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England boss Gareth Southgate hits back at accusations he’s ‘cautious’ as Mings urges Grealish to stay patient

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england boss gareth southgate hits back at accusations hes cautious as mings urges grealish to stay patient scaled

GARETH SOUTHGATE hit back at accusations he is a cautious manager.

And the England boss insisted he would have used Jack Grealish against Denmark but for Harry Maguire’s sending-off.

England boss Gareth Southgate insists he was not cautious in the recent internationals

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England boss Gareth Southgate insists he was not cautious in the recent internationalsCredit: AFP or licensors

Southgate named five defenders and two holding midfielders for Tuesday’s 1-0 Nations League defeat at Wembley – ignoring a clamour to play in-form Aston Villa star Grealish.

But asked whether he was a cautious boss or a risk-taker, Southgate answered: “We gave another two young players [Reece James and Ainsley Maitland-Niles] their full debuts against Denmark, alongside Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, who’s had four games in the Premier League.

“So I think we’ve been pretty bold in many of our decisions over a long period of time really.

“We’ve been top scorers in the World Cup, we were top scorers in the Euro qualifiers, we’ve been to two semi-finals. We’ve blooded any number of young players.

“I suppose that I would point to that body of work but it’s for others to have their opinion. I’m not really too concerned.”

On Grealish’s omission, Southgate added: “Any plans we had went out the window with the red card.

“We needed legs to be able to defend with ten and Mason and Marcus Rashford have done that really well.”

Meanwhile, Grealish has been urged by Aston Villa team-mate Tyrone Mings to be patient and wait for another England chance.

Jack Grealish has been urged to remain patient by team-mate Tyrone Mings

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Jack Grealish has been urged to remain patient by team-mate Tyrone MingsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The playmaker, 25, was snubbed in the last two internationals after a Man of the Match full debut in the 3-0 win over Wales.

Southgate opted for Mason Mount instead of Grealish for the 2-1 win over Belgium and 1-0 loss to Denmark.

On his team-mates absence, Mings said: “It is easy to talk about players who aren’t playing but that does a  disservice to the people who are.

“We are playing at an elite level and people have to bide their time, like I do. I’m trying to get into the team as well.

“Everybody is competing for places and  that makes for a healthy group.

“Jack is a fantastic player, we all know that – we know what he can bring to the group.

“But you have to trust in the squad, trust the manager that different players will be utilised at different times.

“Jack is fine. Jack is a great lad and everyone in their career will have times when they are on the bench and out of the team – that is just something you go through. He won’t need an arm round the shoulder, I’m sure.

“The only thing we can do is try to play well for our clubs and when we are given a chance to come into the camp show humility and bide our time.

“We have to pay service to the  players who have credit in the bank, the people who have got the England team to the position it is in now, who have been to tournaments and delivered relative success to what we have had  previously.

“It is such an honour to represent your country, it is never something that is taken for granted.

“All we can do is continue to play well for our team and continue to support the lads when we are here, on and off the pitch.”

Gareth Southgate reacts to Harry Maguire and Reece James red cards

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Juan Sebastian Veron expresses his concern for Lionel Messi at Barcelona

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juan sebastian veron expresses his concern for lionel messi at barcelona

Lionel Messi is feeling ‘discomfort’ at Barcelona as the team struggles to rediscover its identity, according to Juan Sebastian Veron.

These are times of transition at the Nou Camp after a trophyless 2019-20 season that saw the humiliation of losing 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

It led to Messi, 33, trying to engineer a move away from Barcelona by handing in a transfer request before backtracking when faced with a looming legal battle.

Lionel Messi cuts a dejected figure as Barcelona lose Saturday's Clasico 3-1 to Real Madrid

Lionel Messi cuts a dejected figure as Barcelona lose Saturday's Clasico 3-1 to Real Madrid

Lionel Messi cuts a dejected figure as Barcelona lose Saturday’s Clasico 3-1 to Real Madrid 

It hasn't been the most encouraging start for Ronald Koeman following a turbulent summer

It hasn't been the most encouraging start for Ronald Koeman following a turbulent summer

It hasn’t been the most encouraging start for Ronald Koeman following a turbulent summer 

And he is struggling to recapture his form at the beginning of the new campaign as manager Ronald Koeman tries to get the best out of the team.

Ex-Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Veron, a former Argentina international team-mate of Messi, says he can sense a problem.

