Vincenzo Montella leaves AC Milan; Gennaro Gattuso placed in charge on collectionfifatips

With Gennaro Gattuso set take over for Vincenzo Montella, Craig Burley examines Milan’s outlook in Serie A.
Check out all the best moments from Serie A’s top sides, as Napoli continue to set the pace and Inter stay close behind.

AC Milan have announced the departure of boss Vincenzo Montella after Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Torino.

The result left Milan seventh in Serie A, and the gap to fourth-placed Roma, and Champions League football next season, has grown to 11 points, while the Giallorossi have a game in hand.

Milan, who spent over €200 million in the summer, have now placed their former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso in charge of the first team as they try to rescue their season.

In a statement posted on the club’s official website, Milan said: “AC Milan announce to have parted ways with coach Vincenzo Montella. We are very grateful to Mr. Montella and his staff for all the work done up to today, their commitment and professionalism.

“Management of the first team is entrusted to Gennaro Gattuso, who leaves his position as Primavera coach and to whom AC Milan wish the best of luck.

“A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow to present the new coach at Milanello training centre.”

Gennaro Gattuso has been promoted from his role in charge of the Primavera youth setup at Milan.

Vincenzo Montella admitted leaving Milan was “very painful” but he said he would continue to support the club, while admitting he “failed” in his assignment.

“Leaving Milan is very painful,” Montella wrote on Instagram. “I tried to give all I have got for this club, but I accept the decision which has been taken. I would like to thank the players and you, the fans, for the beautiful moments we spent together, hoping that Milan will get back up there where they belong.

“I evidently failed, but I will keep on supporting these colours.”

Having already played against all the clubs above them in the Serie A standings, Milan’s next five fixtures come against sides below them, starting with a trip to rock-bottom Benevento next weekend.

That is followed by a home game with Bologna and a trip to Hellas Verona before they host Atalanta on Dec. 23 and end the year at Fiorentina.

Milan need to see some improvement in results if they are to finish in the European qualification places, although their general manager, Marco Fassone, said earlier this month that the Serie A club would be able to survive without Champions League football next season. 

There is also mounting speculation in Italy that Milan will not be admitted to either the Champions League or the Europa League due to alleged financial irregularities over the takeover of the club last April.

However, sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli — speaking prior to the news of Montella’s dismissal — was categorical in denying there being any cause for concern after a meeting with UEFA last week in which they were asked to provide further documentation regarding the deal.

“That’s fantasy football — Milan will never be banned from Europe,” Mirabelli told Mediaset. “The fans don’t need to worry.”

ESPN FC’s Italy correspondent, Ben Gladwell, contributed to this report.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

LA Galaxy decline option on Jermaine Jones; Mike Grella, Red Bulls split – collectionfifatips.com

Following Michael Bradley’s comments aimed at Columbus, the FC guys evaluate if the midfielder’s words hold any weight.

The Los Angeles Galaxy declined their option on former United States midfielder Jermaine Jones on the final day for MLS’ non-playoff teams to make contract option decisions.

Jones, 36, made 20 appearances for the Galaxy this season but failed to help LA to a postseason spot in the Western Conference. 

In all, Los Angeles declined their option on 13 players, leaving just 13 of their 30 roster spots for 2018 currently filled, including those players who were out of contract.

Also among those who had their option declined was New York Red Bulls midfielder Mike Grella.

Grella, 30, endured an injury-plagued campaign with the Red Bulls in 2017, featuring in only eight matches.

Jermaine Jones
Jermaine Jones appeared in 20 matches for the Galaxy this season.

The Vancouver Whitecaps parted ways with midfielders Matias Laba and Christian Bolanos.

Laba, a former Argentina youth international, saw his season end prematurely after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in early August.

While Bolanos, a Costa Rica international, was let go after providing seven assists for the Whitecaps last term.

Every MLS team except the four currently playing in the conference finals had until Monday to make their decisions on player options. 

The deadline for the two conference runners-up will be Dec. 1. And the deadline for the MLS Cup finalists will be Dec. 10.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

collectionfifatips | Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski dreams of LA move – wife

Bayern Munich’s Jupp Heynckes has insisted that although the players want him to stay, he is still only staying until June.

Robert Lewandowski hopes to play for a Los Angeles-based club before he retires, his wife has told Business Insider. 

Lewandowski, 29, is under contract at Bayern until 2021 and his wife, Anna Lewandowska, has indicated that the Poland international is keen on a future move to Major League Soccer, where LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC would be potential options.

Asked about her husband’s plans for later in his career, Lewandowska, who has represented Poland in traditional karate and is a nutrition specialist, said: “I think that we will spend some time in the United States.

“We dream of Los Angeles, and we would love to develop our brand there.”

Anna Lewandowska said she and her husband are keen to establish the Lewandowski brand in the United States.

She added: “We hope that Robert will end his professional career at a Los Angeles-based club. We can already say that this would be our dream.

