25.11.2022
World Cup: Holland’s Cody Gakpo has top English sides on red alert, as Van Gaal hails his ‘talent’

The man with the most goals and assists in any European top-flight league this season is not a striker playing for Manchester City, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, but a 23-year-old at PSV Eindhoven.

Cody Gakpo, who has 13 goals and 17 assists in 24 games, is one of the most promising players at this World Cup and is quickly making a name for himself on the biggest stage.

His goal in Holland’s 2-0 victory over Senegal on Monday is bound to have caught the attention of Premier League sides.

Gakpo was close to joining Leeds United in the summer but the move collapsed on deadline day and now Manchester United and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested.

Holland boss Louis van Gaal advised Gakpo against a move to the Premier League, insisting another year in the Eredivisie would provide the best environment for him to be in form ahead of the World Cup. So far, it seems that decision has paid off.

If the youngster continues to impress in Qatar, his price tag is only likely to rise. This is Gakpo’s second major tournament, after his debut at Euro 2020, but he has gone from the fringes to being a regular starter for Holland.

In an attack that includes Vincent Janssen, Steven Bergwijn, Wout Weghorst and a half-fit Memphis Depay, Gakpo is by far the most exciting option the Dutch possess.

‘In any event he is a player with a lot of talent and possibilities,’ Van Gaal said on Thursday.

‘He is young and is still evolving. He has a lot of room for improvement and he is a personality who will do everything it takes. Whether he will become the star of the World Cup, I can’t promise you that but it is possible.’

Van Gaal has opted to use Gakpo in a central role behind two strikers, whereas he normally plays on the left for PSV. Against Senegal he was deployed even deeper, before a tactical switch in the second half saw him moved further forward.

The change worked, with Gakpo getting on the end of Frenkie de Jong’s cross to head in the opening goal.

Van Gaal may have to be more bold from the start against Ecuador on Friday if he is to get the best out of his young forward.

‘Ecuador are opponents who are even more organised than Senegal,’ said Van Gaal. ‘They have players who are shrewder, cleverer players, so that will make it more difficult.’

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  • 1 час, 50 минут назад 08.12.2022Sport
    LIV Golf rebel Pat Perez’s wife takes a vicious shot at Tiger Woods and his horror car crash

    LIV Golf rebel Pat Perez’s wife, Ashley, took a vicious shot at Tiger Woods and the star’s 2021 horror car crash.

    The 15-time major champion broke his leg in multiple places in a single-car accident in February 2021 that almost led to the limb being amputated.

    Woods completed a miraculous recovery by making his sensational return to the course at The Masters in April, he went on to make the cut at Augusta and the PGA Championship, and took what was likely his final stroll around the Old Course at St Andrews during The Open in July.

    However, despite returning, the icon struggled with walking at times and withdrew from the Hero World Challenge, an event he was hoisting, last week, citing plantar fasciitis.

    An Instagram account called Golf Balling shared a video of Woods describing his limitations and Ashley Perez took to the comments with little sympathy.

    ‘I can hit golf balls. It’s the walking that just hurts,’ Woods said in the clip taken from a press conference prior to the tournament.

    ‘The goal is to play just the major championships and maybe one or two more. I mean, that’s physically all I can do … I don’t have much left in this leg, so gear up for the biggest ones and hopefully lightning catches in a bottle, and hopefully I’m up there with a chance to win, and hopefully I remember how to that.’

    In the comments, Ashley wrote: ‘Literally why driving under the influence is ILLEGAL,’ she wrote. ‘I don’t feel bad for him. Thank god he didn’t kill anyone. See ya.’

    The comment was since deleted, but it was preserved by Bro Bible and by the Nuclr Golf Twitter account.

    Woods was not accused of DUI in the wake of his car wreck. While investigators discovered an empty pill bottle in his backpack and said he was ‘somewhat combative’ and disoriented in the aftermath, police said Woods did not have bloodshot or watery eyes and did not smell like alcohol.

    LA County sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods had no ‘obvious’ signs of impairment, and denied that the golf legend received special treatment.

    Her husband, professional golfer Perez, previously blasted Woods for his criticism of LIV Golf.

    Perez defected to the Saudi-backed breakaway earlier this year, while Woods, alongside pal Rory McIlroy has been one of the strongest voices against the series, in loyalty to the PGA Tour.

    Woods reportedly turned down the megabucks of the Saudi-backed series, rejecting a $700-$800million deal as he challenged the motives behind players switching from the traditional circuit.

    He said in July: ‘I don’t understand it. What these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice? What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt?

    ‘You are just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes.

