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  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Spain no longer kings of football

      HEADING HOME ... Slaven Bilic saw his Croatia side knocked out of the Euros last night
      HEADING 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.”

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • It’s Blanc Hart Lane

      LAUR AND ORDER ... Laurent Blanc has led France to a 24-game unbeaten run
      LAUR AND ORDER ... Laurent Blanc has led France to a 24-game unbeaten run



      TOTTENHAM have held early talks with Laurent Blanc’s camp over the job at White Hart Lane.

      Spurs are looking at options to replace Harry Redknapp — and France coach Blanc is emerging as a serious contender for chairman Daniel Levy.

      Initial talks were aimed to sound out whether the former Manchester United defender, 46, is interested in the role.

      Blanc’s current contract expires at the end of the Euro 2012 and he is yet to make his intentions known.

      SunSport revealed yesterday how Spurs have cooled on the idea of former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas taking the job.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05

      Spurs stars in AVB revolt


      Andre Villas-Boas
      POISED ... Andre Villas-Boas is being lined up for Spurs




      TOTTENHAM face a player revolt if they push ahead with plans to appoint ex-Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.

      AVB, 34, is earmarked to replace Harry Redknapp and has already held productive talks with the North London club.

      But some senior Spurs stars have spoken to Chelsea players who claimed Villas-Boas was a nightmare to work with and told them to steer well clear of the Portuguese coach.

      Many Tottenham players are already unhappy at Redknapp’s shock sacking last Wednesday.

      And chairman Daniel Levy now faces the prospect of making an appointment that might tear the dressing room apart at White Hart Lane.

      Ruthless Levy, who showed no mercy in sacking Redknapp despite leading Spurs to a fourth-place finish last term, could refuse to be dictated to by militant players and push ahead with his move for AVB.

      Or he may have to turn his attention towards France boss Laurent Blanc or Wigan’s Roberto Martinez.

      Blanc, 46, has transformed the French national team since taking over following their 2010 World Cup debacle.

      They have gone 23 games unbeaten including last week’s 1-1 draw with England and a 2-0 win over co-hosts Ukraine at Euro 2012.

      Blanc also spent three years as manager of Bordeaux, wining the French Double in 2009.

      Spurs have yet to officially approach Wigan owner Dave Whelan for permission to speak to Martinez.

      And one stumbling block to a move for the Spaniard could be the imminent appointment of Tim Sherwood as director of football at Tottenham.

      Martinez, 38, was opposed to working with Louis van Gaal in a similar capacity at Liverpool.

      Edited by zocoss 19 Jun `12, 9:34AM
  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Man Utd 2012/13 fixtures

      Man Utd

      MANCHESTER UNITED fixtures for the 2012/13 Premier League season:


      18 Everton (A)

      25 Fulham (H)


      1 Southampton (A)

      15 Wigan (H)

      22 Liverpool (A)

      29 Tottenham (H)


      6 Newcastle (A)

      20 Stoke (H)

      27 Chelsea (A)


      3 Arsenal (H)

      10 Aston Villa (A)

      17 Norwich (A)

      24 QPR (H)

      27 West Ham (H)


      1 Reading (A)

      8 Man City (A)

      15 Sunderland (H)

      22 Swansea (A)

      26 Newcastle (H)

      29 West Brom (H)


      1 Wigan (A)

      12 Liverpool (H)

      19 Tottenham (A)

      29 Southampton (H)


      2 Fulham (A)

      9 Everton (H)

      23 QPR (A)


      2 Norwich (H)

      9 West Ham (A)

      16 Reading (H)

      30 Sunderland (A)


      6 Man City (H)

      13 Stoke (A)

      20 Aston Villa (H)

      27 Arsenal (A)


      4 Chelsea (H)

      12 Swansea (H)

      19 West Brom (A)

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Robben and Van der Vaart hint at Dutch squad divisions, labelling Euro 2012 campaign 'rubbish'


      Down and out: Arjen Robben

      Down and out: Arjen Robben

      Feeling for the fans: Rafael van der Vaart

      Feeling for the fans: Rafael van der Vaart



      Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart laid the blame of Holland's disastrous Euro 2012 campaign firmly at the door of the players - and not under-fire boss Bert van Marwijk.

      The Dutch, who reached the World Cup final two years ago, lost to Denmark, Germany and Portugal to finish bottom of Group B.

      With allegations of divisions swirling through the Dutch camp, a furious 28-year-old Robben would only say: 'Those problems inside the camp have to stay in the dressing room. I don’t want to really talk about it.

      'I would prefer to get on a bus right now but I am here in front of a camera because it is part of the job.’

      'We have failed with the entire squad. It is time to look in the mirror with all the players. We must all do that. Individually we should look in the mirror and as a team. We have been knocked out in a major tournament with three defeats and that is the stone hard truth. It was a disastrous campaign.'

      And Van der Vaart, who hit the stunning opener in the 2-1 defeat to Portugal added: 'Holland was poor. The conclusion of this tournament has to be hard and we were bad.

