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Roy Keane walks out on Ireland
He came. He saw. He went home.” So ran the tag-line of the Irish box office smash hit comedy I, Keano, an epic musical melodrama about a Roman legion preparing for war. It was inspired by a real-life melodrama of even more epic proportions: arguably the most fractious falling-out in the history of Irish sport, a gripping and often amusing controversy prompted by Roy Keane’s contentious departure from the Republic of Ireland World Cup squad in 2002.

The captain’s headline-grabbing exit from the squad briefly transformed the tiny western Pacific island of Saipan into the most famous places on Earth. It made a cute and goofy Labrador puppy named Triggs into a household name. It was the source of more pompous pontification in the bars of the British Isles than any number of budgets, general elections and scandals. It practically sundered a nation, driving it to the brink of something approaching civil war and prompted the Taoiseach (prime minister) of the day to offer his services as a mediator. It became the subject of more hand-wringing sanctimony and general tomfoolery than almost any incident before or since in modern Irish life. It was all about standards. Roy’s standards. Depending on your point of view they were either too high or not high enough. Was Roy the perfectionist who wanted the best for his country or the traitor who abandoned it? In Ireland, 16 years on, the jury remains out.
Everybody and nobody seems to know exactly what happened. The definitive version remains unconfirmed and even now, those who were privy to events as they unravelled remain understandably reluctant to talk about them in too much depth. Keane’s detractors claim he walked. His supporters insist he was sent home. The truth seems to lie somewhere in between: he made his position untenable and forced his manager’s hand.
This much we know: Ireland’s captain, then a 30-year-old volatile driving force who had almost single-handedly dragged his country through qualification for Japan and South Korea 2002 out of a group containing Portugal and Holland, decided to leave the camp out of frustration at poor preparation but then changed his mind. However, a newspaper interview he’d given to the Irish Times rolled off the presses like a grenade and exploded, prompting the famous showdown at which Keane embarked on a character assassination of his manager, Mick McCarthy, that was so brutal, the object of his scorn felt compelled to say he could no longer work with his captain.
In a chat with me for the Irish magazine Hot Press a few months after the event, the former Republic of Ireland international Niall Quinn insisted that “Roy walked out”. Later in the same interview he Marcus Cooper Youth jersey stressed that Keane had walked out “twice in three days”. He could not have been more clear: “You must remember that,” he said. “We’re not talking about a happy bunny here, who suddenly said the wrong things for a few seconds. I think it built up and up in him. While the rest of us were prepared to Gerardo Parra Youth jersey get on with things, knowing how ramshackle things are, he allowed it to get in the way of his World Cup.”
Keane tells it differently, stating in his autobiography that having originally become so exasperated by a rock-hard training pitch, the FAI’s failure to get their squad’s training kit to Saipan and a row about five-a-side goalkeeping arrangements, he decided to throw his hat at the whole jamboree and go home. A short time later, having been given time to cool down and review his position, he subsequently changed his mind only to be, in his opinion, ambushed at a team meeting called by McCarthy, who accused him of having faked an injury to avoid having to play the second leg of Ireland’s successful qualifying play-off against Iran. That, according to Keane, was the straw that broke the camel’s back and the cue for his outburst, which Quinn described as “the most surgical slaughtering anyone has ever got”.
“You’re a fucking wanker. I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager and I don’t rate you as a person. You’re a fucking wanker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. I’ve got no respect for you. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your bollocks.”
