Thierry Henry appointed as Monaco manager on three-year deal

• Former striker takes Ligue 1 job with club down in 18th place
• ‘I am very happy to come back to Monaco,’ says HenryThierry Henry has been named as the new head coach at Monaco. The former Arsenal and France forward replaces Leonardo Jardim, who was sacked by the Ligue 1 side on Thursday. Henry started his career at Monaco, and has been working as an assistant to the Belgium manager Roberto Martínez. Continue reading...

Leonardo Jardim should not be blamed for Monaco’s struggles

Monaco’s misguided transfer policy made Leonardo Jardim’s job impossible. He did well to thrive for so long By Eric Devin for Get French Football News
This is how it ends, then. Monaco’s glorious money-spinning project, so potent and so impressive for the better part of four seasons under Leonardo Jardim, went through one too many rotations and now the manager has left the club by mutual consent. The results – with no wins in their last 10 games – weren’t pretty, but Monaco are in this position because they were short-termist, they over-reached in the transfer market and they alienated their key players. Jardim’s career before joining Monaco was an itinerant one. He spent single seasons at Braga, Olympiacos and Sporting Clube de Portugal before being appointed to succeed Claudio Ranieri in June 2014. Little was expected of Monaco in Jardim’s first season in charge. Owner Dmitry Rybolovlev’s finances had Continue reading "Leonardo Jardim should not be blamed for Monaco’s struggles"

Uefa and FA discuss Eleven Sports showing La Liga on Saturday afternoons

• Service set up by Leeds’ owner Radrizzani breaks broadcast ban
• Uefa talks with English and Spanish FAs over breachUefa is in talks with the English and Spanish Football Associations about Eleven Sports’ breach of the traditional Saturday afternoon broadcast blackout in Britain. The streaming service, founded by Leeds’ owner, Andrea Radrizzani, has twice shown La Liga games at 3.15pm on Saturdays in recent weeks, despite Uefa’s article 48 banning the broadcast of live football between 2.45pm and 5.15pm. Continue reading...

Leonardo Jardim leaves Monaco after poor start to Ligue 1 season

• Manager who won title in 2017 leaves with club third-bottom
• ‘We achieved some great victories together,’ says Jardim Leonardo Jardim has departed his post as Monaco manager by mutual consent after a run of 10 winless games left the French club third-bottom of Ligue 1 and bottom of their Champions League group. Related: Football transfer rumours: Eric Bailly to Tottenham Hotspur or Arsenal Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Arsène Wenger to take PSG role?

Today’s fluff would quite like to go back to bed People who know Arsène Wenger say that since stepping down as Arsenal overlord, there is a fresh spring in his stride. Although it was not a decision he relished taking, the 68-year-old looks liberated, spry, many years younger. It’s amazing what not being called a plonker on a weekly basis can do for a man. One day the Mill hopes to experience that. Related: Lille are racing up Ligue 1 thanks to their quick and tricky strikers Continue reading...

A host of Europe’s top football clubs are strangely out of sorts

Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona have won 26 European Cups between them. You wouldn’t know it from their form By Martin Laurence for WhoScored It was a weekend of shock results across Europe’s major leagues, with the Bundesliga and La Liga in particular throwing up more surprises. Two titans of the game fell to equally startling defeats on Saturday evening – just as Manchester United were avoiding one of their own at Old Trafford. There was a sense of disbelief from fans at Old Trafford when United went 2-0 down inside 10 minutes to a Newcastle side who had not won all season. It took three players who have been marginalised by José Mourinho this season – Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sánchez – to turn the atmosphere from stunned silence to raucous noise and ensure United avoided dropping into the bottom half of the Premier Continue reading "A host of Europe’s top football clubs are strangely out of sorts"

Alavés revel in beautiful madness and pile pressure on Lopetegui’s Madrid | Sid Lowe

