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How Pep Guardiola is already exploiting the new goal kick rules

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Under the old rules, Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte split wide to the edge of the penalty area with Stones alongside United players how to play a high-press while on preseason tour in Australia.The Red Devils kicked off their preparations for the 2019/20 campaign with a win over Perth Glory on Friday night.They will take on Leeds United in Perth on Wednesday and GFernandino centrally to form a 1-2-2 structure with goalkeeper Ederson. 

The new goal kick rules have offered Guardiola the chance to innovate. In the Community Shield, one of the centre-halves would drop to the six-yard line to form a pivot with stand-in goalkeeper Claudio Bravo – this gave Liverpool another horizontal line of City players to think about. 

In this example it was Nicolas Otamendi. Stones and would form the next line just outside the area, making sure they were not standing on the same vertical line as Bravo or Otamendi. 

After Bravo and Otamendi hadBurnley.The Hornets are bottom of the table after the 3-0 reverse.Asked about his own position, the Hornets boss responded: “It’s time, it’s time, it’s belief, it’s belief, it’s fight, it’s fight, it’s all these kind of things that we can do to hel exchanged passes, Roberto Firmino shuffled across to cut-off a pass to Stones which opened up a lane for Bravo to find Rodri. Had that pass not been available, there was a safer option to either full-back who were wide against the touchline. 

It looks risky and still causes anxiety among fans in the stands, but the idea was to either discourage Liverpool from pressing altogether or to “tomorrow” if he was allowed to for the Championship side.The 34 year old former Manchester United star joined from Major League Soccer side DC United but is not eligible to play until January.”I could play. I didn’t have long off – if the game was create overloads higher up the pitch by playing through them. 

At the other end, Liverpool employed a more orthodox set-up with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk standing inside the penalty area but split with a central midfielder dropping between them. 

City’s build-up is not all about obsessively playing short, though. They use the element of surprise by Ederson or Bravo kicking long to catch out defences who creep too high up the pitch, exploiting the speed of Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sane. Sergio Aguero’s opening goal against Arsenal in the 2018 Carabao Cup final was a perfect example. 

Guardiola is a Johan Cruyff disciple and Cruyff’s maxim was simple: make the pitch small when defending but make it as big as possible when you have the ball. 

With defenders dropping into the six-yard box and forwards on the shoulder of the last defender, Man City make the pitch huge and create so much depth. Here Bravo decides to kick long and has Liverpool’s defence scrambling to recover: 

Do you try and condense the space but risk being felled by one straight ball over the top, or drop off and allow City to play out from the back with ease? It is a conundrum coaches will wrestle with all season. 

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How Man City can get back on track and what Arsenal will do to stop it

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data-js=”article-bdion Ighalo offers them something different.Ighalo could start tonight at Europa League opponents Club Brugge.“Well for me Odion is a different type of striker for us,” Solskjaer told reporters in Belgium.“He’s a box striker, he’s a goalscorer. Wody” data-insert-mobile-adslot>

. A mid-press is the most likely strategy and this will leave space for City to hit direct passes in behind, something that the forwards must constantly look for. If Arsenal press high it could lead to scoring chances for City, as defenders pass their way out from the back to reach an exposed, vulnerable Gunners midfield.

Arsenal will almost certainly attempt to the block the middle of the pitch to force City’s play wide. City must make the pitch as wide possible to allow forward passes to be played through central areas, having the wingers hug the touchlines to stretch the space between defending midfielders or defenders. This frees up space between bodies to fire the ball to advanced players quickly through the middle.

The wingers must ensure they stay wide to stretch the pitch and create these passing lanes, taking care not to drift inside too early or run into dead ends. Sterling was guilty of doing this against Newcastle.

4-1-2-1-2 and how it caters for Mesut Ozil

Arsenal are great in possession but lack a killer final ball. Mesut Ozil is one of the best in Europe at making that pass but offers nothing defensively. To cater for Ozil, Emery can play three defensive-minded midfielders to provide a barrier in a 4-4-2 diamond, a formation Arsenal have used in their previous two Premier League matches.

All three of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka can carry the ball aam.The midfielder revealed that Bruce pinpointed West Ham’s tendency to play a high line and deployed Shelvey to pick holes in their defence.Shelvey told NUFC TV: “We know that Pellegrini’s teams like to play a high line.”The gaffer spoke about it bend play neat forward passes through the centre of the park at Premier League level – all of Arsenal’s players are good at this – the problem is finding that magic end product in the final third.

Man City are the home team and, simply, better than Arsenal. For this reason Emery will almost certainly start without Ozil in a more defensive shape.

Arsenal built for the counter-attack

Newcastle pulled off a shock win over Man City by blocking passing lanes and defending resiliently in a 5-4-1. The wide midfielders doubled up on City’s wingers in wide areas to make sure defenders were never outnumbered by rival attackers, with Ayoze Perez darting forward during attacks to a more central position beside the striker, overlapped by the right back.

Arsenal could attempt to frustrate City in a 3-4-3 shape with the forwards dropping into midfield when out of possession just as Newcastle did. If they can keep City quiet for the majority of the game, eventually cracks will appear to make counter-attacks a possibility.

Before they can race up the pitch, Arsenal need to ensure that they frustrate City with their defensive shape. The 3-4-3 can easily become a 5-4-1 with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang droppingright to turn things around.The Argentine’s five-year stint at Spurs came to an end on Tuesday after a poor start to the Premier League season.But after leading the club to their first Champions League final in June, the THST believes Pochettino didn to a left midfield position (LM), supported by the left-back Sead Kolasinac (LB). The idea is to push play wide, then backwards and repeat until City give the ball away.

The pace of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette will cause big problems if Man City are caught with too many players ahead of the ball. Employing a slightly deeper press suits their physical attributes – expect a mid-press or low block to ensure City leave space in behind their defensive line to suit pacy strikers.

Dealing with injuries

Laurent Koscielny may not be able to play due to a jaw injury. Sokratis, Bellerin and Holding are all definitely out while Maitland-Niles is a doubt – Arsenal don’t have (m)any defenders left and unless they wish to play Xhaka at centre-back again, will have to field a weakened back four instead of a three simply due to numbers available.