‘I see him with a lot of discomfort playing in a team in transition,’ Veron told Ole.

‘In all these years at Barcelona he was a key player but now they’re in transition, they have a lot of spare parts and are trying to find an identity.

‘It seems clear to me that, to a certain extent, the club haven’t been able to provide Leo [with the right team-mates], especially in their formation and as a team.

‘This, somehow, has gone against him. He’s a player who has always tried to be competitive and stay at the very top.’

Messi's former Argentina team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron (right) senses his 'discomfort'

Messi's former Argentina team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron (right) senses his 'discomfort'

Messi’s former Argentina team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron (right) senses his ‘discomfort’

The Argentine star dodges a slide challenge by Casemiro during Saturday's Clasico defeat

The Argentine star dodges a slide challenge by Casemiro during Saturday's Clasico defeat

The Argentine star dodges a slide challenge by Casemiro during Saturday’s Clasico defeat

Messi has scored two goals – both penalties – and provided three assists in six appearances for Barcelona so far this season.

It followed a turbulent summer in which Messi wanted to leave the club, potentially for a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

The situation is likely to repeat itself in forthcoming transfer windows with Messi free to push for a move away from Barcelona again in January.

Barcelona looked well short of their best in Saturday’s 3-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid, who won last season’s LaLiga title.

Messi could have been reunited with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over the summer

Messi could have been reunited with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over the summer

Messi could have been reunited with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over the summer

And things won’t get much easier when Barca travel to play Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Messi could come up against his rival Cristiano Ronaldo but only if the Portuguese returns a negative coronavirus test.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Gareth Southgate urges English young players to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho

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gareth southgate urges english young players to follow in the footsteps of jadon sancho

Gareth Southgate has urged more English players to follow Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham’s lead and move abroad to develop their game.

Southgate has spoken before about the need for the English game to shed its island mentality and look at the bigger picture beyond the Premier League.

Sancho moved from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund three years ago and Bellingham joined him last summer after leaving Birmingham City.

England manager Gareth Southgate believes more players can benefit from playing abroad

England manager Gareth Southgate believes more players can benefit from playing abroad

England manager Gareth Southgate believes more players can benefit from playing abroad

Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City to realise his potential

Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City to realise his potential

Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City to realise his potential

In an interview with GQ, the England manager suggested that players who move abroad, learn a new language and adapt in a new place ‘helps to make them a more rounded person and in the end that’ll help you as a player’.

Southgate added: ‘We’ve had a few guys go there on loan to other clubs. Not all of those have been successful. 

‘Jadon [Sancho] is the obvious example who has been a success, Jude [Bellingham] has started really well but I think the more players travel abroad and play, the better.’ 

Jude Bellingham left Birmingham City last summer to join Sancho at Dortmund in Germany

Jude Bellingham left Birmingham City last summer to join Sancho at Dortmund in Germany

Jude Bellingham left Birmingham City last summer to join Sancho at Dortmund in Germany

Southgate believes that English football – in particular the national team – has been slow to realise the benefits of players moving abroad to fulfil or at least start to unlock their potential.

He said: ‘The rest of Europe has always done that and very often their league hasn’t been able to support the better players, the smaller countries, Croatia, Portugal, Belgium, they’ve exported their players.’  

‘So their own league is full of their best young players and their better players then go and play in Serie A, the Bundesliga or the Premier League or La Liga.’  

‘We haven’t done that and we’ve probably suffered as a consequence of that. Our players weren’t exposed to different tactical requirements and to those life experiences that help to improve you as a person.’    

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Dereck Chisora vs Oleksandr Usyk kick starts run of fights with Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua in action

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dereck chisora vs oleksandr usyk kick starts run of fights with tyson fury anthony joshua in action

Suddenly, out of lockdown and nowhere, comes a heavyweight season climaxing in world championships.

Boxing, already fighting its way out of a corner, is now back with an even bigger bang.

Albeit behind closed doors – and in some cases through a pay-per-view screen – this is still most welcome.

Dereck Chisora meets Oleksandr Usyk this weekend to kick start a run of huge fights

Dereck Chisora meets Oleksandr Usyk this weekend to kick start a run of huge fights

Dereck Chisora meets Oleksandr Usyk this weekend to kick start a run of huge fights

Dillian Whyte is out for revenge on a short turnaround against Alexander Povetkin

Dillian Whyte is out for revenge on a short turnaround against Alexander Povetkin

Dillian Whyte is out for revenge on a short turnaround against Alexander Povetkin 

Starting this Saturday night with our old warhorse Dereck Chisora risking it all against Olesandr Usyk.

