2018 December

Mark Lawrenson: Fletcher must return to save Scotland… or the World Cup’s off

Written by admin on December 31, 2018 Categories: xvzbgfjq Tags: , ,

Scotland: Get Fletcher back or forget it… The brutal truth is that Scotland just do not have the strikers to justify keeping Steven Fletcher out of the squad.l on Monday and his arrival will put pressure on the forward positions.Traore has impressed in European competition and is regarded in the £35million bracket, says the Chelsea-striker-Bertrand-Traore.html” target=”_blank”>Daily Mail.Bournemouth have Certainly not if they want to qualify for the World Cup. His availability in itself would give Craig Levein the option of changing the way his team plays and I really am surprised that nobody has brokered the deal to sort this all out. Whether it could have been Mick McCathy, his old manager at Wolves or his current manager Martin O’Neill, you just wonder whether somebody could have acted as the middle man and brought both parties together. To be fair, as club managers, they probably thought: ‘If he is not playing for Scotland he is not getting injured, he is not travelling halfway around the world and he will be a better player for it.’ But whatever you say, we’ve just had the Olympic football tournament and we have seen the pride that so many players have had in appearing for their countries. If you are Steven Fletcher, you must want to play for your country, surely? I get it if you are 30, 31 and you are thinking to yourself: ‘If I don’t play international football I can get two or three extra years out of my career at club level.’ But not at his age, 24. At international level he is unproven and I don’t know why he does not want to test himself at the highest level. This is so easily sorted out. He can ring Craig Levein or get a message to him asking if there is any chance of a chat. If he does that, Craig is not going to turn him away is he? Not on the back of a goalless draw at home against Serbia and with the Scottish public getting restless. Have another conversation. Give Craig the chance to ask: ‘What is your problem?’, ‘Why don’t you want to play?’ If it is so deep seated that Steven isn’t interested then fine. But I can’t believe that he couldn’t be persuaded. Craig could have drawn a line under the European Championships and said: ‘Look, we’ve got a brand new World Cup campaign. Let’s forget what has gone on in the past and move on.’ Because let’s be clear here. Craig Levein will live or die by results. So why not pick the strongest possible team that he can. And if that means going back to Fletcher, having a cup of coffee and sorting it out, well it’s only words isn’t it? You only forget it completely if Fletcher says that he is not playing under any circumstances surely. But the whole thing about a manager is that he has to manage a team, he has to manage the individuals and he has to manage the team in terms of having to get results. This basically is Levein’s A-level exam. If they fail to qualify then he will have to suffer the consequences. He knows himself that that is the way things go. I’m not party to whether other players have said that if Fletcher comes back in then they are not going to play. But I would seriously doubt that. If you told the players that that was what you were planning as it would give them a better chance of going to Brazil they would say: ‘Yo, ship him in.’ Wouldn’t they? So if you are Levein and you find yourself at this crossroads where having Fletcher back is the difference between you keeping or losing your job, you’d do it in a heartbeat. England: Tom's good… but a winning Norwich City debut against Bournemouth.Duda flourished in the number ten role and was key in City’s return to winning ways.Speaking to canaries.co.uk after the game, Duda said: “I’m happy of course, we are all happy. It was an important he's not Fab If we are going to compare Tom Cleverley to Cesc Fabregas after one game against Moldova then we are clutching at straws a little bit. It’s a bit of an early shout to say the least. Roy Hodgson was obviously delighted with the way Tom and his England side played on Friday night and made his comments after that. But you really do have to factor in the lack of quality about the opposition – they just were not good enough. There is no doubt that Tom’s improvement is there for all to see. It’s the classic case of a good young player at Manchester United who has been sent away for some first-team experience with another club and the player concerned returns a different proposition. His performances for Wigan in the Premier League convinced Sir Alex Ferguson that he was good enough for United and he is a good player. But he has still got quite a way to go yet. I don’t see him as a no.10 as some people do. He just got so much time and space against the Moldovans as they were so bad. He isn’t really a goalscorer either. For me he is simply a creative midfield player and a very good one at that. If we are coming off after the game against Ukraine tomorrow raving about him because he has performed against THEM as he did against the Moldovans then that might be a bit different. And certainly Sir Alex won’t be having any of that Fabregas guff when he gets back to United. Let’s just give him the time he needs to develop into a good player. Wales: It's all or nothing… so probably nothing The problem with Wales is that they need their big players to perform every single time they play to have any chance of qualifying. The stars of that squad are surrounded by Championship players and so if the big names don't shine then the top quality isn't there. Chris Coleman is in a position where he always has to ask players to perform above themselves. Can they do it ten times out of ten? Its a big ask. You might get four or five but ten? I don't think so. You might get lucky if you are in a group where you are facing a few minnows and a superpower on the wane. But if you are in a group like the one Wales have, with Belgium and Croatia in there, you really are up against it. Republic of Ireland: Just waiting to dump Trap Giovanni Trapattoni can only play one way. His team play 4-4-2, its the Trapattoni way and they are a grind-you-down team with no real stars or matchwinners at this level. Consequently when they have a bit of a shaky day against a Kazakhstan they look extremely ordinary. A lot of people were screaming for Trapattoni to go after the Euros and that was probably the time to say: 'You know what Trap, its been fantastic.' It was a break-up of the team with Duff and Given going. I know Robbie Keane is still around but I just think it was time for Trapattoni to go. He is in his 70's, his team didn't turn up at the Euros for whatever reason and the Republic should have said: 'Thank you but no thank you.' Because for me tcontent_imghey are waiting for a defeat that will seal his fate. The fans know it, the players know it and it I just don't think it will happen for them in terms of qualification. Northern Ireland: Sorry, it's a no It's quite simple for Michael O'Neill. Good groups of players come around in cycles and right now Michael doesn't have that quality at his disposal. It will come. Belgium are enjoying their time now and Northern Ireland themselves had a decent group, for example, at the 1982 World Cup when they had the likes of Mal Donaghy, Martin O'Neill, Gerry Armstrong and Sammy McIlroy. But right now it is all about putting in that work to develop the players that will take the country forward.

