Why Silva must start 21-yr-old against Cardiff City ahead of summer arrival


Everton were in their element at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening, securing a valuable goalless draw against Chelsea to head into the international break with just a loss in their last six English Premier League games. 

Chances were few and far between at both ends, but manager Marco Silva would have been very pleased with what he saw, and barring any injuries, the Portuguese should have an idea of what his starting XI against Cardiff City should be like. 

Going by the individual performances of the 14 players that saw action, Ademola Lookman proved he deserves to be handed his first league start of the campaign immediately after the international break.

The 21-year-old came on for Bernand with 26 minutes to play, and he was a threat to the Chelsea defence most of the times he attacked. 

Lookman's most memorable moment of the game was when he jinked his way past two defenders and forced Kepa Arrizabalaga off his lines. 

The Englishman has shown flashes of his talents, including an assist in the six substitute appearances he has been afforded in the topflight this season, and he surely deserves a start to prove himself. 

While Bernand brings experience to the table, an assist in nine appearances isn't particularly an impressive return, and it won't hurt if Silva experiments against struggling Cardiff and play Lookman.

The youngster proved what he is capable of doing last season on loan at RB Leipzig, netting five goals in 11 appearances, and he surely has what it takes to succeed at Everton. 

A start and more playing minutes could be all he needs, and Silva shouldn't hesitate to hand him more opportunities going forward.

Rangers man explains what he should have done to hit the ground running this term


Rangers ran riot on Sunday, demolishing 10-man Motherwell 7-1 to move within two places of joint-leaders Celtic and Hearts. 

The Light Blues put in very impressive shifts at both ends of the pitch, and it was the perfect response manager Steven Gerrard would have wanted following Thursday's Europa League loss to Spartak Moskva. 

Summer arrival Gareth McAuley finally made his Scottish Premiership debut for the Light Blues having played for the first time during the week, and the defensive veteran performed brilliantly in the 45 minutes he spent on the pitch.

An injury had kept the Northern Ireland international out of action upon signing a one-year deal on a free during the summer after he left West Bromwich Albion, but he reckons a proper pre-season preparation would have kept him in shape ahead of the new season. 

“I have enjoyed it, and it has been hard work," McAuley told RangersTV of his debut.

"In hindsight, I should have gone in somewhere and done pre-season properly.

"But here I have done the hard work and I feel fit and ready to go and hopefully go away on international duty now and hopefully get some more minutes, and then come back, compete and hopefully get more minutes and push for starts."

Rangers have enough depth at the back with McAuley now set to play a key part of the first team, and his experience will surely come handy for the Ibrox side going forward. 

The Light Blues will be looking to challenge strongly for the league and Scottish Cup, and Gerrard needs all hands on deck if his side are to have a chance. 

After securing seven wins and three draws in their opening 12 league games of the campaign, Rangers head into the break in high spirits and will be looking to continue from where they stopped when Livingston come visiting upon the resumption of league action.

"I have not done anything yet"- West Ham star goes hard on himself despite praises

West Ham United

West Ham United haven't been any spectacular so far this season, with just three wins and three draws to their name in 12 English Premier League games. 

The Hammers are yet to win back-to-back league games in almost two years, and manager Manuel Pellegrini will hope to get things right when action resumes after the international break. 

West Ham ought to be doing much better after nine new players were brought in during the summer transfer window, but injuries and inconsistency have limited the influence of the majority of the summer arrivals.

However, French centre-back Issa Diop has been in very fine form since arriving from Toulouse, with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho showering praises on him after September's 3-1 defeat of the Red Devils. 

The 21-year-old has played 10 league games thus far and is already earning rave reviews from many quarters as a result of his top performances. 

Nevertheless, Diop reckons he is far from his actual best and only wants to keep pushing himself harder.

“I am surprised sometimes by the comments of people who find that I make good matches. I think I’m starting a normal season," the French youngster told L’Equipe

“I have always been very demanding of myself. This is the only way to perform. My personality and my education are like that. I know I have a lot of work to do. So, I have not done anything yet.”

Diop is clearly not satisfied with himself despite what others make of his fine performances, and that is good news for the Hammers who stand to gain a lot from his development and improvement going forward. 

Earning a senior national team call-up to the French squad is definitely high on the defender's wish list, and he will surely do everything to push himself to catch the attention of the squad selectors. 

Diop has already emerged top of a couple of individual battles with some of EPL's best forwards, and West Ham surely have a gem within their ranks from the look of things.

"He did everything I expected"- Silva showers praise on Sky Sports MOTM


Everton secured a valuable 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea on Sunday, and they head into the international break in high spirits having lost just one of their last six English Premier League games. 

The Toffees didn't create much at the other end, but they gave a top defensive performance at their own end to thwart the efforts of the hosts, and manager Marco Silva will be more than proud of his men. 

Colombian international centre-back Yerry Mina particularly stood out on his full debut, and was deservedly awarded man of the match by Sky Sports.

Silva was full of praises for the former Barcelona man post-game, and he surely has given the Portuguese manager selection headache going forward. 