Man City’s forwards will be keen to test any vulnerability at the back, particularly Kolasinac’s tendency to drift forward and leave space vacant behind. Riyad Mahrez has often caused problems for Arsenal in the past and may well start on the right wing to test this theory, with Sterling running at whoever has to fill in at right-back.

The Arsenal centre-backs must watch for City’s trademark move in particular; a winger gets to the line and fakes to cross low into the box, before cutting the pass back to the penalty spot, or edge of the box for a waiting forward to slot past a bamboozled goalkeeper.

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Manchester City put Fulham to the sword with straightforward win

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Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan addressed Manchester City supporters for only the second time since he bought the club 10 years ago this month. “It feels that we are only halfway up our Everest,” the billionaire said as he reflected on the past decade and, spelling out his vision for the future, declared that there was “much more to win”.

For opponents, coming to the Etihad must invariably feel like trying to scale a treacherous mountain in relentlessly suffocating conditions. Fulham became the latest to more or less accept defeat at base camp. Pep Guardiola had said his team would get fully up to speed after the international break and so they are.

Bernardo Silva was the pick of a brilliant bunch, David Silva marked his 350th game for City with his 50th goal in the Premier League and rumours of Leroy Sane’s demise have, evidently, been greatly exaggerated. Restored to the team after recent criticism, the Germany winger capped a memorable week after becoming a father to a baby girl with a goal.

The only slight disappointment for Guardiola was that his side squandered so many chances and Sergio Aguero will require assessment before Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Lyon about being substituted early in the second half with a sore ankle.

“Three-nil is a good result but we created a lot of chances to score five, six, seven goals and we have to be more clinical because the contenders are so tough and the goal difference is important,” the City manager said.

A word or two on the man-on-the-match, Bernardo, first. His touch and quality has never been in doubt but he has now adjusted to the physicality of the Premier League. City’s second goal was a clear case in point.

This time last year, the Portugal playmaker would probably have been knocked over when Stefan Johansen tried to barge him out of the way as they challenged for the ball near the right byeline. But it was Bernardo who won this duel, outmuscling the Fulham midfielder, and then showing awareness to turn and feed Aguero.

The Argentine’s shot was deflected into the path of Silva, who controlled on his chest before rifling home off the bar.

“It is almost impossible to be more pleased as a manager with him,” Guardiola said of Bernardo. “I don’t forget the behaviour he had last season when he didn’t always play. He is a good example to all the others.”

City’s second goal was scored after 22 minutes and already by then there was no way back for Fulham. If you come here you have to at least make yourself competitive. That does not involve playing careless passes deep in your own half less than two minutes in that are just asking to be punished. But that is what Jean Michael Seri did, turning over the ball with a feeble pass intended for Odoi that Fernandinho intercepted. The Brazilian surged forward and squared for Sane – with a clear point to prove after his omission against Newcastle – to tap home.

“Even when he didn’t play we never doubted Leroy’s quality,” Guardiola said. “At his age, sometimes these things happen – a little bit up and down but I’m delighted for his performance.”

Fulham paid the price for backing off and giving fast, skilful players too much time and space. Ryan Sessegnon’s insistence on standing off Raheem Sterling was baffling while his positioning was suspect throughout. Had Sterling not been so wasteful in front of goal, the damage could have been more severe. “This will be a huge learning experience [for Ryan]”, said Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic.

Twice Fulham were indebted to keeper Marcus Bettinelli for shutting out Sterling. The first was a particularly disappointing miss. Bernardo showed outrageous skill to spin away from Seri and Kevin McDonald before releasing Sterling, whose shot was knocked on to the crossbar by the visitors’ No 1.

Ederson, the City goalkeeper, twice denied Andre Schurrle but Fulham were very vulnerable defensively. The second half was only two minutes old when Aguero powered down City’s right, with Sessegnon in no-man’s-land, past Alfie Mawson and squared for Sterling to score from a yard out. This time the England forward could not miss. City oozed control and the only blemish for Bernardo came late on when he blazed over fros Chelsea mustn’t give up hope of upsetting Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.The Blues have a mountain to ce time under former manager Unai Emery, and looked certain to leave the Emirates in the January transfer window.But Arteta made it clear he considered Ozil to be an important player for Arsenal in his fist press conference as boss, and already appearlimb after being beaten 3-0 by Bayern at Stamford Bridgelon D’Or.The Dutchman was integral to Liverpool’s Champions League final triumph, which included beating Lionel Messi’s Barcelona in the semi-finals. And Barnes thinks van Dijk has done enough this season to be crowned as the world’s best player.Aske on Tuesday.”We have to go to Munich and play withm 10 yards.

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Bills name Marvin Allen and Brian Adams national scouts

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The Bills pro and college scouting departments are filling up quickly. On Thursday the team announced the hiring of Marvin Allen and Brian Adams as National Scouts.

“Both men are veterans in this league. They’ve been in it for a long time,” said Bills GM Brandon Beane. “It’s the same thing as players, we want to grow and develop. These are two guys who will be over the younger scouts and be part of helping us grow and develop our scouting staff. You just can’t replace their time and accomplishments in the league.”   

Allen has spent the last four years as the Director of College Scohis style of play.The now retired Bulgarian was always a polarising figure among fans of the club, as some felt his style was too lazy compared to forwards Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney.But Berbatov considers himself “an artist on the pitch” and had uting for the Kansas City Chiefs. A 24-year veteran in NFL scouting, he also spent five years scouting for the Atlanta Falcons, serving as a National Scout after a few years as a regional scout.

The early part of his career was spent with the New England Patriots where he served as an area scout ed with Barcelona.Griezmann finally completed his long-awaited move from Atlético de Madrid to Camp Nou on Friday having seemed set to join Barça last year before opting to stay put. Barça triggered the €120million release clause in his contractfor 16 years (1993-2008).

“Marvin started in the 90’s. He’s most recently been a college (scouting) director so he’s sat in that seat,” Beane said. “He’s going to be a great resource not only for me, but for all our college scouts.”

Allen also had a four-year NFL career as a running back with the PatJody Morris said Chelsea need to address their home form ahead of their third round FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest on Sunday.With Tribalfootball.com in attendance, Frank Lampard’s assistant was standing in for the pre-match press conference and sariots, who made him an 11th-round pick in the 1988 NFL draft.

