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Soccer

Evra questions why Man United signed £40m man Donny van de Beek

‘Why have we bought him? We don’t need him, that’s the truth’: Patrice Evra questions why Manchester United signed £40m man Donny van de Beek after he was left on the bench once again in bore draw against Chelsea

  • Patrice Evra says Manchester United don’t need £40m man Donny van de Beek
  • The midfielder is yet to start a Premier League game since signing for the club
  • Evra questioned the club’s decision to bring him in if he is not going to play
  • Gary Neville said the midfielder will also be questioning why he was signed 

Manchester United don’t need £40million signing Donny van de Beek, former defender Patrice Evra has claimed after the midfielder watched his side’s draw with Chelsea from the bench.

Van de Beek was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s big summer signing but is yet to start a Premier League game and has played just 60 minutes of league football since arriving at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has plenty of options in midfield and opted to start Scott McTominay and Fred in the two defensive roles against Chelsea with Bruno Fernandes playing in front of the them. 

Patrice Evra questioned Manchester United’s decision to sign £40m man Donny van de Beek 

 The midfielder watched from the bench as United played out a 0-0 draw with Chelsea at home

Paul Pogba was also left on the bench but, unlike Van de Beek, the Frenchman was introduced in the second half.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Evra questioned the club’s decision to sign the 23-year-old. 

He said: ‘We’re talking about Van de Beek, nothing against the kid, but why have we bought him?’ Evra said after the game. 

He is yet to start a Premier League game and has played just 60 minutes of league football

‘He’s watching the game from the stand every game. We don’t need him, that’s the truth.’ 

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said the Van de Beek himself will be questioning why he was brought to the club if he is not part of the manager’s immediate plans.

‘What is a little bit of a mystery is the use of Van de Beek since he’s been signed for £40 million,’  

Gary Neville said Van de Beek himself will be questioning why he was signed by the club

‘He doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans in every game. It’s a bit of a mystery that one. And the more he doesn’t start, and the more he doesn’t come on, the more you’re thinking, “Well £40m player, ordinarily you’d get him in the team”.

‘He must be thinking: “What am I doing here?’ at this moment in time.’  

The two starts Van de Beek has made for United this season have come in the Carabao Cup victories against Luton and Brighton.  




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MLB

Why Romeo Crennel, Ron Rivera made the correct 2-point calls, even though they didn’t work

Romeo Crennel and Ron Rivera both called for two-point conversions in key spots during Week 6. Neither the Texans nor Washington Football Team could convert.

Despite the unsucessful tries and the losses that ensued for each — Giants 20-19 over WFT; Titans 42-36 over Houston — both Crennel and “Riverboat Ron” made the correct choice to attempt the two-point conversions. Both attempts would have won football games, which had lower chancesof being true if extra points had been kicked.

Here’s why Crennel and Rivera made their risky calls on Sunday.

Why did Romeo Crennel and the Texans go for two points?

With 1:50 remaining in Sunday’s game against the Titans, Deshaun Watson threw a 1-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks. It put Houston up, 36-29, already a seven-point lead. An extra point would have forced the Titans to drive down the field, score a touchdown and convert a two-point conversion. 

But in this case, a two-point conversion would put the Texans up nine points, a margin that could not be closed on a single possession for Tennessee with less than two minutes to play. If it worked, Houston would’ve locked in a win against a division rival on the road.

“I wanted to go ahead and get the two points,” Crennel told media postgame. “It would have put the game out of reach for them.”

Houston put the ball in Watson’s hands to make a play, and after moving around, he had Randall Cobb wide open in the center of the end zone. Only an extended hand at the line of scrimmage stopped the Texans from going up nine.

Former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon, the CBS color commentator for the game, trashed the decision on the broadcast. 

“Force the other team to not only have to score a TD but also convert a two-point play just to play for the tie,” Gannon said. “All these analytics and stuff. Here is what I got when to go up by 7 you kick the extra point and make it an eight-point game.”

But what the Titans did next basically proved Gannon wrong and Crennel right. They drove down the field, and Ryan Tannehill threw a touchdown to A.J. Brown to get within a point. A Stephen Gostkowski extra point tied the game. Then Tennessee won the overtime coin toss, and Derrick Henry capped the drive with a rushing touchdown.

