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Goal celebration goes badly wrong

Fine solo goal but the celebration did not go quite as planned for Coritiba forward Joel Tagueu.

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The Cameroon player leapt over the advertising hoarding, unaware that there was a hole behind it containing steps that led down from the pitch into the dressing room.

It was Coritiba’s third, and sealed a 3-1 win over Sao Paulo on Wednesday night

Unfortunately, the player landed in the hole, his blow softened by a tarpaulin, and emerged looking shaky before returning to the game.

To compound his woes, he was shown a yellow card for the celebration.

Cowes Sport up for The Cup

Cowes Sport captain Craig Insley hopes Team Solent are the latest club to come down with a spot of sea sickness when the two sides meet in The FA Cup.

The Yachtsmen are one of only a handful of non-League sides from the Isle of Wight and will have home advantage on Saturday afternoon as they host Team Solent in the Extra Preliminary Round.

There are not many semi-professional clubs who will be used to a game that involves travelling by boat, and Insley believes that can often tip the scales in his Cowes’ favour.

Cowes Sport v Team Solent

The FA Cup
Extra Preliminary Round
3pm, Saturday 16 August
Westwood Park, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Winners receive £1500

"It is much better to play at home, we are used to travelling away as we do it every week. But for people coming over, they’re not," he told TheFA.com.

"People might get a bit nauseous coming across on the old boat, they probably think it’s a day out or something.

"When they get here it is lovely. It is actually quite nice for the away teams to get here and play on our nice pitch, but the travelling can take it out of them for us."

The four-hour round trip facing Solent only adds to their mounting woes, after they suffered a crushing 8-2 opening day home league defeat last week.

Insley was in confident mood ahead of their FA Cup clash and believes everything is in place to overcome their league rivals once more, but remained level headed about their chances in English football's famous old cup competition.

"Realistically we will be happy to get past the first few rounds, it really helps us out with the money being in The FA Cup," admitted Insley.

"The further you progress, the better the teams you play and the more money you make.

"We are favourites for the league. Every year our expectations are getting bigger in the team, we have obviously played them [Team Solent] in the league and battered them a couple of times as well, and that’s when they had a much better side.

"We are going into this tie much more confident and should turn them over quite comfortably. But on the day we will see what happens, so you never know."

Carroll’s Modric comparison

Swansea boss Garry Monk has acknowledged Tom Carroll’s similarity to Luka Modric after the Tottenham midfielder joined the Welsh club on a season-long loan.

The 22-year-old is in line to make his debut in the Swans’ League Cup tie against Rotherham United on Tuesday night.

Carroll, an England Under-21 international, has made 23 appearances for Spurs and enjoyed loan spells at Leyton Orient, Derby County and QPR.

And Monk has seen enough of his new signing to understand why Carroll has been likened to Real Madrid playmaker Modric.

He said: "I can see why people say that about him and Modric.

"A lot of people will talk about the strength side of the game but it's something we believe in here.

"We've shown over the years with Leon [Britton] and Joe Allen that if you pass the ball quickly and move quickly it doesn't matter about the physical side of the game.

"He can improve on that side, but he suits our philosophy and I think he can show what a good footballer he is and we believe he is."

Monk continued: "He's a very good footballer who will very much suit us.

"We've watched him, done our analysis over the years, seen him at Spurs and a lot of him at QPR.

"I've spoken to a lot of people who have trained with him and coached him and they speak very highly of him.

"He can show that good side of football we need because he's good with the ball.

"He can pass and move and get himself in good positions and I think he'll offer us another option.”

Gareth Southgate's Under-21s are in Euro qualifying action next month with an away double header against Lithuania and Moldova.

Barry keen on Lions return

Gareth Barry has refused to give up on his England hopes as he prepares for the new season with Everton.

The 33-year-old midfielder signed a three-year contract at Goodison Park earlier this week, after impressing during his season-long loan from Manchester City last term.

Gareth Barry

Barry, on his last appearance for England, against Norway in May 2012

After picking up his last cap for the Three Lions in the game with Norway in May 2012, Barry admits that his chances of a recall under Roy Hodgson are limited.

But the former Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa star, who has 53 caps for England, still has an eye on the international scene and would be willing to make a return.

