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Finding an attractive market in Venezuela

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Venezuela is going through a crisis as a result of a leftist government.

It is not the worst crisis in the world, but it is the worst crisis that  country has ever experienced. At some point, nothing seems to be working. But that’s where opportunities emerge, and football has proven it.

A runners-up spot at the U-20 World Cup is no small thing.

Migration has left some good things behind, ironic though it may seem. South America, and even other second-tier leagues, have found Venezuela an attractive, interesting market.

Well-developed players, youngsters with first-level experience (by the rule of the youth in the current format) and eager to get out. Going out to show their talent abroad, coming out of a dictatorship that sees how day after day rolls everything in its path.

Chile has been one of the first clients. They recognize that they can be successful in terms of performance-price quality in different signings.

Beyond quality reinforcements, there is an unbeatable business opportunity.

Meanwhile, the clubs have been improving ( although with much to improve) the product; making it more exportable every day.

In Venezuela there is no football culture. The teams do not sell products to the public because there is no demand. People don’t go to stadiums because the risk of being a victim of insecurity is greater than the spectacle itself.

Clubs are oxygenated by participating in CONMEBOL tournaments and selling players.

So, you couldn’t participate in international competitions, but you exposed a couple of youths all season long who, at the end of the season, accumulate 30 matches and are not yet of legal age. An international club buys them. You won.

Venezuelan football is becoming more and more popular. And many come close to it, as happens with oil.

Foreign players also see the country with good eyes, because the league is presented as an opportunity to relaunch their careers or jump into a better context.

But the risk is high. And not everyone is willing to take the risk.

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Redknapp comments on Spurs top four chances

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Redknapp has said that Tottenham could end up having a poorer season than their London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, following their 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Nathan Ake scored the only goal of the game during the second half stoppage time in a match during which Son Heung-Min and Juan Foyth received red-cards. Spurs could have clinched Champions League qualification if they had won the game. The result means that the top four will be decided during the final games of the season next week.

Spurs will not face an easy task against an in-form Everton side. Speaking ahead of the game, Redknapp said: “It does. They’re showing relegation form, not top four form,” Redknapp said on Sky Sports when was asked if the team’s dropping points make the race exciting. “It’s been amazing to watch”.

“You and I were there yesterday to see Tottenham, 9 men, concede a goal in the last couple of minutes, it was incredible”.

“It just shows you the pressure, the panic. We were very critical to Arsenal and Chelsea, but there’s every chance they could end up having a better season, maybe win a trophy, and maybe get in the top four ahead of them”.

“Tottenham have just got to make sure they get that result against Everton next week with no Son and no Kane. Especially after a Champions League night, when they go away to Ajax, it’s not easy”.

“Still a lot to play for. The pressure is certainly on them.”

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Guillem Balague claims that Kane is the only player from Spurs who can’t be replaced

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Football pundit Guillem Balague has claimed that Harry Kane is the only player from Tottenham Hotspur who cannot be replaced easily. The 25-year-old Kane has been mercurial since he burst onto the scene with his boyhood club and boasts an incredible record of having scored 164 goals from 251 career appearances.

Spurs have yet to win a trophy under Mauricio Pochettino management, despite the Argentine having done a very impressive job since he took over the club in 2012. The last time that the North Londoners won a piece of major silverware was back in 2008 when they claimed the League Cup. Balague feels that the Lilywhites will have to keep hold of Kane if they hope to end their trophy drought anytime soon.

Writing in his column in BBC, he said: “Of all the top sides in the Premier League, Tottenham stand out as the one without a clear starting XI, where rotation rules the roost. That tells you the story. While every other team has identified 10-11 starters that are superior to the rest, at Spurs, there is really only one irreplaceable player, Harry Kane.”

Kane has established himself as one of the best forwards in not only the Premier League but also in football World. Most managers would love the chance to have the England international in their squad. It is a pity that he has yet to win a major trophy at club level. Kane may soon be faced with a situation where he will have to choose between remaining with his boyhood club or moving on to a club where he can have a shot at winning major silverware.

At 25, he is approaching the peak of his career and if Spurs do not win anything at least by the end of next season, he will need to seriously consider moving on.

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Three managers that Newcastle United can consider hiring if Benitez leaves

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Rafa Benitez has led Newcastle United impressively since he was appointed as manager of the club in 2016. Benitez has managed to ensure that the Magpies have remained in the Premier League since he won the promotion in 2017 and in spite of the fact that he has had to work with a limited transfer budget.

The contract of the Spanish manager is due to expire this summer and he has yet to agree to a new deal. The Magpies may well have to find a new boss. The following are some candidates that they should certainly consider.

1- Sam Allardyce

Big Sam has not been in management for nearly a year after he was sacked by Everton last summer. He is one of the most experienced managers in English football and has the know all to help the club avoid relegation, even if he has to work with limited resources.

2- David Wagner

Wagner surprisingly helped Huddersfield Town win ascent to the Premier League via the Championship promotion playoffs during the 2016-17 campaign. He performed nothing short of a miracle last season as he helped the Terriers to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Things, however, did not fare well for the Terriers this year and they have languished on the bottom of the standings for much of this season. The German was subsequently sacked as manager of Huddersfield back in January. He won a lot of praise for the work that he did while he managed the club and many would consider his sacking to have been rather harsh.

3- Darren Moore

The 44-year-old Moore is arguably one of the best young English managers. He took over West Brom at the end of last season when the team was already destined to the relegation of the Premier League. He may have not been able to save the Baggies but he did do an impressive job while appointed on an interim basis, so much that the club decided to hire him on a permanent basis ahead of this season.

It is always difficult to lead a team successfully once relegated due to the changes that occur. However, Moore led the Baggies impressively this season and had the team in contention for promotion to the Premier League via the Championship playoffs at the time of his sacking in March.

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