Birmingham 3-0 Blackpool: Daily Mirror match report

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Blackpool boss Ian Holloway claims wet-behind-the-ears referees are being thrown into the heat of battle too early – and the old guard are being tossed aside too soon. Holloway was banished to the stands by ref Craig Pawson after kicking the dugout at St Andrews in reaction to Barry Ferguson’s sending off during the hacontent_imgmmering at Birmingham. He claims he was letting off steam at what he called a “shocking” decision, which came early in the second half, just after Marlon King had scored Birmingham’s second goal. And Holloway, who will appeal at both Ferguson’s red card and his own dismissal, said: “The truth is they retire referees too early. “They want respect – you have to earn respect, by learning your trade. Week on week we get the young ones, who are learning – that is no problem. “But why retire an older, more experienced referee who would know how to handle a situation and would have read a game like that? “I kicked an empty bottle and kicked the dugout. But am I not allowed to do that? Where’s my frustration going to go?” Pawson is in his fourth season as a referee and Holloway claims he made a massive blunder by sending off Ferguson for an elbow on Guirane N’Daw, when little contact had been made. He added: “I saw the bloke afterwards and he didn’t have a cut or a mark on his face. You would do if he’d have been elbowed. “I didn’t swear at the referee, I am not allowed to do that. What am I supposed to do, just go ‘OK, all right then, OK chaps, shall we continue’? I was ready to do that after I had let off steam.” Curtis Davies opened the scoring with a towering header right on half time, before substitute Nathan Redmond added the third for the Blues in the final minute. The loss leaves Blackpool ninth, while Birmingham jumped up to 12th – six points behind the play-off places. But Holloway added: “There is still a lot of football left to be played and you can’t say, given how tight the division is, that the two sides that were running away with it are m Saliba.The Mirror says Saliba is back on loan at Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 this season, following his summer £27million switch to the Emirates from the French club.The defender is reportedly among three young stars Real boss Zinedine Zidane is lookgoing to win it. “The last time we were in this situation Newcastle and West Brom and Nottingham Forest were having a big tussle and beating everyone. Now I don’t see that happening. “I am not so sure that it won’t be really, really tight. There could be about 15 clubs all fighting, so that bodes well for us. And Birmingham are one of those teams.” Birmingham are unbeaten at home all season and King claims if the Blues can carry that form on the road they will bounce straight back to the top flight. He said: “We managed to get a point last week against West Ham, who are one of the toughest teams in the league and with this win we are keeping up the unbeaten run at home. “If we can keep that up and get some more away games we should be in the mix. But you have to take it one game at a time. “Hopefully we can keep it up against Peterborough on Monday. It is a quick turnaround but if you are winning you look forward to thfuted the idea that he has lost his passion for winning trophies.Ozil has been in-and-out of the Gunners team this season under Unai Emery.And many fans believe that after signing a bumper new contract, he is not as motivated as he was before.But Ozie next game.”

