Mike Gundy’s Toughest Recruiting Challenge Won’t Be A Football Player

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy’s recruiting prowess is put to the test each day. As a college head football coach, if you’re not recruiting players, someone else is likely out-hustling you. Such is the business — and grind — of being responsible for a college football program.With experience reigning over the OSU program since 2005, Gundy knows a thing or two about recruiting. By my count, he’s signed more than 300 prospects from the high school and junior college ranks since 2005. From J.W. Walsh to Ryan McBean, to Tylan Wallace and Ryan Simmons. He’s recruited all across the country and even in Canada in search of men to become future Cowboys.But even his most difficult challenges can’t sniff his newest recruiting battle: Filling his now-vacant offensive line position.As the Tulsa World’s Mark Cooper reported on Friday, OSU has parted ways with Greg Adkins after just two seasons. Adkins is the latest in a long line of offensive line coaches the school has cycled through since long-time Gundy assistant Joe Wickline was poached by Texas. Whoever Gundy hires next will be his fourth offensive line coach in five seasons.2014: Joe Wickline left after serving under Gundy for nine seasons2014-2015: Bob Connelly left for USC after one season2015-2017: Greg Adkins left after being relieved of dutiesThe once-struggling position group in 2015 soared to new heights in 2016, jumping from more than 1,600 yards on the ground to 2,221 rushing yards in the 2016 season.Yet it was recruiting misses that defined Adkins’ tenure at OSU. Last year, it was Klein Oak offensive tackle Ryan McCollum who flipped his pledge from OSU to Texas A&M in December just two months before signing day. One recruit, Tyler Brown, landed at TU after leaving the program. And his recruiting gem of 2015, Tramonda Moore, is at a junior college.And this year, it was three prospects: Dan Moore, Derek Kerstetter, and Adrian Wolford who de-committed from OSU and later flipped to Texas schools. Kerstetter and Moore flipped to Texas and Texas A&M, respectively, doing so again in the month of December.“It’s extremely difficult to make up ground in the third week of December at that particular position,” Mike Gundy said on signing day. “Especially on a four-year player. Sometimes you can grab one on a two-year. That was the most difficult aspect of this class.”Because of the rash of de-commitments, Oklahoma State signed just one offensive lineman, junior college prospect Arlington Hambright, despite saying the goal was to sign four. Most notably, it added zero high school recruits.During Adkins’ two year run, only three four-year linemen, Teven Jenkins, Dylan Galloway, and Matt Kegel, have stuck. All three redshirted in 2016.With an aging offensive line group and a pressing need to get young talent to bolster the position group, Mike Gundy’s next hire may be more difficult than ever. Given the longevity of OSU O-line coaches in recent memory, and the undeniable pressure by OSU fans to expect greatness not only on the field, but on the recruiting trail, Gundy’s recruiting skills will be tested like never before.There is an upside to the position, without question. The offense was top-20 in 2016. It returns a Freshman All-American tailback, a future pro at quarterback, and a plethora of talented wide receivers that will take the pressure off the running game.But the running game — and the offensive line — must produce. And given the current state of the offensive line group, the lack of young four-year players to develop, it’s a unique and tricky situation for whomever Gundy elects to fill the position. And it’s a move that could define not only the success of the running game, but his success as head coach over the next few years. Or shorter.If it seems like a lot of pressure, it is. But don’t count out Mike Gundy to find the right hire. He’s been in tricky situations like this before.“That’s one area for us that is difficult to hold just because the pool to choose from isn’t as big and everybody’s picking at it,” said Gundy of recruiting future offensive linemen. “We have to step out of the box a little bit there and try to find ways to overcome it. We always have, and we will figure out a way.”last_img read more

Read More »