    ‘They are playing blaring music. I can understand 54 holes for the Senior Tour. The guys are older and a little more banged up. When you are young, 72-hole tests are part of it. We used to have 36-hole play-offs for majors.

    ‘I just don’t see how this is positive in the long term. It would be sad to see some of these young kids never get a chance to walk these hallowed grounds and play in these majors.’

    Perez, who was part of Dustin Johnson’s all-American team to win LIV Golf’s season-ending team championship at Trump National in Miami last month, has hit back at compatriot Woods.

    ‘That’s the stupidest s*** I have ever heard of in my life,’ Perez told the Son of a Butch podcast.

    ‘That’s one of the stupidest things I think he has said. The incentive is the fact that last place is 120,000, first place is four million. You cannot win four million on the PGA Tour.

    ‘Now, next year you might; they finally got the perks. But last time I checked, he signed a $40million deal right out of college, was flying on the Nike jet. He found incentive. He could have shut it down right then.’

    Perez signed a four-year deal to join LIV Golf prior to its Portland event at the end of June.

    Perez is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, earning more than $28m throughout his career.

    Woods will make his first appearance since The Open in July at The Match this week, where he will partner Rory McIlroy against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

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  • 1 час, 50 минут назад 08.12.2022Sport
    Panthers defensive end Henry Anderson reveals he suffered a STROKE before Bucs game

    Carolina defensive-end Henry Anderson could return to action as soon as this Sunday despite having a stroke in October.

    The 31-year-old’s speech became fuzzy while his arms and legs went numb while at home with his wife the day before his team’s win over Tampa on October 23.

    His wife took him to a hospital, where he remained for several days receiving treatment.

    The Panthers placed Anderson on the non-football illness list the following week, but the team never provided an explanation.

    ‘It was a blood clot in the brain, that’s what the issue was,’ Anderson told reporters on Wednesday. ‘We got it resolved pretty quickly.’

    Anderson said he now realizes he’s fortunate it wasn’t any worse.

    ‘I didn´t know much about strokes but I found out more about them and realized I got pretty lucky avoiding anything serious and long term,’ Anderson said.

    ‘I am glad that I was kind of oblivious when it happened because I would have been a little more panicked had I realized what was going on. But like I said, I got pretty lucky.

    ‘Every test we looked at came negative,’ Anderson said. ‘I think it was something that I got unlucky because they ran a ton of tests and everything was good. There wasn’t anything that showed up or they could point to that they said could have caused it.’

    Carolina designated Anderson to return from the non-football injury list on Wednesday and interim coach Steve Wilks said he hopes Anderson will get back on the field Sunday.

    Anderson is in his eighth season in the league. He was a third-round draft pick in 2015 by the Indianapolis Colts.

    He also spent time with the New England Patriots and New York Jets before signing with the Panthers this offseason.

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  • 1 час, 50 минут назад 08.12.2022Sport
    Can you spot the Aussie superstar in his school photo from 27 years ago? Big name reveals nerdy past

    David Warner has provided his fans with a throwback to his school days – and one of his extra-curricular activities will shock many cricket diehards.

    The Aussie batter, 36, took to Instagram to post two photos: a class shot from when he was a primary school student at Matraville Primary in Sydney’s east back in 1995

    He also treated his followers to a photo of showing he was a member of the school’s senior chess team three years later – accompanied by the caption: ‘Yep you read it correctly (Chess team)’.

    Warner was also later named school captain after being voted in by his peers, which he highlighted to his 9.6 million followers in a telling caption considering he’s currently at war with the Aussie game’s governing body over his desire to lead the national side.

    Warner sensationally withdrew his bid to have his lifetime captaincy ban lifted from Cricket Australia on Wednesday, claiming the review panel wanted to put him and his family through an ordeal by making them re-live the events of the ball-tampering saga in South Africa back in 2018.

    After nine months of pushing for the leadership ban to be revoked, in the last fortnight Warner submitted an application to have his review undertaken.

    However, he now claims the Counsel assisting on the matter wanted a review of the 2018 Cape Town Test itself, which Warner claimed would go public.

    In a detailed statement, Warner declared ‘my family is more important to me than cricket’ and outlined the ‘crushing, unprecedented, penalty that has horribly impacted me and my family for the past nearly five years’.

    On Thursday, his wife Candice Warner broke down on live radio as she addressed the impact the ball-tampering scandal and subsequent leadership life ban has had on their close-knit family of five.

    ‘It is an intense statement because it has not only been an incredibly intense 12 months, but since March 2018. We live it day to day, that pain doesn’t go away. It’s still raw,’ she said on Triple M’s Summer Breakfast Show, which Candice hosts alongside Harley Breen and Tom Tilley.