Where and when can teams be relegated? All the permutations at the foot of the Premier League table

The race to stay in the Premier League promises to be as exciting as the fight to be crowned champions. Sunderland have given themselves a huge chance of survival , taking their tally to seven points from their last four games. The survival odds look bleak for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, while Fulham blew their chance Norwich are deep in trouble too and with clashes against Chelsea and Arsenal coming up, Neil Adams has a real task on his hands. But where and when can these sides discover their fate? Here's all the relegation permutations with two weeks to go. 20. Cardiff – Points 30; Goal difference -38 Following their drubbing at Sunderland on ea.The midfielder suffered a disastrous first season at Stamford Bridge after his £40m transfer from Monaco.He was subsequently unwanted by former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, who sent the Frenchman on loan to AC Milan.And it seems Bakayoko has won soSunday, Cardiff's fate is out of their hands. A defeat at St. James' Park would all-but confirm the relegation, such is their poor goal difference. A point for Sunderland in any of their three remaining games would distinguish any hopes of survival for Cardiff and a Black Cats success would make it mathematically impossible. 19. Fulham – Points 31; Goal difference -42 Having thrown away a two-goal lead against Hull, Fulham are also no longer in control of their survival bid. If they lose at the Britannia next weekend and Sunderland win any of their remaining three matches, will be down. 18. Norwich – Points 32; Goal difference -32 face a nightmare run-in and having lost their last five matches, their chances look bleak. If they lose against Chelsea and Sunderland win any of their remaining matches, they will be all-but down on goal difference. Four more points for the Black Cats and it will be impossible for Neil Adams' men to stay afloat. They probably need to get four points – or win both matches – to avoid relegation. 17. Sunderland – Points 32; Goal difference -20 have delivered a sensational run of seven points from three games at the crucial moment. Their win over Cardiff puts them in control of their own destiny and having won at Chelsea and drawn at Man City, they will go to Old Trafford full of confidence. Three points over United will mean they need just another draw to ensure survival, regardcontent_imgless of other team's results. Four points will keep them up. 16. Aston Villa – Points 35; Goal difference -17 have been on a truly dismal run and haven't won in six games, plummeting down to 16th in the table. However, a win over Hull next week would be enough, such is their goal difference advantage over Norwich. That clash is huge with trips to the Etihad and White Hart Lane approaching. A draw against the Tigers would leave Norwich needing to beat both Chelsea and Arsenal to drag Villa into it. 15. West Brom – Points 36; Goal difference -12 should be enough for the Baggies to stay in the top flight. Another three points woulhe two sides will meet in the Champions League last-16 first leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.”You’d think you would have seen all the great European stadiums after more than 100 Champions League games, but I have never played at Stamford Bridge andd make sure of it – as would a Norwich defeat at Chelsea – but two wins for the Canaries would drag Pepe Mel's men into trouble. Who will get relegated?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

Superiority complex? Javi Garcia refuses to accept Manchester United are 15 points better than City

