James Tarkowski ready for England with pedigree as a ball-playing centre-half | Jacob Steinberg

The Burnley player called up by Gareth Southgate says his reputation as an old-fashioned English defender is unfairThe general view of Burnley as a long-ball outfit meant that the logic behind Gareth Southgate’s decision to hand James Tarkowski a first England call-up last week was not immediately obvious. After all, what hope could there ever be for an unheralded defender from one of the Premier League’s more direct teams when Southgate has cast Manchester United’s Chris Smalling into the international wilderness because he is not good enough on the ball? Appearances can be deceptive, however, because while the focus for Tarkowski has been on getting the basics right this season, he possesses a pedigree as a passer. “Maybe some of you have written that I’m an old-fashioned English defender but before I joined Burnley no one ever said those words about me,” the 25-year-old said at St George’s Park. Continue reading "James Tarkowski ready for England with pedigree as a ball-playing centre-half | Jacob Steinberg"

Nick Pope’s England ambitions fuelled by non-league and milk round

• Part-time job and games in seventh tier ‘helped me grow as player’
• Burnley keeper hopes for England debut against the NetherlandsNick Pope has embraced the challenge of establishing himself within the England set-up after completing a remarkable rise from part-time work as a milkman and games in the seventh tier of non-league football to the senior national squad within eight years. The Burnley goalkeeper had been released by Ipswich Town at 16 and, having taken on a milk round to provide an income, turned out for Bury Town’s reserves in the Essex and Suffolk Border Football League while studying at West Suffolk College. Pope was subsequently signed by Charlton Athletic but was still playing only at Conference level, on loan at Aldershot, a little more than four years ago. On Friday he hopes to make his international debut against the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Continue reading...

Pogba tantalises with Neymar comments

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Buenos Aires (AFP) – Out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba said it would be a pleasure to play with Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar, whom he described as pure “joy on the pitch” in an interview with an Argentine sports channel Tuesday. “Neymar is the definition of joy on the pitch,” the French international told Argentina’s TyC Sports. “When I look at him on the pitch, he enjoys playing, with his technique, his ability and all that.  “I love watching him play. He’s a different guy, he has his own style. If one day I’m going to play with him, it’ll be a pleasure.” He was returning the favour after Neymar said in 2016 that he admired Pogba’s style and would love to play alongside him. Pogba, despite arriving at United in 2016 for a then world-record fee of £89 million (105 million euros), has fallen out of favour with Continue reading "Pogba tantalises with Neymar comments"

Seeking writers and interns to gain valuable soccer journalism experience

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> World Soccer Talk has opened up several intern and writing positions to soccer fans who are passionate about the sport and interested in learning valuable skills. All positions are unpaid but will offer valuable experience. Many writers who started at World Soccer Talk have gone on to gain employment at companies such as ESPN, Yahoo, New York City FC, Sirius XM FC, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, SportBusiness, Four Four Two, Howler Magazine and other reputable companies. To apply for a writing position, please complete the writer application form. We also have two internships available — one for a Social Media Specialist, and the other for a Managing Editor. Both positions will include hands-on training as well as a great deal of independence to develop your own ideas and measure the effectiveness of your work. To apply for Social Media Specialist and/or Managing Editor positions, click on the above links. Also, Continue reading "Seeking writers and interns to gain valuable soccer journalism experience"

Ivory Coast have ‘no news’ of absent Yaya Toure

Abidjan (AFP) – Ivory Coast’s Football Federation (FIF) on Tuesday said it had “no news” of the whereabouts of star midfielder Yaya Toure, who did not turn up for training in France ahead of upcoming friendlies. The 34-year-old Manchester City player came out of international retirement last December and was named in the Ivory Coast squad by interim coach Ibrahima Kamara. The four-time African Player of the Year originally retired from international duty on 100 caps after winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. “The technical staff has no news of Yaya Toure,” the FIF said at the team’s training session in Beauvais, north of Paris. The Ivory Coast, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, play friendlies in France against Togo on March 24 and Moldova three days later.

The post Ivory Coast have ‘no news’ of absent Yaya Toure appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Surgeon says Neymar’s recovery is ‘going well’

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Paris (AFP) – Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Tuesday that Neymar’s recovery from foot surgery “is going well”, as the star forward bids to be fit for the World Cup in Russia. Lasmar, who operated on Neymar on March 3, said he speaks “two or three time a day” with the physiotherapists working with the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain player. “For now, everything is going well, they tell me every detail of Neymar’s recovery,” Lasmar told French sports daily L’Equipe. “They are working hard and in a very professional way so that he can return as quickly as possible and, above all, so there won’t be any further problems for his foot or posture.”  He added that he planned to reassess the injury in mid-April. Neymar, who missed Brazil’s 7-1 semi-final thrashing on home soil by Germany through injury four years ago, is key to his country’s Continue reading "Surgeon says Neymar’s recovery is ‘going well’"

Luke Shaw can be one of the world’s best left-backs, says Ashley Young

• Young says Manchester United team-mate must work hard
• ‘He is a fantastic player. He can be one of the best in the world’Ashley Young believes Luke Shaw can become one of the best left-backs in the world but warned his Manchester United team-mate this status will come only through hard work. Young has become United’s first-choice left-back for José Mourinho, with Shaw enduring a torrid time under the manager. The 22-year-old was taken off at half-time of United’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Mourinho criticising Shaw after the quarter-final. Continue reading...