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Manchester City’s Sterling: Flashy footballer portrayal degrading’

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has spoken of his frustration over the media’s portrayal of him as a flashy footballer describing it as “hurtful” and “degrading.”

Sterling previously hit out at media coverage that he said “helps fuel racism,” after he suffered alleged abuse during a match at Chelsea in December.

Sterling, 24, highlighted a difference in the coverage of young white and black players and added that he has been unfairly depicted as extravagant.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“From the very start of my career, there has been a perception of a flashy kid from London: loves cars, loves the flashy lifestyle,” he told the New York Times. “I’m not saying I’m a saint or anything, but that is the complete opposite of who I am.

“These people do not know me. They will define me by what they read about me; that is how they will treat me. When people are making the public believe you are a character you aren’t, that is hurtful, and it is degrading.”12

Sterling has emerged as a potential candidate for Player of the Year after his hat trick in the 3-1 victory over Watford took his goal tally for the season to 18 in all competitions.

He was also a major part of England’s run to the World Cup semifinals in the summer, although that hasn’t stopped the boos that come his way at many away grounds across the country.

And Sterling said negative depictions are not just confined to football with the focus on spending among successful black people.

“It is not just me,” he said. “Whenever you see a report on a black player or a black entertainer it has to end up with money, or bling, or cars, or something flashy.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“With a successful white person, it is nice, short, sweet, what a lovable person.”

He added: “It is a stereotype of black people: chains and jewellery, bling and money. These are words that are associated with black people. If I was showing 10 cars on my driveway, if I was on Instagram biting my gold chain, or with two Rolexes on, you can call me flashy.

11

Manchester United push for De Gea contract agreement to avoid summer bids from rivals – sources

Manchester United are pushing for a breakthrough in their contract stand-off with David De Gea before the summer to avoid fielding cut-price bids for the goalkeeper during the transfer window, sources have told ESPN FC.

United have been negotiating with the Spain international over the terms of a new five-year deal for more than a year and there are fears that if the stalemate stretches into the last 12 months of his contract, due to expire in 2020, offers from Europe’s heavyweight clubs could further complicate the situation.

Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have all been linked with a move for Spain’s No.1 and bids in the summer — likely to be below De Gea’s market value — would force United to choose between cashing in on a big asset or risk losing one of the world’s best goalkeepers on a free transfer a year later.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Sources have told ESPN FC that De Gea, who has made more than 350 appearances since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2011, is keen to stay but only if the club can come up with a wage packet that reflects his importance at Old Trafford. He has won United’s player of the year award in four of the last five seasons and, at 28, is reaching his peak years.11

United, according to sources, are reluctant to make De Gea their highest paid player although there is still hope that a compromise can be reached.

The club are willing to offer a deal worth £350,000-a-week which would see De Gea earn more than £90 million over five years. However, that is still short of De Gea’s expectations and the next three months will be crucial as the two parties seek to find a middle ground.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

There are also concerns that the overall price of the agreement is being driven up by associated costs, including agent fees, that could end up pricing United out of the deal.

De Gea’s situation is starting to mirror a similar contract stand-off in 2015. Four years ago, United accepted a bid from Real Madrid as De Gea was entering the final year of his deal only for the move to collapse at the last minute. He was dropped by manager Louis van Gaal for the first six games of the 2015-16 season while the transfer saga rumbled on and only returned to the team after signing a new contract.

After De Gea was at fault for Arsenal’s first goal in a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates on Sunday, caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rejected suggestions De Gea’s form could suffer while his long-term future is still up in the air.

12

With Bundesliga at stake, Dortmund might be supporting Bayern in Champions League·

On Feb. 18, diners at an exclusive Italian restaurant on Liverpool’s Castle Street were disturbed by cries of joy. The club bosses of Bayern Munich, in town for the following night’s Champions League tie with Liverpool, had just received news of Borussia Dortmund’s score: 0-0 away to bottom side 1. FC Nurnberg.

