Gareth Southgate hints Harry Maguire is still England first choice despite Man United woes

Gaeth Southgate has dropped a major hint that Harry Maguire will be a World Cup starter despite the defender’s peripheral role at Manchester United.

Maguire is a regular for the Three Lions but his place in Southgate’s plans is under scrutiny after he lost his place in United’s team under Erik ten Hag.

The prospect of Maguire regaining his place at United appears remote with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez established as Ten Hag’s defensive pairing, but the 29-year-old is set to start against Italy in Milan on Friday as England look to avoid Nations League relegation. And Southgate has suggested Maguire will keep his place in the starting XI in Qatar.

‘Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation,’ said Southgate. ‘You want your best players playing regularly so that they’re physically and mentally in a good place. But he is an important player for us.

‘It’s important to back our best players. You always have to back your judgement. If we thought there were experienced players ready to step in and play at a level above him there would be a different consideration.

‘He is our most dominant aerial centre back. Him and John (Stones) are incredible with the ball.’

Maguire is set to feature in a back three, with Eric Dier and Kyle Walker pushing to start alongside him.

Reece James could start at right wing-back, and Southgate is believed to be considering playing Bukayo Saka on the opposite flank.

Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham are the frontrunners to start in midfield, with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden hopeful of joining Harry Kane in attack.

On Wednesday, the FA revealed they will lobby FIFA over new labour protection laws after the abuse of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the World Cup and confirmed Kane plans to wear a ‘One Love’ armband.

Their stance has been criticised for not going far enough, but Southgate said: ‘There is a limit to what can be achieved but bringing those issues to the table is what we are trying to do.

‘We are asking for change in a country we are respectful of and that has made a lot of progress but that we don’t have control over.’

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  • 45 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Lewis Hamilton makes retirement vow in private Toto Wolff chat about Brit’s F1 future

    Toto Wolff has admitted that Lewis Hamilton recently told him that he could continue racing in F1 for another five years. Just a few years ago, Hamilton was seemingly unshakeable in his insistence that he wouldn’t follow the likes of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen by driving into his 40s.

    But last year’s title battle with Max Verstappen, coupled with the struggles Mercedes have dealt with this year, appear to have changed Hamilton’s mindset on when he plans to retire from the sport. He has one year left on his current deal with Mercedes, where he will be approaching his 39th birthday.

    Over the past few months, small hints have been dropped that Hamilton and Mercedes will continue working together beyond the 2023 season. Wolff has now confirmed that an extension “is going to happen”, but the Mercedes team principal also added that Hamilton would like to continue driving in F1 until 2027.

    “The advantage is we speak a lot together,” Wolff told Channel 4. “Just last week we sat down and he says ‘look, I have another five years in me, how do you see that?’

    “Over time we have just grown together. We are totally transparent with each other. Lewis will be the first one to say ‘I can’t do this anymore’ – because I feel I haven’t got the reactions anymore, or I’ve just lost fun doing it and there is another generation growing up that is just very strong.

    “So I have no doubt that whatever we agree on a contract extension, which is going to happen, that we both are always going to discuss, very openly, what does the future hold.” Alonso will be 42 years of age next season but is still regarded as one of the most talented drivers on the grid.

    Athletes across a range of sports have proven that they’re now capable of extending their careers longer than the previous generation. And Wolff believes Hamilton has all the attributes necessary to continue thriving in F1 for many years to come.

    “I don’t know if 40 is that age where you say that is not adequate anymore for a racing driver,” he added. “If you look at where Fernando is with 41 years, he’s still very much there. Now, is he the same Fernando that he was at 25? I don’t know, but he’s very competitive still.

    “You look at Tom Brady, who is somebody I really admire for having the discipline in how he manages his life and his sport, he’s 43 or 44 – and he’s on the pitch. So Lewis, with the way he leads his life, with the full, ultra-narrow focus on his Formula 1 racing – all the others are just hobbies – I think he can take it quite far.”