“Humiliation in front of the whole party was the result he was seeking,” wrote Keane of McCarthy in his autobiography, stating that the meeting had been a set-up. Not too long after that, Keane received a phone call from his representative, the Irish solicitor Michael Kennedy. “You’ve been kicked out,” he was told. At 6pm the next day, with the rest Ronald Darby Youth jersey of the Republic of Ireland squad en route to Japan, Keane was on the next plane home. How had it come to this? cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys from china cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys

Stadio Olimpico will be an infernoIn the last few days the city has been trembling with excitement. No one speaks about anything else: there is only Roma v Liverpool, in the bars and in the restaurants, among friends or on the metro. It will be a great celebration of sport with an extraordinary atmosphere: trust me, the Olimpico will be an inferno. For Roma it is Andrelton Simmons Authentic Jersey only their second time in a European Cup semi-final, and therefore something historic: the climate inside the stadium will be even hotter and even more fiery than what we saw against Barcelona. Roma are famous around the world for their fans: they have passion, love and heart. I witnessed it and it was something wonderful. Against Liverpool you will see the same total support for the team: Tony Watson Authentic Jersey the stadium will be completely clad in red and yellow, the fans will sing for 90 minutes and then it is up to the team to do the business. The Roma fans are amazing. Even today, 15 years later, they stop when they see me and start to sing the song they sang about me when I was playing: it is incredible. They stop me everywhere, even at restaurants when I am out eating. They still salute me every day. They were the first fans to make a banner saying “I love you” to a team in the 80s and there is an incredible passion for the players who play for the team. The players are also fans of the team so there is total love between the supporters and the players and you will see the result of that against Liverpool on Wednesday night. Everyone here believes that Roma can get through, just as they should. The two late goals at Anfield have given everyone hope and I believe too. They have to play the perfect game, just like they did against Barcelona because Liverpool are better than Barça in my opinion. If everything goes our way then Roma can do it. In the capital everyone is hoping and believing. Liverpool, of course, have a former Roma player in their team, Mohamed Salah, and he will get a great reception. He did so well in the Roma shirt and got close to the fans. He had to leave because of finances and he will be greeted like a champion on his return to the club. In the Premier League, with Liverpool, he has taken another step forward: here in Italy he played a bit deeper and did not score as many goals. As far as I am concerned he can win the Ballon d’Or: he is a fantastic player and it will all come down to who wins the Champions League. If he does that, then the Ballon d’Or could well go to Momo. As far as the home team is concerned I think Daniele De Rossi could be decisive. He is the heart of this Roma side and a romanista, the fans’ hero. Against Barcelona he had an amazing assist and also scored from the penalty spot to make people believe the amazing comeback was on. One additional thing with him is that he can animate the fans at the Olimpico. Then we shouldn’t forget about Edin Dzeko, of course. I have played at Anfield against Liverpool and that is an experience that is impossible to forget. The fans sing for 90 minutes and they are extraordinary. I brought my kids because you have to live that experience. At the Olimpico the fans are further away but the Roma supporters are just as good as the Liverpool ones. You will see the colours, how much heart they put into it and the choreography of the tifo to help the team. The Olimpico will be an extraordinary sight for this incredible night of Champions League football.
FA promises £600m Wembley windfall
The Football Association has issued a guarantee that all proceeds of the pending £600m sale of Wembley to Shahid Khan will be used to fund DeMario Davis Jersey grassroots football.

The FA chairman, Greg Clarke, sent a letter to members of the FA Council to reassure them the money would be funnelled back into the Fred Biletnikoff Jersey sport at participation level, including the purchase of an estimated 1,500 new pitches, improved drainage systems and floodlights. A source close to the FA told the Guardian a public commitment to investing such a massive sum of money in grassroots Wendell Smallwood Jersey sport was “unprecedented and a potential game-changer for football in this country”.

Khan told the Guardian he hoped to have the sale completed in two to three months. The Fulham owner has been in serious discussions with the governing body since meeting the FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, at the Superbowl in the United States last year.
As Charles Clay Authentic Jersey part of the negotiation and due diligence process the FA is seeking assurances from Khan, who also owns the NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars, about his long-term plans for the national stadium and particularly what would happen if he were to sell on in the future. Khan, who amassed a £5.2bn fortune from a car parts business, has been at pains to stress the stadium will remain the home of the England football team. The FA would retain the estimated £300m revenue from the Club Wembley hospitality and debenture business. England would be forced to go on the road for their autumn internationals between September and December but the FA Cup final, the Football League play-off finals and rugby league’s Challenge Cup final would remain at Wembley.
