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Updated: 9 hours 53 min ago

Jordan Henderson rents van to make eight-hour journey for England vs Spain Euro 2024 final

Sun, 07/14/2024 - 20:34

Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson did not make it into England's final roster for Euro 2024 - but he was in the stadium after making an eight-hour journey in a rented van!

Henderson, like many other fans in England, was unable to score a suitable flight to Berlin with the Ajax midfielder choosing to hire a van and make the journey from Amsterdam to cheer the Three Lions on. The former Reds midfielder was pictured inside the stadium, smiling after completing the long trip to see the game against Spain.

Henderson was seen as a candidate to make the roster despite his rocky year after leaving Liverpool, spending half of the season with Saudi Pro League team Al-Ettifaq alongside Steven Gerrard before joining Ajax. Henderson did not make the cut for the Euros roster, but has still taken the opportunity to back the team and his nation to make the journey to the German capital.

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A veteran midfielder held in high regard by England head coach Gareth Southgate, Henderson could miss out on being a part of the first England team to win silverware since 1966. Instead of selecting Henderson, Southgate opted for the likes of Declan Rice and Conor Gallagher, as well as exciting younger stars in Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton - with the former playing a big part in England's upturn in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Henderson left Liverpool in the summer of 2023 after 12 years at the club, becoming captain in 2015 following Steven Gerrard's exit - going on to win every major trophy under Jurgen Klopp.

Henderson just missed out on a spot in the squad Henderson just missed out on a spot in the squad (Image: Getty Images)

But after being told that his future with the club would likely be as a rotational player, Henderson accepted the controversial move to Saudi Arabia. But after just six months, he choose to leave, citing personal reasons as to why he felt it did not work out for him.

He told reporters: "But you might get others that don't settle or something happens in their private life, whatever it may be, and things change quickly. It had nothing to do with anything else other than a football decision. I felt it was a perfect opportunity for me to come to such a huge club."

Henderson now looks to be an important player at Ajax, wearing the captains armband last season with the team making numerous moves this summer - including hiring new head coach Franceso Farioli.

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Jamie Carragher has already made his feelings clear on Gareth Southgate staying on as England boss

Sun, 07/14/2024 - 20:03

Jamie Carragher, the Liverpool legend and former England international, believes that Gareth Southgate should stay on as the Three Lions' boss no matter what happens later this evening against Spain in the European Championship final.

Southgate, who has now reached back-to-back finals in the main UEFA competition for national sides, has failed to get the best out of talents like Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold. But he could point to his record when it comes to the knockout phase of major tournaments as a positive of his tenure, albeit England is yet to get over the line.

"I always feel that an international manager, if the players and his FA don’t want him to leave, then it always feels strange leaving after a Euros," Carragher said on Sky Sports. "It feels to me that the World Cup is the one you leave after.

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"If we’d gone out to Switzerland (in the quarter-finals) he would probably have walked away because there would have been a lot of criticism and the scrutiny that goes with the job, which he has done for a long time. But I feel if he comes out of this feeling good – which he should do now whatever happens tonight – I think it would be right to finish it at the World Cup in America.

"If I was in Gareth’s position I would be thinking, ‘Would I want to give this team to someone else and they may be go on and win a World Cup?’ If it was me I’d do a couple more years, and I hope Gareth does the same."

Gareth Southgate with Jude Bellingham GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - JUNE 30: Gareth Southgate manager / head coach of England celebrate with Jude Bellingham of England at full time during the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match between England and Slovakia at Arena AufSchalke on June 30, 2024 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/2024 AMA Sports Photo Agency) (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/2024 AMA Sports Photo Agency)

"'Near misses' barely get a mention in the club museums," Carragher had written in his Daily Telegraph column earlier in the day. "England, by contrast, has been reduced to celebrating gritty failures. It means that as a country, there has been greater willingness to accept second, third or fourth best, and that can feed a culture where aspirations are lowered.

"For too long we have been the world’s biggest underachievers at major events. There has been too much credit afforded for penalty shoot-out defeats in semi-finals, or even at the last Euros when the loss could not camouflage that the Italians were there for the taking and ought to have been beaten."

