turnaround next week.FULL TIME: See you in the @coupedefrance semifinal ! #AllezParis! #PSGOM pic.twitter.com/g7u73AeC8b— PSG English (@PSG_English) February 28, 2018 read more
Atlético Madrid Partey on! Thomas renews with Atletico until 2023 Dom Farrell 19:51 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Atlético Madrid Primera División Barcelona v Atlético Madrid The 24-year-old has penned renewed terms in Madrid, with the Ghana midfielder now under contract at Wanda Metropolitano for another five years Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has signed a contract extension until June 2023, the club have confirmed.Thomas joined Atleti’s academy in 2011 and has progressed to become a key member of Diego Simeone’s first-team squad.The 24-year-old Ghana international spent seasons on loan at Real Mallorca and Almeria before making his Atleti debut against Espanyol in November 2015. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Thomas, who has made 82 appearances and scored nine goals for the clubs, also signed fresh terms that ran until 2022 in February of last year.”I feel very happy to renew with the club of my life. I hope to stay here for more years and help the club,” he told Atletico’s official website.”I always try to work hard, it’s not easy to get to the first team and for me it’s a pride to continue working at this club.”Atletico thrashed Leganes 4-0 on Wednesday, with star forward Antoine Griezmann scoring all four to keep Simeone’s men in pursuit of La Liga leaders Barcelona ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash at Camp Nou.”I am happy because I am playing a lot of minutes, the team is strong, scoring many goals in the last few matches and we will keep fighting to keep up,” Thomas added.
Transfers ‘LA is a nice city’ – Ibrahimovic hints at MLS move Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 20:29 2/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Transfers Manchester United Zlatan Ibrahimović LA Galaxy Premier League MLS The Manchester United striker’s contract expires this summer and he has suggested that he could move to America this summer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has suggested that he could move to MLS from Manchester United.The Sweden striker is currently sidelined with a knee injury, having played just seven times in all competitions this season.Ibrahimovic’s contract at United expires this summer, and it is currently unclear if he will be offered an extension by Jose Mourinho’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The 36-year-old is thus exploring his options and has now claimed that he could move to the American top-flight, having expressed his admiration for Los Angeles.“I did not know that several Swedes went to MLS,” Ibrahimovic told SportExpressen.“That means it’s tempting to play in the United States.“Los Angeles is a nice city and I’ve been there a lot on vacation. It is laid back. I think it’s rumours all the time [about my future]. When I play and when I do not play it is rumours. That’s good, that means I live.”Ibrahimovic retired from Sweden duty in 2016, following the European Championships, but he has also hinted that he may return to the international fold for the World Cup this summer.”I miss the national team. If I want, I do it. I want to feel I can deliver a good performance,” he said.”We’ll see, it’s a tough question. I want to feel that I can perform and give back. I don’t want to come just because I’m somebody. The door isn’t closed for anything.”
Tottenham Hotspur Pochettino joins elite group with 100th Premier League win Joe Wright 02:21 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur Premier League Tottenham Hotspur v Huddersfield Town Huddersfield Town nly five managers have managed a century of victories faster than the Argentine, who reached the milestone on Saturday Mauricio Pochettino reached 100 Premier League wins as Tottenham manager in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Wembley.Two goals from Son Heung-min secured all three points for the home side and moved them into third place in the table, a point above Liverpool, who face Newcastle United in their game in hand.It was Spurs’ third straight win in the Premier League, and marked 11 games unbeaten since folding to Manchester City shortly before Christmas. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The former Argentina international has now managed a century of wins in England’s top flight in just 197 matches, which matches ex-Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers boss Kenny Dalglish’s efforts.In doing so, the manager enters an elite group of bosses who have managed the mark with such speed.Only six managers reached the milestone in fewer games. Jose Mourinho leads the way, having won 100 of his first 142 matches, ahead of Alex Ferguson, who needed 162 contests to get a century of victories.100 – Mauricio Pochettino has reached 100 Premier League wins as a manager in 197 games – the joint-6th quickest alongside Kenny Dalglish. Only Jose Mourinho (142), Alex Ferguson (162), Arsene Wenger (179), Rafa Benitez (181) & Claudio Ranieri (187) reached it in fewer games. Ton pic.twitter.com/MqKt3yKHXE— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 3, 2018Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is next on the list (179 matches), ahead of Rafa Benitez (181) and Claudio Ranieri (187). Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Transfers Balotelli invites offers from Juventus and Napoli as he plots Serie A homecoming Chris Burton 02:06 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Gettyimages Transfers Juventus Napoli Nice Ligue 1 Serie A Mario Balotelli The enigmatic Italian frontman is running down his contract at Nice and has opened himself up to a summer switch back to his roots as a free agent Mario Balotelli is planning to head back to Italy as a free agent and has invited offers from Serie A title hopefuls Juventus and Napoli.The enigmatic frontman is running down his contract at Nice and is expected to have several options to consider at the end of the season.Balotelli has rebuilt his reputation in France following forgettable stints at AC Milan and Liverpool, with 39 goals netted across two seasons. