2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: 5 talking points as Vietnam, Thailand play out 0-0 draw

Vietnam and Thailand played out their second 0-0 draw of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in the second round, resulting in only a small change in the Group G table. Here are five talking points from the game.

#5 Dang Van Lam keeps Vietnam in the game with penalty save

 

After a slow start to this match, Thailand gradually grew into the game, and a rather innocuous looking challenge inside the box from a corner saw confusion, before the referee suddenly pointed to the spot for a foul by Doan Van Hau.

Theerathon Bunmathan stepped up to take the penalty for the War Elephants, but a stunning stop by Dang Van Lam ensured the score remained 0-0 at a crucial period.

#4 Vietnam have a goal ruled out for a foul

The referee was once again right among the action just a few minutes after the penalty incident, this time at the other end, as Vietnam appeared to have taken the lead through a towering header.

However, the goal was immediately ruled out for what looked like a debatable bit of contact on Thai goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan.

#3 Thailand should have scored late on

 

A late flurry from the visitors saw them receive quite a few chances in the last ten minutes of the game, the best of which should have been converted from close range.

First it was Dang Van Lam who once again saved Vietnam, before Doan Van Hau heroically threw in a dive and blocked what seemed to be a sure shot goal. Ekanit Panya of Thailand couldn’t convert from tap in range.

#2 The big guns fail to fire

Thailand Chanathip
 

It may have been billed as Nguyen Quang Hai vs Chanathip Songkrasin, but this Vietnam vs Thailand clash saw very little of the two talismanic players.

Chanathip had a few moments of magic in terms of his touches, but failed to deliver the goods when it mattered most. The same can be said of Quang Hai, who was largely peripheral throughout.

#1 Thailand dumped out of top two places

 

Vietnam probably did not need a win as much as Thailand did in this one, and a victory for Malaysia in the other Group G game against Indonesia means that they now move into second place.

The War Elephants are now on 8 points from 5 matches, while Malaysia have one point more. UAE could also be a team in the reckoning, though it appears that Vietnam are rather comfortable with 11 points from 5 matches.

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Vietnam vs Thailand – Lineups announced

The big ASEAN clash of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers second round sees Vietnam take on Thailand at the My Dinh Stadium, and the lineups have been announced.

Vietnam have the chance to extend their lead at the top of Group G, and have announced the same side that took to the field against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last time out, and came away with a 1-0 victory.

Undoubtedly, the likes of Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Tien Linh will be the danger men for the Golden Dragons against the Thai defence for the match.

On the Thai side of things, Teerasil Dangda may be called upon to provide the goods for his nation as he starts this one, and has ample support across the pitch.

The biggest plus for the War Elephants is the inclusion of Chanathip Songkrasin in the team, who just might end up being the player who can help Thailand overcome the odds and beat Vietnam away from home.

Catch all the action from this one via our FOX Sports Asia Live Blog.

Eden Hazard predicts outcome of Chelsea vs Manchester City

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Chelsea take on Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend, and it is undoubtedly the standout fixture of this particular matchday.

The last time Chelsea went to the Etihad Stadium it was a rather embarrassing occasion for the Blues, finding themselves on the wrong end of a 6-0 scoreline that outlined the difference between the two sides.

However, this season Chelsea have been particularly impressive under new manager Frank Lampard, and chances of another 6-0 look rather unlikely.

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Eden Hazard was a part of that game where the Londoners were drubbed away from home, but even he believes that his former employers are in a much better position now, and can possibly even win this game.

“Of course they can beat Man City. It’s not going to be easy, it’s hard to play there and last time we played there we lost 6-0,” he said to Sky Sports.

“So it’s bad memories for me and for Chelsea as well but I think this season they are really good. They are really young but really good, so why not go there and win the game?”

Chelsea currently sit in the top four of the Premier League table and are actually one point ahead of Man City as things stand.

Arsenal told to sign former Barcelona manager as Unai Emery replacement

Arsenal fans the world over are calling for change after struggling to get going this season, and the first place to make changes could start in management, with Unai Emery the presumed guilty party.

The Gunners were expected to fly high with the Spaniard at the helm, but not too many fans are impressed with the work done by Emery, and there is reason to believe that more mediocrity could be in the near future.

