25.11.2022
Gareth Southgate admits that it would be a ‘brave decision’ not to start Harry Kane against USA

Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are fit and raring to go for England’s crucial World Cup clash against the USA on Friday night after recovering from injury and illness.

The duo have handed a major boost to manager Gareth Southgate who insisted the pair will be available on Thursday.

England captain Kane went for a scan after taking a blow to his ankle against Iran on Monday but was cleared to resume training on Wednesday.

Southgate said: ‘Harry’s good, he came through training with no problems — it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team. He’s in a good space. Definitely.

‘We managed him a little bit last week through training because of the load he has had so we’re always conscious of that. Some players need a little bit more training, some might do half a session, it depends on what their individual load has been.

‘Some haven’t played as much football and need pushing a bit more at times so we’re always individually preparing that.’

Maguire is also ready to start in an unchanged side on Friday night after recovering from an illness that saw him substituted against Iran.

There was concern the defender was suffering from concussion but a thorough investigation from England medics and FIFA — who have analysed numerous camera angles — ensured he had not taken a blow to the head.

‘We think an element of that was dehydration,’ said Southgate. ‘Because of the awareness of concussion we’ve checked back through all of that really diligently and FIFA have as well, because it’s one of the key things from their medical department in this tournament. There’s no evidence of that but you still want to check that because he was feeling unwell and why was that?’

James Maddison again did not train with the rest of the squad.

Southgate also confirmed that the FA have been in contact with FIFA over their concerns about VAR in the 6-2 win over Iran.

Maguire was denied a penalty after being rugby tackled by Rouzbeh Cheshmi in the first half, but Iran were awarded one via VAR later on after John Stones was caught slightly pulling striker Morteza Pouraliganji’s shirt.

The England camp were angered by the decision not to award a penalty for the Maguire incident — particularly after an incident in the box involving Kalvin Phillips, from England’s 5-0 win over Albania last November, was used as an example of foul play in a video shown to officials before the World Cup. This had led to fears England would be unfairly targeted by referees in Qatar.

The FA have filed a report to FIFA and await their response.

Stones said: ‘We sat in a refereeing meeting before the tournament and told certain things and my frustration is when those don’t get backed up. That’s difficult because we try to adapt our game to the way they want to ref things. I understand they have a super-difficult job nowadays with all the cameras but there has to be a bit of clarity.’

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  • 47 минут назад 01.12.2022Sport
    Reece James is criticised on Twitter for choosing Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Lionel Messi

    Reece James has been criticised on Twitter for having ‘zero football knowledge’ after saying that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi.

    However, James’ response to the Ronaldo or Messi question certainly didn’t go down well.

    One Twitter user wrote: ‘You have zero football knowledge’.

    Another joked that James’ response shows why Trent Alexander-Arnold is better than him. They wrote: ‘This is why Trent is better than you!’.

    Another added: ‘Overrated player supporting another overrated player. We understand’.

    James also answered other questions, including one on the toughest opponents that he has faced in his career so far.

    The 22-year-old chose three left wingers in Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior, AC Milan’s Rafael Leao and former Liverpool star Sadio Mane, now of Bayern Munich.

    James wrote: ‘3 hardest players I’ve ever played against are all left wingers! Vinicius Jr, Leao and Mane!’.

    James had hoped to be included in England’s World Cup squad, but a significant knee injury put paid to those plans.

    It is hoped that James will be available shortly after the resumption of club football at the end of this month.

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  • 47 минут назад 01.12.2022Sport
    Tyson Fury claims he could return to being a car salesman after he retires from boxing

    Tyson Fury has suggested he could go back to selling cars when he finally decides to hang his gloves up for good.

    The WBC heavyweight champion is due to defend his belt against Derek Chisora on Saturday after deciding to continue his boxing career, having initially announced his intention to retire after beating Dillian Whyte in April.

    Looking ahead, Fury does not appear to have clear plan for his life after boxing, but feels he could look to sell cars like he did in his younger days.

    ‘Maybe I’ll go back to being a used car salesman and open myself a little pitch in Morecambe somewhere,’ Fury told The Sportsman when asked what the future holds for him.

    ‘Give myself a job so I can get up at 7am, go to the gym, come back and then go to work.’

    Fury has threatened to retire from boxing on a number of occasions, but has always come back to the sport.

    The Gypsy King is now 34, and most fighters would be nearing the end of their careers at this point.

    Yet Fury believes he is still in his ‘prime’ and has questioned whether he will ever be happy to retire from boxing having had a brief taste of putting his feet up earlier this year.