      'The players all have to take the blame. We have all been below par. None of us have delivered. But what is the whole point of concluding that, actually.

      'I feel most sorry for the Dutch fans. They turned up in thousands to watch this rubbish.'

      Meanwhile, Van Marwijk responded shirtily to questions surrounding his future.

      'I'm still not concerned with my future,' he said when asked if he would resign. 'It is too soon after the match.'


      Under pressure: Bert van Marwijk

      Under pressure: Bert van Marwijk



      Mark van Bommel, who was left out of the starting line-up by father-in-law Van Marwijk in preference of the more attacking Van der Vaart, told De Telegraaf: 'After the last two years things have changed and the atmosphere was different this time. I'm talking only for myself.'

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Exclusive: Modric on the verge of Spain move as Madrid lead race for Spurs star


      In demand: Luka Modric looks set to leave Tottenham with a number of clubs chasing his signature

      In demand: Luka Modric looks set to leave Tottenham with a number of clubs chasing his signature




      Luka Modric is close to moving to Spain, with Real Madrid desperate to sign the Tottenham midfielder.

      That is the view of Modric’s friend and former Croatia team-mate Mate Bilic, who has claimed Manchester United and Chelsea have competition for the 26-year-old.

      ‘I’m very good friends with Modric,’ said the Sporting Gijon striker. ‘He wants to play in the Spanish league. He loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain. He’s very close to agreeing a move.’

      That revelation comes with Real Madrid preparing a bid for Modric and former Croatia and Real star Davor Suker claiming the Tottenham man is good enough to be a galactico and also claims Manchester City are interested in him.

      United and Chelsea are also keen to sign Modric, who wants to leave White Hart Lane for Champions League football. Managerless Spurs don’t want to lose the linchpin of the midfield but might not be able to resist a second summer of bids, even if clubs might not want to meet Daniel Levy’s £35million valuation.



      Link: Modric (right) is a target for Real Madrid who want him to link up with Xabi Alonso (below left)

      Link: Modric (right) is a target for Real Madrid who want him to link up with Xabi Alonso (below left)


      Xabi Alonso (left) could link up with Luka Modric




      Jose Mourinho is a long-term admirer of Modric and sees him as an integral part of his plan to win the Champions League with a third club. He wants Modric to play alongside Xabi Alonso in central midfield.

      Suker said: ‘Luka Modric is a player who could play for Real Madrid. He needs to be playing for a team that will win trophies. He’d be perfect for them.

      ‘I would recommend that Florentino Perez signs him. If he doesn’t sign for Real Madrid, he’ll end up at Manchester City or Chelsea. He has to leave Tottenham to win trophies.’

      When told about Suker’s praise, Modric said: ‘I am proud he thinks I could be a Real Madrid player. It’s good. I thank him a lot for his words.’

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Chelsea bought Shevchenko for $30.8m when he was about 29 going on to 30 didn't they?

      I guess it would take a big money offer to persuade gunners to sell.

      Anyway, for that $30m, they can re-new their strike force with German striker Podoloski and ­Olivier Giroud and still may have $10m balanced... lol.

      Oh and not to forget still got Nicklas Bendtner... His stock have probably up since he went to Sunderland on loan and now after his Euro showing...

      In the end, Arsenal renew their squad an still make a profit... lol...

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Ruud Gullit's wife walks out on him for man 21 years younger and blames football legend's womanising for end of marriage


      Former Chelsea ace is said to be devastated after Estelle, 33, told him she wanted a divorce

      <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->


      In happier times: Ruud Gullit and wife Estelle Cruijff
      In happier times: Ruud Gullit and wife Estelle Cruijff




      Football legend Ruud ­Gullit’s wife has left him for a younger man... because she says she’s sick of his cheating.

      The former Chelsea ace was said to be devastated this week when Estelle, 33, told him she wanted a divorce.

      She said she had fallen in love with Moroccan-born Badr Hari, 28, who is 21 years younger than Ruud... and the world champion heavyweight kickboxer.

      In a scathing assessment of the Dutch couple’s relationship Estelle, niece of football star Johan Cruyff, blamed Sky TV pundit Ruud’s infidelity for the end of their 12-year marriage.

      She said: “There is one thing Ruud needs to know. Badr has not stolen me from Ruud... Ruud gave me away.”

      Despite his many affairs Ruud, 49, was stunned when Estelle said she wanted a divorce, she claims. “Ruud is angry and confused,” she revealed. “He can’t believe what is happening. He was ­really angry when I told him I was leaving him.

      “I wanted us both to tell the children. We have a daughter Joelle and a son Maxim together. But I did not get the chance to discuss that.

      “Ruud is so annoyed. He really did not see this coming. But that is what happens when you are so busy with your own things.”


      Badr Hari


      Younger man: World champion kickboxer Badr Hari  



      She went on: “Of course Ruud had affairs. He always did during our marriage. And of course I knew about them. And of course he would deny them all the time. My trust in him decreased over the years. In the end I didn’t trust him one bit.

