The somewhat cowardly but invariably effective medium of break-up text

first_imgReuse this content Twitter An error message, yesterday. Photograph: Guardian Pinterest Send your letters to [email protected] And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Rob Moline.NEWS, BITS AND BOBSHarry Kane fancies Tottenham’s chances against Real Madrid in the Champions League next month. “Of course, we know it will be tough but it’s two good teams and an open game, probably,” he roared. “It will come down to who is more clinical in the final third – hopefully, that can be us.”Manchester City are concerned that Benjamin Mendy might have Really Very Bad Knee Knack. Mendy, though, doesn’t seem quite so worried.Napoli made a right old hash of their tribute to Arkadiusz Milik last night, handing Lorenzo Insigne the wrong shirt.West Ham and Tottenham have been charged by the FA after the handbags at the London Stadium at the weekend.Something new to haunt your nightmares: Diego Costa lingering in a tunnel.Raphaël Varane has dotted the i’s and ¨ed the e’s (or one of them at least) on a new five-year contract at Real Madrid.A Romanian fifth tier game was called off after 58 minutes yesterday as all their balls had been kicked into a nearby river.THE RECAPSign up and receive the best of Big Website’s coverage, every Friday, it says here. Seems to be a curious lack of mentions for The Fiver …STILL WANT MORE? YOU’RE MY FAVOURITE WASTE OF TIMEIt takes 96 matches to complete the group stages of Big Cup, a somewhat laborious and time-consuming process when one considers that of the 16 richest clubs in last season’s competition, only Tottenham Hotspur failed to advance to the knockout stages. So, a monumental waste of everyone’s time then, which is not to say plenty of these 96 games aren’t worth watching, whether they’re serving up perfect Harry Kane hat-tricks, sweet, sweet Gareth Bale volleys towards the top corner or the peculiar spectacle of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner asking to be substituted after 32 minutes because the noise generated by Besiktas fans was freaking him out. Bless. Tonight, further treats lie in store, with British teams Manchester United, the Queen’s Celtic and Chelsea all slated to play group games, in Russia, Belgium and Spain respectively. United play Spartak Moscow and are expected to beat them, despite being without Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones. In his pre-match press conference, José Mourinho stressed the need for he and his players to stay “humble”, a demand that seemed slightly ironic, coming as it did from a man who famously announced himself in England as “a special one” and has such bottomless reserves of self-regard that he makes Donald Trump seem positively self-deprecating. “Yes, we need to go into matches thinking we can dominate but we also have to accept the reality of high-level football and be humble when the opponent is on top,” he explained, pointing out that it is only on the football field that we can expect to witness any sign of his new found humility.Having masterminded enough Big Cup capitulations at Liverpool and the Queen’s Celtic to ensure he never gets too big for his boots, Brendan Rodgers takes the Scottish champions to Anderlecht tonight, in the first of two matches between the sides to decide which of the clubs will go out of Europe before Christmas and which will go out in mid to late February. Having been battered by Paris Saint-Germain in Glasgow, Brendan has urged his players to learn from what he described as a “reality check” and warned them against complacency against a team that is currently seventh in the Belgian league and already looking for its second manager of the season. “They are no mugs,” he said. “They are a good side with a good history. They haven’t started the season as they would have wanted but [Big Cup] is a great motivating factor for them to kick on.”Meanwhile in Spain, things could get a little awkward in the bowels of Atlético Madrid’s fancy new Wanda Metropolitano stadium if the Spanish side’s new recruit, Diego Costa, happens to bump into the former boss and team-mates he treated so contemptuously while sulking his way to a return to the Spanish side. Chelsea are in town, see, although Antonio Conte has said “I have no problem with Diego Costa”, with whom he last communicated through the somewhat cowardly, but invariably effective medium of break-up text during the summer. Although Atlético’s transfer embargo precludes Costa from playing for them before Christmas, he is expected to be loitering in the tunnel area ahead of tonight’s game in order to bid a fond farewell to his former team-mates and ask if one of them wouldn’t mind posting on the white Range Rover he left behind, that’s currently gathering dust in the Chelsea youth team car park. LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Barry Glendenning from 7.45pm BST for hot MBM coverage of Atlético Madrid 2-2 Chelsea, Jacob Steinberg for CSKA Moscow 1-3 Manchester United and Paul Doyle for Anderlecht 0-0 Celtic.QUOTE OF THE DAY Timo Werner doesn’t like what he hears at Besiktas. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images Facebook Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Football “He asked to come off so I took him off. It is impossible to prepare your team for an atmosphere like this. There was a deafening noise [and] at the start of the game we were a bit affected. For me, as coach, it is important to see who I can rely on in moments like these, who is prepared to defend himself against what is going on on the pitch. To encounter such an atmosphere was too much for some” – RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhüttl explains why Timo Werner was substituted after 32 minutes against Besiktas on Tuesday night.SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.FIVER LETTERS“My wife is from Chesterfield, so I have a soft spot for the brilliantly-monikered Spireites (the best nickname in the Football League), despite their recent endeavours making them difficult to love. However, if they appoint Jack Lester as manager, what are the chances he’ll replicate his playing career in Derbyshire by earning himself a three-game touchline ban during the match immediately preceding the Christmas period?” – Ed Taylor.“The link to yesterday’s Fiver in the letters is a real blast from the past. In the 1980s I had an Amiga computer, whose blue screen of death featured a Guru meditation. Very happy that the old 1980s Amigas have found a new life as webservers at Fiver Towers” – Rob Moline. Trouble in paradise? PSG have failed to defuse the fallout from the Cavani and Neymar spat, writes Ed Aarons.What are the most unlikely gigs played at football stadiums? The Knowledge has the answer.Quiz! Quiz! Quiz! Quiz! Quiz? Quiz!Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!GIVE US SENSIBLE SOCCER ANYDAY The Fivercenter_img Share on Messenger Pinterest Twitter Share on Twitter features Not exactly best buddies: Edinson Cavani and Neymar. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images Facebook Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Topics Share on LinkedIn Twitter Facebook last_img read more