Don't tell Javi Garcia that the Premier League table doesn’t lie. Manchester City’s Spanish ­midfielder than the reigning champions — and he intends to prove it at Old Trafford tomorrow night. Garcia has resigned himself to the fact that United will reclaim the title won so dramatically by with the final kick of last ss being linked with a summer move to Leicester City.“There is a lot of speculation about my possible departure, but there is nothing concrete yet,” Morelos told the Scottish Herald.“I know that there are many interested clubs asking and as soon aeason. But the 26-year-old certainly isn’t prepared to concede that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are in a league of their own. “None of us can believe that we are so far behind United,” said Garcia “Of course, we have to be sporting and say that the club who finishes top always deserve to be champions, but at City we really don’t feel that the points differential as it stands is a true reflection of the merits of the two teams. “We won’t be going to Old Trafford feeling infcontent_imgerior. We will be going there with something to prove — both to ourselves as players and to the fans of both clubs. “I can’t explain why we are so far behind, apart from the simple reason that we have lost and drawn matches against the so-called lesser teams. “We have been involved in too many crazy matches and that has come back to bite us on the backside. “City proved when they won the title last season that they are a close match for United — and we still think that is the case. “I was just coming back to full ­fitness when we played the first derby — but that was a game that seemed to sum up the season for us. United led 2-0 but never looked secure and it was no surprise when we came back to be level. “From then on it only seemed ­possible that we would win and ­United were hanging on, then came a goal at the death from Van Persie. “A deflected free-kick, a deflection off the wall that took the ball into the corner of the goal — that has been the story of the season. “I didn’t see the game last season when City won 6-1 because I was playing, but that ­result made the whole of Europe ­realise just how ­serious this club is. “If it is possible I want to repeat the same result — but for me a 1-0 win with a lucky goal inthe last minute will be just as good.” on transfer deadline day last summer. Despite leaving home at the age of 14 to pursue his dreams, he found it difficult to settle at the Etihad. But the man who began his career with Real Madrid and who has been capped by Spain at every age group from Under-16, baulks at suggestions he was targeted by City only after Mancini had failed to land his top targets. “I knew in June that Roberto ­Mancini wanted me, but the move couldn’t go through because Benfica were pushing for a deal that was in their best interests financially. “I was worried that I would miss out so I went to speak to the Benfica president with my agent and told him the deal was good for everyone concerned. “That was the only ­reason my transfer went through so late — and it probably ­explains why the City fans have not yet seen the best of me. “I’m not someone who misses home ­comforts like food and the weather — although I have never lived in a place where it snows in March! “But looking back, maybe I took on too much, too quickly. “I had loads of personal things to sort out and even the process of choosing a new home can be very stressful, especially as I was on my own to begin with. “I couldn’t speak English and that added to the loneliness because I didn’t feel part of the spirit in the dressing room. The process was made even harder when I picked up an ­injury, because the best way to fit in at a new club is to play and be part of the squad. “Recently I have felt much happier, mainly because I can speak better English. “I have felt more at home and, as a consequence, I think I have started to improve my performances. “I’m still not where I want to be just yet. From a football point of view, there is a lot more still to come from me. “Obviously our priority was to ­retain the title, so in that respect there is a big sense of disappointment here. “But there is much more still to play for than just pride. First there is the derby and then we have the FA Cup. “Winning a trophy would make the season successful, while winning the derby would give our fans something to be proud of. “This game means more than three points. It is our chance to show that the 15 points are not a true reflection of where we are.” Meanwhile, Mancini has warned his Manchester City bosses that if they are to reclaim the Premier League title. Five Manchester derbies to remember It's acclaimed as one of the great derbies. Here are five of the most historic, including one from the days before the Manchester giants were known as United and City. OCT 3, 1891: Newton Heath 5 Ardwicl Pereira has enjoyed his first preseason with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Pereira will go out on loan with the blessing of Solskjaer, who fully endorses the progress made by the Portuguese goalkeeper.“I think all of the club has been behind me fok 1.A crowd of 4,000 attend the first Manchester derby at North Road, with United’s founder club beating City’s in a qualifying round of the FA Cup. DEC 25, 1902: United 1 City 1. It’s United versus City for the first time. This Division Two clash attracts 40,000 fans at Clayton. SEPT 17, 1910: United 2 City 1. The first Old Trafford derby ends in a Frist Division home win in front of 60,000. SEPT 12, 1925: City 1 United 1. City host the first derby at their new Maine Road home. MAR 14, 2004: City 4 United 1.Robbie Fowler (right) opened the scoring in the first derby at the City of Manchester Stadium.

West Brom’s Pepe Mel: Let’s beat relegation and put smiles on faces of fans who made me cry

Written by admin on December 30, 2018 Categories: cgvpnbqt Tags: , ,

Pepe Mel has vowed to deliver Premier League survival for West Brom's fans after they stuck by him. Spaniard Mel endured a torrid start to life as head coach at The Hawthorns, failing to record a win in his first seven matches as the club considered sacking him. Dave McDonough, who championed Mel’s appointment, was instead axed as director of technical performance and scouting. content_imgBut faithful took Spanish flags to Swansea last week in tribute to their new boss Mel. The visitors , after trailing 1-0 at the break, and Mel was on the pitch at the final whistle, hugging his players, applauding the fans – and welling up as chants of “Ole, Ole, Ole, Pepe, Pepe” rang out. Ahead of , the 51-year-old former Real Betis boss admitted: “I did become very emotional. I’ve only been here two months, in a different country with a different language. y over reports of bidding for Juventus defender Merih Demiral.Reports in Italy claim Leicester have had a bid of about £25million rejected for the player, who joined Juventus from Sassuolo only last summer. Demiral may also be allowed to depart the “The people have shown me great amounts of kindness already. I feel that I owe them a lot. I owe the fans the right to be in the Premier League – I feel I owe them that. “Eight matches here, only one win, but the fans always are very kind with me. It is incredible. I think West Brom is a family altogether – the staff, nchester United.It’s been suggested Real Madrid are counting on Pogba to demand a transfer at United to force the Premier League giants to the negotiating table.However, Mathias Pogba has suggested no deal will happen unless the two clubs can settle fans and players. It is important for the future.” Mel insists the players are fully behind him too, despite unrest in the camp which preceded McDonough's sacking. The Spaniard added: “When the referee whistled the end of the match at Swansea, Ben Foster, Liam Ridgewell, Steven Reid, Jonas Olsson and Youssouf Mulumbu were all together hugging. It was real.” Mel will name Gareth McAuley as captain against Hull, with Jonas Olsson suspended and Chris Brunt injured. Will West Brom stay up?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