      “That was the moment I started to ask myself, what is this whole marriage ­actually based on?

      “I put on a brave smile for a long time when I was with friends. It was a smile to hide my disappointment and hurt. As a woman you feel so much more than a man. I just knew his things weren’t incidents, but pure lust. The first time I confronted him with one of his affairs, we weren’t even ­ ­married.”

      The couple married in 2000 after four years together. Their relationship started when Estelle was just 17.

      Although she says Ruud is a good father and has supported her as a mother, Estelle says she realised she needed to get away from the constant pain of his affairs.

      “Ruud does not realise that he has hurt me so much over the years,” she said. “I wonder now if he was aware of how much pain he caused me.

      “I wanted that pain to end. I hope he finds somebody who can make him happy. It has become clear over the years that I could not make him happy. Well, not just me on my own.

      “Ruud knows I know everything. He really is not a bad man, but he has one particularly bad habit.

      “I was looking forward to a lovely, romantic life with Ruud. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He was sweet, happy. I could not wait to start a family with him. I don’t want to forget the great ­moments, which we did have, otherwise this would not have lasted 16 years.”

      Estelle, who was speaking to Dutch paper De Telegraaf, said: “He is an ­adorable father for the kids – absolutely great. As a woman, that makes you melt at times too.

      “But being a good father for the kids, I know now, is not enough.”

      Ruud was married twice before and has four children with his ex-wives.

      One of the finest players of his generation, he played at AC Milan, Sampdoria and Chelsea as well as starring for his national team. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1987. Gullit went on to manage Chelsea and Newcastle United.

      He confirmed to Dutch media this week that he was getting divorced, “because of recent ­developments in his marriage”.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Dutch auction: Arsenal finally admit they will sell Robin van Persie... for £30 million


      Theo Walcott could follow him out the door as contract negotiations stall

      <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->


      Robin van Persie: are Arsenal fans about to see the back of him?
      Robin van Persie: are Arsenal fans about to see the back of him?



      Arsenal have slapped a £30 million price tag on striker Robin van Persie.

      The Dutch striker has so far failed to agree an extension to his current deal which has just one season left.

      The club are willing to make Van Persie the highest earner in the club’s history with an offer close to £130,000-a-week.

      But Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood ­admitted that if ­another club offers Van Persie £250,000 a week, then ­Arsenal would not be able to compete.



      Robin van Persie scores for Holland

      Dutch master: Robin van Persie scores for Holland against Germany at Euro 2012



      Arsenal have not given up hope of keeping their captain, but if he insists on leaving the price will be high.

      Van Persie is being tracked by Manchester City and ­Juventus.

      Paris St Germain, funder by Qatari owners, are also keeping tabs on developments.

      Russian League big spenders Anzhi, managed by Guus Hiddink, would also top any contract offer to Van Persie. But the 28 year-old striker does not want to be based in Moscow. This ­summer’s debate will revolve around Van Persie’s willingness to commit his future to Arsenal.

      If he can’t do that the London club will take any £30m offer – even one from a rival Premier League club like champions City.




      Arsene Wenger is happy for van Persie to run down his contract  




      If no-one matches that valuation, then ­manager Arsene Wenger is happy to keep Van Persie at The Emirates and allow his contract to run down in June 2013.

      That would make the player a free agent in a year’s time but he would also be approaching his 30th birthday and his market value will have dipped and he would be ­unlikely to command a salary in excess of Arsenal’s current offer.

      Arsenal will also have bolstered their strike force by the start of the season.

      Lukas Podoloski has already joined from Cologne for £10m and a deal for a similar sum has been agreed with new French champions Montpellier for striker ­Olivier Giroud. If Van Persie stays at the club to see out his contract Giroud will have a full season to adapt to the Premier League.

      But there is also a question mark about the ­future of Theo Walcott. The England winger also has one-year left on his contract but talks about a new deal have reached deadlock.

      The two parties are still some distance from agreement and Walcott could be on the move in the summer.



      Theo Walcott scores for England's second

      Theo Walcott: could be on his way as well




  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Martinez tops Tottenham's shortlist but transfers will be decided by committee


      Transfers by committee: Daniel Levy (left) will oversee all transfers should Roberto Martinez (right) arrive at White Hart Lane   White Hart favourite: Roberto Martinez

      Transfers by committee: Daniel Levy (left) will oversee all transfers should Roberto Martinez (right) arrive at White Hart Lane





      Roberto Martinez will have to work with a transfer committee who decide on player recruitment if he takes over as Tottenham boss, with former star Tim Sherwood about to be made director of football as part of the new set up.

      Transfers will be decided by a committee headed by chairman Daniel Levy and would include Sherwood, the new manager and another executive, who Spurs are still trying to recruit and whose expertise would be identifying new talent.

      Arsenal chief scout Steve Rowley was considered for that role but is expected to stay at Emirates Stadium.
      Such a structure is likely to be unappealing to Everton manager David Moyes, who is likely to rule himself out following the departure of Harry Redknapp.  

