Premier League and WSL finales, Tuchel to leave Bayern, Liverpool exits: football news – live | Football

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Eddie Howe has been reflecting on Newcastle’s season as he delivers his final press conference of the 2023/24 campaign. Currently in seventh, the Magpies could finish sixth with a win at Brentford on Sunday as long as Chelsea lose at home to Bournemouth. But they could also slip to eighth if Manchester United (away at Brighton) better their result. Seventh would leave them without European football next season if Erik ten Hag’s men win the FA Cup.

Howe said: “I think we’ll look back with a tinge of ‘what could have been’ in many aspects, whether you’re talking the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Champions League, the Premier League. I think we’ve done OK, I think we’ve done well – but it could have been so different, it could have been even more memorable, so that will be a frustration that will live with me.

“Before the last two games, we had the initiative and now we don’t and it’s not in our hands any more, but we have to deal with it. We can only control now our performance and our result against Brentford and we have to do everything we can to do our part because what you don’t want is for the other teams to make a mistake and we’re not there to capitalise on it.”

Team news: Newcastle hope to have Callum Wilson back from illness but will make a late decision on Anthony Gordon, who suffered an ankle injury in the 3-2 loss at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has been named Heerenveen head coach, his first first managerial post.

The 40-year-old, who has spent this season in charge of the Dutch side’s Under-18s, said: “I would like to continue my development and the role of head coach fits in perfectly with that goal. I am therefore pleased with the opportunity that Heerenveen offers me.

“Heerenveen is a very nice Eredivisie club with a rich tradition and loyal supporters. It is a fantastic challenge to contribute to the sporting ambitions and development of the club as head coach.”

Suzanne Wrack

Suzanne Wrack

Jonas Eidevall has said he understands why there are a “lot of raw emotions” after the announcement that the WSL record goalscorer, Vivianne Miedema, will leave Arsenal at the end of the season having not been offered a new contract. The 27-year-old forward is believed to be joining Manchester City and a layer of Arsenal fans have been vocal in their displeasure at the decision to let her leave.

Eidevall called it a “unified club decision” but said he would not go into the details of why they made it. “It’s a unified club decision; we obviously took a lot of care in making that decision and we had to weigh a lot of different factors in that decision and what’s best for the club,” he said. “I don’t think it would be worth me sitting here and explaining why or why not we go in certain directions, because I think it would be overshadowing what has been a truly remarkable story with Vivianne Miedema and Arsenal.”

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The manager praised the connection “between the team and the supporters and the club and the supporters” over recent seasons and said it was only natural that these feelings would extend to individual players.

“I understand that football is emotions and decisions like this leave a lot of raw emotions as well. My message would be that, when we are working, when we are taking decisions like this, it’s to build Arsenal as strong as possible for the future and we want nothing more than to be as successful as possible on the pitch. That’s the direction we want to go as a club … We’ll hopefully also have positive and encouraging news here in the coming weeks in how we’re strengthening the squad and the set-up around the team.”

Skinner extends stay at Man Utd

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner has signed a one-year contract extension with the option for a further 12 months.

The 41-year-old former Birmingham manager succeeded Casey Stoney at United in the summer of 2021. The team, who were launched in 2018, finished fourth in the WSL in 2021-22, then second last season, as well as being FA Cup runners-up.

They are currently fifth in the table and Skinner has faced some fan criticism, but the news of his extension comes five days on from him overseeing United win their first major trophy, beating Tottenham 4-0 in the FA Cup final.

Skinner said in a statement from the club: “It’s an honour to extend my stay at Manchester United. I’ve always felt at home here, with our excellent players, staff, and fans. Being able to secure the team’s first major trophy at Wembley was a real career highlight for me and another sign of our continued growth, on and off the field.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported me on this journey, and I look forward to creating many more winning memories together.”

Matt Johnson, interim head of women’s football, said: “Everyone at Manchester United is delighted to see Marc continue as women’s team head coach and build on the success of the team’s historic FA Cup win. Congratulations to Marc on his contract extension and we all wish him and the team the best of luck going into the new season.”

United, who were eliminated in the Champions League qualifying rounds early in their 2023-24 campaign, conclude it on Saturday by playing Chelsea at Old Trafford in their final league game.

