The players i mentioned are considered top midfielders in Europe.
It's would be quite ironic that the 2 best club in Spain are being linked to him when there are suppose to be better midfielders in their country available?
England never had a top midfielder since Gazza. A younger Scholes was probably the closest thing they had till date.
'I want to make a name for myself' - Kagawa declines Manchester United's iconic No. 7 shirt
The new signing from Borussia Dortmund revealed his preference to journalists after returning to Japan having completing the move following his successful medical
<!-- end social_media div -->Kagawa asked for a number with personal meaning to himManchester United new boy Shinji Kagawa is determined to make a lasting impact at Old Trafford following his move from Borussia Dortmund.The 23-year-old was the subject of interest from major clubs from around the world after impressing this season for the Bundesliga champions. However, Sir Alex Ferguson moved quickly to secure the signing of the Japan midfielder.
Kagawa is now eagerly anticipating getting started for the Red Devils and insists he wants to carve out his own legacy at Old Trafford after turning down the chance to wear the famed No.7 shirt once donned with such distinction by George Best, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
United's latest signing announced the decision in an impromptu press conference at Tokyo's Narita Airport following a whirlwind trip to England.
In addition to a flock of journalists, the Japan international was greeted by 100 fans seeking autographs and handshakes.
"I've just joined the team and haven't accomplished anything yet," Kagawa said after the 12-hour flight. "I want to make a name for myself [at United] on my own terms."
Kagawa further elaborated that he had asked for a number with personal meaning, leading to speculation among Japanese media that the player could wear the 8, 26, or 29 he once wore at Cerezo Osaka, or the 23 shirt that brought him fame at Dortmund.
"I don't know which numbers are free," Kagawa coyly told reporters. "I gave them my requests, but they aren't as important a number [as No. 7]"
Despite the rigorous travel schedule, the Samurai Blue star still appeared excited after finally putting pen to paper on the move.
"The contract was as long as I'd expected from a club [like United]," Kagawa laughed. "When I was at [Old Trafford], I thought about how incredible it would be if I could score there."
In today's paper, the guy wrote he just came back from England and the Euros is being shown for free on BBC and ITV.
If this being the case, I really wonder how much did Starhub paid for it? How come they are keeping so quiet about how much they paid for it?
I am beginning to think there is an agreement between them like since singtel got the PL, the Euros will be given to starhub kind of deal going on...
Come on you blues: Italy joke they'll watch porn instead of tapes of England
Laughing Buffon and his team-mates sound more interested in studying loins than Lions before Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final
Gianluigi Buffon reckons he will watching blue movies rather than studying videos of England’s penalty takers.
Italy keeper Buffon knows Sunday night’s Euro 2012 quarter-final between the two nations is being tipped to be a tight affair that could well go to a shoot-out.
At a Friday press conference, Buffon was asked by the Mirror if he would be watching recordings of England’s penalty-takers - and his watching team-mates joked he will watch X-rated DVDs instead.
In a light-hearted exchange, the Juventus stopper laughed and said: “We have not watched any videos today, but we will watch a video tonight!”
His answer prompted more suggestive remarks and Italy’s other two keepers, Morgan De Sanctis and Salvatore Sirigu, joined in on the joke.
Planning for a semi: Buffon wants to finish within 90 minutes
The Azzurri are clearly in good spirits ahead of their Euro 2012 showdown with England but, like their opponents, they have a chequered history in penalty shoot-outs.
Buffon, part of the team that won the 2006 World Cup Final against France on spot-kicks, said: “I have won twice and lost once on penalties. But I hope Italy win before penalties but if it comes to it we’ll do our best.
“I think Italy are very even with England. I don’t see any favourites. It will be a very tight game.”
Meanwhile, England’s training camp in Krakow has been infiltrated by a mole - but of the furry animal kind, rather than an Azzurri spy.
The mole was chased around the terraces at their Hutnik base before security men eventually caught and removed it, causing much laughter among FA staff and players.Edited by zocoss 24 Jun `12, 1:33AM
Kag in the bagRED DEVIL ... Shinji Kagawa
SHINJI KAGAWA has sealed his move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal.
The Japan midfielder passed a medical at Old Trafford earlier today, obtained a UK work permit and agreed a contract commencing on July 1.
Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson said: “Shinji is an exciting young midfielder with great skill, vision and a good eye for goal.
“I am delighted he has chosen to come to United.
“I believe he will make an impact upon the team very quickly as he is suited to United’s style of play.
“We are all looking forward to working with him.”
Kagawa, 23, added: “This is a challenge I am really looking forward to.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and Manchester United is such a massive club.
“This is a really exciting time for me. I can’t wait to meet the team and start playing.”