The Bayern board’s laughter and jubilant shouts showed that they regarded their rivals’ meek draw as a big win for themselves. The deficit was now only three points. The championship, all but gone when Dortmund had opened up a nine-point lead before the week before Christmas, was very much back on.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Disappointment over a lack of clear direction has not gone away but seems less of an issue now the team is more settled and balanced, courtesy of in-form Javier Martinez at the heart of midfield. Bayern are increasingly able to find workable solutions in attack, too.12

Right on cue, last Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of (an admittedly awful) Borussia Monchengladbach was a demonstration of supreme confidence and unprecedented fluidity in attack. Bayern are clearly enjoying the rush that comes from hunting down their prey, step-by-step, week after week, in contrast to the boredom of walking away with it for six successive years. “It’s a more emotional season,” executive chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said last week.

Germany manager Joachim Low has also unwittingly helped to raise the temperature. His surprising move to end the international careers of Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels this week has hurt the trio’s pride and made them even more determined to prove that they’ve been written off prematurely.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Bayern are still on course for their worst points tally of the decade, but Dortmund allowing them back into the title race with a series of poor results has been met with a typically steely resolve. For the next nine weeks at least, they will pull together to ensure it is they who will be celebrating at a fancy restaurant after the last ball has been kicked.

But in Dortmund, they have nice Italian restaurants too. There’s one very close to the Signal Iduna stadium that BVB players love to frequent, and its VIP area could yet witness a party come the last day of the season on May 18.

Despite having their lead chipped away, the club have become a little more optimistic following the 1-0 defeat by Tottenham in Champions League that they can stay the course. “German champions: only BVB,” the supporters on the “Yellow Wall” south stand were chanting after the final whistle on Tuesday night. They had seen enough to feel that a terrible run of seven winless games in eight across all competitions was merely a blip.

11

Manchester United’s miracle win over PSG a warning to Manchester City – Aguero

“Looking at the recent results, we have to be very careful,” Aguero told ESPN with Manchester City 3-2 up over Schalke ahead of next week’s round-of-16 clash at the Etihad.

“We saw strange things happening this week and it helps us to know that we must be very focused on how we handle our game next week at home. [There were] so many unexpected results. PSG had a good lead after winning in Manchester and you saw how United advanced.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“The Champions League is very difficult, all teams are very good. In a long competition like the Premier League you can allow yourself some mistakes but in the Champions League you can’t. You have to be very focused, be very careful with set pieces and on all the small details.”11

City have never gone beyond the semifinals of the Champions League and the competition remains a priority for the club. This year’s final is at the home of Aguero’s former club Atletico Madrid and in the city where his 10-year-old son Benjamin was born.

“I learned during my years here that the title of the Premier League is always decided at the end,” he added. “There are some exceptions like what happened last season when we won the league a month and a half before the end. But I don’t think this will happen any time soon.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“We made history getting 100 points, it’s a difficult feat, not easy to repeat something like that. In my eight seasons in the league, I remember that six of them were very close until the last weeks.

“Obviously we are in a great shape right now after coming back from a big points disadvantage against Liverpool. We knew that the key game to win was the one we played against them and from that moment we started to narrow the gap. We needed to win for them to see that we were pushing back. Now we are top and in a great position over Liverpool.”

12

Manchester City are thriving on title pressure – Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez has said Manchester City are keeping calm and enjoying the pressure of the Premier League title race.

Mahrez, who joined City in a club-record £60 million deal in the summer, was part of the Leicester side that won the 2016 title in one of the greatest shocks in English football history.

The Algeria international said City — bidding for a second successive title — were enjoying the battle with Liverpool, who are a point ahead of them.