Adams has more than 30 years of scouting experience. He spent the 2016 campaign as the Midwest regional scout for the Dallas Cowboys, but spent seven years with the Saints. He also has a working history with Beane, spending seven years in the Panthers scouting department.

“I worked with Brian in Carolina. We had a long history there,” said Beane. “Brian went to the Saints to take a promotion to Assistant Director of College Scouting, and was most recently with Dallas. He’s a veteran in scouting and well respected across the league. I look forward to reuniting with him.”

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LaDainian Tomlinson believes LeSean McCoy will be rejuvenated in Buffalo

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Two premier running backs, both of whom have led the league in rushing. Multiple Pro Bowl appearances. Workhorse backs for playoff times.

The Bills LeSean McCoy and retired great LaDainian Tomlinson have had similar career paths in the NFL. And Tconfident signing Watford defender Marc Navarro.The Watford Observer says the Spanish club still expect the deal to go through, but that a hold up from the Hornets is currently slowing things down.While the La Liga side are believed to not be worrieduesday at Bills Camp, Tomlinson shared some advice for the Bills running back about switching teams in an NFL career.

“It rejuvenates you honestly, when you’re able to go to a different place,” Tomlinson said this week, after a long post-practice conversation with McCoy. “You go to a place wherester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players all have a clean slate.Solskjaer, however, says they must fight every day to show they want to be part of the project.”The players have a chance every day to prove you should be part of this exci you’re wanted and you go to a place where they know how to play the style you’re used to—that was my case.”

After nine years in Sanch Quique Setien after defeat at Valencia on Saturday.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, while speaking on El Chiringuito.Inda revealed Barca players took issue with Setien’s claims they were struggling to follow his instructio Diego, Tomlinson finished his career with the New York Jets in 2010 and 2011, under Jets Coach Rex Ryan.

“I knew that their style and their brand of football complemented what I did well,” Tomlinson says. “It’s no different for LeSean McCoy. He’s been in this type of offense before in college. He understands how to get downhill, how to run between the tackles, how to fight for four yards and then the big runs come after that.”

Tomlinson was at Bills Camp in his current role as an analyst for the NFL Network. He interviewed McCoy on camera before their long private conversation. LT says he stressed to McCoy how Rex Ryan’s focus on a strong running game helped extend his career, and how it will benefit Shady.

Tomlinson was 30 years old when he went to the Jets via free agency. He was nine years into his likely Hall of Fame career, on his way to 13,684 rushing yards, fifth most in NFL history. In contrast, McCoy has only spent six years in the league and just turned 27 years old last month.

For that reason, LT thinks McCoy has plenty of mileage left and can easily get 300 or more touches in the Buffalo offense this season.

“I think 300 touches, absolutely,” Tomlinson says. “Because you have to imagine you’ll get anywhere between 250 and 270 carries and then you add on another 50 receptions out of the backfield—he should approach 300 touches. And I think that’s perfect for LeSean McCoy.”

“He’s a guy that needs to be implemented into the passing game as well. He’s just two talented not to be used in the passing game.”

There’s another link between Tomlinson’s success and McCoy’s future in Buffalo. LT had the good fortune to run behind Pro Bowl FB Lorenzo Neal during his best years in San Diego. This year, McCoy will have Pro Bowl FB Jerome Felton in front of him on many runs. Tomlinson says McCoy should embrace it.

“It’s all about the tempo and the rhythm sometimes with a fullback,” according to Tomlinson. “You have to communicate very well with your fullback on certain things you like, certain things you want him to do, whether it’s the power run and that fullback blowing through there and looking for the first guy. Those are things that take time to communicate and work out on the field.”

“LeSean is a smart runner. He’s naturally an instinctive runner. I don’t think it will be that big of an adjustment running with a fullback.”

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Southampton 1 Arsenal 1: Olivier Giroud rescues a point after Charlie Austin terrorises chaotic defence

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The positive for Arsenal was the benefit again of having such a distinct option off the bench as Giroud, whose goals to minutes ratio continues to overshadow most of his team-mates. With the January transfer window fast approaching, Wenger again also reiterated his opposition to the French striker leaving. “Why should we lose an important player?” he asked. “It’s up to us. He will start games.”

Austin had been similarly frustrated at a lack of starting opportunities at Southampton until his recent recall coincided with a wider improvement, and he finished emphatically here after three minutes. Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker had come back insays they’re set to offer a new deal to Ryan Fraser.Arsenal have been tracking the 25-year-old Scottish winger, who is about to enter the last year of his contract at the Vitality Stadium.It led to Fraser being linked to the Gunners in a potential £to the team following a thigh injury to Shkodran Mustafi but was easily dispossessed by Austin who then exchanged passes with Dusan Tadic before shooting confidently past Petr Cech. 

The presence of Mertesacker seemed to have disorientated Arsenal defensively, and Southampton could and should soon have been further ahead. Austin was then released by Tadic after Mertesacker had again been caught, but Cech got down well to save his low shot. 

The Soul van Dijk.Van Dijk is UEFA’s player of the year and has a fan in Lampard ahead of tomorrow’s showdown.Lampard said: “Van Dijk is an incredible player. Seemingly, he has every attribute needed to be a defender and more. It is a test for our centre thampton striker was then only marginally offside after again getting behind the Arsenal defence before also hitting the post from a narrowly offside position after running onto Ryan Bertrand’s cross. 

Austin has now scored four goals in his past four games but admitted that Southampton missed their big chance in that opening salvo. “We get the second and it’s over – one’s not enough in the Premier League,” he said. 

Arsenal remained defensively vulnerable throughout, but they did eventually at least settle into a passing rhythm that allowed them to dominate possession. 

Alexandre Lacazette had again been preferred to Giroud as the main striker and wasted an excellent counter-attacking chance when his heavy first touch just gave Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sufficient time to make a goal-saving block.

Aaron Ramsey did also almost equalise, but his low shot was quite brilliantly saved at his near-post by Forster following Sanchez’s cross. 