  • 45 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury officially off as Eddie Hearn points the finger

    Eddie Hearn has declared the proposed Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua is officially off. In a statement released via Matchroom Sport, Hearn said that the Joshua camp had not heard back from Fury’s team since his latest social media video last week, where ‘The Gypsy King’ demanded they sign the contract.

    The prospect of the two British heavyweights going toe-to-toe on December 3 in Cardiff had begun to appear remote, with the two teams failing to reach an agreement after weeks of negotiations. The saga kicked off on September 5 when Fury, performing a u-turn after publicly insisting he was retired after his KO win over Dillian Whyte in April, called out his rival via Twitter.

    Fury seemed keen to get back in the ring against his British rival, and offered Joshua the chance to compete for his WBC heavyweight title this December which he accepted. This would only prove to be the beginning of the saga though, as the Gypsy King announced recently the fight was off in an explosive video on social media, where he revealed AJ and his team had missed the contract deadline.

    Soon after though, Fury was once again going back on his word as he took to social media once more to admit his promoter Frank Warren had convinced him to give his rival and his team longer to agree a deal on the fight. Now though Joshua’s promoter Hearn has accused Fury and his team of being the side halting proceedings and therefore called the hopes of the bout over.

    Hearn told Matchroom: “People surely aren’t thick enough to [not] see that Tyson Fury has called two deadlines on this fight and the fight has passed in Tyson Fury’s deadlines. People talk about putting up barriers, we sent our final draft contract back to sign.

    “They want to appoint their partner as an arbitrator, that sort of stuff doesn’t work. We get another one [deadline], Tyson Fury says, ‘We’re telling you now, the fight is off unless you sign [today].

    “That deadline passed, I’ve not heard back from George Warren since. So as far as we’re concerned, the fight’s off. We’re happy to continue the discussions, we haven’t had any of those.”

  • 45 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    England challenger Fikayo Tomori reacts to recent Gareth Southgate snub as World Cup looms

    Fikayo Tomori has admitted that he still has ‘things to work on’ after failing to play a minute of action despite being selected in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad. The 24-year-old centre-back has impressed since making the move from Chelsea to AC Milan in 2021, and was an integral part of the side which won the Serie A title last season.

    There have been calls from supporters and pundits alike for Tomori to start for the Three Lions above the out-of-form Harry Maguire. Yet he was an unused substitute in the 1-0 Nations League defeat to Italy and did not even make the squad in the 3-3 draw against Germany last week.Speaking ahead of a return to Stamford Bridge as Milan take on Chelsea in the Champions League, Tomori lifted the lid on discussions he had with Southgate and insisted he felt no resentment about his exclusion.”Obviously everyone wants to play,” he said. “But just being called-up is an honour. Now I know that I’m not quite there and I’ve still got things to work on in order to get in the frame for selection for the World Cup.

    “Hopefully I can continue improving. There’s a lot of games between now and then to hopefully get in the squad and get some minutes.”On the talks with Southgate, he added: “Yeah, we spoke. It’s different in the England squad because whenever we have time together it’s very limited. In Milan the manager wants me to be in a certain position or do certain things that I need to remember to do on the pitch and I need to work off it to try to make myself a better player.”When I spoke to Gareth he agreed, so I know I have to keep trying to improve those aspects.”

    Tomori will take on a whole host of familiar faces when he goes back to west London with Milan. And speaking about who he was most looking forward to seeing again, he continued: “I played with Mason (Mount), Reece (James) and Trevoh (Chalobah) coming up through the academy. Seeing them again will be good. Raheem (Sterling) as well.

    “It’s going to be a nice reunion of sorts but I try to think of it as just another game.”