    ‘I don’t know if I can ever be ready for retirement and this is the problem,’ he said.

    ‘Right now, I’m in a very big dilemma with boxing because I’m in my prime. I’m worn out basically, however, I’m still undefeated and still going.

    ‘How long will this last? How long can I keep going for? And what happens when it’s not there any more?

    ‘The answer to that question is that I don’t know and that’s why I’m back. There were four months when I was actually retired and refused a lot of money to come back and stuff to do other fights and things.

    ‘It was four months later and I had my little bit of being at home with the family, taking the kids to school and all that, and I was like what do I do?

    ‘I’m getting up in the morning, I’m getting up at half past six, going to bed at 9pm, going to the gym twice a day, but I don’t have a target to go to the gym for. I don’t know.’

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  • 47 минут назад 01.12.2022Sport
    Paul Scholes urges Manchester United to sign Cody Gakpo or Christopher Nkunku

    Paul Scholes believes that Manchester United should look to sign Cody Gakpo or Christopher Nkunku to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Ronaldo’s acrimonious departure could lead to United looking to bring in a replacement either in January or next summer.

    United legend Scholes feels that a new centre-forward is a priority as Marcus Rashford is most effective playing out wide.

    Speaking on MUTV’s The Debate, Scholes said: ‘I think there’s a couple of forwards they might look at.

    ‘The kid at RB Leipzig that’s been linked with Chelsea, Nkunku. Centre forward is obviously the big position that needs filling.

    ‘We have Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford who can both play there, but I think Marcus prefers being out wide and Antony’s injury record isn’t great.

    ‘January might be too soon [to replace Ronaldo], they’re probably looking at next summer now, but I do think there are players out there.’

    Scholes feels that the impact that Gakpo has made at the World Cup – who has scored three goals so far – makes him an ideal candidate for United and manager Erik ten Hag.

    Scholes said: ‘The lad at PSV – Gakpo – is doing really well for Netherlands at the World Cup and I think Ten Hag has been really interested in him before.

    ‘There’s players out there for sure. January can be a tough window to do business but I hope we can do something and bring in a new centre forward.’

    It is clear that United require more goals – they have only scored 20 times in the Premier League this season compared to Arsenal’s 33 and Manchester City’s 40.

    As Scholes alludes to, Nkunku, who currently plays for RB Leipzig has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, with Le10Sport reporting that ‘everything is complete’ with regards to a switch that could take place next summer.

    Gakpo, therefore, could be the best option for United to consider. The 23-year-old has scored nine goals in the Eredivisie this season and also has three in the Europa League. He often plays as a winger for PSV but is also capable of operating up front.

    Ronaldo, meanwhile, is considering an offer from Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr that could see him earn £344million across the next two and a half years.

    The Portugal star left United after heavily criticising the club during an interview with Piers Morgan.

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  • 47 минут назад 01.12.2022Sport
    Wojciech Szczesny insists he KNEW where Lionel Messi was going to shoot before saving his penalty

    Wojciech Szczesny has revealed he knew which way Lionel Messi was going to go with his penalty by the way he approached the ball.

    Messi missed what had appeared to be a decisive spot-kick in the first half as Argentina chased the goal to ensure their safe path to the last-16.

    On a night of high drama in Group C, goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez ensured Argentina finished top of the group – with Poland advancing with them by virtue of a superior goal difference to Mexico.

    Speaking after the game, Szczesny admitted he ‘owed it’ to his team to save Messi’s effort from 12 yards having given away the penalty for a foul on the Paris Saint Germain star.

    ‘Now I can say that I knew where Messi would shoot, but at the time I wasn’t so sure. Leo looks at the keeper on some penalties and hits hard on others,’ he said.

    ‘I knew that if he was going to hit hard, it would be more to my left. I saw that he was not stopping, so I went, I sensed, I defended.

    ‘I’m happy because that penalty gave something in the end. Very big satisfaction. I owed it to the team.’

    The Juventus goalkeeper also said after the game that you need some ‘luck’ when facing Messi from 12 yards.

    On the penalty award, Szczesny, perhaps understandably, doubted the awarding of a spot-kick but said it gave him an opportunity to ‘show off’.

    ‘I immediately told the referee that I touched him (Messi) with my hand in the face, but I only hit him on the side of his face,’ the Pole said.

    ‘I told him there was contact but I don’t think there is a penalty. The referee decided otherwise and that’s fine – I could show off.’

    Speaking to Norwegian broadcaster TV 2 Sport post-match, the former Arsenal goalkeeper revealed the details of his and Messi’s bet before jokingly admitting he may now be ‘banned’ by FIFA for breaching betting rules.