However, the FA is understandably concerned about the potential threat to those agreements if Khan were to sell on to a third party in the future. A source at the FA said: “Those of course are questions that need to be asked at this stage, the selling-on clauses are all part of the negotiation process.”
The governing body is concurrently holding talks with Sport England in an effort to persuade the board to release the £113m debt owed from the redevelopment of the stadium in the early part of the century. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England and the Greater London Authority combined to contribute £161m to the construction of the £757m stadium in north-west London, which reopened in 2006. It is understood that debt cannot be wiped entirely but could be reassigned to developing football at grassroots level.
It is thought Sport England would be amenable to such a deal. Clarke wrote to the FA Council members to outline plans for a trust to manage the proceeds of the potential sale. “Should the board agree to proceed with a sale of Wembley, it is our intention that all proceeds would be placed in trust by the FA with governance approved by football stakeholders, government and Sport England to ensure they are allocated to closing the facilities gap and building community assets up and down England,” Clarke wrote. “The process to evaluate the feasibility of selling Wembley Stadium to fund our national facilities deficit has been developed thoroughly over several months by the executive with the help of a major city adviser.”
Khan, the 217th richest person in the world according to the 2018 Forbes rich list, has stated he intends for only two Jaguars games to be held each season initially and that he considers the Wembley name to be sacrosanct. But the news of his bid was nevertheless viewed suspiciously in some quarters.
The former Chelsea and Leeds owner Ken Bates, a key figure in the stadium’s troubled redevelopment, said he felt the deal was being performed in an underhand manner. “The ground does not belong to the directors of the FA; they are custodians. It belongs to the English fans and their children, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Among current Premier League managers the reaction to the possible sale of the stadium was largely positive. Everton’s Sam Allardyce, who managed England for one match, welcomed the news providing the stadium could still be used for football. “The FA went through a hugely difficult period to build that stadium, so to lose it and not play there would be a no from me,” he said. “There would have to be a certain contract that makes sure Wembley is still Wembley and cup finals and some international games are still played there. But travelling across the country with England would balance that off very well. With the extra money coming into the FA – spent in the right way on development, grass roots and football in general – that would be a very good thing.” cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping wholesale nfl jerseys

Southampton still have reasonsLike the hapless Brian Stimpson, so splendidly portrayed by John Cleese in the 1980s farce Clockwise, most football fans can take the despair; it’s the hope they cannot stand. With only three or four fixtures left to play in this season’s Premier League, fans of West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Southampton can almost certainly feel the Womens Brian Westbrook Jersey headmaster’s anguish. Most are Womens Mike Conley Jersey well equipped to deal with the trauma of relegation to the Championship but it is the possibility of avoiding it that drives them to the brink of madness. For West Brom fans, the agony is almost over. Almost but not quite. It is still mathematically possible for them to stay in the top flight but their mini-rage against the dying of the light almost certainly constitutes too little too late. Nothing less than successive wins in their final three matches will suffice and even that will be good enough only in the unlikely event Swansea fail to take more than one point from 12 available. It is a scenario so implausible that all West Brom players and supporters seem to have resigned themselves to their fate and are at peace with it. All but those dreamy optimists who remember Swansea lost four league games on the spin once before this season and are not so great that it is beyond them do it again. Supporters of Stoke and Southampton have more reasons for optimism. Four points adrift with three and four matches to play respectively, there is enough recent precedent to suggest they have every chance of clinging on to their top-tier status. Few would argue Sunderland are the most poorly run club in the English league but before a slide into League One that has been as ignominious as it was inexorable, they did