Now or never: Spurs’ Euro campaign at a decisive point says Villas-Boas

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Andre Villas-Boas has insisted striker Emmanuel Adebayor IS happy at Tottenham – and that fellow forward Jermain Defoe has the energy to keep scoring. Togo star Adebayor is out of the Europa League tie against Slovenian champions Maribor on Thursday evening, because of a sore back. It means England international Defoe will again shoulder the striking burden in what will be his 15th game for club and country in a season that has seen him score seven goals so far. By contrast, Adebayor has yet to find the net in four appearances from the bench since joining permanently from Manchester City in the summer after a successful loan spell at Spurs last season. It's even been reported that away from White Hart Lane. "When we speak about his playing time, certainly Ade is not a happy player," said the Spurs boss, "but the reality is that he has been missing lots of games due to injury. "I think, generally, he's pretty happy. "He was massively happy last year at Tottenham. "At the moment, things are going excellent for Jermain, so it's difficult for Ade – for someone who did so well last season. But a player of his dimension is always threatening to come in at any time. "But Jermain's form and the structure that we are usinays Inter Milan are top of the table thanks to Antonio Conte.La Dea meet Inter later today.“Inter are certainly aiming for the Scudetto, even if such a positive result wasn’t expected immeo Silva is not in immediate danger of losing his job.With the Blues in the Premier League relegation zone, there are calls for Silva to lose his job.While the club are aware of their precarious position and do not want to persist with a failed experidiately,” Gasperini said. “Surely it’s thanks to Conte. Heg now, plus the injury he got, hasn't allowed him the playing time he deserved." Defoe has only missed and England's World Cup qualifier against San Marino this season. "I am not concerned about his workload at this time," added Villas-Boas. "Certainly, we have games before the end of October and in November where we have to be careful, but the season has just started." Hugo Lloris will start in goal at the Stadion Ljudski, with Brad Fricontent_imgedel joining Gareth Bale in staying at home. Wales star Bale became a father for the first time at the weekend, but is not disclosing the name or even sex of his new baby. "He is allowed to stay with his family until tomorrow [Thursday]," said dad-of-two Villas-Boas. "It's very emotional for him at the moment – like it has been for one or two of us – so it is the right time for him. "We have no doubts about his mental state when he returns for the Southampton game." Maribor lost to Championship side Birmingham home and away in the Europa League last season, but sit above Spurs in the group (see below) due to their win over a Panathinaikos side that held AVB's men to a draw in Athens. "The two games with Maribor are going to be decisive (the teams meet in the reverse fixture in the next round of Europa game on November 8)," said Villas-Boas. "A point will not be a bad result." How the group stands                        P    W    D    L    GF   GA   Pts Lazio               2    1    1     0     1     0     4 Maribor           2    1    0     1     3     1     3 Tottenham       2    0    2    0     1      1     2 Panathinaikos  2    0    1    1     1      4     1

Liverpool reject Napoli move for Daniel Agger as Rafa Benitez eyes his former centre-half

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Liverpool have rejected a bid by former boss Rafa Benitez to sign centre-half Daniel Agger on loan. Benitez was keen to be reunited with Aggcontent_imger in Naples, having brought the defender to Anfield in 2006, and the Dane has struggled to hold down a regular place this season. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers does not want to lose Agger and has challenged him to fight for his place. "Anytime anyone is on the bench there shouldn't be a question about whether he goes Manchester United was his choice.There was much speculation in the summer about the reasons for Lukaku’s exit after two years with the Red Devils.The Belgian striker confirms United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted him to stay. But he had made up hi or do other clubs want to take someone on loan," said Rodgers. "With the injuries we've got, it's a small squad and we don't have to move anyone out. "If players aren't in the team then they need to fight to get back in the team. players are buzzing over their contribution this season.Tomori struck, along with Mason Mount, while Tammy Abraham hit a hat-trick in the 5-2 win at Wolves.”It’s really important to show it can be done. We saw it last year with Ethan (Ampadu), Ruben" Agger was made in the summer to fend off interest from , but has since slid down the pecking order. In October the Denmark captain during training with the national team.