Flying visit: Shinji Kagawa jets in to England for 11 hour visit to complete United medical
Kagawa left Tokyo late last night local time to begin his gruelling 13,700-mile round trip and is expected in Manchester today.<!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->Shinji in the rain: Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa leaves a Manchester hospital after a 4 hour medical for Manchester United
Talk about a flying visit - Shinji Kagawa is jetting into the UK today for just 11 hours to undergo his medical at Manchester United.
Kagawa left Tokyo late last night local time to begin his gruelling 13,700-mile round trip and is expected in Manchester today.
The Japan midfielder won't even have time to visit Old Trafford before he jumps on his plane back to Tokyo.
Kagawa said as he left Tokyo's Narita airport: "It's just a medical. I hope it will end with no problems."Kagawa's medical is the latest step in his £17million transfer to United from Borussia Dortmund and his last hurdle will be obtaining a work permit.
United's initial application is expected to be rejected because he has not played in 75 per cent of Japan's games over the last three years, but granted on appeal.
Kagawa has admitted there will be no hiding place for him at United.
"I have no doubt it will truly be a big challenge for me and I realise that mistakes will not be tolerated," said Kagawa.
"I have to work harder than ever. I have to take this step with that sort of resolve," the 23-year-old said.
Kagawa, who was also tracked by Arsenal, Chelsea and AC Milan, met with Ferguson before signing and revealed the United boss had assured him he would play a key role next season.
Key man: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson persuaded Kagawa to join the club
"I was grateful to hear that from such a great person," Kagawa said.
"In the end Manchester [United] was the club that I most wanted to go to."
The Euro could have been more exciting for the local fans had more people been given the chance to follow it. However the pricing have more of less priced lots of fans out of the game. If you don't watch it, then you will be less excited by it... If you are less excited by it, then you will not talk much about it in your normal daily routine...
For me i didn't subscribe as i didn't want to pay so much for it. I personally know quite a lot of guys who forego it as well. This being the case, we don't talk so much about it or the match moments like we do with previous WC or Euro. We only follow it by reading the news and watching the goals on the internet. So the excitement is really none existence, it's like reading the newspaper during your free time to catch up. lol...
Actually i think he is a rather good choice for the Blackburn owners.
He knows the game well enough, he has kept himself up to date and has been at it for like more than 10 years and knows the English and European game well... Never afraid to speak his mind out. I find he does say some pretty right stuff on Tv although not the most popular. I actually think he is good for the previously 'headless chicken' style of Blackburn.
Now he is their DOF, the manager has to take his views into account and answer to him too... Not bad' cos previously they got an Indian guy who manage chicken business running a football club. At least now they got an actual football man.Edited by zocoss 20 Jun `12, 11:03AM
How much they paid for it they are not going to tell us the truth. Take Singtel for example, they always report that they paid $400m for the EPL but in truth, it's all made up. The reports always say... Reported to be $400m, or rumoured to be... But never give a definite sum. They are not going to tell the public how much they paid for it... They are not even telling their shareholders how much they paid for it which by right they should but afraid the truth will come out to the public. Otherwise how are they going to justify charging fans $34.90 for it?
Now they are already preparing the ground for the next increase... Expect to pay more from 2013 season onwards.
I believed starhub make a tidy sum from the Euro even when there is lesser subscribing this time around as the lesser few made up with the higher chargers.
Tottenham set to offer manager's job to André Villas-Boas
• Daniel Levy wants dynamic young coach to drive club forward
• Villas-Boas has sought assurances about future of Luka ModricAndré Villas-Boas is understood to be Tottenham's first choice to succeed Harry Redknapp as manager. Photograph: Michael Mayhew/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar...
Tottenham Hotspur have held direct negotiations with André Villas-Boas and they are poised to offer him the manager's job. Tottenham officials met Villas‑Boas's agent in London last Friday and Saturday to explain what they were looking for in the successor to Harry Redknapp, who they sacked last Wednesday. But they have since accelerated the process by speaking directly to Villas-Boas.
The 34-year-old Portuguese, who was dismissed by Chelsea in March, was initially unsure whether he was the Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy's first choice for the vacancy. He felt that Levy had other candidates in mind, which was true, with Everton's David Moyes numbering among them. But it has become clear that Villas‑Boas is the man that Levy wants to lead Tottenham into a new era.
The sacking of Redknapp represented a gamble, as he had led the club to fourth-, fifth- and fourth-placed finishes in the Premier League in the past three seasons, only missing out on Champions League qualification last month when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final of the competition.
Villas-Boas knows that Levy's minimum requirement is to qualify for Europe's elite tournament. The chairman also wants to be challenging for the league title in the near future. Redknapp often said he thought "there was a championship in this club". It is a demanding brief and the jury remains out in some quarters over Villas‑Boas. He has plenty to prove after his ill-fated Chelsea tenure, when he failed to impose his will on the squad's strong personalities. It hurt his reputation that, after his dismissal, the team recovered to win the Champions League and FA Cup under Roberto Di Matteo. But Levy has come to view Villas-Boas as the dynamic young coach to drive the club forward.