      But Spurs were thinking of Martinez last month when they began recruiting for the transfer committee and the Spaniard is expected to be approached. Ralf Rangnick, the former Schalke coach, is also being promoted as a candidate, along with former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.

      All should be comfortable with such a system though Martinez was understood to have been reluctant to work with Louis van Gaal as sporting director when he discussed joining Liverpool.

      However, he may think Sherwood is a more favourable partner.

      Rangnick has not coached since quitting Schalke last September due to exhaustion.

      He is ready to return and was interviewed for the West Brom job. Villas-Boas has impressed Levy but it would be a risk to appoint a man who lost the Chelsea dressing room.

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Rafael agrees new deal to stay at Manchester United until 2016, reveals agent

      The Brazilian is looking forward to progressing his career with "one of the biggest clubs in football", while brother Fabio is on his way to QPR on loan to gain more experience

      BPL, Manchester United and Sunderland, Rafael (Getty Images)







      Manchester United full-back Rafael Da Silva has signed a new contract until 2016, according to the Brazilian’s agent.

      The 21-year-old, who joined from Fluminense in 2008, made 12 appearances for the Red Devils last season, earning a call-up to the senior international squad in May following an injury to Dani Alves.

      The defender’s agent, Cassiano Pereira, indicated that Rafael, who featured in Brazil’s friendlies against Argentina and Denmark, was delighted to remain at the club and play on the European stage.

      Pereira told Globoesporte: "Rafael is very happy to be able to stay at Manchester United, who are one of the biggest clubs in football and are always playing in Europe's biggest competitions.

      "Besides, they opened Rafael the doors to Europe, where his qualities are appreciated and where he has earned respect and prestige. Everyone is happy with this renewal."

      Unlike Rafael, his brother Fabio is not currently in Sir Alex Ferguson's first-team plans.

      And, Pereira also revealed that the Scot has therefore allowed the Brazilian to move on loan to QPR for the new season.

      According to the representative, Fabio reject offers from other clubs to join a Premier League side and further adapt to the English games.

      He added: "Fabio is a promising players and he needs to play. Because of that, Alex Ferguson suggested that he be loaned out to get more experience.

      "He is a sought-after player because he is still young, and we think that his transfer to QPR was the best decision at the time.

      "We received some offers from Germany and Portugal, but he preferred to stay in England to remain in touch with the country's football style and so that he would not have a problem to adapt to it when he returned to United."

      Edited by zocoss 17 Jun `12, 2:12AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Barcelona are watching Modric - Spain assistant Paco Jimenez

      Vicente del Bosque's right-hand man confirms the Blaugrana are keeping tabs on Tottenham's playmaker, and have attended Croatia's games at Euro 2012

      <!-- end social_media div -->

      Luka Modric: Croatia - Ireland (Euro 2012) 
      Spain assistant coach Paco Jimenez has revealed that Barcelona scouts are keeping tabs on Tottenham's Luka Modric.


      With the White Hart Lane club missing out on Champions League football for 2012-13, the Premier League side are expected to struggle to hold onto their star playmaker.

      The former Dinamo Zagreb man has impressed for Croatia during Euro 2012, and La Roja's trainer has stated that Blaugrana scouts have been watching him in action.

      "He's playing very well; Barcelona have someone watching him," Jimenez told reporters.

      "He was present at Croatia's game against Italy, but I can not say who he is."

      Manchester United are also believed to be interested in signing Modric this summer, while Chelsea pursued the Spurs man in the summer of 2011.

      Spurs, meanwhile, are still expected to sign Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen despite Harry Redknapp's departure this week.

      Goal.com understands the club's pursuit of the player will continue and will not be affected by the change in management at White Hart Lane.

      Edited by zocoss 17 Jun `12, 2:05AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • It's all so strange sometimes... Roman got the cash and willing to used it to build a new stadium for Chelsea but their fans want to stay and stop him from moving the team out of the Bridge.

      The truth about Henry is beginning to show... He looks like a man who is only interested in the bottomline and can't wait to see the $$$ start rolling in instead. Refused to start plans on building a new stadium but has been deferring it with time wasting plans of redevelopment of Anfield... Is this a delay tactics of FSG?

      When he talks about "factor in debt service", it gives me the impression his group like G&H, don't have the money to build a new stadium and if they are to do so, they will need to take bank loans again.

      It's like out of the fire and into the frying pan... Should have gone with Peter Lim and they might have got a better chance of it...

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05



      Hodgson welcomes dilemma

      Rooney set to replace Welbeck or Carroll



      Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll will fight for their position








      Roy Hodgson confirmed Wayne Rooney will return to the starting line-up after serving his two-game ban, but the England boss hailed his other strikers for their goalscoring efforts in the 3-2 win over Sweden.

      Rooney will make his comeback in the final Group D clash with co-hosts Ukraine on Tuesday. Despite both scoring crucial goals against Sweden, Hodgson declared either Danny Welbeck or Andy Carroll will certainly make way for Rooney.

