EPL

Leeds were 'almost pushing' Phillips towards deserved Man City move, says Bamford

By Sports Desk July 21, 2022

Patrick Bamford says Kalvin Phillips' former team-mates were "almost pushing" for the midfielder to leave Leeds United and fight for trophies.

Leeds academy product Phillips left Elland Road this month to joined Premier League champions Manchester City for a reported £45million, signing a six-year deal.

The 26-year-old caught the eye in his first top-flight season under Marcelo Bielsa in the 2020-21 campaign before making a name for himself at Euro 2020 for England alongside Declan Rice.

Phillips recovered possession a team-high 45 times, while only three England players completed more than his 293 successful passes as the Three Lions reached their first major final in 55 years.

He was limited to 20 league appearances in the 2021-22 season, but still ranked third for recoveries (180), sixth for tackles (54) and seventh for successful passes (777) among Leeds outfield players.

While Bamford was disappointed to see his team-mate depart for the Etihad Stadium, he acknowledged Phillips deserved the opportunity to play in the Champions League and compete for titles.

"It said it all when Kalvin went straight from getting promoted to being in the England team and becoming a mainstay there," Bamford told reporters.

"He deserves this chance to fight for trophies on all fronts.

"None of us can begrudge him for going. As sad as it is, we were almost pushing him because he deserves it and it's his time."

Leeds also lost Raphinha to Barcelona as another key star departed from Jesse Marsch's side, who narrowly avoided Premier League relegation on the final day of the last campaign.

Marsch's team have been busy in the transfer window, though, bringing in Marc Roca, Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen to bolster their squad.

With the new arrivals, Bamford assures Leeds will still play an entertaining brand of free-flowing football that supporters became accustomed to under Bielsa.

"We've retained our Premier League status and the squad's changed a lot," the 28-year-old added.

"We've had time to work on what Jesse wants and understand his tactics and work on them. I think this year will still be an entertaining Leeds United – but slightly different."

Related items

  • Brady's Buccaneers seek end to woeful 49ers record, Eagles out to crush Giants Brady's Buccaneers seek end to woeful 49ers record, Eagles out to crush Giants

    Only five weeks remain in the NFL regular season and places in the playoffs are still up for grabs heading into Week 14.

    Come Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings could all have booked their spot in the postseason should things go their way, while others could officially see their hopes ended.

    Crucial meetings are set to take place between a number of playoff contenders, including divisional rivals the Eagles and the New York Giants.

    Elsewhere, the in-form San Francisco 49ers host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the New York Jets face a Vonte Miller-less Bills in Buffalo.

    Stats Perform has delved into the numbers for those matchups along with some of Sunday's other big games.

    New York Jets (7-5) @ Buffalo Bills (9-3)

    In Week 9, the Jets ended a four-game losing streak against the Bills to win 20-17, but Buffalo stand 7-3 in their last 10 meetings at home, winning each of the last two by double-digit margins.

    In the defeat to the Vikings last week, Mike White had 369 passing yards and zero touchdowns; becoming the first Jets quarterback to throw for at least 350 yards without a touchdown pass.

    Meanwhile, the Bills have been strong at home this season with just one defeat in Buffalo – coming in overtime to the Vikings in Week 10. They have averaged 33.4 points per game at home this season, outscoring their opponents by an average of 16.8 points.

    An intriguing second half is on the cards, with the Bills holding a +48 points differential this season, the third-best ratio in the NFL, while the Jets rank fourth with a +44 differential.

    Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) @ New York Giants (7-4-1)

    Despite two consecutive wins against the Eagles at home, the Giants stand at 6-13 against the Eagles since 2003.

    Standing 5-0 on the road this season, the Eagles are looking to tie a team record for consecutive road wins to start a season, set in 2001. Eight of the last 10 NFL teams to finish unbeaten on the road have gone on to reach the Super Bowl.

