Manchester United legend criticises Liverpool for allowing Gerrard MLS move

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has criticised Liverpool for allowing club captain Steven Gerrard to leave for MLS side LA Galaxy.

“There is no way in a million years that Liverpool should be allowing him to pack up and sign for LA Galaxy,” said Neville in his column for The Telegraph.

The former United defender believes that Liverpool should be doing more to hold onto their best players and should emulate the way United in recent years have very rarely let their stars leave unless the boss wants them gone.

“If you compare Liverpool to Manchester United over the same period of time, I can think of only one player – Cristiano Ronaldo – who left when he wanted to go, rather than when Sir Alex Ferguson wanted it to happen.”

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Gerrard has little to play for but pride in his final Premier League game for the Reds on Sunday afternoon away to Stoke City at the Britannia as Liverpool have missed out on a Champions League spot and will finish trophy-less after being knocked out of the FA Cup semi-final by Aston Villa.

The 34-year-old will bid an emotional farewell to the club he has spent his entire career with before heading to the USA to link-up with his LA Galaxy teammates in July following a summer break.

The reigning MLS Cup champions will be hoping Gerrard can help fire them to another title when he arrives to play alongside former Liverpool colleague and Galaxy skipper Robbie Keane.

Should Liverpool have held on to Steven Gerrard for longer or were they right to allow him to move to MLS?

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Jose Mourinho says Chelsea legend is a ‘big loss’ ahead of move to MLS

Jose Mourinho has spoken highly of Manchester City midfielder and Chelsea‘s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer Frank Lampard in light of his imminent move to MLS side New York City FC.

The Chelsea boss heaped praise on the 36-year-old when speaking at his press conference ahead of his side’s game at home to Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.

“One of my best players ever, one of my best professionals ever, a Chelsea legend and a legend in the Premier League,” Mourinho said.

“I have to honour him and wish him all the best in the States. He is a big loss for English football.”

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Lampard played under Mourinho between 2004 and 2007 in a period where Chelsea lifted two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup.

Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013 before allowing Lampard to leave for Manchester City last summer where he’s made 34 appearances in all competitions, contributing seven goals and one assist.

The ex-England international’s last game in England will be against Southampton at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon with City having already secured a second-place finish in the table. He will have a summer break before joining up with his New York City teammates in July.

Will Frank Lampard be a success for New York City in MLS?

Arsene Wenger says Thierry Henry “was one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen”

Manager Arsene Wenger was asked about how he reflects on the career of Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Liverpool game at Anfield this Sunday.

The Frenchman said, “I would like to thank him for what he has done for the club and what a huge success he has been for us. He was of course an exceptional football player.

“Thierry especially was a combination of huge physical talent, technical talent, but as well special intelligence.

“He was one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few good ones.”

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Henry has taken on a role as a pundit for Sky Sports but is also keen to gain his coaching badges, although Wenger has warned him of the pain that comes with being a football coach.

“He has enjoyed it, now it’s time to suffer as well for him. Coaching is enjoyable but it is as well suffering.

“It’s not as easy to get everybody to score the goals that he scored.”

As well as reminiscing over Thierry Henry, Wenger was in a confident mood and says that Arsenal have “very good memories at Liverpool” despite last season’s 5-1 thrashing.

“Liverpool scored over 100 goals last year. This year they have scored 19, so they are not on the same trend offensively.”

Will Arsenal win at Anfield on Sunday? And was Thierry Henry one of the greatest players ever?

Will LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane be as prolific next campaign?

Major League Soccer MVP and MLS Cup winner Robbie Keane had a wonderful season, capped off by scoring the winning goal in the final but he has a lot to do for the upcoming season to maintain his brilliant form.

The loss of the now-retired Landon Donovan will certainly have an impact on Keane’s performances, because as we know teams feared playing against the deadly duo but they can now pay more attention to Keane.

The 34-year-old forward will need to continue his successful partnership with the impressive Gyasi Zardes, who only netted three less than the Irishman last term.

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It will be interesting to see who the Galaxy bring in as a replacement for Donovan, with some reports suggesting Ronaldinho could be on his way to MLS.

With many players we know age is just a number, Keane will turn 35 during the next season but given his hunger and desire for the game it shouldn’t impact his performances at all.

He showed throughout last season that he still has that killer instinct in front of goal – a trait that he will never lose. With that in mind, teams will be fearing him possibly even more so in the upcoming season due to confidence being as high as ever.

We can expect Keane to be heading someway towards his 20-goal tally of this season again next term and unless any other outside factors hinder him such as injuries he should have no problem reaching his targets.