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp He is now attracting admiring glances from leading clubs once more, with the 27-year-old intending to step back up the football pyramid by securing a return to his roots in Italy.“My agent Mino Raiola is taking care of my future. All I know is that I have matured and I am ready to come back to Italy,” Balotelli told Rai Sport show La Domenica Sportiva.“I think it’d be very difficult to come to Milan, as it would be the third time, but Juventus and Napoli are two teams that I like.”Raiola admits to having already spoken with those in Turin and Naples about a player he believes would demand a nine-figure transfer fee on the open market.The so-called ‘super agent’ told Rai Sport: “He is worth €100m, but he is a free agent so he is a bargain.”I’m already negotiating with many teams in England and Italy. I talked with Juventus, Roma, Napoli, Inter.”Making a decision on his next move can wait until the summer, with Balotelli having more immediate targets to hit in the present.He has forced his way back into contention for an international recall, with interim Italy coach Luigi Di Biagio having hinted that the former Manchester City and Inter striker could figure in his plans for upcoming friendlies against Argentina and England.Balotelli added on his Azzurri ambition: “Last season [Gian Piero] Ventura came to Nice before the game with PSG. We had a long talk, but I realised straight away that he wasn’t ever going to call me up for his team.“I deserved to be called up, though. Now he is no longer on the bench and I am ready to come back.”
Manchester City Why is John Stones not playing for Man City at the moment? Sam Lee Last updated 1 year ago 17:00 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Guardiola The England man was one of the league leaders’ best performers before his injury but he has been out of form since January and faces stiff competition John Stones is perhaps the only Manchester City player who is having an up-and-down season. Yaya Toure, curiouly, is simply out of the picture but Stones’ young team-mates are improving and his older ones are playing the best football of their career. Stones looked as impressive as the rest in the first part of the season, but since his return from injury in January he has been out of form and, it is said, low on confidence.The young Englishman, subject of so much attention on these shores given his unorthodox, forward-thinking approach to defending, struggled in his first year as a City player. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp While he was often exposed by his team-mates as Pep Guardiola’s plans took their time to take hold, he was also guilty exposing those around him with a mistake or poor decision-making.Sources close to the City coaching staff were concerned about his mentality last season, worrying that he would dwell so much on his past errors that it would affect his future performances. Guardiola would never even hint at that in public and in fact he once praised the size of Stones’ “balls”, pointing out that his centre-backs need to defend huge spaces, usually against quick players, as well as take risks in dangerous areas to start attacks with their passes.In the early stages of this campaign, that is exactly what he was doing. He and his particular set of talents finally looked at home and he was proving that he was being improved, not indulged, by Guardiola. In the absence of Vincent Kompany, and following City’s failure to bring in another centre-back during the summer, Stones formed a fearsome partnership with Nicolas Otamendi.The two had previously failed to impress when deployed together, but between September and December they were the solid foundation on which Guardiola’s new-look City were built. A source close to the City boss has described Otamendi’s transformation as “second only to that of Philipp Lahm from full-back to midfielder”, owing to his new-found passing ability, but in Stones’ case it just looked like he was fulfilling his potential.Not only was he consistently demonstrating his eye for a killer pass and the ability to play it, he was doing the dirty work in defence, too. He looked strong and assured, while the mistakes and misjudgements were a thing of the past.He was playing so well that it was regarded as a major blow when he was ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring injury at the start of December.City, as they have done in other areas, managed to cope without him and they have continued their fine form well into 2018, but Stones has not looked the same dominant force since he returned two months ago and in many of his performances he has committed errors which have led either to goals or near-misses.Against Burnley in the FA Cup, he sliced at a clearance which allowed the visitors to take the lead. In the next game, against Bristol City, he conceded a rash penalty. Next, against Liverpool, he misjudged a ball in behind which allowed Roberto Firmino to put the Reds 2-1 up, sparking a wild nine-minute period in which City collapsed and conceded three goals.In his most recent game, against Wigan, he was not at fault for the fateful goal which put City out, but twice in the first half he looked decidedly unsure of himself, standing off when he could have closed down and then, after jockeying backwards for about 40 yards, not being able to put in a block anyway.He has not played since, sitting out the three big games against Arsenal and Chelsea. Those whispers from the backroom team have returned; it’s said he is struggling for confidence again.Not that Guardiola would let that slip in public. Quite the opposite, in fact: “John is an extraordinary player, what he has done has shown me that,” the Catalan said on Tuesday. “Now we have four excellent central defenders, Vincent Kompany for a long period was not able, now he played