About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Gervinho: Arsenal move was dream come trueby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveGervinho says he realised a lifelong dream when he joined Arsenal.The 31-year-old, now at Serie A club Parma, spent two seasons at Arsenal after joining from Lille in 2011. Although he didn’t collect any silverware at the Emirates, the Ivorian was proud of his time with his boyhood club.”Many young players tell you that they want to play for Manchester United or Arsenal. My dream was to play for Arsenal and I realised it,” the attacker told Goal. “When I arrived, I thought: ‘Wow, I’m here!’ “Each of my clubs made an impression on me, but Arsenal was special. When Arsene Wenger called me to tell me that he would like me to come to his club, I don’t think you imagine the satisfaction I felt just after hanging up the phone.”Arsenal is an historic club. At the time, it was a club that made a lot of young people dream, with a style of its own and a coach like Wenger who had all of England at his feet. There was not one player who did not like watching Arsenal, with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and others.”
Huddersfield striker Mounie: We need to keep fightingby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town striker Steve Mounie says they must keep fighting after defeat to Fulham.It left Huddersfield bottom of the Premier League, having lost all seven of this month’s league fixtures.“It’s a bit difficult for us and it’s hard to accept, but in this season there’s still some games and we will still fight until the end,” Mounie told htafc.com.“We will try to win games; that’s the most important thing. We have to just try to win the first game then the second and the third. We have to keep going.”Town is winless since November, but the striker explained how one positive result could affect the team.“A win will be very important for us, it’ll give a lot of confidence to our team and our fans.“I feel like our fans need it because we haven’t given them enough this season.“I am very disappointed today because it was a very important game to lose, especially after the penalty save. It’s hard to accept.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Atletico Madrid boss Simeone: Incredible Ronaldo an animalby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone admits it’s difficult to prepare to face Cristiano Ronaldo.Ronaldo and Juventus are in Madrid for Wednesday’s Champions League opener.Simeone said, “It’s difficult to prepare something against a player, he’s an animal in front of goal.”He has an incredible record and in any situation near the box, he’s dangerous. He’s not easy to control, he has it all.”We suffer and sometimes it’s our turn to win, and other times we lose, but he’s an animal in front of goal.”Cristiano will travel to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano for a second time and Simeone clearly feels that the stadium could influence the game.”In order to play a complete game, you have to go out there with hope, although sometimes the other way around when we are doing badly,” he said when asked about the atmosphere.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp on Ballon D’Or nominations: What’d you expect!by Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJurgen Klopp says it is normal seven Liverpool players were nominated on the Ballon D’Or shortlist.Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and strikers Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were all named on the 30-man list.After winning the Champions League and finishing the Premier League with 97 points, Klopp says the selections were just.”My first question was ‘Who has not been nominated’?” he said ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League match in Genk.”When players win it, it is big. When they don’t, hopefully it doesn’t hurt too much. The way we played last season, it’s normal so many would be nominated by the experts.”He added: “I think our seven nominations are deserved. If it’s a sign that we are now a destination for players, I don’t know. We want to work together for the next couple of years and we’ll see what happens.”I’m proud of my boys in general, not just because seven of them have been nominated. I like them a lot and I’m happy when they win things.”