Liverpool.com says: Whatever happens in Berlin, Southgate could have got more out of this group of players. If England wins, it should be noted that it had a relatively straightforward route to the final once again. That won't go down in the record books, of course, but the Three Lions really need to make the most of a fortuitous set of fixtures at last.

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Will England get a bank holiday if it wins Euro 2024? Keir Starmer's promising comments

Sun, 07/14/2024 - 19:43

England could be in for an unexpected bank holiday on Monday, 15 July, if comments made by Sir Keir Starmer are anything to go by. The newly appointed British Prime Minister, who's barely a week into his role, already has cause for celebration.

Despite being unable to personally witness Gareth Southgate's squad march into their second consecutive European Championship final due to official commitments at a NATO meeting on Wednesday night, it's understood that Sir Keir kept up with the event. Following England's victorious match against Holland, a significant decision now hangs over Starmer, according to Football London.

There's a growing public sentiment favoring a celebratory bank holiday should the Three Lions clinch their second major trophy ever. This comes as Southgate aims to outdo the achievements of Euro 2020 (which took place in 2021).

While Starmer hasn't committed to any specific plans, cautioning that he didn't want to "jinx it", he did share his thoughts during the NATO summit.

"We should certainly mark the occasion," he remarked. "I went to the last Euros finals. I don't want to go through that again so I don't want to jinx anything. We must mark it in some way but the most important thing is getting it over the line on Sunday. He also let on that he felt confident about England's prospects, stating they were set to go."

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Starmer doubled down on his stance, speaking to Gary Neville on ITV before kick-off, conservatively adding: "Let’s get through the next few hours. We will need to make it in some way, an appropriate way."

Reflecting on the events of 2021 when Keir Starmer was at the helm of the opposition, he didn't hold back on the idea of a bank holiday to celebrate an England triumph at Wembley.

"The whole country is incredibly proud of what Gareth Southgate and our England heroes have achieved already," he said at the time. History has been made. If we win on Sunday, the country should get the chance to celebrate it properly with an extra bank holiday, granted in the name of the England team. I've got a strong feeling, it's coming home."

Despite the fact that his hopes did not come to fruition, Starmer wasn't the only one floating the idea of a day off. Frances O'Grady, then general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, was on the same wavelength.

Sir Keir Starmer issued an update on whether Brits can expect a Bank Holiday ahead of the Euro 2024 final Sir Keir Starmer issued an update on whether Brits can expect a Bank Holiday ahead of the Euro 2024 final (Image: ITV Football)

She stated: "If England bring it home on Sunday, the government should allow the country to celebrate by announcing a special bank holiday. But it can't just be a one-off. UK workers get fewer bank holidays than most of our European counterparts. The TUC has long called for more public holidays. So come on England!"

Now, with the recent exploits of Ollie Watkins and his squad, who pulled off a stunning comeback in one of England's standout performances of the tournament, the conversation has been reignited. Starmer took to Twitter/X to share his joy and support after the game.

The Prime Minister also took a moment to react to Harry Kane's stunning equalizer on his social platforms. "Picked the right moment to pop out from NATO meetings and check the score..." he wrote. "Berlin, here we come."

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Darwin Nunez's reaction to Luis Suarez's last-minute Uruguay equalizer speaks volumes

Sun, 07/14/2024 - 08:21

Not for the first time, Uruguay had Luis Suarez to thank at the Copa America, and Darwin Nunez’s reaction to his dramatic stoppage-time equalizer told you everything you need to know.

Canada appeared to be on the verge of winning the third-place playoff in North Carolina after goals from Ismael Kone and Jonathan David had put them 2-1 up following Rodrigo Bentancur’s opener.

Suarez though struck in the second minute of stoppage time to bring Uruguay level, and take the game to a penalty shootout. The former Liverpool striker then scored his effort from the spot to make it 4-3 after Kone’s miss, with Alphonso Davies then striking the crossbar to hand the victory to Uruguay.

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Although it wasn’t the final that Marcelo Bielsa’s side would have hoped to have been in, the victory was nevertheless cause for celebration, especially for Suarez and Nunez.