"He did everything I expected," Silva told Sky Sports post-game.

"It was his first official match in maybe three or four months and he showed his quality.

"He is very good on the ball and he is a player who will give us quality on the ball. Even without the ball he did what we planned, our defensive organisation and process. I think he did really well."

Mina replaced Kurt Zouma, who was ineligible to play against his parent club, and it remains to be seen if he will be holding on to his berth after such impressive performance.

Injury kept the Colombian out of action upon arriving Goodison Park in the summer, and Zouma and Michael Keane established a fine partnership in central defence in his absence. 

The duo have been without fault and Silva now has quality depth at the back which will come very handy going forward this season. 

Everton have now kept their third clean sheet of the campaign and getting better defensively will go a long way in defining how their season goes. 

Should they keep putting in top-notch defensive shifts as they did against Chelsea, the Merseysiders can go all the way and finish comfortably in top eight.

Manager says he will happily give £2.2million man advice about Rangers' return


Mexican midfielder Carlos Pena is set to return to Rangers after his loan deal at Necaxa was cut short, as reported by The Scottish Sun.

The 28-year-old joined the Liga MX side after his loan spell at Cruz Azul was also cut short following series of disciplinary issues. 

However, Pena failed to impress, making just five appearances before his contract got terminated. 

While he won't be eligible to play for Rangers until January, the former Guadalajara man will nonetheless link with manager Steven Gerrard's side in Scotland, and a decision could be reached on his future in January.

Pena was signed on a three-year deal for £2.2million by former Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha last June. 

With two more years still left on his contract, it remains to be seen if the future of the Mexican is at Ibrox given how badly he has flopped in the last 16 months.

Nevertheless, Caixinha, who took Pena with him to Azul, claims he will be willing to offer the player some advice about what to do next. 

“I hope that when Carlos goes back to Scotland, he can recover his career. He is still not yet 30 and has plenty of time to still have a great career," the Mexican said, as reported by The Scottish Sun.

“Carlos has tremendous football potential and he’s a great person. He deserves better and if he asks me for any advice about going back to Rangers I will happily give him some.

“It hurts me to see him in this position because I had the opportunity to bring him to Rangers and then Cruz Azul so I gave him two opportunities. I just hope he can become the player he once was when he goes back to Rangers.”

Rangers could do with few additions in their squad in January, but it doesn't seem Pena has what it take to improve the squad right now. 

However, the Mexican has a chance to revive his career under an influential boss like Gerrard, and the next few weeks could be the perfect opportunity for him to retrace his steps. 

Pena showed flashes of his talents and potential at Rangers under Caixinha, with his goal in an away victory over Aberdeen one of his few highlights, and he might just eventually turn out good during his second Ibrox stint.

"Loved that second goal" - Newcastle legend reacts to Rondon's performance against Bournemouth


Newcastle United secured their second win of the 2018-19 English Premier League campaign on Saturday with a 2-1 win against Bournemouth. The Magpies have summer arrival Salomon Rondon to thank following his first-half brace, and it was indeed the perfect occasion for the Venezuelan to finally open his account.

The Cherries pulled one back through Jefferson Lerma on the stroke of halftime, but it wasn't enough as the hosts held on to their win with a dodged second-half display. Newcastle legend Alan Shearer was pleased with the side's result, and more particularly Rondon's performance.

Here is how the iconic striker reacted to the win on micro-blogging social media platform Twitter.
Newcastle's crucial win saw them move clear the drop zone with nine points now to their name, and manager Rafa Benitez will hope his side's improvement continues at an upwards trajectory. The Magpies go into the international break full of confidence, and will be in high spirits when they visit Burnley in a fortnight.

Rondon chose the perfect match to score his first Newcastle goals having gone six games without none, and fans will only hope those two are the first of many to come. Survival is the club's mission again this season despite finishing in 10th place last term, and the team will have to be at their consistent-best if they are to retain their top-flight status come May.

Newcastle will need Rondon's goals going forward this season, though, and the onus is on the summer arrival to continue delivering the goods after making a huge impact against Bournemouth.

"Thanks mate, it is your time now" - Legend's advice continues to spur on West Ham star

West Ham United

West Ham United centre-back and defensive midfielder Declan Rice is gradually growing into one of the club's most important and best players following his breakthrough season last term. 

The 19-year-old featured in 26 league games last season and is on course to beat that record having already played eight of the 11 games this season. 

Rice has huge potential and can become one of the best players in the top-flight going forward, and it's not surprising to see the Republic of Ireland and England both trying their best to lure him to their side.

His swift rise to the top at West Ham is an inspiration given that Rice was released by Chelsea at 14, and John Terry might have played a huge role in spurring on the youngster up till today. 

The versatile youngster has revealed how the legendary Englishman was there to offer moral support five years ago and also as recently as a month ago.

"I based my whole game on John when I was younger. When I was released by Chelsea he called for 45 minutes and I remember I was sat in my room next to my dad," Rice told The Times.