“Our goal is to build a strong, honest and stable brand under the name ‘The Lewandowskis.’ We want to create a third brand, and this time together.

“We are aware of our strengths and we know we can not only use it for business but also good things like education and social welfare.

“The time for a Lewandowski brand is now.”

Lewandowski has been linked with Real Madrid regularly in recent years amid his complaints about his club’s reluctance to compete with Europe’s top sides in the transfer market.

However, Bayern have rejected Lewandowski’s advice and in the summer warned potential suitors against making a move for the striker.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

Hudson-Wihongi striding towards world stage – collectionfifatips.com

  • Auckland City set for record ninth FIFA Club World Cup appearance
  • Midfielder Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi suffered injury on eve of Japan 2016
  • Hudson-Wihongi says injury has “made me a stronger person”

New Zealand’s FIFA World Cup™ dream may be over for another four years, but the nation has another international football tournament to refocus on. The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 is just 15 days away where Oceania champions Auckland City FC will have yet another shot at mixing it with the world’s elite.

For Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, simply travelling to UAE will be a personal triumph of sorts. Twelve months ago today – just days away from departure for the 2016 Club World Cup – the midfielder heard the dreaded snap in his knee.

A torn knee ligament is a devastating blow for any player given the mandatory long rehabilitation involved. Perhaps doubly so for Hudson-Wihongi, whose career at the time was very much on an upward trajectory after featuring in three New Zealand national teams in a six-month period. It was a remarkable achievement sandwiched at either end by the FIFA U-20 World Cup on home soil, and a debut appearance for the All Whites.

But then came the injury and seemingly endless hours, days and weeks of rehabilitation. Helping drive Hudson-Wihongi was the lure of featuring in another Club World Cup.

“I had a good support network, so not so much of a mental challenge, but [it was difficult] at times to stay motivated,” Hudson-Wihongi told FIFA.com. “It is really really repetitive, doing the same thing over again, but eventually you can start to see improvement.

“It has made me a stronger person. It made me rethink everything. How much I wanted to play football, and it also makes you think that something can happen just like that. I consider lucky myself to an extent, because worse things can happen maybe that can stop you playing football.”

Lure of world stage
If there was one positive for Hudson-Wihongi – who owes his exotic-sounding name to Maori parentage, albeit mixed with English and American lineage – it was that his return was timed perfectly for the upcoming Club World Cup.

The Navy Blues will kick-off their campaign against local champions Al Jazira in the opening match on 6 December.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” added the 22-year-old. “I had a little taste of it in 2015 when we played [Sanfrecce] Hiroshima, and I was looking forward to it, but injuries are part and parcel of the game. It [UAE] is a place I have never been before so it will be a good cultural experience as well as the football.”

Auckland City are bound for a record ninth appearance at the world club showpiece. In 2014, the Navy Blues were in touching distance of a barely-believable match-up against Real Madrid in the tournament decider, only to fall just short despite pushing South American champions San Lorenzo all the way to extra time in the semi-final.

It remains one of the Club World Cup’s greatest stories, but Hudson-Wihongi says the current crop are energised to write their own chapter in the tournament’s annals.

“The players that were there do [talk about it], we hear that a lot,” Hudson-Wihongi said with a smile in is voice when asked about Auckland City’s Class of 2014.

“It is amazing what the club achieved in 2014 and some of those players remain. We have a good balance of youth and experience in the team, and it is important to have players that have been there and done that.”

 

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collectionfifatips | Vindictus Outlines Further Plans for Server Merge, Tentative Date Announced

collectionfifatips | Vindictus Outlines Further Plans for Server Merge, Tentative Date Announced

Vindictus announced plans for a server merge earlier, with the intention of bringing US-EAST, US-WEST, and the Australian server into one massive megaserver. Now, we have more information, with an updated FAQ, and a date.

A tentative one, however. The Vindictus team states that they are still in the process of checking things and making sure everything is ready to go, and the big day, marked for Wednesday, November 8th, may be pushed back. If all goes according to plan, however, maintenance will start at 12:00 AM Pacific Time/3:00 AM Eastern Time/9:00 AM CET/7:00 PM AEDT. How long this merge will take has not been announced. My personal bet is that it will be a 24-hour maintenance.

Some updated FAQ points, however, include-

  • Players with more than 7 Free characters across all 3 servers will be unable to make more new characters, but existing characters will not be deleted nor made unavailable.
  • If the Shared Storage will overflow with items after the server merge, the excess items will be placed in an invisible queue. To access these items, remove items from the Shared Storage, and re-log to access the queued items.
  • All items in the normal, Quest, and NX Inventory tabs will be carried over as normal, but players from US-WEST and Australia will find items in the Temporary NX Storage screen sent to their inbox. Vindictus apologizes for the inconvenience.