The pattern was set, and while Arsenal continued to have most of the ball, Southampton’s defence was solid and they also always retained their threat. Cech made another save from James Ward-Prowse, and from the resulting corner, a header back across goal by Bertand was almost inadvertently turned in by Granit Xhaka. Oriol Romeu also shook Cech’s crossbar with a powerful dipping shot from 25 yards. 

Arsenal’s supporters were becoming increasingly frustrated, and there were persistent chants for Jack Wilshere. But Danny Welbeck was Wenger’s choice when he did make his first change after 64 minutes, predictably replacing Mertesacker as Arsenal switched to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 formation. 

They were almost immediately punished, with Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal getting themselves into a mess and fortunate that Bertrand just lofted his finish wide after lifting the ball over Cech.

Wenger did then bring on Wilshere for Xhaka in an attempt to add some cutting edge. Southampton, however, are a class above BATE Borisov, and Wilshere had nothing like the time or space that had allowed him to exert such influence on Thursday. 

The more telling change was Giroud, whose introduction for Lacazette was still greeted with groans from Arsenal fans. Sanchez, who again kept losing possession, had just tested Forster with a curling free-kick before producing a perfectly weighted cross for Giroud to glance his header past Forster. 

“We missed players in the box so I tried to bring it. This was a good point,” said Giroud, whose 17th goal as a substitute places him level with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the all-time Premier League list. 

It was just about what Arsenal deserved – but there is little doubt now that their Premier League season will again be about no more than fighting for a top-four place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pellegrino’s Alaves side played with four at the back for all but a handful of games last season and when he switched to five against Real Madrid, they were still humped Liverpool are set to go head to head with Borussia Dortmund to sign Ferran Torres from Valencia.The 19-year-old Spanish winger is producing some eye catching displays in La Liga this season.And Reds manager Jurgen Klopp will do battle with his old cl4-1 and 3-0, though they did knock off Barcelona at the start of the campaign 2-1. 

 Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin,  Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette.   Ospina, Wilshere, Giroud, Iwobi, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles,  Coquelin. 

 Robert Madley (Leeds) 

 

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Bills 2014 home opener sold out

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The Bills 2014 home opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Miami Dnow being followed by Liverpool.Sport says Liverpool have joined Barcelona and host of clubs in pursuit of teenager Camavinga.Manchester United and Arsenal have already been alerted by the 17-year-old’s form since becoming a regular in Ligue 1.Barca olphins is sold out and will be televised locally.

Bills founding owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., will be honored in a pregame ceremony. Stadium gates open at 11:30 a.m. and fans are encouraged to get to their seats early. The first 50,000 fans will receive a commemorative “RCW” window cling in the seating areas, mirroring the “RCW” patch worn on the team’s jerseys during the 2014 season in Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s honor.

Sunday’s gameday sponsor, Time Warner Cable, will be giving away rally towels at the gate entry to the first 50,000 fans.

The-old has been in impressive form this season, and recently returned to the starting lineup after an ankle problem.The Daily Mail suggests that City are looking at the centre-half as a summer signing.He is already compared to John Stones by many scout Bills will wear their white throwback jerseys. As part of the throwback game festivities, Hall of Famer Andre Reed will serve as the Leader of the Charge. The Syracuse University marching band will provide pregame and halftime entertainment.

Club level seats are still available for the game, as well as partial club season tickUnited has extended its regional broadcast deals with Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast until 2022, reports SportBusiness.The regional sports networks have televised all regionally-available matches since Atlanta United’s inaugural season in et packages. Fans may purchase club tickets by going online at , visiting the Ralph Wilson Stadium ticket office, or calling 1-877-BB-TICKS (228-4257).

A post shared by (@buffalobills) on Sep 10, 2014 at 2:21pm PDT

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How excited should Arsenal be about latest group of youngsters? Scouting report from Doncaster Carabao Cup win

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His confidence and ability going forward was evident all night, with his bursts up the right flank causing havoc in the Doncaster defence and a couple of efforts drawing smart saves from the visitors’ goalkeeper Ian Lawlor. Defensively though, Nelson was shaky and he was twice badly caught out in the second half to gift Doncaster openings that more clinical forwards would have profited from. 

There was a moment in the first half that summarised the youngster’s night, when he made a mess of a clearance before moments later using his searing pace to dribble away with the ball and then play a perfectly-weighted pass up the line for Theo Walcott. 

The important things to remember with Nelson are his age and inexperience. He is only 17, and prior to the summer had never played in defence. Fortunately for him, Wenger has quite the pedigree in converting naturally attacking players into excellent full-backs, including Hector Bellerin, Ashley Cole and Lauren. 

With his speed, athleticism and eagerness to get involved in his side’s attacks, Nelson is in many ways the prototype Wengerian full-back. ringing and career in a new autobiography. The talented winger partnered with Simon Zwartkuis to release “Heart of a Lion” recently.In the book, Depay speaks about his high profile failure at Manchester United, his issues with Louis Van Gaal and JoseExpect to see more of him before the season is out, especially with Arsenal’s other back-up right wing-back options either on loan (Carl Jenkinson) or out of favour (Mathieu Debuchy). 

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

At 20 years old and having made seven appearances last season, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a relative veteran compared to Nelson. Maitland-Niles, a local lad who joined Arsenal at the age of six, is known for his versatility but said in the pre-match programme that he views himself as a central midfielder. 

Having played as a defender for Arsenal previously, Maitland-Niles started as a left wing-back against Doncaster, which he also did against Cologne last week. 

Like Nelson, it was clear early on that Maitland-Niles had more interest in attacking than defending. He got forward very effectively in the first half, and put in a number of dangerous crosses as he combined well with Alexis Sanchez down the Arsenal left. 

In the second half, Maitland-Niles was more disciplined, as he recognised the need to hold his position and support the callow Josh Dasilva, who had come on at half-time in central defence. Maitland-Niles also showed superb speed and awareness to charge back and deny Alfie May after Nelson had been horribly caught out.

Wenger says that Maitland-Niles is "close" to playing more regularly, while the player himself said on Wednesday that he is targeting a few Premier League stars this season. He certainly looks ready to step up, and could offer a solution to the defensive midfield area where Arsenal look so vulnerable. 