in the last games, and of course the last game John had a chance [to play], the next game he has a chance. I don’t know what it’s going to be. But we don’t have, I don’t have, he doesn’t have any doubts about his capacity, his ability to play in this team.”Guardiola also explained that he plays Kompany and Otamendi together, as he did twice against Arsenal, because they are “both amazing at winning duels”. Aymeric Laporte started against Chelsea because, the Catalan says, the Londoners could have used two systems, ones which required a versatile, left-footed defender to combat them. In short, City have options now. For the first time Guardiola has four fit, top-class centre-backs to choose from, and Stones, after two months of patchy form, has to prove again that he can do the job as well as the others. Wednesday’s game against Basel, with City all but through to the Champions League quarter-finals, would be a good opportunity for him to return to the team and to regain form and confidence. He has shown already this season that he can live up to his vast potential, and if he can stay at that level it would be no stretch to suggest he can become one of the best centre-backs in Europe. But before he can scale those heights he needs to force himself back into the City first-team. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Milan ‘We must remember men like him’ – Gattuso pays tribute to Astori Joe Wright 01:05 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Milan UEFA Europa League Milan v Arsenal Arsenal Fiorentina The Milan coach recalled meeting Davide Astori when he was at the Rossoneri, and described him as “a great example” to youngsters. AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso says it is important not to forget people like former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori, who passed away on Sunday.Astori was found dead in his hotel room ahead of his side’s Serie A clash with Udinese, with an autopsy later confirming he died of heart problems due to natural causes.The defender started his career with the Milan youth academy before signing for Cagliari in 2008, after failing to break into the Rossoneri first team. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But Gattuso, who spent 13 years at San Siro as a player, still remembers Astori as a polite and humble man who wished him well after his appointment as head coach last November.”Astori was a great player on and off the pitch,” he told a news conference. “He is a great example for all young men. I hope we never forget him. It’s important to remember men like him.”I was at Milan when he was in the youth teams. Whenever I saw him in the gym, he would ask me if he could use it. The third time that happened I told him that it was his home – he didn’t need my permission.”The last time I saw him was on December 30 in Florence. Before the match, he said he was proud and happy for me and my new adventure with Milan.”He was always respectful and had a fantastic attitude. The team was very shaken on Sunday. There was none of the usual music in the dressing room.”Gattuso’s side host Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, looking to extend their 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions.The 40-year-old feels the Gunners should still be considered favourites given their squad depth and resources, despite them having lost their last four matches, but he believes Italian sides deserve credit for helping youngsters to flourish.Fiorentina honorary president Andrea Della Valle visits the Davide #Astori tribute at the Franchi #DA13 pic.twitter.com/VEFoH0a7IB— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 7, 2018″The Italian teams are doing well in Europe, but we can’t compare English football with Italian football nowadays,” he said. “Ten years ago, it was the opposite, but today the top players go to the Premier League.”At the same time, this has been an opportunity for our young players. It’s not a coincidence that today we speak about [Patrick] Cutrone and [Davide] Calabria. Because of these changes, they have been able to show their qualities, like many other young Italians.”
Manchester United Mourinho may have steered McTominay away from England and towards Scotland, claims Brown Iain Strachan 01:11 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester United José Mourinho Scotland Premier League The former Scotland manager has suggested that the Manchester United boss may have cast the deciding vote on the midfielder’s international future Craig Brown suspects Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho may have helped convince Scott McTominay to commit to Scotland.Promising midfielder McTominay was born in England but has declared his allegiance to Scotland after a minor tug of war between the neighbouring countries.Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been credited with a role in convincing the 21-year-old to snub the Three Lions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But Brown, who coached Scotland from 1993 until 2001, feels Mourinho could also have exerted an influence, albeit on the tenuous basis of a conversation he had with the Portuguese while queuing for fast food over a decade ago. “I read somewhere Sir Alex Ferguson was influential in McTominay’s decision. But the most influential guy will have been Jose Mourinho,” Brown told the Daily Record.”Mourinho has a great affection for Scotland. He did his coaching badges at Largs and loved his time here.”When he started at Chelsea I was at Derby and I met him at a reserve game – in the hamburger queue.”I was watching the game with the Derby reserve team and I said to him, ‘Don’t you think you can come to England and beat Alex Ferguson.’ “Mourinho replied, ‘No chance, it’s not him or the Scottish I want to beat – it’s the English!'”If the boy had said to Mourinho, ‘Scotland or England?’, I think Mourinho would have steered him down the Scotland route as he is so well disposed to Scotland. I believe Mourinho would also be supportive of him playing for Scotland.”
