Liverpool Klopp: No need to sell Coutinho to balance Liverpool books Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 10:06 12/30/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Liverpool Philippe Coutinho Liverpool v Leicester City Premier League Jürgen Klopp The club’s record purchase of Virgil van Dijk does not increase the prospect of the Brazilian leaving Anfield Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool do not need to sell Philippe Coutinho to recoup the cash spent on their £75 million swoop for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.The Reds’ move to make Netherlands international Van Dijk the most expensive defender of all time was confirmed on Wednesday, drawing a line under one of the transfer sagas that dominated the close season at Anfield.The other was Barcelona’s ultimately fruitless pursuit of Brazil playmaker Coutinho, who has resumed his pivotal role at Liverpool and been in sublime form while notching seven goals in December Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player As such, reports of Barca’s interest have persisted but Klopp is adamant his move to secure Van Dijk will not affect the future of a player for whom the La Liga leaders reportedly had a £115m bid turned down in August.”No, nobody told me that [I would have to sell Coutinho],” he told reporters.”We have good players and we don’t have to sell anybody because of that. So fair play to our owners that they are ambitious.”19 – Philippe Coutinho has scored 19 Premier League goals from outside the box – one more than Robbie Fowler and second only to Steven Gerrard (33) among Liverpool players. Gifted.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2017Klopp has handed the captain’s armband to Coutinho during Jordan Henderson’s recent injury absence – a situation far removed from the former Inter player’s transfer request when Barcelona’s pursuit reached a crescendo back in August.”The only thing I will say and the only thing I am interested in is how is Phil playing at the moment,” Klopp said. “I was really happy about the last few performances and about his impact.”He showed his character in the games and in the training sessions. That was spot on. It was really good. That is what I am interested in because all the rest I can’t, and don’t, want to talk about it because if I open the door then you [the media] run all the way through.”If there is something to say you will know. In my business it makes absolute no sense to talk about things that ‘could’ ‘maybe” happen because all it does is create stories which 90 per cent of the time are not true. Why should we do that?”Klopp also credited Van Dijk’s “100 per cent” desire to join Liverpool as a key factor in a blockbusting transfer that will be officially completed on January 1, following reported interest from Premier League leaders Manchester City in the 26-year-old.”He wanted to come here 100 per cent and that is a very important thing,” he added.”Because imagine in this moment you are a football guy and a few clubs are looking for someone, and they don’t hesitate or are not shy with money as well.”That was not his intention. He wanted to join us and nobody else. That’s another really good thing.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. CB1B: Ramon Richards (Jr.)After a sophomore slump last season, Richards has drawn praise from coaches and teammates this offseason as a leader ready to take the next step. Which is good timing, because OSU desperately needs a reliable CB opposite Ashton Lampkin. If he can progress in fall camp as he did this spring, there’s no question Ramon will be starting come September 3.CB1A: Ashton Lampkin (Sr.)Mr. Reliable is back after sitting out most of spring. He’s a guy you don’t need to worry about, because you know he can be ready no matter the circumstance. Lampkin is the veteran leader of the group and by far has the most sound technique and ability to read the play before it develops. He’ll be counted on as the No. 1 to shadow the opposing teams No. 1 guy.Not listedRodarius Williams/AJ Green (Fr.)These two freshman will likely not see playing time barring injury to the group. Both were highly touted recruits and could use the season to take advantage of a redshirt to grow mentally and physically.Malik Kearse (Jr.)Kearse is a junior college transfer who I think may be hard to get a read on. I don’t think he’ll see the field much but he’ll be on the depth chart somewhere. There’s no redshirt for him so I would guess he should play. I would list him running with the 3’s for now unless something changes in camp.Read the depth chart projection at running back here. Continuing our breakdown of the slightly early projection of the depth chart, I’ll be taking a look at how I think the cornerback position will shake out after fall camp. There’s approximately 38.65 listed at CB on the online roster, so I’ll do my best to keep it short and sweet with who I think will see meaningful playing time in the 2016 season.CB3: Madre Harper (Fr.)The true freshman from Lamar High School was an early enrollee, and with the relative lack of experience at CB they’ve been prepping him for playing time early. He won’t be a starter, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play valuable minutes in the rotation down the stretch. He’s a tall, lanky defensive back with big upside. But the learning curve will be steep. Fortunately, OSU has good experience at the top of the depth chart.CB3: Darius Curry (R-Jr.)Curry’s experience and leadership will play a big role in a group full of young, hungry defensive backs. He got a good taste of meaningful playing time last year, and with the freshman coming in, I think he’ll be somewhere in the deeper part of the rotation. But just like Harper, his playing time may be limited.CB2B: Bryce Balous (R-Fr.)Balous is a young up-and-comer who redshirted last season, but has drawn good reviews over the offseason. Coming out of high school, Balous was a safety but a switch to cornerback should benefit both Balous and OSU. He has really good size and a high ceiling, but the down side is just the lack of experience. He’s heady enough I don’t think he will be a liability despite his youth.CB2A: Lenzy Pipkins (Sr.)This is where the grad transfer should shine. Pipkins has a ton of experience and could be next in a long line of successful grad transfers to come through OSU. He has the size, experience, and skill to be a key cog. I’d put him No. 3 overall in the rotation behind Richards and Lampkin.