Josh Dasilva

When Calum Chambers was forced off with a hip injury at half-time, Nacho Monreal seemed the obvious choice to come on as the left-sided centre-back in the Arsenal back three. Instead Wenger turned to Josh Dasilva, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder, who only broke into the Arsenal under-21 side towards the end of last season. 

Besides being physically imposing and left-footed, Dasilva – another English academy graduate – looked about as equipped for the role as the FA investigating misconduct. 

His first two contributions were to pass the ball straight to an opposition player, and then get nutmegged in front of his manager. Shortly after, he got himself in a tangle and was turned by Matty Blair, before Per Mertesacker exhorted him to focus and move up alongsid Hazard will take when he arrives from Chelsea.The Sun says Hazard will wear the No 7 shirt when he finally signs for Real Madrid.The Chelsea ace wants his £115million deal wrapped up – as does Bernabeu president Florentino Perez.Even though Hazare the rest of the back three. At times it felt as though Dasilva had been brought on to give Mertesacker some practice for his role as academy manager, which he will start next season. 

But as the second half wore on, Dasilva settled down and began to show his technical proficiency and comfort on the ball. He is clearly very talented, and will hn’t sabotage Chelsea’s run to the Europa League final over their pursuit of Eden Hazard.Marca says Hazard has ‘already agreed’ terms on a move to Real Madrid this summer and an announcement will be made on May 12 unless the Blues reach the Europa Leaave learned a huge amount from playing out of position, and at a level higher than what he is used to. 

It would be a surprise if Dasilva’s future was at the back, but then Wenger did a similar conversion job on Kolo Toure, who arrived as a winger and became an ‘Invincible’ central defender. 

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Jurgen Klopp: No price could tempt Liverpool to sell Philippe Coutinho… who would we replace him with?

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“Our goal is to have the best possible team. So we want to keep our guys and add new ones. That is our plan.”

Klopp indicated one of the issues is how little opportunity Liverpool would have to replace a player of Coutinho’s class with only three weeks left in the transfer d AC Milan scouting chief is well aware of talk of Messi becoming unsettled at the Nou Camp.Braida told Radio Anch’io Sport: “Leo is an extraordinary player, we all know that. In Barcelona he is doing too well, he as well as his family, and it is verwindow.

He has been frustrated already with his and Virgil van Dijk, whose valuations demonstrate Klopp still has a kitty well in excess of £100 million at his disphristian Eriksen has backed up the Dane’s words today about leaving Tottenham.Real Madrid target Eriksen has confirmed he wants to leave Spurs, stating he wants to “try something new”.And Martin Schoots told the London Evening Standard: “Last seaosal this summer.

He would have almost double that if he sold Coutinho, but s a necessary decision for the club’s future.”There’s no doubt it’s harsh from a human and personal perspective,” he said.”I get that. But I’ve got to make a professional decision and what I think is best for the football club is not perhaps what thesecuring players has been a problem and Liverpool could .

Klopp is exploring which players to add, not sell his senior stars.

“Today no player on the planet is untouchable. But a transfer is also a question of timing and if you have the opportunity and the need to react to such a transfer,” said Klopp.

“Also you have to ask, if you have the time to react. But just because of one request of one club, we don’t have to think about that. We are not in that situation.

“Liverpool is not a club that has to sell players. That is set in stone. So what they pay in the end doesn’t matter.”

Barcelona are expected to return with a bid nearer £100 million, but Liverpool’s response will be the same.

Coutinho has been reporting for training every day as normal but he has a back injury which makes it unlikely he will face Watford this weekend.

Philippe Coutinho is valued at £5.4m in Telegraph Fantasy Football, but is he good enough to make your team? –

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Bills show lots of thanks and giving

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Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller remembers his mom’s home cooking and her sweet potato pie for his Thanksgiving. This and many other Thanksgiving memories were stirred up at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center (NWBCC) on November 23, 2010 as the Buffalo Bills Toyota Rookie Club served their 10th Annual Rookie Club Thanksgiving dinner for over 300 children and their families.

Bills players in attendance included C.J. Spiller, Torell Troup, Ed Wang, Arthur Moats, Alex Carrington, Antonio Coleman, David Nelson, Levi Brown, Marcus Easley, Dominique Harris, Cordero Howard, Donald Jones, Danny Batten, Montez Billings, Naaman Roosevelt and John Russell.

The support of the Bills was noticed and appreciated by the players.

“I still can’t get over how supportive the community of Buffalo is to the Bills,” said Troup. “Despite records or what happens on the field, this community will never turn their back on us. Because they are so supportive of us I can’t help but give back to the community as well. This community has left an imprint in all of us and I will always remember nights like tonight.”

The gym at the NWBCC was jam packed like never before but there was plenty of food for everyone. Ms. Juanita Anderson, who is largely responsible for all of the delicious food and cooking at the event, was presented with a personalized #10 Bills jersey by the Bills players.

“Ms. Anderson definitely knows how to cook and the fact she cooked for over 300 people is amazing,” said Moats. “We passed out Thanksgiving dinners to those who may not have the opportunity to have another meal on Thursday. It was really special for us because we got to sit with them and eat with everyone who came out tonight.”

After the dinner, the Bills rookies introduced themselves and said what they were most thankful for this year.

Wide receiver Donald Jones, who was excited to score his first career touchdown last weekend, is also very excited to spend his first Thanksgiving with his newborn son. All of the players were looking forward to spending some time with their family and eating a good home cooked meal from their mothers.

The players, children and their famig pitch after their 1-1 draw with Valencia.Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata have been misfiring this season and although the former opened the scoring on Saturday with a penalty against Valencia, his first home goal of the season, they’re not deliveringli defender Matthijs de Ligt has hit out at Manchester United.The former Ajax captain moved to Juve last week and revealed he was aware of the story that United chose not to move for him as a junior over predictions he would put on weight later in his es all had a fun time, but it was the food and fond memories that everyone was talking about.

“The Bills rookies came along to show their appreciation and celebrate thanks and show how thankful they are for everything,” said Diamond Solomon, 17, and NWBCC member. “Ms. Anderson did some great cooking and definitely got people fed tonight and my favorite part was the eating part – everything was delicious!”