Come November 21 Dillian Whyte rushes into his rematch with Alexander Povetkin, who knocked him out cold barely nine weeks ago.

A week after that superstar-rising Daniel Dubois and silver Olympian Joe Joyce do intriguing battle for the British and European heavyweight titles. And later that night Iron Mike Tyson takes his bus-pass ride out of retirement, along with fellow 50-something legend Roy Jones Jr.

Seven more days will bring the UK homecoming of Tyson Fury in defence of his WBC crown, against a challenger as yet unidentified.

One more week and, last but not least, Anthony Joshua comes out of mothballs to defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts against Kubrat Pulev.

Daniel Dubois (left) will have the greatest test of his young career against Joe Joyce

Daniel Dubois (left) will have the greatest test of his young career against Joe Joyce

Daniel Dubois (left) will have the greatest test of his young career against Joe Joyce

Mike Tyson will make a comeback against Roy Jones Jr on the same night as Dubois vs Joyce

Mike Tyson will make a comeback against Roy Jones Jr on the same night as Dubois vs Joyce

Mike Tyson will make a comeback against Roy Jones Jr on the same night as Dubois vs Joyce

THE SCHEDULE: 

This Saturday night, Chisora v Usyk live on Sky Sports Box Office

November 14, Crawford v Brook live on Premier Sports

November 21, Povetkin v Whyte live on Sky Sports Box Office

November 28, Dubois v Joyce live on BT Sports, later Tyson v Jones Jr live streaming on Triller

December 5, Fury homecoming live on BT Sport Box Office.

December 12, Joshua v Pulev live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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Then what do we want for Christmas? Confirmation, please, that AJ and the Gypsy King are on course for a gigantic collision in the spring.

Hopefully in front of an 80,000 crowd in Wembley Stadium. And to the victor the greatest prize of all, the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world last held by another of our own, Lennox Lewis.

Since it seems safe to expect that Fury and Joshua will be two of the giants left standing on Boxing Day, there could be only one possible impediment to that blockbuster for which both men have already agreed a 50-50 financial split.

Usyk is insisting that if he despatches Chisora he will expect the WBO to instruct Joshua to fulfil against him a mandatory defence of their title in his next fight.

Whyte hopes he would be in a similar position if he beats Povetkin but if a WBC mandatory right to challenge Fury comes with an interim title, the Gypsy King would have a year in which to meet that obligation.

Push comes to shove, Usyk would likely take temporary step-aside money. If not then Fury, having pulled the plug on his trilogy title fight with Deontay Wilder, will urge Joshua to vacate that belt and go straight to him.

Tyson fury will fight in December but his opponent is yet to be decided or announced

Tyson fury will fight in December but his opponent is yet to be decided or announced

Tyson fury will fight in December but his opponent is yet to be decided or announced

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev will go toe-to-toe on December 12 on Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev will go toe-to-toe on December 12 on Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev will go toe-to-toe on December 12 on Sky Sports Box Office

With near £100 million fortunes at stake, Fury warns: ‘Usyk is the only fighter other than myself who could beat Joshua. And I don’t want him getting to him before me.’

That would be a wise precaution. Although Usyk has only just come up from cruiserweight, the exceptional skills which made him undisputed world champion in that brutally competitive division will make a complex test for any heavyweight.

Former champion David Haye has brought more discipline to the training regime of wild-man Chisora, who says: ’I’m the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been. And bigger than Usyk, even though he’s a great boxer.’

At the least, he will test Usyk’s physical viability in the ring’s marquee division.

Usyk is a superb boxer but there remain questions over his size and power at heavyweight

Usyk is a superb boxer but there remain questions over his size and power at heavyweight

Usyk is a superb boxer but there remain questions over his size and power at heavyweight

The heavyweight cycle may be the most mouth-watering but there are other tasty treats on the winter table.

Kell Brook goes to America to challenge undefeated world pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford for his WBO welterweight title on November 14.

Luke Campbell crosses the Atlantic in hope of securing a third world lightweight title shot via a final eliminator against American whizz-kid Ryan Garcia, in a December 5 curtain-raiser for Errol Spence’s miraculous return against Danny Garcia from that horrifying car crash. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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