Joe MogliaCoastal Carolina68 Mark WhippleMassachusetts60 Bill SnyderKansas State77 At Big 12 Media Days, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, 77, sat atop a stage and answered questions about football, coaching and cancer.Later during the breakout session, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, 49, sat about 30 yards away from Snyder and said it’s “amazing” what Snyder does.“I don’t think I’ll coach when I’m 60,” Gundy said. “I don’t have the energy. It takes a ton of energy in the world today to run all over the place like you do.”Gundy compared his job to that of a journalist. He said both go to interviews, do their homework, grab a bite and go watch a game. But it’s not the same. There are plenty of journalists in their 60s but few coaches. In fact, Snyder is only one of 13 NCAA Division I coaches over 60.AdChoices广告 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Bob DavieNew Mexico62 Terry BowdenAkron61 Kirk FerentzIowa61 Butch DavisFlorida International65 David CutcliffeDuke62 Frank SolichOhio72 CoachUniversityAge Rocky LongSan Diego State67 Nick SabanAlabama65 Mark DantonioMichigan State61 Although Gundy said he has gained more patience and learned to have more fun with age, he also said it gets more difficult to recruit.“I was doing a leadership deal out here in Boston a couple weeks ago, and John Calipari was involved in it,” Gundy said. “They asked him about recruiting, energy, he said, ‘I’m 50 years old. I’m recruiting 18-year-old kids. I don’t have anything in common with them. I don’t know what to talk about.’”Gundy said that is frustrating because it gets to a point where it doesn’t matter “whether you have enough energy to do what it takes to be successful.” Imagine putting weeks and weeks of energy into landing a massive deal for your day job. You go on client visits, play golf, go out to dinner and the client still says no.Minus the NCAA violations, that’s recruiting.Then there is game planning every week for the next team, dealing with injuries, changes in the depth chart, player morale, meetings with assistants and practice. Coaching to 60 starts to sound worse.“They tell me you’ll just know (when to retire),” he said. “I’m nowhere near that, I don’t think. But they tell me you’ll get to a point where you’re like, ‘I don’t wanna do that anymore.’”Gundy seems to be doing much better at coaching than he was 10 years ago. And if you somehow disagree, remember this happened:“I don’t regret it,” Gundy said. “Would I do it again? No. Essentially, I’m way too patient for that. I would never even burn that kind of energy anymore.”There are no tirade plans or any others for Gundy’s 50th birthday Aug. 12, he said, but then again, every day has grown into a small birthday party for him. That has come with age, he said.Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia coach and Gundy’s former offensive coordinator, said he doesn’t see it that way. Holgorsen, 45, said Gundy acts “a hell of a lot older than 50.” And that he acts a lot younger than 45. Which brings up an interesting crossroads that Gundy is at the center of: Youth and wisdom.Gundy is at the epicenter of dad mode. He is far more relaxed than he has ever been. He literally told a group of print media members a story about how he tried to embarrass his sons in front of teen-aged girls.Gundy is a national treasure. pic.twitter.com/0pp7xyJnTE— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) July 18, 2017At the same time, he is wittier, sharper and seemingly more perceptive than ever. Holgorsen said he sees “a much more relaxed, confident Mike Gundy now,” but Gundy said there are still some negatives with the age.“I don’t feel the same in the mornings as I did. Everything’s a little slower. I still have a lot of energy, but I can feel some things now that I couldn’t feel when I was 40. I’ll tell you that.”Dad jokes and dad pains aside, that paradoxical wisdom and vibrance is at least partially why OSU believes in him. He is fun to be around right now. That has an effect on current and potential future players. He said he went through a stage where knocking out his new contract was “the best thing for Oklahoma State football,” and since that has happened, it’s been prime Gundy.“You get smarter when you’re older,” he said. “You don’t take life too serious and realize that you try to do the best you can, you do the best for your players and your family and your fans and the people around you. And then you don’t worry about it.” Doc HollidayMarshall60
Barcelona FIFA closes Neymar’s Barcelona bonus case Dom Farrell 22:59 23/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) AFP Barcelona PSG Ligue 1 Primera División UEFA Champions League Neymar The Brazilian has claimed that he is owed a €30m bonus payment from the Catalan giants, but the governing body has stepped away from the case Barcelona will face no action from FIFA in relation to an unpaid bonus to Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar.The Brazil forward completed a world-record €222 million move from Barca to PSG in August after the Ligue 1 giants sensationally met his release clause.Neymar claims he is still entitled to a €30m renewal bonus after signing a contract extension at Camp Nou until 2021, although Barca maintain that terms of that agreement were breached when the 26-year-old joined PSG. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp FIFA has confirmed they will step away from the dispute after legal action was taken elsewhere over the same complaint.A statement released by world football’s governing body read: “After having been made aware that, apparently, the same matter had been submitted in parallel before different jurisdictions by the same party, the FIFA administration informed the parties to the dispute that based on the long-standing and well-established jurisprudence of FIFA’s deciding bodies, it did not seem to be in a position to continue with the investigation of the affair.”The proceedings were therefore closed for formal reasons.”Neymar has impressed at PSG this season, scoring 28 goals in 29 appearances for Unai Emery’s side.