    AC Milan will host a special “From Milan to Many” fan event at BOXPARK Wembley in London with Rossoneri legends Alessandro Nesta and Daniele Massaro on 4 Oct from 7pm. The event is part of the AC Milan Trophy Tour in partnership with Emirates, which sees the Club take the 2021/22 Scudetto Trophy on the road to meet Rossoneri fans around the world

  • 45 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Man Utd boss Ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo in transfer agreement after Man City ‘inquest’

    Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will not stand in Cristiano Ronaldo’s way if he wants to leave the club in January according to reports. The Dutchman left the legendary forward on the bench for the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City and he has found his match action limited all season. And despite initially wanting to keep Ronaldo in the summer, Ten Hag is now said to agree with Ronaldo that a parting of ways would be best for both parties.

    The Dutchman is believed to have held an ‘inquest’ following his side’s embarrassing defeat at the Eithad yesterday as Erling Haaland and Phil Foden tore the Red Devils apart with two hat tricks. Ronaldo was conspicuous by his absence with Ten Hag reluctant to bring him on, something he claimed was ‘out of respect’ for his successful career.

    The Portugal captain asked to leave the club in the summer as he looked to join a Champions League club rather than wait around with United in the Europa League however was frustrated as the club denied his wishes. However, the Telegraph report that he is now free to leave in January instead, after falling completely out of the first team picture, so long as a suitable bid for his services comes in.

    Players and staff were told to come forward with any concerns that they had about the season at the Carrington-based inquest on Monday and Ronaldo’s future was believed to be in the spotlight. It appears it has now been enough to encourage the 52-year-old to change track on the forward’s future, with the pair now sharing an understanding that the former Ajax boss will not stand in his way should an offer arrive.

    The relationship between the five-time world player of the year and Ten Hag is still believed to be cordial, with the 37-year-old hopeful of more game time ahead of the World Cup in November. He believes the tournament poses his best opportunity to put himself back in the shop window and boost his chances of a move. He has made just one start in the Premier League all season, the 4-0 defeat away at Brentford, and has earned just 80 minutes of match time domestically since the start of the campaign.

    His chances of a summer departure were slim with United reluctant to sanction any move however no concrete proposal came from any Champions League side limiting his options anyway. The only proper proposal came from Saudi club Al Hilal who were not expected to be much of a consideration for the former Real Madrid star.

    Ten Hag said that the Portugal skipper remained on the bench yesterday “Out of respect for his big career,” in a bizarre explanation to journalists. The explanation elicited an angry response from Roy Keane who hit out at the club for ‘disrespecting’ the forward.

    “I think Man United are just showing disrespect to Ronaldo,” the Irishman told Sky Sports after the game. “I think he should have been let go before the transfer window. I think the manager is holding on to him – okay, you say you need options, but you don’t hold on to Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He’s one of the greatest players ever.

    “It’s just going to get uglier as the season goes on. Okay, Ronaldo’s motivated with the World Cup coming up, but if he’s sitting on the bench week in, week out, it’s not good, it’s just going to get ugly.

    “I think United have shown nothing but disrespect to Ronaldo. They should have let him go when the opportunity came. As I said, he did have options to go, I know that for a fact, and holding on to him to sit on the bench I think is ridiculous for a player of his stature.”

  • 45 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    London Marathon participant stuns crowds by racing into lead ahead of elite runners

    A London Marathon participant stunned the crowd on Sunday by racing into the lead ahead of the elite runners in the early stages of the event. Richard Lee-Wright was more than happy to take the limelight and have his 15 minutes of fame as he raised his arms in the air to celebrate his endeavours just seconds after the race had got underway.

    England women’s Euro 2022 heroes Leah Williamson, Jill Scott and Ellen White had sounded the horn to get the marathon started in the capital. And Lee-Wright from Devon took the opportunity to sprint as fast as he could to get to the front.

    The 38-year-old opened up a decent lead as he put space between himself and the chasing pack. But he soon ran out of steam and slowed down as the elite runners went past him. Lee-Wright later stopped to high-five spectators and wave to the crowd. And after the race had come to an end, he admitted how exhilarating the experience had been.

