Was Wayne Rooney’s halfway line goal the best in Premier League history?

The Everton forward has joined an exclusive club of players to have scored from inside his own half. But where does it rank compared to David Beckham, Charlie Adam and the rest?

David Beckham, Paul Robinson, Tim Howard, Charlie Adam, Maynor Figueroa and Wayne Rooney (x2) – the list of players to have scored goals from the halfway line in the Premier League is an exclusive club. But which one was the best?

We rank each goal in order and invite you to let us know your thoughts.

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via Football | The Guardian

World Cup 2018 draw: how it all works and which teams England should avoid

• England will be hoping to avoid traditional enemies Germany
• Draw from Moscow on Friday will be shown live on BBC2

The highly anticipated draw for the 2018 World Cup finals kicks off in Moscow on Friday afternoon and BBC2 will be covering all the action from 3pm.

Match of the Day and BT Sport football host Gary Lineker, who has faced criticism for taking on the role after previously speaking out against Fifa over its various corruption scandals, will be co-presenting with the Russian journalist Maria Komandnaya.

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via Football | The Guardian

Marcelo Bielsa’s short-lived catastrophe at Lille is coming to an end

Pep Guardiola described Bielsa as ‘the best coach in the world’ but the Argentinian may be the latest manager modern football has simply left behind

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Sitting and watching football is what Marcelo Bielsa does best. A touchline icebox doubled as his perch at Marseille, made famous by an unfortunate incident with a rogue coffee cup, he sat oddly unflinching on the Lille bench as his assistant had a blazing argument with the fourth official inches away during the trip to Amiens last week and he has even supposedly trained himself to sit and watch multiple games at once with the aim of picking out patterns of play. But as “El Loco” sat in a Lille restaurant, suspended from his duties and sacking imminent, watching his Lille side lose 3-0 at Montpellier on a laptop, Bielsa’s fiery, enigmatic, mad-scientist persona seemed to ebb away and was replaced by a sense of inevitability and déja vu.

Despite the fanfare surrounding Bielsa’s arrival and his perpetual aura that bred genuine hope of a renaissance for Les Dogues under his tutelage, this disappointingly short episode of “El Loco’s” career has proven to be simply the latest lap of what has become a vitriolic, vicious cycle; disaster rarely far away. To solely blame Bielsa for bizarre departures from Marseille, Lazio and now Lille would be wrong but the bizarre situations that led to recent resignations, this will be his first genuine ’sacking’ for some time, all have one common denominator.

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via Football | The Guardian

Dave Challinor: ‘I don’t do the long throw any more. Doctor’s orders’

The former Tranmere captain, a record breaker with his long throws, is manager of the AFC Fylde side who take on Wigan in the FA Cup second round on Friday – and he is no stranger to inflicting cup upsets

Look closely at the AFC Fylde kit when the National League side take on Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup on Friday night, and you will find the extent of the club’s ambition is worn on their sleeve. A 15-year plan was put in place when new owners became involved in what was then Kirkham and Wesham in 2007, one that envisaged Football League status being achieved by the year 2022. Five promotions later, Fylde stand on the threshold of their dream. The next promotion will make it come true, and just to make sure no one loses sight of the objective, 2022 is woven into the players’ shirts.

This is precisely the sort of structured planning and growth that persuaded the former Tranmere captain Dave Challinor to leave Colwyn Bay to throw in his lot with Fylde six years ago. It seemed a backward step for a young manager at the time – Fylde were two divisions lower – but everything sketched out at his interview has since come to pass, including the gleaming new stadium the club moved into last season.

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via Football | The Guardian

Gianfranco Zola: ‘Who was wilder out of Maradona and Asprilla? Tino by miles’

The former Napoli, Parma and Chelsea forward discusses his old team-mates, managing West Ham and a six-hour helicopter trip to try a new ice cream

Gianfranco Zola still keeps an eye out for West Ham United. It is nine years since the club gave him his first management opportunity and seven since they took it away in the summer of 2010. In total he led the club through 73 Premier League games, only 14 fewer than Slaven Bilic before the Croat was fired earlier this month and replaced by David Moyes.

That might be where the similarities end. “I cannot compare my experience to his,” says Zola. “I believe they are completely different. But I understand what he’s been through. Every manager, when things don’t go well, they feel bad about it. That, unfortunately, is our job.”

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via Football | The Guardian

Floating NFL players, an ex-Gunner in Bulgaria and Adelaide Ashes Tests

Zay Jones appears to levitate, Conor Henderson pops up in the ‘First Professional Football League’, the Antarctic Ice Marathon and Felix Wiedwald’s borrowed cap

1) Remember former Arsenal midfielder Conor Henderson? Probably not as he only played one FA Cup game for them, admittedly in a 5-0 win over Leyton Orient, before spells at Hull City, Crawley Town, Grimsby Town and Eastbourne Borough. Well the English-born midielder has only gone and scored a 94th minute winner for his current club FC Pirin Blagoevgrad against the also superbly named Cherno More Varna. As injury-time winners go, a free-kick in off the bar isn’t a bad way to pick up the points for a team at the wrong end of the Bulgarian ‘First Professional Football League’ (we didn’t come up with the name), as proved by the excitable celebrations from the midfielder and his giddy team-mates.

2) American football is getting weirder by the week. Following on from the mystery of the disappearing USC player, The Buffallo Bills’ Zay Jones defies physics and floats back to his feet in the NFL match against Kansas City Chiefs. We’ve watched this numerous times and still can’t understand what’s going on.

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via Football | The Guardian