“For us to come and spend time and share a piece of our Thanksgiving with them is a very humbling experience and a very joyful experience,” said David Nelson. “It’s something I will remember forever.”

The Bills were active in a host of other Thanksgiving related events this past week.  Some of those events included:

Players and coaches donated money for Thanksgiving meals from Tops Friendly Markets on November 22, 2010 for the Valley Community Center in Buffalo.  75 large meals were donated by John Gamble, Eric Ciano, George Cortez, Bob Sanders, George Edwards, Reggie Torbor, Akin Ayodele and Andra Davis.  Each meal included a 25 – 30 pound turkey, 12 fresh bakery rolls, 10 pounds of potatoes, three cans of green beans, three cans of corn, two cans of homestyle gravy, two cans of cranberry sauce, two boxes of stuffing, a gallon of apple cider, a gallon of fruit punch, one apple pie, and one pumpkin pie!With the help of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, the Food Bank of Weante admits winning trophies with his teammates is what he values most as a footballer.While the French midfielder has received several individual accolades including the Footballer of the Year award in 2016/17, it is the team prizes he treasures mosstern New York and the Northwest Buffalo Community Center, safety George Wilson donated 100 “boxes of love” (turkey dinners) to select families on November 21, 2010 as part of his SAFETY Foundation and Home for the Holidays program.Cornerback Drayton Florence donated 110 turkey dinners to students and their families in the local “Take Stock in Children” program in Ocala, Florida on November 22, 2010.Bills alumni Booker Edgerson, Ed Rutkowski and Lou Piccone served up turkey dinners at the Buffalo City Mission on November 16, 2010 for the annual Thanksgiving Community Meal.Bills alumni Booker Edgerson, Charley Ferguson, Bob Dugan, Ed Rutkowski, Ernie Warlick, Hilton Crawford, Will Fowler and others were on hand to distribute Thanksgiving packages with all the trimmings to over 60 needy families at the Urban Christian Ministries (UCM) Center in Buffalo on November 23, 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Bills fill final practice squad vacancy

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It may have taken a bit longer than anticipated, but the Bills finished filling out their eight-man practice squad Wednesday morning signing free agent tight end Dajleon Farr.

Pronounced (DAY-lay-on), Farr was most recently with the after the team signed him August 10 due to a rash of injuries at the position on their roster. The 6’5″ 256-pound tight end however, did not make the team’s final cut and was released last weekend.

He’s considered more of a receiving tight end that offers good speed and hands. Farr also displays good effort as a blocker.

Farr was originally signed as an ue to win Euro2020.But the Spaniard admitted the Red Devils must prove they are the best team in Europe by performing at their best in next year’s tournament.”Whether we can win the European Championship, that is something that we have in our hands,” ndrafted rookie free agent by San Diego this past spring. Her Gianluigi Buffon will leave Paris St-Germain when his contract expires at the end of the month.The 41 year old Italy legend, joined on a free transfer in July 2018, making 25 appearances in all competitions for the club as they won the Ligue 1 titl finished his college career at the University of Memphis after transferring from the University of egime.Cobolli Gigli says Juve are leading the Serie A down to good fortune over the summer and the failings of sports director Fabio Paratici.He explained on TMW: “If Juventus does what it does, it is because it has two players, in addition to (CristMiami.

An athletic prospect that’s still developing his receiving game, Farr finished his college career with 24 receptions for 210 yards and four touchdowns.

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Bills ink OL Calloway

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The Bills are now a third of the way toward having their entire draft class under contract. Buffalo signed seventh-round draft choice Kyle Calloway to a multi-year deal Tuesday shortly after the team’s OTA practice.

“It’s awesome,” Calloway told Buffalobills.com moments after signing. “It’s a relief to finally actually feel a part of the team when I signed that contract. It’s a relief. I’m thankful. Thirty-two teams had a chance to draft me and Buffalo did and I’m glad that they had enough faith in me that I could help the team in whatever way they need me to.”

Calloway (6’7″ 315) was the second of two seventh-round draft picks made by the Bills this past April. The offensive lineman was initially projected by Buffalo’s coaching staff as a guard, but to this point in OTAs and the most recent voluntary minicamp offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris has had Calloway primarily lined up at right tackle.

“Coach ‘D’ made it perfectly clear to me that I need to know both positions and be able to prospect of re-signing PSG star Neymar.While the Brazil attacker’s return has the support of the players, there’s disagreement inside the boardroom over the prospect.A high level source told L’Equipe: “A return of Neymar? This is not the majority op play both,” said Calloway. “I did rookie camp at guard and after that I c Vardy is up for a big performance tonight against Manchester City.Vardy has scored nine goals in eight games under Rodgers, including two in last week’s 3-0 win over Arsenal.”Well he does [strike fear into opponents] there’s no getting away from thaame back for OTAs in May and he just said that watching college tape he saw I was playing a lot of tackle and that I’d probably be more comfortable at tackle. So they kind of want me to learn the system as a tackle for now and be able to switch and go wherever.”

The Iowa productis wary blunting their attack by fixing their defensive lapses.Spurs have conceded 14 goals in eight games under their new head coach.”I know how to do it,” said Mourinho. “But to do it 100 per cent I am going to take away from the team some qualitie has fared well on the strong side, having played tackle for most of his last two collegiate seasons.

To make room for Calloway on Buffalo’s roster the Bills released cornerback Stephan Virgil. The rookie from Virginia Tech was an undrafted free agent signing of the club last month.

Calloway is the third of Buffalo’s nine draft choices to sign with the club joining Danny Batten and Ed Wang, who both signed over the past two weeks. Fellow seventh-round pick Levi Brown and sixth-round pick Arthur Moats are the only late round draft choices yet to sign.

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6 – Will the pass rush be reliably effective?

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Every summer leading up to training camp Buffalobills.com asks 25 of the most pressing questions facing the team as they make their final preparations for the upcoming regular season. With a new regime and practices at St. John Fisher fast approaching, here is the latest installment as we closely examine some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between July 28th and shed for being too passive in the first half against Leicester City.The Albion were in control of the game for large periods, but they were unable to make their dominance count when it mattered.Leicester eventually got a counter attacking goal througSept. 12th.