With talk of Emery being replaced, former Arsenal player Kevin Campbell has chimed in with his own account, and feels that should the current manager be sacked, his replacement could be Luis Enrique, who managed Barcelona.

Enrique tragically lost his nine-year-old daughter to cancer recently, but could be set for a return to management, and should he come to Arsenal, it might bode well for a few players.

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“Some of the names, obviously [Massimiliano] Allegri’s got mentioned,” Campbell said on AFTV.

“Rafa Benitez has got a mention, who’s stuck out in China right now.

“Luis Enrique, I mentioned Luis Enrique. And I know he’s going through some bereavement with his family, with his daughter passing away.

“But it might be the kickstart he needs to get back into work, to get hands on and to just move on with his life. It might be the case, it might not, I’m not sure.

“But attacking football, that guy knows how to play. He knows how to play attacking football.

“We’ve got Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Pepe and the four of them have never played together, never been on the pitch.

“You would think, that four, you would build a team around that and you say ‘Right, you guys get on with it and we’ll do all the leg work around you’.”

LIVE: 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Vietnam vs Thailand

Hello and welcome to FOX Sports Asia’s live coverage of the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, second-round tie between ASEAN rivals Vietnam and Thailand. Follow all the action from this one via our live blog here. 

Vietnam sit firmly at the top of Group G with 10 points from four matches, and have a chance of extending their lead with a win against their bitter rivals in Thailand.

The two teams had contrasting fortunes on the fifth matchday with Vietnam defeating United Arab Emirates (UAE) 1-0 while the Thais went down to Malaysia 2-1 to surrender top spot in the group.

This contest takes place at the My Dinh Stadium in Vietnam, where the Golden Dragons might be considered favourites, but only by the slimmest of margins. At the other end, the War Elephants will be keen to pick up their World Cup qualifying campaign once again, with no better team to do it against than their ASEAN rivals.

With the big guns in action, you most certainly would not want to miss this one.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match between Vietnam and Thailand kicks off at 9:00 PM HKT and you can follow all the action LIVE right here via our official FOX Sports Asia matchday blog.

 

Former Arsenal striker wants Jose Mourinho nowhere near the club

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has been linked with the top job at Arsenal since poor results heaped the pressure on current manager Unai Emery, but one former Arsenal player is not so keen on having him at the Emirates Stadium.

Kevin Campbell refused to even say the word Mourinho during his recent appearance on AFTV, and highlighted that he wanted the Portuguese to stay far away from the North London side.

“There’s been a lot of rumours flying about, about a new manager coming in,” Campbell said on AFTV.

“There’s that ‘M’ word that I don’t even want to mention. Yeah, Mickey Mouse.

“I don’t want to mention him, who was manager of our rivals, two of our rivals and apparently got spotted having dinner with Raul [Sanllehi], which is nonsense.

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“But I wouldn’t have him anyway, I wouldn’t have him anywhere near the club.”

When the former Gunners frontman was asked who he preferred between Emery and Mourinho, the answer was simple.

“I don’t need to answer that,” Campbell continued.

“I’d have none of them. I’d have Freddie [Ljungberg] in. [Mourinho’s] not in, he’s not in, and Emery’s gone. So if that’s the case I’d have none of them and I don’t have to choose one.

“Yeah [it’s got that bad] that fans could sell their soul to the devil. I say that just as a saying.

“Sell their soul to Mourinho who has absolutely lambasted Arsenal, taken the mickey out of Arsenal, taken the mickey out of Arsene Wenger when he was our manager, specialist in failure and all that.

“That’s aimed at us, that isn’t just the manager, that’s aimed at us. This is how it is.”

Manchester United starlet reveals he wants to be next Wayne Rooney

Manchester United have found their own next star in the form of young Mason Greenwood, and in a very short period of time, the teenager is making a serious name for himself.

Lauded by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as one of the greatest finishers he has ever seen, Greenwood looks set to have bright future at the Red Devils, and he certainly looks up to the right people.

In a recent interview conducted by Daily Mail, Greenwood revealed that Wayne Rooney was one of his idols, and that the Brazilian Ronaldo was another one he looks up to.

