2019 May

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic ‘set to be offered new £4.8million’ Blues deal

Written by admin on May 31, 2019 Categories: xqeagvip Tags: , ,

Chelsea are poised to offer a new deal – worth over £90,000 a week. The Serbian has established himself as a key member of Jose Mourinho's side – as they look to complete a domestic and European treble. Matic will see his earnings increase by around £30,000 a week, with his new deal worth £4.8million, according to a report in the Express. His current contract will be increased by a year, keeping him at until 2020. The 26-year-old was banned for three matches for his clash with Burnley's Ashley Barnes recently, keeping him out of The suspension highlighted his importance to Chelsea, with Mourinho fighting intensely to have the ban overturned. He was cagey when asked about the ban, saying: "If I give you my views, it's bad for me. I can't give you my views because it's bad for me. "If I speak again about the Matic situation, I promise I will be in big trouble. I cans Suarez as the world’s best strikers.Firmino has become a star with Liverpool in recent seasons, while Suarez has excelled at Barcelona since making a name for himself at Anfield.When asked who was the best striker in the world, Brazil legend Kaka s't talk (about Ashley Barnes).” It was revealed after the cup final that He rejoined Chelsea last January, after initially leaving Stamford Bridge in the deal that brought David Luiz to West London. He joins Eden Hazard in signing a ncontent_imgew Blues contract, with John Terry also expected to earn a new deal in therier admits he tried to leave Tottenham over the summer.While Aurier is away on international duty, he has opened up about the events of last season.The Ivory Coast fullback said, “I was looking for an exit, so I couldn’t play. When you’re trying to coming weeks. Have Chelsea got the title sewn up?3000+ VOTES SO FAR

Frank Lampard on his best (and worst) England moments

THREE FAVOURITE GOALS 25-yarder to seal the win. "It was my first for England and I remember the feeling of scoring it. It was actually a good strike from a long way out." Terrific header which should have brought England a Euro 2004 win. "It was my first tournament goal." Sven's men had ares Ward-Prowse.Hasenhuttl highlighted Ward-Prowse’s new-found physical prowess as the reason for his transformation.Saints’ manager explained: “I think it was the biggest change in his game since I’m here.“He was always a good player and had a faeady qualified for Germany but the winner sealed the campaign. "I remember it was a volley which won the game." THREE FAVOURITE GAMES Lampard said: "I recontent_imgmember beating Argentina in a friendly when Michael Owen scored late on, which was against a really fancied team." Crushing win to seal qualification for Fabio Capello's side with two games to spare. "The Croatia game was a great night. Everything cas fullback Joao Cancelo.The Portugal international only arrived at the Italian giants from Valencia last summer, and had a season of two halves.His form dipped in the second half of the season, which led to reports that Massimiliano Allegri was keen me together." "I loved playing against Brazil at the Maracana in the summer. That was a great occasion and we gave a good account of ourselves." THREE TO FORGET "It hurts I missed a penalty in the shoot-out and we got knocked out." "That was horrible. They just passed us off the park with Xavi and Iniesta in midfield." The goal that never was…."Thank God something good came out of that in the end with Goal-line technology." "For talent and ability, Wayne Rooney. Talking about that technical awareness and receiving the ball." "Zinedine Zidane. He didn't have his most fantastic game against us at Euro 2004 but the presence of the man on the pitch was amazing. He was an absolute Rolls Royce of a player."

Arsenal target Podolski drops new transfer hint

Arsenal target Lukas Podolski has openedcontent_img the door to a summer move after claiming his club Cologne have gone back on promises they made when he joined in 2009. The Germany international's contract with the club expires next year, but there have been talks of him considering a move away in the summer, when Cologne can still demand a transfer fee for his services. Cologne are currently preparing a new contract offer to be put to the 26-year-old, but he does not appear open to a contract extension after claiming he has been misled by his hometown club in the past. Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Su Neymar from PSG would be stunning.Luis spoke to reporters from Brazil’s Copa America base.”I don’t know if it is really possible or not but it would be a major bombshell and a great signing for them,” Filipe Luis told MARCA.”If I’m going to be Neymanday's papers  "I was told that a team would be built around me so that we could establish ourselves first in the top eight and then in the top six," he said. "I had lots of promises made to me before my move here and I wanted to play my part in achieving these things together. "[Former Cologne coach] Christoph Daum once said that lots of promises are made, but few are maintained here and I think my situation confirms that. "When you see what perspectives were shown to me and what has actually happened in the end, it is disappointing." Podolski is currently sidelined for a few more weeks due to injury and he cannot therefore help the club push on towards the top eight. However, he feels even with him in the team, aiming for the top half of the table is unrealistic. "Each year we try to make progress, we take a new run-up, but then when you end up embroiled in a relegation battle again then it is disappointing," he told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "I had hoped for a lot more because there is far more potential here – the stadium and the fans are unique. "But of the people with whom I discussed this concept, very few are still at the club. There is no continuity." Podolski now sees his future away from Cologne and away from the Bundesliga. "If I were to move, then the way things stand at the moment, I would move abroad," he said. "I speak German, Polish, English and Cologne dialect – I think you can get anywhere with that combination. "I am always receiving inquiries and if they had been really attractive, I wouldn't be here now. But seriously, I will make up my mind no sooner than the summer." Bundesliga blog: Couesday’s Champions League clash with Valencia.Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham all started and scored in Saturday’s win over Wolves.And Lampard says he won’t change his selections for the club’s first Champions League clash of the season.uld Podolski and Goetze move to the Premier League?