West Brom vs Cardiff a “monster” of a relegation six-pointer admits Baggies’ Ben Foster

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Ben Foster says West Brs pleased to be back in Italy last night.The former Juventus defender featured in their 1-1 draw with Champions League opponents Atalanta at San Siro.Asked about his time in England, Cancelo said: “I am learning a lot with this coach, who I feel isom’s home match with Cardiff is a “monster” as he targets three more wins to avoid relegation. , who have won only once in nine games under ncontent_imgew boss Pepe Mel, are 16th with 28 points and England keeper Foster, 30, says visit on Saturday is key. He said: “I think 37 points will probably do it this season, it’s really tight down there. First things first, we need to get three points from the Cardiff game. It is a monster game.” Foster is still confident the Baggies can survive, dese.Ismaila Sarr scored twice in six second minutes before Troy Deeney added a third to send Liverpool tumbling to their first Premier League loss since January 2019.Van Dijk said: “I think first of all credit to Watford – the chances they created thespite last weekend. He added: “Our run-in isn’t as bad as some other teams – we’ve got Arsenal away, Tottenham at home and Man City away, but the rest [of the fixtures] are all teams around us, so we need to remain positive.” Who'll get relegated?0+ VOTES SO FAR

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren leaves Croatia squad after picking up injury on international duty

Written by admin on December 29, 2018 Categories: coxzibty Tags: , ,

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has left the Croatia squad with injury, . had joined up with his international colleagues ahead of their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers. But the Croatian Football Federation confirmed on Thursday that he had been replaced by Gordon Schildenfeld. Their official Twitter account said: "Gordon Schildenfcontent_imgeld will replace injured Dejan Lovren in Croatian squad for @EuroQualifiers. Good luck with recovery to @DejanLovrenLFC6." As of yet, it is unknown what the injury is or how it will affect Lovren was set to feature in two fixtures this week – away to Bulgaria on Friday and at home to Azerbaijan on Monday. The 25-year-old has been an ever-present in the Premier League since his £20m move to Anfield. The ury list continues to grow.Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are just a few of the names to have been sidelined this season.United have advertised and conducted interviews for a head physio.But the Celtic-Scotland-physio-injuries-pile-uReds are currently without Mamadou Sakho, , and have only recently welcomed back Martin Skrtel after the Slovakian's three-gameer losing assistant manager Mikel Arteta to Arsenal.Guardiola will trust his team of coaches to replace the new Arsenal manager. City will not appoint a new No2 immediately, with Rodolfo Borrell set to take on extra responsibility in Arteta’s absence absence. Jon Flanagan remains a long-term injury at full back. Will Liverpool recapture their best form in time to finish in the top 4 this season?2000+ VOTES SO FAR

Hoots, mon! Capello says Rooney “only plays well in Manchester, where Sir Alex Ferguson speaks Scottish”

Fabio Capello last night fired a barbed parting shot at Wayne Rooney to blame the Manchester United man for England's Euro 2012 exit. Former Three Lions chief Capello was furious over Rooney's suggestions that tactical messages during his reign were "lost in translation" because of the Italian's limited English. But after Roy Hodgson admitted Rooney's anodyne display in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Italy had been a key factor in England's early content_imgexit, Capello stuck the boot in. "After watching the last game I think that Rooney understands only Scottish," said Capello, in a reference to the Scouser's Old Trafford manager. "That's because he only plays well in Manchester, where Sir Alex Ferguson speaks Scottish." It was a clear hit back at Rooney by Capello, who was angered and irritated by the Manchester United's striker's cessegnon.Spurs moved to sign Sessegnon on deadline day in a £25 million switch after being long-term admirers of the 19-year-old.But Tony Khan blasted their behaviour in the negotiations and stated the lateness of the deal meant Fulham were unable tomments. Capello's long-standing aide Italo Galbiati, one of his England coaching staff, responded: "He's ungrateful. Capello made himself understood and respected. Football has only one language: the ball. He cannot teach us anything." But Capello's decision to make a public slur in person is one that is unlikely to go unnoticed by the Old Trafford striker. Under the terms of his settlement with the FA, Capello is not allowed to comment on the England team or his successor, but by making the link between Rooney's displays for his club and those for his country the Italian was also questioning Hodgson's ability to influence his key on-field aoveted Premier League trophy as they beat rivals Manchester United, and the chasing pack of Leicester and Manchester City both slipped on banana peels in the form of Burnley and Crystal Palace.It was draws galore around the League, with the big clubssset. Roy Hodgson himself has been critical of Wayne Rooney's performance in Ukraine, claiming .

