Month: September 2017

Harry Kane targets away win at Bernabeu for Tottenham

Harry Kane says that Tottenham will go to Santiago Bernabeu confident and in anticipation of a win against Real Madrid after their 3-0 Champions League victory at Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday night.

“I’d say it’s the most confident I’ve felt,” Kane said. “I’ve scored quite a few goals this September and there’s another game left at Huddersfield on Saturday. Hopefully I can take the form into that game and keep going.”

“It’s part of being more mature. The more I play, the more I get a sense of what defenders will do at certain times. For example, I went back across through the [defender’s] legs for the second goal against Apoel, little things like that. As you get older and wiser, things come naturally.”

Kane, 24, did not find the net in August, but has scored twice in two matches for England and nine in five for Tottenham thus far in September.

While looking forward to adding to his account against Huddersfield town in the Premier League this weekend, Kane says that he also has sights in Spurs’ next Champions League fixture — to be played against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on 17 October, before Tottenham would then host the European champions at Wembley in the return fixture on 1 November.

Spurs are also currently joint-leaders of Champions League Group H with Real, having followed up the 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley with victory in Nicosia. Kane, who has never been to the Bernabeu, intends to make his mark in the upcoming game.

“We feel we can beat anyone on our day,” Kane said. “Of course we know it will be tough but it’s two good teams and an open game, probably. It will come down to who is more clinical – hopefully that can be us. We are going there to win, not just to get a result. We will see what happens.”

“They (Real Madrid) have one of the best defences with [Sergio] Ramos, Marcelo, players like that. I want to test myself against the best and they have been the best in the last few years, without a doubt. It’s going to be exciting. I want to put in a performance like I have been recently.”

Prediction:

Huddersfield Town 0-2 Tottenham

Jose Mourinho: United need to stay respectful to win at Moscow

Club manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United needs to be dominant while staying humble and respecting hosts CSKA Moscow to win and thus maintain their fine start to the season.

The Red Devils had won their Group A opening game against Basel at Old Trafford a fortnight ago by 3-0, and Mourinho is once again targeting maximum points at the VEB Arena against the Russian team.

“We cannot guarantee this line of success but the way to try to keep it going is to do what we’re doing,” Mourinho said. “We try to play well and in some moments of the match, if the opponents have moments of superiority, we have to be humble, like we were against Southampton, and to cope with the difficult moments.”

“Looking at the match at Southampton on TV, I think there was an episode in the first half that could transform the game [Shane Long’s first-half challenge on Marouane Fellaini which resulted in an ankle injury for the Belgian].”

“We were winning 1-0 when that happened and we could be in control and win the game easily, but in the second half we had to be humble and accept the opponent was on a high and we had to fight hard. So I think it’s a mixture of our quality and trying to be dominant, like we want to be always, but accepting the reality of high-level football, that when the opponent has a strong moment, you have to cope with it.”

Fellaini went on to finish the match against Southampton, but was subsequently ruled out of the trip to Moscow and Mourinho hopes he will be available after next month’s international break.

Mourinho hopes Fellaini will not now be called up by Belgium for their international matches as they have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup. “Fellaini was lucky – he could have been in a much worse situation but at the moment … when we don’t have (Paul) Pogba and (Michael) Carrick,” he added. “I expect him not to be out for a long time and after Crystal Palace – Belgium are the first country to qualify so I hope he can be playing for us.”

Arsene Wenger takes dig at cryotherapy ahead of fixture-laden week

Arsene Wenger has slighted modern player recovery treatment and methods by openly questioning whether techniques such as cryotherapy actually work.

The Frenchman has also claimed that he ponders if the wide usage methods across the professional football industry have been pushed by specialists with vested interests.

Arsenal is on the cusp of a fixture-laden week, starting with a home game against West Bromwich at Emirates Stadium on Monday and return to their home ground for another Premier League fixture against Brighton on Sunday, in between of which they would play Bate Borisov in Belarus in the Europa League on Thursday.

Wenger will make sweeping changes to his team for the European tie, but was also clearly unhappy about the pressure that has been placed on his squad, saying with a shrug it was television alone that dictated the timings and decreed the West Brom game be moved to a Monday night and the Brighton match should have a midday start.

He was more animated when asked for an insight into how the club would help the players to cope with the schedule, mentioning cryotherapy, among other things, just stopping short of calling it mumbo-jumbo.

“The players will have warm-downs, they have all that, everybody does nowadays,” Wenger said. “Treatment with the physios, massage, cryotherapy – all the stuff where nobody knows whether it is efficient or not.”

“No one knows because you have a lot of science. If you read the science, some have proved it works and some have proved it doesn’t work. The ones that prove it works are usually sponsored by the guys who say that it does.”

“Is it smoke and mirrors? Yes. Because at the end of the day, since I’ve been in the job, we have improved a lot the medical treatment. A lot. But, still, if you have a muscle problem, it takes 21 days. It took 21 days 30 years ago.”

“We have to respect nature and nobody could make miracles unless they doped the players sometimes. That means they inject players for a big game and the guy plays with an injury, with anti-pain.”