Teddy Sheringham talks Euro 96, playing Scotland and THAT Gazza goal

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It is a match that will be etched in the memory of Teddy ­Sheringham forever. The day was June 15, 1996. The venue was Wembley. It produced an encounter with England’s Auld Enemy that was arguably the most dramatic in recent times. And it was also the day ­Gazza sent Scotland’s Colin Hendry on a pie hunt. “The atmosphere was as close as you will get to a derby match in club football,” recalled former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Sheringham, who is now coaching at West Ham. “It really brought home what it meant to so many people. England are the team any of the other ‘home nations’ want to beat. We knew that.” England manager Terry ­Venables had hammered that home to his players. Sheringham recalled: “He said we had day.Barca thumped Betis 5-2 at the Nou Camp.Former Barca defender Bartra stated: “We have faced a Barca that was under pressure after a loss and that has made us drown. We leave with a lot of anger because we got ahead, but then they passed over us lto be prepared for how ­motivated ­Scotland would be. “In the dressing room Terry said: ‘They say this match means more to Scotland than it does to us. Let’s show that isn’t the case.’ “But we had to do it in a controlled fashion – no good getting too fired-up and getting sent off. Then you could have a problem against what was a decent Scotland team.” There was added spice from several intriguing sub-plots. Three England players were in direct opposition to club mates in the Scotland team. England strikers Sheringham – then at Spurs – and Alan Shearer – then of Blackburn – were facing Colin Calderwood and Hendry. And Paul Gascoigne – then at Rangers – found his Ibrox pal Andy Goram as the last line of ­the Scots’ defence. Sheringham said: “That added a bit… I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of stick from Colin for the next year, did I?” An even first half was followed by an ­explosive second. ­Venables re-shaped England, bringing on Jamie Redknapp, and Shearer opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. But tcontent_imghe outcome hinged on a dramatic 120 seconds that began with 13 minutes to go when Scotland were handed a golden chance to equalise. “David Seaman saved a penalty from Gary McAllister and we broke away,” Sheringham recalled. “I passed the ball out to Darren Anderton, he fed Paul Gascoigne… then came his famous goal.” As Hendry moved to close him down, Gascoigne flicked the ball over the head of the Blackburn defender and then volleyed it past Goram. He ran behind the goal for his celebratory re-enactment to the ‘Dentist’s Chair’ incident on England’s pre-tournament trip to Hong Kong. Players squirted drinks in Gascoigne’s mouth as the star lay flat on the ground to mimic the controversial photos from the Far East. “I will never forget Gazza as he got up. He asked Goram why he had ­bothered diving to try and save it! Then he said: ‘Where’s Hendry? Has he gone to get me a pie?’ It was a great moment.” At the final wafter Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.Lys Mousset put the visitors ahead after just two minutes, only for Matt Doherty to tie things up in the second-half.And Wilder thinks the Blades could’ve done more to extend their lead in the first-half.”This was histle, ­Sheringham went to Calderwood. “We hugged. Great day, great ­occasion.” Sheringham was to score twice in England’s final group game – a 4-1 humbling of Holland – as the hosts went on a brilliant run to the semi-finals. But the Scotland game was special. And on Tuesday when England go to Celtic Park, Sheringham has warned them what to expect. “Passion – real passion,” he said. Just to rub salt in Scotland’s 1996 wounds, Darren Anderton could have been wearing the blue that day! He qualified to represent Scotland while at ­Portsmouth and went for trials – but was rejected by youth chief Andy Roxburgh. “They said I wasn’t good enough,” recalled Anderton – who had the last laugh on that sweltering June day, laying on THAT goal for Gascoigne. What's your prediction for Scotland vs England?2000+ VOTES SO FAR