Arsenal v Manchester City Wilshere key to Arsenal beating Man City in Carabao Cup final, says Gilberto Silva Patric Ridge Last updated 1 year ago 20:53 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Arsenal League Cup The former Gunners star has hailed the midfielder’s return to form, backing him to make his mark in the Carabao Cup final Jack Wilshere’s injury problems have given the Arsenal midfielder the mental strength required to perform on the biggest stage, according to former Gunners player Gilberto Silva.Upon his emergence into Arsenal’s first team, Wilshere had been touted as a player able to fill the void left by Silva, who won two FA Cups and the Premier League title during his time at the club between 2002 and 2008.Injuries have derailed Wilshere’s career, though, with a loan move to Bournemouth last term seemingly signalling the end of his time at Arsenal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp However, the England international has enjoyed a resurgence this season, and Silva feels that Sunday’s EFL Cup final clash against Manchester City will provide the perfect opportunity for Wilshere to prove his quality.”I still remember when I first saw him. Jack was about 16 years old and I can remember how easy it was to see his talent on that first day when he trained with the squad,” Silva told the Sunday Mirror.”You could see the quality – and you never lose that quality. He is brave with the ball and has good vision. Arsenal need a player like him.”But the last few years have been a struggle. Jack has suffered with injuries and then was allowed to go on loan to Bournemouth.”From the outside, it looked like he had lost his direction. But, in my opinion, all the problems he’s had will have taught him a lot.”If he didn’t have strength then it would have been impossible to get through the frustration he has suffered with injuries. This game against City is a big opportunity for him.”When you play in a final, against a big team, the best players look at it as a chance to do well.”It is a special game, the chance to show that you have the strength to become a champion.”Hopefully he can show how good he is because Arsenal need players like him who understand the club’s culture.”
Chelsea Conte could save Chelsea job by beating Barcelona, claims Gullit Jamie Smith 03:15 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Getty Images Chelsea Antonio Conte Premier League Barcelona v Chelsea Barcelona UEFA Champions League The former Blues boss believes achieving victory in the Champions League could earn a reprieve for their Italian manager Antonio Conte may keep his job at Chelsea by knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League, according to the club’s former manager Ruud Gullit.Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge is believed to be uncertain, with Chelsea making a poor attempt at defending their Premier League title.The Italian has indicated he will see out his contract, which runs to 2019, although he has regularly spoken of returning to his homeland. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta has confirmed Conte is on the shortlist to be the permanent new national team coach, the 48-year-old having led the Azzurri from 2014 to 2016.Former Netherlands international Gullit managed Chelsea from 1996 to 1998, when the Dutchman was sacked, despite leading the Blues to FA Cup glory in 1997.Chelsea have struggled for managerial stability since the takeover by Roman Abramovich in 2003, but Gullit feels a positive result against Barcelona could convince the club to retain Conte for next season.”If he gets Barcelona out of the Champions League, then it will be very difficult to replace him,” Gullit told Omnisport, speaking at the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards. “He knows that, he knows also that the championship in England is difficult now to get. They know that as well.”Manchester City have now won the EFL Cup so they have the confidence, it’s hard for them to lose any points [in the Premier League]… So the best thing is to focus yourself on the Champions League.”Willian’s goal had Chelsea on track for a 1-0 first-leg victory in the last-16 clash before a mistake from Andreas Christensen allowed Lionel Messi to score a vital away goal for the Catalan giants.”I think it’s going to be tough because if they lose these games there could be pressure on Conte, pressure on everything,” Gullit said.”They came out of it and then the game against Manchester United [a 2-1 loss at Old Trafford] of course was a setback, and then I think to get a good result against Manchester City [on Sunday], will be difficult as well.”Barcelona, I still think they have a chance. Also because it’s a big pitch so it means you have lots of space for the counter-attack. They did well in the first half. The only thing is they made mistakes and they get punished for it hard.”This is top of the top football, so you have to stay focused for 90 minutes, maybe more.”