“It has to be Rooney,” he said.

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“The Brazilian Ronaldo, too. They’ve always stood out for me and I’ve always looked up to them. Ronaldo was quite a while ago but my dad used to show me clips of him.

“Rooney is such a great goalscorer and that is what I want to be. You have to have a role model. I’ve never seen him, though. I’ve watched his games and the highlights on YouTube. Hopefully I’ll get to meet him one day.”

The striker also discussed working under Solskjaer and his development under the Norwegian.

“The manager is a really nice person,” Greenwood revealed.

“Obviously he was a great goalscorer at United and I know about him, I’ve watched him. He’s a great manager in my eyes. I’ve got so many role models around me and Marcus is another one. I just want to follow in his footsteps.”

BREAKING: Arsene Wenger returns to football, finds new top position

Arsene Wenger is officially back in the football world, and is returning to the game as FIFA’s new chief of global football development, it has been announced.

Wenger’s new job will focus on overseeing the rules-making panel at FIFA known as IFAB, coaching programs and technical analysis of matches at various FIFA tournaments.

The man Wenger effectively replaces is no stranger either, as the legendary Marco van Basten, who was FIFA technical director till October 2018, makes way for the equally historic Arsene Wenger.

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“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global,” the former Arsenal manager said after being handed the position.

“I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this.”

This ends all rumours that Wenger could possibly replace Niko Kovac as the next manager of Bayern Munich.

Reports: Barcelona youngster on Manchester City radar after falling out with Lionel Messi

Manchester City may have fallen to a stunning 3-1 defeat at Anfield against Liverpool on Sunday, but they know they can still catch the Reds with a string of positive results, and possibly a good bit of investment in the January transfer window.

Looking to the January window might end up being key for City boss Pep Guardiola, as a number of injuries have forced him to look to his impressive squad depth that may still need a bit of strengthening.

Don Balon are now reporting that City’s current defensive problems could be the catalyst for the arrival of a player in that position, and it might well be a young man from Barcelona.

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Junior Firpo arrived at Barca this year with serious pedigree and a bright future ahead of him, but he has struggled to find a spot in Ernesto Valverde’s first team, resulting in some obvious frustration.

Versatile as he is, Firpo is still unable to find a position in the Blaugrana side, and his well documented problems with Lionel Messi from the past could come back to haunt him.

The report says that old tweets from Firpo directed towards Messi might still be an issue, and with a lack of playing time and belief, perhaps moving to Manchester could be the right platform for the 23-year-old to fulfil his true potential.

Robbie Fowler reveals he doesn’t want Steven Gerrard as Liverpool manager

Liverpool are flying high with Jurgen Klopp at the helm, and after lifting the UEFA Champions League (UCL) trophy last season, are well on course to win the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Despite the good work done by Klopp in recent years, some sections of the Liverpool support are still considering the idea of having one of their own back at Anfield and possibly take over the reins at some point.

That man would be Steven Gerrard, who has been Mr. Liverpool for a long time, but chose to further his coaching career after retirement by taking up a job at Rangers.

Though his love for Liverpool is there for all to see, another club legend in Robbie Fowler isn’t so sure he wants any change in the Reds for a long time to come.

“You can never say never is football, and Steven is doing a wonderful job up at Rangers,” Fowler said to talkSPORT.

“You’ve got to ask the question, are they a better team now since he took over? Of course they are, they really are.

“Will he want to leave and go back to the Premier League? No doubt about it and in the future he probably will do.

“He’s the name on everybody’s lips should Liverpool be looking for a new manager, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t want them to be looking for a new manager.

“I want Jurgen to stay for a long time because if he stays for a long time it means Liverpool as a club are successful.

“So all the talk about should Steven be there, of course, he’ll be the name on everyone’s lips, but I hope it’s not for a long time.”

Gareth Southgate reveals why Raheem Sterling, Joe Gomez bust-up went public

Raheem Sterling was surprisingly left out of the England squad that was set to play a Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro, and it became clear that this was because of a bust-up with Joe Gomez in the England camp.

Gareth Southgate revealed that the behaviour was unacceptable, and Sterling faced the brunt of the repercussions, missing out on a chance to represent his country against Montenegro.