“We live for this, to be honest, this type of pressure,” he told reporters. “It’s good pressure — it makes you try to achieve more and more.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“At Leicester we had a feeling where no one had won the league, but here everyone has won it so it’s not the same thing. Here, it’s more calm and composed. We know what to do.12

“At Leicester, everyone was like: ‘We have to win! We have to win! Quick!’ There is no comparison. Everyone here is good, everyone is focused and we will try to win every game.”

Mahrez struck to give City a 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday, and boss Pep Guardiola said the goal was “important for him” after he had struggled for a starting role.

“As an attacking player it’s always good to score and help the team to win,” Mahrez said. “I know I was a long time without playing, but I’ve always been focused.

“But scoring is not a final thing — I still have to work hard because everything you have done in football is forgotten and it’s about the future.

“You have to respect the choices of the manager. When he needs you, you have to give everything. Do that, and the goals and assists will come.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Mahrez saw his volley squirm past Bournemouth keeper Artur Bourc and said: “I was lucky, to be honest. Sometimes when it comes to my right I just close my eyes and shoot. I tried to shoot across but hit the floor at the same time, so it went inside the post.

“Sometimes it’s enough and you have to take it. We are not always going to win 3-0 or 4-0. I remember when I was at Leicester, around this time we were winning every game 1-0. It’s a win, very good.”

11

One year on, how the U.S. men’s national team missed the 2018 World Cup

In the bowels of Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad, champagne and beer sat chilled in the U.S. locker room. All the men’s national team had to do was tie Trinidad & Tobago on this humid October evening, and a trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup was theirs.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

There was every reason to plan a celebration. The U.S. had taken part in the previous seven World Cups, qualifying six times and hosting the event in 1994. Of the 23 players on the roster that night, 16 hadn’t even been born when the U.S. last failed to qualify for a World Cup, in 1985. Plus, the U.S. was playing a T&T side that had already been eliminated, having lost eight of its nine matches in the final-round Hexagonal. In seven career road World Cup qualifiers against T&T, the U.S. had lost only once, and that was during the 2010 cycle, when its progression to the Hex had already been assured.

But then the first goal went in for T&T, another followed 20 minutes later and a furious second-half fight back from the U.S. fell short. Meanwhile, some 1,200 miles away in Panama, defender Roman Torres scored to put the Canaleros ahead against Costa Rica. When the final whistle blew in Couva, the U.S. staff hustled the champagne and beer out of the locker room. The celebration was not to be — and neither was the trip to Russia.11

In the bowels of Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad, champagne and beer sat chilled in the U.S. locker room. All the men’s national team had to do was tie Trinidad & Tobago on this humid October evening, and a trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup was theirs.

There was every reason to plan a celebration. The U.S. had taken part in the previous seven World Cups, qualifying six times and hosting the event in 1994. Of the 23 players on the roster that night, 16 hadn’t even been born when the U.S. last failed to qualify for a World Cup, in 1985. Plus, the U.S. was playing a T&T side that had already been eliminated, having lost eight of its nine matches in the final-round Hexagonal. In seven career road World Cup qualifiers against T&T, the U.S. had lost only once, and that was during the 2010 cycle, when its progression to the Hex had already been assured.

But then the first goal went in for T&T, another followed 20 minutes later and a furious second-half fight back from the U.S. fell short. Meanwhile, some 1,200 miles away in Panama, defender Roman Torres scored to put the Canaleros ahead against Costa Rica. When the final whistle blew in Couva, the U.S. staff hustled the champagne and beer out of the locker room. The celebration was not to be — and neither was the trip to Russia.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The ensuing months have resulted in considerable soul-searching within the U.S. soccer community. ESPN FC spoke to 18 current and former players and staff associated with the program about what happened that night in Trinidad and how the past four years might have contributed to the breakdown. What has emerged from those conversations is a sense that the men’s program has lost its identity.