Darius Curry’s Move to Safety Proves Fluidity in Secondary

first_imgJerel MorrowZa’Carrius GreenDarius CurryAJ Green Which isn’t great but also means Spencer and cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie think at least one of the young corners is ready to start. Curry isn’t a show-stopper. During spring practice, Ramon Richards classified Curry as a “technical” player who focuses on his craft. That sounded nice, particularly at a position with excess athleticism and not enough experience.AdChoices广告This also shows that almost every player in the secondary can be moved.The pros of that: Easy replacements in case of injuriesBetter coverage optionsMore versatile packagesThe cons:Might seem like scramblingCan look foolish if the talent doesn’t translateIncreasingly impossible to master either positionThe last one was Spencer’s explanation for moving Curry.“I pulled him in a couple weeks ago, and I said, ‘Darius, this isn’t fair to anybody,” he said. “You’ll never get better at one position if we have you playing two.”But the Cowboy defense has done an outstanding amount of “playing two” since this time last year. Richards went from corner to safety. Kenneth Edison-McGruder went from safety to linebacker. Trey Carter went from defensive end to tackle. And now Curry.The good news is they can always go back. All of the spring moves can be reverted, which would make the secondary look like this: Tre FlowersKenneth Edison-McGruderRamon RichardsAdrian Baker Za’Carrius GreenPhilip Redwine-BryantMadre HarperMalik Kearse Darius CurryJerel MorrowRodarius WilliamsLamarcus Morton With only two definitive starters in a secondary of four, Darius Curry has moved to safety “full-time,” defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer told GoPokes.com.That (likely) means this:center_img While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Safety 1Safety 2Cornerback 1Cornerback 2 Safety 1Safety 2Cornerback 1Cornerback 2 Tre FlowersRamon RichardsAdrian BakerAJ Green (or) It’s also a huge plus that the front seven is fairly solid, and it starts with the defensive line. Mike Gundy noted that before spring practice.“We have nine guys on the defensive line that power clean more than 315 pounds,” said Gundy. “We have nine guys that bench press more than 350 pounds, and five of them are over 400. … We have nine guys that all squat more than 450 pounds.”That’s great, and it will have to be to shrink the window in the secondary. Because no one is doubting the ability of these young corners to cover, just to cover for long enough. That’s why moving Curry to safety is significant. It only makes the corner situation riskier when it already felt like a Mason Rudolph keeper up the middle.last_img read more

Read More »

Videos: Ends Brailford and Leveni Praise Each Other’s Play

first_imgWe talked to defensive ends Vili Leveni and Jordan Brailford about their 2017 defense, and they both mentioned each other as somebody to watch out for as the season nears. Both missed time last year because of injury, and both should have a huge impact on how good OSU’s defense could be this season.AdChoices广告 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Read More »

Herrera injury sees Pogba enter for Man United

first_imgManchester United Herrera injury gives dropped Pogba another chance to shine for Man United Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 04:30 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Paul Pogba, Manchester United, Pablo Sarabia, Sevilla Aitor Alcalde Manchester United UEFA Champions League Sevilla v Manchester United Sevilla Paul Pogba The former Juventus man was dropped for the Red Devils’ trip to Seville, but an injury to his team-mate has given him the chance to prove a point An early injury to Ander Herrera handed Paul Pogba a reprieve after he was dropped for Manchester United’s Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Sevilla.Herrera had been struggling in recent weeks with a muscle complaint and then appeared to pick up a hamstring injury 17 minutes into Wednesday’s game at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.Unable to continue, the player was taken off, allowing Pogba the chance to get involved having previously been left on the bench in something of a shock decision made by Jose Mourinho. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The France international had originally been overlooked in favour of Scott McTominay, who filled the final United midfield spot in Andalusia. He had also missed out at the weekend due to an illness, giving McTominay the chance to shine in a 2-0 defeat of Huddersfield Town.Pogba’s form has dipped of late and has reportedly seen his relationship with Mourinho become strained as a result.last_img read more

Read More »