      "I welcome those kind of selection problems," said Hodgson. "I was really pleased with the performance of the front players.

      "But Wayne Rooney is a special player and, frankly, it will be hard to leave him out. I'm afraid you expect him to get back into the team when the suspension is served."

      Carroll nodded England in front in the first half, while Welbeck flicked home the winner from a Theo Walcott cross in the final moments of the match. Walcott also netted the equaliser himself as he made a dramatic impact after coming on as a substitute.

      "Theo's contribution was enormous," said Hodgson. "To come on as a sub, score and set up the winner means he'll be very happy.

      "It was a good move [in the lead-up to the winner]. Theo was able to skip away from the full-back and showed a lot of composure to find Danny at the near post.

      "He timed his run very well and it was a very clever finish with the pirouette past the goalkeeper who thought he was going to toe it towards the near post. It was a great goal to win the game."

      Welbeck and Carroll will battle it out to partner Rooney as England look for the point required to progress beyond the group stage. However, after a match-winning cameo, Walcott may also come into contention for a starting berth.

      "Of course I believe in him," said Hodgson. "He's a good player with good qualities. That's why I selected him in my 23.

      "I have only worked with these guys for a month and am still learning what they're really good at, and what areas we can find improvement. But I was delighted with his performance tonight."

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05

      It’s spygate

      VICTIM ... Sweden knew Hodgson's tactics
      VICTIM ... Sweden knew Hodgson's tactics

      ENGLAND were the victims of a sensational spying row last night.

      Group D rivals Sweden confirmed they knew Roy Hodgson’s tactics BEFORE the crucial Euro clash in Kiev.

      His pre-match instructions were photographed at their team hotel and the Swedes were told how England would defend free-kicks and who would mark them at corners.

      And to add to the controversy, the Swedes’ two goals last night came from set-pieces.

      FA officials will be under massive pressure to launch a probe into the incident and tighten security.

      The info is believed to have been obtained with a MIRROR. Photos of Hodgson’s tactics board will be published in the Swedish press today.

  • Moderator
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    25,009 posts since Sep '05


      Not going to the games: Shinji Kagawa will not be part of Japan's Olympic squad

      Not going to the games: Shinji Kagawa will not be part of Japan's Olympic squad





      Sir Alex Ferguson has been handed some good news after it was confirmed new signing Shinji Kagawa would not be called up for Olympic duty by Japan.

      The Manchester United boss has already put his foot down over the London 2012 tournament, even though Great Britain will play their first match against Senegal, at Old Trafford on July 25.

      Ferguson has barred any over-age player, with the exception of Ryan Giggs, from being called up by GB boss Stuart Pearce, and persuaded Mexico to give Javier Hernandez a rest.

      Twenty-three-year-old Kagawa is eligible to compete but it has been confirmed the midfielder, who will join United from German champions Borussia Dortmund once he has passed a medical and gained a work permit, will not be selected.

      Japanese FA technical director Hiromi Hara said: 'Kagawa is one of the leading members of the Japan national senior team and he is almost certainly going to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.

      'We came to the conclusion that not giving him enough rest is not good for his future nor our final World Cup qualifiers.



      Set to play: Ryan Giggs has been given the go-ahead to play for Team GB by Sir Alex Ferguson

      Set to play: Ryan Giggs has been given the go-ahead to play for Team GB by Sir Alex Ferguson



      'I talked to Kagawa directly and told him he would not be chosen.'

      Ferguson already knows goalkeeper David de Gea will be part of the Spain squad, whilst Pearce is due to unveil his 18-man GB party at the beginning of next month, with Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling amongst those young enough to play in the Under-23 competition.

      However, Smalling's participation would depend upon his recovery from the groin injury that ruled him out of Euro 2012.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Not may but will as starhub and singtel will take the opportunity to earn more from the fans again. Now they just got the perfect excuse to justify their increase for the 2013 to 2016 seasons. They just thought of a new idea or excuse of how to beat the cross carriage plan. Just look at the Euro package...

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Spurs can talk to Rob

      Roberto Martinez
      IN THE FRAME AGAIN ... Wigan chief Roberto Martinez





      WIGAN chief Dave Whelan insists he will not stop Tottenham talking to Roberto Martinez.

      Latics chief Martinez is in the frame to replace axed Harry Redknapp.

      Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is also considering former Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas, Newcastle chief Alan Pardew and former Spurs idol Jurgen Klinsmann, now USA boss.

      But Wigan chairman Whelan admitted he would not block an approach for Martinez. He said: “If Tottenham come to me and say they’d like to talk to him, the answer is ‘yes’. It always is.

      “That’s because you cannot stop managers moving around. Swansea found that out recently.

      “I would say though that Roberto is quite happy at Wigan. I spoke to him last night and I’ve heard nothing from Spurs.