Arsene Wenger as you’ve never seen him before – picture of Arsenal boss as cherubic schoolboy

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This is Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as you've never seen him before – as a cherubic schoolboy, complete with a bow tie. The picture appears on the cover of French magazine L'Equipe, which has a special on the Frenchman to mark his 1,000 games as Gunners boss. Wenger's 1,000th match was the 6-0 rout his side suffered at the hands of Chelsea on Mazard.The Belgium captain has struggled to find his best form at Real Madrid since his summer arrival from Chelsea.But Martinez says: “I’m not worried at all. Eden is one of the best players in the world. It’s just a matter of adaptation. He always tarch 22nd. The 64-year-old grew up in the region of Alsace, on the border with Germany. He has been in charge of Arsenal since 1996. have the chance to end their tropmanager Frank Lampard regarding his self-isolation mishap.Mount and his Chelsea teammates are meant to isolate on their own due to the COVID-19 outbreak.But Mount was pictured having a kick acontent_imgbout with other individuals, and West Ham United star Declahy drought in the FA Cup, as they are in the semi-finals against Wigan, and still have an .

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to sport new Nike boots in Barcelona showdown

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All is not well for on the field – but these shiny new boots might just cheer him up. Sports giant Nike have released a special edition of the Mercurial Superfly CR7 ahead of this weekend's crucontent_imgnch El Clasico showdown. travel to the Camp Nou on Sunday knowing a defeat against Barcelona would all but end their hopes of retaining their La Liga crown. Despite racking up what seemed like an insurmountable lead in the table earAston Villa have struck terms for Marvelous Nakamba.Sky Sports says Villa have agreed a £11m deal for Nakamba with Club Brugge.The Club Brugge midfielder has been refusing to train as he aimed to force a move.It seems he has got his wish, with the two clubs finally agreeing a fee. The Zimbabwe international was initially rated at £15m by Club Brugge.legrini is one of the best coaches in the world.The midfielder arrived at the London Stadium on Friday for reported fee of £24 million.He can wait to get to work under Pellegrini, who was manager of Villarreal when he was in the youth team.”Obviousllier in the season, Los Blancos have tailed off and were recently leapfrogged the Catalan giants. Flashback – Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona, 25 October 2014: Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Who will win El Clasico?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

Paul Scholes: Jose Mourinho’s referee outbursts may cost Chelsea in the long run

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Paul Scholes believes that furious outbursts at referees will only serve against the Chelsea boss. Mourinho has declared that he against the Blues this term, following a string of refereeing decisions which have gone against his side. Despite being five-points clear at the top of the Premier League, Mou.The Daily Mail says Palace will demand a staggering £60m for Wan-Bissaka in order to ward off interest from Manchester United.The Eagles want to stop a potential exodus at Selhurst Park with another star Wilfried Zaha determined to leave in search rinho has continued to criticise and lament the fact that big decisions are being made incorrectly. But former Manchester United midfielder Scholes believes that Chelsea will not feel any benefit from the consistent rantings of their outspoken boss, who last weekend. Speaking in his Independent column, Scholes said: "It just seems to me there is an unwillingness among referees to be influenced by him. I am not saying they are making the wrong decisions on purpose, just that there is a resistance to being told what to do." And Scholes says that it is clear to see so far that his comments "have not worked." He added: "I don’t know what reaction Mourinho expects from referees in saying what he has about them. They seem to be determined not to be seen to be influenced by him." Scholes believes that his former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, had a much more effective way of dealing with the media. He believes that the experienced Scotsman was much more subtle in his approach to criticising referees, meaning that his comments had much chance of having nay effect on the game. Scholes added: "He was the master of dropping a comment into his Friday press conference – for instance, how long it had been since we had been given a penalty, or the treatment meted out to a player like Cristiano Ronaldo. It was always calculated and delivered calmly." Mourinho's Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur in poli are determined content_imgto test Arsenal’s resolve next month regarding Lucas Torreira.While the Gunners insist they do not want to lose the midfielder, a message which has been relayed to Torreira’s agents, Napoli remain determined to bring the midfielde on Sunday afternoon, as he looks to win his first trophy since returning to Stamford Bridge. Do you believe there is a 'campaign' against Chelsea?7000+ VOTES SO FAR

Diego Maradona to resume playing career at 53.. in the FIFTH TIER of Argentine football