Transfer latest: Liverpool make Jorginho approach

first_imgTransfers Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Liverpool make Jorginho approach Goal Last updated 1 year ago 01:54 3/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Jorginho Napoli Getty Images Transfers Premier League Ligue 1 Serie A Bundesliga Primera División Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond Liverpool make Jorginho approachLiverpool have made an approach to sign Napoli midfielder Jorginho as a possible replacement for Emre Can, claims UOL Esporte.With Germany international Can tipped to join Juventus on a free transfer in the summer, Liverpool are looking at midfield options, with Jorginho a leading candidate.Jorginho, who has also been linked with Manchester United, is considering whether it is time for a new challenge and is the latest Brazil-born star to be targeted by Liverpool after Roma goalkeeper Alisson. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Juve target Bellerin as he considers Arsenal exitHector Bellerin, ArsenalJuventus are ready to make a renewed push for Hector Bellerin in the summer, with the player seeking a new challenge, reports the Guardian .Bellerin has been targeted by the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona in the past, and Juve know it would take a bid of at least £45 million for the Gunners to consider a sale.And the Spaniard could well be interested in a switch to the Serie A champions as he considers his career direction at Arsenal, amid the north Londoners’ recent struggles.Mourinho expects Ibra to leave Man UtdZlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester UnitedJose Mourinho says the decision over the future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic rests with the player, but the veteran striker is expected to leave Manchester United at the end of his contract.Mourinho handed Ibrahimovic a one-year deal in August despite his knee problems and the United manager conceded the forward is expected to depart at the end of the season, with a move to MLS mooted .Read the full story on Goal! Balotelli sees transfer door opened by RomaMario Balotelli Nice Lokomotiv Moscou UEFA Europa League 15022018A return to Serie A could be on the cards for Mario Balotelli after Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco confirmed his desire to coach the Nice striker, whose contract expires at the end of the season.The 27-year-old’s agent Mino Raiola claimed on Thursday he will be heading back to England or Serie A, with Roma interested.Read the full story on Goal! Jose unsure on Fellaini renewalMarouane Fellaini Man UtdJose Mourinho does not know if Marouane Fellaini will be persuaded to sign a new Manchester United contract.Fellaini’s deal expires at the end of the season, with Roma and Turkish sides Besiktas and Fenerbahce reportedly keen on the midfielder.Read the full story on Goal! Cavalieri back in the Premier League at PalaceDiego Cavalieri - FluminenseCrystal Palace have confirmed the signing of former Brazil international goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri on a deal to the end of the season.The 35-year-old, who won three caps for his country and was a member of the Confederations Cup-winning squad in 2013, was a free agent after leaving Fluminense in his homeland last year.Cavalieri will provide competition for Palace’s two senior goalkeepers, Julian Speroni and Wayne Hennessey, as Roy Hodgson’s side battle against relegation from the Premier League.Read the full story on Goal! Lewandowski told to focus on BayernRobert LewandowskiRobert Lewandowski has been urged to focus on Bayern Munich by coach Jupp Heynckes amid reports of a move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.Lewandowski’s future at Bayern has been the focus of speculation in recent weeks after he appointed Pini Zahavi as his new representative.Zahavi’s reported involvement in brokering Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year added fuel to the reports that the Poland international wants to leave the Allianz Arena.Read the full story on Goal! Sessegnon dreams of Premier LeagueRyan Sessegnon Fulham 2017In-demand teenager Ryan Sessegnon is dreaming of the Premier League, with Fulham battling to finish in the Championship’s play-off places.Sessegnon, considered one of the hottest properties in English football, has hit 13 league goals this season for Fulham, who sit fifth in the table.The 17-year-old has been linked with Real Madrid, as well as Premier League giants including Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United, with many comparing the versatile left-sided player to Gareth Bale.Read the full story on Goal! Ibrahimovic hints at MLS moveZlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester UnitedZlatan Ibrahimovic has suggested that he could move to MLS from Manchester United.The Sweden striker is currently sidelined with a knee injury, having played just seven times in all competitions this season.Ibrahimovic’s contract at United expires this summer, and it is currently unclear if he will be offered an extension by Jose Mourinho’s side amid reports he is wanted by the LA Galaxy.Read