Italy enter into the UEFA Nations League hoping to get back to the glory days, but under the regime of Roberto Mancini. The former Manchester City and Inter Milan manager has taken over the national team reins for the first time in his career. Mancini has been able to enjoy success at various stages of club football, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to lead the four-time world champions to success at the UEFA Nations League. They are up against a Poland outfit that will be under the regime of Jerzy Brzeczek for the first time in a competitive match.
Mancini will seek a solid display against Poland after having failed to make much of an impact in the friendly matches until now. The lack of a clean sheet in the few couple of games under his regime will worry Mancini, but there is a strong squad being called up for this match. Italy have been able to name a rather young team for this game, as Mancini looks to build for the future. Getting a positive result out of a young team – after having gone with experienced players for much of the last decade – will be a major challenge for Italy. Poland have been able to enjoy players like Krzysztof Piatek being on good form, but usual names like Robert Lewandowski will once again be key.
It has been a drama filled year for Premier League side Crystal Palace. They fought relegation threats about a year back with the help of Sam Allardyce. They were marked for relegation but a late fine run which included victories against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool ensured they retained their top flight status.
Surprisingly Allardyce opted to resign from his post. He gave an unusual excuse of wanting more family time. He said his decision truly shocked the management of the club as they probably looked at him to ensure stability at the very least before exiting. The former England national team boss insisted that it was the right time to leave, even though he eventually went on to coach Everton following the sack of Ronald Koeman in October.
Premier League side Crystal Palace have been linked with many defenders this summer.
The club is continuing its hunt for a solid defensive option ahead of the new season. Palace were linked with a move for Atalanta centre back Rafael Toloi.
Italian news sources claim that Palace would not be able to get the player as the employers of the player have issued hands off warning to all interested parties. The Bergamo club say Toloi is ‘unsellable’. Inter Milan and Watford, which were also linked to the player would have to back off. The Brazilian is wanted by several clubs in Europe due to his fine blend of skills. For now he remains tough luck for any interested side.
Palace are also linked with Inter Milan full back DavideSanton. The 26-year old Italian is reportedly open to the move. Selhurst Park already have Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and PapeSouare yet they want to add another. (more…)
Premier League side Crystal Palace have begun negotiation with reps of winger Wilfred Zaha for a new deal, Sky Sports reports.
The Ivorian scored seven goals in the league this term and he played a crucial role towards the end as the team sought to maintain their top flight status.
In recent transfer talks, Zaha was linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur to play under Mauricio Pochettino. Sky Sport report says both clubs discussed the possibility of a deal for the player but it did not end well.
He has been a key player under Sam Allardyce. He started his career at Palace before moving to Manchester United in 2013 for £15 million. The 24-year old barely started for United before he was shipped out on loan to Cardiff. He returned back to Palace before sealing a permanent deal in January 2015. He agreed to a five and a half year deal upon his return and he is not expected to exit anytime soon. (more…)
It has never happened that a team coached by Sam Allardyce has suffered demotion from the top tier to the second tier, but, as they say there is a first time to everything and this may prove to be big Sam’s first taste of demotion as his team is inching towards that.
And Allardyce has been pretty miffed with the Crystal boys recently as he reckons that they are not listening to him properly and are not putting his plans to execution in the manner he wants them to.
As per Allardyce, he has been in the game for much longer time than any of his boys has been. So, he has got to have the better idea of the formations and the strategies and it’s actually his forte too. That’s why he is at the club for, to decide how the team should play. (more…)