Gunners at war: Arsenal suits seething after Usmanov blames them for RvP exit

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Arsenal's two major shareholders are openly at war, after Robin Van Persie became the catalyst for chaos. Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who owns nearly 30 per cent of the club, launched an all-out assault on majority owner Stan Kroenke, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and the rest of the board. In an astonishing public attack, through an open letter, Uzmanov and his Red and White Holdings accused Kroenke, who has a 63 per cent stake, and the board of undermining manager Arsene Wenger by sticking to a policy that has effectively forced skipper van Persie out of the door. The Dutchman, who has 12 months left on his current contract, , while criticising Gazidis and Wenger over their vision for the future of the clubZaha was treated unfairly by Manchester United. Zaha left Crystal Palace for United in 2013 but returned two years later to Selhurst Park, at which time Warnock was in charge of the club.”He wasn’t in a good place. I met him in the chairman’s office,. As van Persie was being linked with champions Manchester City and their Italian counterparts Juventus, Usmanov used the imminent exit of the striker to claim: “Yet again we are faced with losing our true marquee player because we cannot assure him of the future direction and give confidence we can win trophies. “Where are the safeguards to ensure this doesn’t happen again and again in the future? “As a top club we should, at the very least, match if not beat the offers that other clubs make to try and lure our very best players away. “It appears a place in the Champions League is the pinnacle of our ambition again next season. In the future we may see this ambition lowered further.” Usmanov and his Iranian-born business partner Farhad Moshiri have been acquiring shares in the club since 2007, but have been frozen out of any direct role, despite spending some £200million on their stakeholding. Now, they have used the van Persie situation as the cover for an assault that left the club open-mouthed in anger and frustration. Usmanov tapped into the growing frustrations of the Arsenal fans, by continuing: “As a consequence of the policy it is down to the manager, not the shareholders, to have to deal with the tight finances by selling his best players and finding cheaper replacements. “All that, naturally, comes at the expense of performance on the pitch. It does not allow our great manager to fully realise his talent andcontent_img deliver success for the fans who are paying the highest prices in the land.” Describing himself and Moshiri as “loyal supporters” who want to add to their stake, and urging a Stock Market listing and supporter representation on the board, Usmanov added: “We cannot keep thinking of ourselves in the same league as Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona. “To have a fighting chance of success, which means winning trophies, we need to match them in every aspect, including, if not first and foremost, financial. “Our vision is a debt-free club with a big enough war chest to buy top talent players to help win the most prestigious trophies – which are the crowning achievement for everybody.” Arsenal restricted their response to a simple statement: “The letter from Red and White Holdings has been received and is being considered.” But privately Kroenke, Gazidis and the club are fuming at what was being described as a disingenuous and opportunistic assault, which also saw Usmanov claim the chief executive falsely accused him of seeking to “cause conflict and destabilise the club”. Usmanov pointedly referenced the boardroom rows which forced the exits of former directors David Dein – a close friend of Wenger – Keith Edelman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, noting “elgian midfielder arrived at the King Power this summer from Sampdoria, having been linked heavily with Arsenal.”It’s really nice to be part of this team,” Praet told the club’s website.”I think we’re doing incredibly well at the moment, but it’s earthe board has achieved conflict without the help of any outside parties”. He also said Gazidis had tried to persuade Russian telecoms company Megafon – of which Usmanov, embarrassingly for the club, is the majority shareholder – to consider a shirt sponsorship deal, and added that club’s business model was fatally and fundamentally flawed. Defiant Arsenal insist their current business model – which saw the club resolve to pay off the debts accruing from the move from Highbury to the Emirates out of income and refusing to break its wages policy, which means van Persie is currently on around £80,000 per week – will continue. The club insists that the policy will be successful, pointing to the fact that Wenger has steered his side into the Champions League for 15 consecutive seasons, even if there have been no trophies since the FA Cup in 2005 and maintaining that the long-term health of the club is the primary concern. More on Arsenal… Matt Law opinion:

Marco Reus’ €540,000 fine for driving without a licence is ‘fair enough’, says Jurgen Klopp

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Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has described Marco Reus' driving fine as "fair enough". The sought-after attacking midfielder received a staggering over the past three years. Reus had also been stopped at least five times for speeding, but insists he had learnt his lesson – sentiments echoed by Klopp. The size of the fine is based on the who is reportedly earning £60,000-a-week at the Westfalenstadion. "I spoke to Marco this morning and he is totally understanding about it all," Klopp told a press conference on Thursday. "He just got led astray for once as a young lad." "From a certain moment, you can actually understand that, but now he's been caught and it's good that it has happened," Klopp continued. "He gets an extraordinarily high fine, but that&apmsdale joined fans on Saturday for defeat to Watford.Ramsdale posted a message on the club’s social media last week, urging fans to give the struggling Cherries their full support when Watford visited on Saturday.The 21-year-old missed the game throuos;s also fair enough. I've known him for many years and he never came across as being somebody who feels he is above the law." Reus, who is reported to have received numerous fines for speeding over the years, all of which he has paid immediately, will not face any further punishment from his club in addition to the fine he has been given by the authorities. He will now undertake a driving test – for the very first time. "We've spoken with Marco and he recognises he has made a mistake and says himself that what he's done is really stupid," added Dortmund's media director Sascha Fligge. In pictures – Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund thArsenal keeper Bernd Leno has reportedly made the move into esports by setting up his own FIFA 20 team, reports, /.According to Bild, the stopper has put together a squad made up of two professionals and three up-and-coming players to compete for Leno eSports.is season: "Since we rate Marco so highly not only as a sportsman, but also as a person, we do not see any reason to doubt what he says." Reus, 25, admitted to Bild newspaper in Germany that he does not know why persisted to drive without a licence. He said: "Back then, I just chose to do things this way. Even I can't really understand why I did that now." Reus, for a host of Premier League clubs, missed the World Cup due to injury and is currently sidelined until January after tearing ligaments in his ankle. A £20million release clause in his contract becomes active next summer. Who do yocontent_imgu think Marco Reus will sign for?9000+ VOTES SO FAR

Southampton offer Toby Alderweireld transfer on a four-year deal after he impresses on loan

Written by admin on May 30, 2019 Categories: pnoftmgs Tags: , ,

Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld has been offered a four-year contract to staPremier League interest is growing in Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez.Marca says Arsenal and Everton are keen on the 22-year-old Spaniard.The Gunners have already sent scouts to Athletic matches several times to watch Nunez this season.Hput up for sale at Barcelona this summer, it has been revealed.The midfielder’s poor performance for Barca’s collapse and Champions League elimination at Liverpool wcontent_imgas the final straw for many inside the Barca boardroom.A club source told ESPN: “Coutis contract with Bilbao runs to 2022. The deal includes in the amount of €30m.y at St Mary’s. Alderweireld is on loan until next summer, but have started negotiations with Atletico Madrid after the Belgian international told them he wants to stay. Southampton have moved quickly to fend off other clubs interested in the 25-year-old defender.