the full story on Goal! Tottenham wait on Reus contract situationMarco Reus Borussia DortmundTottenham are keeping an eye on Marco Reus as the German international stalls on a new deal with Borussia Dortmund, reports the Mirror .Reus recently returned from injury for Dortmund and after this season will only have one year left on his contract.But Spurs may have to battle Liverpool and former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, who remain a fan of Reus’ ability.Arsenal looking for three players on small budgetJonny Evans West BromArsenal are looking to add players at three positions this summer but will not have much of a budget to work with for it, according to the Mirror .The Gunners are looking for head of recruitment Sven Mislintat to bring in a goalkeeper, centre-back and defensive midfielder.After the massive outlay for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, however, Arsenal will have to find those players on a substantially smaller budget, with Jonny Evans an option due to a low release clause should West Brom be relegated.Real Madrid enter Can sweepstakesEmre Can LiverpoolA new face has entered in the hunt for Emre Can’s signature, with Real Madrid looking to land the Liverpool midfielder, according to Don Balon .Can, whose contract expires in the summer, has been linked to a move to Juventus since the summer, but has yet to sign a deal — either with the Serie A holders or Liverpool.And Florentino Perez may swoop in to add the German international, intrigued by the fact he will not cost a transfer fee.Man Utd & Liverpool ready to pounce on WanyamaVictor Wanyama, TottenhamManchester United and Liverpool are interested in taking advantage of any contract discord between Victor Wanyama and Tottenham, according to the Mirror .Wanyama, who has three years left on his current deal, wants fresh terms from Spurs.And Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea could be in the frame to secure the defensive midfielder’s signature should he wish a departure from Spurs.Whitecaps to sign Premier League midfielderJordon Mutch Crystal Palace; Eden Hazard ChelseaThe Vancouver Whitecaps have landed Crystal Palace midfielder Jordon Mutch on loan, according to ESPN FC .Mutch, who has not played in the Premier League for Palace this season, would move to the MLS side on a 12-month loan.Previously, Mutch was linked to a move to Championship side Bolton, but stayed put through the close of England’s January transfer window.€100m Balotelli in Italy & England talks – RaiolaMario Balotelli Nice Lokomotiv Moscou UEFA Europa League 15022018Mario Balotelli is worth €100 million and set to return to Italy or England, according to his agent Mino Raiola.The 27-year-old forward is out of contract at Nice at the end of the season, having scored 21 goals in 29 games in all competitions this campaign.Read the full story on Goal! Marotta accepts Can may not join JuveEmre Can LiverpoolJuventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta would be happy if Emre Can joined the Serie A giants, but accepted the Liverpool midfielder could sign elsewhere.Can, 24, is out of contract at Anfield at the end of the season and is yet to make a decision on his future.Read the full story on Goal! Milinkovic-Savic better than Pogba – agent Sergej Milinkovic-Savic Atalanta LazioMateja Kezman believes Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is now better than Manchester United’s Paul Pogba as he tipped the in-demand Lazio star to become the most complete player on the planet and challenge for the Ballon d’Or.Milinkovic-Savic is one of the most sought-after players in Europe amid links with Premier League giants United and Champions League holders Real Madrid.Read the full story on Goal! Barcelona meets with Gremio over Arthur Arthur Melo GremioRepresentatives from Brazil side Gremio have flown to Barcelona to meet with the La Liga side over the sale of Arthur, Goal can confirm.Though no agreement on a transfer was made in January, Gremio now are ready to make a deal, having received an apology from Barcelona after Arthur was pictured in December wearing a Blaugrana shirt.Read the full story on Goal! Raiola says time for Donnarumma to leave MilanGianluigi Donnarumma AC MilanSuper agent Mino Raiola believes his client Gianluigi Donnarumma should leave AC Milan.While he respects that the teenage sensation has committed to remain at the Serie A side, Raiola added he would immediately work on securing a move for Donnarumma should he change his mind.Read the full story on Goal! Ronaldo picks Lewandowski over KaneRobert Lewandowski Bayern MunichCristiano Ronaldo has told Real Madrid to sign Robert Lewandowski over Harry Kane this summer, according to Spanish outlet Diario Gol .The Blancos No.7 allegedly believes that Kane would overshadow him at the Santiago Bernabeu, so he has called on the Madrid giants to move for the Bayern Munich forward instead.Lewandowski’s change in agent last month led to a surge in reports that he wants to move, while Kane’s outstanding form at Tottenham has turned the heads of most elite European scouts. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Read More »