    Jalen Hurts has thrown 20 touchdowns this season and has rushed for nine more, throwing just three interceptions, with no NFL quarterback ever finishing a campaign with 20+ passing TDs, 8+ rushing TDs and five or fewer interceptions.

    This season, the Giants are the only NFL team not to allow a single offensive touchdown of at least 35 yards. Since 1940, the only year the Giants did not give up a single such touchdown was in 1994.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) @ San Francisco 49ers (8-4)

    Of teams to have played at least five games on the road against the 49ers, none have a worse record than the Buccaneers, who have won just three of 15 clashes in San Francisco (3-12).

    The 49ers are on a strong run, having won five straight games while holding opponents to 17 or fewer points – the fourth such streak in franchise history and the first since a six-game stint in the 1992 season.

    A comeback victory for the Buccaneers against New Orleans last week saw Tampa Bay overturn a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, the Buccaneers had lost their previous 62 such games, stretching back to the 2010 season.

    Tom Brady has thrown 56.3 per cent of his touchdown passes this season in the fourth quarter (nine of 16). Among the 27 quarterbacks to have at least 10 passing TDs this season, he is the only one to have at least half of his coming in the final frame.

    Miami Dolphins (8-4) @ Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)

    The Dolphins stand 12-4 against the Chargers since 1995 but saw a five-game winning streak halted by a 33-17 loss on the road against the 49ers, where they had a season-low 33 rushing yards from eight carries – the fewest attempts in a game in Dolphins history.

    Tyreek Hill remains a significant threat, tallying 146 yards in Week 13 to reach six 100-yard receiving games this season – the second-best total in a single season, behind only Mark Duper with eight in 1993.

    Meanwhile, the Chargers lost to the Raiders last week despite leading 13-10 at half-time. That was their fourth loss this season in games where they have led at the interval, the second most in the NFL behind the Denver Broncos.

    The two teams are second and fifth respectively in the NFL in terms of highest percentage of plays from passing attempts, but the Dolphins are first in pass yards per attempt (8.51), while the Chargers are 28th (6.52).

    Elsewhere…

    The Houston Texans travel to face the Dallas Cowboys, with the last two meetings between the teams going to overtime. There have been three instances of teams playing three consecutive games with overtime, most recently the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons from 2002-2010.

    The Tennessee Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars boasting a 9-1 record going back to 2017, the fifth-best record by any team against a division opponent in that span.

    The Cleveland Browns head to Cincinnati on a five-game win streak against the Bengals, their best run against any opponent since rejoining the NFL in 1999.

    The Minnesota Vikings are 10-2 this season despite being outgained by an average of 62.8 yards per game and head to Detroit to face the Lions, with the last four meetings all decided by four points or fewer.

  • Croatia v Brazil: Neymar proud of matching Pele and Ronaldo as Tite explains dance joy Croatia v Brazil: Neymar proud of matching Pele and Ronaldo as Tite explains dance joy

    Brazil coach Tite has explained that joining in with his team's celebrations against South Korea was not an act of disrespect to the opposition.

    The Selecao ran out 4-1 winners against South Korea on Monday as they sealed their place in the World Cup quarter-finals in style.

    Vinicius Junior opened the scoring before Neymar converted a penalty after a foul on Richarlison, who added a sublime third prior to Lucas Paqueta rounding off Brazil's haul.

    After Richarlison's goal, which capped a superb move, Tite celebrated with the Tottenham forward by performing the 'pigeon' dance.

    He was criticised by some sections of the media, but Tite has explained he meant no disrespect.

    "We try to adapt to the athletes' characteristics. They are young, I have to get closer to their language," he said.

    "One day we were training and I said to Richarlison 'if you score a goal, I'll dance'.

    "I told the players to hide me a little, I know about the visibility.

    "I didn't want it to have any other interpretation than the joy of the goal, the result, the performance, but not disrespect for the opponent or Paulo Bento, who I have great respect for."

    With his goal, meanwhile, Neymar matched Pele and Ronaldo as the third Brazil player to score at three different World Cups. 