12

Exclusive: The real reason Man United’s James Wilson is ready to quit his boyhood club

“It was a surprise,” Wilson told ESPN FC by telephone of his debut call. “I’d only been training with the first team for two weeks. I’d had a good season prior to that, scoring for the Under-18s, the U-19s in the Champions League and I’d scored for the U-23s, so I had made all the steps in one year.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“I was surprised to get the nod but I stepped up to the plate and did my bit for the team on the night.”

A few months later, Wilson signed a four-year contract, with new manager Louis van Gaal branding the striker “one of the brightest young English prospects.” That contract is due to expire on June 30, 2019 and after a series of injuries and loan moves, Wilson, now 23, is set to leave the club he joined at the age of seven.

“I think I’ve come to terms with it,” says Wilson, on the prospect of finding a new home in the summer. “I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent certain I’m going to leave. There’s still a slight chance I might get a contract but I think I’m edging towards leaving in the summer.12

The bright side for Wilson, looking forward, is that he is enjoying his football again. On loan at Aberdeen since August, he has scored three times — including a stunning 30-yard strike in a 3-0 win over Hamilton in October — and played in a narrow Scottish League Cup final defeat to Celtic in December. He’d chosen Aberdeen, currently third in the Scottish Premiership behind Celtic and Rangers, to “get out of his comfort zone” and put himself in the shop window ahead of a possible permanent move in the summer.

“I wanted a little bit of a change,” says the former England Under-21 international. “Scottish football has been getting a lot more coverage over the last few seasons as the quality has improved. I wanted to move away from home. I’m originally from Stoke and Aberdeen is 400 miles away from there.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“My first loan move was to Brighton, which was kind of the same thing. The last few loan moves have been closer to home: Derby and Sheffield United. I thought the most successful loan was the Brighton one and I was trying to get as many similarities with this move. Being so far away from home, I have to think more about what I’m going to eat and the rest time I get between training and games. All things considered, I think it’s been a good move.”

11

Chelsea boss Sarri benches Kepa against Spurs, says it’s a ‘message’

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been dropped by Maurizio Sarri for Chelsea’s vital Premier League clash with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge after his refusal to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Sarri has instead gone with Willy Caballero — the man who who was intended to replace Kepa for the penalty shootout that Chelsea ultimately lost to Manchester City at Wembley — in goal against Spurs.11

“It’s a choice, it’s a message for my group,” Sarri said ahead of Wednesday’s match on the switch at goalkeeper.

Chelsea confirmed earlier this week that Kepa had been fined one week’s wages for waving away Sarri’s attempts to substitute him for Caballero in extra time against City, with the proceeds donated to the club’s foundation.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Kepa apologised for his public show of insubordination towards Sarri, calling it “a big mistake”, and Chelsea’s head coach said in a news conference on Tuesday that he did not want to “kill” his £71.5 million goalkeeper for his error of judgement.

Sarri has also restored Marcus Alonso, Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain to his starting XI against Tottenham with Emerson Palmieri, Ross Barkley and Willian making way.

12

Fantasy Premier League: The pros and cons of Marcus Rashford

When the two strikers faced off on Sunday, it was Rashford who had the upper hand. His goal decided the match and helped Manchester United pick up their biggest win since sacking Jose Mourinho. Since the change in management, the Englishman has started every match scoring a fantastic four goals while also recording an assist. In fact, over that period his England contemporary and opponent this week, Harry Kane, is the only striker to be involved in more goals (seven). As for shots on target, no other forward has recorded more than Rashford’s 12 over the past five matches, with teammate Paul Pogba the only player overall to have recorded more overall (15).china nike nfl jerseys cheap

That last stat may be a nice little hint as to just how effective Manchester United have been in attack since the hiring of Solskjaer. In his brief managerial tenure at the club, the Red Devils have led the league in goals scored, assists, and shots on target, and sit second in chances created. Compared to those statistics under the previous administration, this has been a massive improvement at the club. The result of this has been incredible as 42 percent of Manchester United’s wins, and 34 percent of their goals, have come in the five matches since Solskjaer took charge.12

Naturally this outstanding on-pitch improvement has bled into fantasy and, while Pogba has likely been the biggest beneficiary, Rashford has quietly re-established himself as one of the best strikers in fantasy. While his overall ranking does not necessarily flatter him in the ESPN game (45th), he has recorded a tier-high 85.9 points over the past five matches, with Kane and Salah being the only forwards to have recorded more points over that stretch. There’s more to Rashford’s game than just goal scoring though — his creativity has significantly boosted his value this season as his six assists lead his tier on the season.