The potency of the Bills’ pass rush has centered around Aaron Schobel for the better part of the past decade. He has been the linchpin on which Buffalo’s pressure packages have relied most, and entering the 2010 campaign he is still at the forefront of the discussion. Unfortunately his tie to the pass rush question is whether or not he’ll be around to be a part of it.

With Schobel admitting in June that he’s leaning toward retirement, the burden of carrying the pass rush mantle could soon fall to secone a one club man.The 20-year-old has been a revelation since breaking into the Reds side in recent seasons and is now considered to be one of the finest full-backs in European football. He told Sky Sports: “I am fortunate to have the people around med-year linebacker and former first-round pick Aaron Maybin. He has his share of veteran support in players like Chris Kelsay, Reggie Torbor and inside linebacker Kawika Mitchell, who times his blitzes as well as anyone on the roster.

But what figures to help Maybin and his teammates the most is the new 3-4 scheme being implemented by defensive coordinator George Edwards.

“I just think its better suited to us because when you run a 3-4 defense it just gives you the opportunity to throw so many different things at the offense,” said Maybin. “When you run 4-3 packages you’re a little bit more limited in certain things you can do from a blitz perspective and certain looks that you can give.

“When you run a 3-4 defense it’s really hard for the offense to match up with a lot of the guys, especially when you have a lot of the athletes that we have on this team. Athletically it’s going to definitely create a lot of matchup (problems) for some teams.”

Buffalo is expected to have a hybrid type of 3-4 system that may morph into some 4-3 looks depending on down and distance, but the 3-4 scheme is largely what will define their defensive approach this season. A system isn’t always the defining factor in a team’s success in developing a consistent pass rush. Sometimes it’s premier talent that carries the day (see: Bruce Smith). But with Buffalo’s talent largely unproven in a 3-4 scheme, Edwards’ system will be depended upon to create opportunities.

What has Buffalo’s players encouraged about their new scheme when it comes to the pass rush is a track record of proven success for the 3-4. With coordinators able to more effectively disguise their intentions in a 3-4 front it makes it more difficult for offenses to adjust their protection schemes to account for anyone and everyone that might be bearing down on their quarterback.

“If you look at the trend that’s gone on in the league, if you get the right guys in and play it right it seems like we should be able to make more plays and get guys on the quarterback,” said Paul Posluszny. “It seems like there are always a lot of good pressure schemes coming out of the 3-4. I’m excited aboullessen.Cillessen is moving in a deal independent of Barca’s swoop for Valencia keeper Neto.Although it has not been confirmed, everything is pointing towards current Los Che shot-stopper Neto replacing Cillessen as Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s back-up att it. It should be a good change for us.”

In 2009, 3-4 defensive units accounted for seven of the 10 highest sack totals in the NFL, seven of the 10 lowest completion percentages allowed by opposing passers and six of the 10 highest pass breakup totals. It’s a small indication as to how effective the 3-4 scheme can be in creating pressure and disrupting the opponent’s passing attack.

In a league where passing is becoming more and more prevalent year after year, being able to thwart that propensity is critical.

“We think it will be the most advantageous thing to start out with because it gives us the flexibility to adjust to a lot of things where offenses will have to guess who is rushing and who is dropping, what we’re doing coverage-wise, it should help with the disguise aspect of what we’re doing,” Edwards said of his 3-4 scheme.

But how much can be accomplished in year one?

Buffalo is coming off a season in which they did increase their sack totals from 24 in 2008 to 32 in 2009, but that was with a healthy Schobel, who was responsible for 10 of those quarterback takedowns. If he is not in the picture can the likes of Maybin, Chris Ellis, Kelsay and Torbor lead the charge?

One good example of what’s possible can be found in the switch to the 3-4 by the in 2009 under defensive coordinator Dom Capers, a coach under whom Edwards has worked in the past.

Last season the Packers were able to increase their sack total by 10 to go from a ranking of 25th to 11th in the league. Their opponents’ completion percentage, which was already very low, also improved dropping to 54.4 percent to rank second in the NFL in 2009. And their interceptions and pass breakups went up by eight and 10 respectively, with the Packers leading the league in interceptions with 30 last year.

Most important is the fact that they did it without one of their best pass rushers for half the season as Aaron Kampman played in just nine games last year logging just 3.5 of the team’s 37 sacks.

As proven as the 3-4 system might be in generating pressure opportunities, ultimately Maybin and his teammates realize they can’t rely on the scheme to make plays.

“I think the fact that you never really know where the blitzes are coming from, where the pressure’s going to be coming from, just from an offensive standpoint, it makes it a lot more difficult,” said Maybin. “But at the end of the day X’s and O’s are only X’s and O’s. As players we’ve got to go out and make things happen.”

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Roberto Martinez losing battle to save Everton job after questioning ‘desire’ of his players

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Having earlier seemed secure until at least the final home against Norwich City next Sunday, Martinez could now be gone sooner. The Everton board knows theelder Youri Tielemans.Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers has told the board he wants Tielemans to remain at the club permanently after his impressive loan stint during the second half of the season at the King Power.Rodgers wants a deal completed as soon manager will face a hostile environment if he is still in charge at the end of this week.

As Martinez seeks a reprieve from the concerned Goodison hierarchy, rival candidates are manoeuvring into position with Ajax’s Frank De Boer publicly declaring his interest in the post.

Another dire performance has threatened to wreck Everton’s hopes of finishing in the top-half of the Premier League.

The Spaniard faced renewed calls for his dismissal from a mutinous travelling support and there appeared to be friction with midfielder Ross Barkley, who stormed down the tunnel after being substituted late in the game.

Martinez’s post-match press conference lasted only 104 seconds and he later insisted that Wednesday’s trip to Sunderland is now their biggest game of the season.

Sunderland could secure survival with a victory at the Stadium of Light but Martinez has demanded a response as he fights for his future.

“There is a lot riding on the game for us after the performance we had today, we need to react and we need to perform in the highest possible level,” he said.

“It is good that we have a game around the corner but the importance of our performance is as big as you could feel we had in any other day in the season. I expect to have a performance on Wednesday.

“We played last week and we had all the attributes you need to win a football game. Today is a contrasting performance, we got caught up into what was a celebration for the home team and we didn’t look ready.