Manu García’s last-gasp goal gave Alavés their first home win over Real since 1931 as the visitors lost their third game in four “I was crapping myself,” admitted Alavés coach Abelardo Fernández. A few metres to his right, so was Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui. When the board went up, a red five glistening in the rain, he shot wild, pained looks, head swivelling from side to side, performed that classic Italian fingertips-to-the-face gesture that says “what the …?!”, some baffling injustice served – artichoke hand, it’s called – and pleaded for more. “Five?!” he shouted, “por favor! por favor!” It was 0-0, Mendizorroza was bouncing, holding on for an historic draw and Lopetegui’s team were approaching seven hours without scoring. He was under pressure, desperate for one last shot at salvation, and five more minutes didn’t feel like long to get a goal. As it Continue reading "Alavés revel in beautiful madness and pile pressure on Lopetegui’s Madrid | Sid Lowe"

Cristiano Ronaldo scoring for Juventus is just a goal, nothing else | Paolo Bandini

The Ronaldo case is bringing out the worst aspects of football’s tribalism, with reactions driven by club loyalties over any consideration of the human beings involved Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal on Saturday. Not one that is likely to be remembered, among the almost 700 he has scored in his career, though the technique was exemplary. Running on to a Mario Mandzukic pass that was moving across his body 12 yards from goal, the Portuguese took the shot on first-time – drilling it into the bottom corner with his notionally weaker left foot. That strike sealed a 2-0 win over Udinese, and marked another dominant performance from a player who looks ever more comfortable in a Juventus shirt. Ronaldo dovetailed superbly with Mandzukic, clung to the touchline when his manager asked him to and tormented defenders with his stepovers. Continue reading...

Lille are racing up Ligue 1 thanks to their quick and tricky strikers

Lille’s Bip Bip strikeforce is named after a Looney Tunes character but Ligue 1 defenders are not laughing By Eric Devin and Adam White for Get French Football News Lille’s cracking 3-1 win against Saint-Étienne on Saturday afternoon keeps them second in Ligue 1 and three points clear of Marseille. The game also showcased their young Bip Bip strikeforce – Jonathan Bamba, Jonathan Ikoné and Nicolas Pépé – who picked up their name from the cartoon Bip Bip et Coyote, the French version of The Road Runner – and are using their speed and trickery to rival PSG’s very own MCN trio. Related: Cristiano Ronaldo scoring for Juventus is just a goal, nothing else | Paolo Bandini Continue reading...

Dortmund are raw, visceral, thrilling and a throwback to Klopp heyday | Andy Brassell

Mario Götze, one of the key pieces in Jürgen Klopp’s glorious apex at BVB, helped grab victory in a thriller against Augsburg
It was as if he’d never been away. He took Achraf Hakimi’s pass in his stride and, steering the ball with the outside of his foot out of the line travelled by onrushing goalkeeper Andreas Luthe, appeared to create a tricky angle. With the next sweep of his right he made light of it, swishing the ball clinically into the far corner. In common with his winner in the World Cup final four years ago, it was a tough chance made to look simple by impeccable, ice-cold technique. There have been moments – many moments, of late – when Rio must have felt like a lifetime ago for Mario Götze. None of those mattered on Saturday at Signal Iduna Park where, having been a surprise addition to Borussia Continue reading "Dortmund are raw, visceral, thrilling and a throwback to Klopp heyday | Andy Brassell"

Cristiano Ronaldo scores at Udinese to help keep Juventus at 100%

• Ronaldo in action for first time since Der Spiegel article
• Juventus have won 10 competitive games, eight in Serie ACristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus maintain their perfect start to the season with a goal at Udinese at the end of a week overshadowed by the reopening of a police investigation into a rape allegation made against the Portugal forward. Rodrigo Bentancur scored the opener as Juventus made it 10 wins from 10 competitive games and moved to 24 points in Serie A, nine ahead of second‑placed Napoli, who host Sassuolo on Sunday. But Ronaldo – who denies raping Kathryn Mayorga in Las Vegas in 2009 – was the focus of attention in his first game since police in America responded to the claims made in the German magazine Der Spiegel. The Portuguese forward’s goal secured a 2-0 victory. Continue reading...