Brutal opening loss a wake-up call for Atlanta United

first_imgAtlanta United Brutal opening loss a wake-up call for Atlanta United Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives Last updated 1 year ago 13:58 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Miguel Almiron Atlanta United MLS Troy Taormina Atlanta United Houston Dynamo v Atlanta United Houston Dynamo MLS Lofty preseason expectations were deflated over the course of 90 ugly minutes as Atlanta’s flaws were exposed by an inspired Houston Dynamo team The Atlanta United hype train didn’t take very long to derail, and as much as Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo is just one match, it managed to shine a spotlight on the remaining flaws in the second-year team in a brutal run of 45 minutes.The second-year MLS club came into 2018 with high expectations after a headline-grabbing winter spent adding some big attacking weapons, but the Dynamo exposed some clear areas for concern in Atlanta’s vulnerable defense and the club’s lack of depth.Led by the ever-dangerous Alberth Elis, Houston repeatedly forced Atlanta United into mistakes and it brought about a match to forget for defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Captain Michael Parkhurst didn’t start the opener and is still working his way back to full strength after a preseason injury, and his absence was glaring during a first half where the Five Stripes simply looked lost defensively. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “Houston has really fast and destabilizing people up front,” Atlanta United coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said after the match. “We struggled in stopping Elis when he had the space; and we committed a lot of individual errors where we basically invited our opponent to finish the game.”Gonzalez Pirez endured a particularly rough day. Without Parkhurst on the field to help direct him, Gonzalez Pirez saw his slow reactions punished by Houston’s speed, with Elis abusing him on the opening goal. He was far from alone in being to blame for Houston’s four-goal barrage, but if Gonzalez Pirez came into the season overconfident after finishing last season in top form, Houston promptly stuck a pin in that ego.It wasn’t just the back four though. Atlanta’s midfield didn’t provide enough support for the defense, which probably didn’t come as a complete surprise. The defensive midfield role was the big cause for concern heading into the season after Carlos Carmona’s departure. Jeff Larentowicz was expected to try and fill the void, while Darlington Nagbe’s ability to keep possession was also supposed to help take pressure off the defense.Neither worked out. Nagbe’s debut was lackluster. He didn’t keep the ball and his defensive contributions were inadequate, which is likely what led to him being replaced in the 61st minute. Chris McCann was active, if ineffective in defensive midfield, while Larentowicz looked slow playing at center back.”I think that what cost us was the defensive part, which is something you have to care about in soccer,” Martino said. “It looks like we struggled with defending the ball and we struggled on the 1-v-1 defensively. Offensively, we probably created as many scoring situations as Houston did, but our defense didn’t work as well – and when I talk about our defense, I mean the whole team.”Leandro Gonzalez Pirez Atlanta United MLSBy the time Parkhurst came in to replace an injured Gonzalez Pirez in the 41st minute, the damage was already done to the tune of four unanswered goals and even more scoring chances for the Dynamo. Atlanta United was left with an ugly loss that exposed some flaws that weren’t exactly secrets. As much attention as the acquisitions of Ezequiel Barco and Nagbe received in the offseason, it wasn’t as if the glaring needs for a defensive midfield and some depth at center back weren’t also obvious to see as the new season approached..@alberthelis17 ➡️ @andrewwengerThe goal that put the host ahead early. #HOUvATL https://t.co/3rdzm3E93M— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 3, 2018How did Atlanta wind up with such a clear roster flaw? It’s down to Carmona’s departure, which Atlanta United didn’t account for in its winter plans.The Chilean midfielder was outstanding for Atlanta last season, and his hard work in midfield was underrated and invaluable. Once he forced a move to Colo Colo, Atlanta was left with a clear void to address. It was believed Larentowicz and Nagbe could help pick up the slack in central midfield, but Larentowicz was deployed at the back, where he struggled, and Nagbe failed to match the work rate of former Atlanta United midfielder Yamil Asad, let alone Carmona’s defensive work.It isn’t time to go into panic mode in Atlanta just yet. Parkhurst looked sharp once he entered the match, and his return to the starting lineup should help Gonzalez Pirez a lot — assuming his injury doesn’t force him to miss playing time. Larentowicz should help the central midfield, and Nagbe should bounce back to deliver more of the quality expected of him.All that being said, the rest of the league will have seen what Houston was able to do, and will certainly look to attack the same flaws the Dynamo’s feasted on. Atlanta United’s technical staff also saw clear evidence that waiting until the summer to address the team’s glaring roster needs isn’t really an option. Not when the team is just one injury away from being so glaringly exposed.last_img read more