claw their way to safety in successive seasons from some pretty dire situations. Seven points adrift with six games to play under Gus Poyet in 2014, Sunderland looked doomed only to win four of their final five matches to drag themselves from the foot of the table and send Norwich down instead. It was the club’s third consecutive flirtation with the drop and Poyet was adamant it was an experience he had no wish to repeat the following season. “I don’t want another seven months like this,” he said, hailing what he labelled as one of his greatest achievements in football. He need not have worried – sacked the following March, he was replaced by Dick Advocaat, who went on to mastermind another escape despite his side being down among the dead men with four matches to go. In the past 20 Premier League seasons, teams in the relegation places around this time of year have managed to extricate themselves on seven different occasions. Those precariously perched above the drop zone will need little reminding that Wigan stayed up at the expense of Birmingham in 2011, despite trailing them by four points with as many games to go. With the same number of matches left three years previously, Bolton and Fulham were also adrift but had enough about them to rally and survive. A year before, in 2007, West Ham performed the most unlikely of Houdini acts with Carlos Tevez in the unlikely role of glamorous assistant. Their survival, courtesy of four consecutive wins culminating in a final-day victory at Harry Giles Jersey Old Trafford, prompted the disappearance of Sheffield United from the top flight and would ultimately cost them £25.5m in fines and compensation. Chump change which would have been cheap at twice the price compared with the money on offer for staying in the Premier League. Before West Ham’s heroics, Bradford had pulled off one of the most impressive feats of football escapology, ending a run of 10 matches without a win in 2000 to prevail in three of last four – the final one against Liverpool – to send Wimbledon plummeting through the trapdoor. A season previously, Southampton stayed up courtesy of the kind of late-season rally – two draws followed by three wins – in which they and Coventry famously specialised at the time. If they are to pull off a similar feat this time around, their players could do worse than summon the spirit of Matt Le Tissier, Claus Lundekvam and Jason Dodd.
Ally Hogg’s late show for Newcastle
Leicester’s love affair with the play-offs looked to have come to an acrimonious end last night when Newcastle scored a disputed try by their No 8, Ally Hogg, with the final play of a game Lauri Markkanen Womens Jersey the Tigers had largely dominated.

It took five minutes to review, with questions about the grounding, a double movement and whether the whistle had blown before the Scotland forward got the ball down, but the referee, Luke Pearce, was not swayed by the home crowd and awarded the try that lifted the Falcons to third and on course for a first Premiership semi-final.
It was Leicester’s fifth home league defeat of the season, their highest in the Premiership era, and Newcastle’s seventh win on the road, more than any other club. To compound the Tigers’ woe, two of their alumni contributed to their downfall, the wing Vereniki Goneva, who scored two tries, and Dean Richards, the Falcons’ director of rugby.
Richards side started the evening fourth in the table, two points above the Tigers, but 11 minutes from the end trailed 23-13 having lost three players to injury in the opening 24 minutes.
They took the lead after 74 seconds when Goneva took possession from the base of a ruck, dummied the prop Dan Cole and sprinted 40 metres to the line, and the wing salvaged a game that was slipping away when he stepped inside two defenders before flattening George Ford on 69 minutes. The Tigers by then were nursing their lead and were unable to recapture their early momentum. Defeat at Sale next weekend could dump them out of the top six and into the Challenge Cup for the first time, their faint hope of finishing fourth resting on Wasps blowing up.
Leicester dominated the set pieces but in possession they were a mixture of the slick and the slack, a break and deft off-load too often followed by a knock-on. Newcastle spent most of the match seeking the sanctuary of the ropes but Cedric Ogbuehi Womens Jersey they were never put down and nothing, not even injuries, a mounting penalty count or the increasingly heavy rain could dampen their resolve.
Leicester responded quickly to Goneva’s first try by working space for Jonny May and took the lead when Ford replied to Joel Hodgson’s penalty with two from close range. Hodgson followed the prop Scott Wilson and the second-row Sean Robinson into the dressing room, leaving Newcastle without a specialist outside-half or goal-kicker.