Former midfielder John Barnes insists that Liverpool’s current starting XI is stronger without Xherdan Shaqiri, suggesting he should only be deployed against ‘weaker teams’.The 27-year-old has featured in 18 games across all competitions for the Reds this term, largely used from the bench as an impact player.The Switzerland international has contributed six goals and two assists to date, most notably hitting a brace against Manchester United to help Liverpool secure a 3-1 home win earlier in December. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Shaqiri has already become a fan favourite at Anfield, having moved from Stoke City during the summer transfer window, but Barnes does not think Jurgen Klopp should make him a fixture in his current line-up.”He is pushing for a start but if you look at Liverpool’s best team, he probably wouldn’t be in the top 11,” speaking exclusively for bookmaker comparison platform BonusCodeBets.co.uk.”When you’re playing against the so-called lesser teams, he can play with two midfielders and Shaqiri as well as the front three.”Mané, Salah, Firmino – he’s not going to get any of them out of the team. But, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson – Shaqiri can fit into one of those three midfield positions.”“He could even be one of those three strikers if you’re playing against so-called weaker opposition.”But, if you have to pick your best 11, it is always going to be those front three and a hard-working midfield. He has to accept that, he’s part of a squad.”Liverpool have won eight consecutive Premier League games to move six points clear of Tottenham at the top of the league, with reigning champions Manchester City a point further back in third.Next up for Klopp’s men is a huge clash against Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday, before an even bigger showdown against City two days later in their first game of 2019.Barnes believes that Liverpool should now be considered favourites for the title, but he stopped short of writing off Pep Guardiola’s Citizens completely.”I had Man City as favourites until the last two games, but I’d make Liverpool favourites now,” he added. “It’s not necessarily ‘theirs to lose’, I just think the Premier League is so difficult now.”Once upon a time, the top five teams weren’t necessarily going to drop points, but these days you can see with Crystal Palace and Leicester beating City, that can actually happen. So it’s much more difficult now to win the Premier League from a winning position.”Numerically, it’s theirs to lose in terms of numbers they have on the board, but in terms of the difficulty of the competition, it’s definitely not finished. If they were six points ahead coming into April, then obviously it would be, so for now I make them favourites, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Twitter/@CauldronICYMIOhio State beat Michigan is the best football game we’ve seen this year. After Curtis Samuel won the game in double overtime, the Ohio State field rush was absolutely incredible.After struggling for much of the game, Ohio State was opportunistic on defense, made some huge plays down the stretch on offense, and pulled out an incredible double overtime win. While normally you don’t see fans of the No. 2 team in the country storm the field after a win, considering the opponent, and the context, and the incredible finish, it is hard to blame Buckeye fans for what transpired after Curtis Samuel sealed the deal.The scene on the field at The Shoe was absolutely incredible.Buckeye fans storm field. Ohio State beats Michigan on Double OT pic.twitter.com/Zdq84qONAZ— Bill Rosinski (@RosinskiBill) November 26, 2016Game over. OSU wins in 2OT, 30-27 pic.twitter.com/rOD1vqN1rZ— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) November 26, 2016With Ohio State’s win, it has a shot to win the Big Ten title, although it will need some help. If Michigan State holds on to upset Penn State, the Buckeyes head to Indianapolis to face Wisconsin. If Penn State wins, the Nittany Lions win the East division, making things very interesting. Even in that case, there is a real argument to be made that the Buckeyes should pick up the first ever College Football playoff bid for an at large team.