Read More »

Liverpool ignored Ronaldo & Pique advice

first_imgLiverpool Liverpool missed out on Ronaldo & Pique after ignoring scout’s advice Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 04:41 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Cristiano Ronaldo Gerard Pique Real Madrid Barcelona Getty Images Liverpool Cristiano Ronaldo Chelsea Real Madrid Barcelona Primera División Premier League The Reds were urged to make moves for both players by a man who was employed to identify potential new recruits during Gerard Houllier’s Anfield reign Liverpool turned a deaf ear to calls for them to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Gerard Pique, claims the scout who offered the transfer advice.Alex Miller formed part of the Reds’ coaching staff during Rafa Benitez’s reign at Anfield, but previously worked as head of recruitment under Gerard Houllier.It was during that spell he noted the obvious potential in Ronaldo and Pique , only to see both men end up at arch-rivals Manchester United as youngsters. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp They are now in direct competition as rivals on opposing sides of the Clasico divide at Real Madrid and Barcelona, but could have been gearing up for an outing for Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday if things had turned out differently.Miller told ESPN FC : “I looked at Gerard Pique and I tried to get him.”The Spanish delegation he was with at a youth tournament, I think it was his grandfather who was the delegate for the Spanish federation. Well he wouldn’t give me permission because I think Man United were already in at that point.”I brought Cristiano Ronaldo [suggested to Liverpool as a signing]. That’s water under the bridge, I recommended him and saw him at a youth tournament.”Ronaldo and Pique are not the only decorated Champions League winners that Liverpool missed out on either, with several other big names having slipped the net.Among those the Reds were interested in but failed to land were John Terry and Petr Cech, the latter of whom could have been acquired before he burst onto the scene and Sparta Prague and eventually earned himself a switch to Stamford Bridge.Petr Cech; John Terry Chelsea“I tried to get John Terry to come,” Miller admitted, with Chelsea having pipped Liverpool to fourth spot in 2003.”It went to the final day and they beat us at Stamford Bridge. After the game I went to speak to John Terry to try and get him.”How I did it was, I went up to him in the corridor and asked him for his autograph. He said yes. As he was signing it I said: ‘Could you put your mobile phone number? Gerard Houllier would like to talk to you.'”He put his agent’s number and said to talk to him. Gerard Houllier spoke to his agent on the bus. I think he just used us to get more money out of Chelsea.”I also had Petr Cech, but at that moment in time we were trying to sign Chris Kirkland. I went to a game to watch Milan Baros and Petr Cech was making his debut.”I then went to Argentina, I think it was in 2001, the Under-20 World Cup. You could have got him for a song. He was with Chmel Blsany and then he moved to Sparta Prague and then he moved to France [signing for Rennes].” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Read More »

Willian having best Chelsea season

first_imgWillian Willian on personal best season at Chelsea with goal against Crystal Palace Goal 02:49 11/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Willian Chelsea Crystal Palace Getty Images Willian Chelsea v Crystal Palace Crystal Palace Chelsea Premier League The 29-year-old gave his side the lead against their city neighbours to bring his tally up to 13 in all competitions He may not be a certain starter for Chelsea, but Willian is doing all he can to establish himself as a star for Antonio Conte’s side.The attacking midfielder is outdoing himself amid his team’s poor defence of their Premier League title and made this season a personal best against Crystal Palace on Saturday.The Brazilian opened the scoring for the Blues 25 minutes into the game at Stamford Bridge as he cut inside from the left and sent it in off the post before a Martin Kelly own goal doubled the lead. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Willian has now netted six times in the Premier League this term, as well as three in the Champions League and two in each of the FA and Carabao Cups. The total of 13 in all competitions is his best tally in a single season for Chelsea.The 29-year-old has started just 16 of the 29 league games he has featured in 2017-18, but he says he is happy at Stamford Bridge and hopes to renew his contract.“My goal is to stay here at Chelsea,” he said. “Unless Chelsea does not want me anymore – then I’d have to find another club!“I want to stay here for many more years, if it is possible, to renew my contract. On that, we have not talked yet. It might happen. I’m adapted here.13 – Willian has scored 13 goals for Chelsea in all competitions this season – his best ever return in a single campaign for the club. Samba.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 10, 2018“I will have been here five years at the end of the season, I’ve won titles. I think I have the affection of the fans too.”The former Shakhtar Donetsk and Anzhi Makhachkala star is currently tied to Chelsea until June 2020.last_img read more