Ellis Genge was causing havoc in the scrums but Leicester failed to make possession and territory count and Newcastle went into the interval level when Juan Pablo Socino kicked a penalty in front of the posts. The Tigers wasted a driving maul at the start of the second period and then had a Ben Youngs ‘try’ ruled out for a knock-on.
That did not seem to matter when Mike Fitzgerald scored from close range and Ford kicked his third penalty, but as Leicester made changes from the bench, Teuvo Teravainen Womens Jersey some enforced, their dominance waned and Newcastle seized the moment. Goneva scored from a rare attack to reduce the home side’s lead to five points and the Falcons were not content with a bonus point.
When Sione Kalamafoni was sent to the sin-bin three minutes from the end for lurking in an offside position and getting in the way, Newcastle launched a series of drives that ended with Hogg touching down on 80 minutes.

address safe-standing issueThe EFL has upped the ante in the continuing debate over safe standing, insisting it can work with the government to “bring it to fruition”. The Football League has long supported sections of stadiums being converted to allow fans to stand throughout matches. But a new survey of supporters, to be compiled before the end of the season, aims to build on a mandate already provided by Football League clubs. While the Premier League has described the topic as “complex and nuanced” the EFL’s chief executive, Shaun Harvey, is now calling on the government to change its position on safe standing. “The EFL would like to see current legislation reviewed by the government and ultimately amended,” Harvey said in announcing the League’s new approach. “We would like clubs to have the opportunity to provide standing accommodation to their supporters at all matches played in the Championship, League One and League Two, should they wish to.” The EFL’s new Kendall Graveman Authentic Jerseyemphasis on giving clubs the choice is an attempt to win the approval of Tracey Crouch, the sports minister. Crouch recently rejected a request by West Bromwich Albion to test safe standing and called the clamour for its introduction the opinion of a “vocal minority”. While polling suggests that only 15% of fans would want to stand themselves, Harvey believes a clear majority are in favour of having the option available to their club. The new survey, conducted in association with the Football Supporters’ Federation, will look substantiate this point. Harvey’s instinct, however, appears to be supported by the success of a parliamentary petition in favour of safe standing which this week passed 100,000 signatures and will now be debated in the House of Commons. “We appreciate the pressure the sports minister is under and caution is natural,” Harvey said. “We need to establish an alliance, otherwise a disproportionate amount of the responsibility will fall on her. A partnership approach will commence with our survey, to demonstrate that those who attend fixtures want to see the change and be offered a choice, even if they still choose to be seated. “It’s not a new message, but it’s about structuring our approach to safe standing; putting us at the front door with evidence that this is what the majority of fans want delivered. What we’re actually doing is starting the campaign to bring it to fruition.” Under current legislation, clubs in League One Allen Robinson Authentic Jersey and Two that do not have fully seated stadia are allowed to let supporters stand. But since the Taylor report, clubs in the top two divisions must have all-seated stadiums. An exception to this rule is that a club promoted to the Championship for the first time is granted a three-year grace period in which to convert the facilities. This means that, for example, Burton Albion currently have a standing terrace in the Championship. Harvey represents the 72 League clubs beneath the Premier League and says he has had their mandate to pursue safe standing since 2014. He also acknowledges that there is more flexibility to make such adaptations in the Football League, where average attendance hovers at around 60% of Womens Lorenzo Alexander Jersey stadium capacity. In the Premier League this figure is more than 90% and some top-flight clubs are understood to be unwilling to sacrifice current revenue in order to create a standing section. Other concerns over the implementation of safe standing include whether the allocation should be made available for away as well as home fans and what to do about persistent standing in areas that would remain designated as being seated. The survey launches online 27 April and will run Mika Zibanejad Authentic Jersey until 10 May.