His wealth of experience will again help him no end, and the displays we saw from Keane last season were as good as when he was at his best with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The Galaxy will be going into the new season full of confidence and will believe they can beat anybody despite the loss of Donovan, and they’ll want to push on and continue making history with another MLS Cup title in 2015.

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The departure of Donovan could be a blessing in disguise for Keane as the Galaxy fans will be looking to him as their standalone cult hero, and we know that fans in MLS certainly get behind their players.

He is one of the most experienced players in MLS and will go down in the same category as Thierry Henry when he retires too.

We excitedly await the new campaign and are looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.

Will Robbie Keane impress again next season in MLS?

Watch: Thierry Henry’s best five career goals

Thierry Henry has called time on an incredibly successful 20-year career today and he will forever be remembered as one of the games true pioneers.

Don’t Miss: Thierry Henry retires: The story of his career

The French legend scored over 400 goals for club and country during his career and we take a look at what we think are five of his best:

1. Incredible volley Vs Manchester United – October 2000

Video credit: Coriat Cruz on YouTube

2. Stunning lob Vs Toronto – September 2012

Video credit: KickTV on YouTube

3. Amazing run and finish Vs Liverpool – April 2004

Video credit: Dhanesh Prabhu on YouTube

4. Backheel finish Vs Charlton – October 2004

Video credit: Murat Nurkozhaev on YouTube

5. Goal from a corner Vs Columbus Crew – September 2012

Video credit: whodiddat03 on YouTube

What is your favourite ever Thierry Henry goal?

Thierry Henry retires: The story of his career

Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football after 20 years of service to the game which saw him play for five clubs, winning 19 titles and an endless list of individual honours along the way.

He said, “it has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with AS Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special.”

The 37-year-old confirmed that he will now be working as a pundit for Sky Sports as of 2015.

“It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.”

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There aren’t enough superlatives to describe a man of such legendary status but hero, icon, genius, idol are just a few words that have been used in an attempt to label the Frenchman.

Monaco and Juventus

Henry’s professional career began at Monaco in 1994, aged 17, where he went on to make 141 club appearances, scored 28 goals and won Ligue 1 and the French Super Cup before leaving for Juventus in January 1999.

The move to Italy was probably the lowest point of his career as he struggled to settle in and was unable to influence the game playing as a left-winger.

Arsenal

Just eight months later, Henry was on the move again and this time it was to be a life-changing moment as he joined Arsenal, but perhaps more importantly at the time, he joined up with his former Monaco manager Arsene Wenger.

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Wenger decided to push Henry up-front as opposed to out wide, and essentially the rest is history.

He notched an incredible 226 goals in 369 appearances for the club and in the meantime became Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer as Ian Wright’s previous record of 185 was blown out of the water.

As well as numerous Golden Boot awards, he lifted three FA Cup’s and two Premier League titles and was part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ side of the 2003-04 season.

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Barcelona

Desperate for Champions League success that eluded him at Arsenal, Henry made an emotional farewell in 2007 to join Spanish giants Barcelona.

He spent three years in Spain scoring 49 goals in 121 appearances, winning two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and his dreams also came true when the Catalan side lifted the Champions League title in 2009. He then went on to also win the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Barca.

New York Red Bulls

In 2010, Henry made his move to MLS and joined up with the New York Red Bulls where he spent four seasons and scored 52 goals in 135 appearances in all competitions. He returned to Arsenal for a brief loan spell in the 2011-12 campaign and scored twice for the Gunners taking his overall goals tally at the club to 228.

France national team

As well as the remarkable achievements in club football, Henry was also part of the French national team between 1997 and 2010. He scored 51 international goals in 123 appearances and was a World Cup winner in 1998, a European Championship winner in 2000 and a FIFA Confederations Cup winner in 2003.

He finishes his career having played an overall total of 915 competitive matches for club and country, while scoring a monumental 411 goals.

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Key moments of each year from Henry’s illustrious career:

  • 1994 – Professional debut for Monaco on August 31
  • 1995 – Became first-team regular with Monaco
  • 1996 – French Young Footballer of the Year
  • 1997 – Ligue 1 winner with Monaco
  • 1998 – World Cup winner with France
  • 1999 – Joined Arsenal from Juventus
  • 2000 – European Championship winner with France
  • 2001 – Included in PFA and UEFA Team of the Year
  • 2002 – Premier League and FA Cup winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2003 – FA Cup winner with Arsenal and FIFA Confederations Cup winner with France
  • 2004 – Premier League ‘Invincibles’ winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2005 – FA Cup winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2006 – Champions League finalist and scored last ever goal at Highbury in a 4-2 win vs. Wigan (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2007 – Joined Barcelona
  • 2008 – Entered into English Football Hall of Fame
  • 2009 – La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup winner with Barcelona
  • 2010 – Joined New York Red Bulls and topped Eastern Conference
  • 2011 – MLS All-Star
  • 2012 – MLS All-Star and returned to Arsenal for loan spell
  • 2013 – MLS Supporters’ Shield winner with New York Red Bulls
  • 2014 – Retired from football and became Sky Sports pundit

In his announcement Henry mentioned how he hoped that we have “enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part” and it’s fair to say that we have all enjoyed watching him play and many will continue to reminisce in years to come over some of the incredible goals and special moments in his career.