“A young player who could maybe have been caught by the occasion was Matty Pennington and he was the only player who played with intent, with meaning and desire and it is a shame no one else on the pitch could match that focus.”

A ‘Martinez Out’ banner was unfurled in the away end towards the end of the game and Everton’s season has been one of dismal underachievement.

After losing the FA Cup semi-final Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis admits they were outbid by Arsenal for Nicolas Pepe.The Gunners paid €80m last week to land the Lille striker last week.De Laurentiis told Sky Italia: “I made an important offer for Pepé, but we have not managed to get him. “Arsenal has five times the income of Napoli, so they will have simply offered him more money. “No matter, we will find another Pepe.”against Manchester United, Martinez was targeting a top-ten finish as a means of saving the campaign. That now looks unlikely and supporter has been ebbing away at boardroom level.

Farhad Moshiri, the new major shareholder, has pledged to invest millions this summer but it noster City are at risk of a Champions League ban.The Mirror says City could reportedly face a Champions League ban if they are found guilty of financial irregularities.The Premier League champions have been under investigation by a regulatory committew seems certain Martinez will not be the man to take the club forward.

He also knows others are coveting the post and the board is assessing its options.

Ajax coach De Boer’s agent says his client would love to join Everton. He would be under consideration, alongside others of the calibre of Southampton’s Ronald Koeman.

“He would love to join a club like Everton or Valencia,” said De Boer’s agent Guido Albers. “It’s all about the right philosophy and how they play football. That is what Frank is looking for.”

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Dutch football has not produced enough good players in recent years, admits Danny Blind

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Tomorrow night at Wembley will be much about Johan Cruyff, whose face will loom over the crowd in the 14th minute – in honour of his No 14 shirt – and begin a round of applause for the great Dutchman who died, aged 68, on Thursday. To say that the current team are in the shadow of the great 1970s “Total Football” generation is putting it mildly – Dutch football is approaching the kind of ice-age that the English game was once living in fear of itself.

“It is currently very difficult because Holland was second at the 2010 world Cup and third in 2014 so people expect a lot from our team and it is very disappointing we did not qualify for the Euro 2016 tournamet off Real Madrid lightly last night.City earned an historic 2-1 win at the Bernabeu, which has put them in pole position to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.“They dropped in the last 10 minutes, we detected that and if the game had lnt,” Blind said. “Especially because the third place in the group would have been good enough to get to France. It’s very disappointing … it’s going to be a tough summer.”

The fear from Holland is that against a resurgent England, they could be in for a scoreline like the one of 20 years ago. That defeat is the only one suffered by the Dutch in their last ten games against the English although they have never had to field such an inexperienced side as the one likely to play tomorrow night.

There are around ten injured players missing from the current squad before you consider that the likes of Robin Van Persie, Nigel De Jong and Rafael Van der Vaart have all been put out to pasture. Against England there will be no Arjen Robben or Wesley Sneijder. Neither will goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen play – he broke his nose last week against France. Daryl Janmaat of Newcastle is out, so too Stefan de Vrij of Lazio, Ajax’s Davy Klaassen, Davy Propper of PSV Eindhoven and Erik Pieters of Stoke City

Blind did select the former Aston Villa centre-back Everton.With the Blues languishing at the wrong end of the table, the Dutch sports director is bearing the brunt of criticism.And TMW says Brands could yet be replaced.Everton have made contact with Shakhtar Donetsk sports director José Boto about Ron Vlaar, 31, for the first time in a year but the AZ Alkmaar man is also injured. Sniejder’s injury means a promotion to captain for Blind’s son Daley, of Manchester United, and when father and son came into the room at Wembley it was hard to avoid an old joke about this being the blind leading the blind.

Danny praised the change in English football as “less predictable, more modern, and in keeping with a European style.” He added: “England used to have lots of foreign players but it looks like they now have homegrown players in their league so they are building a good national team. That’s a contrast to us. We are rebuilding our national team with extremely young players.”

The Blind family can be absolved of any blame in having produced two international footballers themselves but elsewhere serious questions are being asked of Holland’s academy footballers. The worry is whether the likes of Jetro Willems, 21; Riechedly Bazoer, 19 and Memphis Depay, 22, will be good enough to get the team to Russia for the 2018 World Cup finals. How has it come to this, in a country that was once the byword for good practice in development?

“It’s always difficult to find one special reason for what has happened,” Danny said. “There were periods in the 1980s when we did not qualify [1982 and 1986 World Cup finals]. That’s football. We had galy Giuseppe Conte admits they may call for the suspension of all Serie A matches next weekend.Coronavirus concerns led to a raft of games being scrapped this past weekend.There were four Serie A matches postponed on Sunday, Inter-Sampdoria, Atalantareat players with Robben, Van Persie, [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar, De Jong, Sneijder. The players aged 25-28, they are not around. We have to deal with that. The only thing we can do is bring in young players for games like this one.”

The Opta Stats still say that the Dutch are producing more homegrown players for the Eredivisie than any other top league in Europe. Of the players who started games in Holland’s top-flight in the last round of league matches, 64.6 per cent were Dutch. That compares with 27.7 per cent English in the corresponding Premier League games. The next highest after Holland was France with 58.2 per cent homegrown players in their league. The question, clearly, is about the quality of the league itself.

As for the Cruyff memories, they are strong for Danny who was signed by the great man when he was manager of Ajax in 1986. Danny went on to play 13 years at the club, winning five league titles and all three of the major European trophies. “Maybe I was a good player but not a special one and that move gave me the possibility to develop in a better team,” Danny said. “It changed my football life totally … it changed my whole life.”

Alongside him, Daley said that his generation knew Cruyff through the footage they watched on the television screen. “It’s clear he was one of the greatest footballers from Holland and the world … every young player knows who Johan Cruyff is and what he stands for. That’s the most important thing and everyone has special memories of him. He’s still a legend, even for my generation.”

Before the Holland team of Cruyff reached the 1974 World Cup finals they country had missed the previous six final tournaments, failing to qualify for 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970 and not even entering a team in 1950 and 1954. Once again there must be a transformation in Dutch football although this time they have the Cruyff template with which to do it.