    “I’d told people for years that I was going to do this and they laughed at me and didn’t believe I could do it,” he said. “When I put my arm in the air, that’s probably because I realised my dream had come true and that I’d done it.

    “I had to catch the elites and squeezed to the front of them – I just kept going. If Usain Bolt had been there, I’d have gone for him.”

    Lee-Wright’s efforts had television viewers across the country smiling. But the BBC commentary team couldn’t resist a cheeky taunt as they said: “The grand spectacle of thousands coming together in the pursuit of a common goal. Or the ones who look for a little bit of individual glory, like that man at the front there.”

    Lee-Wright’s running partner Lee Hopper then took to Twitter to explain that his sprint to the front wasn’t done on the spur of the moment. “I ran with Richard (in blue) last week,” he wrote. “He told us he was going to sprint off and lead the London Marathon for a few hundred metres. I thought he was taking the p*** but he did it.”

    Lee-Wright’s unusual feat came after a six-year training effort where he clocked a time that allowed him to start the marathon near the front. He ultimately finished in a respectable time of three hours and 23 minutes, with Kenyan runner Amos Kipruto winning the men’s elite race in a time of 2:04:39.

  • 45 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has three players who need dropping after Brighton disaster

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp must consider which of his players warrants a place in his starting eleven following their torrid start to the season. The Reds were held to a 3-3 draw by Brighton at Anfield at the weekend, meaning that they sit in ninth place in the league after seven matches.

    Klopp’s side have looked like a shadow of their former selves this season, with their performances lacking belief and players appearing unenthusiastic and out of sorts. Manchester City’s sensational start to the season means that they appear to already have a stranglehold on the Premier League – with Arsenal the likeliest, at this stage, to put up a fight.

    Speaking after the Brighton draw, Klopp said: “The confidence level now is not extraordinarily high. In difficult moments like this, you have to fight so hard that step by step you get momentum and confidence back. We are under pressure, we don’t ignore that.”

    With so many games remaining, there is time for the Reds to bounce back, though Klopp may be forced to make some drastic changes to his side if they are to improve – starting with his team selection. Express Sport looks at three candidates to be rested for upcoming matches against Rangers and Arsenal.

    The most obvious candidate to be dropped by Klopp is Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the right-back may too be hoping that he can be taken out of the limelight. The England international is enduring an incredibly tricky spell where his lack of defensive attributes are becoming more and more exposed.

    Brighton were keen to target the 23-year-old on Saturday and it bared fruit tactically, and other teams will certainly catch on. Alexander-Arnold’s hopes of being included in England’s World Cup squad are in the balance so perhaps a few games on the sidelines to clear his head could be the best option rather than Klopp pushing his defender to play through this bad spell, and consequenly allowing him to slip further down the pecking order in Gareth Southgate’s eyes.

    Mohamed Salah has been one of the best players in the Premier League since his arrival from Roma in 2017, but so far this season he has ghosted through matches without truly having an impact. The Egyptian has scored two and assisted three so far this season, but that somewhat does justice to his displays.

    Salah is a player that can produce a moment of magic when required, which may be why Klopp is sticking with the 30-year-old, but there are also alternatives waiting on the bench that equally can win games. Twelve months ago it would be obscene to say it but Klopp needs to heavily consider dropping Salah for the benefit of his overall team, as his ever-rotating frontline are playing like individuals rather than a united force.

    With footage showing that Ibrahima Konate returned to Liverpool training last week, it may be the right time to rest Virgil van Dijk after his concerning start to the campaign. Previously, the Dutchman has oozed class in central defence but this season he has looked shaky and struggled.

    Van Dijk has been relied upon to sniff out danger and engage with opposition forwards high up the pitch, but his confidence looks shot and he is allowing players to run off of him or breeze on by. Of course, it must be factored that Alexander-Arnold is not helping matters defensively, though the pair could have to shoulder equal blame for several poor showings.

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