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He also added that he has “had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience” – as have we thanks to his elegance on the field.

You rarely come across anyone who has a bad word to say about Thierry Henry and tributes will continue to pour in for a legend who will be sorely missed on the pitch, but he will have a place in history forever in the shape of his statue outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Thierry Henry is quite simply, a living legend.

DaMarcus Beasley: Left-sided legend retires from international duty

DaMarcus Beasley announced that he would no longer be available for the USA on Monday, signalling the end to a great international career in which he amassed over 100 appearances for his country. Here’s a recap of what he has achieved so far.

Naturally left-sided, Beasley has recently been deployed as a left-back as he has aged, but he started his career as a direct winger who was always a threat with his speed.

A product of the IMG Academy, Beasley starred for the USA at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 1999 and never looked back.

He signed with LA Galaxy in the same year but failed to make an appearance before joining the Chicago Fire the following season and spending four seasons in the windy city.

He spent the most part of his career travelling around Europe and playing for clubs such as Manchester City (England), Rangers (Scotland), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Hannover (Germany).

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He was the man who replaced Arjen Robben for PSV in 2004 after the Dutch winger left for Chelsea, so is a player who many respect greatly across the world.

He joined Club Tijuana in 2011 and spent three seasons in Mexico before finally returning to MLS with the Houston Dynamo this year where he is a designated player.

For the USMNT he has been a great servant down the left flank and has an incredible 121 caps (17 goals) for The Stars and Stripes. Playing as either a left-winger or most recently at left-back.

He is the only American to feature at four FIFA World Cup’s, having played in 2002, 2006, 2010 and this summer in Brazil where the USA reached the last sixteen.

His greatest achievement for the USMNT has to be captaining the side to his fourth Gold Cup win in 2013, which the USA will defend next July on home soil.

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Beasley has retired for the USA a legend of US soccer and replacing him will be a huge task for the young Greg Garza. And at the age of just 32, many will question Beasley’s decision to quit so soon.

He can now focus on club football with the Dynamo but his successful international career and work rate given to his country is something few will forget.

Has DaMarcus Beasley retired too soon?

Donovan says goodbye as USMNT share spoils with Ecuador

Friday marked the last time that Landon Donovan will wear the USMNT jersey, and he did not disappoint as he waved farewell to the US Soccer supporters in Connecticut.

Donovan only played the first 41 minutes but he was involved throughout his short spell on the pitch. He has always been a huge attacking threat and last night was no different.

And after 158 caps and 57 goals, few can say he didn’t deserve this great send off, after what has been a glittering career for club and country that could see him win the MLS Cup with LA Galaxy for the fourth time next month.

“It was beyond my wildest dreams for sure,” Donovan said. “As a human being, to feel that kind of love and support is incredible. I’ve put a lot into this game over many years and tonight feels like it was all worth it. I’m very grateful.”

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However, the USMNT will need to now look forward, and with an array of young talent on show last night they looked expansive and aggressive.

A special mention goes out to DeAndre Yedlin, whose pace is always a great asset to any attack, and he looked dangerous on the right side of midfield. Jozy Altidore was also good, and he looked like a man keen to impress having been frozen out by Sunderland in the English Premier League in recent times.

It was very much a weakened USMNT side, missing world cup stars such as Matt Besler, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard to name just a few. We think this only shows the depth Jurgen Klinsmann has in the squad.

A draw doesn’t feel like a fair result, as Enner Valencia’s late strike ensured that Donovan wouldn’t have a win to celebrate in his final game, but having said that, the USA never really looked clinical and are missing a true goal scorer.

We are now in the next World Cup cycle and replacing Donovan must be the priority, despite the fact that he missed the last tournament. He has been a great servant to the American game, and has had a great club career to match his international achievements.

His focus will now be on LA Galaxy’s game against FC Dallas on Sunday night, as they have the chance to go in pole position for the Supporters Shield after Seattle dropped three points against Vancouver.