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Diego Maradona is poised for a sensational return to football with Argentine minnows Deportivo Riestra. The tiny club plays in the regionalised fifth tier of domestic football in Argentina but isn't put off, and is expected to make his debut on March 23. So much interest is expected in the return of the man often referred to in his homeland simply as 'God', that Riestra are planning to abandon their 3,000 capacity stadium in favour of the nearby home of top-flight champions San Lorenzo. The 53-year-old has been convinced to sign for the club by friend and legal representative Victor Stinfale, the financier of the lowly Buenos Aires side. Maradona made the news when he was briefly appointed Riestra's 'Spiritual Coach' in August 2013, and reports this week state that when he was asked to return to the dugout he replied simply, "I want to play." The Albinegro have now presented an official request to the Argentine FA that Maradona be allowed to join the squad, and club insiders have told Olé that they are confident that the paperwork will be completed without a hitcpool from the sidelines this season.The 21-year-old was out for more than four months until April 17.Joel Matip has played well in Gomez’s absence and will likely start in the Champions League final on June 1.Asked about his time on the sidecontent_imglines, Goh. "Within five gameweeks, Maradona will be playing for Riestra," revealed the source. "He will debut on approximately the 23rd of March." Squad have tracked the defender last season during his successful loan spell with Wigan Athletic, says the Daily Mail.James is recovering from damaging ankle ligaments suffered on international duty and could miss the beginning of the new campaign.However,member Victor More has already revealed he will happily give up the iconic number 10 shirt for the arriving legend, admitting "I'll wear whatever." Maradona , just days after discovering that he will become a father for the sixth time after his

Steven Gerrard says Germany defeat has given England a World Cup reality check

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Steven Gerrard believes England’s has given the nation a World Cup reality check. Expectations may have risen after eased through impressively as winners of their qualifying group. But England’s struggle to cope with has put those ambitions for next summer firmly into perspective. Tuesday night saw England fail to score for the second time in as many games, after their defeat to Chile last Friday. They were also unable to muster a single shot on target at home for the first time since 1999. Gerrard, however, believes the Wembley woe could actually work in the country’s favour next summer in Brazil. “I think it will be.” said the Liverpool and England captain. “You now go into a World Cup where people judge you fairly. “They’re not blowing you up to what you’re not going to be, and there’s not too much pressure and expectation on the players, I’m sure content_imgthat will help us. “We’re not one of the favourites. We know that. But, at the same time, you’ve got to go into the tournament with a bit of belief and confidence and give it your best shot. “Of course there are better teams out there than us – you only need to look at the rankings where we are. But of course we’ve got to go in there and give it our best shot. “It’s difficult to judge us after two defeats, everyone is going to be down and give us no chance and no hope. But when you look at the big picture, at our performances in the qualifiers, you can be upbeat. “Of course we’re disappointed after the two results here, but I think it’s important we’re not too hard on ourselves and don’t actually write our chances off. “The manager has experimented and tried different things over the last two games. I’m sure he’s got a better idea of the 23 he wants to take.” The two defeats in four days make it the first time in 36 years that England have lost in successive matches in front of their own fans. They have also seen dip in national morale with Hodgson’s men unable to put things right until the spring against Denmark. Gerrard is hoping, however, that England fans do not go too far the other way and write the nation off, especially with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck still to come back into the side. Asked whether optimism could yet rise again closer to the World Cup itself, he said: “It depends on the Denmark result, and also the results we have before we go to the World Cup. “I think these results will bring people a little bit down from where they were after Poland and Montenegro, there will be a bit of realism and perspective out there. I think it’s important people are not too harsh on us. “These games are all about experimenting and trying things. When we get our full team back and we are up to full strength, with the likes of Welbeck, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott, we’ll have a good team. A team that can go to the World Cup and compete.” Despite England’s setbacks and with the draw just two weeks away, Jack Wilshere believes the Three Lions still have nothing to fear from ANY opponents going into the World Cup. Unseeded England are facing the prospect of a Group of Death as they are guaranteed to face one of Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland or Uruguay from one pot and the likes of Chile, France, Portugal, Ivory Coast, United States or Mexico in the others. But Arsenal midfielder Wilshere said: “You have to take it as it comes. if you want to win the World Cup, you have to beat the best teams. “There are some good teams in.The Frenchman is recovering from ankle surgery and has only played seven Premier League games this term.The Daily Mailsays Pogba is hopeful of completing outdoor training within the next fortnight, with a focus on returning to action by the Manchesn pot one and in pot two. We are in a good pot and wg Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich this summer was their biggest loss.Simeone says his departure hurt more than Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona.”The exit that hurt us the most was Lucas, who was a boy from the academy,” Simeone told Cadena Ser.ill be all watching when the draw comes.”