Now, the England manager has explained his actions and the need to go public so quickly.

“I wouldn’t normally speak at this stage but there have been statements coming out of our camp it is important to speak publicly about this so that the players don’t need to deal with that moving forward,” Southgate said in a press conference.

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“I think I’m dealing with a very young squad and we’re in a sport where emotions often run high.

“Raheem in his post last night explained that for a very brief moment, his emotions ran over. It would be correct to say that was not the same for Joe. These things happen in football.

“My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all of my players. All of my players. Then, you have a decision to make as to whether there needs to be further which is the right thing for the group moving forward, which is my reason for not selecting Raheem for the game Thursday.

“In regards to whether that should be made public or not, when you’ve made a decision like that, it’s going to be public Wednesday or Thursday anyway. I’d have to deal with it then, I’d rather deal with it now, so we can all focus on the game. The decision has been made. We move forward.”

Alvaro Morata claims Chelsea players drove him crazy, led to him leaving

Alvaro Morata was a shadow of his former self during his time at Chelsea, and despite coming to Stamford Bridge with a serious reputation of being a goal scorer, he failed to make an impact.

The Spaniard was expected to light up the Premier League as possibly the next Sergio Aguero, but he could only manage 24 goals in 72 appearances for the Blues in a troubled spell at the club.

Morata himself has shed light at his time in England, and claims that self doubt and injury troubles led to him being unable to provide his best form of himself in the Premier League, and led to him eventually joining Atletico Madrid on loan.

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“I’m happier now,” Morata told COPE radio.

“It wasn’t a good time in my football life, I’d stopped enjoying it. At times I didn’t believe in myself.

“I was playing some games in England and I had the feeling that when I got into space, my teammates looked at me and I knew they thought I wouldn’t do anything good with the ball.

“It was driving me crazy. I had a bad time.

“I’ve smashed my phone after games. I’ve got home and thrown it against a wall.

“I had a back injury. I went to Germany for treatment… Two days later I played, my back hurt again, I had a terrible game. I had all these messages on my phone saying ‘don’t worry, good times are coming’ and I threw it against the wall.”

Reports: Manchester United frontrunners to sign £85m target after Barcelona pull out

Manchester United have been handed a major transfer boost in their pursuit of landing Erling Braut Haaland in the summer transfer window, after Barcelona reportedly pulled out of a move for the youngster.

ESPN FC are reporting that Haaland was considered as an option to replace Luis Suarez at Barcelona, but his £85m price tag proved to be too much for the Catalans to cough up.

As a result, the ball is now back in the court of Manchester United, who failed to replace Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the summer, and may not be able to do too much transfer business of their choice in January either.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, manager of Manchester United, is someone who knows Haaland really well, handing the Norwegian his debut back when he was manager of Molde.

This makes United a frontrunner to sign the striker who has been prolific this season for Red Bull Salzburg, scoring 26 times in just 18 appearances for the Austrian side this campaign.

His recent exploits in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) have particularly caught the eye of several top European clubs and it could end with a big money move taking place next summer and possibly even this January.

Alvaro Morata reveals why he left Chelsea after troubled spell

Alvaro Morata was expected to light up the Premier League after being considered by the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, with the latter signing him up too. It is fair to say that things didn’t quite go to plan.

An injury hit spell at the Blues resulted in Morata being dropped from the Spain squad, and the constant media pressure and scrutiny became too much to handle for the talented Spaniard.

Finally, his miserable run at Chelsea was ended when Atletico Madrid came calling, and the rest is history. Morata has exceeded expectations since making a move back to La Liga, and he has now spoken out about his troubled time in England.

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“I didn’t feel like doing anything, leaving home, talking to people, nothing,” Morata revealed, as was reported by AS.

“The only thing I had in mind was going to the World Cup, playing and being happy … and in the end I was quite the opposite of happy.”

When asked if he considered retirement, Morata gave a clear answer.

“No, but I did think about playing somewhere very far away, without pressure, without having to win every Sunday, without having to concentrate for matches.”

Thankfully, things improved for the forward once he joined Atleti on loan, and he continues to remain an integral part of Diego Simeone’s side.