(PA Media)

An Arsenal fan (Ben) writes… “I don’t want to just rail against all the claims of ’bottle jobs’ and the like. This Arsenal team have made some amazing strides over the last few years. Their accomplishments should be celebrated, not discarded because we didn’t win the league. For a young team to be challenging City all the way to the end, when about three years ago we were struggling to even get into Europe, is an amazing turnaround. Especially when the one other manager to do that over recent years has admitted it is all too much and voluntarily stepped out.”

It’s not quite done yet, I suppose. Imagine if Paquetá, Bowen and Kudus use the City game as a big audition and really turn it on. A team in claret and blue nearly took it away from City two years ago. Okay, I’m clutching at straws. Man City 4-1 West Ham.

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Tuchel confirms Bayern exit

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed he will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season after failing to reach an agreement with the club to stay on as coach after talks this week. Good news for Manchester United? The German is favourite in the ‘next United manager’ betting, although an uncertain one at 7/2 ahead of 9/2 Gareth Southgate and 6/1 Thomas Frank.

And that’s out. Tuchel is definitely leaving Bayern. Definitely definitely. Photograph: Angelika Warmuth/Reuters

Full details from Reuters below…

Tuchel took over last March and steered them to the Bundesliga title last season but Bayern will finish the current campaign without any silverware for the first time in more than a decade. Bayern bosses had informed Tuchel in February he would not stay on for the last year of his contract and would leave at the end of the season.

But after several prospective successors, including Julian Nagelsmann, Ralf Rangnick and Xabi Alonso, decided to remain in their current jobs, Bayern turned to Tuchel to discuss the possibility of him staying on.

“This is the last press conference here. The February decision remains,” Tuchel said. “There were talks again with the club in the past week but we did not reach an agreement on a continued cooperation so we stick with the February decision. We did not agree but I won’t go into individual points. That all happens behind closed doors.”

The Bavarians, who travel to Hoffenheim on the last matchday of the season on Saturday, are battling to hold on to second place in the table and are two points ahead of VfB Stuttgart. They crashed out to third-tier Saarbruecken in the German Cup and were eliminated by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, ending the campaign without a trophy despite spending a league-record 100 million euros ($108.41 million) to sign striker Harry Kane.

“The decision for me to leave was taken in February so you can imagine that my head, after processing, was 1000% behind that decision,” Tuchel said. “There was the theoretical possibility of a 180 degree turn now and the initiative came from the club. The reasons why it did not happen, I don’t know, are minimal. Maybe the reasons are not clear, also for the decision in February, but it is what it is,” Tuchel said.

Norwich sack Wagner

Ben Fisher

Ben Fisher

Norwich City sacked David Wagner hours after they were thrashed by Leeds in Thursday’s playoff semi-final second leg, with the club keen to embark on a fresh approach. Defeat abruptly ended Norwich’s hopes of a return to the Premier League.

Wagner, who led Huddersfield to promotion to the Premier League in 2017, was appointed in January 2023, replacing Dean Smith. He guided Norwich to 13th in the Championship last season.

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Wolves’ bid to get VAR in the bin from the start of next season has a supporter, even though he can’t vote. Anyone know Arne Slot’s views? Wolves need 13 other top-flight sides to join them in voting in favour of their motion at next month’s Premier League AGM.

🔴🖥️ Klopp on vote for VAR: “How it’s used is definitely not right, how they use it… I would vote against VAR”.

“These people cannot do it properly. VAR is not the problem, you cannot change the people so I would vote for scrapping VAR”. pic.twitter.com/6kpFdAdA1M

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 17, 2024

Some related Messi content. A look at the MLS’s top earners.

Talking of forgotten footballers, whatever happened to Christian Benteke? Well, we’ll tell you what: he’s only the joint-top scorer in the MLS this season having found the net 11 times for DC United. That’s one more than Messi. How and why? It’s all here in Joseph Lowery’s latest MLS power rankings.

Brazil will host the Women’s World Cup in 2027 after seeing off a joint Belgium-Netherlands-Germany bid by 119 votes to 78. It’s the first time the tournament will be held in a South American country.

Not too far north, Mexico played host in 1971, a tournament that had seemingly been forgotten until recently.

Arsenal could get to 89 points on Sunday and still not win the title. Little sympathy from Liverpool fans who racked up enormous points tallies of 97 (2019) and 92 (2022) and were still pipped by Manchester City. Here, Guardian Sport looks at the fine margins that look set to cost the Gunners their first Premier League title since 2004.