"It was John Terry - I could not believe it. He handed over all his experience and advice. He said to never stop, always keep working hard and give everything you have.

"It stayed in my head, and look where I am now. No dream is far away. I last met John for a two-hour breakfast with my cousin about six months ago. Sometimes I text him, like when he retired and he replied 'Thanks mate, it is your time now.'"

Terry has been a huge source of inspiration for the West Ham Academy graduate, and it won't come as a surprise if he goes on to become as influential and great as the former Chelsea defender. 

It remains to be seen if the London club can hold on to their star and prized possession for much longer, and the current contract stand-off between club and player could end up haunting West Ham should one of the bigwigs swoop. 

Despite the arrival of a handful of top summer signings, Rice has remained a crucial part of manager Manuel Pellegrini's first-team plans, and the Hammers have to do anything within their power to hold on to their man.

Marco Silva explains how he makes his final team selection ahead of matchdays


Everton travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Sunday, and the battle of the Blues promises to be an interesting clash given the exciting football both teams have played this season. 

The London side are the only side in Europe's top five leagues still unbeaten across all competitions in 2018-19, and they will be looking to maintain that record when the Merseysiders come to town. 

Chelsea have improved greatly under manager Maurizio Sarri since his arrival in the summer, but same can also be said of Everton under boss Marco Silva despite both sides' varying degree of successes. 

The Portuguese impressed Premier League fans with his brand of football during his stints at Hull City and Watford, and many believe he is the man to take the Toffees to the next level. 

Ahead of another crucial test this weekend, Silva has revealed how he makes his selection before every game.

“No. The players will know [the starting XI] some hours before the match," Silva replied when asked if he has made the decision to start Yerry Mina.

“We are working for the match. It’s possible [the players] have an idea of my team but it’s not my way [to tell them the starting XI.”

Most at times, some managers will choose to reveal their starting XI for the next game to their players as soon as possible, while others wait till the last minute like Silva. 

Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma is ineligible to play against his parent club on Sunday, and with Michael Keane set to retain his starting berth, it's widely expected that Mina makes his first league start and partners the England international. 

Since arriving from Barcelona, the Colombia international defender has seen injury slow down his progress at Everton. 

Given the form of Zouma and Keane, Mina found it hard to break into the team upon full fitness, and Sunday could be his chance to stake a claim on a permanent shirt. 

With Silva coy on his selection, though, could a surprise be on the cards at Stamford Bridge with Phil Jagielka also available for selection?

Tottenham £75,000-a-week star eyes La Liga move

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane’s brace against PSV Eindhoven may have handed Tottenham Hotspur a Champions League lifeline in a tough encounter at Wembley but Spurs still know there are tough battles ahead to fight.

Now currently sitting in third position in Group B, with upcoming matches against Inter Milan and La Liga holders Barcelona - at the Nou Camp - there chances of surviving in this group of death looks bleak.

That being said, with the lack of adequate playing times since joining the Lilywhites from Swansea in a deal believed to be worth £12.1m, is the reason why Tottenham star Fernando Llorent could face the exit door.

As The Independent reports, a move to La Liga side Athletic Bilbao seems to be his preferred destination having spent eight successful years with the club between 2005 and 2013.

Llorente’s current contract is scheduled to expire in the summer, and he will be free to talk to other clubs in January, but this could get pushed forward until when the window opens, due to reported presidential elections taking place at Athletic.

Llorente, said to be earning £75,000 weekly, so far with Tottenham, has endured a difficult spell having only resigned himself to cup appearances and the forward has just six goals in 37 outings for Spurs in all competitions.

However, Llorente’s leaving Tottenham could be determined by Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino who may rue his exit as he’s the only fit and recognized striker to provide back up to Harry Kane since Vincent Janssen has been ruled out with foot injury in July.

Gerrard ready to ring January changes that will keep Hearts and Celtic on their toes


Rangers are trailing Hearts and Celtic by five and four points respectively following 11 round of Scottish Premiership games, and without a doubt, the Light Blues are very much one of the main challengers in the title race. 

Manager Steven Gerrard has greatly improved the side since his arrival a few months ago, and the Ibrox club's change of fortunes can be attributed to a major squad overhaul over the summer transfer window. 

15 players were brought in, while a handful also left, but Gerrard is more than keen to add to his squad in January in order to strongly challenge for the league title during the second half of the campaign.

According to the Daily Express, Rangers want to sign four new players during the winter transfer window, with a creative midfielder, a centre midfielder and centre-back top of their plans. 

To that effect, director of football Mark Allen and the club's scouts have been going around the world in search of quality, yet, affordable players. 

The winter shake-up is also most likely to see Umar Sadiq, who joined on a season-long loan from Roma leave after the 21-year-old failed to impress.

Rangers recently suffer a huge annual loss of £14million but it doesn't seem that will deter them from splashing the cash when the transfer window re-opens. 

The Light Blues squad have been one of the best in the land without a doubt, but strengthening their ranks in January could end up being the difference between winning the title or not, and it promises to be a fierce contest between the current top three teams during the season's latter half.