Transfers Zidane wouldn’t be surprised to see Madrid-linked Neymar leave for €400m Matt Dorman Last updated 1 year ago 22:35 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Real Madrid PSG Ligue 1 Zinédine Zidane Neymar Primera División The Liga side have been strongly linked with the Brazilian star and their manager has suggested he could well move again for another world-record fee Zinedine Zidane has suggested Neymar could fetch €400 million if he leaves PSG, and believes he is good enough to play for any club in world football.Brazil international Neymar left Barcelona for the Ligue 1 side in a world-record €222 million deal last August.The 26-year-old has since been linked with a return to Spain, with speculation the Ligue 1 leaders could allow him to leave for almost double the amount they paid. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Zidane, who was the most expensive player in the world when he joined Madrid from Juventus in 2001, suggests he wouldn’t be surprised if Neymar left for as much as €400m.He told reporters: “Well, I’m not going to talk about a player who is not mine. They paid €222m for Neymar, right? It’s what it is.”When Real bought me it was €72m or something like that… I thought then it was insane, and 10 years after that, there’s amounts much, much bigger.”Probably, in some years, football will reach the €400m amount. Or maybe sooner.”Asked if Neymar would fit in at Real Madrid, Zidane added: “Yes. He would fit in every club [in the world]. Because he is very good. As with many other players.”Madrid beat a PSG side missing an injured Neymar in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Tuesday to confirm their place in the quarter-finals.The comprehensive 5-2 aggregate victory keeps them on course to win the competition for a third successive season, but Zidane insists he is not thinking of a hat-trick in Europe’s elite club competition.11 – Under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have won 11 of their 15 #UCL knockout games (D2 L2), lifting the trophy twice in as many seasons (2016 and 2017). King. pic.twitter.com/43euuSCFae — OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 6, 2018 “I am only focussing on the game on Saturday [against Eibar],” he said”In April we will have time to look ahead and focus on the Champions League.”We enjoy the Champions League, we are focused and we are going to give 100 per cent throughout the tournament.”
Premier League Who is John Motson? The BBC football commentator ahead of his final live commentary Harry Sherlock 19:25 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Premier League Arsenal Arsenal v Watford Watford The legendary broadcaster will step into the commentary booth during Arsenal’s clash with Watford, for his final live broadcast John Motson is set to call time on his esteemed live commentary career on Sunday March 11.The legendary 72-year-old has been the voice of football for many throughout the last half-century.Motson has been a commentator for the past 48 years and, while he will continue to feature on Match of the Day for the rest of the campaign, this Sunday will mark his final live commentary. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Who is John Motson?Motson is a commentator and football broadcaster, and has been working with the BBC since 1968.Born in 1945, to a Methodist minister, Motson went to school in Bury St Edmunds at Culford, where football was seen as secondary to the likes of rugby and cricket.Motson’s career began in 1963 and he began working for the Sheffield Morning Telegraph four years later, whereupon he began covering football.He has a son, Frederick, who was born in 1986, and is married to Anne. He also has an OBE.When was his first football commentary?Motson began work in the commentary booth in 1969, covering an encounter between Everton and Derby County.He has since covered 10 World Cups, and 29 FA Cup finals, along with over 200 England matches.His most famous commentary remains Newcastle United’s FA Cup defeat by Hereford United in 1972.Assigned the game as a young commentator, with the expectation of it being a five-minute highlights segment between Match of the Day’s two main games, Motson witnessed a brilliant comeback, as Hereford recorded a 2-1 victory, thanks to Ronnie Radford’s long-range strike, and it became the lead of the show.Who does John Motson support?Motson is a Barnet fan.In January, the commentator explained his fandom in an interview with the Daily Mail.”I’m a long-time Barnet FC fan,” he said. “My first job in journalism was on the weekly Barnet Press and they play only half an hour’s drive from where I now live.”My son Fred got me this set of Russian-style dolls, painted in Barnet’s colours, after spotting them in a shop in Prague, of all places.”John Motson’s coatMotson is well-known for his famous sheepskin coat!Covering a game between Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United, a sudden snow storm saw the game called off, with Motty recording a piece to camera explaining the change in weather conditions, all wrapped up in his coat.He explains in his autobiography: “A shock result seemed quite a possibility when I left home in bright sunshine that morning, preparing to interview Martin O’Neill for Football Focus. As I turned off the M40 in the Thames Valley and started my descent down the hill that leads to Wycombe’s ground, it started to snow.”So heavily, that within five minutes there was a covering on the road. But that was nothing compared with the Adams Park pitch half an hour later. It was in three or four inches of snow and the referee took one look and postponed the game.”Grandstand told me to forget the interview with O’Neill, and record a piece to camera explaining the sudden change in weather conditions.”Famous John Motson quotesMotty is well-known for his one-liners.”Here’s Gascoigne. Oh brilliant! Oh yes! Oh yes!” – Euro 1996, as England beat Scotland at Wembley and Paul Gascoigne scored a wonder goal. “For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip.” – Something of a gaffe!”The Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club.” – Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final.”The World Cup is a truly international event.” – Stating the obvious.”And Seaman, just like a falling oak, manages to change direction.” – David Seaman defies the laws of physics”Nearly all the Brazilian supporters are wearing yellow shirts. It’s a fabulous kaleidoscope of colour.” – In his own inimitable style. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Manchester United Vidic: Man Utd could win the Champions League Stefan Coerts Last updated 1 year ago 12:32 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty Images Manchester United Manchester United v Sevilla Liverpool UEFA Champions League Premier League Manchester United v Liverpool The former Red Devils captain believes Jose Mourinho’s men are equipped to succeed in Europe Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic believes the Red Devils can win the Champions League this season as rivals Manchester City run away with the Premier League title.United are second and 16 points behind champions-elect City in England, but Jose Mourinho’s men are in the last 16 of the Champions League.After playing out a goalless draw in the opening leg at Sevilla, United welcome the La Liga side to Old Trafford for the return fixture Tuesday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Vidic — who won the Champions League and five Premier League trophies during his eight years in Manchester — feels United are equipped to succeed in Europe.”It’s Man United. I know the Premier League is bigger, but I think the Champions League could happen,” Vidic said via ESPN.”When the season started, I said that I thought United had more chance to win the Champions League than the Premier League because the players they signed didn’t have the time to fit in.”Also, Mourinho is a tactical coach, knows Europe very well. He knows there are going to be scrappy games and how to get through them.”That’s my belief. To win, you need a bit of luck, but there is a chance to get to the semi-final or final. You never know. And if you win a Champions League, the players start to believe. They think: ‘OK, speak about me now.’ Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, they will look different than now.”Vidic, who said he wants to become a manager, was speaking ahead of United’s showdown with rivals Liverpool in the Premier League Saturday.United are second and two points clear of Liverpool, and Mourinho’s side can extend that gap with victory at the Theatre of Dreams.Previewing the mouth-watering clash, former Serbia international and United favourite Vidic again spoke about how he almost joined Liverpool before moving to Manchester in 2006.”In Rafael Benitez’s time. I spoke to him about a few things, but my wife was the main one who spoke to him,” the 36-year-old added. “He was interested in signing me, but I don’t know what was the problem at the time. I spoke to him before I signed for Manchester United, though. I didn’t meet, but we spoke over the phone, in my car in Moscow, with my wife translating.”I didn’t say no. They said just that they were interested, they want me. It was going to happen, going to happen. Then someone came and said: ‘Do you want to play for United?’ and I said yes. After two days, everything was done. Then Liverpool said they wanted to do the deal, but everything was done.”
Manchester United ‘Disappointing’ Alexis advised by Neville on how to get Man Utd firing Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 15:43 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Manchester United A. Sánchez Manchester United v Liverpool Liverpool Premier League The ex-Red Devils defender admits the Chilean has not made the expected impact at Old Trafford, but has a chance to prove himself against Liverpool Alexis Sanchez “has been disappointing” for Manchester United, admits Gary Neville, with the Chilean yet to make the expected impact.Jose Mourinho has conceded that a January arrival from Arsenal has struggled to produce his best for the Red Devils, with it possible that his true colours may not be seen until “next season”.United could really do with him delivering before then, with there top-four places and a Champions League crown to challenge for this term. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Neville believes it is on Sanchez and Mourinho to find a solution which allows both to prosper, with a crunch clash against arch-rivals Liverpool providing the perfect opportunity to get things right.The former United defender told Sky Sports: “Yes, he has been disappointing since he arrived, but the thing for me with Alexis Sanchez is that he’s got to play more advanced.“Liverpool will want to see him in deeper areas rather than getting in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.“The young lad did really well at Old Trafford but playing against Anthony Martial or Sanchez he will find the game more difficult if they are making runs in behind.“I would if I was playing and so would any other defender, so he has to be tested, as will Andrew Robertson.“He has to receive balls in advanced areas and I’d like to see him close to Romelu Lukaku and even making runs in behind him.”Sanchez has managed just one goal in eight appearances for United so far and no assists.He has faced accusations of destabilising the Red Devils, with positional problems similar to Paul Pogba being endured.Mourinho is yet to find the best tactical system to incorporate the 29-year-old, with others – such as Marcus Rashford – being shunted out of the side to make way for a high-profile addition.A meeting with Liverpool presents a timely occasion for Sanchez to start proving his worth, as United head into a heavyweight fixture perched just two points clear of their old adversaries in the Premier League table.