Villas-Boas and his representative have sought assurances about the future of Tottenham's best players, chief among them the midfielder Luka Modric, who has exited Euro 2012 with Croatia and is determined to be granted a big transfer this summer. Villas‑Boas tried to sign Modric when he was at Chelsea last summer, only for Levy to block the £40m proposal.
It is unclear whether Levy will be able to hold on to Modric for another season, although he is empowered to hold the player to his contract, which has four years to run. He is adamant he would not sell Modric to Chelsea or Manchester United but he may be more receptive to a bid from Real Madrid, particularly if the sum on offer was upwards of £40m.
Tottenham's new manager, though, will be granted a large transfer kitty to reshape the squad in his image, and it stands to be even larger if Modric were to leave. The priority area is centre-forward. The club are struggling to satisfy Emmanuel Adebayor's wage demands to make his loan move from Manchester City permanent; they have not taken up the option on Louis Saha. Jermain Defoe is the only established striker.
Levy is keen to find a more senior role within the set-up for Tim Sherwood, the youth development squad coach. Sherwood survived the cull of Redknapp's backroom staff, which accounted for Kevin Bond, Joe Jordan and Clive Allen, because Levy considers him to be an asset to the club.
England 1-0 Ukraine
Hodgson: We exceeded expectations
Coach pleased as England top group
England were boosted by Rooney's return© PA Photos
Roy Hodgson said he was surprised to see England navigate the early matches of Euro 2012 so smoothly after his team sealed top spot in Group D with a 1-0 defeat of Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine.
Wayne Rooney, returning from a two-match suspension, scored the only goal of the game to send England through to a quarter-final clash with Italy on Sunday.
England were fortunate not to be pegged back in the second period when John Terry appeared to clear Marko Devic's shot after the ball had already crossed the line. But on the whole, Hodgson felt that England were good value for the triumph in only his third competitive game in charge of the side.
Asked if the team had exceeded his expectations, Hodgson said to ITV: "Yes, absolutely. I think [the team] have been really good from the start. And if someone had said we were going to win the group, I don't think there would have been too many takers - most people seemed to think we wouldn't get out of the group.
"We've won [the group] on points, rather than goal difference, and that gives us an extra day's rest which we're badly in need of, because it was an extra-hard game for us tonight. This was an away game with a capital 'a'. There were 60,000 in the stadium, and only 4,000 brave Englishmen. So we didn't have much going for us in that respect.
"I thought it was a really good defensive, disciplined performance - and we needed a bit of luck where the ball may have crossed the line, and we got that luck and were able to carry on and win the match.
"We weren't showing enough composure on the ball when we broke out, and I think that's something we can work on and improve. But this is a fledgling team, we've not been working together for very long, and we are working on our game. Showing composure in attacking areas is always the most difficult area of football."
England captain Steven Gerrard believes his side are slowly hitting form at the right time.
Gerrard provided the assist as the returning Wayne Rooney headed home from point-blank range for the winner just after half-time and he feels an unheralded squad can continue to improve. England now face Italy in the quarter-final on Sunday.
He told ITV1: "It was a difficult group and the idea was to try and win it. No-one believed in us at the start but we're gaining momentum at the right time.
"I don't think tonight's performance was fantastic, but we stuck together, got the job done and won 1-0 against a good team. We've been criticised in the past maybe for not turning up, under-performing and we can take that, we're man enough. But you saw a reaction. When you get criticised it's not nice and you have to react by playing better and I think that's what we did.''
Rooney was visibly buoyed by his return to the side.
"Obviously I was delighted with the win and to score,'' said the Manchester United man. "I haven't scored at a major tournament for a while (since 2004) so it was nice to get a goal which won us the game.
"We stuck in well at times against a difficult crowd and overall we deserved the win.''
Asked how he felt about Italy in the next round, Rooney was more eager to stress his own side's qualities.
"I said before it doesn't matter (who the quarter-final opponents are). The main thing was to get through the group and to finish top,'' he added. "We know our qualities and what we're capable of. We've worked hard, done a lot of tactical play in training. We're difficult to beat and I don't think any team will fancy playing us."
You're dropped! Chelsea staff have broken the Champions League trophy (report)
Handle left hanging off after three security personnel had an after-hours photo session with Roman Abramovich's most prized possession.<!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->Careful now: For the record, bungling toff chancellor George Osborne was not responsible for breaking the trophy...
It has been reported that three members of Chelsea FC staff have been suspended, after the Champions League trophy got damaged in an unauthorised photo session.
One of the handles of the trophy was hanging off after three security personnel popped in out of their usual hours to pose for pictures with the jug to show to friends.
Having broken the jug, they apparently did the only reasonable thing when you've knackered the boss's prize possession - put it back and hope no-one noticed.
But a member of staff spotted the damage the following day and reported it to club officials. The trophy was sent to a London silversmith for emergency repairs.