    ‘We go to the cricket so often and there’s always people yelling things out and my (three) daughters proudly wear their father’s name on their backs.

    ‘The fact that my daughters have to cop abuse from incidents that have happened in the past is not fair.

    She then added: ‘My husband David always puts family first, and he is fiercely protective of me and the girls…cricket is not everything. It’s what he does, but it doesn’t define him.

    ‘The fact there was a lack of player welfare, and no welfare about David and our family speaks volumes.

    ‘It has affected us for so long and I’m pretty sure that everyone doesn’t want to continue talking about this…David has had enough and the team has had enough.’

    The former champion ironwoman wasn’t finished yet, stating a public trial was ‘just unnecessary.’

    ‘David before the Perth Test last week was told it was going to be a public trial, and that not just himself, but players and coaches would have to be cross examined – it’s just outrageous,’ Warner said, as she began to break down crying again.

    ‘It’s just unnecessary…this was all about David talking about how he has reformed and the good that he’s done; but this (the trial) is just not what its about.

    ‘It’s incredibly disappointing, but some things are more important than cricket and sport – and that’s family.

    ‘Our family has already suffered and endured so much pain. Why do it (trial) now, what is it going to achieve?

    ‘For the good of who? For the good of us? No. For the Australian cricket team? No.’

    The second Test between Australia and the West Indies starts at 3pm (AEDT) in Adelaide on Thursday.

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  • 1 час, 50 минут назад 08.12.2022Sport
    World Cup: After relative success in Qatar, USA must demand more than getting out of the group stage

    The USMNT could view holding England to a goalless stalemate and making it out of the group in Qatar a relative success but with a roster full of young, developing talent, that’s no longer good enough.

    Before the World Cup kicked off, Sportsmail looked at American soccer fans’ true evaluation of their expectations.

    ‘The United States should go into this tournament looking to get the team great experience on a much bigger stage than what CONCACAF provides,’ the piece read. ‘It’s the youngest team at the tournament, and playing them now in a high-pressure situation like this should pay off in the future.

    ‘In doing that, the USMNT will build momentum and team bonding towards a more likely scenario: domination at home in the 2026 World Cup.’

    With uncertainty in the group going into the tournament, it was hard to predict what would happen for the United States as they faced Wales, England, and Iran.

    What we saw was a team that dominated in the midfield, stayed relatively solid in defense, and despite a lack of quality attacking chances, managed to stay threatening.

    It led to advancement into the knockout stages – their third straight appearance in the Round of 16 in World Cups they’ve qualified for since 2006.

    But against Holland, that defensive wall fell apart, the attacking chances lacked quality, and the midfield seemed to be lagging behind.

    It was by far their worst performance of the tournament – with all three goals being contributed to poor marking from Tyler Adams, Sergino Dest, and Antonee ‘Jedi’ Robinson.

    For an American team that seemed to thrive on its defensive superiority across three matches, to have them lose because they were unraveled by Holland was a poor way to go out.

    It highlighted that the United States had no reliable options in the middle of their attack – at least, there weren’t any capable of putting decent shots on net through Nathan Ake, Virgil van Dijk, and Jurrien Timber.

    Even so, the USMNT finished that match with an xG rating of 1.49 – their highest of the whole tournament. They also had their highest number of shots (17) and shots on target (eight) of their time in Qatar.

    So now that this is over, it’s time to consider the good and the bad the USMNT showed us in Qatar and how they can improve in the future – through the defense, midfield, attack, and coaching.

    Starting at the backline, in the three games played in the group stage, Gregg Berhalter’s team never conceded a single goal from open play. That deserves a considerable amount of credit – considering they played against the likes of Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, and Mehdi Taremi.

    Goalkeeper Matt Turner deserves a lot of credit for his performance. He managed five saves across all three games he played in – tied for the most of all the keepers in Group B with Wales’ Wayne Hennessey.

    Looking ahead at 2026, the two starting center backs will likely be out of contention for the jobs. Walker Zimmerman will be 33 and Tim Ream will be 39. In their place, expect two players who missed this tournament due to injury to step in: Chris Richards of Crystal Palace and Miles Robinson of Atlanta United.

    In midfield, the opportunities provided to the three starters will help them develop further with both the national team and their respective club teams.

    Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie were both instrumental in their box-to-box roles for building up the attack, creating chances, and aiding in defensive recovery.

    That final point was the main role of the engine of the midfield: Tyler Adams, who consistently turned in stellar performances. He shut down opposing attacks by running like a wolf with a rocket strapped to its back before promptly becoming the initial facilitator of the US’s own scoring opportunities.