      “As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing going on. He’s doing a brilliant job for me. But I have to wait and see now.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Sacked Villas-Boas makes Spurs shortlist to replace Redknapp



      In contention: AVB will be considered for the vacant post

      In contention: AVB will be considered for the vacant post


      Black country: Rangnick was in line for the WBA post

      Black country: Rangnick was in line for the WBA post



      Andre Villas-Boas and Ralf Rangnick are two of the names on the shortlist to replace Harry Redknapp.

      The sacked Chelsea boss and former Schalke chief are among those under consideration as the north London club begins the search for a successor to the sacked 65-year-old.

      Chairman Daniel Levy will discuss his options at a hastily-convened meeting with Spurs' top brass with several current Premier League managers also under consideration.

      As revealed by Sportsmail, David Moyes and Roberto Martinez are both strong candidates to replace Redknapp.

      However, there is a reluctance to pay out a hefty compensation figure to any club on top of that which Spurs will have to shell out to their former boss in lieu of his £3m annual salary.

      That has led to unemployed bosses Villas- Boas and Rangnick entering the frame.


      Gone: Redknapp has been relieved of his Tottenham duties

      Gone: Redknapp has been relieved of his Tottenham duties




      While Villas-Boas's credentials will be known to Spurs' fans, those of career-coach Rangnick will be more of a mystery.

      The German was in line for the post at West Bromwich Albion earlier this month before the Black Country club decided to give Steve Clarke his chance in front-line management.

      There are others who are also certain to attract the attention of Spurs' chairman.

      Marseille manager Didier Deschamps and Ajax coach Frank de Boer will be on the radar if the club decides to approach a foreign coach in employment, while erstwhile Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is certain to be interested in the post.

      Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson expressed his surprise at Redknapp's departure.

      Redknapp was the favourite with bookmakers to replace Fabio Capello before Hodgson was appointed.

      Hodgson said: 'I was very sad to hear the news. It came as a major surprise to me and I'm disappointed for him.

      'I wish him all the best and hope the next job he wants comes along very soon.'

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Liverpool chief Henry claims building new stadium will not transform club finances


      Wisdom: John Henry says a new stadium may not change Liverpool's financial situation

      John Henry says a new stadium may not change Liverpool's financial situation




      Liverpool's principal owner John Henry insists it is a myth that a new stadium will transform the club's financial fortunes.

      The lead figure in Fenway Sports Group has suggested a new-build in Stanley Park would most likely lead to increased ticket prices, quoting recent examples taken from the United States.

      Henry believes the best way of improving the Reds' ability to compete financially is through worldwide commercial revenue streams and their long-term future is not dependent on the stadium issue, which casts doubt over whether the long-mooted Stanley Park project will ever come to fruition.

      'A long-term myth has existed about the financial impact of a new stadium for Liverpool," the American wrote in an email to The Anfield Wrap website.

      'A belief has grown that Liverpool FC must have a new stadium to compete with (Manchester) United, Arsenal and others.

      'No-one has ever addressed whether or not a new stadium is rational.

      'New stadiums that are publicly-financed make sense for clubs - I've never heard of a club turning down a publicly-financed stadium.

      'But privately carrying new stadiums is an enormous challenge. Arsenal is centred in a very wealthy city with a metropolitan population of approximately 14 million people.
      'They did a tremendous job of carrying it off on a number of levels but how many new football stadiums with more than 30,000 seats have been built in the UK over the past decade or so?

      'New stadiums increase revenues primarily by raising ticket prices - especially premium seating.'

      Henry accepts there is a balancing act to be done when considering the worth of a new stadium against a redevelopment of Anfield, which presents numerous logistical problems.

      'We've been exploring a new stadium for the past 18 months. At one point we made it clear that if a naming rights deal could be secured of sufficient size, we would make every effort to build a new facility,' he added.


      Visions: A potential new Anfield

      Visions: A potential new Anfield



      'Liverpool FC has an advantage in being a global club and a naming rights deal could make a new stadium a reality.

      'It is something we are working on. There has been interest.

      'Going in the other direction, many football clubs have successfully enlarged their seating capacity.

      'LFC has had plans to expand the main stand at Anfield but this avenue has been very difficult for the club over the past couple of decades.

      'There are homes behind the main stand. Expansion of the main stand would have to be a priority for the city, community and immediate neighbourhood in order for that to occur.

      'This issue is vital to the neighbourhood's future but we cannot and will not act unilaterally.

      'While a new stadium or an expansion of Anfield is beneficial over the long-term for the club, the financial impact of adding seats and amenities should be put into perspective.

      'That's why I say that it is a myth that stadium issues are going to magically transform LFC's fortunes.

      'Building new or refurbishing Anfield is going to lead to an increase from £40million of match-day revenue to perhaps £60-70m if you don't factor in debt service.

      'That would certainly help but it's just one component of LFC long-term fortunes.

      'Our future is based not on a stadium issue but on building a strong football club that can compete with anyone in Europe.

      'This will be principally driven financially by our commercial strengths globally.'