Chelsea have reportedly confirmed that the site visit was unauthorised, and the personnel in question did not have permission to be in the building out of hours. The club's chief executive Ron Gourlay is conducting an internal investigation.
The trophy was not locked away when one of the handles was broken – Chelsea have apparently been passing it around various departments at Stamford Bridge.
A club spokesman said: "The trophy was accidentally damaged while pictures were being taken. It was minor damage and has already been repaired. We don't make comment on staff matters."Edited by zocoss 19 Jun `12, 11:23PM
Arsenal's £12.8m deal for Giroud is done, now to tie up Van Persie
Double deal: Giroud (left) is set to join Arsenal while Van Persie (right) will be offered a new contract
Arsenal will step up efforts to nail Robin van Persie to a new contract despite the imminent £12.8million signing of Olivier Giroud from Montpellier - a deal Sportsmail exclusively revealed on June 12.
The France forward, 25, is expected to sign a four-year contract worth £45,000 a week and is viewed as a replacement for out-of-favour Marouane Chamakh, who is likely to be sold, rather than Van Persie.Arsenal remain determined to get their skipper to sign a three-year deal worth £130,000 a week with a £5m loyalty bonus.
Van Persie’s representatives have held two rounds of talks with Arsenal, when the 28-year-old said he was not ready to sign new terms.
Sexy Soccer: Topless porn stars clash in international football match [WARNING: not safe for work - AT ALL!]
Take leading porn actresses from Germany and Denmark, give them a football and this is what you get...
Women's football occasionally struggles for crowds but there was no lack of interest when it came to this fixture in Berlin, Germany.
Ahead of their Group B clash at the European Championships in Ukraine, Germany and Denmark both put forward a team of leading pornographic actresses to represent their country.
The ladies in question were dressed in nothing but a pair of skimpy shorts and some patriotic bodypaint as the Danes rode out as victors.
Check out our gallery for all of the pictures, but be careful, it is decidedly not safe for work!Edited by zocoss 19 Jun `12, 11:43AM
Barclays Premier League 2012/13 fixtures released
The full fixture list for the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League campaign has been released
The fixtures for the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season have been released.
All fixtures are subject to change. It is envisaged that the first batch of broadcast selections for the 2012/13 season will be completed by 13th July 2012 and will affect fixtures played between Saturday 18th August and Friday 30th November 2012.
Saturday, August 18th, 2012
Arsenal v Sunderland
Everton v Manchester United
Fulham v Norwich City
Manchester City v Southampton
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Reading v Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool
West Ham United v Aston Villa
Wigan Athletic v Chelsea
Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Aston Villa v Everton
Chelsea v Newcastle United
Liverpool v Manchester City
Manchester United v Fulham
Norwich City v Queens Park Rangers
Southampton v Wigan Athletic
Stoke City v Arsenal
Sunderland v Reading
Swansea City v West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion
Saturday, September 1st, 2012
Chelsea v Reading
Liverpool v Arsenal
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Southampton v Manchester United
Swansea City v Sunderland
Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City
West Bromwich Albion v Everton
West Ham United v Fulham
Wigan Athletic v Stoke City
Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Arsenal v Southampton
Aston Villa v Swansea City
Everton v Newcastle United
Fulham v West Bromwich Albion
Manchester United v Wigan Athletic
Norwich City v West Ham United
Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea
Reading v Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City v Manchester City
Sunderland v Liverpool
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Chelsea v Stoke City
Liverpool v Manchester United
Manchester City v Arsenal
Newcastle United v Norwich City
Southampton v Aston Villa
Swansea City v Everton
Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers
West Bromwich Albion v Reading
West Ham United v Sunderland
Wigan Athletic v Fulham
Saturday, September 29th, 2012
Arsenal v Chelsea
Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion
Everton v Southampton
Fulham v Manchester City
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
Norwich City v Liverpool
Queens Park Rangers v West Ham United
Reading v Newcastle United
Stoke City v Swansea City
Sunderland v Wigan Athletic
Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Chelsea v Norwich City
Liverpool v Stoke City
Manchester City v Sunderland
Newcastle United v Manchester United
Southampton v Fulham
Swansea City v Reading
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa
West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers
West Ham United v Arsenal
Wigan Athletic v Everton
Saturday, October 20th, 2012
Fulham v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Reading
Manchester United v Stoke City
Norwich City v Arsenal
Queens Park Rangers v Everton
Sunderland v Newcastle United
Swansea City v Wigan Athletic
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
West Ham United v Southampton
Saturday, October 27th, 2012
Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers
Aston Villa v Norwich City
Chelsea v Manchester United
Everton v Liverpool
Manchester City v Swansea City
Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion
Reading v Fulham
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City v Sunderland
Wigan Athletic v West Ham United
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
Fulham v Everton
Liverpool v Newcastle United
Manchester United v Arsenal
Norwich City v Stoke City
Queens Park Rangers v Reading
Sunderland v Aston Villa
Swansea City v Chelsea
Tottenham Hotspur v Wigan Athletic
West Bromwich Albion v Southampton
West Ham United v Manchester City
Saturday, November 10th, 2012
Arsenal v Fulham
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Chelsea v Liverpool