The Thief’s Masterpiece: Diego Maradona, England and 300 seconds of glory and infamy

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It’s just 10 seconds from the moment he first touches the ball to the instant it punches the back of the English net. In that short time, he covers roughly 60 yards of baking turf, evades the attempted interventions of five English defenders, and survives a last-ditch lunge to prize the ball from his seemingly magnetic left foot. It can be no other player than Diego Maradona and no other match than the Argentina-England World Cup quarterfinal at Aztec Stadium in Mexico City on June 22, 1986. Those who saw this goal 27 years ago still feel a shiver of disbelief. It seemed to come from nowhere, a thing of beauty just five minutes after his cynical first goal, forever known as the Hand of God, blew up England’s tactical plan. In those five minutes, England fans around the world cursed him. Trying to analyze that second goal can sound almost as pretentious as dissecting a master painting—how can one put beauty into words? But we must try. In the top-right-hand corner of the canvas, there is a moment of stillness as an England attack is broken up and players on both sides, casting tiny shadows under the roasting sun, seem unsure of what to do. Midfielder Héctor Enrique spots Maradona back inside his own half and instinctively gives the ball to his captain. There are three England players in the frame as Maradona receives the ball: Peter Beardsley, the deep-lying forward; Peter Reid, who has tracked Maradona relentlessly all day and wonders whether to risk a tackle or drop off and block; and Steve Hodge, who has turned back from the attack. All three probably sense no immediate threat from Maradona. He is too far from their goal. He has his back to the play. Surely he will just lay the ball off and make a run. But Maradona has seen that England’s left side is undefended, with Hodge and Kenny Sansom stranded. His natural move would be to turn inside, but Beardsley is there and Reid is closing. Maradona sees a way out: he fakes inside then drags the ball back, and goes outside. Reid is lost, Beardsley is isolated and Hodge is left flat-footed. Reid gives chase as Maradona advances, but the squat Evertonian has no pace. Sensing the danger, center back Terry Butcher charges out to deal with Maradona’s thrust, to force him wide. But Maradona knows Butcher is weaker on the right and skips past him on the inside, and as Terry Fenwick rushes to fill the gap, Maradona takes the ball around Fenwick’s weaker left side. Keeper Peter Shilton, still seething about the hand-ball goal, threatens to barrel Maradona over but is left grabbing at the air. Butcher, recovering gallantly, makes a desperate challenge, but in the instant before contact, Maradona pings the ball into the empty net. England’s players stand like still-life figures of despair. Maradona’s masterpiece is complete. “It was the best goal I ever saw scored against a team I was playing in,” says Gary Lineker, who had a view of events from upfield. I once asked Lineker, in faint hope, if Butcher got a last touch. “I thought that too,” he confessed, “but Terry said he didn’t get a foot on it.” It was later voted the century’s best goal in a FIFA poll. Surprisingly, Maradona preferred his first effort, the profane hand ball, “because it felt like stealing from England’s wallet,” his small revenge for the Falklands War defeat in 1982. His post-match comment that the goal involved “a little bit the head of Maradona, a little bit the hand of God,” fooled nobody. It was all hand, all ruthless opportunism. “I knew it wasn’t a goal the instant he did it,” says Shilton, “and when I saw the officials running back, I felt sick.” ristian Pulisic says he will continue fighting to convince Chelsea manager Frank Lampard that he deserves a starting spot.The 21-year-old has not started a game for Chelsea in a month after his big money move from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.The People wonder how such ugliness could co-exist with the sublime elegance of Maradona’s second goal. They think that the latter was some form of atonement for offending the spirit of football. But Maradona saw no paradox. Just as he knew there was a fatal hole in England’s defense before that second goal, he instinctively knew that he couldn’t reach Hodge’s sliced clearance with his head. Maradona was a creation of the street football that gave hope to the urchins in the wretched area of Buenos Aires where he was raised. He learned his football skills and its darker arts on a dusty wasteland. He also learned to entertain, juggling tennis balls on his precocious left foot at halftime in senior games. By 11, he was regarded a prodigy. Wise heads kept him out of the 1978 tournament incontent_img Argentina that reeked from the corpses of the thousands of the military junta’s opponents … and the squad’s blatant “deal” with a Peruvian goalkeeper to concede six goals. What innocence Maradona had was preserved, briefly. But by 1982, the World Cup in Spain was expected to be his to seize. Instead, he was gone after three games—mass marked by Belgium in the opener, smothered by a one-man crowd named Claudio Gentile against Italy, then red-carded against Brazil for a thigh-high lunge. His move to Barcelona offered him a chance to mature, but he largely failed. And he was not helpeadu has hailed his loan move to RB Leipzig as “the perfect step for me””I am very happy to be at RB Leipzig and start the season with the team,” said Ampadu. “I want to get to know the team as quickly as possible and integrate myself.”I’ve been follod by the Butcher of Bilbao, Andoni Goikoetxea, rupturing his ankle ligaments in 1983. Only in the late 1980s, in a Naples steaming with passion, did Maradona find a fulfilling club. After his 1986 triumph, Maradona’s Argentina bootlegged their way to the 1990 World Cup final, had two men sent off, and lost drably. His international swan song, in America in 1994, embraced every element of his football life—a brilliant goal against Greece followed by a crazed yelp (above) into a TV camera and finally a failed drug test. Obesity and cocaine addiction took a heavy toll. But whatever the man’s personal failings, that goal will always be one of football’s most electrifying moments.            It is taken from Issue 02 of 8by8mag, which is now available via their  . Follow 8by8mag on  or .