Read More »

Sullivan slams West Ham security

first_imgWest Ham United Where were the police? Sullivan slams West Ham stadium security Dom Farrell 19:55 11/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) WestHam - cropped Getty Images West Ham United Premier League West Ham United v Burnley Burnley The club’s co-owner feels that he and David Gold were badly let down by a lack of appropriate policing during their 3-0 loss to Burnley West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has criticised police and stewards at London Stadium after fan protests during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat against Burnley spilled over to a shocking extent.Fans invaded the pitch after Burnley’s second-half goals, with one wrestled to the ground by Mark Noble after confronting the West Ham captain, while another individual planted a corner flag in the middle of the pitch.A separate group of supporters congregated below the directors’ box and directed their anger towards Sullivan and fellow owner David Gold, who were ushered from their seats as a safety precaution. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp West Ham issued a statement after the match, pledging a “full and thorough investigation” into how events deteriorated to such a staggering extent, but Sullivan has already apportioned a degree of the blame.”We feel very badly let down by the stadium operators appointed by the [London] Mayor’s staff,” he told Mirror Sport.”Where were the stewards and police?”The Premier League strongly condemned the incidents at the site of the London 2012 Olympics, while the Football Association will seek observations from West Ham and the match officials.A number of videos circulated on social media, appearing to show one steward dozing off at his post, while two fans invaded the pitch and were able to return to their seats before being escorted out.West Ham United Burnley Mark Noble 03/10/18West Ham pitch invasion Burnley Premier LeagueDavid Moyes’ side are 16th in the Premier League, three points above the relegation zone, after losing four of their past five matches and face fellow strugglers Southampton at home in their next top-flight game on March 31.A number of Hammers fans were due to march against the board on Saturday, but the protest was cancelled at the last minute.The club has been engulfed in toxicity in recent months, with results on the slide and the supporters angered by a lack of investment from the board, as well as the lingering bad feeling over the move to the London Stadium from Upton Park. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Read More »

Mike Gundy Says he Turned Down Tennessee Job Three Times in his Career

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy flirted with the possibility of leaving his alma mater to take Tennessee’s head coaching vacancy in 2017 and wound up getting a handsome raise out of the deal.Not only was it not the first time Gundy used good, old-fashioned leverage to squeeze money out of his employer, it was ironically not the first time he used Tennessee to do it, either. In his wide-ranging ESPN interview this week in which he (correctly) claimed OSU would have smacked LSU for the natty in 2011, Gundy said Tennessee has offered him the job not once, not twice ….“I’ve had that (Tennessee) job offered three different times,” said Gundy. “It’s ironic that it’s always been Tennessee. I guess it gets to a point where you say, ‘Is it time for me to make a change? I’m 50-something years old. Is it time for me to go do things differently?’ Sometimes in your life, you think that way.“Tennessee put together an unbelievable package, and it’s hard to tell somebody no when that happens. But I made the right decision.”As the great Brett McMurphy reported in 2012, Gundy also got a new deal when the Vols came calling back after the 2008 season. The other instance came in 2012 after the program fired Derek Dooley.The last time Tennessee called, in 2017, it felt like a real possibility. So much so, in fact, that OSU offered him a one-time $625,000 contract bonus and a new five-year rollover contract that sets him up with annual escalators and what amounts to a lifetime contract if he wants it. And despite the flirtations, Gundy says that he’s happy with his decision to have not left.“This is who I am,” he told ESPN. “This is what I am. This is where I belong. This is me. There’s no reason for me to go anywhere else.”last_img read more

Read More »