Everton v Sunderland
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
Newcastle United v West Ham United
Reading v Norwich City
Southampton v Swansea City
Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic v West Bromwich Albion
Saturday, November 17th, 2012
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
Fulham v Sunderland
Liverpool v Wigan Athletic
Manchester City v Aston Villa
Newcastle United v Swansea City
Norwich City v Manchester United
Queens Park Rangers v Southampton
Reading v Everton
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea
West Ham United v Stoke City
Saturday, November 24th, 2012
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Chelsea v Manchester City
Everton v Norwich City
Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers
Southampton v Newcastle United
Stoke City v Fulham
Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion
Swansea City v Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United
Wigan Athletic v Reading
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
Aston Villa v Reading
Manchester United v West Ham United
Southampton v Norwich City
Stoke City v Newcastle United
Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
Wigan Athletic v Manchester City
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Chelsea v Fulham
Everton v Arsenal
Saturday, December 1st, 2012
Arsenal v Swansea City
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v Southampton
Manchester City v Everton
Newcastle United v Wigan Athletic
Norwich City v Sunderland
Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa
Reading v Manchester United
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City
West Ham United v Chelsea
Saturday, December 8th, 2012
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa v Stoke City
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
Fulham v Newcastle United
Manchester City v Manchester United
Southampton v Reading
Sunderland v Chelsea
Swansea City v Norwich City
West Ham United v Liverpool
Wigan Athletic v Queens Park Rangers
Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Chelsea v Southampton
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Manchester United v Sunderland
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Norwich City v Wigan Athletic
Queens Park Rangers v Fulham
Reading v Arsenal
Stoke City v Everton
Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United
Saturday, December 22nd, 2012
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Fulham
Manchester City v Reading
Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers
Southampton v Sunderland
Swansea City v Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City
West Ham United v Everton
Wigan Athletic v Arsenal
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
Arsenal v West Ham United
Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
Everton v Wigan Athletic
Fulham v Southampton
Manchester United v Newcastle United
Norwich City v Chelsea
Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion
Reading v Swansea City
Stoke City v Liverpool
Sunderland v Manchester City
Saturday, December 29th, 2012
Arsenal v Newcastle United
Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic
Everton v Chelsea
Fulham v Swansea City
Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion
Norwich City v Manchester City
Queens Park Rangers v Liverpool
Reading v West Ham United
Stoke City v Southampton
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
Chelsea v Queens Park Rangers
Liverpool v Sunderland
Manchester City v Stoke City
Newcastle United v Everton
Southampton v Arsenal
Swansea City v Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur v Reading
West Bromwich Albion v Fulham
West Ham United v Norwich City
Wigan Athletic v Manchester United
Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Arsenal v Manchester City
Aston Villa v Southampton
Everton v Swansea City
Fulham v Wigan Athletic
Manchester United v Liverpool
Norwich City v Newcastle United
Queens Park Rangers v Tottenham Hotspur
Reading v West Bromwich Albion
Stoke City v Chelsea
Sunderland v West Ham United
Saturday, January 19th, 2013
Chelsea v Arsenal
Liverpool v Norwich City
Manchester City v Fulham
Newcastle United v Reading
Southampton v Everton
Swansea City v Stoke City
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United
West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa
West Ham United v Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic v Sunderland
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Arsenal v Liverpool
Aston Villa v Newcastle United
Manchester United v Southampton
Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur
Queens Park Rangers v Manchester City
Reading v Chelsea
Stoke City v Wigan Athletic
Sunderland v Swansea City
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Everton v West Bromwich Albion
Fulham v West Ham United
Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
Arsenal v Stoke City
Everton v Aston Villa
Fulham v Manchester United
Manchester City v Liverpool
Newcastle United v Chelsea
Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City
Reading v Sunderland
West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United v Swansea City
Wigan Athletic v Southampton
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
Aston Villa v West Ham United
Chelsea v Wigan Athletic
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion
Manchester United v Everton
Norwich City v Fulham
Southampton v Manchester City
Stoke City v Reading
Sunderland v Arsenal
Swansea City v Queens Park Rangers
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Fulham v Stoke City
Liverpool v Swansea City
Manchester City v Chelsea
Newcastle United v Southampton
Norwich City v Everton
Queens Park Rangers v Manchester United
Reading v Wigan Athletic
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Aston Villa v Manchester City
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion
Everton v Reading
Manchester United v Norwich City
Southampton v Queens Park Rangers
Stoke City v West Ham United
Sunderland v Fulham
Swansea City v Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Wigan Athletic v Liverpool
Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Arsenal v Everton
Fulham v Chelsea