West Brom’s Saido Berahino explains his lack of FA Cup goal celebrations as new boss Pulis mulls transfer

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To sell or not to sell, that is the question for Tony Pulis this month. The new West Brom boss has been in charge less than a week, but has already seen ba target for Arsenal after their sacking of Unai Emery on Friday.The Daily Mail says Wolves players are growing increasingly concerned that Nuno’s time at the club may be coming to an end. But the club would fight hard to keep Nuno, whose £3m-a-yearoth sides of Saido Berahino. Pulis must be impressed with the England prospect after he plundered four goals to . But , added to his surly reputation by not celebrating them. When quizzed about his lack of enthusiasm, the Burundi-born former refugee replied: “I was just handling business and acting professionally and that’s it. “There’s no need for me to explain myself on not celebrating goals. I’m a West Bromwich Albion player and I’ve just got to perform for them and try to get as many goals as I can and contribute to wins.” Hawthorns officials, and Pulis himself, have admitted may . Berahino’s team-mates have been unimpressed by the youngster’s attitude and timekeeping. Mirror Sport understands he has even turned up late for matches this season. It contributed to former Baggies boss Alan Irvine dropping him following his England call-up in November. But when asked if he understood why the Scot t former Manchester United strike partner Teddy Sheringham.The duo combined well in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Norwich City, both getting on the scoresheet despite both missing penalties.”It’s (like Teddy) Sheringham and Solskjaer!” Scontent_imgolskjaer said after ook that action, he said: “No, I didn’t. But it was his choice and he had the right to do whatever he wanted for the team.” But if anyone can fire the goals to rescue 17th-placed Albion this season it is Berahino, as fellow strikers Brown Ideye, Georgios Samaras and Victor Anichebe struggle for form and fitness. So, with Liverpool keen, Pulis must decide whether to cash in or try to cope with the youngster. He has successfully handled temperamental stars before and is open-minded about Berahino. Pulis said: “I have dealt with a lot of players who were different. I have had players turn up late and had players not turn up at times. I have had players do things that would make your hair curl. “But I have dealt with it and that is what management is about. If he has, he won’t be the first boy to have problems off the pitch. Berahino is a very talented boy. “If a top club comes in then we will sit down and talk about it. But it would take a lot of money I think.” Berahino opened the scoring in the 42nd minute after Gateshead failed to clear a disputed free-kick. Anichebe made it 2-0 at half-time. When Berahino curled in a beauty just after the break, the visitors collapsed. He scored two more with Chris Brunt and James Morrison also on target. Will Berahino still be a West Brom player when the winter transfer window closes?2000+ VOTES SO FAR

Brian Reade’s column: In this mercenary age, one-club players like Ledley really are the immortal Kings of the game