Arsenal Aubameyang confident he is over early issues at Arsenal Chris Burton 20:15 12/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Arsenal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Premier League Arsène Wenger The Gunners’ record signing is feeling more settled in England and hopes improving match sharpness will allow him to repay Arsene Wenger’s faith Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits to enduring a “difficult” start to life at Arsenal, but believes he is ready to repay a club-record £55 million transfer fee by scoring more frequently.The Gabon international striker joined the Gunners at the end of the January transfer window, with a deadline day deal taking him to Emirates Stadium from Borussia Dortmund.A debut goal against Everton suggested he would hit the ground running in England, but the 28-year-old then went three games without finding the target as Arsenal wobbled as a collective. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Aubameyang has, however, responded with two efforts in as many Premier League outings of late and is pleased to be playing his part in relieving some of the pressure on Arsene Wenger’s shoulders.After scoring in a 3-0 victory over Watford, he told reporters: “It was a big win. The team did very well and it is a great three points. We needed it. I think the fans were happy, which is really important.“It was a bit difficult for me at the beginning but I am feeling better now. I didn’t play a lot in January so it was difficult to find a rhythm.“Now I am feeling better. I work hard, I have worked a lot in the last weeks and I am happy because I feel better.“I am really happy for the boss because I am here because of him. He had the interest in me so I am happy to play for him.”The frustrating thing for Aubameyang, having found some domestic form, is that he will once again be ineligible for Arsenal’s next fixture.He has been prevented from competing in the Europa League after seeing his former employers at Dortmund slip into the competition.Having already turned out for them in the Champions League this season, Aubameyang cannot represent two sides in the same UEFA event across any given campaign.“I am really frustrated because of the rules,” added the prolific frontman.”I am disappointed because I can’t help my team. That’s life. I have to deal with it.“I can’t play every three days, and that is frustrating. When I was in Dortmund, I was playing every three days but now I play once a week or have a long time between games. It is not easy.”As he will play no part in the second leg of a Europa League last-16 encounter with AC Milan on Thursday, and with Arsenal out of the FA Cup and the next international break approaching, Aubameyang will have to wait until April 1 for his next outing against Stoke.
A. Sánchez Alexis Sanchez not intending to retire at Man Utd as he airs future transfer plan Chris Burton 17:42 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images A. Sánchez Manchester United Universidad de Chile Premier League The Chilean is 29 years old and committed to a four-and-a-half-year contract at Old Trafford, but he plans to head home before hanging up his boots Manchester United are unlikely to be Alexis Sanchez’s last club, with the Chilean planning to represent Universidad de Chile before hanging up his boots.The 29-year-old moved to Old Trafford during the January transfer window in a swap deal which took Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the opposite direction to Arsenal.He has committed to a four-and-a-half-year contract with United and will be 33 by the time that agreement comes to an end. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sanchez has suggested that there is little chance of him extending that stay, with there a desire on his part to head home before slipping into retirement.He told Chilevision: “I think it would be my family’s dream.“My father who is now in heaven was a supporter of La U and I think the truth is that a lot of my family would like me to end up there.“My dad was the pillar of the family and sometimes people do things for their family as well.“I played for Colo Colo and the truth is that it was great and I won a lot of things with them, but I think people are going to understand it because it’s a dream my dad had and god willing I am going to fulfil it.”Sanchez has, however, suggested that he would like to work in the Premier League again at some point further down the line, with English lessons intended to help him into a future coaching career.Those plans must wait for now, though, with the present very much about United.A move to the Red Devils was made as Sanchez ran down his contract at Arsenal, and the highly-rated forward admits that the Gunners did all they could to keep him before reluctantly sanctioning a switch.He added on discussions with a former manager at Emirates Stadium: “Arsene Wenger was very fond of me. He told me: ‘I want you to stay because you are the best player in this team.’“However, I wanted to continue growing as a player, more so as a Chilean, because it’s difficult to get to Manchester United. No Chilean had played here.“Arsene understood it at last, we ended up on good terms, he congratulated me and there was no problem.”
