Man Utd’s Herrera says pressure on big-spending City

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> London (AFP) – Manchester United’s Ander Herrera says “favourites” Manchester City face intense pressure to win the Premier League after their summer spending spree and trophyless campaign last season. The Manchester clubs are joint top of the table with exactly the same record — 13 points from five games and a plus-14 goal difference. United won the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in Jose Mourinho’s first campaign at the helm but finished a disappointing sixth in the league. City ended third in the Premier League after a fine start under Pep Guardiola petered out in an ultimately trophyless campaign. Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City spent the most of any Premier League club during the summer transfer window — £215 million ($290 million, 242 million euros) while United splashed out more than £140 million. “Man City have spent the biggest amount in the Premier League so they are the principle Continue reading "Man Utd’s Herrera says pressure on big-spending City"

Golbang — the Twitter generation’s ‘beautiful game’

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> London (AFP) – Golbang, a new three-a-side format of the beautiful game, hopes to fill the same role as Twenty20 and sevens in cricket and rugby, its creator Bruno Schwobthaler told AFP. The Frenchman’s brainchild can be played by mixed sex teams with a single goal and one team defending and one attacking with the sides swopping over after 15 minutes. Schwobthaler, a Warner Bros executive for 20 years, launched Golbang in May after what he calls his mid-life crisis. He considered football to be too conservative and required an injection of entertainment and backed this up by research he commissioned which sampled 1000 French people aged between 15-45.  “It started out of frustration as I always felt football could be so much more exciting if you were not a fan,” he told AFP at the Soccerex Global Convention this month. “If now you invented football would you make Continue reading "Golbang — the Twitter generation’s ‘beautiful game’"

Ex-England footballer Ferdinand launches bid to become pro boxer

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> London (AFP) – Former England football captain Rio Ferdinand confirmed Tuesday he will train to become a professional boxer with the ultimate aim of challenging for a title belt. The 38-year-old former Manchester United star, who retired from football in May 2015, is taking part in online betting firm Betfair’s “Defender to Contender” project and will be training with former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall. Ferdinand will be seeking to qualify for a British Boxing Board of Control licence before starting training and competing for a title belt. “Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body,” said Ferdinand. “I have always had a passion for it and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show people what’s possible. “It’s a challenge I’m not taking lightly — clearly not everyone can become a professional boxer — but with the team of experts Betfair are putting together and the Continue reading "Ex-England footballer Ferdinand launches bid to become pro boxer"

Retired footballer Rio Ferdinand to turn to boxing: report

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> London (AFP) – Former England footballer Rio Ferdinand is due to announce on Tuesday he is going to try and become a professional boxer just two months away from his 39th birthday, according to the Daily Telegraph.  Ferdinand, who won 81 caps and made over 300 appearances for Manchester United, is an avid boxing fan and has said spending time boxing in the gym has helped clear his head after losing his wife and the mother of his three children Rebecca Ellison to breast cancer in 2015. Ferdinand, who has become a respected TV pundit since hanging up his boots in 2015, is due to make what has been termed “a major news announcement” on Tuesday but will need to convince the British Boxing Board of Control he merits a licence. He wouldn’t be the first footballer to turn to a career in the ring as former Sheffield United Continue reading "Retired footballer Rio Ferdinand to turn to boxing: report"

Leeds looking forward to cup reunion with Burnley’s Chris Wood

• Striker left Elland Road for Turf Moor in £15m summer move
• New Zealander was Leeds’ leading scorer with 30 goals last seasonWith Romelu Lukaku scoring against Everton and Wayne Rooney receiving a generous ovation from fans of Manchester United, this week has already seen two top-flight strikers make notable returns to their former clubs and it promises to bring a third, as Burnley’s Chris Wood prepares to face Leeds United, the club he left 29 days ago, in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. It is a little over three months since Wood was named Leeds’s player of the year. In all he scored 30 goals last season, earning a reputation as one of the most feared forwards outside the Premier League and a summer move for a fee of around £15m. Continue reading...