Category Archives: news post

Huddersfield’s Wells determined to do tragic pal proud in Championship play-off final

Date Posted,May 27, 2017

When Nahki Wells walks out at Wembley on Monday afternoon, he will kiss the tattoo on his left wrist as a final reminder of how important it is to seize the day.

The Huddersfield striker is living the dream – for both himself and the friend who tragically lost his life in a ­motorbike accident at the age of 22 when they had the world at their feet.

The name Wells has inked on his arm is that of Tumaini Steede, a promising striker who shared his vision of a career of goals and glory when they were growing up together in ­Bermuda.

It acts as an inspiration as well as a poignant tribute.

“The loss of my best friend is a big motivation for me,” said Wells, as he looked ahead to the Championship play-off final against Reading and the chance to become a Premier League player for the first time.

Huddersfield got to Wembley by beating Sheffield Wednesday on penalties (Photo: Getty)

“Tumaini was a competitor of mine – when we were ­growing up, we were seen as the best two young players in Bermuda – but, as we pushed ourselves, we also developed a really strong friendship.

“He also had the potential, just like me, to get this far in football, but then he lost his life in a bike accident in 2012.

“And, from that moment, I have always been proud to say that I am not just representing myself and my family, I am also representing Tumaini and his family.

“I will think about him at Wembley, as I do before every game. I have his name tattooed on my wrist and he is also the angel on my shoulder. I feel like I have lived out the dreams both he and I always had – hopefully, I can do his memory proud.”

Wells’ journey towards the Premier League has not been smooth.

Wells has won a Wembley play-off final before — with Bradford, four years ago (Photo: Getty)

He arrived from Bermuda in 2010 to combine studies at the Richmond ­International ­Academic and Soccer ­Academy in Leeds with playing for ­Eccleshill United in the Northern Counties East League, the 10th tier of English football.

After a spell with Carlisle, Wells returned to Bermuda ­before a trial with Bradford City brought the offer of a contract.

The striker then scored 25 goals in 2012-13 as the Bantams reached the final of the League Cup before losing to Swansea and won the League Two play-off final.

A year later, ­Huddersfield broke their transfer record when they paid their West Yorkshire rivals £1.3million.

Now, Wells wants to follow in the footsteps of Jamie Vardy, the Leicester striker who rose from the ranks of non-League to win the Premier League and England honours.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates
Vardy has been an inspiration for fellow former non-League striker Wells (Photo: Getty)

“Jamie Vardy has really ­inspired me,” said Wells. “I think he has shown that ­players from the lower leagues deserve the chance to show that they are good enough.

“To do what Jamie has done is the ultimate fairytale and now I’m looking to go that step closer to the Premier League. Jamie started doing it in his late 20s and this game offers me the same opportunity.

“Shaun Goater was one of my heroes when I was growing up in Bermuda – and back home there is a Bank Holiday called Shaun Goater Day. That just shows you what football means to the people back home and they will be cheering for Huddersfield, even though it’s a working day and will be 11 o’clock in the ­morning over there.”

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Aubameyang ends Dortmund’s German Cup jinx in what could be club farewell

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed the class Borussia Dortmund could be missing next season to score the German Cup winner from the spot.

The Gabon striker kept his cool to dink his penalty over the keeper to help Dortmund beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.

If the transfer rumour mill rings true, his trademark backflip goal celebration could be his last with the club with strong links to top clubs in Europe including Liverpool.

The victory breaks Dortmund’s Cup jinx after they lost the three previous finals.

Aubameyang (C) celebrates with his team after their victory (Photo: EPA)
Could this be the last Aubameyang back flip for Dortmund? (Photo: REUTERS)

Ousmane Dembele scored the opener in the eighth minute before Ante Rebic’s equaliser.

After a clear foul by the keeper, Aubameyang put away the penalty to clinch Dortmund’s first Cup win since their 2012 domestic double.

It was also the first trophy for coach Thomas Tuchel, who joined in 2015.

Borussia Dortmund celebrate with the German Cup (Photo: Getty)

Marco Reus also enjoyed his first club success having lost four finals since arriving in 2012, including the 2013 Champions League final.

Dortmund’s victory also meant Freiburg, who finished seventh in the league, will compete in the Europa League qualifying rounds.

Man City plan new Guardiola contract to go with massive summer splurge

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

Manchester City are planning to open contract talks with Pep Guardiola.

Boss Guardiola signed a three-year deal when he arrived at the Etihad last summer, but the belief at the club is that he now views the job as a much longer-term project after targeting a raft of the world’s best young players.

The Blues have already sealed the £43million transfer of Monaco’s 22-year-old midfield playmaker Bernardo Silva since clinching a Champions League group-phase place last weekend.

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And they are now looking to wrap up deals for another trio of talented tyros in Benfica keeper Ederson, 23, and Silva’s Monaco team-mates Fabinho, 23, and Benjamin Mendy, 22.