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
Newcastle United v Stoke City
Norwich City v Southampton
Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland
Reading v Aston Villa
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City
West Ham United v Manchester United
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers
Chelsea v West Ham United
Everton v Manchester City
Manchester United v Reading
Southampton v Liverpool
Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland v Norwich City
Swansea City v Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham
Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United
Saturday, March 30th, 2013
Arsenal v Reading
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Everton v Stoke City
Fulham v Queens Park Rangers
Manchester City v Newcastle United
Southampton v Chelsea
Sunderland v Manchester United
Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion
Wigan Athletic v Norwich City
Saturday, April 6th, 2013
Chelsea v Sunderland
Liverpool v West Ham United
Manchester United v Manchester City
Newcastle United v Fulham
Norwich City v Swansea City
Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic
Reading v Southampton
Stoke City v Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
Arsenal v Norwich City
Aston Villa v Fulham
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
Everton v Queens Park Rangers
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle United v Sunderland
Reading v Liverpool
Southampton v West Ham United
Stoke City v Manchester United
Wigan Athletic v Swansea City
Saturday, April 20th, 2013
Fulham v Arsenal
Liverpool v Chelsea
Manchester United v Aston Villa
Norwich City v Reading
Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City
Sunderland v Everton
Swansea City v Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United
West Ham United v Wigan Athletic
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
Arsenal v Manchester United
Aston Villa v Sunderland
Chelsea v Swansea City
Everton v Fulham
Manchester City v West Ham United
Newcastle United v Liverpool
Reading v Queens Park Rangers
Southampton v West Bromwich Albion
Stoke City v Norwich City
Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Fulham v Reading
Liverpool v Everton
Manchester United v Chelsea
Norwich City v Aston Villa
Queens Park Rangers v Arsenal
Sunderland v Stoke City
Swansea City v Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton
West Bromwich Albion v Wigan Athletic
West Ham United v Newcastle United
Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Arsenal v Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Everton v West Ham United
Fulham v Liverpool
Manchester United v Swansea City
Norwich City v West Bromwich Albion
Queens Park Rangers v Newcastle United
Reading v Manchester City
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
Sunderland v Southampton
Sunday, May 19th, 2013
Chelsea v Everton
Liverpool v Queens Park Rangers
Manchester City v Norwich City
Newcastle United v Arsenal
Southampton v Stoke City
Swansea City v Fulham
Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United
West Ham United v Reading
Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa
Clarke 'excited' to face Liverpool
By ESPN staffPA PhotosSteve Clarke moved to Liverpool in 2011 as first-team coach
Former Liverpool first-team coach Steve Clarke has confessed he was "disappointed" to lose his job at Anfield, revealing it was "not nice" to see manager Kenny Dalglish forced out of the club.
Clarke held his first press conference as West Brom boss on Monday, just hours after the new Premier League fixtures were released. The Baggies drew Liverpool on the opening weekend, meaning Clarke gets an instant reunion with the players he coached last season.
"I was delighted, I've got nothing but good memories from my time at Liverpool, so to have them for my first game at the Hawthorns will be fantastic," Clarke said. "It takes a lot to get me really excited, but this morning I woke up excited."
Clarke was widely credited as the man responsible for organising Liverpool's defence last season, a defence that was only bettered by the Manchester clubs over 38 games. However, when the Liverpool owners opted to part company with Dalglish, Clarke also made way for the new Brendan Rodgers regime.
Asked if he felt wronged in any way by the club, Clarke stopped short of answering in the affirmative, but he did hint that loyalty simply does not exist in modern-day football.
"Losing my job at Liverpool over the summer was disappointing," Clarke said. "Football has changed, success has to be instant and it has to be on a level expected at whatever club you're at.
"If you look at Harry Redknapp at Tottenham, success can only be measured in the context of the club you're working for. Obviously it was disappointing. I was disappointed for Kenny, that's his club and for him to leave in that way was not nice for Kenny, so I felt for him.
"But the game's changed and you have to accept that if you don't meet the expectations of the people who run the club, you have to pay the price."
<!-- end story body -->Edited by zocoss 19 Jun `12, 10:24AM
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Mancini Mob (and Chelsea) will play five of six PL fixtures immediately after Champions League at HOME... United will play five of their six AWAY!You what? Who's going to tell Fergie that the fixture list has stitched him up...
Premier League champions Manchester City have been handed an inadvertent boost in their bid to retain their title with the publication of next season's fixtures.
Roberto Mancini's side will play five of their six matches immediately after Champions League games at the Etihad Stadium.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to be impressed, however, with five away matches following European ties for his team.
These include trips to north-west rivals Liverpool, Newcastle, Champions League winners Chelsea and Aston Villa ahead of, on December 8, the Manchester derby at the Etihad.
Chelsea also have five matches at home post-Champions League games while Arsenal's six games have an equal split.
City start their league defence with a home game against newly-promoted Southampton and finish at the Etihad against Norwich.
