Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku have expressed their support for sacked Monaco boss Thierry Henry, with both admitting they would welcome him back to the Belgium fold with open arms.The 41-year-old left his post as the right-hand man to Roberto Martinez in the Red Devils set-up to take the reins at the Ligue 1 club in October.But following a disappointing three months in charge, the Frenchman was dismissed after mustering only four wins in 20 games, to be replaced by the man he himself succeeded, Leonardo Jardim. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Speaking in the wake of his exit however, Chelsea striker Hazard and Manchester United forward Lukaku, both of whom worked with Henry at last year’s World Cup in Russia, have offered high praise of the former Arsenal star’s coaching skills.Belgium defied expectations to finish third at the showpiece tournament, topping Group G before knocking out Japan and Brazil en route to the semi-finals.Though they suffered a slim defeat to eventual champions France in the last four, they rallied to claim the bronze position in the third-place play-off against England.Speaking to Eleven Sports after victory over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final, Hazard was effusive in his assessment of Henry’s abilities.“He did good [work with us] at Belgium,” the 28-year-old stated. “Monaco was not doing well this year, he was in trouble. He tried to get things right.“He did not succeed [but] he has my full support. I do not worry, I know he’ll be a great coach in the future.“We [would] welcome him. If he wants to come back, we’re here.”Manchester United striker Lukaku also expressed a desire to see Henry return to the Belgium set-up.“It’s a pity he lost his job in Monaco, but now I hope he’ll be back in the national team,” the 25-year-old told reporters.“He’ll come back, because we need him.”Belgium have only lost once since the World Cup, against Switzerland in the last match of their Nations League A Group 2 games – but that defeat cost them a place at this year’s finals in Portugal.They next begin their Euro 2020 qualification campaign in March, against Russia in Group I, with games against Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino also in the pipeline.
Sunday, the Associated Press gave us a heads up that this year’s Preseason AP Poll will be released on Monday, August 20. There hasn’t been an official announcement regarding the Preseason Coaches’ Poll, but based on what we’ve seen the past few years, it should actually be coming this week.Last year, the poll was released on Thursday, August 3. So it’s likely that this year’s will be coming this Thursday, August 2. It’s usually dropped a few weeks before the AP puts out its version.Of course, neither poll factors into the College Football Playoff rankings that come out later in the year. But fans still enjoy getting a look at the polls each week – they’re usually pretty indicative of how each team is performing during the season.This year, it’s widely expected that Alabama will be the No. 1 team in the country in both polls when they’re unveiled. The Crimson Tide won the national title last year with an overtime victory over Georgia.That said, Alabama does not yet have its starting quarterback determined. Jalen Hurts has been the team’s starter the past few years, but he was benched at halftime of the national title game for Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa led Alabama to an incredible come-from-behind victory – leading many to believe that he’s actually the man who will get the job.Here’s what we think the top 25 will look like when it’s unveiled on Thursday. There are some familiar names in the top five, per usual. Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia are the teams best-positioned to take down the champs.AlabamaClemsonOhio StateGeorgiaOklahomaWashingtonWisconsinMiamiMichigan StatePenn StateAuburnWest VirginiaUSCMichiganVirginia TechStanfordTCUBoise StateNotre DameFlorida StateUCFLSUMississippi StateOklahoma StateSouth CarolinaThe Big Ten is expected to be a tight race – with Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan all ranked in the top 15 heading into the season.Again, the poll is likely to come out Thursday. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any surprises.
BRUSSELS — Britain and the European Union are set to formally divorce before the month is out — but the mood in London and Brussels was surprisingly calm Friday.Though the divorce proceedings started by Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU remain fraught with difficulties, there’s an element of relief that a so-called “no-deal” disaster is lower down the agenda — for now.Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Theresa said she would be putting the option of an extension to Brexit from the scheduled March 29 to lawmakers — if they fail to back any revised withdrawal agreement she comes up with following discussions with the EU in a vote by March 12.There’s also been talk that Brexit may not actually happen at all if lawmakers back another referendum.The Associated Press
TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed higher Tuesday as the greenback lost ground ahead of the results of an extremely tight U.S. presidential race.The commodity-sensitive loonie also benefited as the lower greenback boosted prices for oil and metals, closing up 0.5 of a cent to 100.83 cents US.“Election day comes with the presidential race too close to call and some trepidation about whether a firm winner might even be declared by tomorrow,” said a commentary from RBC Dominion Securities.Whichever way the contest plays out, the big hope is that the result will be clear enough to avoid a rerun of 2000 when the result was only known weeks later after a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Above all, traders hope that Democrats and Republicans will get down to the business of arriving at a budget agreement that will avert an automatic increase in taxes and spending cuts that could be imposed at the start of 2013.This so-called fiscal cliff is particularly alarming as economists predict the subsequent shock from the higher taxes and deep automatic cuts in military and domestic spending would send the U.S. economy back into recession.The December crude contract in New York closed up $3.06 to US$88.71 a barrel.December copper added four cents to US$3.51 a pound while December bullion climbed $31.80 to US$1,715 an ounce.Greece was also in focus as legislators prepared to vote on a €13.5-billion package of spending cuts and tax increases over the next two years that are needed in order to secure another round of rescue loans.The outcome of the vote Wednesday is far from certain due to disagreements in the five-month-old coalition government and a reluctance among centre-left legislators to approve yet more austerity measures. But rejection of the savings package would leave Greece facing the threat of a default on its mountain of debt that could force it to eventually exit the euro bloc. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian dollar up as commodities rise, traders look to U.S. election outcome by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 6, 2012 4:24 pm MDT