Let’s revel in some more Klopp. Andy Hunter sat down with the Liverpool boss to reflect on the German’s Anfield career that delivered seven major trophies and made him a club legend.

The general view on life in Liverpool is very similar to mine. I’m ready to fight for the right things. Do I think I deserve everything? No, and it’s fine that other people should have things as well. I’m not a socialist but I do come from there and I understand life like that. I fitted so well. I didn’t have to change a bit – that was the biggest blessing. Just be myself. That’s why it worked out so well in my relationship with the people.

Will Leeds be back in the Premier League next season? Well, they’re only one step away after reaching the Championship playoff final at Wembley on Sunday week thanks to a 4-0 gubbing of Norwich at Elland Road last night. Louise Taylor was there.

More quotes from Klopp soon as his unforgettable reign at Anfield comes to an end. In the meantime, let’s break off from the chin wobbling stuff with a solid and meaty dose of ‘Ten things’.

And more tears in Liverpool circles. It’s also farewell to Thiago Alcantara, the Reds’ silky but very injury-prone Spanish midfielder. Thiago, whose father won the World Cup with Brazil, made 98 appearances over his four seasons with the Reds after signing from Bayern Munich, sometimes looking their best player but too often watching on from the bench.

The 33-year-old has done an Instagram to say goodbye.

Appreciation and gratitude – they are two words that come to mind on the day I have to say goodbye to all of you, Reds. Thankful, too.

Thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of this city, this club and this community. The continuous support I have received since day one has been incredible: Anfield cheering, the Kop chanting… amazing, overwhelming. A very unique fan base for a unique club.

These past four years have been a time of learning for me and my family. Some wins, some defeats, but without a doubt, a life-changing experience.

Teammates, coaches, staff and club employees: you were all part of it. And to the fans, I don’t have the words. Just know you will have my deepest gratitude forever. Thank you, it was an honour. All the best always, Liverpool FC.

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Matip bids goodbye to Liverpool

Farewell Joel Matip. Liverpool’s centre-back is leaving the club after eight seasons with the Reds. The 32-year-old was among the first signings made by Jürgen Klopp in 2015, snapping the Cameroon defender up on a free transfer from Schalke 04. He went on to make 201 appearances, scoring 11 goals and setting up the second goal in Liverpool’s 2019 Champions League final win over Spurs.

Klopp has been fulsome in his praise of the defender, whose mazy dribbles towards opposition territory helped secure cult status with the Anfield crowd.

In all the years that I have been involved in football, I am not sure I have come across too many players who are more loved than Joel Matip. I’m not even sure it would be possible to say anything bad about him,” said Klopp.

A wonderful professional, a wonderful footballer and a wonderful human being – we have been blessed to have him with us for as long as we have and now all we can do is wish him well as he heads off in a new direction.

Joel’s qualities as a player are there for all to see and as a club we have benefited from them since the first moment that he joined. I don’t think he has had too many headlines over the years but he has only ever been a very famous figure within our group.

I have said before that if there was one person who wouldn’t care if he was underrated it would be Joel, but the truth is we could not have rated him more highly. Not only has he set the standards for himself, he has set them for others and this is one of the main reasons why his time here has been so successful.

If I had to choose one moment from his time here it would definitely be his assist for Divock Origi at the Champions League final in Madrid,” added Klopp. “This was the touch that detonated an explosion in the LFC family. What a moment. What a player.

We wish Joel and his family the very best for the future.

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Preamble

And for the final time in the 2023/24 Premier League season, matchday 38 of 38, we bring you hot build-up to all the top-flight weekend action.

By weekend, we mean Sunday: all 10 games kick off at the same time, 4pm. And by ‘hot’ we, erm, mean the race for sixth.

Okay, there’s still a title race to complete but Manchester City are 1/12 with the bookies to get the home win over West Ham that would leave Arsenal fans performing a collective ‘what more could we have done’ shrug. “Not lost at home to Villa,” says a Spurs fan out of the side of his mouth. And if Luton win 25-0, or something like that, they could still survive on goal difference and send Nottingham Forest down.

So, yes, it’s all to play for. Come on, you won’t get another of these until August so jump aboard, see what the managers have got to say and look for the clues that will help decide who will finish higher out of Brighton (10th) and Bournemouth (11th).





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