Josh Murphy insists he has been ignoring reports linking him with a move to Chelsea, instead focusing on securing promotion back to the Premier League with Cardiff City.The winger earned strong reviews during his debut top-flight season in 2018-19 despite Cardiff coming up short in their bid to avoid relegation to the Championship.Such performances have seen him linked with Crystal Palace and Burnley, as well as Chelsea; speculation that could prove distracting for a 24-year-old looking to get back to the top of English football. Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare But Murphy insists that his attention is fixed firmly on the fortunes of Cardiff and helping Neil Warnock’s side make an immediate return to the Premier League over the coming months.”I can tell you I took no notice of it [being linked with Chelsea]. I don’t know if there’s any truth in it, but I took no notice of it,” Murphy told Goal in an exclusive interview.”I wouldn’t say it is a distraction, stuff like that is always going to happen. There is a fine line about it being true and not true.”It is just something that I would never look into too deeply. It is the end of the season so you always get stuff like that. I see myself staying at Cardiff. Then we go from there.”You never know what the future holds but as of now I am a Cardiff player and I am gearing up to get ready to fight for promotion to the Premier League.”I have only been here for a season and I love it here. That’s my priority – to be at Cardiff and get Cardiff back to the Premier League.”While playing in the Championship can take a player away from the spotlight, the ever-increasing quality in England’s second tier has started to be recognised by those at the very top of the game.Daniel James has already completed a move to Manchester United following a breakout year for Swansea City in the Championship last term while Mason Mount’s performances on loan at Derby County from Chelsea earned him a call-up to the England squad in October.And Murphy, who has won youth caps at various England age-group levels, believes he too has what it takes to catch the eye of Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate ahead of the European Championship in 2020.”I have always had that self-belief in myself. I have always thought I had enough talent and belief to make it to the very top. The only person who was going to stop me was me. Now I am eventually where I wanted to be, playing Premier League football.“I feel like I did alright [in the Premier League]. I am always out there to improve and get better as a player. So, hopefully, I have impressed the right sort of people. I want to go out there and enjoy football, get goals and assists for the team and bring success to the club.”Any young English player’s dream is to play for England. Going through the England ranks, then my goal is to eventually play for the England team. That will come down to me, how well I play and if I can impress the right people. It is one of my dream goals to do and hopefully I can get there.”Murphy forms one half of English football’s most famous active twins, with brother Jacob currently plying his trade for Newcastle.Over the past few seasons the pair have been moved apart due to their respective transfers having played together for both QPR and Norwich City, having begun their footballing development at local London side Pitshanger Dynamo.And Murphy believes that it has been hugely beneficial to have Jacob by his side throughout the early years of his career, saying: “Being twins, you are always going to have your brotherly rivalry. Some days you are going to hate him, some days you are going to love him.”That’s like every brother and sister everywhere. We are always there to drive and push each other on.“If he scored more goals than me as we got older, it is not like I am going to resent him. It would be his job to go to me and say ‘come on, I am going to help you be better’. We were always going to try to keep driving each along to keep getting better, better and better. I feel like we have done that.”I used to be a centre-back and then Jacob played in midfield. As we started getting older, the positions started changing but they are my first early memories from playing football. I would stay at the back, smash it up for Jacob to run on and score.”A lot of the scores would end up maybe 15-2 or 20-4 or something like that. That’s just the way it works. As you start developing and getting older, you start trying new things, like you want to play in different positions. Now both of us are wingers and we are enjoying ourselves.”We would always get mistaken. Being identical twins, it is easy for that to happen. We are both wingers, but different types of wingers. I like to be out on the touchline, chalk on my boots and take defenders on one-versus-one.”He is more of a modern-day inside forward who likes to receive the ball in the pockets. We both have different attributes but we like playing differently in different styles. He will get the ball on the half-turn and stride through the middle of the pitch. I like to be completely out wide.“That’s the noticeable difference in the way we play. He is a bit more bulldog-ish than me with his running technique. I like to think I am more elegant and glide across the pitch. We have always played in the same team up until the first-team level. We even played in the same England youth teams.”We have done the whole journey together. It got to the point where he went to Newcastle and that was hard for me to take. We did everything together. He coped with it better than I did because he had six or seven loans in the meantime.”He was coming back to Norwich as a base. It was okay because I thought he was always coming back. When he moved to Newcastle, his career went one way and mine went the other way. Hopefully, our paths cross again.”Part of Murphy’s ambition is built on his love for the sport, which he still holds close.Growing up in London, being a fan of Newcastle but being built at Norwich City, Murphy has taken a different path to many around him.He watches the likes of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale as he looks to develop into the finished article and better himself as a player.”I am a Newcastle fan, so growing up it would always be Alan Shearer [who I watched]. Then it was [Jermain] Defoe because I was all about scoring goals. So it would be those sorts of players who were hot at the time.”When I was getting older it would be wingers who I would aspire to be like. Like Bale and Neymar. Like all the top wingers, I just try to be the best I can be. There are loads of things.”I want to learn and improve. That will come down to me. I want to get more goals so that’s something I will strive on.”
Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk insisted his £75 million ($91m) price tag was never an issue after the world-record fee for a defender was broken earlier this month. Van Dijk made the move from Southampton to Liverpool in January 2018, the huge transfer fee initially raising eyebrows. AdChoices广告But the Netherlands international helped the Premier League giants win the Champions League last season and has emerged as a Ballon d’Or contender under manager Jurgen Klopp. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? However, the world-record fee was broken after Manchester United paid Leicester City £80m ($96m) for England centre-back Harry Maguire earlier this month. Van Dijk, whose side face Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday, played down the significance of the fees. “It wasn’t a big issue for me. It’s something you don’t have an influence on,” he told a news conference. “It happens, it’s the market and the only thing you can do is put your head down and start playing, give everything for the team. “That’s what I did and it worked so far, I’ll just try to keep doing that, keep progressing and be a better player.” European champions Liverpool will go into their clash against Chelsea as favourites, having opened their Premier League season with a 4-1 win over Norwich City as Frank Lampard’s men were humbled 4-0 by United. Van Dijk is eager for Jurgen Klopp’s side to win the trophy for Liverpool for the first time since 2005. “I think it could work in both favours, they know us, we know them, but the most important thing is it’s one game, one final, anything could happen,” he said. “We know at the start of the season everyone’s coming back from having a break. We are ready, we want to win that trophy and we’re going to do everything that’s possible to hold the trophy.” The Reds have a packed schedule to open the campaign, having lost the Community Shield to Manchester City on August 4 ahead of the start of the Premier League season. Saturday will see the club return to league action to face Southampton, with a match against Arsenal on the cards on August 24.
Michigan lost to Notre Dame on Saturday night, and aside from a nice fourth quarter drive by Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson, the team struggled mightily on offense against the Fighting Irish. It got the attention of a former Michigan star.Former Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards took to Twitter during the fourth quarter of the game to go off on the team – calling Patterson “scared” and the team’s offense “predictable.”He even called Michigan football “trash.”They are words that Michigan fans will be upset with – but they also might agree with them right now.Edwards has since deleted the tweets. But here they are:Edwards, after starring at Michigan, was drafted No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns back in 2005. He played 10 seasons in the NFL, catching 359 balls for 5,522 yards and 40 touchdowns.Michigan fans who were hoping for a great start to the season were left disappointed Saturday night. But Notre Dame was not a Big Ten opponent – so most of the team’s goals are still achievable.
PISCATAWAY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 30: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on September 30, 2017 at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Ohio State won 56-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)Urban Meyer made his return to Ohio State’s Woody Hayes Athletic Center this morning. The Buckeyes’ head coach is still serving a three-game suspension, but he’s able to coach during the week.Ryan Day, the team’s interim coach in Meyer’s absence, recently spoke with reporters. Meyer typically meets with the media on Mondays during the season, but that role will be filled by Day until the suspension ends after Week 3.It was a nice debut for Day on Saturday, as Ohio State beat Oregon State, 77-31, to open the season.Day revealed this morning what Meyer told him after the game.“You only had to punt once, huh?” Meyer told Day this morning.Ohio State put up more than 70 points and 700 yards of offense. Punting wasn’t really in the game plan.Meyer, meanwhile, returned to the practice facility at 6 a.m. this morning. He can coach the team all week, but then has to step away 24 hours before kickoff on Saturday.Ohio State is set to host Rutgers at Ohio Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on BTN.
BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 19: Fans watch during the game between the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Louisiana-Lafatette Ragin’ Cajuns at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)A petition to remove a live college football mascot has more than 35,000 signatures.Tens of thousands of people are calling for LSU to set its live mascot, Mike the Tiger, free. It also is asking for the Tigers to stop having a live mascot.Roughly 35,000 people have signed the petition, which was started by Care2, a California-based social media operation with 40 million members.“We believe that animals shouldn’t be used as entertainment, they aren’t here for our amusement,” said Rebecca Gerber of Care2.From The Advocate:Though LSU has spent millions improving the mascot’s enclosure, Gerber said Wednesday the point is that having a wild animal on campus as a tourist attraction makes it easier for people to accept killing animals for consumer trifles, which is the most likely end for tigers bred in captivity.“They should be in the wild and respected,” she said. “Even treated very kindly, it’s easier to see them as here entertainment, disposable props for football … We’re trying to stop that message completely.”This isn’t Care2’s first stab at petitioning LSU on behalf of Mike VII. Soon after Mike VI died of cancer, the group gathered 142,000 signatures asking LSU not to replace him with a new tiger. In comparison, the petition asking to create the City of St. George had about 13,000 signatures in June.LSU never responded.LSU has reportedly responded with the following statement:“The university does not support the for-profit breeding of tigers. By providing a home for a tiger that needs one, LSU hopes to raise awareness about the problem of irresponsible breeding and the plight of tigers kept illegally and/or inappropriately in captivity in the U.S.”You can view the full report here.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the game against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Alabama head coach Nick Saban is a hard man to please, on and off the field, and even on his birthday.Wednesday was Saban’s 67th birthday, and the Alabama Crimson Tide decided to throw their coach a surprise party.It’s a little-known fact that Saban is a huge fan of legendary rock band the Eagles. So the Alabama players made the band the theme of the party.The Alabama boss managed to crack a couple of smiles before visibly looking like he wanted to get back to work.Happy Birthday Coach! @EdgarsBakery #OutworkYesterday#RollTide pic.twitter.com/jlg2ebGzjo— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) October 31, 2018It’s easy to understand why Saban was so easy to resume his coaching duties. Alabama has arguably the toughest game on their schedule this year against LSU.Although the Crimson Tide are 13.5-point favorites, LSU has turned the tables on a double-digit favorite they caught napping before.A win over LSU would all but secure Alabama a spot in the SEC Championship game. A loss will mean that the Crimson Tide lose control of their own destiny both in the SEC and in the College Football Playoffs.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is unhappy with how his team is playing against Maryland on Saturday. He’s taking his frustration out on some of his own equipment.After Ohio State failed to earn a first down on a fourth down try, Meyer took off his headset and slammed it to the ground. His team currently trails Maryland 17-3 on the road.To say that Ohio State has gotten off to a slow start against the Terrapins would be an understatement. Maryland scored on runs of 81 yards and 75 yards in the first quarter.Here’s the clip of Meyer’s freak out:Let’s check in on Urban Meyer and his feelings on Ohio State’s start.#buckeyes #ohiostate #urban #urbanmeyer #coach #maryland #terps #terrapins pic.twitter.com/sFOrbGWISI— Sports Profusion (@SportsProfusion) November 17, 2018Maryland holds on fourth-and-1!Urban Meyer, your thoughts pic.twitter.com/McXPegW6KA— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) November 17, 2018Ohio State is 9-1 on the season and needs to win against both Maryland and Michigan to win the Big Ten East.Maryland is 5-5 and needs to beat either Ohio State or Penn State to become bowl eligible.Stay tuned.
NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 17: A general view of the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Ole Miss Rebels at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)Vanderbilt Commodores tight end Turner Cockrell passed away on Thursday, the school announced. Cockrell was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2017 after doctors found melanoma in his lymph nodes.Despite undergoing surgery, the cancer spread to Cockrell’s lungs last summer. He was just 21 years old.Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason released a statement following Cockrell’s passing.“My heart is broken for Randy, Noelle and the Cockrell family, for all of Turner’s teammates, and for all who came in contact with Turner. Turner had a wonderful spirit and fought an incredible fight. He was a Vanderbilt Man through and through, and he will always be remembered here.”The Vanderbilt football program announced the news on Twitter.The Vanderbilt community mourns the loss of Turner Cockrell. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cockrell family.https://t.co/XSJnfsLx3O pic.twitter.com/6gY1Votttp— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) November 30, 2018Cockrell was a two-year starter for his high school football team and won a state title in 2015 – the first state title in program history.Our thoughts are with the Cockrell family and Vanderbilt community.
STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 27: Tommy Stevens #2 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after rushing for a 3 yard touchdown in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes on October 27, 2018 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Penn State quarterback Tommy Stevens is one of the more intriguing players on the transfer market. The former Nittany Lion doesn’t have a ton of experience, but plenty of talent as multiple positions.At Penn State, he sat behind Trace McSorley, but also contributed as a receiver and out of the backfield. He was in the running for the starting QB job at PSU this off-season, but after missing a good chunk of the spring due to injury, he elected to leave the school to try and find a more promising situation for his final collegiate year.With other quarterbacks flying around the transfer market, that is more challenging than it used to be. One of his major options may have just disappeared.Kentucky recently landed Troy QB transfer Sawyer Smith, which may take them out of consideration for Tommy Stevens.Excited to announce that I’m going to spend my last seasons as a Graduate Transfer at THE University of Kentucky!! Words can’t begin to explain how proud my family and I are to be apart of the #BBN @UKFootball pic.twitter.com/b223Ixk3td— Sawyer Smith (@smittyyy22) May 13, 2019Stevens visited Lexington just over a week ago. It seems unlikely that the school would bring on two different grad transfer at the position though.Kentucky also returns Terry Wilson, who started all of last year, including the Citrus Bowl win over Penn State.Illinois, which Stevens has also visited, is also up in the air. For a while, it appeared that the Fighting Illini had landed USC transfer Matt Fink, but he has disputed that report.Mississippi State and Miami (OH) were the other two reported Stevens visits. He wouldn’t be the Bulldogs only option at the position, and the RedHawks are obviously at a lower level than the rest of these schools, playing in the MAC. He could also hold out for other options, but there doesn’t seem to be a super obvious fit right now, though Mississippi State is probably the closest, with former PSU OC Joe Moorhead leading the program.