Mainz 0 Schalke 1: Tedesco’s men tighten grip on second spot Jamie Smith 05:33 10/3/2018 Bongarts Domenico Tedesco’s Schalke earned a fourth straight win in the Bundesliga by edging a 1-0 victory away to Mainz. Daniel Caligiuri’s sensational solo goal earned Schalke a 1-0 win at Mainz in the Bundesliga on Friday, boosting his side’s Champions League qualification hopes.Victory moves Schalke four points clear of third-placed Borussia Dortmund, although they remain 17 points behind the Bundesliga’s runaway leaders Bayern Munich.Mainz, playing their 400th game in the Bundesliga, dominated the first half at the Opel Arena but were unable to find a way past goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Schalke earned the points thanks to Caliguri’s brilliant 55th minute intervention, the midfielder skipping away from three defenders before thumping a 25-yard drive into Florian Muller’s top-left corner.Although Fahrmann had to beat away a fine effort from Suat Serdar, a fourth straight win for Domenico Tedesco’s side means Schalke now have a five-point cushion in the race for top-four places in the Bundesliga.#FridayFeeling#M05S04 #s04 pic.twitter.com/G7SBEhwcXL— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) March 9, 2018
The second fumble came two possessions later, but the game was all but decided after the Cowboys defense gave a 73-yard touchdown on the only play of that drive, making the score 45-27 with just over five minutes remaining.“The one in the pocket I think he caused himself. I thought on the replay it hit his own leg,” said Gundy of the second fumble.“… In the end, he’s just trying to make a play. The game’s basically over.”Gundy said that, for the most part, he thought Sanders did a good job of distributing the ball better than in previous games with 10 different Cowboys making a catch and with guys like Jelani Woods and Jordan McCray seeing an increased role.“I thought for three quarters, other than the one underthrow that Spencer had before half, he was pretty sound in what he was doing, his thought process, distributing the ball,” said Gundy. “Then he turned it over and they picked up and ran it in for a touchdown which made it look bad.”It didn’t look great.That second fumble would be Sanders’ last play of the game. Dru Brown made his first appearance since McNeese in Week 2 but, according to Gundy, that was due to Sanders taking a hit and the game being basically over.“We put him in at the end,” Gundy said of Brown. “Spencer kinda got his head dinged. But no (they did not consider a QB change), because up until the end… when he turned it over it was pretty late. Prior to that he had played pretty good. He’d made some plays, threw the ball pretty good, was operating. We were moving the ball, so not at that point (did he consider making a change).”Gundy has told us time and time again that a quarterback doesn’t really figure it out until he’s another half dozen games down the track.Despite his flashes of star potential, Sanders’ decision making and ball insecurity is a concern. But it appears, at least at this point, that his head coach is along for the ride.“He was pretty good for quite a while and then he got back to a little bit of freelancing at the end of the game,” said Gundy. “He’s gotta stay in the system.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. After another disappointing outing and eight combined turnovers from Spencer Sanders over the last two games (both losses), Mike Gundy says he’s not considered a change at quarterback.“That’s not something we’ve thought about,” Gundy said when asked that question after the game.If your first season as a freshman starting QB is to be a roller coaster, Sanders must be wondering when that next uphill climb will come.In losses to Texas Tech and Baylor, Sanders completed just 57.9 percent of his passes and threw more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (three). Worst of all, at least to his head coach, Sanders has lost two fumbles in each game.Sanders ended the second quarter with a fade route that should have given Jordan McCray a good shot at a touchdown that would have given OSU a 20-10 lead going into the half. Instead it was under-thrown and intercepted. “The first one he threw was perfect,” referring to Sanders’ lone touchdown to Jordan McCray in the first quarter. “He underthrew that one about 5 yards.”“… Spencer would like to have that throw back right before half, but sometimes that’s going to happen. As he matures, that will get better.”The maligned fumble issues have become an unnerving trend. That’s seven total fumbles and five lost in seven games for Sanders. The worst of all came on Saturday when the Cowboys, who had traded TDs with the visiting Bears early in the fourth quarter, found themselves down just four with nine minutes remaining.On the third play of the drive, Sanders was strip-sacked at his own 25-yard line allowing Baylor to scoop and score from 20 yards out. The cardinal sin of turning it over deep in your own territory was punished with a nail in the coffin.