Liverpool Champions League draw: Manchester City face Liverpool in quarter-finals Robin Bairner Last updated 1 year ago 19:13 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(12) Getty Images Liverpool UEFA Champions League Bayern München Roma Juventus Manchester City Barcelona Sevilla Real Madrid While the two English clubs face off in an intriguing tie, there is a repeat of last season’s final for Real Madrid and Juventus Liverpool have been drawn to face Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals.Meanwhile, two-time defending champions Real Madrid have been tasked with a clash against Juventus – a repeat of last season’s final – while Barcelona will tackle Roma and Sevilla’s reward for ousting Manchester United is a meeting with Bayern Munich.It is, however, the clash between the two Premier League clubs that is the tie of the round. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The Reds swept past Porto 5-0 over two legs to reach the last eight of the competition while Pep Guardiola’s men defeated Basel with almost equal ease, seeing the Swiss off 5-2.The clubs have played twice already this season, with City getting the better of Jurgen Klopp’s men 5-0 when the sides met in September – a match infamous for Sadio Mane’s challenge on home Ederson, which left the goalkeeper with a gruesome injury and saw the Liverpool attacker sent off.Klopp’s side have better memories of their meeting in January, though. The Reds won a storming match at Anfield 4-3, with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Mane and Mohamed Salah all on target. Leroy Sane had levelled for City at 1-1, but their late rally through Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan proved fruitless.”I’ve said it before and it’s still the truth, it’s always common in a draw that you’ll get your neighbour, more or less, but to be honest I don’t mind, really,” Klopp told the club’s official website. “It is exactly like it was before – we take what we’ve got. Now it’s Manchester City, let’s go.”We’ve lost once and we’ve won once against them in the league – and I don’t think they thought before the best draw they could have got is Liverpool. That’s a sign for us and how strong we can be.”We are for sure not the favourites in this round, but in the last eight there are not a lot of favourites – maybe two of them, Bayern and Barcelona – but thank god it’s football and nothing is decided. “We have a few games to play until then, but I am really looking forward to it and we will give it everything.”Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “It’s a very difficult one. We like to travel and to go to another country in the Champions League but it is what it is.”We know each other very well, they are a very offensive team, the truth is it is going to be a great couple of games and we are going to see good football.”It is just the second time in history that City have reached the last eight of the competition. In 2015-16, they defeated PSG 3-2 on aggregate but lost to Real Madrid in the semi-finals.Liverpool, on the other hand, have won the European Cup on five occasions.The other eye-catching tie sees Juventus seek revenge upon Real Madrid for the 4-1 defeat they suffered in last season’s final at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Cristiano Ronaldo’s double that day sent Zinedine Zidane’s side en route to become the first team to win the Champions League in successive years, but they have endured a disappointing season domestically and are out of the title running in La Liga.Barcelona lead the way in Spain by eight points and can afford to focus their energy on Roma, while Bayern – 20 points clear in the Bundesliga – can do likewise for their tie against Sevilla.Man City v Liverpool and Barcelona v Roma will be played on April 4 and 10, while the other two ties will be played on April 3 and 11. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Jürgen Klopp Klopp fumes at Premier League over Merseyside Derby date change Robin Bairner Last updated 1 year ago 22:39 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Jürgen Klopp Liverpool Everton v Liverpool Everton Premier League Liverpool v Manchester City Manchester City UEFA Champions League Videos The Reds boss has hit out at those in charge of the domestic fixtures after April’s clash with Everton was switched from Sunday to Saturday Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reacted furiously to the Premier League’s decision to reschedule his side’s upcoming Merseyside Derby with Everton.The Goodison Park fixture was originally scheduled for April 8, with kick-off at 14:15 BST.However, after Liverpool were drawn to face Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the decision was made to bring the derby forward to April 7, with kick-off at 12:45 BST. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Liverpool will meet the Citizens at Anfield on April 4, with the second leg played six days later at the Etihad Stadium on April 10.And despite the move now allowing his side an extra day’s rest ahead of the return fixture against Pep Guardiola’s side, Klopp believes moving it closer to the first leg hands the initiative to Everton due to his side having a lack of rest.“I am already angry because the Premier League will move the derby game to 12.30 on Saturday,” he told a press conference.“I only heard it a second ago. It’s not too cool – Wednesday night and then Everton on Saturday morning.”Klopp was asked about the situation again, with a reporter suggesting he might want the game rearranged, and snapped back: “No, I want it at 9am in the morning, what the f***?”At three o’clock, like a normal game, or as usual on Sunday at 2:15 [pm]. Put it on a normal time, not breakfast.”What do you think I’m talking about? Is my English that bad you have to ask again? We play at 7:45 [pm] on Wednesday and 12:30 on Saturday.“City play [against Manchester United] at 17:30. That extra five hours means the world in terms of recovery – why not have it at 15:00, not after breakfast?“Other leagues [reschedule] the entire game for another time to help their teams prepare; we play three days later. Not too cool, we have to go the hard way.”You watch it, write a little bit about it, obviously you’re not interested and have no idea about it, and we have to deliver and I am not happy, because I’m not happy all the time and not smiling all the time.”Liverpool are protecting a formidable record in Merseyside derbies, having not lost to Everton since October 17, 2010 – a run of 16 matches.The Reds are also fighting to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League. If they are to achieve it, they will have to stave off the threat of Chelsea, who are out of Europe, and four points behind them in the standings.
