Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has admitted that he was disappointed by the criticism from Scotland supporters after his decision to snub a call-up to the national team back in October. The marksman had opted for a call-off from international duty to focus on his fitness during that period but that did not go well with the country’s faithful, who ridiculed him through different social media platforms.
Speaking ahead of the Motherwell game, Griffiths acknowledged that he had to take the abuse by the chin after getting a frosty reception from the Scotland fans at that point of time, he said: “You could say it was brave but a lot of people didn’t agree with that and I had to take the abuse I got in the chin. It was unfortunate that I was ill and injured at the same time. It is always difficult when people want to question it.”
Germany head coach Joachim Loew has said that he is focused on qualifying for the 2020 European Championship after the former World Cup champions’ failure to impress in the newly-formed Nations League. Germany are already out of contention for the playoffs after experiencing three winless games in their group and they are facing the prospect of being relegated to League B with a two-point deficit to the Netherlands.
Speaking in a news conference, Loew admitted that the team remain keen on avoiding relegation but the result no longer lies on their hands. He added that the focus should hereafter lie on building a team for Euro 2020 where he is likely to make notable changes to the current squad, he said: “Obviously we want to do all we can to stay in League A, but it’s not in our hands anymore. We’re looking at more than just the Nations League. EURO 2020 is our next main aim. Until then, we want to have a powerful team on the pitch once again.
Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann claims that Germany coach Joachim Loew needs to get his team to reach the semifinals of the Euro 2020 in order to avoid losing his job. Klinsmann is known for his iconic time with the German national team as he managed to get the team to the semifinals of the World Cup 2006 after taking over in 2004. Immediately after the tournament, his assistant manager Loew was promoted to the big job.Loew has had a great amount of success with Germany after getting the national team to success at the World Cup 2014. However, there is a major threat to his hope of the remaining beyond 12 years in charge of the national team since recent failures have placed his job security under threat.
Germany have been quite disappointing in recent major tournaments and there is a strong possibility of Loew losing his job if Germany failed to reach the Euro 2020 semifinals, according to Klinsmann.The national team has undergone a drastic change in the last couple of years due to the retirement of veterans like Miroslav Klose. The end of the golden generation has been attributed to the recent decline of the national team and Klinsmann says that it is up to Loew in order to build the same.
Belgian duo Vincent Kompany and Thibaut Courtois have laughed off the idea of Romelu Lukaku retiring from international football after Euro 2020. The Manchester United striker recently claimed that he has the plan to step down from national team duty after the next major tournament but his compatriots don’t believe that would be the case.
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Speaking to reporters, Red Devils captain Kompany was surprised by even the thought of Lukaku hanging his boots in 2020 and feels the striker may end up regretting the statement, he said: “I can hardly imagine that I’m going to have a lot of trouble convincing him to go even further. Young players sometimes say things that they later regret. We all laughed at it.”
Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier has admitted that he is keen to take his game to the next level after starring for England at the recent World Cup. The 27-year-old was a regular for the Three Lions in the right wing-back role during the tournament and he scored a remarkable free-kick against Croatia at the semi-final stage, although it came in a losing cause.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Trippier admitted that he was delighted to have made the mark at the World Cup after making his debut only a year ago. He added that the performances have given him plenty of confidence going forward and he is hoping to play a fundamental role for Spurs during the course of the current campaign.
Hungary have appointed former Brescia defender turned coach Marco Rossi as the manager of the national team ahead of Euro 2020. The Italian would now replace Belgian Georges Leekens as the Hungary Football Association (HFA) prepare for the continental event which is only two years out.
The 53-year old coach was handed a two year deal with a clear mandate on helping the team develop into a world class competitor as they jointly host the event. The 1938 and 1953 World Cup finalists are aware that so much work needed to be done. They lost three games and played a draw in one to make four friendly games under Leekens. The HFA sacked Leekens not solely because of the losses but because the manager in their opinion brought minimal improvement to the team during his time at the helm.