Alan Pardew to meet with West Brom board with job under review and pressure mounting

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West Brom boss Alan Pardew is under the microscope.

West Brom boss Alan Pardew will meet the Baggies board for talks on Monday as his job hangs by a thread.

The 56-year-old’s position is under constant review with Albion eight points from the Premier League safety line and bottom of the table.

Press Association Sport understands it was business as usual at The Hawthorns on Sunday while the Baggies previously felt keeping Pardew for now was best for the club’s long-term future.

A lack of viable alternatives has helped Pardew’s position at Albion but the pressure grew following Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat to Leicester.

Following the game, Pardew said he will seek talks with the club and admitted they may want to sack him with those discussions set to be held on Monday.

He said after the game: “Before you even ask me the question, will I speak to those upstairs? Yes I will, of course I will because it’s getting difficult.

“For me, it’s about planning for next week and getting ready for a difficult game at Bournemouth and that’s what I will do.

“But I will still talk to them and get a feeling of what they think because they might think a change is a better thing for the club, I don’t know.”

Chief executive Mark Jenkins, who returned to the role last month after the sackings of chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman, is back from China following talks with the club’s owner Guochuan Lai.

Jenkins was in China for main sponsor Palm’s AGM with Pardew having won just once in 16 league games since replacing Tony Pulis.

His reign has also seen some dressing room issues, highlighted by Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore, Gareth Barry and Boaz Myhill allegedly stealing a taxi while in Barcelona with the club last month.

Grzegorz Krychowiak, on loan from Paris Saint Germain, showed dissent to his manager after he was substituted on Saturday.

Pardew said: “I do have a problem with it because I’ve supported him and played him and stuck by him when he’s not been particularly great.”

Goalkeeper Ben Foster even admitted he felt sorry for Pardew after another damaging defeat.

Salomon Rondon‘s opener was cancelled out by Jamie Vardy‘s stunning volley before Riyad Mahrez, Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra scored after the break.

“I feel sorry for him,” Foster told the BBC. “He prepares us correctly and at half-time we were well in the game.

“We were in the game and at half-time we thought we could get something out of it. But when heads drop like that it’s out of the manager’s hands.”

Victory moved Leicester onto 40 points and the squad will now travel to Spain for a four-day training camp.

Boss Claude Puel said: “We are happy about this game. Not just about the result but about the quality we put on the pitch in the second half.

“We found our clinical edge with fantastic goals and good moves – this is a good reward for the team.”

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Stats prove Mesut Ozil is Premier League's most creative player ever

David Cooper 11/03/2018
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Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil became the quickest player to reach 50 assists in the Premier League after setting up Shkodran Mustafi’s first-half goal for Arsenal against Watford on Sunday.

The German has often been accused of going missing for the Gunners, but the stats prove that he is one of the most efficient creative players that the English top-flight has ever seen.

It has taken the 29-year-old 141 league games to reach the landmark, pipping Eric Cantona by two matches in a top five that includes former Gunners Dennis Bergkamp and Cesc Fabregas.

Manchester City maestro David Silva is the only other active player to have his name in the top five, while David Beckham rounds out the list.

MesutOzilArsenal50assists

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Jose Mourinho lauds Marcus Rashford following brace in Man United's 2-1 win over Liverpool

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Happy man: Mourinho is pleased with Rashford's performances.

Marcus Rashford showed Jose Mourinho just why he deserved his first Premier League start of the year by scoring both Manchester United‘s goals as they beat Liverpool 2-1 on Saturday.

His double inside the first 25 minutes means Rashford has more goals from one game than Alexis Sanchez has managed for United since signing the most lucrative contract in Premier League history in January.

The Chilean’s arrival has pushed Rashford down the pecking order despite Sanchez’s struggles to recreate the form that made him so in demand when he decided to run down his contract at Arsenal.

Sanchez has just one goal in nine games in a United shirt, but has shown great hunger and is relentless willing.

Indeed, had it not been for an impact injury suffered by Paul Pogba in what Mourinho described as “the final minute” of training on Friday, there is every chance Rashford would have been sidelined once more.

Instead, Sanchez moved inside to an advanced midfield role Pogba would likely have filled to create the space on the left for Rashford to win the game.

“He scored two goals in a big match against a top class opponent,” said Mourinho. “Of course he was fundamental.”

His first goal in particular didn’t resemble a player short on confidence and without a goal in the league since early December.

Rashford burst onto Romelu Lukaku’s flick-on and turned inside Trent Alexander-Arnold before blasting past Loris Karius into the far corner.

Boosted by breaking his drought, Rashford then swept home a second 10 minutes later with the Liverpool defence again scrambling after Lukaku had outmuscled Dejan Lovren.

“The good thing was the first chance he had, he got it, he scored because I think in the last two months that was not happening with him,” added Mourinho.

“Today, a big game, probably he didn’t expect it, but we trusted him and thought the game adapted to his qualities.”

Rashford’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time not just for United — who face another two crucial games this week when Sevilla and Brighton visit Old Trafford in the Champions League and FA Cup respectively — but also for England.

England manager Gareth Southgate was among an impressed crowd just five days ahead of naming his squad for friendlies later this month against the Netherlands and Italy.

Those games will be Southgate’s last chance to experiment before naming his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia.

“It was nice that he was here to watch but there are a lot of players in contention,” said Rashford.

“He keeps in contact with us and let us know where we are at.”

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