Nolito: ‘Comments hurt you and your family. Being insulted isn’t part of the job’

Nolito, who faces Liverpool with Sevilla on Tuesday, opens up on Pep Guardiola, explains how a joke about the English weather led to all sorts of trouble and reveals who he thinks is the best player at Manchester City

Nolito says he was “joking”, which he often is, as another cheeky grin sweeps across his face and he starts laughing again. “Bloody hell,” he says, which is something he says a lot – or its slightly ruder Spanish equivalent anyway. And then he continues: “But it was for real, eh! I had to give her vitamin D, the poor thing. We’d go outside but the sun just never came out. Even I ended up pale …” A quick glance up and he adds, giggling: “Just like you!” And just like his daughter Lola, aged nine, and one-year-old twins, Lara and Alegría.

Towards the end of his first season in England, by which time he knew it would be his last, the former Manchester City player, now back in Spain with Liverpool’s Champions League opponents Sevilla, said his daughter had changed colour. “She looks like she’s been living in a cave,” he said then; “it got misinterpreted,” he says now. “It was just a joke, a throwaway line. And it was true: there was no sun and the paediatrician said: ‘Try this’…

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via Football | The Guardian

West Brom sack Tony Pulis as manager after owner joins fans in losing patience

• West Brom’s 4-0 defeat by Chelsea made it 11 games without a win
• Pulis leaves with club one point and one place above relegation zone

Tony Pulis has been sacked as manager of West Bromwich Albion, with Gary Megson set to take charge on a temporary basis.

A 4-0 defeat at home by Chelsea on Saturday extended the club’s sequence without a victory to 11 matches and led to calls from the fans for Pulis’s dismissal.

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via Football | The Guardian

West Ham fans urged to stop calling 999 to complain about team’s performances

• Essex Police tweet message to disgruntled Hammers supporters
• West Ham in relegation zone after defeat to Watford on Sunday

West Ham fans have been warned to stop calling 999 to complain about their team.

The Hammers suffered a 2-0 defeat at Watford on Sunday in David Moyes’ first match in charge, with goals from Will Hughes and Richarlison settling the match at Vicarage Road.

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West Ham’s Andy Carroll leaves his mark on Watford but barely troubles the match | Simon Burnton

Back after a six-week absence, Andy Carroll contributed little to the game other than fouls and was told he was not fit to wear West Ham’s shirt by fans

With seven seconds on the clock Andy Carroll rose to challenge Marvin Zeegelaar for a high ball and left the Watford debutant on the floor, his nose bleeding. It had not taken long for the forward to make an impression on his opponents.

In the starting lineup for the first time in six weeks, handed a new chance by a new manager, there could be no better time for Carroll to prove his worth. Perhaps with this performance he could make himself the toast of his team, acclaimed by his new coach. As it happened at half-time David Moyes sought him out for a chat, but instead of receiving a congratulatory handshake he was told that having fully considered the game and all its complexities his manager had decided that he only had another 10 minutes. By then he had been booked for tripping Richarlison – whose dramatic reaction hardly helped the situation – and had left a foot unnaturally high after falling over Christian Kabasele. “Half-time was a decision because I wasn’t sure if he was going to get himself sent off,” said Moyes. “I told him I wouldn’t take him off but I’d only give him 10 or 15 minutes of the second half.”

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Hugo Lloris’s top-four focus for Spurs is telling, Callum Wilson is making up for lost time and can Paul Pogba yet be compared with Steven Gerrard?

After challenging for the title for the past couple of seasons, it was significant to hear Hugo Lloris contemplate looking over Tottenham Hotspur’s shoulder more than in front of them at the end of a derby defeat. “Oh, before we think about [the leaders] Man City it’s important to stay in the top four. This is the main target for our team,” he said. “We heard from outside that Tottenham play for the title, blah, blah, blah. The most important thing is to stay consistent in the league.” The difficulty imposing themselves on the most challenging away fixtures remains a sticking point. Having lost at Old Trafford and Arsenal in recent weeks, next month they visit the Premier League’s pace setters at the Etihad Stadium. Spurs found it hard to penetrate Arsenal’s defence, and when Mauricio Pochettino subbed off Harry Kane and Dele Alli neither could feel they had been at their most influential. “The spirit was good, we were in the fight and able to develop our game with the ball in the floor. But in the final third we need more aggression and movement,” Lloris said. “Now we need to carry on. It’s true that we wanted to do more against Manchester United and Arsenal. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that so now it’s important to have a run of victories because we need to keep our place at the top.” Amy Lawrence

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Football transfer rumours: Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero to Real Madrid?

Today’s gossip wants to start a street party

What have Barcelona, Valencia, Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo got in common? Anyone? Yes, of course they all play in La Liga. Think harder. OK, they’ve all scored more league goals than Real Madrid. It’s the kind of statistic that just won’t do at the home of the Spanish and European champions. You see, with Cristiano Ronaldo creaking in his old age and Gareth Bale seeing more of the physio’s room than the Bernabéu turf, Real’s goals are drying up.

To solve this problem, Real’s supreme leader, Florentino Pérez, is going to do what he always does in a time of crisis – throw a load of cash at another club in the hope they give them one of their best players. In this instance, the figure is £63m, the club is Manchester City and the player is Sergio Agüero. Pérez believes City will be more than happy to accept their offer for the 29-year-old if Pep Guardiola successfully snaffles Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal for a cut-price fee in January. It could even make City look like they’re taking FFP seriously. Real will also throw a £90m offer in for Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, because they can, though he’s hardly in peak form having gone seven games without a goal.

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via Football | The Guardian