Check out the full FAQ here, and prepare for a new megaserver once the maintenance finishes. Hopefully it will make the game feel more lively, and won’t be a lagfest.

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collectionfifatips – World of Warcraft to Add Increased Default Bag Slots – At a Price

collectionfifatips - World of Warcraft to Add Increased Default Bag Slots - At a Price

Two-factor Authentication is a very popular measure these days, to ensure the safety and security of user’s accounts. So, it comes as no surprise that companies that offer 2FA, especially gaming companies, want to incentivize the use of 2FA, to ensure gamers’ accounts are protected. Final Fantasy XIV, for example, allows a free teleport spot to anywhere in the world for players with 2FA. Now, World of Warcraft joins that train, with increased default bag slots for all players who have 2FA.

It isn’t announced quite yet when the default inventory will be expanded, or how many extra slots players will get, but this is definitely quite the incentive to get players to secure their account.

Authenticators can be purchased from the Blizzard store, but there are also free apps for both Android and iOS. For those lacking a smart phone, or for those who don’t want to install these apps, an Android emulator will do the trick.

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Fate/Grand Order Releases Advance Notice of the Upcoming GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event! – collectionfifatips.com

Fate/Grand Order Releases Advance Notice of the Upcoming GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event! - collectionfifatips.com

Riding hot on the heels of the Halloween Event, where players got the FREE 4★ Servant Elizabeth Bathory (Caster), Fate/Grand Order is following it up with the GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event!

Fate/Grand Order Releases Advance Notice of the Upcoming GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event! - collectionfifatips.com

NOW IS THE TIME TO BELIEVE IN FATE/GRAND ORDER! According to Okita, anyways, who will be available as a limited-time pickup in her own Rate-Up Banner. Running from November 8th, 0700 UTC, until November 24th, 0359 UTC, the GUDAGUDA Honnoji event will feature an all-new storyline written by Kinoko Nasu Mr. Keikenti!

Fate/Grand Order Releases Advance Notice of the Upcoming GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event! - collectionfifatips.com

Oh shut up, Oda Nobunaga. Yes, that Oda Nobunaga will be the Free 4★ Servant during the GUDAGUDA Honnoji event. Additionally, this is the first time what servants you take into the event will matter. The following Servants will increase the amount of Honnoji points you gain.

  • Okita Souji, 5★ Saber, +100% Gain (NPC Support Servants also count)
  • Oda Nobunaga, 4★ Archer, +60% Gain
  • EMIYA, 4★ Archer, +40% Gain
  • Cu Chulainn, 3★ Lancer, +20% Gain
  • Medusa, 3★ Rider, +20% Gain
  • Mephistopheles, 3★ Caster, +20% Gain
  • Ushiwakamaru, 3★ Rider, +20% Gain
  • Musashibou Benkei, 2★ Lancer, +20% Gain

Read up all about the GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event here, and get ready for a fun massively fun time.

Fate/Grand Order Releases Advance Notice of the Upcoming GUDAGUDA Honnoji Event! - collectionfifatips.com

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collectionfifatips – Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan Hosting Alpha Test This Weekend

collectionfifatips - Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan Hosting Alpha Test This Weekend

Buy to Play sci-fi MMORPG Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan will be hosting a free alpha test weekend starting on Friday November 10th, 2017 to Monday November 13th, 2017. Wild Busters is a Indiegogo backed hack’n’slash MMORPG that looks a tad bit like Master x Master, but without the tag-team elements. The game’s alpha test will have 12 playable heroes with a total of 24 planned for the future.

I personally think the top-down action oriented gameplay offers an interesting experience, but the buy to play business model is going to make it tough for Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan to succeed. Just look at Guardians of Ember on Steam, an MMORPG published by Insel Games, the same company publishing Wild Buster. It costs $14.99 and averages less than 70 users online at any given time. I find MMORPGs with low playerbases a tough sell.

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Brad Friedel top candidate for coach of New England Revolution – sources on collectionfifatips

There is mutual interest in Brad Friedel becoming the New England Revolution coach, sources say.

Former United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel is the top candidate for the New England Revolution’s coaching vacancy, multiple sources have told ESPN’s Taylor Twellman.

Friedel, 46, is the coach of the little-seen U.S. under-19 team, and is looking for his first club coaching experience since retiring as a player two and a half years ago.

Sources said Friedel is interested in the Revolution job, which came open when Jay Heaps was fired in September.

New England finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

Friedel only retired as a player at the end 2014-15 Premier League season after four years with Tottenham, making 50 Premier League appearances for Spurs, but only one over his past two seasons.

The former goalkeeper’s only MLS experience as a player came in a season and a half with the Columbus Crew in 1996-97. He then moved to England, where he holds the record for consecutive starts in the Premier League at 310 over eight years.

Friedel won 82 caps for the United States, appearing at three World Cups.

He has worked as an analyst for Fox Sports in addition to his recent duties with U.S. Soccer.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.