Thursday Kickoff: Egypt won't fire Bradley; Casillas wants to remain at Real Madrid; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Egypt won't fire Bradley; Casillas wants to remain at Real Madrid; and more

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Thursday Kickoff: Egypt won't fire Bradley; Casillas wants to remain at Real Madrid; and more

BobBradleyEgypt1 (AFP_Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Following a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Ghana, many people in Egypt called for national team head coach Bob Bradley to be fired as soon as possible.

However, the Egyptian FA has decided to keep Bradley on as coach for the second leg at home against Ghana, even though it’s looking very likely that Egypt’s dream of returning to the World Cup for the first time since 1990 is over. Despite going undefeated in the second round of African World Cup qualifying, Egypt were handed a tough draw against Ghana and couldn’t stand up to the test on Tuesday.

“It is not logical to sack him [Bradley] and pay a big fine for the last match of his contract,” Egyptian FA President Gamal Allam told BBC Sport.

That fine is reported to be $366,000 if he is released of his duties before the end of his contract, which likely is either in December or after the World Cup next summer.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

CASILLAS ANNOUNCES INTENT TO STAY AT REAL MADRID

Spain and Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has faced a difficult period in his playing career in the last ten months, with his club starting position seemingly gone.

Both Jose Mourinho and current Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti have preferred Diego Lopez to start in La Liga every week at goalkeeper, with Casillas only starting in UEFA Champions League games or other mid-week matches. However, Casillas isn’t interested in leaving the only club he knows for more playing time.

Of course I’d like to play but you need to respect the coach, it’s his decision,” Casillas told Spanish publication Diario AS. “A player, from a selfish point of view, will always want to play, but a good professional accepts it. I’d like to be at Real Madrid forever because it’s what I’ve dreamed of doing since I was kid. What I need to do is train harder so I can play.”

WENGER ADMITS THAT VAN PERSIE SALE CAUSED PROBLEMS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted on Thursday at Arsenal’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that there was unrest 12 months ago in the wake of the sale of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United.

The London club sold the Dutch striker after a season when he scored 30 goals in the Premier League, but after taking some time for Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, and Olivier Giroud to gel into the squad, Arsenal played much better in the second half of the season.

“We lost Van Persie, created a lot of unrest and destabilized the team,” Wenger said, transcribed by The Telegraph. “But from November to May team showed fantastic mental strength.

“From the end of March to today, we have lost just one match, that created a huge emotion.”

Wenger reiterated again that with Arsenal’s improved financial position, they can afford to sign more high-profile and major-money signings like Mesut Özil this summer.

“We will also look to buy proven quality – we did not need to scout to buy Özil, it was just money,” Wenger said. “I am pleased we have shown you we are not afraid to spend.”

QUICK KICKS

Switzerland National Team manager Ottmar Hitzfeld announced on Thursday that he’s retiring from coaching after the World Cup next summer. (REPORT)

England will announce late this week that they will finish their 2013 schedule with a friendly match at Wembley Stadium against Germany on November 19. (REPORT)

Galatasaray President Unal Aysal has denied the possibility of midfielder Wesley Sneijder rejoining his former coach Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. (REPORT)

UEFA have announced that “Le Rendez-Vous” will be the official slogan of UEFA Euro 2016. (REPORT)

AC Milan are interested in acquiring left back Jordan Lukaku, the brother of on-loan Everton forward Romelu Lukaku. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Did you expect Bradley to be sacked? Do you see Casillas regaining his starting place at Real Madrid? Do you agree with Wenger’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.

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