    Come 2026, the three of them should all still be in starting roles – and they all should still be as dominant and dynamic as they were in Qatar.

    The final two parts of the team are parts that arguably need the most improvement from this tournament.

    In attack, the United States had severe struggles – especially from their three choices for No. 9’s. In 360 combined minutes of play, Josh Sargent, Haji Wright, and Jesus Ferreira managed only ten total shots. Only two of those were on target. One of those two was Wright’s goal in the loss to Holland.

    That’s a problem. It’s one thing if you can prevent others from scoring on you, but you don’t advance if you can’t score. Those three players are tasked with being the ones most likely to put balls in the net – especially Wright and Sargent, who got most of the playing time.

    It makes the choice to leave Ricardo Pepi and Jordan Pefok at home more confusing. Both players are good through the air, which the USMNT could have used at times. Sargent and Wright are both better utilized as No. 10’s, so the continued reliance on crossing may not have been the best way to try and generate goals.

    Elsewhere on offense, Christian Pulisic finally broke his duck with the sole goal that sent the USMNT to the knockout stages. He’ll be important as well come 2026.

    On the opposite wing, Timothy Weah started all four matches and did pretty well for himself. He scored early against Wales, but couldn’t find the back of the net again this tournament. That being said, his importance in generating offense will carry over if he can be paired with a competent striker in the air.

    But the biggest offensive impact – or lack thereof – came from Giovanni Reyna. Against Wales, Berhalter sat the team back for the second half and an addition of the Dortmund winger probably wouldn’t have changed that plan. That aside, there were many opportunities and situations Reyna could have improved the game. Yet, he was constantly left out of the lineup – despite insistence that he was fully healthy.

    And that leaves us with the coach of the United States men’s national team: Gregg Berhalter. We’ve spoken before about our feelings towards him, but this World Cup brought up issues fans of the USMNT had brought up multiple times before.

    The good news was that the United States was set up well defensively by Berhalter. In fact, for the most part tactically, the USMNT would start out games hot on offense, strong on defense, and controlling through the midfield.

    But once the decisions needed to be made in-game, Berhalter’s lack of direction clearly showed. The USMNT almost never seemed to defer from the modus operandi given to them before kickoff. We weren’t the only ones to form that opinion, with Dutch manager Louis van Gaal saying, ‘Team USA didn’t adjust, they didn’t adapt. We based a tactical plan on [targeting the flanks] that probably allowed us to win.’

    Beyond that lack of tactical nuance, Berhalter’s personnel decisions were often questionable – especially mid-match.

    This includes the England match where Berhalter inexplicably waited to make a substitution until the 77th minute and didn’t bring on an attacking player until the 83rd in what became a 0-0 draw.

    If the claims that he was fully healthy are to be believed, then the consistent denial of chances given to Reyna – arguably the most creative player on this USMNT squad – is impeachable.

    At the end of the day, Berhalter did a passable job with the United States. But the question needs to be asked if the USA performed this well because of him or in spite of him.

    Going into the next cycle, it might be wise for US Soccer to hand the reins over to someone new. Not because Berhalter is a bad coach, but because the lack of scoring at this World Cup demands fresh eyes and new solutions.

    There are plenty of qualified candidates that have ties to the United States. If one wishes to look abroad, then Iran manager Carlos Quieroz has knowledge of what needs to be done and has been constantly linked with this job since the mid-1990s.

    If an American is desired, then names like former VfB Stuttgart boss Pellegrino Matarazzo, Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin, and even Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch deserve consideration.

    There were good and bad points to takeaway from this World Cup trip. It provided great experience for a team that was the second youngest in the tournament.

    But this shouldn’t be the time to rest on laurels or pat the team on the back – at least not that long.

    Instead, this tournament should serve as a strong, steady hand to continue pushing the team forward toward better things.

    Since breaking their long drought from 1954-1986 of missing World Cups, the United States has qualified for eight of nine possible tournaments beginning in 1990. Of those eight tournament appearances, five of them saw the USMNT advance to the knockouts. However, only once did the USA go beyond the Round of 16.

    If the United States will one day win a World Cup, like Berhalter thinks, it cannot continue to be a country that is happy with advancing out of the group stage. It must become a nation and a team that views such advancement as mandatory.

    There must be a change of mentality for this team – especially with as good an opportunity to win a World Cup as any staring them in the face in 2026. If they can manage that, then maybe they’ll stand a chance.

    The team proved they have the quality to compete among the world’s best. Maybe in four years, with more development and playing time under their belt, they can not only compete with them – but be better than them.

