N’Golo Kante was more or less a consensus pick for the PFA Player of the Year award this year, even when teammate Eden Hazard’s stellar season is taken into consideration.
But the award has seen its fair share of snubs over the years. Paul Gascoigne is a surprising omission from the list, but he doesn’t even crack Copa90’s top 10.
Do you agree with the list, or is there anyone else you would have picked?
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Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez insisted Thursday that Mauricio Pochettino was not his “enemy” and said he could even imagine the Tottenham boss one day becoming coach of the Catalan giants.
Xavi was speaking after an apparent spat between the pair, fuelled by comments attributed to the midfielder in an interview the Spaniard vehemently insists he did not give.
Earlier this week, British newspaper The Sun quoted Xavi as saying that his friend and former coach Pep Guardiola wanted to sign Spurs star Dele Alli for Manchester City.
This in turn prompted a response from Pochettino in which he labelled Xavi as his “enemy”, because of the pair’s rivalry when the Argentinian played and managed Barca’s city rivals Espanyol.
Xavi though said the whole incident was “unbelievable”.
“I feel bad — because the interview of The Sun was a fake — and it’s the reason of Pochettino’s response,” Xavi told AFP in Doha, where he now plays his football.
“I don’t…(have) enemies in my life, even in football.
“Pochettino’s not my enemy, he’s not my enemy.”
He continued: “Before he was the coach of Espanyol and we fight between Espanyol and Barcelona.
“I respect him a lot.
“He’s doing really well at Tottenham. I like Tottenham’s style. I like the Pochettino style.”
Asked if Pochettino was good enough to become a future Barcelona coach, despite his Espanyol past, Xavi replied: “Why not? I think it’s not a problem. Alot of players and former coaches of Espanyol go to Barcelona.”
He added: “I think he can, he’s now one of the best coaches, in the Premier League. He could be a good possibility.”
The “fake” row has now come full circle after Guardiola insisted that he was not interested in signing Alli, the 21-year-old who has just been named England’s Young Player of the Year for the second season running.
Tottenham currently lie second in the English Premier League, four points behind leaders Chelsea. Xavi also said he was convinced that Guardiola would succeed in England, despite the fact the Manchester City coach will end the season without a trophy for the first time in his career.
“People only look at the results, but for me… City is doing well,” said Xavi. “I am convinced that next season for sure will be really good.
“It’s not easy because it is another culture, it’s another religion in the Premier League.”
Provided by Associated Press
The two Manchester clubs collide in the Premier League tonight in a game with huge ramifications for both sides.
For United, it’s the opportunity to keep themselves within touching of the top four, for City the chance to pull further clearer of their Manchester neighbours.
Here, we take a look at the five main talking points.
When the sides met in a hugely-hyped contest at Old Trafford in September, the clubs were battling for top spot in the Premier League.
There was an expectation then that both sides would be title contenders. That has not transpired, with City’s failure to mount a serious challenge perhaps the biggest surprise.
The stakes for this clash, however, are still high with Champions League qualification important to both clubs. With City fourth and United just a point behind in fifth, the occasion is likely to be a tense one.
With pressures on both sides, there are fears the game could be stifled as a consequence. The meeting has many of the ingredients of a classic.
Both sides have in-form, exciting players and the rivalries on the pitch, in the technical areas and in the stands are fierce.
They also have plenty to play for in terms of league position. Such pressures have had a negative effect on past derbies, however, and it could be a tight, cagey affair.
The sides differ greatly in terms of the way they have played this season.
Pep Guardiola’s desire to play fluid, attacking football at City with moves building up from the back has been well documented.
His commitment to his philosophy is unyielding, even when defensive mistakes have undermined the gameplan and cost points.
United’s approach under Jose Mourinho has been more pragmatic, with his side playing a solid but unspectacular game.
City have been inconsistent while United have ground out results. It has brought them both to a similar points total. It is an interesting clash of styles that could go either way.
Team News:— City Chief ️ (@City_Chief) April 26, 2017
City: Gundogan is out. Silva is a major doubt.
United: Pogba, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Zlatan, Mata all out. Valencia returns.
The rivalry between Guardiola and Mourinho is regarded as one of the most ferocious in the game.
There was certainly no love lost between the pair as they clashed regularly during their times in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
Since arriving in Manchester both have avoided stoking any ill-feeling and their two meetings this season passed without incident.
It remains to be seen if the pair have called a truce or whether a high-pressure occasion could bring any underlying tension to the fore.
City have a major doubt over playmaker David Silva, whose form in the second half of the season has been superb.
Top scorer Sergio Aguero might also be less than fully fit after taking a knock at Wembley at the weekend.
City could recall another exciting potential match-winner in Gabriel Jesus, but after more than two months out with a broken foot, his match fitness is uncertain.
United are also without two key players in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.
Provided by Press Association