Houston went up seven points with 1:50 left, never saw the ball again, and lost. In part due to NFL overtime rules, that was always a possibility if they had gone up eight points, too. The only way the Texans would’ve basically guaranteed a win was with a successful two-point conversion.

Why did Ron Rivera and Washington go for two points?

Washington completed a 75-yard drive with 36 seconds left in regulation Sunday. It began with a 20-13 deficit, but Kyle Allen threw a 22-yard touchdown to Cam Sims to bring the WFT within one. On the road, Washington had the option of kicking an extra point to tie the game or trying the two-point conversion to likely win it.

Rivera is known for his strategic agressiveness, which earned him the nickname “Riverboat Ron” while he was head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Naturally, Rivera called for the two-point conversion. 

“The only way you learn to win is to play to win,” Rivera said when asked about the decision postgame.

On the try, Allen scrambled to his left and appeared to have a rushing path to the end zone before pulling back, being hit and throwing an incompletion. A failed onside kick attempt followed, and Washington handed the Giants their first win of the season. 

New York radio host Mike Francesca questioned Rivera’s move on Twitter.

That’ll be the popular counter to Rivera’s decision to go for two. But the Washington Football Team had also struggled to put drives together Sunday with Allen leading the way, and on the road with no guarantee of touching the ball in overtime, Rivera chose to run a play that, if successful, would surely result in a victory. Just because the result was wrong doesn’t mean the process was.

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Soccer

Why can't Frank Lampard fix Chelsea's leaky defence?

How the mouths of Chelsea fans would have been watering at 3.30pm on Saturday.

Chelsea’s front four had the freedom of Stamford Bridge, interchanging at will and causing Southampton all manner of problems from which they had no right to recover.

Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic looked free, with no set position, while Timo Werner created two fine goals for himself. Any potential talk of a Premier League goal drought was put to bed.

But again, Chelsea’s defence let them down. From 2-0 up they were pegged back 2-2, the first goal from Danny Ings coming from thin air following a Havertz mistake, and the second a joint Kurt Zouma-Kepa Arrizabalaga error. They then squandered a 3-2 lead late on from the second phase of a set piece.

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For all their attacking potential – and that’s even before Hakim Ziyech sees more than 20 minutes – Frank Lampard’s side are continuously shooting themselves in the foot.

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Errors have punctuated their season, and questions over defensive solidity have hung over Lampard since he took the job last August.

Chelsea have conceded an average of 1.5 goals per game in the Premier League under Lampard (63 in 43 games), the Blues’ worst rate under any boss to oversee more than one game in the competition.

Chelsea’s defensive discrepancy (Premier League only)

Since Lampard arrived, only Saints, Aston Villa, West Ham and Brighton have conceded more goals of current Premier League teams. But the goals against column does not tally with other metrics.

They have conceded just 379 shots – only Manchester City have faced fewer – and their expected goals against is just 44.7, over 18 goals fewer than they have actually conceded. That is by far the largest difference between expected goals conceded and actual goals conceded in the Premier League.

This points to individual mistakes. Seven of the nine goals Chelsea have conceded this season have been down to individual mistakes in some form: Sadio Mane’s first in Liverpool’s 2-0 win on September 20 and Jannik Vestegaard’s late equaliser on Saturday the only two that have not.

Lampard is fully aware, and wants game management, something that seems to have been abandoned across the Premier League this season.

“They are mistakes that concern you. [The second goal] was a situation that we should have clearly dealt with in a much better and simpler terms. If you are going to concede those kind of goals, then it doesn’t matter how well you play in periods of games, it is something that we can’t have in our game.

“There is certainly a game management element of it in a game. We want to have a lead and see it off.”

Could it also a structural issue? Chelsea have switched to a 4-2-3-1 this season – unavoidable with their attacking options – but it often becomes a front five with Ben Chilwell comfortable and effective up the pitch.

But for all his attacking qualities, Chilwell’s high position stretches Chelsea’s defence on the turnover. Southampton targeted their full-backs with the press from the first minute on Saturday – in the first half it failed miserably, in the second half it worked wonderfully.