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05

      Nick Powell will win matches for Manchester United, says Dario Gradi

      The teenager's mentor reveals several clubs were chasing the youngster but that Sir Alex Ferguson wanted the midfielder "more than anybody else did and worked harder at it"



      <!-- end social_media div -->
      Nick Powell 
      Crewe Alexandra's Director of Football Dario Gradi has described Manchester United's new signing Nick Powell as a player who "wins matches on his own".

      The 18-year-old midfielder helped inspire the Railwaymen to promotion to League One before joining Sir Alex Ferguson's side, scoring the opening goal in Alexandra's 2-0 win over Cheltenham in the League Two play-off final.
      Powell has been closely monitored by a number of Premier League suitors throughout the year, and his move to Old Trafford was confirmed earlier in the week, with the two clubs agreeing an initial £3 million fee.

      Gradi - who has spent almost 30 years at Grestly Road - has overseen the development of a number of talented players in his time at the club, but believes Powell is among the best to have graduated from Crewe's widely heralded academy.

      He told MUTV: "Nick Powell is a match winner. He doesn't rely on other people to make the goals for him. He's not a six-yard box player. In fact, we've been trying to encourage him to get in that six-yard box more. But he picks the ball up, runs at people and finishes with a goal. He wins matches on his own."

      Crewe's youth system has produced a number of top-level players over the years, such as David Platt and former West Ham striker Dean Ashton, however Gradi believes Powell is a different type of player to those who have rolled off the club's conveyor belt in the past.

      He added: "We've had some terrific players at Crewe who went on to play for England, but Nick's not the same as any of them. He does a similar job to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain."

      Gradi also revealed that while a number of clubs were interested in acquiring Powell's services, Sir Alex Ferguson's personal approach to the matter helped the Red Devils secure his signature.

      "There were [other clubs interested] but I have to say Sir Alex wanted Nick more than anybody else did and worked harder at it," Gradi said.

      "I was very impressed with the way Sir Alex went about it and what he said.

      "If he was trying to sign me, I'd have signed!



      "Nick Powell is a match winner. He doesn't rely on other people to make the goals for him"



      "What Sir Alex has done is challenge the boy to do what Ronaldo did. Young players worry about their chances of playing when they go to United.

      "But Sir Alex told Nick, 'If you do well enough, you'll get a chance. Ronaldo went on as sub [on his debut against Bolton] and was outstanding so I picked him.' Nick has got to be good enough, first of all, in training to be named as a sub but that's the challenge Sir Alex has given him."
      Edited by zocoss 15 Jun `12, 9:05AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Dutch on the brink as they crash

      Euro future looks bleak for Robin van Persie and Holland
      TUMBLING OUT ... Euro future looks bleak for Robin van Persie and Holland

      BERT VAN MARWIJK tore into his Dutch flops after they were left on the brink of a humiliating Euro 2012 exit.

      Mario Gomez’s double downed Holland and Van Marwijk fumed: “What do you expect? We defended really poorly and the link-up play between the defenders and two holding midfielders was average at best.

      “If you want to beat Germany you have to be top class in all 11 positions and we were far from that.

      "Too many players had average games and there was no threat from the wings. The players have only themselves to blame for this.”

      Robin van Persie got a goal back for Holland but it was too little, too late.

      Star Midfielder Wesley Sneijder said: “What can you say after a display like that?

      “There were great expectations of this side but we’re on the brink of embarrassing elimination.

      "I just feel sorry for the loyal fans who travelled all this way to see this.”

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • FOOTBALL: Farewell - Harry out as Spurs owner eyes young boss like Martinez


      Harry out as owner wants younger boss like Martinez

      Spurs manager Harry Repknapp
      OUT ... Spurs manager Harry Repknapp





      HARRY REDKNAPP’S reign as Tottenham boss is over.

      The 65-year-old will leave the club officially today.

      He was dumped yesterday in a showdown with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

      Redknapp wanted a new long-term deal but was stunned when Levy informed him owner Joe Lewis was after a younger boss — with Wigan’s Roberto Martinez rated the No1 target by White Hart Lane insiders.

      The club axed ’Arry for failing to finish higher than fourth in the Premier League.

      SunSport can reveal Levy told Redknapp it was the wish of billionaire Lewis that he departed.

      Hot tip Martinez, 38, has sprung to prominence after he inspired a brilliant last third of the season for Wigan.

      They escaped relegation with a scintillating brand of attacking football, beating Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool.

      Redknapp, who took charge in October 2008 after the disastrous reign of Juande Ramos, has paid the price for league position — despite three top-five finishes — and failing to lift silverware.

      Overall, Spurs felt that with the money given to Redknapp, he should have been pushing for the top slot.

      A severance package is currently being negotiated as the Londoners look for a new direction.

      One insider said: “Harry could get Spurs within touching distance but not all the way. So it has been decided it’s time for a change.”

      Redknapp being linked to the England job also proved a major distraction, as did his January court case.

