Santi Cazorla more talented than Steven Gerrard, reveals former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle Sinama-Pongolle never managed to measure up to the standards at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘In training or in games, when Santi got the ball magic happened.’Liverpool signed Sinama-Pongolle as a teenager amid much fanfare, but the Frenchman never managed to fulfil his potential at Anfield.Sinama-Pongolle would be sold in 2006, but was part of Liverpool’s now famous 2004/2005 Champions League squad.After coming off the bench to play a crucial role in Liverpool’s comeback against Olympiakos in their last group stage game, Sinama-Pongolle would miss out on a spot in the squad that took on AC Milan in the final.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CitySinama-Pongolle then explained how his return to Liverpool following their epic comeback in Istanbul was a huge let-down.‘It’s the only thing about my time at Liverpool that leaves a bad taste,’ he recalled. ‘The organisation after Istanbul was an absolute disgrace. ‘The day after, those of us who weren’t in the squad for the final were put on a separate flight so the wives and girlfriends could go back on the main plane with the team. Advertisement Coral BarryTuesday 5 May 2020 10:16 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link339Shares Advertisement Comment Cazorla and Gerrard faced each other in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Florent Sinama-Pongolle branded Steven Gerrard the most ‘complete’ footballer he ever played with, but insists Santi Cazorla was more talented than the Liverpool legend.Cazorla, who is still playing at Villarreal, would become a household name at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger and remains a massively popular figure in football.Gerrard has gone down as one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players and Sinama-Pongolle played alongside ‘Captain Fantastic’ during some of his best years.‘Certainly the most complete player,’ Sinama-Pongolle told the Athletic about Gerrard. ADVERTISEMENT‘As a man, as a footballer, in terms of mentality, as a leader, yes he had everything. AdvertisementAdvertisement‘But in terms of just talent, in my opinion I played with more talented players. Sergio Aguero at Atletico (Madrid) was amazing. ‘Genius — every time he got the ball. I played with Santi Cazorla at Huelva and he was just “wow”. One of the best. Sinama-Pongolle was on the podium for Liverpool’s Istanbul triumph (Picture: Getty)‘Our flight arrived a bit later but the bus around the city didn’t wait for us. ‘They claimed that there were so many people on the streets of Liverpool that the police needed it to start. It was unfair. ‘They should have waited for the squad players. When I got back to Liverpool, I just went home and cried like crazy.‘The night before everything was great. It was so exciting. I should have been on that bus. I was really sad about how the club handled that.’Who is the more talented player?Cazorla0%Gerrard0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Patrice Evra reveals death threats from jailed Liverpool fans after Luis Suarez racist abuseMORE: John Barnes suggests Kylian Mbappe’s ‘attitude’ makes him the wrong fit for LiverpoolFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who has 12 senior caps, was tipped to make it into Roy Hodgson’s squad for the friendly with Denmark earlier this month after embarking on a blistering run of form for his club. However, he did not make it and that, he believes, has sealed the fate of his World Cup dreams despite the absence of Arsenal’s Theo Walcott through injury. Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has warned his fellow England hopefuls they have little chance of playing for their country if they are not at a top-eight club. Johnson told the Journal: “I think a lot of people saw me as almost a certainty [for the Denmark squad], but if you look at the last squad it was almost all top-eight [players] bar [Cardiff defender Steven] Caulker. “I think that says a lot about the selection. I don’t think it really matters how well you are playing – it’s who you play for. “If you look at the last 10 squads, Southampton have been playing well, they are in the top eight – and the rest are Everton, Tottenham, Man United, City, clubs like that.” Southampton climbed into the Barclays Premier League’s top eight at the weekend, helping to illustrate Johnson’s point. Of the 30 men named by Hodgson for the Denmark game, 25 of them play for clubs among that group. Indeed, Johnson fears he now has less chance of being selected as a regular at the Stadium of Light than he did while he was warming the bench at former club Manchester City. He said: “I came to Sunderland to play more, rather than thinking about England, but some games I wasn’t even on the bench at City but I was still in the England squad. “Now I’m playing more and I can’t get a cap. It’s just a fact – it’s not me being sour. Some players, if they weren’t playing for the big clubs, wouldn’t be anywhere near it [the squad].” Press Association
Until the chase started, this day in the life of Valley traffic officers was nearly two hours of sitting in stop-and-go traffic. Sure there was the shirtless man arrested earlier for punching a woman in the ear after a tiny fender bender. And there was a grimy pickup truck that got impounded for 30 days because the driver had no license, and a steamy Commuter Express bus that stalled on a busy roadway. It was all predictable commuter troubles that you see every day driving around. But seeing traffic-choked roads ruin law enforcement efforts to get the bad guy – and in the end, help him get away – raises questions about urban planning. Bustos wondered if fire and police departments are even considered when developers slap up homes without widening the roads. With 1.8 million people residing in the Valley and making their own traffic simply by living here, the roads are even more jam packed by commuters from far-reaching suburbs getting off the clogged freeways and looking for shortcuts on local streets. “It’s part of what we see going from point A to point B,” said Bustos. “It’s part of our community.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818)713-3746 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! If you hop in your own car and join millions of commuters on busy L.A. thoroughfares during rush hour, you’ll come to this conclusion: Traffic sucks for everyone. But if you hitch a ride with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division and join the gridlock, you’ll discover this: Crooks love traffic – and move a lot faster through it than the rest of us. Take the guy driving a stolen van on Monday near Woodley Avenue and Victory Boulevard. He not only managed to maneuver through slow-moving cars to lose a convoy of black-and-white patrol cars pursuing him, but he was able to ditch the van, scramble away shoeless and disappear into a residential neighborhood. At the outset of the chase, a sea of cars had snarled Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were earlier patrolling the Orange Line when they checked the license plates on the van and discovered it was stolen. Police might not have gotten to the van for hours had bewildered families not noticed the man hopping out of the still-moving van, which ambled into a white iron fence outside a house on Haynes Street. They eventually flagged down authorities. But not even a team of energetic K-9s and brawny deputies toting high-powered rifles could sniff out the barefoot fugitive in the neighborhood. The only clues he left behind were a Darth Vader mask strapped to the passenger seat headrest and a baseball cap resting on top. Detective Bill Bustos, my tour guide Monday to Valley traffic crime, said the mask might have been used as a disguise in robberies.