Spain ‘What’s the point of VAR?!’ – Costa’s Spain equaliser splits opinion after Pepe shove Goal 02:56 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Spain World Cup Portugal v Spain Portugal There was a clear scuffle between the two old enemies in the build-up to Costa’s strike, leading to much debate across social media Was it a foul, or wasn’t it? What is the point of VAR? And if a foul is committed on Pepe, does it even count as a foul? The above were just some of the questions posed when Diego Costa hit back for Spain to equaliser against Portugal in Friday’s World Cup clash. Costa went toe-to-toe with his former Madrid derby foe, now at Besiktas, and appeared to shove the veteran defender in the face before shimmying and shooting home to make it 1-1. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘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 Opinion was divided on the goal, with some questioning the purpose of a Video Assistant Referee while others saw a perfectly valid goal. Take a look at some of the best reactions to Costa’s controversial strike and let us know what you think! What’s the point if VAR if Diego Costa gets away with an albow to the face of Pepe and then scores?— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) 15 de junio de 2018Unreal Diego Costa. Pure muscle. Only had to punch Pepe in the face to get there.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) 15 de junio de 2018And Diego Costa just did a Pepe on Pepe— Pangeran ⚜ (@pangeransiahaan) 15 de junio de 2018Diego Costa hitting Pepe is extremely nice and pleasing.— Diana Kristinne (@DianaKristinne) 15 de junio de 2018Diego Costa murdered Pepe in cold blood and we all looked the other way.— Andres Cordero (@DreCordero) 15 de junio de 2018VAR also took barely any time. Throw-ins and free-kicks both take an average of around 9 minutes each game. Worth a few seconds to eliminate absolute howlers.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) 15 de junio de 2018
World Cup Delph reveals England team has been named for Tunisia Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 22:32 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Tunisia v England Tunisia England Powerade England’s players know who will start when they face Tunisia but Fabian Delph insists those who have missed out remain in good spirits. Gareth Southgate naming his starting line-up early ahead of Monday’s Group G World Cup opener against Tunisia will not disrupt England’s squad harmony, according to Fabian Delph.Southgate has told his 23-man squad who will get the nod from kick-off in Volgograd but has not made his XI public.A jovial Delph refused to give the game away at a Saturday news conference in Repino, even feigning mock surprise over the widespread reports he has not made the cut. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘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 “I do know the team, but he says I’m not allowed to tell you,” said the Manchester City utility man, who is expected to see his two most likely routes into the side taken by Jordan Henderson at the base of the midfield and Ashley Young at left wing-back.”The preparation is still the same. We’re a team, it’s all about the team and everybody digs in, sticks together and the manager chooses the best team to face the opponent.”The team is not guaranteed to be the 11 players that we think it might be. It could be changed, but from the set-up we’ve done it’s pretty clear to see who is probably going to be starting.”Much has been made of the relaxed, close atmosphere among Southgate’s men – in stark contrast to the recriminations that have followed many of the Three Lions’ tournament exits over recent years.But Delph insists they turn up the heat on one another during training when the time is right.”We are a close bunch but once training starts it’s fiery, it’s very spicy,” he said. “The intensity is there, and people are not afraid to dig people out.”Nothing is ever personal. That’s what I’ve found with this squad. If somebody has got something to say, as long as it’s constructive criticism, people take it on the chin.”The England squad enjoyed one another’s company on Friday, taking in the instant classic between Spain and Portugal.Delph conceded Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroics whet their appetite for making a mark on a tournament that has not lacked for drama over its opening days.”We watched it together, we’ve got a big screen in the hotel. We were excited because it was a great game,” he added, while explaining he and City team-mate David Silva have been in regular contact during Spain’s turbulent first week in Russia.”Ronaldo does what Ronaldo does and it was phenomenal to see what he did. They’re two great teams and we’re excited for our campaign to start.”