Soccer: Pogba to face brother as Man United meet St Etienne.

Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, could face his brother Florentin after Jose Mourinho’s side were drawn against St Etienne in the Europa League round of 32, a tie which will also stir memories of the dark days of hooliganism in the 1970s.

The sides met in the old European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977-78, but the first leg in St Etienne was marred by violence involving United supporters.

The English side were kicked out of the competition by UEFA but were reinstated on appeal and ordered to play their home leg outside Manchester, choosing to stage the game in Plymouth in south-west England.

They won the match 2-0 to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

Florentin Pogba, a Guinean international, is a defender for St Etienne although he has only been picked intermittently this season.

His brother Paul, who plays for France, joined United from Juventus in the close season for a world record fee.

Also, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Florentina, two of the most familiar names in European club football, will meet for the first time.

AS Roma, the only other Serie A team left in the competition after Inter Milan and Sassuolo failed to get past the group stage, are involved in another high-profile match against Spain’s Villarreal.

Israel’s Hapoel Beer Sheva, who beat Inter during the group stage, were rewarded with a tie against Besiktas, one of eight teams parachuting in from the Champions League.

Two of the other top ties pitted AZ Alkmaar against Olympique Lyonnais and PAOK against Schalke, a repeat of their Champions League playoff tie in 2013-14 which the Bundesliga side edged 4-3 on aggregate.

This Season’s Result Will Determine My Future At Arsenal – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that his future as Arsenal manager hinges on the new season’s results, but stressed that he planned to keep working no matter what.

 

Wenger has just one year left on his contract and, as he enters his 21st season as Arsenal boss, faces pressure to deliver a major title. The Frenchman — who has said he will not make a decision about his future until next summer — told BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday that “what I will do after will depend a little bit on how the season goes.”

 

Wenger, speaking at the Premier League launch day in London, also told Sky Sports that he realised his tenure might be coming to an end. “You never know. You have to do it as if it is your whole life, but you know as well that you can stop at any moment,” he said. Discussing links to the England job following the departure of Roy Hodgson after a dismal Euro 2016 campaign, Wenger said: “I think I have shown that I respect my contracts and I respect loyalty highly. I did always that with Arsenal.”

But the manager, who recently said he was “scared” of retirement, added that he had no plans to walk away from football if he did not get a new deal with the Gunners. “What I will do is continue to work as long as I have the physical potential to work, no matter in what kind of position,” he said. “I will always work.”

 

Although Wenger’s future is likely to remain a topic of discussion throughout the season, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere said it would remain business as usual. “I have not seen anything different in him,” the England international told Sky Sports. “I see the same hunger, if not even more. “For me, he has been great over the years and he continues to be. I think he shows that with his hunger every year. He just keeps going each year.

 

“I think he really feels like he can win and do something special with this team.”

EPL Transfer Funds: “Rivals’ Budget Quite Scary” – Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says “it’s quite scary” to look at the money being spent to strengthen his Premier League rivals ahead of the new season.

 

Wenger spent £30 million on Granit Xhaka in May, but has yet to make another major signing, while the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have both brought in several expensive reinforcements.

 

Manchester City are also closing in on a big-money deal for John Stones that could reach as much as £50 million, while United have agreed a record-breaking fee of €120m to buy Paul Pogba from Juventus, sources have told ESPN FC.

 

Wenger is still searching for a striker and a forward as the Gunners try to improve on their second-place finish with a first Premier League title since 2004. But the Frenchman has acknowledged that the money being spent by other clubs will make things a lot more difficult in the upcoming campaign.

 

“It’s a big ask, because when you look at the Premier League, every club is hugely ambitious,” Wenger said after Arsenal beat the MLS All-Stars 2-1 in San Jose, California.

 

“You look at the cheques that everybody signs and it’s quite scary. That’s what the Premier League is about at the moment.”

 

Wenger is entering the final year of his contract and is under huge pressure to deliver a big title. When asked if another top-four finish in the league — which he has delivered in all 20 of his previous seasons — would be enough this time, the Arsenal boss said: “It’s never enough. I personally believe that no matter what you do, it’s never enough.

 

“You have to give absolutely everything to take the best out of the team. I believe that we know what we have to do, because we were second last year, we had 18 teams behind us.”

 

The Gunners will have to make do without Per Mertesacker for several months after the centre-back sustained a serious knee injury and Wenger reiterated in an interview with ESPN that he still wants an offensive and a defensive signing before the end of the summer transfer window.

 

“We were a bit short on goals scored [last season], so we will try certainly to strengthen a little bit in that department,” Wenger said. “Defensively we need to bring some more experience into our squad. I think in the middle of the park we have enough players.”

 

Meanwhile Arsenal’s rivals continue to splash the cash.

ISIS Executes 13 Teens for Watching Soccer

ISIS jihadists publicly executed 13 teenage boys for watching a soccer match. The young fans were reportedly watching an Asian Cup match between Iraq and Jordan on TV last week when they were caught by the militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which ISIS, or the Islamic State, controls.

The group of teens was executed in public by a firing squad that used machine guns, according to Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, an activist group that exposes ISIS atrocities.

Before the kids were killed, their “crime” was announced over a loudspeaker, reports said. “The bodies remained lying in the open and their parents were unable to withdraw them for fear of murder by the terrorist organization,” RIBSS posted on its website.

The boys were slaughtered because they were said to be violating Sharia law by watching the game. Iraq beat Jordan 1-0 in the Jan. 12 match, which took place in Brisbane, Australia.

A few days earlier, the Islamic State released a gruesome video showing two men being flung off a tower in Mosul. Before the execution, a masked fighter using a hand-held radio announced to a crowd of onlookers that the condemned duo had been found guilty of engaging in homosexual activities.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State is winning the war against heavy winter storms battering Iraq and Syria, huge swaths of which they control.

US military officials told The Post the terrorists are completely unfazed by brutal weather conditions that have plagued Syrian and Iraqi refugees currently being helped by the United Nations. “[ISIS] is a well-funded group, able to purchase cold-weather equipment,” said one US military official. “Also, while there are some foreign fighters, the vast majority of [ISIS] are from the area, so they know how to adjust for weather conditions,” the official added.

Credit: nypost.com

Fenerbahce Deny Emenike Move To Tottenham

Fenerbahce remain adamant that Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike is not set for a move to English Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur.

With Spurs reportedly looking for a striker to take the goal scoring burden off Harry Kane, there has been talk that Eminike is a target for the north London club.

Emenike’s agent, Erdem Konyar, has been happy to fuel this fire, recently saying: “Tottenham only really have one striker right now so it is not a surprise that they are interested.”

Konyar, however, admits that Fenerbahce have not received any interest yet.

“However, I do not think Fenerbahce have received an official bid yet. If Fenerbahce give us permission we could enter negotiations,” he said.

The club have made it clear they do not plan to let go of their prized asset, who has scored 25 goals in 40 games since arriving from Spartak Moscow in an £11.2m move 18 months ago.

“Emmanuel Emenike is a Fenerbahce player and has a contract with us until 2017, there are currently no transfer talks,” read a club statement.

It has also emerged that the Istanbul-based team have already rejected an offer for Emenike from Spurs.

“The offer for Emenike came and they offered 10 million euros. However, I trust him; therefore, I rejected the offer