Eric Garcia could soon have some very big shoes to fill at Manchester City.The Premier League champions and domestic treble winners are looking to get even better next season, but they will most likely end the summer with just three senior centre-backs. And that could mean a big break for 18-year-old Garcia, who in March was named in Goal’s NxGn list of the best 50 teenage footballers on the planet.City’s transfer plans are more complex than usual, and despite Vincent Kompany’s departure they are not rushing to sign a replacement, with concerns about Harry Maguire’s price tag and Matthijs De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola. Nicolas Otamendi wants to leave, too, but if City do not sign a Kompany replacement, the Argentine could be tempted to stay. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Whatever happens, the most likely outcome is that they will need a fourth option to come into the defence on several occasions next season.Fernandinho will be one candidate, as long as City sign a new midfielder, and there are suddenly some doubts around Rodri’s arrival from Atletico Madrid.The other candidate is Garcia, who has been at City for two years now, and has seemingly improved and impressed every single day.”He has good vision, a good pass,” Pep Guardiola said in December, after Garcia’s competitive senior City debut at Leicester in the Carabao Cup. “It’s incredible, I’m very pleased. He didn’t make one mistake and with the ball, he played with huge personality.”That personality has stood out throughout his early career. Until he moved to Manchester at the age of 16 the centre-back had been at Barcelona from the age of seven, where he captained every youth team he had been in, despite playing in older age groups.That maturity has been evident to everybody involved in City’s youth teams over the past two years, and it was no surprise to them when the then 17-year-old began barking orders at his senior team-mates during his first appearances with Guardiola’s squad in pre-season last summer.“Eric Garcia is 17 or 18 and played like he is 24 or 25,” the Catalan coach said after City faced Borussia Dortmund last July, and he was so impressed by what he saw he brought it up again six months later.”He has a lot of personality,” Guardiola said at the King Power Stadium. “In pre-season in the States he was incredible, commanding the line against Bayern Munich and Liverpool. He’s a guy that has a lot of sense of the position. He’s so smart, he’s not the strongest in the air or the fastest one but few times the opposition win one position, he’s able to guide the line and has a lot of personality to play.”Garcia does stand at only 5’9″, though he still got involved in the physical battles against Burton Albion in later rounds of the Carabao Cup. The fact that his height is probably the only lingering concern around him featuring in the City first team next season speaks volumes for how well he has done everything else asked of him thus far.At Leicester he commanded the line, as he did last summer, by bossing around senior internationals like Otamendi and Kyle Walker. Asked about it afterwards, Garcia spoke as if it was the most normal thing in the world.”I always say when we are on the pitch we are all the same team,” he told Goal. “I think if we speak to each other it is better for the team, because you try to help your team-mates and at the end that’s the most important thing. Obviously with the age there’s a lot of difference, but I just feel that I need to do it.”The lack of pace that Guardiola mentioned is unlikely to be much of a problem due to his positioning and understanding of the City boss’ playing style, especially when you consider that Kompany, Otamendi and even John Stones are not particularly quick either.The rest is all there, and will be simply a question of improving over time. There is versatility, too; Guardiola actually planned to use Garcia at right-back at Leicester until an hour before kick-off, and last summer he even considered using him at the base of midfield.Barcelona knew they had a gem on their hands, and were aghast at losing him. Carles Puyol was one of his agents at the time of the City move, and Barca were so unhappy with their former defender’s role in Garcia’s exit, and other aspects of his being a player representative, that he called time on his new career altogether last year.Garcia has appeared to be the man for the bigger occasions, too. He has not always played well in City’s youth ranks, but has generally thrived in the bigger games, certainly while with the first team, and he was the best player on the pitch when Spain’s Under-19s beat the Netherlands in an U19 European Championships clash back in March.Based on his development so far, it is inconceivable that he would not keep improving, especially if he is promoted to the first team next season, as expected.”I think that he helps me a lot every day,” Garcia has said of his time training with Guardiola. “Every day is like if you go to school because you learn something different, so it’s good.”Whether or not Garcia is called upon to replace Kompany, Otamendi or fill in wherever else City may need him in the next 12 months, it will not be too long before the cultured centre-back is making a name for himself.