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  • 1 час, 50 минут назад 08.12.2022Sport
    Aussie boxing world champ Ebanie Bridges accused of deserting her country Shannon O’Connell

    Shannon O’Connell has accused boxing world champion Ebanie Bridges of deserting her country for opting to defend her title in the UK, ahead of the Aussie pair’s much-anticipated bout in the UK on Sunday.

    Bridges and O’Connell will clash in the biggest fight in the history of Australian women’s boxing as the co-main event for Josh Warrington’s IBF featherweight title bout against Luis Alberto Lopez.

    Queensland-based O’Connell believes Bridges – who lives and fights out of the UK – has turned her back on Australia.

    ‘Just the pure disrespect she’s had for Australian boxing. I’ve been told she was saying if we won the purse bid, she’d rather vacate than fight again in Australia,’ O’Connell told Fox Sports.

    ‘To me, most Aussies that leave Australia, they want to come back and defend their titles or fight in front of their home fans, especially when they think they’re as global and as big as she does.

    ‘So why wouldn’t she want to fight in front of her home crowd if she’s an Aussie?

    ‘I don’t condemn her at all for moving away and making her career better, but she had this opportunity to fight in Australia.

    ‘The money would have been the same for her as it would have been here because they (Matchroom Boxing) won the purse bid and (promoter) Eddie Hearn could have put it in Australia.

    ‘She’s really disrespected the country.’

    There has been no love lost between the pair in the lead-up to the bout, with O’Connell calling Bridges a ‘skanky stripper’ because of her lingerie clad weigh-ins and her cheeky public persona.

    Bridges returned fire by saying O’Connell should be thanking her for ‘the highest payday in her life’ – which is in part leveraged off the big social media presence Bridges has created while living in the UK.

    The reigning champ has also received support from adult movie star Kendra Lust, who took to Twitter to defend the ‘Blonde Bomber’ on Thursday morning.

    Lust accused O’Connell of ‘body shaming’ Bridges by calling her fat in a Tweet that has since been deleted.

    ‘… u have tweeted called her fat in a post when she running, body shaming her , u have called her skanky .. so really c’mon playing miss innocent to all of this,’ said the adult movie star.

    Bridges says O’Connell started the beef between them – but she’s ready to finish it in the ring on Sunday.

    ‘She’s going to find out what this little skanky stripper can do and how serious I take the sport,’ Bridges told Daily Mail Australia.

    ‘She will be in for a shock.’

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  • 1 час, 50 минут назад 08.12.2022Sport
    Eden Hazard reveals he’d love to be Joe Biden before sharing the moment he’d change in his career

    Eden Hazard has revealed he’d love to be US President Joe Biden for a second in time. No, really.

    Speaking to his brother, Thorgan, in a video posted to the Red Devils’ social media accounts, Eden told of his fanciful desire to be the momentary leader of the free world.

    Asked by his younger sibling if he could trade places with anyone on earth, he quickly replied with an utterly flabbergasting answer.

    ‘With Joe Biden,’ Hazard said in a flash. ‘For five minutes, you know.

    ‘Being president of the United States. Wow. Eden Hazard, president of the United States, no?’

    Some may figure the hypothetical appointment would be a welcomed one – by Real Madrid and Belgian fans at the least.

    ‘The White House, sprawled out in the office with a cigar,’ said with his feet on a coffee table, pretending to puff smoke inside the famed residency of the Western world’s most powerful man.

    He certainly has more time for extracurricular activities, having retired from international duty following the end of Belgium’s campaign.

    Beyond changing his occupation, Hazard wishes he could alter one moment from the pitch is which his name has become famous.

    While Belgium crashed out of the 2022 World Cup in the group stage, they were much closer in 2018 – falling to France 1-0 in the semi-final.

    Samuel Umtiti scored the winner from a corner in the 51st minute as France went on to win the World Cup.

    Though not if Hazard had his time again.

    ‘In the World Cup semi-finals against France,’ Hazard began. ‘Umtiti hits the crossbar, counter-attack, Romelu makes it 1-0 and we go to the final.

    ‘Wouldn’t that have been nice?,’ Eden asked his brother. ‘Yes, that would have been nice,’ Thorgan replied.

    The former Premier League star also revealed his childhood team was not just Real Madrid, but Arsenal — rivals of Chelsea, for whom he played eight trophy-filled seasons.

    ‘Having played for Chelsea for seven years, I won’t say it too loudly,’ Hazard quipped

    ‘But I was a big fan of Arsenal with Thierry Henry,’ who, coincidentally, is now an assistant coach of the Red Devils.

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Sport World Cup: Holland's Cody Gakpo has top English sides on red alert, as Van Gaal hails his 'talent'