Northern Ireland What personnel changes have there been? The defender Chris Baird has hung up his international boots after 79 appearances, removing valuable experience and versatility from the squad. Aaron Hughes’s international days are numbered at the age of 36 and following a move to Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. On the plus side, Chris Brunt, cruelly deprived of an appearance at Euro 2016 by a knee ligament injury, could make a welcome return midway through the qualifiers. How do their qualification prospects look? Reaching their first World Cup since 1986 will entail surpassing their achievement of getting to Euro 2016 because their qualification group is much tougher. The manager, Michael O’Neill, says he is targeting second place and a play-off spot, having accepted that his team are unlikely to finish above Germany in Group C, even if they have a history of upsetting aristocrats in one-off games. To do that he says his team must take maximum points … [Read more...] about Road to Russia 2018: how will Northern Ireland, the Republic and Wales fare?
David Beckham has become the highest earning British star on Instagram for a second year. The former footballer, 44, can reportedly make up to £286,000 for posting a single sponsored image, and has already uploaded 30 this year, totalling £8.6 million. The staggering amount is an increase on his earnings from last year, when the star reportedly commanded £228,000 per post. Sponsored: David Beckham has become the highest earning British star on Instagram for a second year. The footballer, 44, can reportedly make up to £286,000 per sponsored post Data from Hopper HQ, which runs social media accounts on behalf of companies and individuals, places David the top-ranking British star, and at number 17 globally on their annual Instagram 'rich list'. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Nadine Coyle proudly holds daughter Anaíya Bell's hand as... 'Fans are switching off in their droves': X Factor: The Band... … [Read more...] about David Beckham becomes Britain’s highest paid Instagram star of 2019 as he rakes in ‘£8.6 MILLION’ through sponsored posts
“I have a question!” exclaimed Edward Brown last week. “With Norwich needing a mighty 17-goal swing to avoid relegation in their final game (and results to go their way, of course), what has been the greatest escape by a club on the last day of the season thanks to a reverse of their goal difference? Surely no team has overcome anything more than a five-goal deficit on the final day to send another team down?” Norwich, you may have noticed, did not manage a 17-goal swing or, indeed, even a victory on the final day, so the Canaries will be playing Championship football next season. When it comes to the greatest deficits overturned, however, there are several notable instances and a few astonishing non-relegation-related final day turnarounds. First though to a final-day Houdini act from the Bundesliga in 1998-99. Here’s Rob Smyth in his Joy of Six: great escapes to explain: With four games to go, a deficit of four points seemingly made Frankfurt, er, dead … [Read more...] about The greatest final-day football turnarounds
"With all the talk of Arsenal's terribly 'long' wait for a trophy (almost nine years), spare a thought for Rochdale," writes Peter Hughes. "In their 107 year history they are yet to win a trophy. This could change at the weekend if results go their way [They didn't – Knowledge Ed]. Can any other team top this?" Before we look into this, here's Malcolm Warburton with some important clarifications: "Rochdale won the Lancashire Combination in 1910-11 and 1911-12. On the first occasion they finished seven points ahead of reserve teams from Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, but these all left, together with nine other reserve teams, to become founder members of the Central League. The second time they won by six points from St Helens Recreation before themselves joining the Central League, which at that time was a sort of Greg Dyke-style mixture of reserve and first teams. But when Third Division North was founded in 1921 all the first team members became … [Read more...] about Have there been any teams who have never won a single thing?
Wales's World Cup aspirations lie in tatters thanks to this inept display at the Karadjordje Stadium in Novi Sad, which saw them roundly thumped by Serbia. Woeful defending played a major part in Wales's heaviest defeat since 2006 and Aleksandar Kolarov and Zoran Tosic had the hosts 2-0 up inside 25 minutes. Gareth Bale gave Wales hope with a stunning free-kick but Filip Duricic got a third for the hosts before the break and Dusan Tadic, Branislav Ivanovic and Miralen Sulejmani completed the rout. Wales started positively, with Ashley Williams heading over from an Aaron Ramsey corner in the sixth minute and Bale posing problems down the right flank. But it took a block from Adam Matthews to keep out a free header from Nastasic at the other end. Wales fell behind after 15 minutes when Ivanovic won a free-kick on the right edge of the area. Kolarov stepped up to curl a left-footed effort over the wall and beyond Boaz Myhill. And the deficit doubled in the 24th minute with Kolarov this … [Read more...] about Wales World Cup campaign runs into trouble with heavy defeat in Serbia