‘There have been very important people for me in different times. With Benitez I reached a level I perhaps never dreamed of,’
– Fernando Torres
Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand, Shola Ameobi, Andy Carroll…Could Spaniard Fernando Torres be about to join former boss Rafa Benitez & the list of legendary strikers to have worn the Newcastle shirt?
The brilliant 6ft 1in blonde speedster who loves taking players on and scoring goals would be adored on Tyneside by a faithful in need of a new hero on the pitch after gaining the manager they love off it.
Torres is extremely well known in English football after scoring 81 goals for Liverpool after a £20M switch to Liverpool in 2007 under Benitez, whom he credits with making him a world-class striking force then a further 45 goals for Chelsea after a £50M move where he again linked up with his favourite boss.
Add to the above illustrious names of former NUFC strikers that of England Captain Kevin Keegan, who swapped the top flight of English football with Southampton for Division Two with the black and whites stunning the football world in the summer of 1982, so there is precedent for such a switch.
‘Expect the Unexpected’ should be the official motto of Newcastle United, whose larger than life existence continually surprising followers of the beautiful game, not least lately when they landed Champions League boss Rafa Benitez. After narrowly failing to keep the club in The Premier League, Benitez committed his future to the Geordie club determined to restore the good times to a club and fanbase who have welcomed him like a football God sent from heaven.
Benitez has made a disappointing start to life in The Championship after the officials swept Newcastle’s leg at Fulham with non-decisions. Its a situation being monitored on both sides of The Atlantic after BeInSports highlighted the continuing controversial treatment by officials towards a club who have now gone 101 games without playing against ten men and should have had at least two stonewall penalties and opponent Denis Odoi dismissed for a professional foul on Ayoze Perez in their opening game ensuring the famous Northern club did not get off to a dream winning start to the bookies delight.
Tomorrow night’s ref of Newcastle against Reading is Andrew Madley, the brother of Premier League ref Robert, who failed to award this penalty for Newcastle’s Gini Wijnaldum then wrongly sent off Fabricio Coloccini in controversial circumstances in last year’s Wear-Tyne derby against Sunderland.
It was one of three controversial red cards then Black Cats Manager Sam Allardyce benefited from in his first 5 wins for the club, two of which were then rescinded enabling Sunderland to bank 9 irreversible points and claw back a deficit and bank £100M in TV money at their local rival’s expense.
Striker Crisis and Swap Deal Fernando Torres For Wantaway Moussa Sissoko?
Two games into their season in the second tier of English football, already the alarm bells are ringing at Gallowgate – quite literally on Saturday due to an electronic fault – in front of goal after The Magpies have notched just once through Dwight Gayle mopping up a missed pen in 180 minutes of football.
A striker crisis is rarely felt as keenly anywhere on Planet Football than at St James’ Park, Newcastle upon-Tyne whose Geordies famously love a no. 9 goalscorer.
Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is back soon when he completes his four-match ban for a the kind of reckless challenge that Diego Costa got away with last night & will increase Toon firepower.
Yet the striker notched only 9 goals in 34 games in his first Premier League season & Newcastle must bolster their goal-scoring ranks in the event of injury and suspension over the course of a long 46-game season.
Another of Benitez’s former proteges, Stoke City striker Peter Crouch has been linked after the Spanish manager rightly identified the urgent need for a target man after Saturday’s largely toothless display.
Jaap Stam’s Reading are up next at St James’ Park and many in the Newcastle faithful would be wishing they could call on the services of former club legend Shola Ameobi who scored a hat-trick against Reading to kick off Newcastle’s Championship-winning season in style in 2009.
Newcastle’s last game against Reading at St James’ Park ended in a 2-1 defeat in January, 2013 after Alan Pardew took off Yohan Cabaye almost proving that his squad needed strengthening, which it duly was with the arrivals of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara.
Rafa Benitez is aware he still needs at least one striker yet two big name arrivals like Fernando Torres and Peter Crouch would restore The Fear Factor to Newcastle’s attack that ey have lacked since the loss of Dembas Ba and Cisse plus Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa.
With France international Moussa Sissoko, who impressed so much in The Euros Final for France against Portugal, itching for a move to Madrid and the Champions League, it would make sense to offer him as a makeweight in any deal with Real’s rivals Atletico who are looking to switch up their attack.