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The great thing about being a football fan around this time of year is that you get a chance to refcontent_imglect. While other sports dominate the headlines, you can sit back, stare at the bank statement that says you’ve just plummeted into the red to pay for a season ticket your partner thought you’d ditched, and ask yourself if it’s worth it. The few stories around tell you it isn’t, because they tend to be about the biggest clubs dragging themselves half-way around the planet to satisfy sponsors, and the best players, who are already drenched in money, demanding even more of it. Spurs fans woke on Thursday to be greeted with two breaking news items: , and because, although Spurs want to make him the highest-paid player in their history on £115,000-a-week, that’s about 50% short of what he feels he’s worth. The majority of Spurs fans weren’t surprised or saddened by either story. It just chipped away further at their faith in a game you sometimes need to watch through the fingers that are holding your nose. And then at 11am, it was announced that , and surprise and sadness did kick in. Surprise because King’s knees had defied medical science for so long fans couldn’t foresee the 31-year-old calling it a day for another few years. And sadness because, after 14 years of impeccable service, they would never again applaud off the pitch a man who’d devoted his professional life to, and put his body on the line for, their cause. The internet has been flooded with heart-felt tributes to King, oozing veneration for a hugely-gifted natural talent, who could play in defence or midfield, read the game in the flick of an eye, possessed power, pace, and that indefinable quality called class. A Spurs mate told me he thought King was the best English defender of the past 20 years. But when I asked him to sum him up in five words he said: “Better than that **** Campbell.” And here’s the rub. Here’s what separates the wheat from the chaff in the eyes of a fan. Here’s the reason why King has been given a job for life as a club ambassador and goes down as an all-time legend. Because he only ever had eyes for the club which nurtured him as a kid and stood by him as a man. And we treasure that mindset above all others. It’s why one-club players may not make the most money out of football, but they end up with the most love, and leave a far superior legacy to the glory-hunters and the money-grabbers. The one-club men earn admiration, not just from their own supporters but all genuine, objective fans. Regardless of who you support, who would you rather buy a pint for: Sol Campbell or Ledley King? Ashley Cole or Tony Adams? Michael Owen or Jamie Carragher/Steven Gerrard? David Beckham or Gary Neville/Paul Scholes? Alan Smith or Gary Kelly? Any Saint on God’s earth or Matt Le Tissier? They’re the Maldinis, Tottis, Rauls and Baresis of English football. Names that will always be spoken with deference and respect. Because they exhibited throughout their careers the one true quality football fans prize highest in their heroes: loyalty. Which buys something banknotes never can: Immortality. To wish Ledley King a happy retirement is futile. He’s guaranteed one. Forest's new owners put the con into icon Nottingham Forest’s new Kuwaiti owner tried to impress their fans after sacking Steve Cotterill by saying they wanted to appoint an iconic boss. Fawaz Al Hasawi said he was in pursuit of two “icons” he believed fitted the bill: . So iconic they were both forced out of their last jobs at Wolves, after the patience of long-suffering fans had snapped. But neither of them fancied it. So Al Hasawi upped his icon hunt. And, erm, . “We interviewed many well-known figures but we truly believe Sean O’Driscoll is the best man for the job,” said Al Hasawi. Sure. Maybe someone should explain the difference between icon and I con. Now it's Terry's turn… I don’t think Luis Suarez got Kenny Dalglish the sack. I’d say his expensively-assembled Liverpool side finishing 17 points off the Champions League places had more to do with it. But the Suarez affair didn’t help Dalglish’s case because the shambolic way it was handled by him, and others, left a stain on the club. Which is why those still there will have been wincing again this week when . Suarez should have said nothing but if he genuinely feels he’s been unfairly labelled a racist, it’s understandable he’ll defend himself when a journalist brings it up. Plus, he was asked about it in Uruguay, where many are enraged at what they perceive to be our double-standards after John Terry was cleared by a court for using even more offensive language than their man. Wg PSG.PSG are ready to sell Kevin Trapp after his loan spell with Eintracht Frankfurt last season.And Kicker says PSG have identified Dubravka as a potential replacement.Tied to Newcastle until 2022, PSG management believe they can sign the shot-stophat Uruguayans may not understand is that the people who found Suarez guilty have yet to deal with Terry. And when the FA do, because they need far less burden of proof than a magistrate, Terry won’t get such an easy ride. If Suarez’s use of the word “negro” in a heated argument is indefensible on a football pitch, surely the words “f****** black c***” in a similar situation is even more so. And unless the FA want to show there is one rule for Englishmen and another for foreigners, if Terry is found guilty of breaking their rules, he must surely be dealt with as severely as Suarez was. UEFA are Bangor out of order Story of the summer is . A Welsh journalist is to thank for this 17-stone part-timer, nicknamed The Truck (because he doesn’t care who he runs over to get the ball) ending up in such exalted company. “It just goes to show that anything is possible if you work hard at it,” said Les. He’s right. Which is why I’m staking a tenner double that Les not only sees off Lionel Messi to become Europe’s top player, but beats Scania’s Longhaul V8 to become International Truck Of the Year 2013. It's a Fab life for Capello Fabio Capello becoming Russian manager has thrown up the question: Just how much hassle, travel, language problems and atrocious weather does a 66-year-old dolce vita-loving Italian pensioner need? Answer? £7.9 million-a-year’s worth. Big Sam is courting trouble with Blackburn row So Sam Allardyce is taking Steve Keen and Blackburn Rovers to courtFormer Liverpool and England star Michael Owen has spoken about the debate on the best midfielder from the nation’s “Golden Generation.”The team during the early and mid 2000s was lauded as their greatest hope of winning the World Cup in decades.Whil for being filmed unleashing a foul-mouthed bar-room tirade about him. Just what football needs right now, another court case, don’t you think? Following on from showing the world how our players eff and blind at each other like a couple of borstal kids, we’ll now hear how experienced managers do it too. And all because Allardyce feels he’s been slandered by Keen saying “I worked my balls off for him and then he had a go at me so **** him.” You’d have thought waving at the club who sacked you as you head into the Premier League and they drop out of it would be enough of a last laugh. What Wigan can learn from the Olympic dream Seb Coe has come up with a novel way of hiding the fact he’s got 1.1 million unsold Olympics Football tickets on his hands. By covering the upper tiers of grounds so it doesn’t look like they’re half-empty. Maybe Dave Whelan at Wigan should take note. More from Brian Reade

West Ham confirm Andy Carroll won’t need an operation on foot injury, but absence time is unknown