    The Paris Saint-Germain star is also just one short of matching Pele's record goal haul of 77 for Brazil.

    "Achieving marks is a great source of pride," Neymar said.

    "I reached numbers that I would never have imagined reaching, that's always very good. It makes me very happy."

     

    Croatia stand between Brazil and a place in the last four.

    Brazil have never lost in four previous meetings with Croatia, with this their first meeting since a 2-0 friendly win in June 2018.

    Brazil are looking to reach the World Cup semi-final for the ninth time, with only Germany (12) doing so more often. 

    Croatia, runners-up in 2018, have reached at least the last four of the competition on both previous occasions they've made it out of the group stages (1998 and 2018).

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Brazil – Neymar

    Neymar has been involved in 15 goals in his last 11 appearances for Brazil in all competitions (eight goals, seven assists), with each of his last six goals for the national side coming from the penalty spot.

    Last time out against South Korea, he became the first Brazil player on record (since 1966) to both score and provide an assist at three different World Cup tournaments.

    Croatia – Luka Modric

    Real Madrid star Luka Modric was not on the pitch as Croatia progressed past Japan on penalties in the last 16, but if Zlatko Dalic's team are to beat Brazil, the 37-year-old will surely be crucial.

    He will go up against former Madrid club-mate Casemiro, and will need the assistance of Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic, but if Modric can wield his influence, Croatia have a chance.

    PREDICTION

    Croatia have lost four of their five World Cup games against South American sides, with the exception being a 3-0 win over Argentina in 2018. Two of those four defeats have been against Brazil – 1-0 in 2006 and 3-1 in 2014.

    Despite getting to the final in Russia, Croatia have been handed only an 11.5 per chance of victory by Opta's model, which has Brazil as the favourites with 68.2 per cent.

    The draw is at 20.3 per cent.

  • Ten Hag: Man Utd display in Cadiz defeat 'not acceptable' Ten Hag: Man Utd display in Cadiz defeat 'not acceptable'

    Erik ten Hag accused his Manchester United players of "sleeping" in their friendly defeat to Cadiz and says the first-half display was "not acceptable".

    United lost 4-2 to the LaLiga strugglers at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla on Wednesday in their first of two warm-up matches before the season resumes in a fortnight.

    The Red Devils were two down inside 14 minutes in Spain, but they levelled up through Anthony Martial's penalty and a deflected Kobbie Mainoo strike either side of half-time.

    But United, who fielded different sides in each half, conceded two more goals and manager Ten Hag was not pleased with what he saw from his experimental side.

    "It is quite clear. We were not awake, still sleeping, in first 15 minutes," he told MUTV. "They are a threat in transition. We have seen, the second goal can't happen. 

    "We were not awake in the defence but also in the midfield we got run off. It's not possible and it's not acceptable.

    "After that, we came into the game and got a penalty. I think it was a clear one and I think maybe the second half we deserved another penalty, but the first one was a clear one. 

    "We came in the game, but we couldn't make the equaliser before half-time."

    United were without 15 players who have been, or still are, taking part in the World Cup, and Ten Hag used the friendly as a chance to give some younger players some action.

    "They gave energy," Ten Hag said of the youngsters such as Shola Shoretire and goalscorer Mainoo. "They run; they fight.

    "They're maybe not always in the right organisation, so they make mistakes because they are not used to playing in this level. It was a good lesson.

    "You see that if you make small mistakes, they have big consequences and that's what happened."

    Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay, Donny van Beek and Martial were among the players to start for United, who face Real Betis next on Saturday.

    Reflecting on what was a first run-out for his players since beating Fulham 2-1 on November 13, Ten Hag said: "We've spoken about the game and we'll do so again tomorrow.

    "Then we have to strike it, draw a line and then move on. It can't happen in the future. The first 15 minutes cannot happen. That's not our standard and that should not happen."

    United's first game after the World Cup break is against Burnley in the EFL Cup last 16 on December 21, before facing Nottingham Forest in the Premier League six days later.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.