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Either way, and as with Saints’ own approach, it’s risk and reward. At present, as can be seen across the Premier League, games are resembling a coin toss; teams are getting it wrong just as much as they are getting it right.

Building shape and solidity takes time, and that may be lacking on the training ground at present.

“I don’t think we are conceding goals due to the shape of the team,” Lampard insisted after Saturday’s game. “Of course we have changed the shape and I have to make those decisions with the personnel we have and getting the best out of them. That is something I have to think about, but it doesn’t mean I am dead set on sticking with that formation and there can be changes and tweaks to it as we go along. It’s something we need to continue working on. It is a change.

“Change needs work on the training ground, we haven’t had much of that so sometimes the work in progress is in games and today there were loads of great things from the 4-2-3-1, particularly in the first half. In the second half I wouldn’t blame the shape of the team, more that we didn’t deal with the fact that Southampton were really keen to put us under pressure in their own half.

“We wanted to miss out their press, we didn’t do enough and that meant we turned the ball over in our own half, which irrespective of shape is always a problem.”

In this, the most bizarre of Premier League season, it feels like the first big team to play it safe, cynical and eradicate mistakes will set the pace at the top.

Last season, Lampard was guilty of playing free-flowing football in games that begged for patience and attrition, surprising given his three-and-a-half successful years under the professor of game management Jose Mourinho.

He has match winners in abundance, so it’s time his Chelsea side cut out the blunders and shut up shop.

What’s next?

Chelsea host Sevilla in their opening Champions League group game on Tuesday at 8pm, before going to Manchester United on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm.

LAST CHANCE To Land The £1m!

You read correctly. The £1m Super 6 jackpot is up for grabs for one last time this weekend. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.

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MLB

Why did the 49ers bench Jimmy Garoppolo? Kyle Shanahan offers a brief explanation

The Jimmy GQ Era in San Francisco appears to be on shaky ground.

Jimmy Garoppolo was benched in the second half of the 49ers’ Week 5 matchup vs. the Dolphins, and with reason: Garoppolo, returning from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 2, threw two interceptions in the first half against Miami, leading to the return of CJ Beathard under center.

When asked by Fox why the switch was made, head coach Kyle Shanahan offered a short, quick and slightly ambiguous explanation as to why:

Whether the decision was made to “protect Jimmy” from further injury or to save him from himself, mentally, is open to interpretation. Likely the former.

Along with his two INTs, Garoppolo was 7-for-17 passing for 77 yards in Miami’s first-half drubbing of San Francisco. If you’re wondering what happened to super backup Nick Mullens: an uninspiring performance vs. the Eagles in Week 4 led to his demotion on the depth chart, clearing the way for Beathard’s return.

Looks like there’s a QB controversy at all levels in San Fran.

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Soccer

Houssem Aouar reveals why he rejected Arsenal to stay at Lyon

Houssem Aouar claimed he has turned down the chance to join Arsenal because he wants to play a key role in Lyon’s revival.

Aouar was Mikel Arteta’s priority target for the summer transfer window, while Arsenal had multiple offers rejected for the 22-year-old.

Lyon had stood firm over their €60m (£55.5m) asking price for the midfielder and the Gunners have been unable to meet the French club’s valuation.

And now Arsenal look set to miss out on a deal as Aouar confirmed his desire to stay after Lyon’s 1-1 draw with Marseille on Sunday evening.

‘I felt that I can still bring something to this team,’ Aouar told Telefoot.

‘I wanted to continue the adventure with the club who raised me.

‘We must raise our heads because we have to do better.’

But despite the setback, Arteta insists Arsenal are working add to secure new signings before Monday’s deadline.

‘What I can guarantee is that we are doing our maximum for that to happen. Whether we’re going to achieve it or not, I don’t know,’ Arteta said after Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.

‘Believe me, believe me, the ownership, the board, Edu and myself are doing everything we can to maximise the resources we have to improve the team and sustain and keep the players that are in this club to make this club successful.

‘I have 100 per cent backing from them. And it’s not just words, it’s reality. Whoever knows me, if it wasn’t like that I wouldn’t say that. But I say it because I feel it and it’s true.

‘Whatever we can do, whether it’s ourselves or the owners, they are willing to do it to support us, to back us, because I feel they believe in what we are trying to do.’

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