April 2019 - Soccer Wiretap

Mauricio Pochettino: Second Leg Against Ajax Is 'Still Open'

Apr 30, 2019 9:31 PM

Mauricio Pochettino had hope that Tottenham could overturn their 1-0 deficit against Ajax in the second leg.

"It's going to be difficult, but it's still open. It's about preparing for the second leg. We will try to win. It will be tough for us, but also tough for them," said the Argentine.

Pochettino admitted that he got his tactics wrong early in going to a 3 defender backline.

"I can accept it was a mistake, the shape we used. But there were not too many options. I am not happy - you cannot guess what happens if we play in a different way. It was the not the shape that conceded the goal. Our approach to the game was not good. I am the manager so I have responsibility."

BBC Sport

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, UEFA Champions League

United Interviews Rio Ferdinand For Technical Director Vacancy

Apr 30, 2019 6:48 PM

Manchester United has interviewed Rio Ferdinand for their technical director vacancy.

Ferdinand played with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for five years and there is a mutual respect between the two.

Ferdinand works for BT as a football pundit and lives with his family in the south of England. 

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

Mauricio Pochettino: I Am Already Living My Dream

Apr 30, 2019 2:27 PM

Mauricio Pochettino said he is living his dream ahead of Tottenham's Champions League semifinals clash against Ajax.

“I am already living my dream. To be in the semi-final with Tottenham was a dream five years ago and we are living the dream. But you must always dream with the moon if you want to get to the sky. When you are ambitious and you want to achieve big things, you need to set your dream," said Pochettino.

Pochettino then reflected upon his journey with Tottenham, saying what they've accomplished is bigger than trophies.

“The principle objective was to help the club to build – to finish the training ground, to build the new stadium and to be competitive at the same time. We have done that and, after five years, we must congratulate everyone here. Maybe we still haven’t won a trophy but what we are doing now is more than just a trophy.”

David Hytner/The Guardian

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, UEFA Champions League

Erik Ten Hag Hits Back At Mauricio Pochettino Criticism On Rest

Apr 30, 2019 2:23 PM

Erik ten Hag responded to Mauricio Pochettino's criticism that Ajax got an extra weekend of rest before their Champions League semifinals showdown. 

The Dutch league postponed their weekend matches to give Ajax time to prepare for Tottenham.

"We get €10 million for playing in Eredivisie and they get many more millions for being in the Premier League. Is that not unfair on us? There are always differing circumstances. Everybody has different circumstances. You just have to deal with them. That's what we do," said ten Hag.

Ten Hag went on to compliment the veteran play of Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic.

"We had a good young team but a lack of experience. It was a deliberate policy to sign players from the Premier League, with the knowledge and experience they bring."


Tags: Ajax, Tottenham Hotspur, UEFA Champions League

Ernesto Valverde: Liverpool Are 'A Powerful Team'

Apr 30, 2019 1:20 PM

Ernesto Valverde highlighted the explosive style of Liverpool ahead of their Champions League matchup.

"They are a powerful team, who play a very high tempo game and have an extraordinary attack. They have only lost one game in the league which says a lot about them. We play at home and our intention is to win, but we know we will have to play two good games as Liverpool has strong outbursts that can overwhelm you completely in 15 minutes, and sometimes it succeeds," said Valverde.

Valverde added that the atmosphere at Camp Nou has made a difference despite Jurgen Klopp's claim that the stadium was not a temple of football.

"The fans at the Camp Nou have been decisive in recent weeks, with more than 90,000 people coming and you can notice the difference. We notice it and the rivals do as well, and we suppose that tomorrow they will push us on. Klopp's comments intended to dedramatise [the situation] as, in the end, there is a pitch, two goals and 22 players trying to score."

Alejandro Segura/Marca

Tags: Barcelona, Liverpool, UEFA Champions League

Jurgen Klopp: Camp Nou Is 'Just A Stadium', Not A 'Temple Of Football'

Apr 30, 2019 1:08 PM

Jurgen Klopp insisted that Liverpool would not be intimated by the atmosphere in Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.

"The Camp Nou is just a stadium. It is pretty big, but it is no temple of football. It had to arrive at some point. You see the other teams who have a bad time when they play there and now we will experience it. Although of course we hope to play well," said Klopp.

Ivan Rakitic responded that Klopp would be in for a surprise.

"Ive seen the footage and I understood it like he wanted to take a little bit of pressure off his players. He wants his players to see this stadium as just another stadium. But playing at the Camp Nou is a different thing, it’s special. The atmosphere here is different to any other stadium. You have to respect that," added Rakitic.