Thus far, Gayle Force Nine has not proved strong enough to affect the barometer of Newcastle’s football trajectory yet the arrival of the legendary Spanish international El Nino would change that.
Never say never when it comes to Newcastle United…
Juventus Fans Arrested After Clash with Police
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash between Juventus and Ajax has already been marred by violence and controversy, before the teams even took to the pitch.
According to Ansa, citing a report from De Telegraaf, dozens of fans were reportedly arrested in Amsterdam in the hours leading up to the game.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini (h/t Football Italia) took to Facebook live video to state that “around 120” fans had been arrested.
Per the report from De Telegraaf, fans near the Johan Cruyff Arena were “in possession of knives, clubs, pepper spray and flares.” Also, dozens of Ajax supporters were reported to have clashed with riot police in separate incidents outside the stadium and were eventually dispersed with the use of tear gas and water cannons.
The Mirror posted the following images on their Twitter page:
Man City forward Raheem Sterling Looking to Combat Racism on the Pitch
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, who spoke out last month after being subjected to taunts during England’s game in Montenegro, is looking to take his fight against racism to the pitch, saying he would rather stay on the field than let racism force him to walk off of the pitch during a match.
Sterling’s manager Pep Guardiola, stated that he would support players walking off in protest if it happened again, in a strong statement that racism is simply not acceptable.
“I think everyone are entitled to their own opinions. My mum has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and I am,” Sterling said, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“I wouldn’t personally agree with [walking off], to win the game would hurt them even more they’re only trying to get you down. If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.
“Everyone’s different. Everyone has their own opinion, how they deal with things emotionally and you have to support everyone.”
Sterling opened up about the racism he has faced in his life, discussing when he first expereinced racism when he moved from North London up to the north-west back in 2010.
“I don’t think trying to make a difference or making a difference, it’s about speaking what you experience. Some people might shy away from it, if more players speak up that might be better.
“It’s offensive but growing up my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this. When I hear it, it’s nothing new. I’m happy with it. I’m confident, I’m black and I’m proud. Some people can’t take it but my mum has always told me to love who I am.
“The first time I experienced racism is when I went up north to Liverpool – in London in schools and on a day-to-day basis you’re surrounded by a diverse community. Only a few occasions growing up in the academy in Liverpool, and then mainly in the last couple of years of being a professional.”
Birmingham City Fan Jailed for 14 Days for Punching Aston Villa Player
27-year old Paul Mitchel, a Birmingham City fan has been jailed for 14 days after he plead guilt to assaulting Aston Villa midfielder Jack Graelish during the derby on Sunday.
Mitchell rushed the pitch and took a swing at Graelish when the player’s back was turned at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s stadium during the Championship match on Sunday.
Mitchell admitted to invading the pitch and has been officially banned from attending any football match in the U.K. for up to 10 years, and was also ordered to pay £350 in total fines.
Graelish made a statement in which he described how he was “shocked and scared” by the attack.
“I cannot help but feel how lucky I was in this incident,” he said (h/t ESPN). “It could have been so much worse had the supporter had some sort of weapon.”
“He cannot explain what came over himself yesterday morning,” Mitchell’s lawyer, Vaughn Whistance, said on Monday.
“His initial foolish intention was to go onto the pitch to whip up the crowd. He is certainly remorseful today. He is a man with a partner, they have a 2-year-old together and they’re expecting their second child.”
“This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour,” said a spokesperson for the FA.
“On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.
“Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.
“This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.
“We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.
“In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place.”
Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Aston Villa and banned Mitchell for life.
“Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in Sunday afternoon’s derby match,” a club statement said.
“We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St. Andrew’s for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.
“The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.
“What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this — there are no excuses.
“Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club.”
- NHL7 years ago
SportsRantz All-Star Snubs Roster
- MLB2 years ago
Pablo Sandoval Is Reportedly Reuniting With The San Francisco Giants
- MLB2 years ago
Mets Make The Smart Decision To Commit To Yoenis Cespedes Long-Term
- NFL2 years ago
Cameron Brate: The League’s Hot New Fantasy Tight End
- NHL2 years ago
Have a deep talk with the young prospects about drugs
- NHL2 years ago
A lot of hockey teams training wrong?
- Arizona Cardinals2 years ago
2016 NFL Season Week 14 Pick ‘Ems
- Houston Rockets2 years ago
Houston Rockets Target Donatas Motiejunas Is Being Hustled By His Agent