The latter had started the game just days after being involved in the ugly brawl following the semi-final defeat to Colombia. Nunez is now left waiting to see whether he will be punished for his part in the fight, with the Liverpool star one of 11 players under investigation.

Uruguay's players celebrate after Luis Suarez's stoppage-time equalizer against Canada Uruguay's players celebrate after Luis Suarez's stoppage-time equalizer against Canada (Image: Getty Images)

He was replaced at half-time by Suarez, with the 37-year-old making potentially his final appearance for his country, and he certainly made it count. The former Red took home the man of the match award as he saved his side from ending the tournament with another defeat.

And, despite now being on the bench, Nunez was one of the first to celebrate with Suarez after the equalizer in what was quite a poignant moment for the pair.

Nunez looks set to be the man tasked with taking on Suarez’s mantel as his country’s talisman, and he certainly has a lot to live up to. The love for Suarez from the Uruguay players was clear to see as he was lifted up by his teammates at full-time.

Liverpool.com says: As we’ve seen at Liverpool, Nunez still has a long way to go before he can be considered to be in the same bracket at Suarez. With the former Red looking likely to be hanging up his boots soon though, it’s a huge moment for Nunez, who now has to step up to the plate for both club and country. Of course, that might depend on any potential punishment coming his way, but Suarez has shown what he needs to do now.

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Arne Slot and FSG will have close eye on five players in Euro 2024 final

Sun, 07/14/2024 - 08:00

Liverpool boss Arne Slot will have his eye on several players during the Euro 2024 final on Sunday. The game is set to be held in Berlin and will feature England and Spain, with several transfer targets and current Liverpool players set to feature.

The obvious names such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez could be in line to play a role for Gareth Southgate's side, who squeezed past the Netherlands in the semi-finals thanks to a late winner from Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins. Away from the Reds duo, Slot will also be paying close attention to several players who have regularly been linked with a move to Anfield in recent months.

Staying in the England camp, Newcastle United and former Everton man Anthony Gordon will likely watch on from the bench once again on Sunday evening. The Liverpool-born winger has only played two minutes during the tournament but Slot will keep an eye out regardless, as Gordon continues to be linked with a return to Merseyside with Liverpool.

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In terms of Spain, both Dani Olmo and Nico Williams have been touted as possible options for Liverpool to turn to this summer, as Slot seeks additional attacking reinforcements with the futures of Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah yet to be determined. The Spanish duo have impressed throughout the tournament and if Liverpool is to pursue one of these players - or both - the Reds will face heavy competition from the likes of Manchester City, Aston Villa and Chelsea.

According to The Mirror, Olmo has a release clause of around $64million (£50m/€58m) which is set to expire next Monday. Liverpool is one of many clubs currently monitoring the situation, with City and Chelsea believed to be ahead of Slot's side in the running.

"I am calm and focused on what is coming, which is the Euro, which is no small thing," Olmo said regarding his future recently. "It is clear that it is good to see your name related to great teams in Europe and the world, that motivates me, but I am focused on the Euro and I hope we can return with the trophy.

"Then we'll see. It's nice to see your name related to the greats, but I insist, it's nothing that bothers me. I am focused on the field and then whatever has to be, will be. We are very close now, one step away from glory.

"We planned the game very well and, although we conceded a goal, we knew how to react with the spectacular goal from Lamine [Yamal] and then with my own. And in the second half we knew how to control it."

Liverpool.com says: Watching the Euro 2024 final could provide vital information to Slot and his coaching staff as to how these young talents perform under pressure - in regards to both possible targets and the players in his current squad.

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Liverpool transfer news LIVE: Nico Williams hope, Darwin Nunez ban, Adrien Rabiot approach

Sun, 07/14/2024 - 07:00
Adrien Rabiot approach

Liverpool is among three clubs to have been approached by Adrien Rabiot's representatives about a potential transfer, according to HITC.

The midfielder is a free agent after his contract at Juventus expired, and the Italian club does not plan on making another contract offer after receiving no response prior to Euro 2024.

It's now suggested that Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester United have all been approached to make them aware of the 29-year-old's situation. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan have also been linked elsewhere.

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