Barcelona Valverde not concerned with emulating Guardiola’s legacy at treble-chasing Barcelona Ben Spratt 22:03 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Barcelona Ernesto Valverde Barcelona v Athletic Club Athletic Club Primera División The Camp Nou giants are chasing down La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey prizes, but their manager’s main focus is to enjoy his time in charge Ernesto Valverde is determined to enjoy his time with Barcelona rather than worrying about making a long-term impact at the club.Former Barca coach Pep Guardiola left a lasting legacy at Camp Nou in his four years in charge, before going on to have a similar impact at Bayern Munich and Manchester City.But Valverde would not comment on the possibility of matching Guardiola’s debut-season treble and just wants to make the most of the opportunity to coach the Catalan giants. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “I see [changes made] from the inside but don’t know how things look from the outside,” he said of the club’s progress during his tenure, speaking ahead of Sunday’s La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao.”Coaches have to try to stay the course and, in the football world, everything keeps moving back and forth because there isn’t a lot of stability. What I try to do is enjoy the time with the players that I have.”Barcelona are still battling for honours in La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, but Valverde is keen not to get carried away with two months still remaining this season.”The boat gets rocked a little bit throughout the season,” he said.”People said we drew three of five before the last two [wins against Atletico Madrid and Chelsea], now we’re talking about all this great news.”We’re not thinking about it. We’ve not won anything yet. We have lots of chances to win and we want to take advantage, but we have a long way to go and have to make sure we don’t slip up.”
Liverpool v Manchester City ‘We’ve beaten them’ – Salah and Liverpool have no fear of City Sacha Pisani 10:34 18/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Liverpool v Manchester City Mohamed Salah Manchester City UEFA Champions League Liverpool v Watford Watford Premier League Liverpool The forward and team-mate will not be daunted by their Champions League quarter-final showdown with the Premier League leaders Liverpool sensation Mohamed Salah insisted the Reds do not fear runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City ahead of their blockbuster Champions League tie.It will be an all-English affair when Liverpool and Premier League champions-elect City go head-to-head in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.City are 16 points clear atop the table and 18 ahead of third-placed Liverpool in the Premier League but Jurgen Klopp’s men are not daunted by the task ahead, having been the only side to beat Pep Guardiola’s team in the league this term. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Salah, who scored four goals in Liverpool’s 5-0 rout of Watford on Saturday, will likely have to play a big part if Liverpool are to advance past their Premier League rivals. The Egyptian’s goals on Saturday saw him pass Fernando Torres’ record of 33 competitive goals for a player in his debut season at Anfield, and now has club legend Ian Rush in his sights along with runaway leaders City. “I don’t believe that City have always been superior to other clubs this season in the Premier League – despite what everyone says,” he said after Saturday’s showing. “We have beaten them for a start.”The Champions League always depends on the draw, but we don’t fear any rival, whoever they are.”We’re in the quarter-finals and have the same chances of winning as each of the other seven teams.”Salah, whose Liverpool host City at Anfield on April 4 before travelling to Manchester for the return leg six days later, added: “There are many big clubs still in the competition but you have to remember Liverpool are a great club in Europe too. In these knockout ties, anything can happen.”The 25-year-old international forward has been a phenomenon since arriving from Roma at the start of the season, scoring 34 goals in all competitions – 27 of those in the Premier League.The Reds have just one match, against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, before playing City in the first leg of their quarter-final. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State coach Charlie Dickey is canvassing the country in search of his next (and likely final) offensive line recruit to fill his 2020 class at quota.Just last week, it was Texas Tech pledge Larry Moore who was the targeted subject, picking up an offer shortly after his pledge. This week, it’s Missouri product Monroe Mills from Columbia, Missouri, with the latest OSU offer.Mills is a 6-7, 291-pound tackle who has already garnered offers from the programs you’d expect: Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, and, of course, Missouri. 21 schools in total have offered — 12 since May.“It’s been a surreal experience,” Mills told 247Sports of his recruitment recently. “My dream was to play in college, but I didn’t think I’d be able to as a kid. I’m so blessed and so lucky to have this opportunity. It’s crazy. I took a huge step in getting stronger and faster and it’s paying off this summer.”With a breakout summer nearly on its way to hurtling towards a breakout fall at the rate of his rise, Mills seems intent on plugging up the process and committing. OSU seems to be in at just the right time, in fact, with a commitment coming sooner rather than later.“I’m thinking about making a decision pretty here soon,” Mills said in his 247 interview. “I want to make it before the season starts so that the recruitment process can be slowed down and I can focus on my season. It’s always important to find the right fit.”OSU has 13 commitments in its 2020 recruiting class, and three are from offensive linemen.