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Andy Carrollcontent_img is suffering from a plantar fascia injury, West Ham have confirmed, but the club hasn't revealed how long they expect the striker to be out for. The Hammers do not expect to require an operation, but will not put a timeframe on his return. and is yet to feature for West Ham since making his loan move permanent in the summer. And speaking to whufc.com about ttold there was no room for him at the club.The striker is just about to complete his first season in Turin, where he has made his debut for Juve.He said: “It was a week full of emotions. Last summer I returned to Arsenal for pre-season and was told the injury, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce said: "It's the same type of injury but in a different area. It is not an Achilles injury, as has been suggested but instead it involves the band of tissue which runs under the foot. "According to the specialist the chance of a recurrence of that type of injury is abohe Northern Echo says the midfielder is one of a number of players currently in discussions with Newcastle officials over a new deal.While the ongoing talks with Sean and Matty Longstaff have hogged the headlines, the Magpies hierarchy are hoping to ut four per cent but unfortunately for Andy he was one of the unlucky ones. "We had been very cautious, very patient with him along the way and it's sad this has happened for him as well as us. "He doesn't need an operation but we need to give the foot time to re-heal, continue the rehab and get him back in training again."

Carlo Ancelotti insists Real Madrid are improving despite dropping points at home to Villarreal

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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti played down the significance of his side’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Villarreal after the La Liga leaders failed to restore their four-point advantage over Barcelona. The , who failed to win at home in the league for the first since September 13, went in front through ’s 51st-minute penalty but were pegged back when Gerard clinically dispatched the ball beyond Iker Casillas 13 minutes later. Madrid bombarded the opponents in search of a winner as the match wore on but it was to no avail, as . The result will certainly come as a boost to rivals , who host content_imgMadrid at the Camp Nou in three weeks’ time, but Ancelotti, who denied suggestions that his team are tired, says his players need to enjoy the fact that they are still at the top of the table. He said: “I think the team is improving. It is true we have lost two points, but as I have said before the league will be decided in the final game. Who will win La Liga?500+ VOTES SO FAR “We have two points of an advantage, which is nothing, but we have to enjoy it. We need to continue and react in the next game [against Athletic Club] which will be a difficult match. “We had 24 shots on goal, but only seven on target. I have already said Villarreal are a very well-organised side. They show character on the field, they have a clear identity. They play with quality and organisation. “If it was a physical question the dip wouldture in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Blackburn.Wilder confirmed he would make changes to his side which lost to Leicester City last weekend.”We’ll whizzunt for a striker looks set to step up after the departure of Marko Arnautovic. However, according to Football London, the Hammers have made no headway in their approach for Sebastien Haller.The Hammers only registered their interest in the French st the team around on Tuesday,” said Wilder, whose side travel to Chelsea this weekend.”There’l have happened in the second half not the first.” Ancelotti also defended his decision to take off Isco. when the impressive playmaker was replaced by defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi with 12 minutes left on the clock. He added: “I made the change because I thought it was the right thing for the team. The fans didn't understand, I am sorry, but I made this change to give more balance to the team.”

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips admits he would love to manage the Black Cats in the future

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Kevin Phillips has admitted he would love to manage Sunderland. wants to return to the Stadium of Light as boss. Phillips is learning the managerial trade under Nigel Pearson, and helped his side escape relegation with a remarkable run-in. The former Golden Boot winner concedes he is still learning the managerial game, but if he was to get a call from Ellis Short this summer he would “seriously consider” a move. Asked if he could do the job once temporary boss Dick Advocaat leaves, he said: “At some point in my career I’d love to come back here and manage. “At the moment it’s a learning curve for me, the role I’m in at Leicester. It’s been a massive eye-opener this season. “If that was put upon me then I’d have no problem doing it, but at the moment I’m enjoying working at Leicester and enjoying learning. “I certainly wouldn’t go chasing a manager’s job. It’s something I’d consider if I was offered it but I’m still doing my badges, still learning the role, still learning about not being a player and learning with players day in and day out, how they act, how you have to look after them. “It’s a different world to playing and it’s something I’ve enjoyed. It’s something I’m going to really sink my teeth into in the next few years. “I’d have to say to me nowadays man-management is massive. We can all do the training on the pitch, showing the lads what to do, but what you have to do now is look after individuals, different cultures and nationalities, problems off the pitchke.Asensio is out for nine months after breaking down against Arsenal this week.”I started this season with the renewed hope, taking care of even the smallest detail of my preparation to make it a great season for all Real Madrid fans and for myself, and that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learnt this season. At some point I believe I’ll be ready to do that.” Asked what – where he scored 30 goals in a season 16 years agoer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Aubameyang, 30, was heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp last month and although a move didn’t materialise, Abidal said the club will look for a striker this summer and spoke highly of the Gabon international. “I kn – need to do he added: “Win football matches. Try to play attractive football. “First and foremost, they need to sort out the managerial situation once they’re safe and I believcontent_imge they will be okay. “This summer is a big one for Sunderland, they need to sort the managerial situation whether that’s a long-term thing or not and I believe it needs to be that sort of project. In pictures – Sunderland 0-0 Leicester: “Whether that’s someone who’s young and enthusiastic, got potential or whether it’s someone who is experienced and knows the league, I think it’s got to be long-term, a slow building process, because we all know this place has got huge potential.” Other managerial candidates include Real Madrid assistant boss Paul Clement, who is being courted by several clubs. Phillips reflected on a great escape with by joking: “We were all sacked at one point earlier this season and then reinstated! “You have to give huge credit to the owners for sticking by the manager and it shows that if chairmen and owners don’t panic it can pay off for you. “It’s a phenomenal achievement, definitely. It’s fine margins. . I think we found the right system towards the end. “We’ve never really played badly. I think there were only three or four halves of football when we’ve been poor. The rest of it, even Chelsea a couple a weeks ago, the first half we dominated. “It’s a remarkable thing and the players have to take a lot of credit. It’s a fantastic achievement.” Who's getting relegated?1000+ VOTES SO FAR

