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I’m always ready – Ighalo tells Solskjear ahead of Newcastle clash with Man Utd

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Manchester United striker, Odion Ighalo has told the club’s head coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he is always ready to feature for the Red Devils ahead of their Premier League clash against Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

The Nigerian attacker is waiting for an opportunity to start for Man United in the Premier League this season.

Ighalo came off the bench against Crystal Palace, but he was not among the substitutes for Man United’s subsequent Premier League games against Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

However, Ighalo started Man United’s Carabao Cup victories against Luton Town and Brighton, and he is likely to start for Solskjaer’s side against Newcastle, with fellow strikers Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani both unavailable for the Old Trafford club.

“I’m always ready, “Ighalo told Man United’s official website on Thursday.

“Whenever the gaffer calls me, my idea is just to give my best in training, work hard and wait for my opportunity – to take it.

“Hopefully, I’ll just keep my head down, keep working hard every day. Come to the training ground every day and give it my best. Whenever the gaffer needs me, I will come and give my best.”

“We are working hard and looking forward to it [Man Utd’s fixture against Newcastle],” He added. “We have been training hard. Those of us who didn’t go to the international teams have been working seriously hard.

“Everyone is in top shape and, when those who have been in the international teams are all back, I think we’re in good heart to win the game. I know we did not start the season well so we will try to start from this weekend and try to win the game to kick the season off.”

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Pogba is one of the world’s best midfielder – Tuchel

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Paul Pogba

Thomas Tuchel labelled Paul Pogba one of the best midfielders in the world ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s clash against Manchester United.
PSG host United in Paris on Tuesday to begin their Champions League campaign in Group H.

Ahead of the clash, Tuchel lauded Pogba, who has been linked with a move to the Ligue 1 champions previously.

“He is one of the best midfielders of the world. That’s the key to stopping him,” the PSG coach told a news conference.

“Bruno Fernandes who makes a lot of deep passes. One of the best teams in Europe in offensive transition. It’s necessary to stop counter-attacks.

“We want to have the ball, we want to play with a lot of possession, we want to impose our style. We have to play with a good structure to play good pressing.”

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How far can Marcelo Bielsa take this exciting young Leeds United side?

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Leeds United’s return to the Premier League has been every bit as enthralling as it promised to be. Manager Marcelo Bielsa has unsurprisingly stuck to his footballing philosophy and by doing so, he has sent Leeds to war with every team they have come up against so far this season, regardless of status or historical pedigree.

Leeds currently lie eighth in the Premier League after four games so you would have to say so far so exceptionally good for the former Championship side. Indeed, their English Premier League odds on a top-six finish sit at just 5/1 which already suggests that despite only playing a handful of games, Leeds have already done enough in most people’s eyes to indicate that they will have what it takes to carry on this sensational form. But what is a realistic target for Bielsa’s young side?

Unsurprisingly, that depends on who you ask but it may not be the way around you expect it to be. Take a stroll outside a currently autumnal Elland Road and you will invariably encounter a few fans taking pictures in front of the Billy Bremner statue, as the scattered russet leaves collect on the Centenary Square where the memory of the great man resides. Look to your left from there and you’ll no doubt see a few bundled up yet excited fans leaving the club shop with some new memorabilia that proudly sports the Premier League badge on it.

Stop and talk to any of those people and they’ll tell you without hesitation that the goal this season is anywhere above 18th place. You may well think that is an answer that is devoid of any ambition but it certainly isn’t. On the contrary, having spent 16 years outside of the Premier League before being promoted last season, you can absolutely understand how the Leeds fans would want to see their team enjoy a season of consolidation as they get used to the demands of Premier League football once again.

After all, this is a club that has spent so long in the bitter and unforgiving cold, looking in on others who dine at the top table of English football. Now that they’re out from the cold and enjoying the warm glow and the festivities of being at said table, they don’t want to leave just as they’re beginning to thaw out.

The realism and pragmatism coming from West Yorkshire is however countered by the feeling from outside the region. Indeed, Gary Neville was full of praise for the Whites after they pushed defending Premier League champions Liverpool all the way in their first game despite losing 4-3. The former Manchester United defender told Sky Sports viewers that Leeds would ‘scare the hell out of their opponents this season.’

Neville wasn’t the only ex-England stalwart to praise Leeds as Alan Shearer also complimented Bielsa’s approach for being ‘so refreshing’ during their first four games.

Now, the reason why both of these opinions are significant is that these men have a combined 841 Premier League caps between them. If they’re predicting promising times ahead for Leeds United then it’s worth taking their views seriously given there probably isn’t a duo more qualified to judge how a team will get on in England’s top-flight.
So whilst there is an admirably modest attitude coming from those within the city of Leeds with regards to how they will fare this season, the rest of England seems to think that this could well be a campaign that has the distinct possibility of delivering some form of European football to Elland Road.

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Sergio Aguero will not face any penalty after touching female referee during premier league match against Arsenal

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Manchester City striker, Sergio Aguero will not face any penalty from the football association after he touched assistant referee/lineswoman Sian Massey-Ellis during his side’s win against Arsenal.

On Saturday October 17, Aguero was caught on camera placing his hand on assistant referee Massey-Ellis’ shoulder during the first half of the game at the Etihad.

Touching a match official is usually punished by a yellow card, unless the physical approach is deemed aggressive in which case the player will be shown a red card. But Aguero’s actions went unpunished and he will not face any retrospective action over the incident.

As well as simply breaching the laws of the game by touching a match official, Aguero was also accused on Twitter of controlling her and exhibiting sexist behaviour due to the lineswoman’s gender.

Pep Guardiola later defended his player as ‘the nicest person he’s ever met in his life’.

The manager said of Aguero: “Come on guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations, not in this one.”

However, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey said he thought Massey-Ellis handled the situation very well.

“Only Sian and Aguero know what went on in,” he told talkSPORT.

“Sian felt there was no further action required, so maybe she thought ‘okay, there’s no problem, it’s part of the game’.

“If there was anything untoward or insulting language used or she felt something wasn’t right, then Sian would have called the referee over.”

Asked if she felt under pressure not to call the referee over given her gender, Halsey reiterated his belief that Messey-Ellis would not have been intimidated saying if she felt intimidated by Aguero then she would have brought it to the referee’s attention.

“I’ve worked with Sian on a few occasions and she’s an excellent assistant referee. There’s no doubt that if she had felt intimidated then she would have called the referee over and had Aguero either cautioned or dismissed from the field of play.” Halsey said

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