Third-bottom Everton sack Koeman

Everton have announced today that they have relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as Everton manager.

The Toffees are currently sitting third bottom in the Premier League, after winning only two of their opening nine league games.

Koeman had led Everton to a seventh-place finish last season, securing Europa League football, but has paid the price for their disastrous start.

A statement from the club read: “Chairman Bill Kenwright, the board of directors and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given to the club over the past 16 months and for guiding the club to seventh place in last season’s Premier League campaign.”

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Alex Lozowski signs new deal with Saracens

Alex Lozowski
Image source: @alexlozowski10 on Twitter

England international back Alex Lozowski has signed a contract extension with the current Aviva Premiership leaders, Saracens.

The deal will keep Lozowski at the reigning European champions until 2020.

Lozowski, 24, has been a crucial player for the Saracens since he joined them from the Wasps last year, offering options not only at fly-half, but centre too.

His form has seen him rewarded with two England caps, whilst on the Argentina tour four months ago.

“We are delighted that Alex has agreed a new deal,” Saracens rugby director Mark McCall said.

“Alex will have an important role to play for us as he continues to develop as a player, so naturally we are very happy to announce that he will be staying at Allianz Park until at least 2020.

“In his brief time at the club, Alex has already shown how good a player he is, but the most exciting thing for us is how much improvement we believe there is to come from him alongside our core of young, hungry, home-grown players.”

Lozowski is not the only player to sign new terms with Saracens in the recent weeks, as he follows Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Nick Isiekwe to sign on the dotted line.

“I have really benefited from being in the environment and from being around good players and good coaches,” Lozowski said.

“I think being surrounded by the calibre of guys that we’ve got here is only going to bring your game up. I am really grateful to be part of this team.”

Mane injury is a huge blow to Liverpool

mane

 Source: Sadio Mane via Facebook.

Liverpool have suffered another major setback in their quest for a top-four finish, after dynamic winger Sadio Mane was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Even more frustrating for the Anfield outfit is the fact that Mane suffered the injury whilst away on international duty with Senegal. It’s a major blow for the club, who rely heavily on his creative attacking runs down the flanks and his lightning pace in the final third of the pitch.

He was substituted in the 89th minute of Senegal’s win over Cape Verde and Liverpool have now confirmed the injury to the press.

The exciting forward was named in the 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or on Monday, but unfortunately, he is now set to sit out even more games on the bench. The injury blow comes having just returned from a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes in their clash back in September.

It’s an all-too-familiar scenario for Reds fans, who will remember him playing in the African Cup of Nations last season and subsequently missing the whole of January. Liverpool failed to cope with his loss sufficiently and slumped to their worst month of the 2016/17 campaign.

Despite being absent for that entire month, as well as another six weeks at the end of the year because of a knee injury, Mane still managed to score 13 goals last season.

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Source: Sadio Mane via Facebook.

Coach Jurgen Klopp now faces a massive challenge to keep the club moving forward in its push for a top-four finish. Big-spending Manchester City have set the pace so far and are the favourites to win the title, with Premier League betting sites pricing them at 4/6. Manchester United are hot on their heels at 11/4, and Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal seem to be the remaining teams who will fight it out for the remaining Champions League places.

Attention will now no doubt turn to who can replace Mane on the wing during the player’s absence. It could mean a first Liverpool start for new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined the club in a £40 million deadline-day deal.

The Senegal could miss as many as eight games for the Reds, including three of the club’s critical Champions League clashes, with a potential return against Chelsea at Anfield late November.

Adam Lallana is another player that could fill the void if he can get back to match fitness sooner than expected. The England International recently travelled to Qatar where he is trying to speed up his rehabilitation at the Aspetar Sorting Clinic. He is still recovering from a ruptured tendon in his left thigh which he sustained in a training exercise at the beginning of August. The club said that they weren’t expecting him back in October, but are hopeful he could make an earlier return.

Liverpool will hope that they can find someone to fill the vacant forward position without too much trouble, and that it doesn’t impact on the clubs attacking style of play.

Worcester sign Lance on short-term deal

Jono Lance
Image source: @WorcsWarriors

Worcester have confirmed the signing of fly-half Jono Lance on a short-term deal, in the hope the Australian can boost their Aviva Premiership campaign.

The 27-year-old playmaker will help to add experience to the Warriors’ ranks at fly-half, alongside current players Sam Olver, Tom Heathcote and Jamie Shillcock.

“Jono is a player who’s got vast experience at the top level having won Super Rugby titles with different clubs,” said Worcester rugby director Gary Gold.

“He will help drive the competition for the number 10 jersey and we’re looking forward to seeing what he has to offer.”

Lance admitted he is looking forward to the move, adding: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to represent the Warriors in the Aviva Premiership.”