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No matter where you play if you are one of the high profile players in any team each of your entry and exit from the side is scanned with suspected eyes, in fact, media geeks always look for anything secret about your absence from the game. This is something that seems to be happening with Barcelona ever since they hired the young Brazilian Neymar. There have been cases when media tried to create a war among them but both these pros always played down reports of any difference among them and this time too Neymar refuses to weigh his swap reports from the last game with Eibar. Actually what happened is Barca was already leading by three goals in that game then manager Luis Enrique apparently decided to rest his star Messi for the next two games against Ajax and, of course, Real Madrid this week but when Messi refused to leave the pitch Spaniard rested Brazilian instead of Argentinean. Within few hours, this news spread like a wild fire and almost every sports media captioned it as the growing war among two leading forwards of the Spanish giants.

But 22-year-old has now refused to have any disagreement with his manager’s decision, perhaps, he is not annoyed at all that media is pondering so much to a tiny incident. Showing his true sportsmanship spirit, former Santos forward said in a press conference that he is cool with Messi’s presence in the field especially knowing that he is too close to mark his 150th goal. He added, “It wasn’t annoyed at all. I understand that Leo is making history and, as a fan of his, I feel at his side. This forms part of football. You cannot always be on the pitch.

“I don’t know if this is a new version, but I feel more at home, happier, and you see that on the pitch. All this is helping for my level to be better. The coach, the players — all this, when you put it together, something good comes out. There has been no weight off my shoulders. I do not know what has changed — maybe the understanding of the team. I am enjoying myself a lot. It will be very difficult, but we always play to win. We must do well to claim the three points against a team who play very well. We know all about them, their strong and weak points.”

Chelsea show in this league season has been impressive right from the day one. Initially, it used to be believed that few concentric players are the backbone of this side and Diego Costa was one of them. In fact, manager Jose Mourinho had said over several occasions that Spanish forward is the integral part of his army and they rely heavily over him. But, team proved their manager’s assumption wrong when they won the last game against Crystal Palace by 2-1 without having Costa in the side. Notably, former Manchester United player is in brilliant form this season and already registered nine goals to his name in first seven played games for the new side. Indeed, it was him who played an important role in an unprecedented start by the Blues this season and made them unbeatable after eight games in the English topflight. This form can also bring good news for both club bosses and Mourinho as he looks forward for the higher position in Championship league as well. Despite missing Costa for hamstring problem, West London side can now look forward with a positive approach thanks to team spirit and well synchronized gameplay they illustrated in the last game.

Recalling his earlier belief about the teammates, former Everton manager said after looking his team’s fine form, “And it’s right and it’s true and it’s fair to say that. But, at the same time, this team had a big improvement. It was good for the group, as a group, to have an important victory without one player that ’til this moment has scored so many goals and given us so many points.”

Notably, Chelsea next game is against Maribor at Selhurst Park in the European league where Costa would again be not available hence manager is counting over other stars to triumph on European circuit too. Talking about Maribor, 51-year-old Portuguese added, “Maribor, no chance. Man United, very little. But, very little.” While adding about what has changed from last season to current one, he added, “We are not a perfect team — long way to go — but in many aspects our team is a better team. It’s not just about being brave, having courage, fighting a lot, coping with a physical match. This time was about imposing our game. We come here and we impose our game. From minute one we had the ball, we passed the ball, we moved players, we moved the ball, we circulated the ball.”

Young players have always been on the radar of big sides like Real Madrid who is known for snatching finest talents in their early ages and this is also a fact that any player they desire for is ready to join them and if he has any kind of dissent with his current club, chances of his switch become more prominent. We are talking about Liverpool’s 19-year-old Jamaican player Raheem Sterling who has off late been in the news for an apparent argument between Reds and England’s national team managers. He is young, dynamic, and obviously among the brightest European talents available today, hence, reportedly, Real was in talk with his agent for a possibly switch. Whether it is just a rumor or Madrid side is really interested in him is not confirmed but one thing is sure that Sterling has asked his side to revise his running contract and if there is any hitch from club side, Spanish giant would like to encash the opportunity even if manager Carlo Ancelotti has denied of any such interest in the QPR’s youth product. What Italian said about him in his recent interview is, “It is clear Sterling is not in our plans. Sterling is a player of great quality, certainly one of the best in Europe. But we already have extraordinary talent here.

“Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo are still young — and we have a talent here called Jese who is even younger. He is injured at the moment but already last year he has done things that are extraordinary, so to think of another striker for the Real Madrid attack is really extremely difficult.”

He intentionally made Reds bosses aware that they have enough options so no chances of creating another world record for hiring a priciest player! However, he praised Sterling and called him one of the bests in Europe ahead of their Championship clash with the league side. He said, “Sterling is strong because he has a specific quality which is pace and controlling the ball at pace which is unique. In today’s football at this level pace is a very important element. But I never worry about only one player. I always think I have to play against a team.”

This could also an intelligent mind game being played by the Real boss since he knows if he starts revealing their interest openly they could end up paying more amount than they would like to at the moment.

Louis van Gaal seems to have tightened his belt for the upcoming league games after a dismissal start of the campaign. However, the bigger problem for him is not the class but availability as most of the star liners are out for injuries especially in the defense area where Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, and Phil Jones are not available for different reasons. In other areas too situation is not comfortable for the Dutchman, in fact, captain Rooney is also passing through suspension so Gaal has indeed limited options but still he does not want to make an easy journey for any aspiring player into the final eleven. In short, new manager is finding it difficult to cope with the pressing situations at the helm and this is exactly the time he needs to prove himself otherwise there is no point in differentiating him from that of former sacked manager David Moyes who also said recently to have been in the similar situation but bosses never gave him some time to settle down at Old Trafford – don’t know why he is making a comparison now!

Normally, it is expected that senior players would get a priority when finalizing the last eleven but for Gaal this rule of thumb does not work hence he calls each aspiring player to prove his worth in the training ground no matter how big or experienced he is. Though, he has shown his respect for the legendry players, yet never promised for an easy go through into the side. Talking about his action plan for the remaining season, former Barcelona manager said, “Nobody is walking back in my team. You have to earn it on the training ground — every player knows that. I have great respect for the players I use at this moment and I have also the confidence in these players.

“When you mention Rooney, Carrick and Jones — of course they are great football players, but we have more great football players. Sometimes the other football players are doing better. It is not only the name. I have seen, for example, the youngest player, McNair, was outstanding in his first match. You have seen the reaction of the fans. Every time he touched the ball — applause.

“Of course Jones, Evans and Smalling were not available, but I am always thinking that youngsters can take the job over, especially one or two games.”

Today, soccer has become the gigantic game and everyone expects every player to play every match comes to his way irrespective of his fitness and requirement of the rest. There have been countless controversies over when a club should rest its star players and when national team manager should use the players for national duties. Recently, the controversy again sparkled when Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and England national team manager Roy Hodgson made a different point of views over player’s recovery and if they require training during this rehabilitation period. The recent hullabaloo belongs to Sterling, 19, who was selected for England Euro qualifier in Estonia last Sunday but could not play citing he was not fit. Still, England boss selected him and rested on the bench, yet he got a chance to fire a free kick which earned England the decisive goal of the game. Later, when Sterling revealed that he had informed Hodgson he is not fit, media shined the rising differences between Liverpool and English bosses.

Expectedly, 67-year-old rejected the criticism of using unfit players and said, “I’ve obviously read and listened to a lot of what has been said. He has been absolutely incredible for me and what has been nice to see is his maturity as a young man; he’s 19, a full international and he will hopefully be a key player for England and Liverpool for many years.

“This is a kid we bring up to be responsible and honest — lots of players will tell you they haven’t played when they haven’t felt right but this is a kid who didn’t say that. What he was saying was he felt tired. I’ve had it a number of times here with Raheem where he has been tired in his legs but he has gone on to play in games and be exceptional.”

Media linked the strategy used by national boss as against to Liverpool boss’ recent suggestion that players should take rest for two days after every game and Rodgers still affirms over his policy to use only fully fit players. What he added about this is “In terms of my methods, there’s probably one thing to clear up. I’ve seen a lot written about this second-day recovery. “I think a lot of people will be looking at that and thinking that on the second day, Liverpool players are sitting at home on the couch with their feet up watching Sky Sports, which is far from the truth.”