Pep Guardiola’s full-back plan
According to some people, any club who can afford to spend £50m on a full-back should be champions. I have lost count of the amount of times this line has been used as a reason why Manchester City deservedly won the Premier League title, which has effectively been theirs since December. The references to the purchases of Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy are demeaning – implying the least important position on the pitch in today’s game is full-back.

The more discerning football supporter would have watched the Champions League semi-finals and appreciated both matches were determined by the positioning and performances of the players in a position which I believe is the least-promoted and most undervalued in the sport.
Take Liverpool’s attacking exploits against Roma on Tuesday, when the Italian side set up without full-backs in a back three so Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané were able to run riot behind a defence who were either three against three in transitional play or attempting to defend in a block and struggling to contain the penetrating runs of Liverpool’s wide men.
It meant Salah and Mané were able to operate in space and run at pace against taller, less agile centre-halves, which has been their speciality in an outstanding run in the competition. Both of Roma’s late away goals were scored after Salah was withdrawn. By then Roma had reverted to a back four with full-backs who were in much better starting positions to deal with Liverpool’s direct play from wide areas. This gave them a platform to attack for the first time and the momentum swung in their favour in the final 15 minutes.
Then there was Bayern Munich against Real Madrid on Wednesday, and again players in the defensive positions were key to the outcome. The goal by Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich was a perfect example of the full-back’s role in the modern game – having the stamina and quality to run 80 yards to score, utilising the space vacated by, yes, you guessed it, Marcelo, who had not recovered to his defensive left-back position quickly enough. And then Marcelo atoned for his defensive error by scoring a technically fantastic equaliser at a time when Bayern looked capable of Womens Nikita Kucherov Jersey adding to their lead. His tactical position to pick up the loose ball was absolutely perfect.
Factor in that Lucas Vázquez became Real’s most important player in the final 30 minutes – dealing with Franck Ribéry’s outstanding play from the left wing Womens Peter Budaj Jersey – and you have an excellent example of how important attacking and defensive full-back play is to a team’s performance and the result. This opens the debate that we Steven Souza Jersey need to see the bigger picture in a more interconnected way, rather than a sport where any one position is more important or valuable in determining the result of a match.
Throughout my career the significance of excellent full-backs to the functionality of a team, especially at the highest level, has been undervalued in comparison with other areas of the pitch. We always hear about the importance of “the spine of the team” or the “need for a goalscorer”, which is understandable, but is there another position where a player needs to have long-distance stamina, explosive power in one-v-one situations, sound defensive and tactical awareness, and also to be technically proficient enough to provide decent service to attacking colleagues with crosses and assists?
A major component of Manchester City’s dominance this season has been Pep Guardiola’s positional use of his full-backs in the half-space in order to overload the middle of the pitch and overwhelm teams both in possession and in transition. Without the outstanding play of Kyle Walker and the development of Fabian Delph on a technical and tactical level, there is no way City would be the force they are. If Guardiola did not value the importance of the position, moreover, he would not set his team up in the way that he does, spend the money he has on full-backs, and set such high physical, technical and tactical demands for them.