Bayern thumped by Mönchengladbach, Dortmund beat Augsburg in thriller

• Bayern slump to fifth in Bundesliga after 3-0 defeat
• Paco Alcácer hits hat-trick as leaders beat Augsburg 4-3Bayern Munich’s poor run of form continued as they were thumped 3-0 at home by Borussia Mönchengladbach, while Borussia Dortmund rallied to beat Augsburg 4-3 and stay top of the Bundesliga. Niko Kovac’s side fell two goals behind in the first 16 minutes as they slumped to their fourth match without a win in all competitions – a crisis by their exacting standards. Continue reading...

Yuri Semin: the man who can’t say no when Lokomotiv Moscow call | Jonathan Wilson

He has been both a player and a president of the Russian club, and the 71-year-old is now in his fourth stint as manager which included last season’s remarkable title triumph Never go back, they say, but Yuri Semin has never been somebody to place too much store by conventional wisdom. He is 71 now, his eyes more watery than ever, and this is his fourth stint in charge of Lokomotiv Moscow. In total, he’s managed them for more than two decades. To a large extent, Semin is the club and that they are playing Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday is to a large degree down to him. Semin first became manager of Lokomotiv in 1986. He had a year away in 1991, managing New Zealand’s Olympic team – a typically unconventional move for a coach who manages to combine supreme practicality and the dress sense of a Continue reading "Yuri Semin: the man who can’t say no when Lokomotiv Moscow call | Jonathan Wilson"

Marek Hamsik dilemma compounds new-look Napoli’s identity issues | Michael Butler

The talisman’s role has been uncertain since Ancelotti’s arrival and, with Liverpool in town, a solution is not obvious There is no current player more synonymous with Napoli than Marek Hamsik. It is not just because he is captain, or uniquely identifiable by his mohawk, or the fact that after 11 years in Naples he recently overtook Diego Maradona as the club’s all-time leading scorer. Hamsik and his family have been robbed at gunpoint three times in the city and yet he stays, recently declaring in his autobiography that he would never leave for Juventus, as his former teammate Gonzalo Higuaín did. Yet the truth is that nobody looks more out of place in the latest iteration of this Napoli team than Hamsik. With both Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho departed for Chelsea, the Slovakian has been asked by new manager Carlo Ancelotti to fill Jorginho’s boots at the base Continue reading "Marek Hamsik dilemma compounds new-look Napoli’s identity issues | Michael Butler"

Julian Nagelsmann: Hoffenheim’s young coach takes on Manchester City

The 31-year-old has transformed Hoffenheim but his decision to join RB Leipzig next summer has had a destabilising effect It was short and sweet; a friendly handshake, a firm pat on the back before Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick ran to their respective dugouts. The former was at pains to play down the intrigue surrounding Saturday’s meeting between his current team, Hoffenheim, and his employer-in-waiting, RB Leipzig, where Rangnick is holding the fort in a sporting director-cum-manager role. “It interests me zilch, who is on the other side,” Nagelsmann said. But it was, as SportBild described it, “a duel against the future” – one that Rangnick won. Related: Bayern's wobble at Hertha gives Bundesliga rivals reason to daydream | Andy Brassell Continue reading...

La Liga: boring, uncompetitive and all that. Hang on … | Sid Lowe

Just seven weeks in, no one is winless in Spain and no one is unbeaten either. Is this season competitive rather than cheap? On Saturday afternoon, leaders Barcelona only managed a 1-1 home draw against 15th-placed Athletic Club Bilbao and had to come from behind for that; without a win in three, they dropped their seventh point in six days. On Saturday night, Real Madrid failed to score for the second game running, drawing 0-0 with Atlético Madrid; they’ve won just one in four now, while their city rivals left the Bernabéu unbeaten for a sixth successive season but have only won three from seven. And in between those matches, Sevilla beat Eibar at Ipurua, taking them third and on to 17 goals in 10 days, including three against Madrid. Before that, they hadn’t won in three, collecting a solitary point. They hadn’t even scored. On Sunday evening, Alavés Continue reading "La Liga: boring, uncompetitive and all that. Hang on … | Sid Lowe"