Four Four Two

Tags: Liverpool, Barcelona, UEFA Champions League

Nicolas Otamendi, Danilo Could Leave City In Summer

Apr 30, 2019 9:07 AM

Nicolas Otamendi and Danilo could leave Manchester City this summer in search of more consistent playing time.

Otamendi signed a contract extension in January, but has started less than half of City's matches.

Aymeric Laporte is a regular starter, captain Vincent Kompany has been drafted in for big games when fit and John Stones is seen as the club's long-term choice.

Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax could also be signed this summer.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Tags: Manchester City, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Romelu Lukaku Uncertain Whether He Will Return To United

Apr 29, 2019 6:18 PM

Romelu Lukaku's future with Manchester United is up in the air, according to the striker.

“I don’t know, I am not here to entertain rumours. I am still under contract," said Lukaku, when asked whether he would return to the team next season.

Lukaku also defended David De Gea following the keeper's latest blunder.

“He has the been the best player at the club since when? Seven or eight years consistently. I don’t think we should discredit him and suddenly say he is a bad goalkeeper. He has saved us so many times this. It happens to strikers, it happens to midfielders and now it is happening to him. He has to learn from it," added Lukaku.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Transfer Rumor

Sergio Ramos Follows Eden Hazard On Instagram

Apr 29, 2019 6:12 PM

Sergio Ramos followed Eden Hazard on Instagram, furthering speculation that Hazard will move to Real Madrid following the season.

The two sides have been linked throughout the season, with Real Madrid reportedly attempting to lower Chelsea's asking price for the winger.

A potential transfer ban for Chelsea could complicate the move. 


Tags: Real Madrid, Chelsea, Transfer Rumor

Neymar Apologizes For Altercation With Fan Following PSG Loss

Apr 29, 2019 6:09 PM

Neymar apologized for appearing to hit a fan following PSG's loss to Rennes in the French Cup final.

A friend of Neymar's said that the fan told the Brazilian to "go and learn to play football," while the fan alleges that he called PSG "useless."

"Did I act badly? Yes. But no one can stay indifferent," said Neymar in an Instagram comment. 

Alan Dawson/Business Insider

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes, Game Recap

Gennaro Gattuso To See Out Rest Of Season For Milan
Milan are currently out of a Champions League position.

Football Italia

Thorgan Hazard Agrees To Dortmund Move
Hazard has score 30 goals in 144 appearances for Gladbach.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Says He Will Not Drop David De Gea
De Gea's latest blunder lead to Chelsea's equalizer in their 1-1 draw.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Marcelo Biesla Orders Leeds To Let Aston Villa Score In 1-1 Draw
Leeds guaranteed a playoff spot to earn promotion to the Premier League.


Virgil Van Dijk Wins PFA Player of the Year
Van Dijk is the first defender since John Terry in 2005 to win the award.


Maurizio Sarri: I Need 2 Years To Compete For Premier League Title
Sarri said he can improve Chelsea even with a two-window transfer ban.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Ivan Rakitic: 'I Don't Want To Be Anywhere Else'
Rakitic had been linked to a move to Juventus.


Norwich Earn Automatic Premier League Promotion
Norwich will win the Championship with a result against Aston Villa next weekend.

Paul Doyle/The Guardian

Barcelona Clinch Second-Straight La Liga Title On Messi Goal
Barcelona have won 8 out of the last 11 La Liga titles.


Neymar Suspended 3 Champions League Matches For Insulting Ref
Neymar will miss 3 group stage matches in next year's Champions League.


Zinedine Zidane Says Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard Can Play Together
Real Madrid have been linked with a move for Hazard.

Calum Roche/As.com

Real Madrid Want To Loan Out Brahim Diaz Next Season
Diaz came from Manchester City over the winter for $16.7 million.

Football Espana

PSG Looking To Swap Edinson Cavani For Diego Costa
Cavani has scored 192 goals in 6 seasons with PSG.

Football Espana

Frank Lampard Interested In Chelsea Job Despite Pending Transfer Ban
Lampard is currently manager of Derby in the Championship.


United Won't Drop David De Gea Despite Struggles
Manchester United has lost seven of their last nine matches.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Agent Claims Real Madrid Have Rejected $200M Bids For Marco Asensio
Liverpool and Juventus have been reportedly interested in Marco Asensio.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Real Madrid Reportedly Looking To Add Jadon Sancho
Dortmund have put a $90 million price tag on Sancho.


Real Madrid Have No Plans To Sell Martin Odegaard
The 20-year-old midfielder is currently on loan at Vitesse.

Santiago Siguero/Marca

Karim Benzema: 'I Play Football For People Who Like Football'
Benzema has scored 21 goals this season, his most since arriving at Real Madrid.


Miguel Almiron To Miss Rest Of Season With Hamstring Injury
Almiron may miss Copa America with the hamstring injury.