RvP thrilled with ‘big big win’ for Gunners

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Robin van Persie was delighted with a "big, big win" for Arsenal after his hat-trick helped the Gunners secure a dramatic 5-3 win at Chelsea. John Terry had looked like ending a bad week on a high after putting Chelsea 2-1 ahead at half-time, but the captain's slip allowed Van Persie to put Arsenal 4-3 up and the Dutchman completed his treble in the closing minutes. "You could see how happy we are at the end because we fought hard and every one of us showed character," Van Persie said on Sky Sports 2. "It's a big, big win for us today." Asked about his second goal, Van Persie added: "I was surprised (when Terry slipped) because it was an easy back pass and I only saw later that he slipped because I was closing him down. "I suddenly realised I was one on one with (Petr) Cech and a couple of things came to my mind to do, but I did the easiest one." Midfielder Aaron Ramsey believes the Gunners are starting to show what they can do after a slow start to the season. "It was a really good game for us, we showed great character coming back from behind," Ramsey added. "I think we deserved it in the end, we createdff contract in June, Kurzawa is said to have already agreed a pre-contract with the Gunners.Asked about the France left-back, Arteta would only say: “An interest in Kurzawa? There is nothing new to say about individual cases, and when we have more in a lot of opportunities and took a lot of them. "We are finally gelling together now and showing what we are capable of doing and this is just an example of that. "I'm sure the manager will look at some of the defending and work on that, but at the end of the day we're happy to get the win." Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas felt the turning point of the game came when Juan Mata missed a chance to put his side 4-3 ahead. "The decisive moment might have been when Mata was free on goal and misses the chance to go 4-3 ahead," Villas-Boas told Sky Sports 2. "We've seen some great open games recently between the topopp made a beeline for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes after their 2-2 draw this week.Correio da Manha has revealed what Klopp told Fernandes after Liverpool’s 2-2 friendly draw with Sporting Lisbon in midweek.The Reds boss was pictured chatting wit teams and this is one more. We will have to reflect on the mistakes we made and there are a couple of things we can improve, but the commitment and desire is there. "We must evolve, it's a loss against a big team picking up form, it's two defeats in a row and we have to get things right." Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with the win, and also the manner in which it was achieved. "It was fantastic to watch, both teams went for it," Wenger said. "In the second half I felt we were completely dominating the game and created chance after chance. "Overall we have shown quality and mental strength as well. To go 2-1 down and come out the way we did shows great resolve in the team. "I thought we looked fragile in defence in the first half but we looked dangerous going forward. "We achieved the target of winning a big game away from home and did it with style, but we have to keep our feet on content_imgthe ground and focus on another big game on Tuesday. "That's the football we want to play, you always think you can get rid of the defensive mistakes we had in the first half." Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal: Van Persie rips Blues apart

Andre Santos ruled out for three months

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Andre Santos has been ruled out for three months – leaving Arsenal without any full-backs for the hectic Christmas schedule. Manager Arsene Wenger must now decide whether to dip into the January transfer market to sign defensive cover. The 28-year-old Brazilian, who suffered ankle ligament damage against Olympiacos last week, will need surgery back in his homeland. With Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkt Solskjaer could be forced to wait to get his man, says the Liverpool-Timo-Werner-RB-Leipzig-Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer”>Sunday Express.RB Leipzig striker Werner has become one of Europe’s most sought-after forwards and Solskjaer is keen to strengthen hisinson all on the injury list too, Wenger fielded four centre-halves in his defence against Everton on Saturday. The injury to Santos, a summer content_imgsigning from Fenerbahce, came just as the 28-year-old Brazil international was finding his feet in English football. He will now be out until March. A statement on the club’s official e to watch in the title race.With Brendan Rodgers team making a positive start to the season, James thinks they can sneak into the battle for the Premier League again.The club famously won the title a few years ago despite being nearly 1000/1 odds atwebsite, , read: “We can confirm that, following investigations and subsequent medical opinions by club specialists, left-back Andre Santos will have surgery to repair ligament damage in his right ankle sustained in the game against Olympiacos last week. “Andre will have surgery in Brazil this week and is expected to be out for around three months. Everyone at the club wishes him well.” Meanwhile, Arsenal are looking at options for next summer’s pre-season after the decision to put their traditional Emirates Cup event on ice for a year because of a clash of dates with the Olympic Games.