Hierro: No regrets for Spain after Lopetegui exit

first_imgSpain No regrets – Hierro looking ahead with Spain following Lopetegui saga Harry West 01:57 6/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) FernandoHierro - Cropped Getty Images Spain World Cup Portugal v Spain Portugal The former Madrid enforcer has stepped into the breach at short notice after Lopetegui’s shock departure two days before their World Cup debut Fernando Hierro says there is no time for Spain to lament their pre-World Cup plans being left in disarray by the shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui.The Royal Spanish Football Federation announced on Wednesday, the eve of the finals, that Lopetegui had been sacked, just 24 hours after it was confirmed he would take over at Real Madrid following the tournament.Hierro, a former captain of La Roja whose international career spanned from 1989 to 2002, has assumed the reins for the World Cup, where Spain must first tackle a Group B consisting of Portugal, Iran and Morocco. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move And the retired defender insists that rather than rue their chaotic preparations, the 2010 winners must move on swiftly, with Cristiano Ronaldo and the reigning European champions looming as their opening test in Sochi on Friday.”The players are excited, they want this challenge, it’s a challenge for everyone, we do not have time to regret,” he told a media conference.”We have to be positive, opinions are not valid here, we have to turn the page, be positive, think about the players in the squad and what we represent.”We came to fight for the World Cup, the team is excited, we have a great opportunity and that must be the focus.Concluye la conferencia de prensa de @LuisRubiales y Fernando Hierro.En breve, todos los detalles en y— RFEF (@rfef) June 13, 2018″I know that they are going to give up their soul and give 100 per cent in a World Cup … we all know what this means. The response I’ve received is fantastic, it’s a united group, they know their goals.”We have the obligation to think that we have a great opportunity, we need the work and dedication of the whole world … we are going to try with all our strength.”Hierro, a five-time La Liga winner as well a European champion on three occasions with Madrid, offered his best wishes to Lopetegui.”My highest admiration for Julen Lopetegui. I wish you the best of luck,” he said.”When the president told me about the possibility, there were two or three alternatives: one was to say no, the other was to leave, the third was to be here to take a step forward for the federation and for Spanish football.”last_img read more