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Rodgers slams ‘poor’ Iheanacho

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has slammed striker Kelechi Iheanacho for his below performance  after  the Foxes were out-foxed in Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing by Bournemouth even as he ruled the substitution of the Nigerian  as tactical error.

Iheanacho, who had been heavily involved in Jamie Vardy’s opener, was withdrawn at half-time at the Vitality Stadium, with Rodgers tweaking his system to bring on Dennis Praet.

“(Iheanacho) wasn’t having one of his better games,” said Rodgers in his post-match press conference. “The issue for us defensively was on the side of the pitch, because there was a lot of space for Wilf and Youri to cover.

“So we pushed Ayo on, he was playing well, and added an extra midfielder in to help cover; but the defeat wasn’t tactical, it was about the spirit.”

He added: “I didn’t see it (the defeat) coming. We didn’t have personality in the second half.

Rodgers however charged his wards to rise to the challenge when they take on Sheffield United on Thursday.

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Former Real Madrid goalkeeper, Ike Casillas, retires from football

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Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper, Ike Casillas, has officially retired from football.

He retired at the age of 39.

He announced his retirement on his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

He posted, “The most important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination that it takes you.

“I think I can say, without hesitation, that this has been the right path and the dream destination. Thanks.”

The 39-year-old, who holds the record for most Champions League clean sheets and most clean sheets for the Spain national team, has spent the last five years playing for Porto after a 25-year spell with Real.

Casillas won the World Cup, two European Championships, five La Liga titles, and three Champions League trophies.

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Cagliari appoint Di Francesco manager

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Cagliari have appointed Eusebio di Francesco as a manager, the Serie A club announced on Monday.

In a statement, Sardinian outfit Cagliari said that Di Francesco had signed a two-year deal.

The former Sassuolo and Roma boss, sacked in October by Sampdoria, replaces Walter Zenga.

Later on Monday Cagliari announced that they had “relieved Marcello Carli from his duties as sporting director”.

Di Francesco, 50, made his mark as a coach during his five years at Sassuolo, leading the club into Serie A for the first time in 2013 and qualifying for the Europa League in 2017.

The former midfielder won 14 Italy caps and was part of the Roma team that won Serie A in 2001.

He returned to Roma as a coach in 2017 and led the club to a third-place finish and the Champions League semi-finals in his first season in charge.

He joined Sampdoria in June last year having been replaced by Claudio Ranieri at Roma three months earlier but left with the club bottom of the table.

Ranieri then replaced him at Samp too and guided the Genoa-based team to safety.

Under Zenga, who was appointed in March, Cagliari finished 14th.

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Mauricio Pochettino in shocking move to Barcelona

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Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino will likely join Barcelona as their new coach this summer.

Barcelona chiefs have made the Argentine their number one top target to replace current manager, Quique Setien after the former Spurs boss backtracked on comments he made stating he would instead work on his farm than for Barca.

Barcelona has been linked with a move to sign Pochettino in the past few weeks after Setien failed to win the 2019/20 LaLiga title ahead of Real Madrid.

Pochettino has also attracted interest from Monaco, Newcastle United and Juventus in the past.

The 48-year-old remains desperate to secure an imminent return to the Premier League.

He is waiting for the right opportunity to return to club management after he was sacked by Tottenham last November.

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