United make the short trip to Everton on the opening weekend of the season and close their campaign at West Brom.
Arsenal have a home opener against Sunderland while Chelsea travel to Wigan on August 18. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told wiganlatics.co.uk: "We have been handed a really exciting opening again, with the Champions League winners at the DW. It is going to be a fascinating start.
"It's a cliche but every team is competitive at this level, and we need to be ready for another huge challenge over the coming months."
Brendan Rodgers first match in charge as Liverpool boss will be against West Brom side led by Steve Clarke
New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers begins with a trip to the Hawthorns to face a West Brom side led by Steve Clarke , who left Anfield when Rodgers arrived earlier this month, in his managerial appointment after years as a number two.
"I was delighted. I have nothing but good memories from my time at Liverpool so to face them in the first game here at the Hawthorns will be fantastic," said Clarke. "It takes a lot to get me really excited but this morning I was excited."
Possibly of more concern to Rodgers though will be their first three home fixtures against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Last season's surprise package Newcastle take on Europa League rivals Tottenham, who finished a place above them in fourth last season. Magpies boss Alan Pardew is looking forward to a repeat of last year's contest on Tyneside, which finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
On the edge of his seat: Toon boss Pardew is excited about the season to come
Pardew told The Chronicle: "When you look back to last year the game with Spurs was one of the best games for us at home last season. They will have a new manager and it will be tough. But we are already looking forward to it."
If Southampton's first fixture on their return to the Premier League was testing, Reading and West Ham were given seemingly kinder starts. The Royals - back in the top flight after a four-year absence - are at home to Stoke, while Aston Villa visit Upton Park.
West Ham chairman David Gold is eyeing revenge after seeing his team make an immediate return to the Premier League. He said: "I'm pleased it's Aston Villa first. The last time we played them in our first game, two years ago, they beat us 3-0. So I'm looking forward to reversing that score.
"It's important to get off to a good start. The season before last we lost our first four games but Aston Villa at home and Swansea away are games you can expect to get something from.
"Our last game is at home to Reading. Let's hope it's a nice afternoon with nothing riding on it - or we're in a Champions League position - that would be nice. But we're getting stronger financially, morale is high and the future is bright."
On the Hammers' transfer situation, Gold added on Sky Sports News: "We're connected with about 20 players and we're hoping to bring in maybe four by the close of window.
"We did our very best to keep (goalkeeper) Robert Green and it's very sad we've lost him. But we wish him well and I'm sure he'll be a great servant to whichever club he goes to."
Norwich manager Chris Hughton's first competitive game is at Fulham, while the other Premier League opener takes place less than three miles away at Loftus Road, where QPR host Swansea.Edited by zocoss 19 Jun `12, 10:34AM
Nani who?: United line up Porto starlet to replace contract-rebel winger
Watch the £25million-rated Colombia international who has already admitted it's his dream to play for the Red Devils<!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->Hot Rod: The Colombian's nothing to sniff at
Manchester United are lining up Porto winger James Rodriguez as a potential replacement for Nani.
Portugal star Nani has already admitted publicly he may quit Old Trafford this summer, and Inter Milan are watching developments closely.
Colombian starlet Rodriguez, 20, is rated in the £25million range by Porto, and has already admitted a dream of playing for United.
United scouts have been tracking Rodriguez this season and even went to South America to watch him in action for the national team.
However, they may face competition for his signature from Bayern Munich.
Nani, meanwhile, fears he is being frozen out of Old Trafford.
He is said be furious he has had no contact from anyone at United during Euro 2012, despite impressing at the tournament.
United manager Alex Ferguson is known for keeping in touch with his players by phone or text message, but sources within the Portugal camp say Nani is angry and feels isolated.
Message received: Nani's angry that United boss Fergie hasn't rung him
The revelation comes amid fears within Nani’s camp that the winger is being forced out of United, who have yet to offer him a new contract.
Nani still has two years left on his existing deal, but it was expected the 25-year-old would be rewarded with an improved contract to reflect the progress he has made at United.
But negotiations between Nani’s representatives and United have stalled, with the former fearing the latter are trying to ship him out of Old Trafford.
The arrival of Japan star Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund, and the fact wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are already established at United, has cast doubt on Nani’s future.
Croatia 0 Spain 1JESUS HEIST ... Spain's Jesus Navas celebrates his late winner
JESUS NAVAS grabbed a dramatic last-gasp winner to send Spain top of Group C of Euro 2012.
But the Spanish fans were left hailing keeper Iker Casillas as their Messiah for a string of saves when a huge shock looked on the cards.
In the end, the Croats crashed out but they came agonisingly close to dumping the reigning champions from the competition.
Super sub Jesus Navas pounced for the only goal two minutes from time. But there was no doubting who was the man of the match in the eyes of the Spanish fans as they chanted the name of Captain Marvel Casillas at the whistle.