"I’d probably say my chance has gone now," he said. "If it was going to happen, it probably would have come after a good season last year.

"But I’ve not retired in terms of international football and in football, you never know."

Barry is now back in pre-season training with Roberto Martinez’s squad ahead of the new campaign.

He made 32 appearances in the Premier League last time around and is hoping for a similar return this time around as the Toffees chase a top four spot.

"My focus, like it was at the beginning of last season, is to work hard with Everton," he added. 

"If I can keep playing well and get in the England squad, that will be my aim again this season."

Goals of the month – May 2015

Some fantasic efforts amongst this month's best goals. Messi scores his second goal of the gamer in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Bayern Munich.

Jose Meza’s fine individual goal in Libertadores Cup

Jose Meza scores with a mazy run for Deportivo Tachira in their 3-2 Libertadores Cup defeat to Racing Club. [embedded content]

‘Don’t talk to me about stats…’ Roy Hodgson refuses to play the numbers game

Roy Hodgson was visibly irritated when asked to explain why England managed just two shots on target in Wednesday's friendly match against Norway.

Is the pressure beginning to get to England manager Roy Hodgson? Judging by his reaction to some gentle probing from the media following his side’s 1-0 win over Norway, he is certainly showing signs of fraying at the edges.

Coming on the back of a dismal World Cup performance in Brazil (P3, W0, D1, L2), the new-look England, which looked remarkably similar to the old-look England, crept back into the national consciousness on Wednesday with an unconvincing display against a youthful side ranked 53 in the world.

In front of a crowd of just 40,181, the lowest for an England match at the new Wembley, Hodgson’s men carried on where they had left off in Brazil: producing one of their trademark stuttering, incoherent performance whilst mustering just two shots on target.

Inevitably, given such an anaemic display, questions would be asked about the effectiveness of Hodgson’s attack. The normally composed England coach was having none of it, though, berating those present for having the temerity to question his side’s potency.

“This team will score goals,” he assured us. ”They’ll score goals. Rooney will score goals. Welbeck will score goals. [Daniel] Sturridge will score goals. [Raheem] Sterling will score goals.”

We shall see.

Listening to his diatribe, one is reminded of none other than Mike Bassett, the fictional England manager, (loosely) based on one of Hodgson’s predecessors, Graham ‘Do I not like that’ Taylor. A man whose fate as England boss was sealed as much by him evolving into a figure of ridicule, as by the poor results he presided over.

How long before, the media decide to lampoon the current incumbent as Roy ‘don’t talk to me about stats’ Hodgson?

Conti Cup Final in Wycombe

This year’s FA WSL Continental Cup Final will take place at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park stadium.

Arsenal and Manchester City will compete for the trophy on Thursday 16 October (KO 7.45pm).

Tickets are on sale now, priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A £10 family ticket (two adults and two children) and group bookings are also available.  

Arsenal v Man City

FA WSL Continental Cup
The Final
7.45pm, Thursday 16 October 2014
Adams Park, Wycombe Wanderers FC

Arsenal secured their place in the Final with a 2-0 semi-final win over Notts County, after extra-time, with a goal from Caroline Weir and a penalty from Kelly Smith.  It will be Arsenal’s fourth consecutive Final, having won the competition for the last three seasons. 

Gunners defender Alex Scott said: “We're really excited to be in the Conti Cup Final once again. I'm looking forward to playing against Man City at Wycombe and it should be a really entertaining game. 

"It'll be great if we can retain the trophy. It has been a bit of a strange season with a lot of changes at the club. But we've played well this season and to end it on a high and complete the cup double would be the icing the cake."

City overcame Chelsea 1-0 in a tense last-four tie. Toni Duggan, whose goal secured her side’s place in the Final, said: “It’s an amazing achievement to reach our first Cup Final in our first year in the WSL.  

“Hopefully it’ll be an great occasion in Wycombe, and our fans can continue the fantastic support they’ve given us this season. Personally I have got great memories of winning cups and it will be great to create some more with Man City.”

Wycombe Wanderers chairman Andrew Howard added: “We are thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious event at Adams Park and look forward to welcoming The FA and the players, staff and supporters of both Arsenal and Manchester City.

“For Wycombe Wanderers, this represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase our proud stadium, and we're sure the people of High Wycombe will share our enthusiasm and come down in support of a national cup final."

