Unlikely France favourite Sissoko pleads World Cup case

first_imgHe played 16 times for France in 2016, but only three times the following year after his transfer from Newcastle to Spurs.“It’s the coach’s choice and you just have to take it,” Sissoko told AFP in from the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, where Sissoko was attending a youth tournament.“I had a difficult start to last season at Tottenham due to a late transfer and not getting in much training.“This season it’s much better, I’ve played a lot, successive matches. We’re well placed in the league, we’re still in the Champions League.“It’s going to be an interesting run in, with lots to go for.“I’m doing to do everything I can to achieve them and hopefully book a ticket to Russia.”He added: “It is the biggest competition there is for a sportsman, it’s unique. I was lucky enough to go to one in the footballing country that is Brazil. It went very well and I hope I’ll be lucky enough to relive a World Cup this year.”France handler Deschamps is known to like collectively-minded players with a strong attention to the small details, and Sissoko has earned a reputation as being one of his favourites.“I’ve heard it said a lot,” admitted Sissoko, whose coaches often praise his box-to-box style and the balance it brings.“But honestly I don’t pay attention. I just try and do my job. The boss makes the decisions.”Deschamps has plenty of talented players to choose from in midfield with Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba or Blaise Matuidi of Juventus all providing competition for Sissoko.And since Euro 2016, two other young midfielder’s in PSG’s Adrien Rabiot and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso have staked their claims.“It’s very healthy competition. There’s going to be a very strong France team,” said Sissoko.“The more good players we have, the further we’ll go into the competition.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko faces a battle to make France’s World Cup squad © AFP/File / Geoff CADDICKPARIS, France, Feb 18 – A regular for Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham this season, midfielder Moussa Sissoko is however fighting for a place in Didier Deschamps France plans for the World Cup in Russia.As a fans’ favourite the 28-year-old from a tough Parisian suburb heard his name ring out in stadiums across France during Euro 2016, but after a transfer and tricky first season at Tottenham, his star seemed on the wane.last_img read more

Europa League round-up: Everton cruise to victory over Wolfsburg

first_imgEverton got their Europa League campaign off to a flying start as they cruised to a slightly flattering 4-1 win over Wolfsburg.Roberto Martinez named a strong Toffees side and while they were clearly the better side against their Bundesliga opponents, the first three goals all had a slice of fortune about them.After a tentative start at Goodison Park, Everton suddenly clicked into gear with Steven Naismith, Leighton Baines and James McCarthy all combining well for the opener, which came when the striker’s effort was luckily deflected into the bottom corner from Ricardo Rodriguez’s block.On the cusp of half-time Everton doubled their tally as Seamus Coleman headed home after Baines’ mishit strike fell perfectly for the Irishman in the box.While Dieter Hecking’s side could curse their misfortune, the third goal was courteous of a refereeing blunder when Luca Banti bizarrely gave a penalty for a challenge on Aiden McGeady that was clearly outside the box. Baines was more than happy to dispatch the spot kick with ease.In fairness to the German side, they did not let their heads drop and actually shaded the second half in terms of chances, with Howard representing a brick wall they could not break down.The American goalkeeper had to be hand on several occasions to repel De Bruyne, Luis Gustavo and in particular, Rodriguez, whose curling effort had the veteran at full stretch.There remained time late on for Everton to get their fourth when Kevin Mirallas polished off an excellent Samuel Eto’o pass, while Wolfsburg deservedly got on the scoresheet moments later when Rodriguez curled a sumptuous free-kick into the top corner.Meanwhile, Tottenham earned a good point as they were held to a goalless draw by Partizan Belgrade.Driven on by a hugely vociferous crowd, the Serbian outfit more than matched their illustrious rivals and Spurs could feel midly content to come away with a point.The best opportunity of the game came after just two minutes as Tottenham academy product Harry Kane rattled the woodwork with a blistering effort.Despite Tottenham’s dominance of possession, their defence remained susceptible and debutant Federico Fazio almost committed a total howler when he misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing Danilo Pantic a clear sight on goal, which fortunately Hugo Lloris thwarted from just five-yards.Spurs could count themselves lucky not to go down to ten men in the first-half when Andros Townsend foolishly got himself booked for dissent and then followed that up with what looked like an elbow into the face of Vladimir Volkov.Goalmouth action had dried up with both sides keeping each other at arm’s length, though Spurs fans would be happy to see substitute Erik Lamela dancing around Partizan tackles as he continues to rebuild his reputation.Overall, both sides could be content with a point in a match that failed to get the pulses racing.Elsewhere, Celtic were held to an entertaining 2-2 draw at FC Red Bull Salzburg.The Scottish champions had failed to win any of their four previous visits to Austria, but looked on course for victory after Wakaso Mubarak and Scott Brown had them 2-1 ahead with 12 minutes to go.But Jonathan Soriano netted an absolute worldly of a free-kick from 25-yards to leave the Bhoys cursing their luck.Earlier on, debutant Wakaso fired Celtic ahead when he found room in the area and placed a drive past the keeper on 14 minutes.Alan equalised for the hosts before half-time with the aid of a deflection, but Brown restored the visitors’ lead with a sensational 25-yard strike.However, Soriano’s sensational strike ensured things would finish all square. 1 Everton’s Leighton Baines celebrates scoring against Wolfsburg last_img read more