Landing those three would take City’s summer spending spree past the £150million mark, and they are also closing in on Tottenham’s £40million-rated Kyle Walker.

And it is unlikely that the recruitment will stop there.

Last year, City lavished over £160million on John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus.

Benfica keeper Ederson seems like a bubbly character… (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Guardiola also remains confident that he can land Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, despite the Gunners’ reluctance to allow the Chilean forward to move to another Premier League club.

The arrival of Silva has not altered Guardiola’s determination to link up again with a player he worked with in Spain and the feeling that the 28-year-old would prefer a move to City over joining German giants Bayern Munich.

This massive rebuild is a huge statement of intent by the club – and they reckon that Guardiola will want to be around when the team he is building hits its peak in four or five years’ time.

Yorkshireman Walker is understood to want a return to the north after eight years at Spurs (Photo: Getty)

Chief executive Ferran Soriano – who along with sporting director Txiki Begiristain was instrumental in recruiting Guardiola – is now laying down deeper roots in Manchester by buying a luxury home just off Deansgate in the city centre.

Project Pep has been built on the premise that Guardiola, Soriano and Begiristain will all work together to make City one of the world’s most formidable clubs both on and off the pitch.

Guardiola has been stung by the criticisms levelled at him for failing to mount a sustained challenge for either the Premier League or Champions League in his first season in England. But there is an acceptance that the ageing squad he inherited wasn’t fit for purpose.

Will Mendy, left, and Fabino be following Monaco team-mate Silva to City? (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Thirty-somethings Pablo Zabalata, Gael Clichy, Willy Caballero, Bacary Sagna and Jesus Navas have all now left the club at the end of their contracts.

A one-year extension is still on the table for Yaya Toure though, after the Ivorian’s spectacular return to grace.

A source close to the 34-year-old midfielder told Sunday Mirror Sport that Toure is spending the weekend thinking about a deal which will see his £225,000-a-week basic wage slashed for a bonus-related agreement.

He is expected to announce his decision in the next 48 hours.

* CITY and Arsenal are chasing Dinamo Zagreb starlet David Colina, writes Tom Hopkinson.

The left-back is considered one of the most promising young players on the continent. But Zagreb do not want to lose the 16-year-old, who is also attracting interest from clubs in Italy, Spain and Germany.

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LIVE: Copa del Rey Final – Barcelona 3-1 Alaves… Neymar and Messi put Enrique’s men in control before the break

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

1. The end of the line

This was Luis Enrique’s last game as Barcelona manager, with Ernesto Valverde taking over from him on Monday.

This is the last time Barcelona will wear the Qatar Airways sponsorship on their shirt, with Rakuten taking over, ending the six years the country have featured on the front (formerly Qatar Foundation).

This was the last time Carlos Clos Gomez will referee a game, with the 44 year old hanging up his whistle after a decade at the top level.

This was the last time we will see some of these players turning out for both sides. Barcelona will be selling some stars to raise money and sign new ones, while nine of Alaves’ squad were on loans which now expire.

This was the end of the Spanish domestic football season and we have to wait three months for it to start all over again—although Real Madrid are in action against Juventus in the Champions League final on June 3.

And of course, this was goodbye to the iconic, historic, frankly brilliant Vicente Calderon stadium. It’s a shame Atletico couldn’t feature in the last official match here, but regardless, it will be missed.

(Photo: AFP)

Sent off Moses throws black armband in frustration as diving Chelsea star joins four others in FA Cup final hall of shame

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

Victor Moses threw his black armband in frustration after becoming the fifth player to be sent off in an FA Cup final.

The 26-year-old’s controversial actions come after Chelsea’s first half blunder when they “forgot” to wear the armbands in honour of the Manchester Arena attack victims.

Blues’ stars returned to the pitch in the second half wearing the armbands.

The Chelsea right-wing-back received a second yellow for simulation and was dismissed in the 68th minute.

Moses had been booked 11 minutes earlier after hacking down Danny Welbeck during an Arsenal break.

Moses takes a tumble (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
Anthony Taylor sends off Moses (Photo: The FA Collection)
Moses hangs his head in shame (Photo: REUTERS)
Moses heads down the players’ tunnel (Photo: Rex Features)

It means the Nigerian joins Chris Smalling (2016), Pablo Zabaleta (2013), Jose Antonio Reyes (2005) and Kevin Moran (1985) as players who have been sent off in an FA Cup final.

The defender, however, is the only player to have been sent off in a final for diving.

The armband is no longer in Moses’s hand (Photo: BBC)

But Moses sparked further controversy after throwing away his black armband before heading down the players’ tunnel.

22 people died in the terrorist attack on Monday and a minute’s silence prior to the game was held in their honour.

Players sent off in FA Cup finals

Kevin Moran (1985)

Jose Antonio Reyes (2005)

Pablo Zabaleta (2013)

Chris Smalling (2016)

Victor Moses (2017)