It has been reported over the last few days that Paulo Dybala’s transfer to Tottenham hit choppy waters and ultimately collapsed because the issue of his image rights could not be resolved.Whether that was the case or not, it had the effect of shining the spotlight on what image rights in UK football actually are and why they can complicate multi-million pound transfers.Here, sports lawyer Daniel Geey explains exactly what image rights are and how Dybala’s case might have been affected. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? What are the image rights? Who owns Dybala’s image rights? Why is Dybala’s image rights case so complicated? The necessity for club image rights deals Image rights restrictions Future considerationsWhat are image rights?Clubs have traditionally paid their players solely for playing football. This relationship has evolved. As commercial drivers push football into the entertainment and brand space, clubs are looking for a variety of ways to ‘monetise’ and grow their revenue base. As such, clubs are entering into a variety of commercial partnerships whereby brands want to be associated with clubs and their high-profile players. Some Premier League clubs have in excess of 60 commercial partners, all seeking the right to use images of high-profile players in their advertising.A player’s image can include their player’s name, nicknames, likeness, image, photograph, signature, autograph, initials, statements, endorsement, physical details, voice and other personal characteristics. The idea is that the above descriptions include everything that may form part of that player’s image for the player and/or his club to then market accordingly. A club and/or brand will be paying a player to endorse and promote a number of specific commercial deals.Who owns Dybala’s image rights?It has been reported in the Dybala case above that a third-party marketing company, ‘Star Image’, had paid the Argentine to acquire his image rights. If this is the case, then any agreement in return for such sums would have required the player to undertake a certain amount of commercial activity with a range of brands so that the company could recoup and hopefully make a profit on the initial outlay to Dybala. From promotional publicity undertaken by the player over the last few years, it appears he has done endorsement work for brands including Samsung, Gatorade, Monster, OTRO, FIFA and Adidas. Why is Dybala’s image rights case so complicated?Potential image rights complications arise when a club wish to use a player’s image rights for particular purposes. At the most basic level it may be that they want to use his image for club purposes, such as images of him in club kit, in the club shop, across their commercial and social channels and in conjunction with particular existing club sponsors and partners. Under, for example, the standard Premier League employment contract that each player enters into with his club, certain provisions allow for a club to use a number of their players to promote their sponsors. It is, however, quite limited in scope (for example, the contract typically states “the Club’s use of the Player’s Image must not be greater than the average for all first team players”).However, if Dybala does not have control of such image rights (because he sold them to a third-party company), the club would need to come to a commercial agreement with the marketing company to use such rights. It may have been that the marketing company valued those rights much higher than the club.The necessity for club image rights dealsIf a club do not have a separate image rights agreement in place with their star players it would be difficult to use, say, Harry Kane’s image with the majority of the club’s commercial partners because that is not generally permitted under a player’s standard employment contract (as explained above). And, more importantly, the club’s commercial partners would probably want to use Harry Kane’s image more than perhaps one of the first-team squad players who would be less recognisable in other markets. So the reality is if Spurs want to use the player’s image across a range of sponsorship opportunities, then it becomes pretty important for the club to contract separately with the player through an image rights deal to have control of those rights to endorse particular products and services. The reported complication in the Dybala situation is that usually the player owns his image through a company and the club contracts with the player’s company. That does not appear to have been the case with the Dybala transfer.Image rights restrictionsWhen negotiating a club image rights agreement with the company that owns such rights, most elite Premier League clubs will try to limit a player’s personal image rights options (i.e. Spurs may ensure that their players cannot endorse another insurance company or car manufacturer, even in a personal capacity, as Spurs are sponsored by AIA and Audi). Limiting the company that owns Dybala’s image rights from sourcing deals means that they are further restricted from finding lucrative brand deals that they would otherwise enter into. The marketing company owning Dybala’s rights may have wanted additional compensation from Spurs for the lost brand and commercial opportunities if the club were to restrict particular future deals.In addition, it may be that current deals already signed may put the player in potential conflict with existing club partner agreements. In May 2016, it was reported that one of the matters holding up the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager of Manchester United was a conflict over his image rights. It was reported that Mourinho’s individual commercial deals, entered into before he joined Manchester United, may have been