There’s more to Rashford’s recent form than just the managerial change, it’s also how he’s been deployed. All five of the 21-year-old’s starts under Solskjaer have come as a forward, a position from which six of his seven goals have come this season. The strange thing is, despite his usage by previous managers, this is by no means a new trend. Ever since the Louis van Gaal days it was evident that Rashford was better up front than when shifted out wide. Unfortunately for the latter, the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku in consecutive seasons meant Rashford had to play on the left in order to get any meaningful minutes. Over his young career, 64 percent of his goals have come when playing up front, and this is certainly evidenced in fantasy as well. When playing as a striker this season, Rashford averages 12.25 points, just about four points better per game than when playing anywhere else. That number would make him a top-20 player in the league, and the best in his tier.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Whether or not, Rashford can keep this up does remain to be seen, however. He has already scored as many goals (seven) as he ever has in a Premier League season, while already having recorded the most assists in his career (six). Fantasy wise, he boasts 203 points in our game, which is within 50 points of his total from all of last season. Of course, the main reason he’s already reaching his season-high marks is playing time. Rashford is currently on pace for 2170 minutes, just about 400 more than he’s ever played before. If he keeps up his current rates of production, he could be in line for a 12-goal, 10-assist season.

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Emery says Arsenal can sign only loan players … and the reason should worry fans

Last week, Arsenal boss Unai Emery said something surprising: “We cannot sign players where we have to make a payment … we can only make loan signings.” That’s not what you’d expect to hear from a club that is six points away from fourth place and in danger of finishing outside the Champions League spots for the third successive season after 19 consecutive years of playing in the world’s biggest club competition.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Nor is that what you’d expect from a club that ranked sixth in the most recent Deloitte Money League, boasts the second-highest average attendance in the Premier League and has made a profit every year since 2008. (Most recently, they reported profits of £44.6 million in 2017, followed by £25.1 million in the first six months of the following season.)

To some, Emery’s words brought to mind the mid-to-late Arsene Wenger Era, in which the club sat on enormous cash reserves. The manager said they could buy players, but they wouldn’t do it “for the sake of it,” and supporters blamed the owner, Stan Kroenke, for being stingy.11

It’s not quite like that now. Emery would happily spend money if he could. Rather, Arsenal offer a case study of how big decisions from newcomers, made in a short time, can have massive knock-on effects. Their situation illustrates how hard it can be to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

One was the decision to re-sign Mesut Ozil. Like Sanchez, he was six months away from free agency, and he, too, wanted a big bump in salary: from $9.6 million to $20 million-plus. Arsenal chose to extend his deal through 2021 at something close to his requested wage.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Finally came the signing of forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a club record £57.6 million. Aubameyang had been on the market the previous summer, but Wenger opted instead for another central striker, Alexandre Lacazette. Adding Lacazette was a sizable investment (£46.5 million rising to £52.6 million with bonuses), though at that stage, he had gone nine consecutive games without a goal, and his return to that point (nine in 27) wasn’t earth-shattering.

Aubameyang, on the other hand, had scored 69 goals in 79 Bundesliga games the previous two years. While there were some reservations about his character — he missed training sessions in Dortmund and tried to engineer a move away the previous summer — they ultimately agreed to both the fee and a wage packet of some $12.8 million a season through 2021, nearly twice what Lacazette had agreed to six months earlier.