    ‘No I didn’t [think the penalty would be given],’ said Szczesny.

    ‘We spoke before the penalty and I told him I can bet him €100 that he wasn’t going to give it.

    ‘So I’ve lost a bet against Messi. I don’t know if that’s allowed at the World Cup. I’m probably going to be banned for it. I don’t care right now.’

    For a significant part of the evening, Poland looked to be advancing to the knockout stage for the first time since 1986 by virtue of having received fewer yellow cards than Mexico – who they drew 0-0 with in their opening game.

    Admitting after the game that Poland are not of the same ‘calibre’ as Argentina, Szczesny said that ‘for the first time I am happy to lose’.

    ‘It was hard because we played against a team not of our calibre,’ he said.

    ‘He can hold the ball for 90 minutes and not let us smell it. It’s fun to play against such teams, once in 100 you will win. Today I failed, but I think for the first time I am happy to lose.’

    Poland face France on Sunday bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

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  • 47 минут назад 01.12.2022Sport
    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ‘re-watched all 168 games as Man Utd manager’ since leaving

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly re-watched all 168 matches from his time as Manchester United manager in the year since he left the club.

    Solskjaer was sacked by United last November after just under three years in charge, following a disappointing start to the 2021-22 season.

    His final game saw the Red Devils lose 4-1 against Watford, a defeat that left the team in eighth place in the Premier League after losing five of their opening 12 top-flight matches.

    United were also thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool and comfortably swept aside by local rivals Manchester City in the final weeks of Solskjaer’s reign, games that you may expect the Norwegian to want to forget in a hurry.

    However, The Athletic have revealed that he has gone back and watched those two matches plus the other 166 that he was on the touchline for.

    During his reign at Old Trafford, Solskjaer guided United to a second-placed finish in 2020-21, but they went out of the Champions League after the group stages that year after suffering a humbling 2-1 defeat against Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.

    The team recovered to make the final of the Europa League, but lost to Villarreal on penalties.

    Despite narrowly missing out on a European trophy, things had looked promising for United at the end of their 2020-21 campaign, and that summer they added Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their squad.

    It seemed that they could be genuine title contenders after those signings, but their results fell away alarmingly, and this ultimately cost Solskjaer his job.

    He was unable to pick up any silverware, unlike his predecessor Jose Mourinho, and could not bring back the glory days that the club enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson, but it is understood that Solskjaer is ‘satisfied’ with his time as United boss. Incidentally, those are the only two post-war United managers with a higher win rate than Solskjaer, other than current manager Erik Ten Hag who only arrived in the summer.

    Solskjaer feels he was building something ‘special’ with the squad, and was happy with the team spirit that had developed, even though he departed with them outside of the European places.

    The squad continued to struggle after his exit, eventually finishing down in sixth, 35 points adrift of title-winners City.

    In the 12 months that have passed since he left United, Solskjaer has remained a keen observer of European football, while also taking up new hobbies away from the sport.

    The 49-year-old has learned how to sail back in his homeland of Norway, but also has a home in Cheshire, allowing him to watch games in England regularly.

    He still has a burning desire to get back into management, and now feels ready to return to the dugout.

    Job offers have not been in short supply in recent months, with Solskjaer having already had opportunities to end his time away from the game.

    The chance to move into television work has also been presented to Solskjaer, but he has turned this down, waiting for the right moment to resume his managerial career.

    Having watched games from across Europe over the past year, it appears that Solskjaer is keeping his options open, and is not set on taking up a coaching role in England.

    As well as managing United, Solskjaer also had a brief spell at Cardiff in 2014, but was unable to save them from relegation to the Championship.

    His other roles have come in Norway, but perhaps a different country could provide him with his next opportunity as he looks to bounce back from his disappointing end at United to prove that he still has plenty left to offer.

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  • 47 минут назад 01.12.2022Sport
    Lionel Messi antics in Argentina win over Poland were WRONG – Chris Sutton

    Lionel Messi’s actions have been questioned after the Argentina star rolled around feigning injury to win a penalty against Poland in their crucial World Cup clash on Wednesday night.

    Also in today’s WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL:

    WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE

    Daily Mail writers Ian Ladyman, Matt Barlow and Rob Draper, as well as Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton, were speaking as part of Sportsmail and MailPlus’s daily videocast ‘World Cup Confidential’.

    It appears on MailOnline every morning of the tournament and can be found on our YouTube channel.

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Sport Gareth Southgate admits that it would be a 'brave decision' not to start Harry Kane against USA