      His TV appearance last week, talking about his contract situation, was poorly received too at a time when Levy was in mourning after the death of his mother.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • It's official! Chelsea confirm Di Matteo as their REAL manager


      'Interim' is finally removed from job title of ex-Blues midfielder who stepped in after AVB sacking and won the FA Cup and European Cup

      Italian job: Di Matteo has been handed a two-year contract as Blues boss 


      Italian job: Di Matteo has been handed a two-year contract as Blues boss




      Chelsea have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their full-time coach on a two-year contract.

      The Blues have moved to confirm the Italian as their permanent boss just three weeks after he led them to their first Champions League title while in interim charge.

      Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas for the final 11 weeks of the season and inspired a stunning rejuvenation of a side that had been deemed too old, as they won the FA Cup before their famous penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

      Di Matteo, who turned 42 last month, was ecstatic to take on the role permanently.

      "I'm obviously delighted to have been appointed as manager and first-team coach," Di Matteo said. "We all achieved incredible success last season that made history for this great club.

      "Our aim is to continue building on that and I'm already planning and looking forward to the squad's return for pre-season."

      Despite Di Matteo's success there was speculation Chelsea would look elsewhere for a full-time boss, with Pep Guardiola apparently atop their wish-list following his departure from Barcelona.

      Owner Roman Abramovich was said to be keen to bring in Guardiola, despite the Spaniard showing little interest in revoking his decision to take a year's sabbatical from the game.

      Rumours Guardiola could be swayed grew stronger as the weeks passed since Chelsea's Munich triumph, but in confirming Di Matteo's appointment today chief executive Ron Gourlay labelled the former Blues midfielder the "right man to lead Chelsea onto further success".





      Give me a break: Chelsea wanted Guardiola but he will go on sabbatical instead





      Gourlay also revealed Di Matteo had been involved in the decision to make recent signings with the club having already made the big-money capture of Eden Hazard following the end of last season.

      "Roberto's quality was clear for all to see when he galvanised the squad last season and helped the club make history, and the owner and board are very pleased he will be continuing his good work," he said.

      "We all believed he was a young coach with much to offer when we first asked him to take charge of team affairs in March and the manner in which he worked with us, the players and all the staff, and the success that followed, made him the clear choice when it came to selecting the person to take us forward in the seasons to come.

      "We will be working closely with Roberto in the weeks ahead, some exciting signings have already been made and Roberto has had input into those.

      "Although he has set the bar very high in the short time he has been in charge, we know that Roberto is the right man to lead Chelsea onto further success.

      "We are already looking forward to the 2012-13 season which kicks off when Roberto, his staff and players return for pre-season."

      Edited by zocoss 14 Jun `12, 1:12AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,009 posts since Sep '05
    • Dutch in disarray

      Wesley Sneijder
      FLOORED ... Wesley Sneijder hits the deck against Denmark

      THE troubled Dutch are in chaos as a series of explosive rows tears their camp apart.

      Bert van Marwijk’s side were slammed by their national media following last Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat against Denmark.

      One headline blasted: ‘Legoland beat Egoland’.

      But that only hints at the much bigger problems in and around the Holland squad, which include:

      - Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong refusing to talk to the Press.

      - Klaas Jan Huntelaar being jealous of Van Persie for playing ahead of him and refusing to talk too.

      - Dutch fans bombarding phonelines calling for Van Marwijk’s head.

      - Players claiming their under-fire boss is blinded by family loyalty as he refuses to drop son-in-law Mark van Bommel.

      The situation became too much for Holland playmaker Wesley Sneijder to take ahead of tonight’s crucial Group B clash with Germany.

      Defeat could see the Dutch become the first casualties of the Group of Death.

      Sneijder blasted: “It is time we let these pathetic egos go. If somebody is creating a mess, I will stand up against them now.

      “We don’t need a psychologist with the Dutch team, we are grown-up men. The ones who have a problem with other players or the manager should tell them face-to-face. That is the only psychology we need.

      “We have to stop living on little islands. We must all go for the same goal, be united or face the consequences.”

      One player who is suffering most from Van Marwijk’s loyalty to Van Bommel is Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart — and no one can buy his silence.

      Holland’s most-capped player, 29, said: “I have the right to speak out with 97 caps behind my name. If Holland want to win, the coach has to play me in the starting line-up.

      “I am no longer prepared to deny I am finding this role really tough. Do you know how frustrated I feel?

      “I am in the best form of my life and I train so hard but I get the impression the team selection is not going to change in my favour.

      “I don’t want to cause a mess that would have a big effect on the others but it does not look like my position is going to change.

      “Hardly any changes have been made to this team since the 2010 World Cup and that is great when you are in the starting line-up but it’s crap when you’re on the bench.

      “I feel like a young dog that is dying to get out but is caged in.”

      When asked if he was waiting for an explosion to erupt within the camp, Van der Vaart added: “I hope for that every day.

      “I knew from the first minute how things would go with this Dutch team.

      “My family think I have been crazy for staying silent for so long.”