Antoine Griezmann grabs away goalIt is the hope that has killed Arsène so many times over the final traumatic years of his Arsenal tenure. The manager is the eternal optimist, always seeing the good in people and players, and when Alexandre Lacazette headed his team into a 61st minute lead, Wenger could begin to dream. The 68-year-old has not hidden his desire to walk away from his life’s work at Arsenal with the Europa League – it would be a first trophy of any description for him in Europe – and Lacazette, a former Lyon striker, had moved the club closer to the final, which, coincidentally, will be played in Lyon. It was a towering leap and wonderful finish, and it cut through the frustrations that Arsenal had felt against an Atlético Madrid team who played from the 10th minute with 10 men. Wenger’s players had created a fistful of chances during a barnstorming opening quarter only to lack a cutting edge and there was the sense that they were running out of ideas. At 1-0, the evening seemed a whole lot better for Wenger but it would come to feel a whole lot worse. He would later describe 1-0 as the “perfect” scoreline from a home first leg and all Arsenal needed to do was see it out. Wenger noted that Atlético could not get forward with their combination play and so their best chance was the long ball. Arsenal had to guard against Stan Musial Authentic Jersey it. But they could not. Laurent Koscielny had the position on Antoine Griezmann but he mucked up his attempt to hook the ball away in darkly comic fashion. It ricocheted off Griezmann and, suddenly, the striker was in. When his shot was saved by David Ospina and it broke back towards him, Shkodran Mustafi had taken up a good covering position. Then Mustafi slipped. The target looked a little bigger for Griezmann and he squeezed his shot home. Wenger has seen this movie before but its ability to traumatise is undiminished. “We can Henry Anderson Womens Jersey only look at ourselves,” the manager said. “We had the chances to be in the final tonight, we were not clinical enough and it’s a bitter taste. We created the anticlimax by giving the goal away and we’re now in a very difficult position.” Sime Vrsaljko’s early dismissal had shaped the tie, setting a combustible tone, and the Croatia right-back was certainly guilty of a rare form of recklessness, even if both of his cautions were defined by the strictest application of the law. The first was for a lunge at Jack Wilshere and with that in mind he ought to have thought twice about stretching into a tackle on Lacazette in a non-threatening area. He did not. Vrsaljko was late and trod on the top of Lacazette’s foot. He gave Clément Turpin a decision to make and the referee duly made it. Matt Duffy Authentic Jersey The notion of a final warning so early in such a big game did not appear to enter his thoughts. Diego Simeone was incandescent and moments later, after Héctor Bellerín had hacked at Lucas Hernández, Atlético manager took his protests too far in demanding censure for the Arsenal right-back. Simeone was banished to the Matt Duffy Youth jersey stands. Thereafter, he would pace about the back of the directors’ enclosure, a study in pent-up fury until the release of Griezmann’s equaliser. Simeone would refuse to criticise Turpin but he still managed to get his feelings across. He did not agree with the sending off. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys china wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from chinacheap jerseys china wholesale jerseys from china
Manchester United remind Arsenal
Arsenal have only three away games left in the Premier League this season but happily there is still time for Arsène Wenger to return to Manchester United, the scene of many of the highs and lows in his extraordinary career.

One suspects the image that will surface most often this weekend is the iconic one of Wenger banished to the stands in 2009, arms outstretched at the pettiness of it all after being told by match officials that kicking a water bottle in frustration was far too grievous an offence to be allowed to remain on the sidelines.
There are other, happier memories. A win at Old Trafford put Wenger on the way Authentic Brandon Williams Jersey to his first Double, a single Marc Overmars goal in March 1998 cutting Manchester United’s lead at the top of the table to six points – some Manchester bookmakers had already paid out on bets on Alex Ferguson’s team retaining the title – as Arsenal entered a 10-game winning sequence that would see them crowned champions by a single point.
Slender as that margin appeared at the time, Arsenal’s tremendous run-in gave an early indication of the consistency of which they would prove capable under Wenger, as well as usefully preventing United winning six titles in a row to draw unflattering comparisons with the Scottish league.
Later there would be the Battle of Old Trafford and then the Battle of the Buffet as Arsenal grew into their role as United’s chief challengers in the early noughties, even if another few years brought the infamous 8-2 defeat that confirmed by 2011 they had rather lost their way.
More than anything, though, more than the prospect even of a last touchline grimace with José Mourinho or a cheery hello from Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal are visiting a stadium that stands as an enormous monument to what is at stake when the time comes to replace the sort of transformative manager who has given years of service to the task of successfully reinventing a club.
No one could dispute that Wenger is up there with the very best in that regard. While some might quibble about the lack of a European Cup, all the deserved testimonials have stressed the fact that this is a man who altered English football, not only the club of which he was in charge.