with competitors of the club’s own sponsors. Negotiations apparently centred around his deals with Jaguar and the watch company Hublot – and presumably United’s arrangements with their own sponsors, Chevrolet and Bulova. These types of commercial conflicts are becoming more frequent: players and managers have their own individual commercial deals, but clubs don’t want to devalue their own sponsors/partner brands. As Manchester United have more than 60 commercial partnerships/sponsorship deals in place, the potential for conflict is huge. The marketing company owning Dybala’s rights may have additionally asked the club for more money if certain agreements needed to be terminated or amended. Future considerationsIn summary, the marketing company Dybala sold his image rights to may have been asking for large amounts in relation to the club using the player’s image for club activity, for lost commercial revenue if the company was restricted by the club in future deals they could sign and for potential deals they may have to amend or cancel because they conflict with existing club partnerships. This reported Dybala example is very much the outlier as most players own the company that exploits those image rights. Nonetheless, as image rights structures become more complicated, commercial solutions for off-field commercial matters will be important to consider when dealing with multi-million pound cross border transfers. Daniel is a sports lawyer at Sheridans. He has written Done Deal: An Insider’s Guide to Football Contracts, Multi-Million Pound Transfers and Premier League Big Business.He writes football industry blogs on his website, tweets to his heart’s content and posts a selection of football stats and pictures on Instagram. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
There is no cause for panic at Chelsea just yet, says Ashley Cole, but there are issues for new boss Frank Lampard to address.A club icon has taken in three competitive outings as a coach back in familiar surroundings.He is still waiting on a first win, with Premier League and UEFA Super Cup frustration endured so far. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Results have improved steadily, with a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United followed by a penalty shootout reversal against Liverpool in continental competition and a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester.Lampard now has a first Premier League point on the board, but had been hoping for more at Stamford Bridge.Leicester battled bravely to claim a share of the spoils in west London on Sunday, with Cole admitting that the Blues need to find a spark in the final third before serious questions are asked of them.The former defender, who has announced his retirement at the age of 38, told Sky Sports: “Chelsea’s start was very good. From minute one, they had their game plan to press, to make runs in behind and it worked. Then after that, it was a little bit disappointing.”We spoke a lot about where the goals are going to come so when you take a 1-0 lead, you need to try and get another one because you don’t feel like you’re going to get enough chances.”In this game, they had enough chances but they didn’t finish them. That would be the main concern for Frank – are they going to be good enough to take their chances and score more than one per game?”Chelsea have got the players and everyone expects them to be in the top four or six, but the Premier League has changed. The manager needs time, the players need time and I don’t think everyone should panic yet.”Chelsea took the lead against the Foxes through Mason Mount, but were pegged back by Wilfried Ndidi.Cole admits that the Blues struggled to contain their opponents at times, with more expected of them on home soil.The ex-England international added: “Leicester were a different animal.”I think [James] Maddison started to get on the ball further up the pitch and start affecting the game. Ndidi was controlling the game from behind, and they just seemed to step up a few gears, and Chelsea didn’t know how to react to that.”Chelsea should be happy [with a point], but you’re playing at home and you should be winning these games.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: UCLA Bruins cheerleaders entertain the crowd during the game against the Hawaii Warriors at the Rose Bowl on September 9, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)With the Oakland Raiders set to relocate to Las Vegas in a couple of years, Sin City is about to play host to some major football contests. One of these contests is going to be a major college football bowl game.The Las Vegas Bowl, which has typically pitted a Mountain West team against a Pac-12 squad, is set to get some bigger teams involved.College football insider Brett McMurphy reports that the bowl game is going to end its 19-year relationship with the Mountain West Conference. Replacing the MWC team will be an SEC squad.“Las Vegas Bowl will pit Pac-12 vs. another Power 5 league (SEC most intriguing possibility) in 2020 in Vegas’ new NFL stadium. This will end the bowl’s 19-year relationship w/Mountain West. In 2020, MWC could send its champ to Arizona Bowl,” McMurphy tweeted.Sources: Las Vegas Bowl will pit Pac-12 vs. another Power 5 league (SEC most intriguing possibility) in 2020 in Vegas’ new NFL stadium. This will end the bowl’s 19-year relationship w/Mountain West. In 2020, MWC could send its champ to Arizona Bowl https://t.co/fcxi8GKyeI— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) June 7, 2018Watching an SEC fan base take over Las Vegas for a bowl game would be a lot of fun.Last year’s Las Vegas Bowl had Boise State taking on Oregon. The Broncos won that game, 38-28.An official announcement on the bowl change could be coming soon.