England manager Roy Hodgson will be praying his side now finish top of Group D tonight in a bid to avoid Spain — but even then, that would leave a tough clash with Italy, the runners-up in Group C.
Slaven Bilic’s Croatia did show England how to get at Spain.
The champions will still be a monstrous prospect of course.But they have problems, mostly of their own making, as boss Vicente del Bosque keeps insisting on playing without a striker.
Although he started Fernando Torres last night, the two-goal hero of the win against Ireland was hauled off after just 60 minutes for Jesus Navas, a move that angered his own fans.
All the talk of a “fix” came from paranoid Italy — a country whose game is currently beset with match-fixing problems.
There certainly did not appear any signs of collusion — that would have guaranteed both sides passage into the quarter-finals — between two of Europe’s best teams.
Italy had angered both camps by suggesting they would cook up the mutually convenient result to advance at the expense of the Azzurri.
A 2-2 draw would have been enough for that to happen and there were many chances for that to happen.Bilic switched his regular 4-4-2 formation to a 4-2-3-1 shape to stem the passing flow of Spain.
It worked as keeper Stipe Pletikosa only had to make comfortable saves from David Silva and Torres when the Spaniards managed a shot on target.
Xabi Alonso tried from 35 yards and Gerard Pique from 30 yards and that was indicative of how the Spanish were struggling to find a breakthrough.
Croatia, on the other hand, were always dangerous and Spurs playmaker Luka Modric set up Danijel Pranjic but Casillas produced his first of many good saves.
Silva then fired straight at Pletikosa and seconds later the Manchester City star’s toe-poke forced another save from the keeper.The second half belonged to Croatia as news of Italy’s lead against Ireland forced them on the attack. Modric went on an electric run just before the hour, producing a pinpoint cross for Ivan Rakitic but his bullet header was brilliantly blocked by Casillas. It was a huge chance.
Torres’ thunderous face told its own story as he gave way to Jesus Navas after just 60 minutes.
Within minutes the Spanish fans showed their disgust shouting “Llorente, Llorente” in a plea to bring on the Athletic Bilbao striker.
Bilic responded by introducing another striker and a winger in Everton’s Nikica Jelavic and Ivan Perisic.Almost immediately they could have scored as on 69 minutes Perisic crossed but Jelavic just failed to nod home.
Croatia were the better side and popular demand for Llorente grew louder and louder.
Instead, Del Bosque opted for another attacking midfielder in Cesc Fabregas.
The former Arsenal star scored in the first two games against Italy and then Ireland.
His goal against the Irish came as a late substitute after the team had played with an out-and-out striker in Torres and stormed to a three-goal lead.It was almost as if Del Bosque stubbornly refused to accept the painfully obvious view that for all the class and sleekness of their passing, Spain repeatedly over-do it in front of goal.
Andres Iniesta found Fabregas in the box but his Barca team-mate hesitated and his shot was blocked.
Another brilliant move, that started with Modric, saw Rakitic cross for Perisic but his blast was blocked by Casillas.Bilic threw on ex-Arsenal star Eduardo for Ognjen Vukuojevic as he went searching for a breakthrough.
But with Croatia throwing everyone forward, Spain hit them on the break as Iniesta ran through and squared for Jesus Navas to tap in.
SUN STAR MAN — CASILLAS (SPAIN)
CROATIA: Pletikosa 7, Vida 6, Corluka 7, Schildenfeld 7, Strinic 7, Vukojevic 7, Rakitic 7, Srna 8, Modric 8, Pranjic 6, Mandzukic 6. SUBS: Jelavic (Vida 66) 6, Perisic (Pranjic 66) 7, Eduardo (Vukojevic 81) 7. Booked: Corluka, Srna, Strinic, Rakitic, Mandsukic, Jelavic.
SPAIN: Casillas 8, Arbeloa 6, Pique 7, Ramos 7, Alba 6, Xavi 6, Busquets 6, Alonso 6, Silva 6, Torres 6, Iniesta 7. SUBS: Navas (Torres 60) 7, Fabregas (Silva 73) 6, Negredo (Xavi 89) 5.Edited by zocoss 19 Jun `12, 9:55AM
Spain no longer kings of footballHEADING HOME ... Slaven Bilic saw his Croatia side knocked out of the Euros last night...
CROATIA boss Slaven Bilic believes Spain are no longer the unbeatable powerhouse of football.Bilic’s side had chances to topple the defending Euro kings before a late Jesus Navas strike sent Croatia crashing out..
Now Bilic believes the world and European champs are vulnerable.
He said: “We were close, we could have won. They are Euro and world champions but I don’t see them like big favourites.
“There are lot of teams and maybe there are other teams who have more hunger to win and are more aggressive on the pitch.”
Iker Casillas made a stunning point-blank save to deny Ivan Rakitic with the score 0-0.
Bilic said: “He was a hero for them. Rakitic did everything well but it is not easy when you face Casillas.”