Tickets are on sale from www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/tickets or by calling 01494 441 118.

For more information please visit www.fawsl.com 

Fifa has finally got the message about reform

Fifa finally understands why it needs to change, claims its acting director of communications.

Fifa logo at Zurich headquarters

FIFA is confident that the world football federations have ‘got the message’ and will unite in providing the votes essential on reform to take the world governing body into a happier new era.

A gospel of hope to that effect was delivered by Nicolas Maingot, FIFA’s acting director of communications, at the annual congress in Qatar of AIPS, the international sports journalists’ association.

Most of the focus of the extraordinary congress on February 26 in Zurich has been directed at the election of a new president to succeed disgraced and banned Sepp Blatter but probably more important will be a vote on a package of reforms.

Maingot set out the reforms to delegates from the world’s sport media associations and explained the voting system among the 209 member associations. The reforms involve a change of statutes which demands the approval of at least 75pc of the eligible voters: 157.

Issues such as terms limits had failed to attract the necessary support in the past but Maingot was certain that, after events of last year, the world game belatedly understood the need to move forward.

Maingot noted that FIFA’s ‘normal activities’ – tournament organisation and development programmes – had been unaffected by the variety of scandals, crises and arrests.

However the need for governance change was imperative. Hence a package developed by a reform committee chaired by Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard would be put to the vote in a fortnight’s time.

These incuded converting the executive committee into an expanded council with a separation of political and managerial responsibilities, term limits and pay transparency etc.

He said: “Those reforms are here to help not only FIFA but the entire football community around the world. It’s about regaining trust and credibility and improving our reputation to those who matter most – who are the fans.

“That is absolutely essential and I think this message has been received.

“The body which came up with these proposals was chaired by an independent person in the former director-general of the IOC but was composed of 12 individuals appointed by the confederations and that should give us confidence that the reforms should be pushed through.”

Even if the reforms were approved, change could not occur overnight.

Maingot said: “It will take us quite some time and this will all depend on what will come next but we are working hard to recover as soon as possible.

“It’s essential that we are [perceived] by all of you media and fans as ethical, approachable, humble, transparent. It will take time because our credibility has been seriously affected in some areas.

“The events of the last nine months have had a negative impact on sponsorship. That’s quite clear . . . but certainly we are positive that things will evolve positively once the reforms have been adopted.”

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Peacock praises Young Lions

After witnessing his side draw 1-1 in Germany, England U19s head coach John Peacock said he was delighted by how many quality performances he witnessed and said such strength in depth bodes well for the future.

Peacock achieved his pre-match aim of giving every outfield player in his squad minutes on the pitch and admitted that so many had impressed that new Under 19s boss Sean O’Driscoll will have a real selection problem on his hands next month.

“We had said we were going to try and get everybody on the pitch at some point unfortunately we didn’t get [goalkeeper] Ted [Smith] on but everybody has contributed this week, including him,” he told TheFA.com.

Germany 1-1 England

U19 International
Stadion Niederrhein
Oberhausen, Germany
8 September 2014

“It bodes well that we’ve got such good strength in depth.

“I think Sean will go into the October event confident and I think he might have a few selection headaches in deciding his final 18.”

Peacock went on to say that the manner of the performance pleased him with England’s slick passing and intelligent running proving very easy on the eye.

“We’ve been working on trying to play out properly from the back and all the players are very comfortable on the ball,” he said.

“Second-half I thought we passed it well and created some very good chances.

“It’s always difficult to beat Germany and we didn’t quite do it but it has been a very good spectacle of youth football”

John Peacock England U19s head coach

“It’s always difficult to beat Germany and we didn’t quite do it on this occasion but all in all it has been a very good spectacle of youth football tonight.”

Peacock also reserved a few special words of praise for Middlesbrough’s Bradley Fewster who endured the highs and lows of international football in one 90-minute spell.

The striker opened the scoring for England before missing a second-half penalty which he had earned.

After his boss said he was more than happy with the 18 year-old’s display.

“Bradley Fewster put in a very good shift and he’s a goalscorer but unfortunately he couldn’t quite score the penalty having worked so hard to get it.

“It’s unfortunate but we are all very pleased with his performance.”