There is no need to run through Wenger’s achievements and innovations here when they have been all over the news for the past few days. Only the very best managers make themselves unsackable, and in the years of gradual Arsenal decline, that became part of a unique problem.
Ferguson before him had assumed such a position of strength and control at his club that he was able to choose his own retirement date, yet crucially United kept winning. Even with comparatively ordinary sides in unremarkable seasons, even with the emergence of Chelsea and Manchester City as rivals with deep pockets, Ferguson averaged a title every other season or better right until the end. That is what big clubs want and need. Wenger was unable to produce it for Arsenal after the dizzy heights of the first decade and, as he himself admitted, around the time that Mourinho was labelling him a specialist in failure: “You cannot pretend you are a big club.”
That, nevertheless, is what Arsenal seem to have been doing these last dozen or so years. There were mitigating circumstances, the Womens Dion Waiters Jersey move to Womens Jimmy Graham Jersey a new ground being one of them and the arrival of petro-dollars in the English game another, though it is hard to sell yourself as the biggest of clubs when you make do with Champions League qualification income and the occasional FA Cup.,107979

Former player as his successorArsène Wenger believes it would be “even better” for Arsenal if they appoint a former player to succeed him as manager at the end of the season. He also provided the clearest indication yet that he did not want to step down, by revealing the timing of the decision was not down to him. Wenger was in relaxed mood before Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final first leg at home against Atlético Madrid – a tie he feels he has to win in order to avoid an anti-climatic conclusion to his near 22-year tenure. It promises to be an intriguing contest in which Wenger is set to start with David Ospina in goal; a surprising move, given the manager played Petr Cech in both legs of the quarter-final against CSKA Moscow. But, perhaps inevitably, the focus remained on the fallout from the announcement last Friday that Wenger was set Kevin Labanc Authentic Jersey to leave his post and the discussion as to the identity of his successor. The favourite to take over is Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona manager whose credentials are being pushed by Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s new head of football relations. Sanllehi worked with Enrique at Barcelona and Wenger said he had a “high opinion” of him. But the merits of the former Arsenal captains Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta have also been advanced. Vieira, the manager of New York City, said on Wednesday that he was flattered to have been linked. “It’s not something which will stop me doing what I am doing at the moment,” he Matt Judon Youth jersey said. “I don’t want this to be perceived that I want to go because I don’t want to leave. But if the question is as simple as: ‘Are you ready to manage any teams in Europe?’ then I would say: ‘Yes. I am ready.’” Wenger has said he will play no part in the recruitment of the new manager but when asked about Vieira and Gilbert Perreault Authentic Jersey Arteta – the latter is a coach at Manchester City – it was interesting to hear the 68-year-old endorse the notion of a former player, even if they might be less heralded in managerial terms. Arsenal, famously, made the bold move to appoint him in 1996, when ‘Arsène Who?’ was the question on many people’s lips. “The need is to make the right decision, even if you have to be bold,” Wenger said. “Is it former people that worked here? That is even better. But there are many players who had qualities. Some of them are in the job. I don’t influence that choice but I will stand behind the decision.” When Wenger and the club made the announcement that they would go their separate ways, the understanding was he had jumped before he was pushed. The club’s hierarchy had become increasingly worried about the team’s poor Premier League performance and the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, offered a telling line last Friday evening. “There’s been a conversation, Arsène has made his decision and now that process [regarding a successor] begins,” Gazidis said. Wenger was asked on Wednesday why he was quitting when he had another year to run on his contract. “The timing was not really my decision,” he replied. Arsenal later argued that Wenger’s comment related to the release of the announcement rather than the decision. “After reaching agreement about my departure, I was happy for the club to decide when to announce,” Wenger later said in a statement. “I wish to make it clear the timing of the announcement was right.” cheap nfl jerseyscheap jerseys free shipping wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys china wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys